Did you see that?! No? Exactly. That’s because it was NINJAS!!! About a year ago, my son began taking karate lessons – as many 7 year olds do – and has ever since been completely obsessed with all things martial arts and ninja. So when his birthday party planning season rolled around, I pretty much knew what to expec-ninja fever. We’re talking nunchucks-a-flying, sneaking-and-a-spying, real life ninja stuff here people. So naturally, I created a party inspired by his ninja-ness (that is a Webster certified word….). I began by working on the graphics of the printable set I would be decorating with, more specifically, illustrating the ninja silhouettes and weapons (no licensed characters here!) that became the cornerstones of the design. I also drew up a party plan for myself – on a legal pad if you can believe it – sketching out what the party would look like and what items I already had around the house that could be put to use in his party.
Every good ninja needs a disguise, so I cut and sewed a bajillion ninja masks (the “how-to” is included in our printable party set) and ninja belts of all sizes for our guests to get their disguise on!
Paper Lanterns were hung from stem to stern at this party. Two different styles of our printable paper lanterns are offered in our printable set – and we probably made 20 of them! Paired with round store-bought lanterns and a couple of paper parasols we got the full ninja effect.
What’s a ninja without weapons? We offered 3 paper weaponry stations to complete these ninja’s transformations! First up, pre-cut cardboard swords and a bucket full of vinyl pieces and tape to decorate accordingly. The tape actually helped to keep the sword from getting too flimsy during playtime.
The original idea was to have the kids fold and create their own paper throwing stars, but it was a little bit difficult and somewhat time consuming. I ended up prepping several stars beforehand (with some help from this video), that way they could just decorate them and play with them immediately.
By far my favorite (and my son’s) activity was the nunchucks. Super easy! Just rolled up cardstock covered in tape, and a little ribbon to act as the chain. They had the best time playing with them!
And now, for what you’ve all been waiting for… the main event… the food and DESSERT table! I am SUPER proud of this one. Our old-door-turned food table may look a little familiar, as we have used it on many, many occasions. This time, we covered it with black broadcloth yardage (we didn’t sew a stitch on it), and backed it with a clever re-use of some sticks from another project – cut and hot glued to lengths of foam core. We added longer pieces of these sticks (originally purchased at Ikea), with round paper lanterns hanging from the tops. Inexpensive bamboo steamers from World Market acted as serving pieces to really drive home the oriental style of the tablescape. Because our party was set for after lunch, we went with lots of asian inspired snacks rather than a full meal. Mini popcorn boxes from our printable set were filled with veggie sticks (the potato snack kind), fruit skewers, cream cheese wontons and egg rolls rounded out the fare.
You saw it here first, a Bento Box Dessert Buffet! How fun is this? The cubbie shelf piece is just your standard storage unit from Target, dusted off and cleared of the kids toys. Pieces of the red broadcloth were added to the back of the unit where there was no backing, and we set a paper parasol, matching signage, and a Japanese tea set from my own collection on top. Just look at all of our mini desserts! These were made by Kristin of Meringue Bake Shop and featured my son’s request of a citrus flavored cupcake, with the added bonus of little pies, little trifles and little cookie bars. We also placed baskets of party favor bags, filled with sour gummy worms and bottle cap charms made from the printable set.