Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Mega Superhero Party Post

Have you ever clicked your way through Pinterest and ogled all the photos of fancy-pants kids' parties and thought, "Hey, I could totally do that!" and your clicking finger goes all wild as you fantasize about the incredible crafts, games, and favors you're going to execute in the ultimate feat of party planning awesomeness?

Yeah, me neither.

Instead, I look at all those photos and think, "That looks like a lot of work" before I order pizza, buy a birthday cake from the grocery store, and give my kid his present wrapped in a plastic Target bag.

But this time, I wanted it to be different.  We just moved to a brand new city and my boys were making all kinds of new friends.  With the craziness of moving, my middle son's birthday got glossed over, so we opted instead to do one big double birthday party for his 3rd birthday and my oldest son's 5th birthday.  Their request for a theme?


I was very inspired by Jessica Turner from The Mom Creative and the superhero party she threw for her son, so I headed to Pinterest for inspiration, immediately got overwhelmed, had a big glass of wine, and rallied.  In the end, I was able to pull off a pretty wicked cool Superhero Party without any sewing or bleeding and the kids had a blast!

So, without further ado, I give you.....

Before I did any party planning whatsoever, I hired a really great gal on Etsy to design the party invitations.  She had those suckers done within hours and I was able to order prints from Persnickity Prints.  I love, love, love how these turned out!
1.  The Superhero Capes

I used cheap-o plastic tablecloths I bought at Walmart, elastic, and shipping tape to create these super-simple capes that ended up being a huge hit with my kids and their guests.  I found THIS POST that shows a quick video tutorial on how to fold and cut the tablecloths into the right shape.

To print out the superhero emblems, I downloaded the font Hall of Heroes and just used my word processing program to print them on colored cardstock.  I cut them out and taped them on the capes.  Easy peasy!  And that font sure came in handy later too!

To hang the capes, I strung a clothesline between two nails on the wall of my garage and used clothespins.  We ended up with a few extra left over that my son quickly found a use for:

2.  Super Suckers

Step 1 - Download and print this template for the capes.  Use a pen or marker to trace the shape on stiff felt and cut out the capes.  Use a hole punch to punch a hole large enough for the lollipop stick at the tip of the cape.

Step 2 - Download this free printable from Little Bit Funky.  I didn't use the Valentine's Day component, but just printed out a few copies of the emblem pages for my suckers.  Then I used a 2" inch punch to punch out the circles.

Step 3 - Hot glue the emblems on the felt capes and attach to suckers.  Tie some coordinating ribbon below the cape and you've got yourself a Super Sucker!

Step 4 - To display, wrap a shoebox in coordinating wrapping paper and use a nail or screw to poke holes in the top.  It works beautifully for showing off your cool creations!

3.  Superhero Cupcakes

I don't really "bake."  I buy the mixes by one beloved Betty Crocker and call it good.  But, I wanted to take things up a notch for the party, so I made a batch of chocolate cupcakes and a batch of rainbow chip and found some cool star shaped topping at Michaels that were perfect for this little project!

After I baked the cupcakes, I smeared on the pre-made frosting and used these little darlings to jazz 'em up.

To make the toppers, I bought a bag of lollipop sticks and had my husband cut a dozen of them in half to create 24 short sticks.  I used my 2" punch to create 24 yellow cardstock circles.  Then, I printed out this sheet of superhero emblems, cut them out, and glued them on to the cardstock circles.  My hubby then was kind enough to hot glue the finished circles to the sticks and voila! 

Oh, and to use up the extras, I just stapled them to the red lunch bags I used as favor bags!

4.  The Decorations

I did NOT go overboard on decorating for this shin-dig.  This photo garland was really the only thing I did that required any level of effort and it was a breeze.

I went back through my photo archives and found as many photos of my boys in superhero gear as I could and I chose my favorites to display at the party.  I cropped them to 4x4 and had them printed at Walgreens.  After I had trimmed them, I tied some clothesline to some mini 3M hooks I had attached to my fireplace mantel and used clothespins to secure the photos.

You could adapt this for any party for any kid!  Just choose your favorite photos and print!  As for the 8x10 on top of the mantel, that was a shot of my kids just before going trick or treating on Halloween that happened to work perfectly for the party, so I just couldn't resist displaying it. 

5.  The Food

Feel free to download the FREE PRINTABLE for the starburst labels you see above as well as the Wonder Dogs labels below.  These are a great way to jazz up regular fruits, veggies, and hot dogs!

Just print 'em and 'punch 'em out with a 2" punch and attach them to some lollipop sticks.

Speaking of giving very regular food a very "super" boost, I also made kid-friendly PB&J sandwiches and turkey sandwiches for the party that I wanted to make a little special.  I used a star shaped cookie cutter....

....and individual sandwich baggies to present the kids with Superstar Sandwiches!  The bi-fold cards I assembled let the the kids know what kinds of sandwiches were available and looked great on the table.

You can also download this free printable for your use!  Just print it out on cardstock and cut it down to 8x6 and fold it in half to stand as you see in the photo.

And this was just cool.  I went to Target a couple days after Halloween and found this Spiderman bucket on clearance for 70% off.  Score one for the absolutely perfect fork basket for a mere $2!

6.  The Games

Kryptonite Kapture -
  • Form several balls out of aluminum foil.  (I made 40.)  
  • Use an acrylic paint to paint them a neon green and allow to dry overnight.
  • Hide the Kryptonite balls around your backyard or in the living room, or wherever you are holding the party.  I put mine out in pretty plain sight since most of the guests at my party were in the 3-6 years old range.
  • Divide the kids into two teams and put a bowl or bucket by each team.  Explain that a super-villain has planted Kryptonite all over and it's up to them to find all the Kryptonite balls and save Superman from certain destruction!  
  • One player at a time from each time goes out and finds a ball and brings it back to the bowl as quick as they can.  They tag their next teammate in and they keep searching until all the balls are found.
  • The team with the most Kryptonite balls in their bucket when all the Kryptonite has been found WINS! 

Superhero Bingo - 
  • Download and Print this FREE printable of the Bingo cards I created and save yourself the hours of tinkering in Photoshop that I endured.
  • Buy a big bag of M&Ms for Bingo markers.
  • Play Bingo.  Eat M&Ms.  Happy dance!

7.  Odds and Ends

We invited the guests to wear superhero gear, so we had kids showing up in everything from Superman t-shirts to full Batman costumes.  As for our birthday boys, they were rocking these shirts to get the party started.

And I declared that if I survived this party in one piece then I could legitimately claim to be Wonder Woman.

We bought a cake from the grocery store and found some cute Thank You notes at Target.

I'm going to be perfectly honest and tell you that it was a good deal of work and I was exhausted when it was over.  There's no way I would want to do a party of this magnitude every year for all three of my kids or even for just one of them each year.  This is really a once every few years kind of thing for me. was really, really cool.  I enjoyed planned it, prepping for it, and getting to entertain the kids that came to celebrate with my boys.

The cleaning up, however....that was a bit scary.

Happy party planning!

Have you ever attempted a "big" birthday party?  Success or failure?  Do you have some amazing Superhero Party tips to share?  Questions about mine?  Leave a comment!

P.S.  Would you please consider pinning this post on Pinterest?  There are several great topics to share with your friends!  Thanks!

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