Birthday Party Fun: Superhero Edition

Tobin is obsessed with all things Superhero. He loves Hulk, Spider Man, Super Man, Ninja Turtles, all of them. So, for his third birthday in early March, a Superhero theme was sure to be a hit.

Luckily, there are a lot of really creative people who have done Superhero parties, so I had a lot of inspiration to draw on. If you Google “superhero party” you will end up with many, many helpful hints.

Food & Drink

We had our party in the morning, so we served fruit, water, “Power Punch” (lemon-lime Kool-Aid), Spider Man-themed Cheez Its, and the cake and ice cream. I found that Duck Brand makes Spider Man Duct Tape, so William wrapped some around the label of each water bottle, instantly making them cool. I also added a label with “Power Punch” over the Kool-Aid label. Each child got a Superhero cup.

Because the Incredible Hulk is Tobin’s favorite, and there aren’t that many ways to decorate with him, I made the cupcakes in Hulk colors. It’s just a yellow cake mix with gel food coloring in purple and green. I used my favorite Reynolds brand foil cupcake wrappers because I can just plop them down on the cookie sheet and don’t need to use a cupcake pan.

Originally, I was going to draw the emblem of several Superheros on top of the cupcakes.  The only one I could successfully draw was Spider Man’s web. Plan “B” turned into writing the comic-book fight words like BAM and POW! I like how they turned out though!

We also made a chocolate cake with chocolate icing. Which promptly split into three big pieces after it was assembled. No problem! I told Tobin that Hulk had SMASHED the cake and it was all part of the theme! I used a piece of white posterboard to create a thought balloon and wrote the birthday message on it (sticking it into the cake with two straws taped to the back).




We kept decorating to a minimum:

  • Avengers-themed plastic table covers (the only thing I could find with Hulk), and a solid red plastic table covers to throw over all the surfaces.
  • Balloons in the Superhero colors (blue, red, yellow, green, white, and black)
  • Red and blue containers from previous birthday celebrations, to hold different things.
  • Napkins with red and white stars and stripes designs (these were at the Dollar Store and were sort of Captain America-ish).


With the help of my family, we made the children Superhero capes with the initial of their first name on the back, cuffs, and belts to wear at the party. We used felt, grosgrain ribbon, and fabric glue and that was it. All of it was no-sew, and we free-handed the patterns. The only cape we measured at all was Tobin’s so it wouldn’t drag the ground (all the other children are older/taller than T). The cuffs had stars and the belts had lightening bolts. The kids all really liked them. Next time I will probably sew them as I didn’t love how the fabric glue held them on. This is the tutorial I used to make the capes.

We had a little photo station where we stuck a blue plastic table cover to a wall, taped white clouds to it (cut from posterboard), covered a piano bench with the blue plastic, and had the kids “fly” in the sky so we could take a picture.

We printed out some of the Superhero Villains and taped them to two of the balloons. The kids then “shot” the bad guys on the balloons with silly string until they were “dead”. The silly string will weigh the balloons down pretty quickly. If there were more kids, I might have had them each kill a bad guy, but there were only a few kids, so they shared bad guys. The kids also blew big ol’ bubbles.




I wasn’t going to do a treat bag, but the Avenger pack of treat goodies was cute, so I caved. I also found some Spider Man washcloths (the kind that expand in water) at the Dollar Store so I threw those in there too.



We kept the party simple and banked on the kids having fun with the Superhero costumes and running around in the yard. It worked, and Nicholas and Tobin have played with their costumes several times since the party.


Have you done a Superhero party? What was your favorite part?

Birthday Party Fun ~ Adventure Time Style!

For Nicholas’ recent 7th birthday party, he chose an Adventure Time theme. We love Adventure Time in our home…and it’s possible that we watch it even if the boys aren’t home. For the first time, we had a birthday party someplace other than a relative’s home, so I knew there wouldn’t be too much in the way of party decorations. But, I wanted to have something that was Adventure Time, so I did a quick birthday party invitation featuring Finn and a goody bag featuring Jake.

