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Hello and Happy Tuesday! I am very excited about our first post for the New Year (minus our New Year’s Eve decorations). Let me start by giving you a little background (I’ll keep it short!). I love birthdays. If fact, I love them so much, I dedicate an entire week to my birthday alone! Now that I have kids, I love them even more and they are Oh! so much fun to decorate and plan for. However, I feel that my excessive birthday celebrations have caused me to become… cursed, in a way. As you know, I have two sons and one daughter… and ALL have birthday’s within the SAME WEEK! January 2nd was my daughter’s 1st birthday(!), January 6th was my oldest son’s 9th birthday, and January 8th is the younger son’s 8th birthday. To top it all off, the boys decided this year that they wanted separate birthdays (we used to cheat and throw one party together since they have the same friends). So three parties for me, back-to-back, and right after the holidays. Oh, joy.
Needless to say, you are about to get an overload this month on birthday decorations as I have designed all three parties myself (go me!). Today we will visit the first party… Lego Ninjago! I have always loved the various Lego series, games and toys. Mix Legos and ninjas? Win-win. All good parties start with the invitations, and man did I hit the jackpot on Etsy! Allow me to introduce to you Unique Design Invites by Deborah Ainsworth and her amazing Lego Ninjago VIP Invitations… aren’t they awesome? What kid wouldn’t want to pass out these invitations to their friends? Deborah was great and offered a super-fast turn-around time on these invitations. Thanks, Deborah!
While ordering the invitations, we had to consider the location of the party (duh!). I didn’t really want to have it at our house, but what can you do in January? I researched and researched and came across a wonderful suggestion on the internet… a karate studio! Not only did our local studio (Martial Arts America) offer birthday parties, they entertained the kids with a free karate lesson, helped with the set up, ordered the pizza AND cleaned up! They also offer add-ons, such as the birthday kid cutting the cake with a samurai sword! The one drawback is the limitations on decorating. If you choose to host your party at a facility, please be sure to check with your event coordinator on wall decorations, balloons, etc. BEFORE you purchase, just in case. The final decision for us was the affordability, it was cheaper than anywhere else in town that we could find, such as bowling or the skate rink. My son was ecstatic when I told him where his party was going to be. Score one bonus point for mom.
So now for the decorations… que Pinterest. At first sight, I was sold on the idea of using the Chinese take-out boxes as favor boxes and dressing them up as Ninjago warrior faces. I bought my boxes from Party City because of the lower quantity I needed. If you need a larger quantity, there are other sites available (I looked at both Uline and PaperMart) that sell in bulk for a lower individual price. The original Pinterest idea had all the ninja colors (red, blue white and black) but again, I didn’t need a large quantity and Party City online only sells in sets of 12 for each color (I found out later that they also carry these individually in the store, so you can check there first and avoid this issue). ***You can link up with me on Pinterest to see all the neat ideas I found***
Next, I picked up some Avery printable sticker paper for the masks. I have not tried any other brands, but Avery has never let me down before and this time was no exception. I fed the sheets in my home printer, pulled up the mask image (searched Google Images) and printed away! I will have to admit that I cheated and used my Silhouette Cameo’s print and cut feature to get these cut out exactly at the mask line. BUT, a good pair of scissors and some patience would have worked the same, I assure you! I set my mask width to about 5 inches to be slightly larger than the face of the favor box. I was able to fit 7 masks to each sheet of sticker paper.
When it was all said and done, I just removed the backing and applied them straight onto the box. Once I applied the first one, I used it as a template for the others and tried to align the stickers at the same height for when they were sitting side-by-side. What do you think? I was very happy with the end result for such an easy project! In fact, I was so thrilled, I used the same idea for the balloons! I did set the masks to about a 7 inch width and could have gone a little larger. There are tons of ideas on Pinterest on how to dress up theme-colored décor with these stickers!
Next, what do you fill the favor boxes with? My favorite idea was… wait for it… custom fortune cookies! I ordered them from Tankinz.com and they were reasonably priced (surprisingly, lol). They even offer rush shipping in case you are short on time. Check these out…
What else does a ninja need? Ninja stars and a ninja sword! And what better place to find them in bulk than Oriental Trading! Here are the ones I purchased, but obviously there are tons of options available.
I filled the rest of the space in the boxes with candy from Party City. In store they sell individually wrapped candies. I opted for color-coordinated gumballs and sixlets to offset some of my costs. All in all, if I calculated correctly, I kept my costs under $3.00 per box, which isn’t bad in the long run. The kids all loved them and I loved making them!
After making the boxes, my favorite part of the party was the cookies. Once again, my local “cookie lady” Stephanie Simonds from Katie Kakes Designs in Pace, FL really outdid herself. Check out these ninja cookies! Be sure to stop by her page and show her some love. Or better yet, shoot her a message and see what she can do to help you with your next party or event!
That’s about all for the DIY and favor box ideas! Here are the complete photos for your viewing pleasure! I hope you enjoy as much as we did! Up next we have Lego Pirates of the Caribbean and an UNO themed 1st birthday party! Stay tuned!
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