Monday, August 2

Stars Wars Party Feature!

Shindig did it again! Hoooo-rayyy!!!

Check us out at Catch My Party as their PARTY OF THE DAY!!
I am so happy!


And believe it or not, later I found out that we also got PHOTO OF THE WEEK on their Catch My Party Blog! When I told Jonathan he just smiled and said, "Wow, I'm famous!"

Here's the winning shot.

And now for the REALLY good part! One of my very favorite websites, one that I've been stalking for months, Kara's Party Ideas, made the Star Wars Party their winning feature! I still can't believe it! Whoo-hoo!!!! And I also got a mention from another adorable website called Parties and Cupcakes. Just the Kara's Party Ideas site alone gets 260,000 hits a month! Now THAT'S a working girl! Thanks! Thanks! Thanks to Kara and to Brandy! Check them out sometime.



Sunday, August 1

Star Wars: Party Details

My son, in no uncertain terms, decided that he was going to have a Star Wars party for his 5th birthday. Starting a birthday party business right now, I guess you'd think I'd be OK with that, but I tried and tried to talk him out of it. You see, Star Wars was not a theme I had chosen for my new party business, and I was neck-deep in projects for other themed parties. Couldn't it just be a pirate party? A cowboy hoedown? Plllllleeeeeeease? But nope....... Star Wars. Only Star Wars.

Not being very "into" Star Wars myself, (I am a 40 year old woman after all!), I had to dig in..... DEEP...... to find some inspiration. I spent countless hours googling..... soaking it all in until, well, I too knew all the characters from Super Battle Droids to Darth Sidious!

So here are the details for all of you who have been asking..... my new "Party People." I love you all, and still can not believe there are so many of you out there as obsessed as I am with throwing beautifully decorated parties.

The invitation...... I scoured the internet for inspiration for the invitation and this is what I ended up with. I used the lego bricks for a frame and the lego Star Wars characters to let all the guests know right from the start that this was no ordinary Star Wars party -- it was a LEGO Star Wars Party.

The tablescape:

I didn't want to do the same old "Star Wars" party that you see mass-marketed in Party City. No chintzy cardboard printed-on characters here! I wanted to design it as stylishly as possible, but still give the boys the characters and the galactic space look they love. I decided on a color scheme, and then found a blue and silver star printed fabric at Hobby Lobby that I made the table runners and stool sashes out of. I took some ideas from various places on the internet for the Yoda Soda (lime sherbert and Sprite), the Light Sabers (chocolate covered pretzel sticks) and the Wookie Cookies (chocolate chip cookies stacked beside a Chewbacca character). I used different sized black candle holders for the food stands, and metallic silver plates with silver tinsel for the food displays.

The cups for the Yoda Soda were clear, plastic cups with rims brushed in corn syrup and dipped in green pop-rocks candy. The straws were actually glow in the dark from Walmart. The light saber decorations were toys that I bought and painted with metallic silver and blue-ish/green paint. I then fastened them into a wooden plaque that I painted with the silver metallic paint and embellished with silver styrofoam stars, surrounded by tinsel stars that I found at Party City.

The Yoda Soda

The Light Sabers and the Death Star Donuts (which were powdered sugar donut holes). I also served Padawan Pizza (which were cheese pizza bagel bites).

I used homemade almond buttercream frosting tinted in a nice shade of "galactic gray" for my white chocolate wedding cake cupcakes. They were YUMMY! I wanted to use the characters in some fashion, but still make them as tasteful as possible. This is what I came up with: blue glittery scrapbook paper cut into a diamond shape for the background piece with a black scrapbook piece on top. I then found different images of the Star Wars lego characters on the internet and used Photoshop to get them all the same size. I printed them out on cardstock, cut them out and glued them onto the cupcake topper. I used aluminum foil cupcake papers and spread out some silver tinsel onto a silver metallic charger plate.

The cake should be an entire post unto itself........ it took me 3 whole days!! Professional cake maker and decorator I AM NOT! But it does go to show that with..... (1) a good photo of a cake you like ...... (2) the internet (for Googling your mistakes and how to fix them!)....... and (3) some pretty dogg-ed determination, just about any of us can work with fondant and make a show-stopper. Well, only if you're experienced in the fine art of creating with playdough.
Seriously, it's a very similar process!