Thankfully, Finn and Jake are easy characters to draw!

Finn The Human Invitations
I used pre-made cards and envelopes from Hobby Lobby. I try to keep these cards around because they are so versatile, and for $6.00 for 50 of them, they are inexpensive too. I kept it simple, drawing Finn with a black Sharpie and coloring him in with Crayola colors. I hand printed the lettering on the outside and inside. I love simple!


Finn The Human wants to party with you!
















Jake The Dog Goody Bags
I wanted the goody bags to look a little like Jake when they were filled, so I found some goldenrod-colored bags at Party City. Again, keeping it simple, I drew Jake’s face with Sharpie and colored him with markers. Then I made color copies, cut them out, and used double-sided tape to stick Jake’s face to the bags. The kids thought they were pretty cute, so I was happy! Since so much candy is involved in the cartoon, I had gummy bears, bubble gum and Hershey’s Kisses to fill the goody bags.

Jake The Dog full of goodies!










We have a very talented baker and decorator in town and she made her first-ever Adventure Time cake for the party. As always, her cake was super cute and really delicious!

Adventure Time in cake form!

I would love to hear your take on an Adventure Time party!


Linking to Tip Junkie’s “Tip Me Tuesday”! Go check out the awesome ideas you’ll find there!

all crafts Homemade Projects ~ Add Yours! {7 17}


Birthday Party Fun: Dr. Seuss Style!

Just like every post when I talk about my sons’ ages, I want to start it saying, “I can’t believe they are [insert age here] already!” I can’t believe Tobin is two already! I feel better now. Let’s talk about his birthday party! You may remember from last year that Tobin shares a birthday with Dr. Seuss and Texas. With all the Lorax fun happening right now and our general love of Dr. Seuss, we decided to go with the good Dr. for theme inspiration this year.

I did some searching for Dr. Seuss-themed parties and came up with some great examples (which I quickly pinned). As with all the celebrations we have, I try to stick to the theme mostly in solid colors and some accents. I don’t like to have everything too matchy and I don’t like to spend money on all the theme plates, cups, etc. That stuff can get pricey (I’m talking to you  Party City). This year I used Dr. Seuss’ robin’s egg blue and red (with some orange and other primaries thrown in for good measure). I also used red and white stripes when I could.

My favorite place to find cool Dr. Seuss stuff is the Official Dr. Seuss Website. I compared prices on the official site with ones from Oriental Trading and other go-to party sites and they were similar (and in a few cases, lower). I did get a couple of the items from Oriental Trading, but the majority of the theme stuff is from the Dr. Seuss site. The beauty of sticking with so many solid colors (or the stripes in this case) is that you can reuse or buy from local stores.

Enough background, here are some of my favorite details from Tobin’s Second Birthday Party!

Tables, colors & balloons. Except for the light blue table covers and the red and white striped skirts, all the table covers, plastic ware, cups, plates and napkins were red ones from Nicholas’ party last summer. I got too many then, but didn’t have to buy those things this time, so I call it a win! I got four Green Eggs & Ham mylar balloons for dotting around the rooms.


















The banner. I really like this year’s banner. The supplies were simple: letters from the Dr. Seuss site (they are meant for school bulletin boards), blue card stock from Hobby Lobby, white circles cut from copy paper, black ink for the edges, double-sided tape for adhering all the layers, red acrylic paint for the plain wooden dowel rods, florist foam for holding the dowel rods in place, cord left over from Tobin’s party last year, and purple Easter grass. I cut out the blue squares, rounded the corners, inked the edges of the white circles, and did all the sticking in about 10 minutes. After I adhered the letters, I traced them with a fine-point black Sharpie for some extra emphasis. I punched holes and threaded with the cord and the banner part was done. The whole project, including painting the dowel rods, took about 30 minutes. I had the pots from last year’s party, so with all the stuff I bought, the banner set up might have cost $5.00.








The Cat’s marshmallow hats. I found them on Babble first and really love how they turned out. They were simple to make and were a great addition to the decorations.








