Tag Archives: birthday party

Free Printables: Goonies Themed Birthday Party

Scroll down to the end of this post to download the Goonies party printables: Hey You Guys banner, cupcake toppers, water bottle labels, and movie quote signs. 

Despite trying/wanting/praying to get my life organized and start off 2017 with grace and efficiency, I stumbled into February in a state of panic because Valentine’s Day parties and treats and crafts for 3 kids AND all 3 kids’ birthdays within a 5 day period on the middle of February. ? Somehow, I managed to pull it all off without DYING or killing anyone, although once all the madness was over, I did spend an entire day on the couch watching mindless television (AKA Law and Order marathon).

So with 2 boys turning 8 and a little girl turning 5, trying to think of a theme that would appease all 3 kids was my first challenge. The boys are all about Legos and Star Wars and the Avengers, while my daughter is obsessed with My Little Pony and (unfortunately) Shopkins. However, they miraculously agreed on a Goonies themed party because GOOOOONIES!!! That, and my daughter adores Cyndi Lauper (because who doesn’t), and she loves the Good Enough music video at the end of the movie. 😉

As with all birthday parties, invitations are key! They get (kids and parents) excited for the party, and they set the stage for what’s to come. A couple years ago with the boys’ 6th birthday party, the lightsaber invitations were such a huge hit with the kids. Several of the kids brought their lightsaber invitations to the party with them.

I would have loved to create a rolled up treasure map for the invitation, but that would have been difficult to send out in the mail. Luckily, the design of the treasure map used in the movie is actually meant to be folded, so here’s what I put together:

These fit perfectly in a 5×7 invitation envelope, so it was ideal for mailing. I would have loved to add some music notes to the top of the back of the map, but with irregular shape of the map, I thought it would be too much work to figure out the placement for double sided printing. My handy dandy Silhouette Cameo cut the invitations to shape so I didn’t have to sit and hand-cut each of them like I did back in the day with the lightsaber invitations.

With the invitations sent out, I had several weeks to plan the party, but in the meantime, I also had to make 3 Valentine’s mailboxes, 78 classroom Valentine’s cards/goodies, plus the usual 592 loads of laundry/week and the CONSTANT EATING!!! (It really does feel like meal prep is an endless cycle in this house!)

So pretty much the week before Valentine’s Day and birthday party, I had a panic attack and had to crank out all the decorations, the party favors, and the treats. We kept food and party activity simple by calling it a “movie night” party and popping in the blu-ray to (hopefully) appease the children, and serving up hamburgers and hot dogs for dinner. Luckily, my brother-in-law is our resident grill master, and he had no problems with manning the grill during the party.

As a side note, I rewatched Goonies a few weeks ago to get some inspiration for the party, and I was worried that there was too much cursing and general inappropriateness for 5 and 8 year olds, but my husband told me I was overthinking (as per usual). He insisted that pretty much every parent had seen the movie as a kid, and if they didn’t think the movie was appropriate, they wouldn’t let their kid come anyway, so I didn’t need to worry. And (as per usual), he was right. No one said a thing, and parents were so engrossed in the movie themselves that I think they may have forgotten that they had even brought their kids to the party! By the end of the evening as the movie ended, the parents and my boys were pretty much the only people still staring at the TV. Most of the other kids had run off to play, which was fine–as long as everyone had a good time!

Here’s how the party worked out:

I just happened to have a few decorative skulls laying around from an unfinished craft project, so those worked perfectly for decor. I cut an eyepatch out of black felt for One-Eyed Willie and threw on a kid’s pirate costume hat. For other table decor items, I used some copper Moscow Mule mugs that I already had and some silver wine goblets that I picked up at Salvation Army for $2. I also purchased some beads from Oriental Trading Company, but I should have just gone to Dollar Tree because I found better beads for way cheaper ($1). Lesson learned. I also happened to have a copper pot (Chester Copperpot, get it? Get it? Hahaha!) that I put on the table as well.

