It’s no surprise with the Minecraft crazed kids I currently have, that Carson wanted a Minecraft theme for his birthday party last week. I know the kids play, I’ve watched them play, monitored etc. but still don’t get it. Maybe just not my thing. Either way, I set out weeks ago to learn everything I could to make it perfect for him. With all the thank yous and hugs we got, I think we succeeded!
*This is a very long post. If you really want my best party tips – skim and head straight to the bottom!
I first picked out a color theme, which is pretty standard for Minecraft: black and green. Within that though, I focused even more and stuck with a Minecraft Creeper (I did deter from this slightly).
With a little help and info from Jack and Ava (Carson wanted it to be surprise like) and lots of searching on pinterest, I came up with a few ideas that were fun and fit perfectly!
- A creeper head piñata and creeper goodie bags.
- A Minecraft birthday cake (straight out of the game).
- Poisonous Potion (green punch)
- Various green and black decorations
The first thing was the invitations. Since time totally escaped me after Kansas, there wasn’t much time to make/order online themed invitations. So, we just headed over to Target and Carson picked out his favorite. Not really my favorite thing to do, but it was practical and necessary at that moment.
Once the invites were out, I focused on the piñata and treat bags. I probably could’ve found a piñata online somewhere, but I know they are easy to make and with minecraft made out of blocks I knew the shape was simple.
1.) I started with a diaper box. We have lots hanging around and again simple box shape. I filled the box with the candy and goodies. I also looped a heavy duty string through the inside of the box via the handle cut outs. Then I used packaging tape to seal it all in.
2.) Then I picked out the color of tissue paper I needed. I used black for the face and two different greens so it appeared more pixel-y (that’s a word) like the images in the game. I wanted them in small strips, so I cut the tissue paper in half 3 times, then strips from there.
3.) Then I drew on the creeper face, which I had become a pro at by this point. I then used a mixture of Elmer’s School Glue and water. There isn’t any hard rule about proportions, because I can tell you I did it 3 or 4 times and each mixture was different and they all worked. Then I just brushed on the glue/water mixture and squished the tissue paper on.
The technique was kind of a take one side glue it on and then smash the rest down. I wanted it to have texture but not too fluffy. I made a creeper head on two of the sides, that way as it swung around it still was visible.
4.) After each head was finished, I literally just went to town splattering glue and squishing on tissue paper. It was so NOT technical at this point. Definite Sam style free for all.
After about 2 hours of work total (if you need to go faster, blow dryers are awesome!) I was finished and pretty thrilled with the result!
5.) Then I sent it off to Caleb for hanging and I put the final touch of a few streamers on the bottom just for extra fun!
Once the piñata was finished, I knew the kids would need something to put all the goodies into, so I picked up lime green bags and did some crafting.
It was nothing fancy. I did a creeper head on one side and I embossed the kids’ names in black on the other. It would be easier to keep track of whose was whose. Plus – embossing is awesome.
The party was scheduled to start later in the evening for 2 reasons. First, it was a Wednesday night (we have to follow parenting time schedules) and since it was a weeknight we knew most of the parents worked. The agenda was as follows:
7:00pm Cake & Presents
10:00pm Lights Out
11:00pm Pray they’re sleeping.
This didn’t leave much room for other “game like” activities. So I got off easy! Meaning once I finished the piñata and treat bags, I moved onto the food set up.
I googled Minecraft icons and paired them up with a simple font to make food cards.
I had the green card stock all ready, so I just printed, cut out glued and folded.
Dinner was ordered pizza (easy), apples, carrots, cantaloupe, and cheese bread. To drink there was water, milk, or poisonous potion.
To make the Poisonous Potion (Green Punch):
1.) Use limeade concentrate, but do NOT make to the instructions. Typically you add about 4 containers of water. I only added 1. But I used two concentrates so I actually added 2 containers of water (and by container I mean the thing the concentrate comes in, I’m sure there is some fancy name for it.)
2.) Then I added lime sherbet. I bought the largest container I could and I used a little over half of it. I mashed it around it until it was a thick liquid mess. Literally. It didn’t look good at this point.
3.) Then I added lemon lime soda until the container was full. With the combination of ice cream and carbonation, it did have lots of foam at the top. Watch how quickly you pour the soda! Stir some more and enjoy!
*Everyone said this was the best punch I’d ever made so there’s that!
For dessert, I made a Minecraft birthday cake. It was not a design like Minecraft, it was the actual cake that is in the game. I will admit I was 100% let down by my normal abilities. That being said, Carson was thrilled so it was all good.
I was also a little afraid that a 8×8 square cake would not be enough for everyone, so at the last minute I made 12 cupcakes too. The kids were determined I needed to make them like Chica’s cupcake (five nights at freddy’s – don’t get me started. This is not allowed.) so I did.
I also have 3 boys of my own, so I know how they eat. Even with dinner, treats from a piñata, I knew we needed snacks. With the movie, I bought a couple bags of popcorn and pretzel crisps. I didn’t want anything super messy, lots of prep needed, or too sugary. I wanted them to sleep.
The last thing I needed to prepare was the decorations. I kept them simple and within our family traditions. You always get a special chair with balloons and the chalkboard is about you. Other than that, I stayed with green and black and didn’t go crazy. Pretty sure 11 year old boys don’t care about decorations.
That was the planning and preparing! The party? It was perfect. The food was good and the kids ate lots, the piñata was fun and everyone got a turn, the kids played outside for a while, and they went to bed later than I wanted but earlier than I prepared for! Breakfast the next morning was easy with donut holes, make your own yogurt parfaits, bacon, orange juice and milk. Then Caleb brought the kids home. The boys all said they had fun and were very polite. It went perfectly 🙂
If you’ve made it all the way through, high five that one! You rock. I’m impressed.
I promised some fast tips though so here we go!
- Make sure to be very clear on invitations. I always try to include everything possible so parents are at ease and in the know. It’s what I’d want for my kids, so I try to reciprocate that.
- ASK about food allergies. There is always always always at least one.
- Keep in mind your audience. At each project, I kept thinking they’re 11 year old boys. Perfectionism and too crafty – they aren’t going to notice.
- Diaper boxes are virtually indestructible. Husbands will be required to busting the piñata open. This is good & bad. Everyone gets a turn. Kids want candy.
- Boys eat a lot. Plan for it.
- Serving cake, cupcakes, & ice cream but still wanting to be present and in the moment is hard, sooo use the individual ice cream cups. No need to be standing there scooping ice cream. Super easy. Favorite hack ever. Worth every penny.
- If you plan on using electronic devices, have the wi-fi password ready to go. Or change it to something simple they can type in themselves…
- Daughters should stay away from the guests. This is helpful to know for our future. That was a learning experience. Little kid crushes. Oi. Not ready.
- It’s a birthday! No matter what happens, kids will be excited and have fun!
Any more tips? Anything we should’ve done different? Love to hear your thoughts! There’s always another party not too far off in this family!
Pssst! This Thursday (September 1st) I’ll be joining Brave Love Blog for her Blogtember Challenge! Blogging a specific post everyday. Now I know this is out of my usual posting schedule & calendar soooo I’ll be posting some days, twice a day to get both my normal and the new posts in for the month. Happy extra reading! AND wish me luck! It is definitely a challenge!