The food. Because I am trying to simplify my world and not stress so much about every detail, I decided to order the food. Nothing crazy, sandwiches (PB&J for the kids), a veggie tray, a fruit tray, chips, goldfish (One Fish, Two Fish, etc.), and drinks. The one item I had to make after seeing it on so many other sites was Green Eggs (regular deviled eggs with a few drops of bright green food coloring).








The cake. Originally, the cake was going to be a top hat with red and white stripes, but the South Texas heat and humidity made it impossible. The fantastic Jennifer of Sweet Thangs by Dragon made a super tasty, really cute cake. Next year, we’ll defy gravity and humidity!








Picture time! My awesome colleague, Linda, drew the Lorax for us and I added details with acrylic paint and orange felt. I got the big Cat In The Hat and Thing hair from the Dr. Seuss site. I had planned for the kids to play pin-the-whiskers-on-the-Lorax and to get a picture of all of them together wearing their Thing hair on next to the Cat and the Lorax. That didn’t happen because they stayed in the jump house outside almost the entire time. I’m good with that too. I also love that we’re giving the cat, the Lorax and the leftover Thing hair to T’s daycare for the library section of his classroom.













Goodie bags. The bags themselves are recycled bags with Dr. Seuss characters on the front and a quote from the corresponding story on the back. These are sturdy bags, and I felt like the bags themselves were really the goodies for the kids. There was also a Lorax bag that didn’t make the picture somehow. The set came with three per design and the kids had fun choosing which character they took home.








Goodie bag insides. I did want the bags to have something in them since the younger kids at least would be looking for something inside! I included a blank white bookmark with red and white striped ribbon on top; Dr. Seuss stickers to decorate the bookmarks (or whatever); a couple of Dr. Seuss temporary tattoos; and a cute sucker. I was also excited to be able to add some of the fun Lorax goodies that the wonderful rep at BlissDom shared with me.








Goodie bag tags. I used the same red and white striped ribbon for the tags that I used for the bookmark. I also used the same blue card stock for the background paper as I used for the banner. I cut and rounded the corners of the tags like I did for the banner, stamped a white circle with my favorite “Thank You” stamp, adhered and done!








We had such a fun time with Dr. Seuss and our friends again this year. What was your favorite detail?

Tip Junkie handmade projects






Birthday Party Fun ~ Office Edition!

My colleagues and I? We really like each other a lot. We have a small department (only 7 of us), and when one of us has a birthday we do a little something. Recently, our fearless leader (and fabulous friend) had a big birthday (I’m leaving the number out here on purpose), so I got to do a little decorating too!

Like most office shin-digs, this one had to be minimal in the decorating, and fast to put together. Luckily Michele cooperated by having a meeting in the morning so we were able to do a few things before she came in and surprise her.

Office Decorations
I saw the idea for these fun Zig Zag Accordion Streamers on Pinterest and thought they’d be good for her office. I used zebra-print (black/white and black/pink) 12×12 craft paper, cut in half to make the streamers. The streamers took about 20 minutes to cut the night before (there is a how-to on the link) and I’ll definitely be using the technique again. We added balloons to the ends of these, but I love the look either way. They were fun decorations for her office that made an impact but weren’t too labor or time intensive (and were easy to clean up).















Treat Table
We kept with the pink and zebra-print theme everywhere. We used her initial because it was all about her the whole day. I had the vases and added the ribbon using Glue Dots and the “M” in the middle was a vinyl letter I got at Hobby Lobby and adhered to a piece of white card stock.  I also got the cupcake monograms and the zebra-print tray from Hobby Lobby. We put a black table covering over our conference table and filled it with treats on pretty plates and in pretty bowls.









None of it was a huge effort, but it was fun, it was a surprise and it made us all happy to celebrate our friend. And the cupcakes were pretty dang good too. We were all happy that German Chocolate Cake is Michele’s favorite!


How do you decorate for a small space on a tight budget? Do you do little office parties? I need ideas for next year!

Birthday Party Fun ~ Super Mario Style!