Also, with this party, I decided to save some money by not ordering a cake. I was spoiled when we lived in Korea because there were some amazingly talented bakers/cake decorators/military spouses who baked out of their homes and offered beautiful artistic creations for very affordable prices. As I discovered, the same in not the case anymore! A single-layer half sheet cake with some plastic pirate decorations was going to run me at least $45, and quite honestly, I don’t think I would have been happy after the amazing cakes the kids had in Korea. My solution was to bake a billion cupcakes! It worked out for us because each of the kids wanted different flavors, and as a parent, I actually prefer cupcakes because they’re small. Cupcakes are exceedingly easy to bake and decorate, especially if you use cupcake toppers, so that worked out well for me. I baked all the cupcakes the night before the party, then whipped up the icing and decorated them just before the party started.

I recently discovered a recipe for a whipped cream cheese icing, and being a lover of cream cheese icing in general, I had to try it out. It is simply DIVINE. It whipped up beautifully, and despite being a bit concerned that the icing wouldn’t hold its shape if it sat at room temperature for too long, the heavy whipping cream did its job.

Since we didn’t have a cake, I purchased 3 small cake stands from Target so each of the kids could have their own little stand of cupcakes. When it cake time to sing them happy birthday, the kids each had their own stand with the appropriate number of candles to blow out. Also, as party favors, I made each of the kids a One-Eyed Willie t-shirt that they received when they arrived. Most of the party-goers were excited about their pirate shirts. There were a couple of hold-outs, but it was pretty cute to see all the kids running around with the same shirt on.

In addition to the cupcakes, I made Rocky Road treats (just marshmallows dipped in melted chocolate, then dipped in crushed walnuts), and I had some Baby Ruth bars, Hershey’s Gold Nuggets, and chocolate gold coins to round out the treat table.

I had also intended to make pirate ships with food boats filled with popcorn for the movie night portion of the party, but I had some logistical issues with getting the sails to stand upright in the food boat. The night before the party, I figured it would take far more time than I had to make each individual boat, so sadly I had to let go of that one.

And that just about wraps up the decorative elements of the party! Oh wait… I also decorated myself! 😉 HEY YOU GUYS!!!

Oh, and last, but certainly not least–thank you cards–because GOONIES ALWAYS SAY THANK YOU!

Various printables are available here to download and print for free for your PERSONAL USE ONLY. Click on the thumbnail to open the high resolution image. Right-click the high-res image to download.

PRINTING TIPS:

  • Use 110lb card stock for signs, banners, cupcake toppers, and thank you cards.
  • For the water bottle labels, regular printer paper or everyday quality photo paper will work. However, it’s best to not pre-chill your water bottles or the condensation from the bottles being set at room temperature will ruin the ink and paper.
  • For the water cup stickers, use sticker paper.
  • Set your printer to “Letter Borderless” and Best Quality. Images should print at 100% scale.
  • For best results, use a 2 inch circle punch for the Rocky Road toppers and the Goonies Never Say Die toppers. Use a 2.5 inch circle punch for the It’s Wet Ain’t It stickers. A paper trimmer is recommended for the straight edges of the banner, the quote signs, and the thank you card.

 

Disclosure: This post contains links to products on amazon.com. These are products that I purchased and used for my own projects with no compensation. However, if you click on the link and purchase the product, I will receive a small fee from Amazon.com.
* * * * * * * * *
jkwdesigns.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
* * * * * * * * *

Free Printables: Star Wars Themed Birthday Party

February is a short, crazy month in the jkwdesigns household. Now that my big boys are in school, I have Valentine’s Day crafts, 100th day of school crafts, and the birthdays of all 3 of my children to celebrate. All within a week of each other. 🙁 I feel like I’m juggling 30 crystal wine glasses while doing the river dance.

When my boys asked begged me for a bowling party, I have to admit that I was a little sad. As a party planner, I had grand plans for a Jedi Academy themed party, complete with Jedi robes, lightsabers, training course and certificates of completion. Two minutes later, I breathed a HUGE sigh of relief because I wouldn’t have to worry about prepping all the activities and planning the menu. Feeling about 10 lbs lighter, I vowed to throw all my efforts into the invitations and party favors and got started.

And here’s what happened!

