Rainbow Party Ideas

Rainbow Party Ideas

Rainbow parties are a huge trend at the moment. Picking a colour scheme is hard – so it’s not hard to see why rainbow parties are a huge hit. We have our very own Rainbow Party theme so we did a little brainstorming to see how many DIY ideas we could come up with. Here’s what we have so far!

The Rainbow Cake.

Rainbow Cakes  are always a winner!

Rainbow Cakes are always a winner! Image source: One Charming Party

We can tell you from experience that this cake is a winner. We baked one for a friend who was SA for a year and the oohs and ahhhs were well worth the effort it took to make the cake. We’re not usually cheaters when it comes to cake…but let’s just say that Ina Paarman’s cake mix worked a charm with only one hour to bake all seven layers!

  • Start with your favourite vanilla sponge recipe. Then divide the batter equally into 7 bowls.
  • If you’re fancy you’ll use 7 premixed food colourings…but we’re artists at heart and prefer to mix our own colours : red + blue + violet, yellow + red = orange, blue + yellow = green. Having just said that – colours can be hard to get juuuuuust right – so invest in as many individual colours as you can afford. Add the colour to the cake batter one drop at a time. Trust us, one drop at a time is much easier to control.
  • Once you’ve achieved your desired colour, pour into a round baking tin for approximately 6-8 minutes. The layers are much thinner so keep an eagle eye on the oven to prevent having to call the yummy fireman (that’s a different party!). It’s wise to time your first layer and use that as a guide for the next six. Allow the layers to cool. T
  • hen whip up your favourite icing and sandwich the layers together. We prefer a little less icing between the layers so as not to break up the rainbow effect. Once stacked, ice the outsides of the cake and decorate anyway you’d like. We tend towards clean and simple…but that’s just because I’m a horrid cake decorator and love Martha!

Rainbow Jelly.

Rainbow Jelly - the results are worth the added effort! Image Source:

Rainbow Jelly – the results are worth the added effort! Image Source: Rock Ur Party

When I was growing up my gran used to make this for us. She only used 3 jelly flavours…but these day’s you can find almost every shade in the er rainbow.

You’ll need: Two packets each of 4 – 6 colours of jelly in colours that will form a rainbow (choose them in any order but be sure to follow the order when layering), 2 x 250ml containers of cream, boiling water, bowl, and loads of patience. A cute take on my Gran’s rainbow jelly is to make it in a Bundt bowl/tin. It makes for a prettier presentation. For larger bowls, use 2 packets of each colour.  We’re making two layers of each colour, so you don’t need to hunt for that 7th colour as it’ll be just as impressive with fewer colours. My Gran knew this!

  • LAYER ONE (Pink) Now that you have 2 packets of each colour – dissolve the first packet (eg. Red Raspberry) in HALF the amount of boiling water described on the instuctions.  The boiling water dissolves the sugar and gelatine so you do need to follow this step. Let it cool back down to room temperature. Then add + 65ml of cream to form a pretty pink and stir gently to mix. Pop in the fridge (I have no patience so I always use the freezer) until set. We start with the pastel cream layer so that we’ll end up with a vivid bright colour on the top.
  • LAYER TWO (Red) Go ahead and mix up the 2nd box of the same colour (eg. Red Raspberry) using the full quantity of boiling water required in the instruction. (You’ll save a teensy bit of time by prepping ahead of the fridge time as the mixture needs to cool to room temperature and won’t set until in the fridge.) Once the first layer is set, pour the 2nd layer over the first and pop into the fridge to set. (See where I’m going with the no patience freezer gamble?).
  • LAYER THREE (Pastel Orange) Repeat the same steps as for the first layer – half boiling water, mix, wait to cool, then add cream).
  • LAYER FOUR (Bright Orange) Repeat the same steps as for the 2nd layer – full quantity boiling water, wait to cool, pour over previous set layer.  And you’ll repeat this process until you have all the layers you need.

It’s handy to have a kid or rainbow in the kitchen as I definitely needed a guide. Here’s how the rainbow goes: Violet, Indigo, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, Red… It doesn’t matter where you start, as long as you follow the order. But aim to end with your favourite colour on the top. To loosen the jelly from your mould, immerse most of the bowl in hot water for a few seconds, pop your serving plate over the top and flip with confidence. Do this just before serving so that your Rainbow work of art doesn’t melt.

Ja, it’s just a little time consuming but it’s totes worth the effort!

Layered Candy Jars.

Rainbow Candy Jars look so good on your table. They're decor you can eat!

Rainbow Candy Jars look so good on your table. They’re decor you can eat!

They make a huge impact especially in larger jars. Fill them with Smarties or Astros or both! (We find gumballs a little hard to find in all the colours.) Have your kids help you sort through the colours. Fill your jars following the order of the rainbow. Sit back and sigh at how each kid is going to get an even number of colours! LOL! Safety Tip: We find that with glass jars at little kids parties it makes safety sense to have an adult operate the candy scoop. Smaller jars with tied with a ribbon and finished with the Thank You Card make wonderful gift favours.

Watercolour Gift Favours

Watercolour Paint Sets - easy and cost effective.