For two years Nicholas has wanted a Super Mario Birthday Party. I didn’t get my act together it time for last year so Sponge Bob stepped in, but this year N got his Mario. As I tend to do for the boys’ birthdays, I stuck with solid-colored party supplies with a few of the theme touches to decorate. It seems to be so much less expensive that way (and the kids are still happy). William was so much help with making the decorations (especially the Question Boxes). Even when the man thinks I’m crazy with these birthday parties, he just sort of shakes his head and gives me whatever help I need. That’s a good Daddy and husband right there!

Thanks to my wonderful friend, Heather, who captured these images of all of our kids having fun and helping my big boy celebrate. So here are some of the highlights from the Super Mario Party!

Decorations & Food

Question Boxes! They looked better before the wind tangled the mushrooms and stars together, but I still liked how they looked.

1 Up Marshmallows! I got this idea from Paisley Petal Events, and she was sweet enough to give me tips. The kids all loved them and I loved how they looked.


Power Up Punch (aka, lemon-lime Kool Aid). I used the figures and toys that Nicholas already had to add to the decorations. I thought Luigi was perfect here!


I had planned to make a Wii remote cake, but N wanted a round cake with his toys on it. The toys turned out to be too heavy, but he was happy with the cool candles.

Thanks to my crafty friends Rachel and Pam, I made these cool tie-dye cupcakes, with star sprinkles of course!


We kept the rest of the food simple with fruit, veggies and pizza. Water and lemon aid rounded out the drink selection. With lots and lots of ice on a very hot day.

The entertainment at an outside party, in June, in South Texas better include water! We borrowed my cousin’s inflatable water slide, we broke out the sprinkler and we got a kiddie pool (which only the big kids used!). And of course a big ol’ Super Mario pinata!


And I will leave you with a Pop Rock-covered smile

I would love to see your favorite party decorations! I need to start thinking about next year!

Hopes for 2011, February & March Update

I know we’re into April, but I still wanted to update how February and March went. You can look back to my January update if you’re *really* that into my list!

Feeling 16 again. This one is the general health one. The biggest thing I did here was go see my doctor for a physical. The good news is that my body isn’t falling apart (always a positive, yes?) I also did this alternative therapy to try to get rid of  some pain in my heel/ankle. It hurt really bad, the treatment was expensive, and it hasn’t worked that well…so I guess my next move is to power through. So, now I just have to get off my rear and start working out. For me the fitness thing really kicks in when I start working out because I don’t want to mess up all my hard work by choosing the wrong food.

Don’t over commit. This one has been more difficult than I thought it would be. I did give up a gig that I have been hanging on to (and feeling guilty about) for too long. It was a huge relief.

Drink more! I’ve fallen off the wagon a bit here. I’m definitely having more water, but I’ve also been slipping on the diet soda. I’ve been trying really hard not to have it after noon though, hoping it will help both Tobin and me sleep.

Budget. We’re doing pretty well on this one. With our tax return we paid off some big chunks and did some other necessary things. Now we’re working on figuring out where we are, what our new costs are, and budgeting accordingly.

Give. After my friend, Ronny, died in March, we gave to The Livestrong Foundation. I’ve also been exploring Love Drop which is a fairly new organization, but one that is helping its donors (team) feel connected in their giving.

Get Green. I’ve been doing small things here and there for this goal. Not as much as I hope to work up to, but it’s slowly happening.

Follow directions. Following directions is hard, y’all. After visiting with the doctor in March, I’ve gotten better at this, but still not the most compliant patient.

Scrap. I haven’t scrapped much, but I did a lot of crafting for Tobin’s birthday party the first week of March, so that counts, right?

Write. I’ve been writing more here, but not my other outlets…so I’ll get right on that.

Remove distractions. This has probably been the one goal I’ve been the most proactive in reaching. We’ve cleaned out our closet, cleaned out Nicholas’ closet, posted items we aren’t using anymore for sale, I’ve cleaned out a couple of email accounts, and recycled a ton of old magazines. Still more to do, but I love the feeling of not have so much around.

So, how are your resolutions or goals for 2011 coming? I want to hear all about it!