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We are huge fans of everything Disney, so it only makes sense that we would include that in our birthday celebrations. Over the years we have done several different themes. For my son’s 5th birthday I decided on Star Wars. We really aren’t too into the movies themselves, but the franchise is another story. He was obsessed with his lightsabers and his Star Wars toys. His birthday is January 4th (so close to Christmas!), so I decided to push it back a couple of weeks in order to have the time I needed to create an awesome party. To be honest, he gets the shaft when it comes to birthday parties.
I always like to create a feature area so people can take pictures. I find the fireplace works great for that. As a back drop I used a large piece of black-out fabric. I bought this a long time ago for my daughter’s birthday and it has come in handy ever since. I just used push pins to attach it to the wall and cover the fireplace. Then I used glow in the dark stars to hang all over it and hung the Star Wars birthday banner across it. Voila… the perfect spot for a photo! I even found some fun photo props at Party City. Then I just used some of Evan’s toys to set up and complete the look.
The other decor was all part of the fun. The goody bag, a Death Star piñata, a Yoda poster for the game and the food. But I’ll share those details in a bit.
I find it helpful, especially for boy parties (in the winter) to have a list of things for the kids to do. So we made up a Jedi training list:
- Build a Starfighter: We had the kids make a paper airplane and see whose flew the furthest.
- Use the Force to give Yoda his lightsaber: Essentially pin the lightsaber on Yoda. We used a Yoda mask to cover their eyes, spin them around, and see who could get their lightsaber the closest to Yoda’s hands.
- Pose in the Intergalactic photo booth: Who doesn’t like to goof off and take pics?
- Lightsaber practice: We had Evan’s out so the kids could play with them. Plus I had found light-up lightsabers at the dollar store to give out for party favours. (I’m not sure why I didn’t have pictures of those.)
- Destroy the Death Star: Pinata time!
I love crafting and DIY. It’s not even that it’s cheaper; more often it is because I get an idea in my head (usually with the help of Pinterest) and nothing else will do.
For the party favours, I went with making your own bags to look like storm troopers. This really wasn’t too hard, but it was a little time consuming. I just bought white bags from the dollar store and used a sharpie to make them into a storm trooper. I used a pencil and a ruler to outline on the first one and then I used it as a template. They aren’t all identical but I was so happy with how they turned out.
For the Yoda lightsaber game, I used my husbands mad artist skills. We are both fairly artistic so we rock-paper-scissored to see who got to draw him. Just a regular poster board from the dollar store and then he sketched Yoda with a photo reference he found on the internet. We had our 8 year old daughter colour him in and then outlined it with sharpie. For the lightsabers I used blue and green construction paper to cut out strips in the shape of the sabers. Nothing fancy and then we put the name of each kid on them and double sided tape on the back.
We had a lot of fun making the Death Star piñata. I reached way back into my elementary school crafting days for this one. I’m pretty sure I hadn’t done paper mache since I was in grade 3. We wanted the Death Star to be a good size, so I bought a ball from the dollar store. Just a big smooth one, the kind that pop easily. Then we cut newspaper into strips and made a mixture of flour and warm water (1:1, so 1 cup flour to 1 cup warm water). You want it to be a glue-like consistency. Dip your strips of newspaper into the “glue”, swipe it through your fingers to get off the excess, and lay it all over the ball overlapping until its completely covered. Let it dry completely and then do another layer or two. Note: this took several days in between layers to make sure it dries in time. Not something you want to start a day or two before the party. When it was completely dry my husband cut a circle so that we could fill it with candy and for the aesthetic of the death star. Once we removed the circle we popped the ball and took it out. After it’s filled with candy and painted, invert the piece that was cut out and use a hot glue gun to put it back on. For paint, I bought a metallic silver from the dollar store. You could also use spray paint. We then (I say we, but it was my husband again) used a sharpie to make it look like the Death Star. Since I had zero clues how to do that my husband did it. The hardest part was fastening a string to it in order to hang it. I think we should have done a few more layers because it was very delicate and barely held the weight of the candy inside. You can also see there were some dents and imperfections. But who’s counting?
I’m all about theming the food with the party. It was so much fun creating a menu to go with the theme. The easiest to start with was the Yoda Soda. We used the green Hawaiian Punch mixed with some plain soda water and limeade. It gave it that nice bright green colour and the kids loved the flavour.
For the main food I made Princess Leia buns. I rolled out pizza dough (I made my own but you could most definitely use store bought) spread it with pizza sauce, ham, and shredded cheese. Then I rolled it into a log and cut them into buns. Basically the same method I use to make cinnamon buns. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 mins and Bob’s your uncle. The Ewok snacks can be whatever you want, my son just loves cheesies.
We were really using every creative bone in our bodies for this party. We fashioned guacamole into Yoda’s face. We used thin green pepper slices to outline his face. This was really extra, but if you are inclined, give it a whirl. Playing with food isn’t just fun for kids.
I did two different types of lightsabers. Green and red grapes (for health) and the candy melt dipped pretzel rods. For the pretzels I just used the pre-coloured candy melts from Michaels. Melt and dip, that’s all there is to that. I used skewers for the grapes, I did green and red but you could just use one type of grape too. For the Death Star donuts we used donut holes from our favourite donut shop Tim Horton’s (holla for our Canadian peeps!).
Since we put so much time and effort into this party, I did not feel like making a cake. My son loves ice cream cakes from DQ so that’s what we decided to do. Who doesn’t love ice cream cake? (Pipe down Erica…) I’ve tried to like ice cream. I’ve really tried.
And that was a wrap!
Overall I was so pleased with how everything turned out. It may seem like a lot of work, but it’s something my son still talks about! You might surprise yourself with how crafty you are (or your husband).
To see some other DIY party ideas check out Elisia’s post with ideas for Peter Pan, Mickey Mouse and Toy Story themed parties here!
Have a magical day!