We had Elias's 4th birthday party at the end of July. If a superhero birthday party is on your child's wish list, I hope this party provides some inspiration for you (please consider pinning this post!).
I looked on a variety of invitation sites, but couldn't find an invitation that I loved. Thankfully, I found an amazing design from The Patty Cake Press on Pinterest. Melissa the shop owner was a delight to work with – and she lives in Nashville! She graciously provided me with the design files for Elias's party and I was thrilled with them. (Invitation designs are $16 and thank yous are $10.) I had them printed using a Groupon I had from Picaboo.
We had the party at a local park, so everything had to be portable and easy to set up. It took us just over an hour to set everything up. The playground was also great for the kids to play on as the arrived to the party and before we played games, ate cake and opened presents.
We asked that all attendees wear superhero apparel. Elias wore a custom Superhero in Training t-shirt, which I ordered using a Groupon from Red Envelope. I made Adeline a tutu to go with her Wonder Woman onesie (tutorial coming soon). Matthew and I both wore Batman t-shirts that we found at Old Navy, but here are some on Amazon.
My goal was not to have commercial superhero birthday party decor, while still have elements to appeal to Elias's love of Spiderman. Here were the main elements:
I painted a city backdrop using a 6×9 canvas paint drop cloth. I painted the entire thing blue, then added the black building, light and dark yellow windows (using a sponge brush to keep the windows uniform) and white clouds. I used regular paint that you can get at Home Depot (most of it I had around the house). In retrospect, we should have put grommets across the top, but we just put slits and then rope through it.
This was the perfect focal point for the party. We took lots of photos against it and put a chair in front of it for Elias to open his presents. (If you don't want to paint a cityscape, you can get one on Amazon. )
Pow! Bam! Zap! Signs
To go along with the backdrop, I bought wood “talk bubbles” at Michaels and painted them to look like they were from comic books. I used chipboard letters from my scrapbooking stash so that the letters would be uniform.
I also painted several with chalkboard paint that kids/parents could write on. (Pre-made ones here.)
I then hot glued dowels to the backs of them.
I wish I had gotten more pictures of these – they were so cute!
I love, love, love making buntings for parties, so when I saw the idea to make one with comic book pages, I had to do it! It was super easy because I cut entire books with my paper trimmer. I sewed them together on my sewing machine in about 30 minutes.
We hung it across the park pavilion.
I covered the tables using plain paper, which I have found to be a cheap and effective alternative to plastic table cloths.
I mod podged a frame using old comic books and put a picture of Elias in it. I found the Spiderman bucket in the dollar section at Target. The star paper products were 4th of July clearance at Target.
All the kids got handmade capes when they arrived at the party. I made them using felt (18×28) and cut various shapes for the backs (thanks to my amazing friend Brittney, who I could not have finished them without!).
I adhered the shapes with stitch witchery, which was faster than sewing, but still tedious. I sewed the velcro on each cape to ensure it stayed (they make iron-on velcro, but I have read that it doesn't stay long-term on felt.)
I made the capes in stages over a weekend- cut them all, cut all the shapes, adhered all the shapes and sewed on the velcro.
The capes took HOURS to make. Collective time was about 20 minutes a cape and I made 25 (!!!), so if you plan to make capes, give yourself plenty of time.
I bought a Spiderman cake at Kroger for Elias. In the past I have made his cakes, but I knew with our busy schedule this summer, I wouldn't be able to do it. The cake was delicious and Elias loved it, which is all that mattered.
I planned two games for the kids – a superhero obstacle course and pin the superhero mask on Elias. Both were easy to execute and the kids had so much fun.
For the obstacle course, we had the following stations:
- run through the hula hoops
- ball toss
- tunnel crawl
- knock down the “buildings” (painted foam from several mac computer screen boxes)
- tie up the bad guy (Matthew wore a mask and the kids tied him up with toilet paper)
The kids ran through the whole thing in just a few minutes and did it several times. The buildings and bad guy tie-up were the favorites. You could easily use small boxes if you can't find foam. I loved that the foam had holes that looked like windows. Originally I thought the kids could jump over the buildings, but they ended up being too high, so we did knock 'em down instead!
Once the kids were finished, they all got star bubble necklaces – another Target clearance post 4th of July find!
For the pin the superhero mask on Elias game, I printed a 13×19 photo of Elias and laminated it.
I cut small felt masks out and ran them through my Xyron 5″ creative machine (if you do this, be sure to burnish the mask so that the adhesive sticks well to the mask). Then, when it was time to play the game, each kid was given a mask. We peeled off the paper, covered their eyes and let them stick the mask on the picture of Elias.
The kids thought it was hilarious.
All in all the superhero birthday party was a huge success!
Pinterest provided tons of inspiration for this party – you can see my superhero birthday party board here.
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