I'll try not to go into too much detail, but it went like this: I made an 8" and a 10" 2-layer cake, and then I covered them with buttercream frosting. I made my fondant (marshmallow, of course, for better taste) and colored it in.... oh..... I don't know...... 10,000 or so colors! No, really, probably 10-12, but it sure seemed like a lot at the time. I used gel paste food coloring for depth of color and kneaded it, and kneaded it, and kneaded it......
....... and kneaded it until the color was completely mixed in.

Then I made each of the lego Star Wars characters..... Yoda, Darth Vader, Hans Solo, a Storm Trooper and Luke Skywalker. You cannot even imagine how happy THAT made my birthday boy! (I think he went and looked at them every 10 minutes for days on end.) Then I made his name and the number 5 from cookie cutters, the Star Wars logo sign, the light sabers, the Death Star, and then the lego bricks and stars -- all out of fondant. Oh, I almost forgot, I painted everything with edible metallic dust, too. 3 days I tell you!
But, again, soooooo worth it for the sense of accomplishment and the look on that little boy's face.

I used black tablecloths, and sewed 12 black fabric covers for the stools. To dress them up, I added a sash of the same blue and silver star fabric on the table runner. I used a 4x8 piece of luan that I painted to look like space for a backdrop. Then I used my Cricut to create the Star Wars logo.

The centerpiece:
After much, much deliberation, I finally decided on a Death Star centerpiece. I used a ball pinata, took all the extra fluffy crepe paper off, and paper machied it again with newspaper to make it smoother. I cut out a circle, inverted it, taped it back in the ball to create the Super Laser, and then covered it, too, with newspaper paper machie. After it dried, I painted it metallic black and silver to resemble the Death Star.

I created large, black legos from old foam blocks my children weren't playing with anymore. I spray painted them black, hot-glued black checkers on them to create the lego "knobs" and covered the checkers with a punched-out black circle of cardstock. I used paper machie stars painted silver and a number "5" I made from glittery scrapbook paper.

The place settings:
I used black melamine dinner plates with white star dessert plates at each place setting..... blue linen napkins in a silver napkin ring I made from wood pieces (Hobby Lobby) and decoupaged with the Star Wars Logo. The placecards were designed in Photoshop and placed in a silver glittered star I bought in the Target $1 section. The juices boxes were covered with blue paper, and I punched small blue circles out and taped them to the juice boxes to make them look like a lego brick.

The Jedi robes.... I made 12!!!!! Well, actually 13 (a big one for Luke Skywalker, too!) All I can say is I'm really glad THAT part is over -- but the end result was worth all the work. Sewing is one of those things that is so time-consuming, it's hard for me to enjoy but I do it anyway to save a little money (well, maybe ALOT), and I guess for that "I did it!" feeling. I used the tutorial here for the basic design.

I thought it would be fun for each of the boys to get a name tag necklace with their Jedi robes. I designed these in Photoshop.... name on the front..... tasks on the back. Each time the boys completed a task, they earned a silver star sticker.

And a scavenger hunt is ALWAYS a hit at kids' parties, so I went shopping to find lots of theme-related items. I decided on pop-rocks, yo-yo's, frisbees, a blaster gun and a disc shooter -- all that I made a little more Star Wars-ish with stickers. I designed a Scavenger Hunt card with photos of the items they would be finding since most of the boys were 5 and weren't too proficient with their reading skills. I gave them each a bag with his name on it, and said, "Go for it!" They ran around like crazy finding all of the items that they put in their bags and then got to take home with them.

Here is the Star Wars Lego character Bingo Game I designed for the boys to play at the end of the party. I thought it might be a good idea to have a little "settling down" activity before their mama's came to pick them up. They all loved it, and were excited to win a few extra "prizes" like stickers, rings, and glow in the dark necklaces.

The goodie bag....... I bought blue paper sacks and punched blue circles from cardstock to make them into lego bricks. I designed the thank you card and attached it with curling ribbon.

I downloaded coloring book images from the internet and made a coloring book for each of the boys' goodie bags. I also bought some silicone molds in lego shapes and lego character shapes and chopped up crayons to melt in them. They were really cute, but very time-consuming, so I don't think I'll be doing that project again for a loooong time!

I have to say, not starting out as a Star Wars kind of girl, I was really happy with the end result. Best of all, at the end of the party when a mom came to pick up her little boy who was a guest, my son Jacob answered the door and screamed,
"This was the BEST DAY OF MY LIFE!"
I guess you can't ask for much more than that! If you'd like to see more pictures from the actual party, click here.

You can find a full line of Star Wars inspired party printables in my shop here to help you host your own Star Wars party.