Friday, June 22, 2012

Ninja Party: Dessert Table (Party Part II)

To see the sneak peek of the party invitation, click here.
For Part I of the party (table decor), click here.
Every good party deserves a good dessert table right?   

 I LOVE a good dessert and/or snacks table at a party.  It really showcases the food, gives you more choices (for those that don't want cake) and in our case also give your guests a little something more to take home with them!
Since there aren't many "ninja specific" foods, I went with more of a red, black and white color scheme with the desserts.

Hand dipped fortune cookies, oreos, hershey kisses (with cute little party coordinated stickers on them)...
I displayed black and red Twizzlers in glass vases adorned with ribbon and paper pinwheels (meant to mimic Chinese throwing stars)...
Yogurt Covered Raisins, Strawberries (healthy option) and Swedish Fish - not pictured (mmm... Swedish Fish...).
My favorite dessert project however (and the favorite of the party guests) was the faux sushi:
Made with Rice Crispie treats, assorted gummy candies, fruit roll-ups and Fruit-By-The-Foot.  They turned out pretty cute (if I do say so myself).
Cole requested chocolate cake but I know not everyone likes chocolate cake, so I did white cake ninja cupcakes as well. (free printables from here)
I've learned from past experience that I can NOT frost a cake to save my life (and my sister-in-law who makes the most amazing cakes lives 4 hours away now) so I just ordered a cake from the local grocery store-- knowing I wanted a cake that was as plain as possible (and as inexpensive as possible). 
I ordered the cake-- just plain white-- no borders, no writing.  I got some weird looks both when I ordered it and when I picked it up and said "perfect!"-- but it really was just what I wanted.

Then since the whole reason we were doing a ninja party was because of my son's obsession with LEGO Ninjago (and the black ninja -- ninja Cole- which was essentially named after my son) I took four of his Ninjago mini-figures (washed them with soap and water) and placed them on top of the cake-- no need for fancy (or expensive) custom cake toppers when I already had the perfect solution right in our... toy box. (sounds weird I know, but it worked!)
We had so much dessert/snacky type food that I also bought some clear treat bags (20 for $1 at Walmart) and asked guests to fill a goodie bag before they left (in addition to the kids goodie boxes that they would get at the end of the party.)  I'm happy to report MOST of the candy/desserts went home with other people!

All in all, I was pretty happy with how it turned out and it was a big hit with kids and parents alike!
Oh and the reason that we had to have both a cake and cupcakes (besides the flavors) was this:
Cole got to cut his cake with a REAL Samuari Sword.   He was SO excited!   

And see the back of his shirt.  His birthday party shirt was my first project with my Silhouette Cameo.  I have never been so excited about a t-shirt before, but I LOVED it. (that's the Japanese symbol for the number five- for Cole's 5th birthday)

And a little "behind the scenes" look at the dessert table and the fabric backdrop I created for the dessert table.
So, do you do a dessert table at your parties?

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Ninja Party: Table Decor (Party Part I)

To see the sneak peek of the party invitation, click here.
For part II of the party (dessert table), click here.

I TRIED to convince Cole to want to have a superhero party or a rockstar party or even a pirate party, but what did he want? ... ninjas.   Ninjas!?  Let me tell you there's not a whole lot of ninja party inspiration out there.  Yes-- I found a few (check out my Ninja Party pinterest board) and yes I used some of their ideas, but there is just not a lot.  Especially when you're talking about ninjas for 5 year olds.

One thing I was sure of, I didn't want to go too heavily on the weapons.  I'd seen the tin foil throwing stars, the ninja sword fighting games and the chocolate swiss roll nunchucks, but I just didn't want to overplay the weapon thing.    I also didn't want to go TOO heavily with an asian theme and it's almost impossible to find kid-friendly dragons that are of the right level of appropriateness (not too child like, not too "adult").  

In the end, here's what I came up with.
Mostly just red white and black, but I added a couple of colorful dragon centerpieces.  

Using scrapbook paper that I got when it was on sale 6 for $1 at Michael's I brought the party theme together...

water bottle wraps, juice box wraps, pinwheels on the food table (to mimic throwing stars but in a "happier" way), and a Happy Birthday banner (seen way in the back of the photo below-- forgot to get a good photo of it on its own).
The blue, white and black color scheme of the karate studio itself wasn't EXACTLY what I would've liked but when you're working on a budget (and in a space that is not your own), you work with what you've got.  To cover some of the wall space I hung some red and white striped fabric (bought in the remant section at Walmart).  

The centerpieces were a total happy accident.  I was browsing the clearance section at Michael's and found these Ni Hao Ki-Lan paper dragon puppet kits.  They were on clearance for 1.99 so I bought 2. I bought the black rocks at the Dollar Store (2 bags at $1 ea.) and the white ceramic planters also from Michael's clearance (and purchased with a 20% off coupon) were $4.79 each.

At first I wasn't totally sold on the colors (as they weren't red, white and black) but in the end I think they ended up being a really good fit-- helping to make the party really kid friendly and adding a "touch of whimsy".  I didn't want to be too serious.
While trolling Pinterest a friend of mine noticed that I pinned directions for folding origami cranes and she offered to do them for me!  I gave her some pre-cut-to-the-right-size scrapbook paper and in a few days she handed me back 25 beautifully folded origami cranes.  Thanks Nicole!  (FYI-- scrapbook paper is slightly too thick for origami-- go with origami paper instead.  sorry Nicole) :)
The table runner idea also came from pinterest.  Can you guess what it is? Wrapping paper.  I got it in the Dollar spot at Target a long time ago simply because I thought it was fun.  Turns out its also the prefect width for a table runner! Score.

I also made some more DIY baker's twine in both red and black and wrapped individual serving size Pringles, used some black and white striped ribbon as napkin rings and purchased the paper straws on Amazon (best price I've found) to pull it all together.  I liked the "look" of the single serving size pringles containers but more importantly no hands in a giant chip bowl-- Hooray!!
And every birthday boy needs his own designated birthday chair right?
I cut a number 5 out of cardboard and wrapped it with yarn.  I think it's one of my favorite projects from the whole party.  I don't know why but I love it!  

In general, I'm really happy with how the table turned out!

Stay tuned because in another month or so (just kidding-- I hope!) I'll show you the food table and other miscellaneous details.