Tuesday, April 5, 2016

May the Fourth Birthday Be With You: Star Wars-Themed Birthday Party

My last post recapped all the fun we had with our guests at Ellie's Star Wars-themed fourth birthday party, and today I want to share all the party details with you! Much of my inspiration for this party was gleaned from various internet sources (largely, Pinterest and Etsy), and this is how we put it all together. I hope someone out there in the internet universe will find this post helpful! We had such a great time planning this one!


The Invitation

I put this together myself. I had the idea to have R2D2 projecting Ellie's party info, and was able to find something in that vein on Etsy, but it just wasn't quite what I wanted. A little Googling led me to the droid image to use myself, and I was able to download the Star Jedi font from dafont.com for free. Armed with my freebies, I did a little playing around in PowerPoint and this is what we came up with:

Ellie's Star Wars birthday party invitation!

Quick word of advice if you are planning to use the Star Jedi font: definitely utilize the instructional Word documents that come with the downloaded file! This font was a little tricky but with the charts included, I was able to get the hang of it. Also, the non-Jedi font is Franklin Gothic Medium, which I thought was a decent free/standard match to the font used in the rest of the Star Wars opening scroll.

I uploaded my finished product to Vistaprint and had them printed and sent to us, along with these envelope seals I made:

Obi-Wan is Jedi mind-tricking you right now.


Attire

This was a BIG project for me for this time. Ellie insisted we all dress in costume for the party, and assigned us each a Star Wars character. She wanted to be R2D2, Eric was assigned C3PO, E.J. got BB-8 and I was to be Princess Leia. So, I got to work.

All of our shirts (or in Ellie's case, her dress) were painted by me. My method involved Googling for images of the character in question, preferably for costume t-shirts already in existence. When I found a good pattern of the design I was looking for, I printed it out and stuck it inside the shirt/dress as a stencil to trace. I traced the outline with fabric marker and then colored it in with puffy paint (using paint brushes). I was really pleased with how they turned out!

For Ellie, I ordered a plain white dress from MiscCraftySupplies on Etsy and painted it. I also found silver metallic leggings for cheap on Amazon, and completed the look with an R2D2 headband from RacedayHairbands on Etsy.

Ellie's R2D2 look!

I picked up Eric's yellow C3PO shirt at Michael's and painted it. There's a pre-made one just like this that exists in the world, but we went the cheaper route!

Eric's C3PO shirt

I found a plain white shirt for E.J. at Walmart and painted just one of BB-8's little circles on it. I thought it turned out so cute!

E.J.'s BB-8 shirt

For myself, I grabbed a plain white (long) tank top on clearance at Target, and painted a silver belt meant to be reminiscent of Princess Leia's dress at the awards ceremony at the end of A New Hope. To complete the look, I found some square beads at Michael's and spray-painted them silver, then strung them into a necklace.

My inspiration on the left, and my completed shirt and necklace on the right

And so, we all were prepared to dress the part!

My three droids!


Decor

The decor is always so much fun!

Birthday banner:

I found a shiny silver disposable tablecloth at Walmart and cut letters (in Star Jedi font) out of that, mounted them on cardstock and strung them together to make a banner to welcome guests to the party:

May the Fourth be with you, Ellie!

Dining tables and centerpieces:

As I mentioned yesterday, Ellie really wanted a DROID party more than a Star Wars party, so I tried to emphasize the droids as much as possible. One major way I did this was on the guest tables. The three dining tables were each decorated for one droid. They had tablecloths in a color corresponding to their respective droids, and each was adorned with a "vase" I made to look like each droid, filled with coordinating (artificial) flowers.

An overall view of the pavilion. The dining tables have colored table cloths and the rest of the tables (food table, etc.) all had black tablecloths.

My vases! C3PO and R2D2 are made from shipping tubes decorated with craft foam. To make BB-8 somewhat spherical, I picked up two white bowls at the dollar store and glued them together, then decorated. The flowers are stuck onto a bit of foam, glued to the top of the "vase."

Let's just say my glue gun and I became very well-acquainted during the vase-making process! But Ellie loved them, and the C3PO and R2D2 vases are in her room now (and BB-8 is in E.J.'s).

