After sharing a picture of those hideous cupcakes from Shay’s bowling party, I thought I would try to redeem myself by posting some of my better attempts at cake and cupcake decorating. This was fun to put together as it took me on a trip down memory lane. I have posted a few of the details for some of the party themes I have done and will eventually get to them all. Below is a list of the themes I have done over the years. If I have already posted them, the links have been added if you are interested.
Jungle Party (for a 1 year old boy)
Train Party (2 year old boy)
Disney Cars and Spiderman were Shay’s 3rd and 4th birthdays (Both were lame in my opinion. I wasn’t well one year and we were in the middle of moving when his 4th birthday came along – I bought the cakes and the themes were “loose” at best ~ Sorry Shay!!)
Hip Hip Hooray! The Jets won last night and it looks like Jacob Trouba will be fine following that scary crash into the boards in last night’s game against St. Louis Blues.
I thought I would make this post while Jets fan are still on a high from our win last night.
Hockey Party Invitations
I have a membership with Smilebox. Smilebox is a great online tool for making wonderful e-cards and digital scrapbooking projects. For Shay’s hockey themed birthday party, I thought it would be cool to make the invitation in the format of a Sport Illustrated magazine cover. Basically, I used the Smilebox template, personalized the information and then emailed out the invitations for this party. Here is a screen shot of the invitation.
Your invitations should include the date, location, drop-off and pick-up times, and RSVP information. Also, be sure to include information such as: what to bring or wear to the party and mention if lunch or dinner will be served. The invitations should be sent out 2 to 3 weeks prior to the party.
Hockey Party Decorations
For this party, Shay really wanted to play floor hockey with his buddies. We rented a room in a community center for around $75 (I think). I remember it being quite inexpensive and we had full use of the kitchen that had a window opening into the party room. It was a perfect set-up and kept my house in tact. This also meant that decorations were kept to a minimum as we had to haul everything there. I made the standard homemade birthday banner and decorated the plain white tablecloth so that it looked similar to a sheet of hockey ice with the line and Jets logo in the center. I used store-bought Jets plates and napkins as well. I also bought a little triangular Jets banner to put around the table at the entry. This table held the cake, vintage jersey Jets cookies and the loot bags. Of course, we invited the boys to wear Jerseys or hockey t-shirts if they wanted to.
Hockey Rink Table
Hockey Party Activities and Games
This was the simplest party ever. Seriously, my husband played floor hockey with the boys for the entire time. We literally had to cut them off, so that we had time for cake and gifts at the end. The community club provided the nets, sticks and pucks and set-up benches as “boards” at our request. It was awesome! I relaxed with my friend and daughter. Unfortunately, the three of us ate most of the snacks on the table, as the boys had no interest in stopping to snack.
We used benches for the boards.
Food and Snacks
I knew the boys would be kept busy playing hockey, so we kept the food to a minimum. I did buy a few frozen pizzas to cooked in the community center oven, but when the oven was preheating there was lots of smoke and a few flames as a previous user had obviously spilled something over and it had not been cleaned. We decided to forgo the pizza plan and in the end we were pressed for time without it as the boys had so much fun they were more interested in playing hockey that having a pizza snack. It was a mid afternoon party, so I wasn’t concerned about them missing a meal or anything so we just skipped it. At the time, it seemed like a better option than burning the community club down! We had snacks and drinks out on the table throughout, so the boys could munch throughout the party and stay hydrated. We served the cake and ice cream near the end, before opening presents. We used plain navy blue cups for the pop, but I had painted white numbers on each cup. The numbers corresponded with those worn by some of the most popular Jets players. So, they kept track of their drinks by remember the Jets number they picked.
Hockey Rink Birthday Cake
I love baking a cake or cupcakes from scratch and then decorating them to match our theme. I have never taken a cake decorating course, so my cakes are far from perfect, but I have lots of fun looking at different theme cakes online and then coming up with my own variations. Obviously, some turn out better than others. We almost always serve ice cream with our cake. For this hockey rink cake, I added bristle board “boards” and used coloured tape for the lines. I used a layer of buttercream icing and then fondant on top. Shay had a mini table hockey type of game and I was able to easily snap the nets off of it, wash them and then set them on the cake for the party. (They snapped back on the game just as easily after.)
Hockey Themed Loot Bags
I picked-up red gift bags from the dollar store and made a little thank you tag for each bag in the form of hockey skates. The bags were filled with the following:
a current copy of the Scholastic Hockey News magazine
Each guest also took one of the homemade vintage Jets jersey cookies with them on the way out
Thank you skate tag
vintage Winnipeg Jets jersey cookies
Timing for the Event
I generally keep our parties to 2 hours. The boys played hockey for about an hour and 15 minutes and then stopped for cake and presents at the end. The timing was perfect and I knew that if we had extra time, they could always pick-up the sticks and continue to play until they were picked-up. If booking outside of the home, be sure to check on rental prices and allow yourself time for set-up before and clean-up at the end. The community club we rented charged us for two hours, but allowed a half hour extra before and after for decorating and tidying.
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When planning a birthday party, I work according to the following outline:
cake(s) ~ plan, design and bake a cake/cupcakes (or save the hassle and order one)
For a complete breakdown of party planning steps and organization, see my Birthday Party Planning post. We did a Pirate theme for my son’s 5th birthday. This was one of those over the top parties that took lots of time and energy to pull together, but it was great fun!
