We had a fun-filled and jam packed week, two weeks ago. It started out with the Altitude Design Summit. We set up some tables for the Tabletop Photography classes for Nicole Hill Gerulat and Blue Lily Photo (Wendy and Tyler Whitacre). Sara came up with this genius Circus Party theme and coordinating printables. We set up several scenes for the students to shoot–just like we do for our parties. The teachers were able to teach them different lighting techniques using these scenes. Here are the photos, taken by Nicole. And if you scroll down you can get the printables to use for your own Circus Party.

The cake is lined with chocolate Sixlets candies. The elephant sits atop a doubled cupcake liner (cut a small slit in the top of the liners and stick the tab in). The seal (on the cake and cupcakes) has a sucker taped to the back for the ball on its nose. The trapeze girl has red tulle glued to her skirt and is suspended on string (with her feet folded over and glued on) in between two straws. To hold the straws in place use long sucker sticks or skewers, stuck deep into the cake. The invitation was cut with a tiny scalloped scissor and punched in the corners to look like a real ticket.

Click on an image below to download the printable.

cake and cupcakes: Simply Sweet Cakes
red striped bags and blue straws: Shop Sweet Lulu
blue striped and blue polka dot cupcake liners: Bake it Pretty
red harlequin cupcake liners: Hey Yo Yo
blue cake stand: Home Goods
red cake stand: Martha Stewart Collection at Macy’s
popcorn bags: Cost Plus
elephant boxes: Home Goods
rolls of tickets: local party supply stores
swirl lollipops: Hammond’s Candies via Zurchers
strong man: Cost Plus
stamps: eBay

Photos by Nicole Hill Gerulat. Graphics by Sara Westbrook.


  1. beautiful!! Thank you!

    etta    Monday, January 31, 2011
  2. Beautifull i love!!!! everything you post.Thanks for the freebies :-)

    Mariel    Monday, January 31, 2011
  3. love the cake toppers-so super cute!

    susan@pocacosas    Monday, January 31, 2011
  4. love it!

    Michele @ crazyfordesign    Monday, January 31, 2011
  5. I love this idea. So colorful and fun!

    JudyB    Monday, January 31, 2011
  6. I just found your site last week and am LOVING it. :) I adore this. I’m wanting to do a circus party for one of my kids in the future and this just gave me even more idea! :) It’s beautiful without being overdone. Wonderful site!

    Amanda    Monday, January 31, 2011
  7. This is so adorable! I am going to bust this out for Teddy’s 3rd birthday! Thanks so much for the printables gratis…that is so kind. That cake is darling and so simple to make!

    Stephanie Cameron    Monday, January 31, 2011
  8. I’m just so in love with the strong man wakouwa, the birthday cake looks great, i love the jar filled with jelly beans and lollipops!
    Thank you so much for the printables!

    Eloise    Monday, January 31, 2011
  9. love it. where do you get the colorful paper disks that go on the cupcakes – are they edible?

    karen farnsworth    Monday, January 31, 2011
  10. This Circus Party is just adorable! What a fun and colorful party!

    Karen ~ lillybelle Custom Designs    Monday, January 31, 2011
  11. karen farnsworth–That paper is just confetti. No, it’s not edible. It was just for the picture the students were taking.

    Brittany    Monday, January 31, 2011
  12. Where did you get the polka dotty table cloths? Thanks!

    Dena    Monday, January 31, 2011
  13. Dena–The polka dotty table cloth is just a piece of fabric from a local fabric store. I don’t know the name of the fabric however.

    Brittany    Monday, January 31, 2011
  14. Very cute. Thanks!

    yanina    Monday, January 31, 2011
  15. I love this Those seal toppers are the cutest thing.

    Jeannette Rivas    Monday, January 31, 2011
  16. the cake toppers are really adorable – what a talented little seal!

    Gloria    Monday, January 31, 2011
  17. so darn cute! :)

    Rebecca Cooper    Monday, January 31, 2011
  18. j’adore! i particularly love the rolls of ticket incorporated: so perfect..

    Sarah    Monday, January 31, 2011
  19. The pics turned out amazingly well! I had so much fun taking the class from Nicole and it was cool to see the behind the scenes set up of this shoot.

    I absolutely adore the use of lollipops for the seal ball toy – genius! Well done and thanks for the freebies!

    Kathleen at Twig and Thistle    Monday, January 31, 2011
  20. My favorite part of this is the tightrope girl!!! Adorable. We threw a circus themed party for our eldest when he turned 3. It was awesome :) Such a great theme!

    susan    Monday, January 31, 2011
    Gorgeous use of color and I love the cupcake wrapper upside down under the elephant for the platform. Too amazing! Fab job…it always is.

    Jenny @ Hank + Hunt    Monday, January 31, 2011
  22. My little one’s 2nd birthday is only 5 months away… ;-) Gives me time to steer her in this direction so I have an excuse to use all of these fabulous printables & ideas!

    Catherine    Monday, January 31, 2011
  23. Wow…this is an amazing party! Love it! And the downloads are so nice. Thank YOU!! :)

    Lisa    Tuesday, February 1, 2011
  24. What a fabulous party theme! Everything is adorable. I am in love with your site – I am your newest subscriber!


    Chelsea    Tuesday, February 1, 2011
  25. I wish you had this when I did my son’s circus party in Dec! I love the invites. You’ve put together some really nice touches. Here’s a link to what I did:


    Nancy    Wednesday, February 2, 2011
  26. Thank you for the free templates. This is a gorgeous party I can’t wait till my sons birthday!!

    Belinda    Thursday, February 3, 2011
  27. This is adorable! Love the printables!