INVITATIONS HOW-TO:

Inspired by other lightsaber invitations I saw on Pinterest, but absolutely unwilling to cut out individual lightsaber pieces and construct, I decided to go with a more realistic approach. Plus, hunting down card stock in various colors here in Seoul seemed like a waste of time. (I really, really miss Michael’s and AC Moore!) I did some research on lightsaber hilts and found that Yoda’s lightsaber would work best. It’s fairly uniform in width from top to bottom, so it would provide the width I needed to be able to slide a blue or green ray of light/paper in and out of the hilt. Using an image of Yoda’s lightsaber hilt, I adjusted the size to widen it without making it look disproportionate.

Lightsaber Invitations

Materials:
Card stock in white to print lightsaber hilts
Card stock in color of lightsaber blade
Printer
Scissors
Sookwang double sided tape (1/4 inch wide)

The lightsaber hilts are approximately 2 inches across, which leaves about 1.5 inches to work with on the inside once the pockets are constructed.

You can download the PDF file containing the adjusted lightsaber hilts (3 per page) here: Lightsaber Invitation

Print on card stock and cut the lightsabers out. You will also need to create a stencil of the cut piece in order to create the “pocket.” If you’re handy with the Silhouette cutter, then you could easily import the image and have your Silhouette do all the cutting for you.

IMG_0749

The most tedious part of the invitation is creating the pockets for the blade. I used Sookwang tape or Scor-Tape, which is an amazing double-sided adhesive. I placed the adhesive along the edges of the lightsaber hilt (approx. 1/8 inch) and cut the excess adhesive off. This allowed me to make the pocket as wide as possible since I had very little room to work with.

IMG_0750

For the blade portion of the invitation, I designed a long, narrow invitation strip and printed half in blue and half in green (because I have twins who insist). And the result was an absolute hit. The kids–mine and the recipients–were thrilled with the invitations, and many of them went so far as to bring their lightsaber invitations to the party.

IMG_0743

FOOD:

Our local bowling alley is all set up for parties; however, as part of the party package, the only food that you’re allowed to bring in is a birthday cake. Everything else must be purchased from the bowling alley. And the options are very limited. As in what toppings would you like on your pizza limited. So pizza and fruit punch it is.

ACTIVITIES:

The rental is for a 2 hour party: one hour of bowling followed by one hour of food and cake. We’d been to enough parties at the bowling alley to be familiar with the set-up, and the bowling portion of the party is enough to kids occupied, so there really was no need for planning any other activities.

I did, however, create an activity placemat for the tables, just so it wouldn’t be so bare. It contains a blueprint-type coloring page of the Millennium Falcon and a personalized word search that includes my boys’ names. There are some great word search generators online–here’s one of my favorites from The Teachers Corner.

SONY DSC

DECORATIONS:

It’s no secret that I like simple, bold design, and since this party was for MY kids and not for a client, I was able to go with my very own personal style. Luckily, my boys don’t really have opinions on this sort of thing, and they were just so excited that everything was Star Wars-related that I received no complaints. 😉

So as my design style goes, I stuck with black, white and gray with a splash of yellow. Since I couldn’t bring in my own food, it limited my party styling. I kept the cake table pretty clear because I definitely wanted the cake itself to be the center of attention. The cake was made by an incredibly talented friend of mine who will be in Seoul for the next few months, so if you’re looking for a cake designer, let me know and I’ll pass along her information!

SONY DSC

Almost all of my decorations were made with the help of my trusty Silhouette Cameo. I cut Jedi Order symbol stickers (in white) and applied them to black paper cups. I cut white star stickers and applied them to a black plastic tablecloth which was hung on the wall for the backdrop. I cut additional Jedi Order and Rebel Alliance symbols from black poster board and placed them on the yellow napkins on tables. The “Welcome Young Jedi” sign was also made from sticker letters cut with the Silhouette. Seriously, I love my Silhouette.

SONY DSC

The only other decor item that I designed for the party is the birthday banner, which you can download here for free! This includes the Jedi Order symbols. Just print on card stock, cut, punch holes and string together!