These invitations were so much fun to make. I wrote the invitation and then tried to “translate” it into pirate language. I Googled pirate words and even found examples of invitations others had made that I could use as a guide. After figuring out what I was going to write, I had to search the web for an appropriate font. I often pick a font that is specific to my party theme and this was no exception. Unfortunately, I can’t share the name of the font, as I now have a Mac and my computer doesn’t recognize the font in the original document. I have several places that I download fonts from, but dafont and fontspace are two that I often use. I can’t be sure by I think that Rapscallion and Treasure Map Dead hand look familiar from fontspace. I changed the fonts and then printed the invitations off on my computer. I then dipped them in tea to dye/age them and then set them out flat to dry completely. The mock treasure map was actually a map to our house, with the X marking our house.We rolled the map and invitation together, scroll style and added them to an old bottle with some sand and a seashell in the bottom. We corked the bottle and added a personalized tag to each bottle. My son and I delivered our “message in a bottle” to each guest.
Treasure Map and Pirate Party Invitation
Message in a Bottle
For this party, we had lots of decorations to pull the theme together. The guests were required to “walk the plank” on our front sidewalk before entering.
Walk the Plank Sign
Walking the Plank
As they stepped up on our front porch, they were welcomed by a skeleton and sign on the front door. The skeleton is one of those milk jug skeletons. I made it for the party and then kept it for a Halloween decoration, so it served a dual purpose. Click the picture for a tutorial on how to make them.
The big ship poster was on our front door.
I made my standard Happy Birthday Banner. The parrot was made with my son’s handprints for the wings.
I made a palm tree from an old cardboard carpet roll and set out an old trunk for the gifts. I wrapped the gifts from us in brown paper with raffia ties to go with the theme. I made several signs that were posted around the house. You can see this one says, “Loot Goes ‘ere!” You will also see some pineapples and a coconut next to the trunk. The coconut is real, but the pineapples were made for my daughter’s “Aloha” birthday party by applying paper maché over 2 litre pop bottles.
The buffet had a few decorations as well. I covered a small box with paper maché and made a custom lid that had the rounded top like a trunk. I used a heavy cardboard that had the flexibility to bend (not corrugated). I then filled it with treasure from the dollar store and around the house (brass wine glasses that we received as a wedding gift, fake gold coins, beads, shiny pennies (soaked in vinegar and salt), etc). I also spilled out one of the invitation bottles and covered the edges with two grass skirts from the dollar store (much cheaper than purchasing an actual table skirt).
There were several little “vignettes” set-up around our dining room and signs dispersed throughout the house and yard. We also purchased a pirated themed cd for background music. Here is a gallery showing more of the decorations.
Games and Activities
Pin the Patch on the Pirate (I bought a commercial poster for this)
Pineapple Bowling with paper maché pineapples and a real coconut
Pass the Cannon (like Hot Potato) used a coconut as the cannon ball
Walk the Plank
Hook the Pretzel (How many pretzels can you hook? No hands!)
Swab the Deck (One on one contest to “swab” the balls across the deck with mops)
Treasure Hunt/Scramble (had to find the chocolate coins hidden around the yard/house)
Face Painting & Tattoos
Paper Bag Pirate Puppets (to fill time while some kids were getting their faces painted)
Dig for Treasure (We hid shells in a large sand box and had a contest to see who could find the most)
Shell Race (place a shell on your nose and race)
Swabbing the Deck
Pin the Patch on the Pirate
How Many Pretzels Can You Hook?
Food and Snack
This party was jam-packed with activities, so I did not put out much food. The only theme related food was Goldfish crackers. We also put out some watermelon, pretzels, chips and salsa. We also served a homemade punch.
Cake and Ice Cream
I don’t have specific tutorials to direct you to for the cakes. I tend to use Google images to get ideas and visit the sites connected to those images that interest me the most. I gather ideas from several sources to come up with my own versions. For the pirate ship cake, I was able to find little pirate action figures at the dollar store and the treasure chest originally held small candy. The pirate ship cake was sitting on a “treasure map” in the center of the table. The pirate cake and hat cake were basically fancy cutting. The stripes on the shirt are “fruit by the foot”. I often pre-cut ice cream to fit the theme. I bought vanilla cartons of ice cream and peeled the box off. This allowed me to cut the rectangular shape into 1″ slabs. I then used the skull and crossbones cookie cutter to cut the ice cream. I then lay the cut-out pieces on wax paper on a cookie sheet for quick and easy serving.
#1 Pirate Hat Cake
#2 Pirate Ship Cake
#3 Pirate Cake
Pre-cut Ice Cream
When the guests arrived, they each received a bandana, eye patch, “pirate” face paint and a pirate style tattoo. Some of the loot was in their actual loot bags, some they received and wore for the duration of the party and other loot was received throughout the party. The birthday boy and his sister were in full costume and my husband and I sported bandanas and eye-patches.
Chocolate Coins (hidden in the yard)
Money (in the cake)
Skull and Cross Bones Cookies
“Ocean in a Bottle” with thank-you note attached (bottle with blue water/vinegar and a variety of ocean things like tiny plastic fish, shells, sand, etc. Place them in the bottle and kids and shake the bottle and watch the fish swim)
Package of Goldfish crackers
Dollar Store Pirate Action Figure and Boat Set
Skull & Cross Bone Cookies
This was one of the very best parties we did. The ideas were endless and it was so much fun! I would highly recommend a pirate theme party ~ it is guaranteed to be a big hit with both boys and girls!
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