O.k. before you gasp at the fact that Star Wars and 5th Birthday are in the same sentence, let me preface by saying he has never watched the movie. I learned very quickly that you cannot possibly have control over what your kids will be exposed to at school. One day my four year old comes home from school and is giving me details about Star Wars that I didn’t even know and fast forward through the anger then acceptance and my husband taking the opportunity to Geek out with his son and a Star Wars obsession and birthday party are born.
Now I have to say that, after that dramatic intro, I was actually excited about the decoration potential in a Star Wars themed party so I did a secret happy dance while tossing out my original “Planes Fire and Rescue” birthday for which he had previously asked. One of the first things I learned about a Star Wars party is it can go in so many directions so you need a sub theme. Yes, it is that serious. There are Lego Star Wars Parties, Jedi Parties, etc. I went with Jedi Training to keep it more on the not so scary side. I did my usual process starting with the food and decided to keep it simple.
But first I must bring up the invitation as it is the part of which I am most proud. I designed it from scratch and used Celebrations.com to send out the invite. I noticed a lot of people searching for a website that allows you to fully customize your own invitation and use a site to track guest responses. Turns out there is no such site, at least not free, but my IT department aka my husband helped me find a way to use Celebrations.com with my own invite. He turned my word doc into a jpeg and the site allows you to upload an image for your invitation. My good friend Zanique, who told me about the site, takes an actual picture of her custom invitations so that is another option. The Star Wars fonts can be downloaded via Dafont.com. It is so easy and it automatically imported the font to my MS Word. I also used those fonts for all of my printouts.
Now back to my favorite, the food. For the dessert, I saw these amazing Storm Trooper cupcakes on Pinterest and decided to do assorted cupcakes. I prepared them 3 days in advance and froze them so they wouldn’t be an issue later. That’s a tip that I will use forever. Turns out, bakeries do it all the time. Who knew. For food, I decided basic cold cut sliders with a delicious twist using homemade Molasses Rolls as the bread. Just so the adults felt appreciated I made pulled bbq chicken. I will post the recipe later since I added my own twist. I made mac & cheese and put it in tiny little tins because everything tiny is cute and my favorite. I also had llittle corn on the cob skewers and the standard fruit and veggies.
For the decor, and there was no shortage of ideas online, I had to start with light sabers…light sabers, light sabers everywhere! I am telling you people can be over the top when it comes to Stars Wars, even if it is just a kid’s party (no names). I chose to go with the light sabers that were the cheapest and easiest to make.
I purchased pool noodles from the Dollar Tree. I ended up going to a couple to get 3 different colors. One $1 pool noodle makes two light sabers so that is amazing.
Once I cut them with a bread knife (you need the cerrations to get through the foam), I put the duct tape (purhcased from amazon) on the bottom to begin the process. Side note, duct tape is extremely hard to work with and not easy to cut into shapes. I ended up making patterns by organizing the layers of tape like a puzzle. It uses more tape, but it worked. and was less stressful.
I also saw some cute paper napkins shaped like light sabers so I had to use that idea, but true to my nature I chose to get the computer involved. I have a creative mind and a not so creative hand as I always say so I actually used MS Word table to create the paper wrap for the napkins which were also purchased at the Dollar Store.
I bought an industrial roll of black construction paper and had the harebrained scheme of creating outerspace, in my formal living room aka library aka Green room (literally, I painted it green). I bought a white paint pin which I totally recommend to use as a white chalk design alternative which I proceeded to use to draw my version of Star Wars ships. I also used regular white chalk to create stars. That was fun, because I just got to walk around the paper tapping it in different places like I was playing checkers. You know when you jump the other guys. Or like on “Good Will Hunting” on that scene when they are solving a math problem and it seems like they are just tapping on the chalkboard….no? Too much of a stretch on the reference? Anyway, that project showed my true commitment as it took about 2.5 hours to create and 3 hours to hang up with the help of a good friend. Actually, the testament to how truly serious this was is that my husband made Tie fighters from cardboard which we still have hanging up.
I used silver balloons purchased from Oriental Trading Co. (an online site that is a must use for any party) and silver circular stickers to create that laser ball from the movie used in Jedi Training. Oh yes, I was serious.
For the activities I came up with water park training center and the weather man came up with rain. Now I am originally from California so a week or so out from party day I was still in denial that my summer birthdays could be foiled by bad weather. I mean I bought this amazing slip and slide from Wal-Mart that looks like some sort of Sci-fi item so it had to be used. It wasn’t until the day before that I decided to come up with a back up plan. Well the moment I gave up and decided I have to start coming up with a backup plan, rain was not going to happen during party hours. Unfortunately my plans were crossed between both activities so nothing was ready for either option. Fortunately for me, that slip and slide a water activity table we already had and water balloons saved the day.
The party turned out amazing, I impressed my oldest son and I finally got to sleep after about a two day decorating marathon.