This last week has been spent preparing for Leo's 5th Birthday and of course his very first party. We have never really put on a party for him before because I didn't see the need before he started at school, which of course happened last September. My little man is now an established member of reception, and it is only really a few short months until he returns to school to embark on year 1.
I let Leo pick the theme, I let Leo decide who to invite, and once we had sent out the invitations and had a long old discussion about what he wanted for his party we made the preparations ready for his very special Birthday weekend. As it happened Leo's Party fell on June 25th and his birthday is today (June 27th), but as it fell on a Monday he is unfortunately at school today. We did all of the bigger celebrations over the weekend...
Free Printables by others
I wanted Leo's first party to be a special one, so I took to Pinterest to see how I could craft my own Mario Birthday Party-wear. I found some super bits and pieces and also started to craft some of my own items to use at the party.
Pinterest provided some great ideas and even some fantastic free printables that I was able to use within Leo's party theme. If you are looking for free printables for your own Mario Party's then the items I used are listed below with full credits.
Green Warp Pipes
I made my own Green Warp Pipes using toilet rolls by wrapping up toilet rolls in green paper that had been folded over at the top to create the illusion of the opening. I then used red and white paper to create the flowers, I did it all on a very simple scale because I am just not that craft usually but these turned out really well.
The flowers were stuck together with pritstick and then attached to pipe cleaners with sellotape.
They were really simple to make but really added those little touches I wanted to achieve on the table.
Mario Table Signs
To keep the theme flowing throughout the party, I thought it would be great to get creative and put some fun themed food out for the kids. To make this even more fun I decided to create my very own Mario table signs.
To do this I simply got some round bowls out of the cupboard, drew around it on pieces of card/paper and then glued them together to give them a chunky look and feel. I found Mario themed images online and then simply printed them off/cut them out to stick in place on my design. I used PicMonkey and the Walt Disney Font (Free online download for anyone who is interested) to create the typography and again proceed to print and stick.
Koopa Shell Fruit Salad
This was one of the super ideas I took from Pinterest, I absolutely loved this idea and wanted to incorporate a fruit theme into the party (of course there were also sweet treats but it was nice to be able to offer a selection).
The Koopa Shell Fruit Salad is just a water melon that has had it's top sliced away and the flesh within scooped out in order to create a make shift bowl. I kept the water melon to one side as I wanted to incorporate it into the fruit salad.
Once all of the watermelon shell has been scooped clean of the remaining melon, you just need to put a selection of your favourite fruits inside. We put watermelon, blueberries, strawberries, orange and grapes with a splash of orange juice.
I wasn't sure how popular this would be with the kids, but it was a big hit and provided something a little bit different than you normally find at children's party's,
Chain Chomp Watermelon
Another fantastic Pinterest discovery was our chain chomp watermelon, which once again consisted of a watermelon shell. This time I carved it more like you would carve a pumpkin. I started off drawing on the melon with a marker pen, and then got a small knife to start carving away the flesh until I got the desired result. I then took a small cheese knife and started to grate against the skin to draw it away. This made the areas on the teeth and around the mouth appear lighter than the rest of the watermelon.
Star Power Sandwiches were simple to create with a Star Cookie Cutter and once the shape was complete, it was just a case of preparing the sandwich as usual.
Mario Land Mushrooms
Now usually the idea of Mushrooms at a kids birthday party is completely un-heard of, but those Mushrooms are not usually tasty strawberries and Marshmallows put together on a cocktail stick! It was a simple yet effective and unusual combination but the kids all LOVED them.
Luigi's Spare Tyres
Now this was more of a Mario Kart addition, but I thought it would be a great way to sneak some tasty Oreos into the equation on the pudding front!
Fire Balls that get flung about in Mario are obviously much harder than the Cheese Ball equivalent that we served up at the party over the weekend, but what a effective way to present a firm party favourite.
I ideally wanted to use Cadbury's Mini Eggs for this, but obviously the time of year wasn't on my side, and of course I didn't think ahead earlier this year.. I did however strike gold at Tesco with the Candy King Pick 'n' Mix! They sell chocolate eggs (Above) and they made a great alternative and a super addition to the party dessert table!
Princess Peach Rings
These were an essential in my honest opinion. I hunted high and low for Peach rings and ended up ordering some off eBay because I was adamant that they would be on our Party food line up. After those had arrived I stumbled upon some decent sized packets in Lidl. So if you are on the hunt for Peach sweets, go and check out your local Lidl!
Mario's Power Up Water
The idea for this obviously came from Pinterest (as did the entire party in fairness) but I wasn't keen on the free designs that were already available online, and I knew that I could design and print the labels myself quite easily. So that's what I did. I put together my label on PicMonkey, put it into a Word document and ran with it until I got the sizing correct. I will put together a separate 'how to' post at a later date, but for now please feel free to use the design for your own Mario Birthday Party's!
You can download and print this design for FREE right here.
The Bowser Castle Cake
Now this was the bit I was a little worried about, and granted when it came to making the cake, there were a number of instances I almost gave up the ghost and threw it into the bin. If there was one thing that this entire cake baking shenanigan demonstarted...It's that I cannot ice to save my life. The sweets are the only thing standing between the cake looking presentable and looking like one of the children got hold of the icing... So I won't be demonstrating a 'How to make a Bowser Cake' because quite frankly... I only got this far by the very skin of my teeth.
Despite the icing issues though it all turned out really well, and I can definetly sit back and say that I gave it all my best shot. The most important thing of course is that Leo absolutely adored everything that the weekend threw at him. He could not stop saying thank you to me for all of the party aspects and even now it's all over, he's still thanking me!