You know, I’ve never been the one to plan a big party with matching decor and fun activities. I’ve never really understood the point of it all. You do all the planning and invite people over and they think it’s all cool and then they leave and you have to clean up the mess. So, for the past 5 years Benjamin has had pretty lame birthday parties that included all store-bought decor (minimal at that) and store-bought sheet cakes for his birthday parties.
This year he wanted to invite friends over for his party and I really didn’t want the stress of having all of those children in my home so we decided to have it at the party station/gymnastics center here in town. At first he asked for a Ninja Turtle party because he had been to a friend’s party there and it was Ninja Turtles, but eventually he settled on his newest obsession – SpongeBob SquarePants. Easy peasy and it can all be found at the local party store. But…this was no ordinary SpongeBob SquarePants Birthday Party!
However, something came over me at the last minute during the last week before the party and I knew I just had to make it special. I got some great compliments (and I’m still seeing some great blog traffic) when I did my sister’s Oh! The Places You’ll Go baby shower. Then I got some extra encouragement when a special package (full of balloons and crepe paper and ribbon and other party supplies) arrived from my crafty party planning friend. So I went all in and decided to customize Benjamin’s party as well.
I started telling you about it last week with the custom invitations and the custom water bottle labels, so I thought I would show you how it all turned out! Don’t you just love these water bottles?! I think it actually made the water taste better because I haven’t been able to stop drinking the water since the party, ha!
For the goody bags, I decided not to send the kids home with a lot of candy and some plastic toys their parents will throw out, but rather a craft for them to do after the party! Howard and Benjamin actually stuffed the goody bags, but we put a sponge, googly eyes and four pipe cleaners in a baggie inside the goody bag along with a small amount of candy and a toy telescope (that was a request from Benjamin and I had to search for them, but I finally found them!). We made the goody bags out of a paper lunch sack and made labels to make them look like a take home bag from the Krusty Krab with an image I found online. After the boys stuffed the bags, I glued on the label and they were done.
The party was set for 2:30-4pm so we weren’t planning to serve a meal or any heavy snacks so I decided that a cheese ball and crackers would do the trick. I bought two small cheese balls and molded them together into a pineapple shaped cheese spread. Howard cut the top off a pineapple for me to give it the full effect. I saw this idea on Pinterest and I would love to credit that person, but the pin was only an image with no link. Sorry to whoever I borrowed this idea from!
I decorated the table with a few party store finds like plates, napkins, utensils, and the blowers that Jillian sent me in her party care package. I also added a couple of pineapples just for a fun look. When we booked the party station we didn’t know which party room we would be in so I didn’t want to plan for anything too big. The last party we went to there was in a tiny room, but we were fortunate enough to get the bigger room. I would have planned for a little more if I had known.
I also found an idea on Etsy for a custom Happy Birthday banner and adjusted it for my needs. I used yellow and blue cardstock to make squares and circles for each of the letters in Happy Birthday and for a SpongeBob image on each end of the banner. I strung it together with curling ribbon and added some on each end to curl. Again, it was a little small for the large room and this room also had party decor painted on the wall so it blended in well, but I was really proud of my first ever banner!
Of course, the star of the show (besides my adorable birthday boy) was the custom SpongeBob, Patrick, and Gary cake. I did NOT make that! I ordered this amazing cake from Reed’s Magic Emporium about a week before the party. Yes…a week… I texted the cake lady and asked her if she had time and told her I wanted SpongeBob. She said “yes, ma’am” and that was it. Easy as pie…except it’s cake…and it was ahhhh-mazing!!
The kids just thought it was funny that we gave the whole Gary to Benjamin and he chose to eat the eyeball first!
My sister and her girlfriend helped blow up 30 yellow balloons that we tied to the bucket of ice and water bottles while I strung up blue crepe paper to make an ocean scene on the table. As the guests arrived Howard watched the kids do gymnastics and run and scream for a while. We sang Happy Birthday, ate cake, opened presents, and then it was time to play more and take down the party. It was so fast and fun and everyone had the best time.
Even Baby Preslee got to practice her first floor routine on the gymnastics floor.
Now that it’s over, the work seems worth it and I’m gearing up for my next party. Will it be Minnie Mouse or Chica from Sprout for Baby Preslee or will it be Howard’s 40th? I already have Pinterest boards hopping for them both!