{Real Party} Puff the Magic Dragon

My son, Brennan, was finally old enough to choose his own birthday party theme this year and he dearly wanted it to be all about dragons. Rather than focus on the big scary-type dragons, we looked for inspiration in an old Peter Paul & Mary song my mom used to sing us when we were kids – Puff the Magic Dragon.


This song about childhood imagination seemed wholly appropriate — where a cardboard box can become a boat, anything long and skinny will serve as a sword, and where ordinary objects become magical with a little storytelling. The song also sadly sings about how fleeting these moments of childhood all have to make the most of these days and celebrate them while they are here!

puff the magic dragon

Desserts. Our party was small, and for once, I designed a table sized appropriately for our party. Lynlee’s Petite Cakes make the cutest little dragon wings and tails that popped up out of mounds of dragon-fire toasted marshmallow frosted brownies. She also made some darling monograms cupcake toppers.

The cookies came from the talented Renee at Bees Knees Creative—the detail she put in the patterns on Puff were amazing! We had oreo truffles (approved by Jackie Paper, of course) and a homemade version of Kinder Eggs.

The eggs themselves were made based on a Martha Stewart tutorial. After coating the insides in chocolate, I stuffed them full of candies and made darling little pom-pom baby dragons to put inside. The kids had to smash the eggs open to get to the treats; the adults seemed a tad more excited about this than the kids!

The kids’ table.  For lunch in the magic land of Honalee I chose a low to the ground table for the kids and used cushions (from Brennan’s 1st birthday) for them to sit on. We served boxed lunches to the children. These are always a great option for kids, as they get excited about opening their lunches as they would opening a present.


Décor and activities. Puff traveled with Jackie Paper on a boat with billowed sails, so we painted our floor blue like water (really, we are about to put in a new floor so this was a happy chance to do something so crazy) and put up a ship in the living room.  We even had railing up to rope off the water area!

Three year olds don’t stand for organized activities in general, especially if there is a bounce house down the cherry lane in the backyard, so we put a treasure box of “Fancy Stuff” out for the kids to play with…pirate swords, bubbles and giants rings (hula hoops) were snatched up and run through the house. We had a crafty activity for the kids, making little sailboats, and set up a baby pool for them to go sail them in. There were a lot of shipwrecks in the bottom of the pool from overzealous tiny sailors, but the handful of 5 year olds there really enjoyed the little boats.

Favors. Since I didn’t overdo the dessert table, I made up for it with favors! Puff laid out his “treasures” for the kids and they got to choose lots of magic little things and put them in their box of dragon magic to take home.

Brennan really loved his dragon party and was very sad to watch the decorations come down. He and his playmates had such a wonderful time, and venture to say the parents, too! The printables for this party are now available in the shop. 

Paperie + Styling | Frog Prince Paperie | www.frogprincepaperie.com

Photography | John McLaughlin Photography | www.colorsandtextures.com

Fondant Cupcake Tops | Lynlee’s Petite Cakes | http://www.lynleespetitecakes.com/

Cookies | Bees Knees Creative | http://www.etsy.com/shop/beeskneescreative

Applique Shirt  | A Stitching We Will Go | https://www.facebook.com/pages/A-Stitching-We-Will-Go/159205447492117

Vinyl Art | All on the Wall | http://www.etsy.com/shop/AllOnTheWall


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  1. Tenessa says

    There are so many wonderful little details in this party! Love the scales on the dessert table. Great looking party!!!

  2. says

    Amazing party, I can’t even pick out what I like best! The eggs with the little dragons inside are adorable, I love the dragon’s scalloped skirt on the table, the cake, ALL OF IT! Thanks for sharing!

  3. says

    I adore this party, it is at the top of my list for all time favorites. The creativity is amazing (and what a sweet sort of forgotten song) but it is still simple enough to let the 3 year old imagination take the actual party in whatever direction they choose. Just perfect.

  4. K Harahap says

    OMG I’ve been looking for ideas for my 2 year old’s bday party. He’s been obsessed with puff for the past 6 months. Quick question, where did you get the mini dragons that are in the chest of fun stuff?


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