Watercolour Paint Sets – easy and cost effective.

Watercolour sets are easy to find at any kids toy store and make super inexpensive favours for your guests! Younger kids would also enjoy crayons.

Rainbow Streamers

Rainbow Streamers made from crepe paper.

Rainbow Streamers made from crepe paper.

Make a wall of streamers in rainbow colours. You can buy sets of streamers but we can’t always find the right colours. So we make our own with crepe paper, thick ribbon or fabric that is available in a myriad of colours.

Streamers made with ribbon or fabric.

Streamers made with ribbon or fabric.

Ribbon or Fabric Garlands are super easy to make. Measure your string that you’ll be hanging your streamers from – make sure it’s fairly strong. Take your ribbon or strip of fabric, fold in half  with the string in between. Then make a loop and pull to secure. You could use curtain hooks instead of string.

Rainbow Fruit Skewers

Rainbow Fruit Skewers - a healthy alternative that fits the theme perfectly!

Rainbow Fruit Skewers – a healthy alternative that fits the theme perfectly! Image Source: Babble

With all the candy and sugar it’s always nice to offer a healthy alternative…that fits the theme! Make your own fruit kebabs. Skip the Blue and use 6 colours – no one will notice! Red grapes for Violet, Blue Berries for Indigo, Kiwis or Green Grapes for Green, Pineapples or Bananas for Yellow, Oranges for well Orange…okay Pawpaws are orange too, and Strawberries for Red.

Rainbow Cream Biscuits

Cookies filled with Rainbow Cream.

Cookies filled with Rainbow Cream. Image Source: Jackie Sorkin

We love to go the extra mile. And, often, putting in that little bit of extra effort can help your budget. A big favourite is buying (or making) plain vanilla or chocolate biscuits. If you’re really patient you could scrape the cream off Oreos but, as you may have guessed, we’re not the patient kind. Mix up your favourite butter cream icing – pull out your food colouring and mix up 7 shades. Apply a generous squirt of icing to the wrong side of one biscuit, and sandwich with the other. You need generous because you want to see the colour ooze out a little.


DIY Felt/Fabric Clouds - easy to sew and can be hung in your kid's room after the party.

DIY Felt/Fabric Clouds – easy to sew and can be hung in your kid’s room after the party. Image Source: Needle and Nest Design

As adults, we know that rainbows are the result of light hitting water…I’m going to throw in the word refraction. So why not add some clouds to your décor. Purchase a metre or two of felt (though we find the smaller square from craft and haberdashery stores a little more budget conscious). Decide how big you’d like your clouds to be. Layer two sheets of fabric and draw a cloud shape. Cut out your cloud and sew roughly round the edges (I’m going to throw in the word tacking stitch) leaving a 3cm gap. Stuff lightly with some inner filling –old clothes cut into strips works just fine – and then sew closed the gap. You could attach strands of ribbons in rainbow colours as an extra detail…keep them long and let them gather on the table or floor. Or find matching colour accessories, like beads, and weight them with the beads. Thread cotton through the top so that you can hang from your ceiling. We love this as you can hang the cloud in your child’s room after the party.

Rainbow Drinks

Rainbow Drinks - a drop or food colouring goes a long way.

Rainbow Drinks – a drop or food colouring goes a long way.

Serve your drinks in clear containers. We LOVE milk jars. Line up your jars and fill them with different colour cooldrinks. Sparberry for Red, Fanta for Orange, Pinenut for Yellow, Cream Soda for Green, add a little blue food colouring to clear Lemonade to make Indigo, and Fanta Grape for Violet. Of course, you could use lemonade and your food colouring set to change all the colours. Tip: We’ve tried this with juice but found there was no way around blue…apple juice isn’t clear enough to make blue. Another fun interactive idea is to find sherbet or those mix a drinks in the packets that our parents used to resort to. (We can’t vouch for the health properties…but hey, the kids will be OD’ing on sugar anyways.) Serve clear lemonade and have the kids choose a sherbet that. Then add the sherbet to a half glass of lemonade and watch their faces. A HALF GLASS as the sherbet combining with the bubbles could have less than amusing results for the person on clean up duty!


String your balloons in a Rainbow order.

String your balloons in a Rainbow order. Image Source: Design Mom

Of course! But here’s an idea – string your balloons in the rainbow order. We’ve done this many times – the trick is to use a needle and thread it through the lip of the knotted balloon…and to not pop it! We found a step by step tutorial from a very clever mom – http://www.designmom.com/2011/05/balloon-banner-diy/

These are just a few ideas that we loved. Let your imagination run wild. Remember to collect blank colour paper, food colouring, ribbons and fabric – these basic colours are budget friendly and add wonderful base colours to your printables and themed stationery. If your budget is tight – use themed stationery sparingly and use your blank colours to fill the room.

Leave a comment and let us know your ideas for throwing a colourful rainbow party!

Recent Comments

  1. We have a rainbow themed wedding on Saturday!! You should see the amazing rainbow flower arrangements we’re doing, and rainbow ribbon streamers for the chairs. So much pretty and fun.

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