No ordinary pirate party

16th Jan 2013


I have been so excited to share this party with you!

At the start of December I had a call from the London based creative agency JWT, there clients include Debenhams, Lego, Hovis, KitKat and Nestle. This time though it was Calpol. JWT were planning a fantastic Pirate themed party for young Jasper. Jasper’s mum had won Calpol’s Second Chance Saturday competition!

To enter you needed to tell Calpol about a party your child missed due to a silly cold or nasty fever. Well Lacy from Reading entered and won the big prize, a new party worth £6,000! Take a look at the Calpol  Facebook page for more about the competition, to see the runners up read Jasper’s story.

Take a look at the video below to see how Jasper reacted.



JWT had found my website and loved the look and style of my parties so gave me a call to see how I could help. The party was to be on the 12th January and at first my heart sunk as I was already booked up on that date with a party in Fleet in the morning and then one in Wimbledon in the afternoon. I already had Rachel booked with me and Stevie on holiday so things were not looking good.

After chatting though all there needs though it turned out I could still be of help.

I didn’t have any entertainers free but luckily JWT were interested in my party knowledge and ideas for the table dressing, party timings, the venue search, catering and the birthday cake as well. Although very experienced in events, a children’s party was a new one for them so I was brought on board to help out with the party planning and finer details.

The first job was to find a hall, after a lot of time on the phone and the Internet we narrowed it down to two locations in Reading. The hall did have to fit quite a few requirments such as being free from 7am – 11pm, being ok with the level of theming and also ok with lots of sand! After a site visit to both by myself the Eye & Dunsden Village Hall was decided on. It had lots of parking, was close to the family home, lovey features and the space we needed.

After the hall was decided upon plans could move forward on how the space would be used, the table dressed and the colours. It was decided that the party would stick to the traditional pirate colours like black and gold but a nice deep purple would be added to reflect the calpol brand and to brighten things up a bit. This purple is ideal for a pirate party and one if fact I plan on using again as it looked so nice.

I was to look after the table dressing as I could get into the hall from 7am and set up before my day of parties. JWT looked after the rest of the venue theming and brought in the Beach Events Team who not only put down a raised area and filled it with two tons of sand (yep two tons!) but that also had the pain staking job of covering all the wall with a beach themed scene setter. Hats of to them, covering one wall and getting it all decreased is a job in its self 🙂 These guys also worked on the olympics so there was no cutting corners on this party.

JWT also got in the most fab props such as palm trees, a pirate ship for the entrance, lanterns, a treasure chest and much more. And of course I supplied some dry ice from my friends at Chillistick for a bit of magic when the kids arrived.

Below you can see some before and after photos (For once I remember to get these!)


before and after

before and after

sand and sun

sand and sun

from hall to pirate island in a day

from hall to pirate island in a day


Next was the catering. For this I called upon the lovely ladies of Hats & Bells, Hatty and Annbel. Due to a few different factors we decided on food box’s for the party tea and Hats and Bells provided lovely purple box’s filled with pirate ship shape sandwiches, soft rolls, home made Parmesan pirate shape biscuits, crudites bundles and pirate cupcakes. They also provided the fantastic pirate Island cake that I hear Jasper’s mum was delighted with.

You cant forget the goodie bags! We stuck to the lovely deep purple and I suggested some material drawstring bags with white pirate skulls on the front and filled with lovely pirate bits. As you can image by the time all of the above decisions had been made and signed off we were only one week away form the party when this element was pulled together. Therefor the bags had to be hand made and bespoke, we had no time for sourcing patterned material. This is where the lovely Printed Tree comes in, and Rachel who fitted in the commision around her other jobs and created these lovely bags. I then filled then with pirate stickers, a mini pirate activity book, pirate bubbles, gold coins, pirate coins and an eye patch.


pirate cake and goodie bags

pirate cake and goodie bags

treasure and gold

treasure and gold


My party coordinator Gemma popped in just before the party to double check everything was OK as I could not get back until after the event. She looked after the dry ice at the start and also got some photos for me. I must say I was gutted not to see the party in full swing but when we went back later that evening to clear down it certainly looked like everyone had had a fantastic time!

I have received an email today from JWT to say the client and Lacy were delighted so I am very happy.

The whole party was filmed so I will be sure to pop up a blog post when the film goes live in a few weeks so we can all watch it together!!

For more infomation on Buttons Party planning and theming servies just pop over to the website.


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