Star Wars Birthday Banner

SONY DSC

PARTY FAVORS:

Since I had decided early on that I was going to put all my efforts into party favors, I knew that I wanted to make personalized t-shirts for my boys’ guests. However, I knew that many of them would be coming with younger siblings. Then, I got to thinking about the people I really wanted to thank for coming, and that was PARENTS! So here’s what went into the party favors:

For the Jedi Masters:

Each of the guests received a personalized t-shirt, which was created using heat transfer paper. I’ve worked with heat transfer paper before in the past, and I don’t love it. The finished product doesn’t typically hold up very well in the wash. The image cracks, and the colors fade. However, on the bright side, if you’re going for a vintage look, it’s perfect! 😉

SONY DSC

For Younglings:

Younger siblings received a glow stick/lightsaber favor, which actually ended up being super popular with ALL OF THE KIDS. Luckily, I had so many glow sticks left over from our Valentine’s Day project that I’d made extras so there were enough glow sticks for everyone.

IMG_0964

IMG_0979

You can download the lightsaber cards here: Lightsaber Party Favor Card

For the Jedi Council:

Last, but certainly not least, I made gourmet chocolates for the parents! I had so much fun with this, and I’d actually been preparing to make these for quite some time, experimenting with recipes (particularly the raspberry ganache recipe) until I came up with one I liked. My husband and I ate A LOT of chocolate during the experimenting process. A LOT. But I think the end results were well worth it! And of course, the Darth Vader and Stormtrooper molds were perfect for the dark and white chocolates. The molds are available on Amazon.

IMG_0960

**EDIT 1/28/2016 – The Star Wars chocolate favor tags are available for free here**

May the Force be with you!

 

Disclosure: This post contains links to products on amazon.com. These are products that I purchased and used for my own projects with no compensation. However, if you click on the link and purchase the product, I will receive a small fee from Amazon.com.
* * * * * * * * *
jkwdesigns.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
* * * * * * * * *

Star Wars Ad

DIY Rainbow War Party for Kids!

The last few weeks have been incredibly busy (thus my absence from the blogiverse lately). We have a 17 year old relative visiting from the States–and OMG is having a teenager in the house a lot of work! During his 14 day stay, we’ve managed to: visit the National Museum of Korea, Gyeongbokgung Palace, the Korean War Memorial and Musem, have our feet chewed on by little fish in Myeongdong, see the Jump! show at Kyunghyang Art Hill, play mini-golf, and eat all kinds of food our small-town, middle American teenager had never even heard of before. On top of that, I’ve been knee-deep in planning for a kids’ color war party, and despite feeling overwhelmed by all the things… The teenager is flying out tomorrow full of new experiences and wonderful memories (hopefully!), and the color war party was a huge success!

The party was inspired by a very talented photographer and friend, Zayda Barros. She wanted to photograph a color war, but since she doesn’t have kids (yet!), she asked me to help throw a party of EPIC proportions. 😉 And because I love planning parties, I ran with it and this is what happened:

color war

 

Since I knew that a professional was snapping away, I didn’t take very many photos… And I’m much too impatient to wait until her photos are ready to post to write this post, so apologies for my crap photos and I’ll have some beautiful ones to share soon!

UPDATE: Thank you to the very talented Zayda Barros for these beautiful photos!

Here what planning our Rainbow War Party entailed and some tips for planning your very own color war party!

Location:

Obviously, this is an outdoor activity! We planned our party for a public picnic area that was somewhat secluded, giving kids enough room to run around and throw colors without attracting too much attention. Also, access to water is important! Our picnic area came with a water faucet so kids could wash off before heading home/smearing colors all over the inside of mom’s car.

Guest List:

As with all parties, the fun begins with the guest list! We had a tough time keeping our guest list under 30 children, but we had to keep our group somewhat manageable. The color war is most appropriate for kids aged 4 and up. Our list consisted of 25 kids ranging in age from 2-9. As with all invitations for activity-based parties, be sure to thoroughly explain to parents what the party entails and be prepared to answer a host of questions! We explained: how kids should be dressed (plain white t-shirts that could be ruined during the party), what they should bring for their own child(ren) (towel and change of clothes), age-appropriateness, how long the color war would last, and how parents could help with supplies.

