Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Birthday Party

So a few weeks ago my son turned 8. Amazing how time flies when it comes to watching our kids grow from babies to independent little people!  Since he'll probably start growing out of the excitement of birthday parties, this might be one of the last ones and I wanted to make it as fun and special as possible.
I tried to keep the cost as low as always so I tried to DIY as much as I could.  I bought some TMNT party plates and for $1 a pack of 8 at the 99cent Store (yay!), a roll of 100- 2x2" TMNT stickers on Amazon.com for about $11 including tax and shipping, and a large 34 x 22" TMNT wall poster also on Amazon for about $12 after tax and shipping.  So the poster I think is where I got the biggest bang for my buck because it is the largest item and it brought in so much color and fun to my little table scape.  All I did was glue it to a piece of 1/8" MDF board that I had sprayed with silver spray paint and attached some 1 x 2" boards painted lime green to the upper and bottom edges to brighten it up.  It also kept it from flopping around in the wind (it was a very windy day, unfortunately) and made it look bigger.

I should mention that these pictures were taken the morning after the party because I didn't make time to photograph the day of:(, so there was a few more items such as goodies and goodie bags for each child and green lemonade in the drink dispenser.
I cut and made the banner with my son's name freehand using plain solid stock and cut off the round edges of a TMNT paper plates and glued them to the outer side flaps of the banner to tie it in to the TMNT theme.  Layering two different colored papers creates a nice contrasting border and gives your banner a more custom look.
To bring in more of the theme colors I made paper lanterns also using regular card stock.  There are some very good tutorials on Pinterest if you need a refresh on how to make these (think back to elementary school when we made so many of these!).  FYI: the patterned paper was actually solid paper that I just drew lines on with a permanent marker to give it a more "ninja" feel.
I had a hard time coming up with centerpieces for the guest tables because everything I saw online seemed too ruffled, fluffy and feminine but was able to put this fun display of a ninja turtle peeking out of a street sewer hole the morning of the party.  I was inspired by someone els's centerpiece on Pinterest where they had a plain can of corn with a toy ninja turtle standing inside of it.  This centerpiece is pictured on the goodie table here (because I didn't photograph the guest tables:(, but I actually used two of these on each guest table with a white table cloth and they looked really cool!  The ninja turtle heads are some novelty Easter eggs I picked up on clearance at Kmart for about $1 for a pack of three, imagine my excitement when I ran into these just a couple of days before the party!  Very easy to make, I just put a dab of hot glue to keep the head from falling into the empty can of corn and cut out and glued a silhouette of the city using black card stock and a simple rectangular piece on the bottom just to ground it and make it look a little more substantial.  These were a hit with the kids!

The piñata was so fun to make.  It took me about half a day to make but it was SOOOO worth it.  I love having a matching, good quality piñata that won't break at the first strike and the only way I have achieved that is by making my own.  And being able to design it to match my theme exactly is so cool! I wanted to keep it simple so it wouldn't take me too long to finish it so I just drew and cut a flat shape of the turtle head using the thickest cardboard I could find.  I made the bandana, eyes and mouth using plain card stock paper. Again, there are lots of tutorials for making pinatas on Pinterest and Youtube so I won't get into any details.  I was very happy with how it turned out and most importantly, my son was very happy with his piñata:).
Sorry about the terrible-only-picture of the goody bag but I wanted to show you that you don't have to spend much on something fun for the kids that will only be used to hold the kid's candies and will be tossed away shortly after.  I used regular paper lunch bags and I stapled inexpensive green rope I picked up at my local "dollar store".  I then cut out flashes out of black card stock freehand, they don't have to be perfect and they were all different, and finished them off by putting a sticker on top of the flash. Cute, cheap and the kids loved them, mission accomplished;)
The stickers were also used inserted into cupcakes as toppers with the original paper left on so they could be used by the kids later.
Other little details that helped make this TMNT party a hit with the kids were chocolate dipped marshmallow pops with green sprinkles and lots of green candies such as sour green apple lollipops.  I made sure to organize a few games with kids which they really enjoyed and wanted to get more than one turn.  One game was a ninja toss.  I simply placed two bowls a few feet away and two kids tossed larger star-looking shaped pasta for a minute and the kid with the most pieces in their bowl was the winner.  Another game was placing  three items such as a marshmallow, a cotton ball and a pasta on a table and having two kids at a time pick up the small items using chopsticks (no hands!) to carry them to another bowl about 20 feet away, the child to finish first was the winner.  I don't do ribbons or a prize for the winners... one niece's birthday party with most of the kids crying because the same 2 kids kept winning and getting the ribbons taught me that lesson;)
There were a few other ideas I wanted to incorporate into this party but as you anyone who tries DIY too much, it just didn't happen but I am okay with that.  I was really happy with what I WAS able to get done.  Thanks for stopping by!