Monday, 26 November 2012

Super Hero Party: The finished result!

It's always nice when a plan comes together. Weeks of research on pinterest, brainstorming, cutting, gluing and baking finally came together. This time for my son's 4th Birthday Party. Amazingly this is the first children's party where I didn't feel rushed at the end, no sobbing into the regal icing, I even had time to go back and try ideas shelved as 'if I get time I might try that' - all helped by a few late nighters of course.

When we first started party planning my son quite liked Spiderman (you may remember the mask post back in August) then he quickly discovered other animated series the Super Hero Squad Show, X-men and the Avengers and so the party evolved into a more general 'Super Heros' party. I tried to represent all of his favourite characters in the food and party items: Hulk Jellies, Iron-man Biscuits, Captain America Cupcakes, Wolverine Cake, Thor's Cheese Hammers & Spiderman Invites ... we even had a telephone booth to change in....

As Spiderman was so iconic and easily recognisable I couldn't resist using him for the invites, using an upside down Easter Egg Nesting Die for the face and skyline wallpaper for the back detail. I have to admit I tried (and failed) to use glitter glue for the webbing but my good old sharpie marker did the job quite nicely.

From day one my son wanted to be Wolverine at his party, we had a few days of wanting to be Iron Man or Captain America but most of the time he was adament he wanted a wolverine costume specifically 'with claws'. We managed to source a costume from Internet but couldn't find one with claws, so I ended up making my own [promise to update with details]

Not many 2 year olds ask to dress up as 'Scarlet Witch'
at their first fancy dress party, but that's what my daughter asked to be, so out the sewing machine came... I cobbled together a basic cape from red linning fabric, and attached it to a red onesie, added pink tights, gauntlets and a big 'M' mask/tiara made from felt and elastic.

The main cake is always my favourite part of kids party planning. I themed all the food around different members of 'Super Hero Squad' and the birthday boy was going to be dressed as Wolverine that had to be the theme for the main cake.

Captain America had such an iconic and recognisable symbol in the form of his sheild I decided to use this for the Cupcakes. These were chocolate fudge toped with layered regal icing cut from nesting circles and star (I'm aware I'm missing one red ring but sadly it wouldn't fit).
 The Iron Man Biscuits were a very last minute idea, I knew I wanted some sort of cookie or biscuit for the party but I couldn't find any ideas online that I liked that didn't involve flooding techniques with royal icing (a skill that still illudes me). Then I remembered having seen a few articles about baking dough that had been coloured with food colouring and with a bit of creative problem solving the Iron man hand biscuits reciepe was born.
It's not a children's party without cake and jelly, and in keeping with the theme I decided to make a Hulk Jelly. I've seen a few versions around the internet and it looks very effective with just lime jelly or green blancmange with plain chocolate flakes ontop and eyes drawn on. But I couldn't resist adding the purple for the trousers and black jelly hair. These are quite simple: I made up one and a half packets of blackcurrant Jelly added a little red and blue food colouring to amp up the colour, poured into clear containers and let it set. Then 2 packet worth of green jelly (add extra green colour if you feel like it) and finally once set I made up the remaining half pack of blackcurrant, added black colouring and drew on eyes and slanty eyebrows. The kids really loved these, and they tasted quite good too :)

A last minute pinterest find was these Thor Cheese Hammers, simply cheese cubes on pretzel sticks. My tips for making these is to stick to mild less crumbly cheeses (the last few were a mature cheese and it split easily as you can see) and make a guide hole with a chopstick before pushing in the pretzel.

For the Loot bags I was torn between which superhero to use. So I ended up making 3 versions: Spiderman (for the babies), Wolverine for the kids and Thor for the Teens. These were filled with fun foam spiderman and hulk masks (made from THESE templates from cutesycrafts) Batman Beanbag Boomerangs (felt batman symbols, machine sewn and filled with Gungo beans) and various sweets etc.

A little work was also done on the decor, cereal boxes were painted with grey emulsion and yellow stationary labels to make a 'skyline' background. For that 'cartoon' effect I printed some 'Pow' 'Crash' 'Smash' signs on coloured paper (the Badaboom BB font is great for this) and cut them out by hand with spikey, bubbley and inverted scallop edges. And as a last minute idea I cut windows and a door into a large hoover box and painted with red emulsion to make a telephone box for budding superboys/girls to change from their secret identities.

For a final bit of personalisation, I made a 'J-O-S-H-U-A' card banner with each pendant representing a different super hero (L2R: Wolverine, Thor, Spiderman, Hulk, Ironman, Captain America).

So that's it for kids parties for me for another 6 months :D I look forward with anticipation to discovering the theme of choice for my daughters party in June. I hope some of the ideas here and in my pinterest folder have been helpful to any of you planning your own Superhero party, I realise I have skimmed a few of the finer details of some of the projects, so any questions - please feel free to leave a comment below.

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