Activities:

Because of the toddlers and also because the color war only lasts about 20-30 minutes (depending on how much color powder you’ve prepared), we prepared other activities to keep the kids busy. Finger painting and play dough are great, colorful activities to keep kids happy and occupied as they eagerly await the beginning of the color war! I purchased finger paints, but made my own play dough (scroll down for the very simple DIY recipe!).

Finger Painting

Because I didn’t have immediate access to rolls of art paper, I just taped large sheets of white paper down to the picnic tables. Rolls of paper would definitely have worked better, but you do what you can…

Food:

Our menu consisted of pasta salad, rainbow bread sandwiches, fruit and veggie platters, M&Ms, Skittles, rainbow cupcakes and beverages–simple and colorful!

IMG_8303

The bread was easy but time consuming to make. There are many different ways to make rainbow bread–just do a quick Pinterest search and there are plenty of different recipes. However, I’m not much of a baker and with a million other things going on at the jkwdesigns house, I needed to make things easier for myself, not harder! So I went with pre made dough. Pilsbury French Loaf dough to be exact. 😉 I was inspired by the recipe for the Rainbow Sandwich Loaf, but I took quite a few liberties with the recipe in order to make it less labor intensive. My changes resulted in a bread that wasn’t quite as colorful as the recipe suggests, but it worked out, I saved some time, and made less of a mess. Win, win, win!

Rainbow fruit and veggie platters Rainbow treats

Decorations:

I kept decorations relatively simple since the focus was on turning our adorable little kids into colorful works of art! I made a “Taste the Rainbow” sign for the food table and individual food signs. I would have preferred white tablecloth for the tables, but supplies at my local shop were limited so I had to go with light purple. I also would have liked to hang white tablecloth as a backdrop for the color fight area, but I wasn’t able to do that either. Oh, the injustice of shopping for party supplies in a country that doesn’t really sell party supplies… 😉

Taste the Rainbow Sign

 

Also, I made water bottle labels for our Rainbow Warriors as well as juice box labels, but a friend brought them in a cooler with ice so my paper labels clearly weren’t going to work. My friend is clearly more thoughtful of the children that I am because I would have served the kids room temperature juice boxes for the purpose of aesthetics! 😉

Rainbow Warrior Water Bottles

 

The files for FREE printables can be accessed here:

Taste the Rainbow
Food Signs
Water Bottle Labels

And just for fun, I added some colored streamers around the picnic area, which ended up being more fun for the kids as we began clean-up.

Streamers

Rainbow War:

Because this party was for a photo session rather than for someone’s birthday, we asked that parents contribute color powder for the fight. They had the option of either purchasing a pack of holi powder from Amazon or making their own. I found numerous recipes for DIY color powder for color wars, but none of them worked quite as well as I had hoped. The flour-based mixtures took ages to dry (Korean summers are just too humid), and very few of us owned coffee grinders. In the end, I did quite a bit of experimenting and came up with an EASY, NO-MESS solution! (Scroll down for Color Powder Recipe!)

For the rainbow war, we pre-filled cups with a small amount of color powder. As the color war began, kids were each given one cup, then instructed to return to the table to have their cups refilled when they ran out of color. This definitely helped the battle last longer!

Color Powder

The only instructions that we gave the kids were:

1) No throwing colors directly at someone’s face.

2) If someone asks you to stop, you must stop.

All the kids were a bit shy at first, but once they got the hang of things, it was a raging battle of colors–complete with laughter and shrieks of delight! And a few tears. 😉 It was impossible to keep the little ones (2 year olds) out of the battle, so we gave in and let them make their own messes, but my daughter decided halfway through the battle that she’d had enough and just wanted me to hold her. You win some, you lose some…

If you’re planning your own color war, just keep in mind that the color and consistency of the store-bought holi powder is far superior to the DIY powder. The colors are spectacular, and the consistency is dust-like. Here’s a link to the one we purchased: Holi Powder. On the other hand, the kids couldn’t have cared less! They were just as happy with the mom-made color powder as they were with the rather pricey holi powder a couple of us ordered from Amazon. If your goal is to take photos of bright clouds of color, invest in the store-bought powder, or perhaps use the holi powder for the first round/photographs, then move on to the DIY powder to save money.

