Some people may think I’m a little obsessive compulsive when it comes to my kids’ birthday parties. On one hand yes, on the other not really. I attribute part of it to the fact that I’m a summer baby and as a result never got to have my own birthday parties with school friends. Also, my parents divorced when I was really young, so when summer came around I would go to Rome to spend time with my father. But he didn’t know anyone with kids, so I spent the better part of my days going to cafes, watching him play chess with his much older friends. Fun it was not. So, with my kids’ birthdays, I’m compensating, or some might say over compensating for my lack of birthday parties.
As you saw, I put together a little inspiration board for Big Boy’s lego party. I like to do that, so that I can start to visualize how things might come together.
First up was the piñata. I explored the possibility of making one from scratch, but settled of something semi-homemade. I found a rectangular piñata at a local party supply store and bought matching tissue paper to cover up the design. Then cut the rims of some plastic bowls and stuck the remaining bowls on. Way simpler than making one from scratch! I actually loved the look of the plastic bowls as it enhanced the Lego-like look.
I wanted to make Legoman pops, Lego cookies, a Lego cake and Lego decorated cupcakes, but in the end something had to give. No Lego cookies.
I am no Bakerella, so I thought my Legoman pops turned out pretty well considering this was my first attempt at pops. Though melting the yellow candy proved trickier than I expected. I went with the double boiler method. I always feel this is the gentlest way to melt chocolate, etc. but my candy overheated and the texture was WAY wrong. So, I melted the remaining melts in the microwave and that produced the melted consistency I was looking for. Initially I thought I would draw the faces on using a food coloring pen, but it turns out the hardened surface is too porous and the food marker just wont write. So I had to go back to Michaels and look for a icing gel tube. The gel tube was surprisingly easy to work with. Trust me, I suck at icing and frosting and my faces looked pretty nice. For better instructions on how to make Legoman pops, go here.
For the cupcakes I opted for something simple. I just decorated them with buttercream frosting and added homemade cupcake toppers. I printed up colored little Legoman silhouettes I found online here, then glued them on to scraps of appropriately colored construction paper. Easy and effective.
For the cake I baked one large rectangle vanilla cake, then cut it in two. I divided my remaining buttercream frosting into two equal batches and colored them, one blue, one green. I then frosted each half cake with one color each. For the studs I used six vanilla oreos for each half and frosted each one, then gently placed them on the cake. The result was not perfect, but it was not bad. I didn’t take any pictures of the process as it was a mad dash to get the cake ready before the party started. For a smoother finish, fondant would have been better, but I just couldn’t get my head around that one.
If you go looking for nice non-candy Lego party favors, there’s really not much out there. So, I got these super cute Tolsby frames from IKEA and glued on one matching Lego brick on each. Subtle, yet effective. I also bought a large box of Lego pieces and decanted them into individual goodie bags, with custom goodie bag toppers that I printed out using the Lego font found here. The yellow outline on the letter can probably be achieved on the computer somehow, but I decided to go old school and just did the outline using a yellow marker. The thank you message was then glued on to some red card stock and voilà. Then the items all got stuffed into a blue paper bag topped with a hand drawn legoman face.
But my favorite detail has to be the banner. I had explored downloadable banner designs on etsy, but eventually decided I wanted to make my own with a simple, big, bold design. I used the same free font I used for the goodie bags and printed up the message on white paper. I then outlined each printed letter using a yellow marker (again) and finally I cut each letter out. This last step was admittedly tedious, but yet satisfying. I then glued each letter on to some red card stock I had cut into 5″x7″ rectangles. Punched a few holes and strung them together. I highly recommend this last project. The finished product is really impactful and yet really easy to achieve.
For games I had the kids play a game of “Pass the Parcel”. My hubby and I both grew up with it, but it seems it’s a European game. The idea is that you pass the parcel, i.e. a package while music is playing, then when the music stops, the person holding the parcel gets to unwrap one layer of wrapping. So in order to make this a game, you need many layers of wrapping. As the kids unwrapped each layer, their level of frustration grew until it was almost palpable. I found this funny, though I know the kids did not. Eventually, One kid gets to open the final wrapping and gets the prize. In this case a cool, large scale legoman that doubles as a pen.
I also set up a table for building Legos. The idea was that everybody build a house or building, so that together we would have a city. Somehow that didn’t quite happen, though there still was a good amount of building.
I also got some square yellow plates and some Sharpies to encourage kids to draw their own Legomen. I found this activity surprisingly successful.
Last but not least, they got to bash the semi-homemade piñata. Even our Monkey got into the action, as you saw in the picture above.
So that’s that. A lot of DIY projects for what will hopefully transform into lifelong memories. Happy Birthday Big Boy. We love you.