Pow Wow Party – Kara’s Party Ideas Book

Posted on April 5th, 2012 by Kara
Comments 165

I’m so excited to share the POW WOW THEMED BIRTHDAY PARTY I styled last month. This party is actually in my upcoming book and is one of the select parties you get to see before the book hits shelves this October!

All of the amazing photos were taken by Valerie Hart Photography. Valerie is so talented, and has been an absolute joy to work with.

The party was set among the infamous red rock and sand in Snow Canyon, Utah. It was such a gorgeous setting, and the perfect location for the party.

A lot of fun desserts and treats were created for the party. The edible teepees were made by dipping ice cream sugar cones in melted white Wilton Candy Melts® and decorating with licorice string and various candies. “Corncob Twinkies®” were made by simply spreading frosting over Twinkies® and placing Reese’s Pieces® in rows on top of the frosting. The cupcakes on top of the old toy drum were topped with fondant corncob cupcake toppers that I ordered from Parkers Flour Patch. The adorable teepee cake pops were ordered online from Etsy shop, Autumn Lynn’s Chocolate Sin’s. Cute cactus-shaped sugar cookies were ordered online from All Things Exquisite. Totem poles were made out of tootsie rolls and cupcakes were topped with small dreamcatchers.

For activities the children colored and put together small cardboard teepees using a kit from my shop and filled glass jars with colored sand. They also cut out cute paper doll banners, a download from Happy Paper Hearts. Small bows and arrows and little dolls were given to each child to play with throughout the party and take home afterwards.

Vendor Credits:

Photography–Valerie Hart Photography

Party Styling–Kara’s Party Ideas

Invitations, Food Label Tent Cards, Teepee Party Hats— Included on CD in Book- Released October, 2012

Necklaces, Gummy Snakes, Paper Sacks, Toy Tomahawks, Dream Catchers, Pouch Craft Kit, Teepee Craft Kit, Feathers, Glass Jars, Small Glass Jars, Rock Candy, Wooden Utensils, Colored Sand, Sucker Sticks, Wilton Candy Melts(R), Bakers Twine, Paper Shred, Scrapbook Paper, Paper Bags—Kara’s Party Shop

Teepee Cake Pops—Autumn Lynn’s Chocolate Sin’s

Paper Doll Banner–Happy Paper Hearts

Cactus-Shaped Sugar Cookies—All Things Exquisite

Corncob Fondant Cupcake Toppers—Parkers Flour Patch

Fondant Cookie Toppers—Cookie Covers
Children’s Teepee–Amazon


165 thoughts on “Pow Wow Party – Kara’s Party Ideas Book

Please feel free to ask questions or leave comments

  1. Val

    I really enjoy your blog & the creative ideas you share so I debated sharing my feelings about this post but I hope you’ll realize it comes from a place of respect & honesty. I was a little offended by the blatant stereotypes reinforced in this post and how you treated the various American Indian cultures as one entity. For those considering a similar party, I would hope that you include an educational competent- particularly one that reinforces the modern contributions American Indians bring to this country.

    1. Kara Post author

      I just want to apologize. I had no intention of being disrespectful to any race or ethnicity. I have the highest regard for the Native American culture, in fact, my husband is part Cherokee. I meant the party as a way to honor the Native American heritage while also celebrating a birthday in a fun way.

      1. Jessica

        Which Native American heritage? There are so many–there are over 500 distinct nations.

        It’s pretty cool that your husband comes from Cherokee descent. Perhaps you and your husband would enjoy visiting a Cherokee reservation and/or cultural center. That way, you can really honor them by getting the info straight from the source and helping to actively support the Cherokee culture. That’s a respectful way to have fun.

  2. Roxarita

    I am a fan of your blog and can see all the hard work that went into planning this party (and the pictures are beautiful) but we need to focus on promoting understanding and respect for Native culture without appropriating Indians as mascots or stereotypes.

    1. Nicole Hansen

      This party is such a fun way to honor the Native American culture! What better way to educate about the different tribes than combining different elements into one party? Just like a “luau” actually represents the entire Polynesian culture and a Mexican fiesta represents MANY latin cultures. I don’t see the difference. Will someone tell me what the difference is here??

      1. Jessica


        Please see my previous post. It’s better to learn from the source, not mixed and matched stereotypes. Mexicans and Polynesians have plenty of sterotyping and racist issues to face, but at least their cultures are recognized as still existing. A lot of people have trouble seeing that Native Americans are still around and practicing.

        I saw Plains teepees and outfits, Northwestern Totems, Northeastern canoes, Southwestern sand designs, and Southeastern beading. Those are popular images but they’re inaccurate when combined. The concern I have is Hollywood is not an accurate source of information for anyone, and it seems like there were a lot of “reel injun” influences.

