In a fit of maternal generosity, I agree to let Bip have his very first friend birthday party.
Have I told you I’m an introvert? And though I like people and love my kids, they just plain wear me out? Alas, Bip finally has friends of his own and he asked for a party. I couldn’t say no. I wanted to. But I didn’t.
He requested a Lego Star Wars theme.
I’d love to be one of those moms who can create a super cool themed party with coordinating everything and homemade food and cakes and all that. As I scoured the Internet looking for party ideas, I became increasingly intimidated and discouraged. Plus, everything looked so expensive! So I got a grip on the reality of what *I* am capable of doing and played to my strengths. I like Star Wars. I like to craft. I like to do graphic design stuff. And I’m a bit of a goofball. (But you knew that last part, right?)
So here’s how I got it done.
I bought this invitation here: Princess and the Peas
Yes, I could have done this myself, but by the time I remembered I needed to create, print and send the invites out, I was out of time. (Get it cheaper by starting extra early and creating the invite yourself. Even cheaper if you print them at home.)
I made these light sabers out of fun noodles. Fun noodles!
There are instructions all over the Internet, but I’ll tell you how to do them right now. Buy fun noodles. Cut them in half with a serrated knife (measure first!!). Use silver, not grey, duct tape to make a handle. Use electrical tape to embellish. Three things to note. 1)cover the bottom of the handle first because it doesn’t turn out very neatly and then you can cover that bit up when you start wrapping the handle. 2)Buy the silver duct tape at WalMart. Look in the craft section. 3)Use electrical tape for the black because duct tape is really hard to cut into the small pieces you need. (Cost: Fun noodles $2 each, they yield 2 sabers. Electrical tap $3. Duct tape $5. Total: $10 to make 4)
I’m not generally a fan of party favors, so if we’re going to give them out I want them to be worth while. I made the toppers myself, added a sheet of stickers, a Star Wars Pez, and a Lego Star Wars bottle cap key chain that I made myself.
(Cost: Pez $2 each. Stickers $1.50 for 4 sheets. Cellophane treat bags $2.50 for a pack. Bag toppers I printed at home on card stock. I had the keychain supplies already because we’re going to be selling them in our shop. But small kits are available all over the place and finished ones are available on Etsy.)
For games we went through a Jedi Training Academy. We had an obstacle course, basic light saber training, advanced light saber training, safe thermal detonator handling and a final exam. More on those in another post. (Cost for a vinyl table cloth as part of the obstacle course $2. I used things we already had for the rest of the games.)
I’ve seen a lot of clever ideas for food – Yoda Soda, Han Burgers, Wookie Cookies, bottles of water spray painted gold like C3PO. And the cakes, oh the cakes! A three dimensional R2 D2. Multi-layer cakes with fondant Lego figures. Very impressive. But yeah, not going to happen here. We ordered pizza, had water and Capri Suns, and bought cupcakes from the store. Half of them had stars on them. For the other half, I made toppers out of toothpicks, leftover stickers and card stock. Sounds way more like MacGiver than it was, but the boys really liked them. (Cost: Cupcakes $10, plus pizza and drinks.Get it cheaper by making your own cupcakes. I don’t include the drinks in the cost because we buy Capri Suns in bulk at Sam’s Club and just pulled from our stash. Also, pizza’s vary by brand and toppings, so I don’t include the price.)
Bip’s cupcake was topped with a Darth Vader holding a red candle as his Lightsaber. Also a big hit. And you know what? We had very little left-over food and I didn’t send the boys home all revved up on sugar.
To set the mood we played various songs from the Star Wars soundtrack. Different activities had different songs. I had an index card that told which song (and track number) went with which game and I kept it with the CD player. (Cost: $.99 for each track. We only needed to buy one more, since we already had several from our Star Wars Halloween.Get it cheaper by asking friends if they already have the music and then borrow their iPod.)
(Cost: $21 as part of all the printing I had done for the party. Get it cheaper by printing them yourself.)
Total cost for the party, not including pizza and drinks $40.50 and I could have taken that down by half by just doing more of the printing myself.
Next time I’ll show you how the whole party played out. No surprise, it was a HUGE hit!