Music:

No picture of this, obviously, but we hooked up a small speaker to my iPad and played "The Sound of Star Wars" via Amazon Prime Music in the background through the party. It's a great sampler of Star Wars music, and it's free with Amazon Prime!

Other signage:

As is tradition, I made a poster with pictures of Ellie from the past year shaped into a number four. We hung that by the entrance to the pavilion.

She's four already!!!! So nuts.

I also made a little Admiral Ackbar pun sign to hang above the food table! (Don't get the reference? See this video!)

"It's a snack!" Hilarious.

Speaking of...


The Food

Our food table!

Given that the party was at 4:00 in the afternoon, we didn't serve a full meal (though I totally would've rocked some "Jabba the Pizza Hut" had it been a lunchtime party!). Instead, we had a selection of appropriately punned snacks, including...

Wookie Cookies - Rice Krispie Treats made with Cocoa & Regular Krispies (they're Chewie!):

Wookie Cookies

Fruit Sabers - Green and red grapes on skewers. I also covered old wine corks with tin foil and decorated them to look like light saber handles, and stuck the ends of the skewers into those:

Now I can say I drank all those bottles of wine just so I could be a good mother and add a special detail to my child's birthday party. Oh, the sacrifices we make for our children!

Endor Trail Mix - A concoction of Teddy Grahams (chocolate and regular), pretzels, yogurt-covered raisins and M&M's:

Endor Trail Mix (for any who may not know, Endor is where the Ewoks live)

TIE Fighter Cookies - 100-Calorie Pack Oreo cookies with a mini marshmallow between them, held together which chocolate cookie icing:

These were adorable and much tastier than I expected!

Princess Lays - Your basic chips and dip:

A party staple.

And, Vader Veggies - For lack of a better pun:

We need our little Jedis to be healthy and strong!

To drink, we had Jedi Juice boxes, bottles of Luke Sky-Water, and sweet tea (the Dark Side) and lemonade (the Light Side):

Jedi Juice and Sky-Waters

Sweet tea and lemonade

All of the food was labeled with little cards decorated mostly with clipart I purchased from ClipArtisan on Etsy. Anything not included in the set I purchased came from trusty old Google. I designed the labels in PowerPoint, had them printed at Office Depot, then cut and mounted them on cardstock.

Oh, and I must not forget another one of my favorite puns of the party:

Silverware humor!

Of course, we also had cake! I made cupcakes myself and frosted them with orange, blue or yellow icing. Then, I wrapped them in droid cupcake wrappers purchased from EasyPeasyByAlison on Etsy. The set I purchased included a bunch more Star Wars wrappers, but I only used the droids (again, to try to make the party as droid-focused as possible for Ellie!). The set also included droid head toppers that I printed, cut and attached to toothpicks to give our little droid cupcakes the finishing touch. They looked so cute! Ellie loved them.

Droid cupcakes!


Photo Props

Photo props were fun for this party, although a bit tricky! We use photo props as a fun way to get pictures of everyone who comes to celebrate with us, and it was a little bit of a challenge to come up with a nice assortment of Star Wars-themed props that didn't include masks! We didn't want a bunch of pictures of everybody hiding their faces!

So, we ultimately decided on: Darth Vader (I made a chest plate out of craft foam and attached elastic straps to it for the adults, and picked up a child-sized Vader vest at the Dollar Store); Jedi Knight (a brown tunic made using this tutorial, in both child and adult sizes),;Yoda ears (made out of a basic headband and craft foam, following this template); a Chewbacca bandolier (made of duct tape and silver-wrapped boxes using a tutorial found in the book Star Wars Mania, which has tons of fun Star Wars crafts!); and Princess Leia buns (using a headband and yarn, following this tutorial). We also had an assortment of light sabers for guests to choose from.

Photo props, ready to go!

I also made this sign (again, using my clipart from ClipArtisan) to explain the costume choices:

Photo props sign

A closer look at some of the props and the sign in action

And, as usual, we included a photo of our family modeling the photo props:

Is E.J. not the cutest little Jedi? Goodness.