    2. Kara Post author

      I just want to apologize. I had no intention of being disrespectful to any race or ethnicity. I have the highest regard for the Native American culture, in fact, my husband is part Cherokee. I meant the party as a way to honor the Native American heritage {just as a “Luau Party” honors the Samoan, Hawaiian, Tongan, etc. cultures} while also celebrating a birthday in a fun way.

      1. Roxarita

        Kara, it is clear to me that your intention was never to be disrespectful. I left this comment to share a perspective I thought it would be valuable for you to think about for the future.

        Luaus are actually a specifically Hawaiian celebration. I wonder if you could use your party magic skills to tweak this party to be more specific to one Native American tribe. Part of the issue is that there are many tribes that are each separate nations and very different. There is a long and sad history of these nations being marginalized in our society and so it is important to not perpetuate that. I think you could throw a cool and educational party that focuses on the Cherokee nation in a way that shows respect for that culture!

        1. Nicole Hansen

          I’m confused. Because I just went to a city luau last year, in a city where there are a lot of different cultures…samoan, hawaiian, tongan, etc. The flyers said -LUAU. It was at a city park. And the party was put on by all of the cultures. They all performed different dances. So it wasn’t hawaiian. So a luau isn’t just a hawaiian party. So that is why I don’t understand the difference.

          1. Roxarita

            The origin of the luau is ancient and rooted in the nature of Hawaiian royalty and religion. The modern Maui luau began its formation in 1819 by King Kamehameha II. Before this famous feast, women and men did not share their meals together. Social and religious taboos had forbid this along with certain items to be eaten by women or men not of royalty. At this feast, King Kamehameha II symbolically banished these ancient customs by eating with women and his common subjects. The name “Lu’au” came from the most popular dish at these feasts – chicken and taro leaves baked with coconut milk.

  3. Drea

    I have to agree that this is offensive. To echo my thoughts on facebook, I don’t feel this is any different than having an African American party where people dress up like black people or a Mexican party where the party goers wear sombreros. It trivializes an entire race of people and their culture.

    1. Aru

      what could be wrong on having a African party or a Mexican party, and dress up like them?? This kind of party teaches us about other cultures. Theres nothing wrong with this, is gourgeus.

      1. kia

        The problem with having an African party is that Africa is a continent. Do we have North American Parties or Europe parties? No. And I suspect having an African party would result in highly stereotypical outfits and assumptions from the white point of view. I shudder to think exactly what could come of it. I believe this is exactly the point Native Americans are trying to make. They aren’t one monolithic group that all do the same thing and dress the same way. You can’t have one image of them and state that it represents all of them. You’re not teaching anything with this party, you’re just perpetuating what is seen on tv. If you really wanted to teach something, then focus on one culture. Do some real research not just a brief google.

    2. lacie

      As stated people to have parites were they wear sombreros, its called a “fiesta”. They happen all the time, and they represent many many latin american cultures as well. They are just fun, and a way to introduce the latin american culture. Infact, go into any party store and they have a “mexican fiesta” section! Same goes for luau parties. This was in no way offensive, its was a fun childrens party.

      1. Sarah

        To all of you saying that sombreros represent “many” Latino cultures, you’re wrong. I’m Puerto Rican, and I can tell you that we do not wear sombreros. EVER. Latin America isn’t one big culture, just like Native Americans aren’t one big culture.

        Some of these comments are really insensitive.

        1. Felixia

          I completely agree with Sarah. There is ignorance all over this board. I am from Columbia and a sombrero is definitely not part of our culture. Just because something is featured in a costume shop doesn’t make it okay. Duh.

        2. nat

          Then, to follow your logic, “AMERICA” isn’t just one big culture either. So, to have an AMERICAN party would be racist or insensitive, because there are many different “cultures” within America… you can’t just “lump” us all together.
          Within every continent, there are different cultures and traditions. Within every STATE, the same follows. Within each CITY, there are different kinds of people, traditions, social norms, etc. Within each different NEIGHBORHOOD, there are many, MANY differences! So, so what? If someone had an “American” celebration, would I then protest and say “Well, you’re discriminating and just lumping “us, the Utahns” in with the rest of America, and clearly, we’re NOT like the “rest” of America… we’re VERY different here.

      2. Rachel

        You white girls are acting like because something isn’t offensive to you, it shouldn’t be to anybody else. Take a beat and LISTEN to the people you are so called “honoring”. Hint: If they aren’t feeling “honored”, you aren’t “honoring” them. Not to mention, it IS super offensive for a colonizing culture, i.e. white people (sorry, but just own up to it) to go parading around as bastardized versions of the people they committed genocide against. This is pretty much the same as black-face, I’m Kaigani Haida (or just plain Indian since specific cultures and traditions don’t seem to matter here) and I’m plain offended.


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