    Amy @ Blowout Party!    Monday, February 7, 2011
  28. What a neat idea! I love the circus!

    Andrea @ Paper-Charmed    Saturday, February 12, 2011
  29. I am so in love with this entire party. Is 18 years old too old to have a Circus party for yourself? Because I reaally want to right now.

    Haylee    Wednesday, February 16, 2011
  30. This circus table is so perfect!

    McKenzie    Saturday, February 26, 2011
  31. Thank you so much! I’m in love with these! I need a little help though- maybe I’m just stupid, or my printer may be running low on certain inks? But when I print the invites it doesn’t have the little blue scored lines? Has any one else had this problem? Just so I know if the problem is on my end?

    Lucy    Sunday, March 6, 2011
  32. Lucy–I don’t know what the problem could be. It printed out fine for me. Hhmm…

    Brittany    Sunday, March 6, 2011
  33. It’s gotta be on my end then! Thanks for the speedy response!

    Lucy    Monday, March 7, 2011
  34. I LOVE this party theme and really want to do a circus theme party for my soon-to-be-3 year old. I’m not familiar with Cost Plus or Home Goods. Is it a store or something I can find online?


    Tara    Wednesday, March 23, 2011
  35. Where did you find the postage stamps? Love them!!

    Marci    Friday, April 15, 2011
  36. Can’t thank you enough for posting this fantastic party!!! My 10 year old had a trapeze party this past weekend and we were able to incorporate lots of these ideas into her day. She LOVED it!!!

    Stacy    Monday, May 2, 2011
  37. I did a version of this party over the weekend for my son’s 2nd birthday! Thank you for all of the cute ideas, I wish I could have used them all! I added a little photo booth for the kiddos. Here is a link with a few pics, if you want to see what you inspired!


    Crystal    Tuesday, June 7, 2011
  38. LOVE this party! I stumbled on your blog in my search for circus party inspiration…LOVE it. I am using the download cake toppers…I hope it’s okay, my daughter is Ethiopian and I photoshopped the tightrope girl’s skin to be brown…I’d love to share it with you so you can offer it here as well. It’s tricky finding cute little brown skinned girls for party supplies!I’d love for other’s to have access to it too. I’m going to blog my party next week, and I’ll be sure to share the inspiration from your blog!

    Eryn Kesler    Sunday, July 31, 2011
  39. Hi Eryn Kesler–I saw your email. Thanks! I’ll see what I can do. xo

    Brittany    Monday, August 1, 2011
  40. Hi there, just wanted to let you know that I linked back to you in our blog post yesterday. We used your seal circus printables for our backyard carnival! Thank you


    melissa newell    Tuesday, August 2, 2011
  41. YEAH! i hope to do a circus party soon. our son will turn 3! can you share with me where you got the darling vintage font on the invitations? THANK YOU!

    josie    Wednesday, August 10, 2011
  42. Great party idea! I linked you in a post I just wrote about Circus Themed Parties:

    lesa    Monday, August 15, 2011
  43. Where did you get the strong man on the tickets an the tableclothes? An wht kind of paper do you print the cake toppers on?

    Dana    Wednesday, September 28, 2011
  44. Hi Dana–I’m not sure where the strong man is from, but the cake toppers are printed on white matte brochure paper from the office supply store (Office Max or Office Depot should have it). xo

    Brittany    Saturday, October 1, 2011
  45. Thanks for the idea. I plan using circus idea for my 3yo girl birthday party

    Mindo Koerber    Wednesday, October 5, 2011
  46. Thanks so much for the printables and the inspiration. I used both the cake toppers and your invitations for my son’s circus party: http://createstudio.blogspot.com/2011/11/circus-party-show-must-go-on.html

    Sarah    Monday, November 28, 2011
  47. Oh now these are EXACTLY what I wanted! I have circus cookie cutters and was dying to do a circus theme for my baby’s 1st birthday! (and many more because who says you can’t do it more than once?) So THANK YOU for these gorgeous and stylish FREE printables!!!

    Cindy    Tuesday, March 6, 2012
  48. ABSOLUTELY the cutest circus cake I saw on Pinterest. And the fact that the printables were attached and free blew my mind…I downloaded them and even was able to change the color of the acrobat’s hair to blonde (in a photo-editing program). I am giving them to my bakery to put on the cake. Our party is June 16…can’t wait to see it!

    valerie reeves    Monday, June 11, 2012
  49. Just wonder what party shop you got the tickets from- thanks for the prints- doing circus for my twins 1st bday!

    Claire    Thursday, June 21, 2012
  50. Hi Claire–It was a local shop called Zurchers, here in the US in Utah. xo

    Brittany    Thursday, June 21, 2012
  51. What cute Sea Lions!

    Tiffany    Tuesday, August 28, 2012
  52. Wow, thanks so much for the download, I just love the cake, it looks so impressive.

    Ledingham Party    Monday, October 8, 2012
  53. Love the invites but I’d like to type in the information as I don’t have nice handwriting. Any chance you can make a version that would allow one to do this? Also, how did you get the outside border to do that shape? Is that something I could do in MS Publisher if I wanted to recreate that look?

    Mara    Monday, March 11, 2013
  54. Hi woundering were you got the confetti dots?
    thanx / j

    jane    Saturday, October 12, 2013
  55. Am I able to type in the invitation? Or do the details need to be handwritten in?

    Dominique Paolini    Tuesday, December 3, 2013
  56. Thank you for these invitations. I used them for a baby shower I hosted this weekend. I was asked where I got them and recipients could not believe they were free printables. http://gustoandgrace.wordpress.com/2014/01/14/a-big-top-baby-shower/

    Dominique Paolini    Tuesday, January 14, 2014

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