Activities & Favors

This party had way more activities than we've ever had before! 

The guestbook: 

We always have an actual book for our guests to sign. For this party, we purchased Star Wars: The Original Trilogy Stories and had our guests sign the inside covers with a silver Sharpie. This book has actually become Ellie's current favorite, and she and Eric read a chapter out of it every night!

The guestbook ready to be signed

Guestbook sign

For the kids:

For favors, each child got a bubble wand. I spray painted the handles silver to make them look like light sabers.

We also had a craft set up for them. I cut out silhouettes of each of the three droids from craft foam and then supplied a myriad art supplies (pipe cleaners, scissors, stickers, glue, glitter glue, foam balls, googly eyes, etc.) for them to decorate their own droid.

Sign for the favors & craft

Light saber bubble wands on the left, droid-design station on the right

Tags on the bubble wands

Quite possibly the biggest hit of the whole party was the Light Saber Training Ground we set up for the kids to play in. I made light sabers out of pool noodles (cut them in half, then wrapped silver duct tape and electrical tape around the bottoms to make the handle), and then set up a bubble machine to provide the "asteroid field." The kids (and adults!) loved running around in the bubbles with their light sabers!

Sign on the box of light sabers

Ready for some fun!


The kids enjoying the asteroid field

E.J. and his light saber

The Star Wars Relay:

I've never been much for games at parties (growing up painfully shy does that to a person), but we had so much fun with our mini-golf tournament at E.J.'s first birthday party that we decided to bring back an organized activity this time around. We tossed around a lot of ideas, but ultimately, we came up with a relay race.

We divided our guests into four teams: Team Yoda (green), Team BB-8 (orange), Team R2D2 (blue) and Team Vader (red). Then, each team competed in four events:

Event #1: The Jabba The Hut Cupcake Challenge

To start things off, each team selected one person to eat a cupcake. When the cupcake was completely consumed, they were to retrieve an appropriately colored balloon from me and proceed to the next checkpoint, where two members of their team were waiting for the balloon.

Cupcake contest!

Event #2: Light Saber Skills Demonstration

Two members of each team were waiting at the start line for the second event. When their cupcake-eater met them with their balloon, they were to carry it from Point A to Point B using only pool noodle light sabers.

Look at those light saber skills!

Event #3: Free Han Solo from Carbonite

When the balloon-carriers arrived at their finish line, up to four members of each team could begin to free Han Solo. We froze pictures of Solo into blocks of ice (colored with food coloring), and each team was given four mini water guns to spray the ice. (We also had a bucket on hand to refill, though we underestimated how many refills it would take. I would recommend having a couple of buckets, and putting them off to the side so they're easy to get to.)

Teams Vader and R2D2 working hard to free Captain Solo

Making progress!

Event #4: Droid Assembly

When each team freed their Han Solo, they were to take him to the tables where the rest of their teammates were waiting to begin the final leg: droid puzzle assembly. We found cute little puzzles of C3PO and R2D2 at the Dollar Store, and each team was given one to put together. First team to finish wins!

Puzzles!

When we had our winning team, we moved on to the presentation of medals. We turned our music to the music from the awards ceremony at the end of A New Hope as our victors processed across the pavilion. Then I, Princess Leia, placed medals around their necks. The medals were just little ones we picked up at the Dollar Store and covered with our own design:


Our guests were such good sports and we had such a great time with this!


Thank You Notes

Of course, when all was said and done, we needed a nice way to thank our guests for celebrating with us. I once again used my ClipArtisan clipart to design these thank-you notes, and had them printed by Vistaprint:

Front of the thank-you notes

The back

We also included prints of each guest's photo prop pictures with their thank-you notes.

And that's that! That was our Star Wars party! What a blast. Thanks to all who came to celebrate with us!

If you're planning your own party and have any questions about anything I did, please feel free to email me!

May the Fourth Birthday be with you, friends!

1 comment:

The Rutherford Clan said...

This is amazing!!! I am planning a similar party in Millennium Park! You did an amazing job, thank you for posting!