Finally, the best way to end a color war is with water because…no one doesn’t like water play on a hot summer day.

Water Balloons

 

DIY Play Dough Recipe (for 4 different colors):

Play Dough

Materials:

4 cups of flour
1 and 1/2 cups of salt
1 cup of hot water
6 teaspoons of vegetable oil
Food coloring

1. Thoroughly combine the 4 cups of flour and 1 and 1/2 cups of salt in a large mixing bowl.

2. Place 1/4 cup of hot water in 4 individual bowls. Add 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of vegetable oil and the appropriate amount of food coloring to each bowl. If you’re using liquid food coloring, you’ll probably want about 30 drops of each color to make a nice dark shade. If you’re using gel food coloring, use approximately 1/2 teaspoon of each color.

3. Add 1 and 1/4 cup of the flour/salt mixture to each bowl. Mix ingredients together as thoroughly as possible with a spoon (no need to get your hands dirty!). You may still have clumps and unmixed portions of the mixture.

4. Sprinkle a small amount of flour on a cutting board or other dry surface and dump the contents of one bowl onto your work surface. Kneed and combine until the play dough is no longer sticky/tacky. Repeat this step with the remaining bowls of play dough.

NOTE: Store play dough in ziplock bags or an airtight container to prevent it from drying out.

DIY Recipe for Color Powder

Materials:
3 heaping tablespoons of corn starch
Small amount of water
Food coloring

Additional materials:
Aluminum foil or saran wrap
Ziplock bags
Rolling pin

1. Place 3 heaping tablespoons of corn starch in a bowl. Add a small amount of water (approximately 4 tablespoons) and mix. The corn starch will have a strange, difficult to mix consistency. It will seem like it’s halfway between a liquid and a solid. If you’re having trouble mixing it, add a little more water.

2. Once the water/corn starch is thoroughly combined, add food coloring. As the mixture dries, the color will lighten slightly so be liberal with the food coloring! I used 30 drops of food coloring in each batch, and the colors weren’t quite as dark as I would have liked.

3. Cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil or saran wrap and pour the mixture onto the cookie sheet. For faster drying, pour the mixture into small globs. The bigger the glob, the longer it will take to dry. Being a rather impatient person, I poured my mixture in thin lines. Dried super fast!

4. Allow the mixture to sit for as long as it takes to DRY COMPLETELY. It will become brittle and break into pieces when it is completely dry. In our humid, non-air conditioned apartment, it took about 2 hours.

Color Powder 1

5. Break the dried mixture into pieces and place in a ziplock bag. I just picked up the edges of the aluminum foil and poured the pieces into the bag. Press most of the air out of the bag and begin rolling over the mixture with a rolling pin to break it back into a powder. Voila! Color powder!

Color Powder 2

NOTE: If you make the color powder in advance, I would recommend storing it in bowls or containers WITHOUT a lid. If the container is sealed, condensation will begin to form and the powder will become mushy. Not the look you’re going for. 😉

 

Disclosure: This post contains links to products on amazon.com. These are products that I purchased and used for my own projects with no compensation. However, if you click on the link and purchase the product, I will receive a small fee from Amazon.com.
* * * * * * * * *
jkwdesigns.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
* * * * * * * * *

Sneak Peeks!

I’m been super busy lately working on planning my twin boys’ 5th birthday party, and with my husband out of town for work this past week, I’ve gone completely insane. He’s not here to reign me in, so I’ve officially become mom-zilla about this party. I’m working on a detailed post about the party and all my various DIY projects, but here’s a sneak peak of some of the items I’ve been working on:

IMG_6392

IMG_6407

Additionally, I have a new pattern in the works, and it’s entering into the final phases of pattern testing, so it should be live soon! Here’s a peek at the seemingly-difficult-but-super-easy-to-make-once-you-get-the-hang-of-it stitch!

IMG_6401