In the spring, I shared with you how I threw a Frugal Star Wars-themed birthday for my son. A couple weeks ago, my good pal Susan also opted for Star Wars! As this is such a popular theme, I asked if she would share some of the fun and inexpensive things she came up with. Here’s her post:
When my 3 yr old son, Kolton, told me he wanted a Star Wars birthday party this year, I was excited to start planning. There are so many great resources for birthday party ideas out there. I also had a few ideas of my own as far as how I wanted everything to flow. We ended up with 17 three, four, and five year olds at the party. It could have been a disaster of kids running around crazy for two hours. But, with a little preparation and organization, the party ended up going smoothly. All of the children had an opportunity to participate in the activities and left with smiles on their faces.
For the invitations, I used Print Workshop to type up something quickly and print onto cardstock.
We had the kids come in and play with our numerous Star Wars toys for a few minutes at the beginning of the party. Then, we moved over to the front door to do pin the light saber on Yoda. I had my uber-talented nanny, Amy, draw Yoda on a piece of poster board (which I found in the clearance section at Hobby Lobby for $1.00). Then, we just cut some light sabers out of green poster board. I put each child’s name on a light saber and used a glue dot roller on the back for them to attach it to Yoda. I used a Darth Vader mask and scarf to blindfold them, and they each got a chance to pin the light saber on Yoda. It was a hoot! I got the idea from this blog.
As a prize for getting the light saber in the right spot, the winner received a light saber! But wait, there were light sabers for everyone! The boys especially liked this. Light saber battles ensued. Angela had shared an idea for pool noodle light sabers she’d initially seen on Pinterest. However, there were none to be found at this time of year. Then, I happened upon the dollar section at Target. I discovered foam covered glow sticks for $1 each. Aha!! They were the perfect light sabers. The fact that they light up really adds to the excitement. I added some silver and black duck tape to make the handles.
After a light saber battle, the young padawans needed some nourishment. We sang happy birthday to Kolton, the proud 4 year old, and enjoyed some cupcakes and other snacks. I decorated with pictures that I found online and printed onto cardstock.
Cubeecraft Star Wars figures made a simple and free decoration idea for the food table. All you need is some white card stock and scissors to make them. You can find them HERE. There are also pretzel light sabers, which are just pretzel rods dipped in green candy melts. They are delicious and addictive.
Jabba the Hummus! I literally laughed out loud when I saw this idea.
I used Star Wars toys we already had for decorations. Above, you see the Yoda gumball machine and R2D2 lamp cover flanking the shaped sugar cookies.
The R2D2 cups are simply white cups with cut outs taped on. I used this tutorial for the cups.
For a simple cupcake topper, I made sugar cookies in the shape of Yoda, Darth Vader, Boba Fett, and a stormtrooper. This set of 6 (not the exact ones I used, but close) is priced around $15 on Amazon. I’ve also used them to make cute sandwiches for my kindergartner’s school lunch. They have been well worth the cost.
After opening presents, we moved outside to the back yard for the highlight of the party…the Death Star piñata. I googled death star piñata and came up with hundreds of pictures. The best one I found was this one, so I decided to model mine after it.
A 97-cent plastic ball from my local WinCo served as the basis for the piñata. The piñata definitely took a bit of planning, and I started two weeks before the party to allow for the paper/mod podge and paint to dry. I worked on it for about 20 minutes a day for 3 days. Here’s how to make it:
- Cut newspaper into strips 1″ x 12″
- Dip or paint newspaper with a thin layer of mod podge and apply a single layer all over the ball. Let dry completely. (Homemade mod podge is simple: mix one bottle Elmer’s glue and 1/2 bottle of water together, that’s it! Flour and water work well also for traditional paper mache.)
- Repeat by adding two more layers of paper and mod podge, allowing to dry in between layers.
- Cut a hole out of the ball where the indention is on the side of the Death Star. Carefully pull the plastic from the ball out the hole so that you are left with a paper mache shell.
- Fill the piñata with candy. At this point, I also put a triangular piece of cardboard inside the piñata. I poked holes through the corners and threaded three nylon strings through the cardboard and the out the top of the piñata. The purpose was to more evenly distribute the weight once the piñata was hanging up. If you only hang it by one string, it’s more likely to break at the point of entry with the first few blows. I wanted the piñata to last long enough for each child to have a chance to take a good whack at it.
- Replace the piece that you cut out, but invert it so that it makes that depression as seen on the death star. Use a piece or two of tape to hold it in place if you need to.
- Add 2-3 more layers of paper with mod podge. Let dry completely. (Drying is important so that it does not mold.)
- Paint the piñata to look like the death star. I added some clear glitter on top of the paint to give it some character.
I tied the piñata to the end of a paint roller extension pole, which, conveniently, had a hole in the end. Then, one of the dads at the party generously offered to hold the pole while the kids each got a turn hitting the piñata with a light saber. The next day at preschool, all the kids were still talking about the piñata and the candy!
At the end of the party, each child received galactic playdough to take home. I used containers found at Cash and Carry super cheap.
They also got Star Wars cookies and a homemade Jedi Knight (courtesy of my 5 year old son) to take home.
According to my newly 4 year old, Kolton, “It was the bestest party ever, Mom! You are the most beautiful Mommy in the whole world and I love you.”
Let’s hope he’s just as complimentary when I tell him he can’t eat all the leftover Star Wars cookies for breakfast. I’d say it was a successful birthday party.
Thanks, Susan! If you are planning a Star Wars themed party, make sure to check out the other Frugal Star Wars Party Ideas post I published in May.
Susan has also written several other posts you might want to check out!
- DIY Planter Box for $20
- DIY Drawer Organizer for $5
- DIY Furniture My Awesome Friends Made
- Susan’s Raised Bed Garden