Hello crafters! As many of you know, I’ve been busy busting my hump over at BÜB Bakery making lactation cookies which is why I’ve been MIA here a bit, but I am alive and kicking!
We recently had Bubba’s 5th Birthday Party (holy poop in my pants how in the world is my baby 5?!?!) and it was basically evil. I mean that in the best way because it was a Dark Side Party! My boy is this insanely sweet, empathetic creature in real life, but in all of his pretend play he is the bad guy. He loves Darth Vader more than anything and will happily be Lord Voldemort when playing Harry Party with Sis. Have to get those feelings out somehow, right?!
This was the first commercial character-type party one of my kids have ever wanted, but I’m not a huge fan of uber-branded party supplies. They always jack up the prices in order to use the logos and images and it just isn’t that wallet-friendly in my book. I decided to create the ultimate Dark Side party by just working with a solid, simple color palate. This method of party planning works with any character you can imagine and is way more fun in my opinion. Luckily, my friends over at Oriental Trading totally helped me out!
Oriental Trading is my go-to store when I’m planning any party and I can’t begin to list the number of products I’ve purchased from them over the years. For this party, I combined some printed materials I created with some leftover party supplies I had on hand and some new basics from Oriental Trading to create the Darkest Dark Side that ever was. And there was also cake.
To make the main table area, which is always the center of our celebrations I used an old (like, no joke, I bought this 6 years ago) roll of black plastic table covering as the base and topped it with a reversible table runner from Oriental Trading. I went with the polka dot side up, but the chevron on the other side will total get future use at our house. We went with plain black plates, napkins, and silverware to really capture the dark side without being super Star Warsy (so not a word.) We used these clear candy buckets from Oriental Trading and filled them with theme colored candy – red and black – also from Oriental Trading. If you are going to have candy at the party, you might as well make it work with the decor!
I designed some large posters and had them made over on Vistaprint for under $50 total, with shipping. The main table backdrop is actually a more heavy duty vinyl sign that is now on the wall of Bubba’s room. I felt like it created a clear theme and a big impact for a rather simple project! I surrounded the sign with silver and black paper fans from Oriental Trading. The second poster I made was just to be funny and fill up a blank wall.
I made signs using a free Jedi font for all the food. Coming up with food titles was super fun and here is our finished list:
- 7 Leia Dip
- Dark Side Chips
- Light Sabers
- Luke Skywater
- Tie Fighters
- Obi-Wan Kebobies
- Hans Rolos
I did get a few Star Wars items from Oriental Trading because, well, I had to have SOMETHING from the movies! This Darth Vader mask decorated a flower vase and now it adorns Bubba’s face every day. We got a pack of Star Wars photo props to give the kids something to do during the beginning of the party. I also tied a couple storm trooper action figures that we already had to some plain black balloons for some fighting action!
The kids are always allowed to pick their cake design, knowing that the final product might not turn out quite and they imagined. Bubba wanted “a Darth Vader head with all black and a Kylo Ren on his head holding a light saber and a candle.” Ok then. I used my standard double cake recipe from smitten kitchen for the cake, making 6 rounds that I froze. I followed this YouTube video for the design. It is in German, which I do not speak, but it is still easy to follow with zero sound at all. After making that beast, the Kylo Ren/candle portion ended up being be shoving a Kylo Ren action figure onto the top of the cake and sticking a candle in his tiny, plastic hand. I’m not a magician kid. My cake skills have limits.
As for the extras, I made Bubba a shirt with my Cricut machine and a free .svg file I got from a Facebook group. Using the same Jedi font found all around the party, I slapped some vinyl on red cups from the dollar store and those turned into customized favors for the kids (and we cut down on garbage) which they loved.
Of course, the highlight of the party was nothing at all that I did. It was the Darth Vader and Jedi that came to the party and entertained 17 5 year old children so the parents could drink a beer and hang out. They were loved by everyone, young and old!
Oriental Trading provided me with all these materials for review and let me pick out just what I needed, but the opinions are all my own. I’m not even lying when I say that I just placed an order from them today for our school carnival next week with no connection to this post. We love them!