Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Super Hero Academy, Ruston style!

Well, I have wanted to make this post for over a week now, but I have been waiting for the pictures of the birthday party to come my way. I am still waiting so I will just go ahead of share with what I have.

First of all, I have to say, that I never thought I would be “that” mom who goes completely overboard on planning a birthday party. When Landon (who turned four) told me he wanted to have a super hero party over two months ago, I started gathering information immediately. I came across some incredible ideas online and the longer I spent online, the more my imagination took off. There were just so much to choose from, most ideas I used and some I just tweaked to make it my own. Then it all just started snowballing!! I am a stay at home mom, so what else am I suppose to put my thoughts and energy towards?!?! ;)

I originally thought it would be just a party for Landon, but in the middle of planning, I wanted Kennedy to join in on the celebration since she had turned two just days before. Extremely glad I did that. She deserves a special day too. ;) Although, this made the party numbers grow which made it difficult to cut off. I did the best I could do and I thought it turned out perfect.

I made super hero capes, masks, and t-shirts for each kid who came to the party. For those of you who know me well, know that I don’t sew, so you know I found a fool-proof no-sewing cape. With the help of my friend, Nancy Hunt, this was possible. I basically found a cape pattern online, found some ribbon, cheap fabric and some Velcro. I cut slits on the top of the cape to weave the ribbon through and then stuck the Velcro tabs on the end of the ribbon. I added a little touch at the bottom of the capes so it wasn’t just cut straight across. And wah-la, you gotta cape! Here is the link that I used to get the "pattern" of the cape and also a fast and cheap way to make a bunch of capes from one plastic table cloth (I used these to put over chairs for decorations). And the link for the masks (sort of)

The masks were basically fun foam with ¼ inch elastic band stapled onto the mask by the eyes. I had planned on putting tape or something over those staples but I didn’t see the need for it after I started making them. I also knew that I wanted different colors for each costume.

The t-shirts were basic white t-shirts that I found for $6 for a pack of 5 at walmart or target and then I got iron-on transfers from Office Depot to iron the logos and names onto the shirt. A great friend of mine who is brilliant with graphics helped make the logos for me.

As each kid arrived, I handed them their costumes and had them take a quick snap shot while holding a barbell over their head. Of course the barbell was made of Styrofoam that was spray painted black. I even stenciled “100” in white paint on each end to finish the look.

As far as decorations, some dear friends of mine wanted to come over and help with these. Shannon Roberts and Anna Stephens basically transformed our garage into the bat cave with some gray bulletin board paper that is crumpled up to look like rock. We even hung some cut out bats to hang from the ceilings and sides. Here is a picture of part of "The Cave" in the background (sorry that it's not the 'full' effect):

The Monday prior to the party, I got a wild idea (thanks Sarah!) to build Gotham city out of fridge and oven boxes. This took a lot of time cutting and painting the windows but it was fun when you have friends that want to help. I even got a black queen sized flat sheet to free hand the Bat ‘signal’ and stars to hang behind the ‘city’. The kids enjoyed climbing in the boxes and poking their heads out through the windows and roof. In fact, over a week later, they are still enjoying it!

When you have different activities planned out, you never know what is going to be a hit. My personal favorite activity was when the kids walked a plank across the lava pit. I had a small baby pool with red dyed water and threw in some dry ice to make it smoke. The kids (and adults) thought this was kinda cool! Looking back, I wish I had thought of spray painting the pool black to cover up the neon colors! ;)

We also set up some pictures of villains so the little super heros could get a can of silly string and ‘vaporize the villians’ by spraying them. It was a little tough for the younger kids to spray the bottles (even my four year old struggled), but the older kids had a ball with it! I have to say, both sets of grandparents had to put some elbow grease behind cleaning up that mess off of the Batman jumpy. Probably not the best idea to hang the pictures on that! ;) It was a last minute decision and we just made it work.

As far as the birthday cake, I knew I wanted to do cupcakes (they are just so much easier to pass out than having to cut each piece) but I also knew that I wanted to scan pictures of my kids with their super hero outfits on their individual cake. This was something that I wanted to do because it was different and knew I probably wouldn't have this unique opportunity again. Sweet Heather McWhorter (Social Bites) did a fabulous job with all of the goodies!

The idea to do a small party favor bag was on original idea that I was quiet proud of. I got some royal blue paper bags (very cheap from Oriental trading) to put random super hero toys in. Then I used left over red cape fabric to make a small cape out of to attach to the bag (used a hole puncher and just tied it through). I originally planned on putting a super man sticker on the front of the bag, but when I put their little tag saying, “hope you had a super time”, I felt there was no need to put it on there. If I had known that I was going to make capes, masks, and shirts, I wouldn’t have done the favor bags. It was just one of those things that I had gotten so far in advance that it became a ‘snowball’ item. Oh well! I am quite proud of the bags since they didn’t cost too much, just a little time!

Throw in some costume dress up for the girls, black ‘bombs’ (balloons) that the kids needed to defuse by popping, some super hero music, cupcakes and a guest appearance of Batman (my sweet, darling husband) to hand out the goodies, it was one fabulous party!! I would gladly do it all over again. And I am proud to say I am glad to be ‘that’ mom after watching how much fun my kids and all their friends had. They are only young once and I am going to make it a fun ride for all of us!

Now I have fridge boxes that look like gotham city and a big bin filled with my over-organized notes and decorations. Maybe one day someone would like to throw a super hero party of their own and need some help, I will be there for them!

Other sites that I found that were helpful in my 'super' journey!

English Paper company

Birthday Party Ideas

Creative party blog

And, finally, my favorite one: Designergirl007


Mama Mandy said...

My super girls had a super good time! Thanks for inviting us!

The Doyals said...

Katie- this is awesome! You are so talented and I know the kids had a great time!

Brittany Napper said...

That looks awesome Katie. It is fun decorating for kids birthdays. Next year I am sticking to a budget, because I couldn't believe how much I spent once I tallied it all up!

The Tylers said...

love love love!!! I want to buy that pic of Jake from your photographer. You did GOOD!