My son loves outer space. It could have something to do his bedroom. In any case, this year (as last year) I asked him what kind of party he wanted. After talking him down from "frogs in race cars in the forest" (???) he settled on "Rockets and Outer Space." Ok, that I could handle. But I needed some inspiration. Especially for the cake. I did NOT want a repeat of last year.
So, naturally, I turned to pinterest. Here are some of the great ideas I pinned:
And then did not execute. But I wish I could have. I looked everywhere for those paper lanterns on the cheap and couldn't find a single one. I had BIG plans for the cake, which were then pared down into little plans as I didn't want to end up tossing it in the garbage. And I REALLY wanted to make those felt bracelets for favors. I even bought good felt for them in teal, red, yellow, black and white - the "party colors"... but it just didn't happen. Someday I will need to start planning before the week of the party and then maybe my ideas will come to fruition. (You can find the above ideas and way more on my "party til you drop" pinterest board)
In any case, here's the party bug ended up with. (hey, remember what I said about the bee party? This is low-key, budget friendly partying we're talking here...)
Remember how I said I like the invitation to set the tone for the party? Here's what I came up with for bug.
I did the whole thing in pages on my mac, since I am slowly trying to wean myself from picnik. (I'm starting to think I MIGHT be ok, but it will take a combination of software programs to get me through).
I downloaded these fonts to get the "space" feel I wanted:
Decor was fairly minimal. I made a garland of "stars" for the food counter (peninsula thingy). I took crochet yarn and threaded it on an upholstery needle then poked the needle right through the middle of some ping pong balls (which I'd gotten at the dollar store). I know you can get glow in the dark ping pong balls - wouldn't that be awesome for this?
I covered the table and the patio door behind the table with a those cheap black plastic tablecloths. I had bug and K help me put star stickers all over them - I just used those star stickers that you can get in the plastic package with like 100 stickers for a buck something.
From the ceiling I hung some "star twirlers" - floppy, metallic stars that twirl - that I got at Walmart and then realized I could totally make myself.
We already had some glow in the dark stars - the plastic kind - so I put them down the middle of the table and the middle of the food counter instead of confetti.
It's a bit difficult to make out in these photos, but I also used several large mirrored star coasters that were part of my wedding reception decor forever ago. (Ok, almost 6 years ago.)
I also hung bug's rocket shelf that we'd gotten at Ikea about 3 years ago. I thought it was fitting.
And of course, cake. Oh, cake. How your amazingness still manages to illude me. sigh. As mentioned, I really didn't want a cake like this again. I loved my inspiration cake, but started decorating much too late and really didn't have the time set aside for it that I should have. So I decided to just draw a rocket on with icing...
When bug saw it, he declared it excitedly a "weird football!" Which is true, unfortunately. At least he wasn't disappointed. Someday I'll have to figure out how to decorate a decent cake. The important part is how it TASTES, right??
I also (temporarily) constructed a slightly "industrial" looking dessert stand with a metal tray, a striped plate and a metal pan with glass candle holders in between. On this I put our awesome cookies. I made sugar cookies and the mr and I frosted and iced them to look like the planets with some stars and a moon and a sun thrown in for good measure. My favorites are in the middle picture - the sun, a star, the moon, the earth, mercury, and another star.
My ACTUAL favorite was Jupiter. It was awesome - the right colors and stripes and I even made the whole "eye of Jupiter" thing. What's that? You don't see Jupiter? Well, the morning of the party I woke up and heard bug talking to himself in the kitchen downstairs and I IMMEDIATELY knew the cookies were in danger. I jumped out of bed and ran downstairs where bug was nonchalantly playing with some cars. He watched me quietly as I went to inspect the goodies. I noticed there were some missing, but wanted to give him a chance to come clean.
"Ezra, did you eat anything this morning?"
"What? Eat anything?"
"Yes, Ezra. Did you eat anything?"
"Like anything you shouldn't have."
"Well... I just ate two things."
"What two things?"
"Jupiter and Uranus."
"Jupiter and Uranus??"
"Ok, fine! And a star, too!"
And the exchange was so very funny to me... not only did he eat them, know he was in trouble for it, and fessed up on his own; he also knew exactly what planets he had taken based on our cookie decorating! It's a good thing he acted so cute about it, or I would have been a lot more upset. I mean, he DOES have a history of this.
Here's the spread all together. (Though you can't tell, we also put star stickers on the black cups.)
We did a few activities not pictured here. We created our own outer space pictures on black construction paper with white construction paper crayons and outer space stickers. We also played "Pin the tail on the comet" which I thought was really clever of me... but I'm also kind of a nerd, so... yeah. I just cut out this oval from poster board and then cut flame-esque shapes from red and yellow poster board. I put poster putty on the back of the tails and we played it just like pin the tail on the donkey. Zoe loved it! It was a lot easier to play than the original, since it was just an oval - I mean, get it touching and you've pretty much won. You'd be surprised how far off they were, though...
So, it was, again, a simple party with a laid back schedule of events. The favors (though not pictured) were glow in the dark stars, a few large stickers and a "meteorite" (a fun bumpy bouncy ball). bug was particularly excited about the presents.
Can't you tell?
My serious, wise, old soul in tiny body form. I do love that kid.
A budget party breakdown for you?
3 black plastic tablecloths @ $1 a piece - $3, dollar store
black utensils, cups, plates @ $1 a piece - $3, dollar store
"4" candle - $.99, walmart
Ping Pong Balls - $1, dollar store
Star stickers - $1 and some change... maybe $1.90, walmart
Star twirlers @ $1 for 3 - $2, walmart
Favors (for 4 kids) - $6 for ALL of it
Total = $17.89
Not too shabby.
(I have to say, it's a shame these kids weren't born in the summer... more space to run and play, more space to decorate AND better photos. I could live with that.)