I love family. I love learning. I love food. This is simply a collection of thoughts, memories, and recipes that are a piece of me!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

A Mario Party

My baby boy turned 6 last week, and he asked for a Mario party.  I cringed a little, honestly.
In general, I'm not a big fan of cartoon themed parties. I like something more subtle, more classic, so when he said "Mario," I immediately shrunk inside.  How could I possibly do that and it look good?  My sister and I spent hours and hours figuring everything out, and I was really happy with how it turned out. More importantly, my little boy was ecstatic!  I wanted to share some of the ideas I used to create a perfectly classic Mario party.

I knew I wanted to do it at lunch, so to provide something the kids would eat, we went Italian.  Because, you know, Mario and Luigi are Italian New Yorkers.
(I can't believe I know that.) Pizza, pasta, and bread sticks were easy enough.  We went to Papa Murphy's the day before and brought home some take and bake pizzas, and I cooked them and pasta that morning.  We opted for fruit salad instead of a garden salad since it was for kids.  I added a brick paper background I got from a teacher supply store, and I made a "Luigi's Pizzeria" sign (which I don't have a picture of...oops!).  Super simple, and the kids ate it up!

For decor, I made everything except the Mario toys that were sprinkled about the room.  Those were borrowed from Aunt Kara.

For the question mark blocks, I covered tissue boxes with yellow construction paper.
 I carefully drew up the question mark and traced and cut it out of white paper.  I glued it on and finished it with black dots I used a hole punch to make.  My son was super impressed with these, and in all, they only cost me a little over $1 each!

For another focal wall, my mom blew up a ton of balloons.
 Since the original Mario game was 8-bit, everything was very pixelated.  That actually made my life much easier.  I used the balloons to make a sky background like in the game.  In all, there were 66 balloons: 16 white and 50 light blue.  This actually was no where near as difficult as I expected it to be!

I covered the table in a light yellow table cloth and used some inexpensive red and white polka dot cloth from the fabric store for a runner.

I carried the pixel idea over into some fun artwork to adorn the walls.  I used a paper cutter (You could use scissors, but God bless your hand if you do.)
to cut construction paper into squares.  I didn't count how many I did, but I do know that in just the heads of Mario and Luigi, there are 58 pieces of paper each.  I pieced them together to look like the 8 bit characters.

I will admit that this project took me some time...like to the tune of hours.

I'm always a big fan of special drinks, and I totally copied these bottles off of a friend of mine.
These are apple juice bottles, and I picked them up at Walmart in the juice aisle.  Once the juice is gone, wash the bottles and reuse them for parties!  They are wonderful!  I just cut out some mustaches to hot glue on and added red and green paper straws.

I made a pennant banner for the tables from simple craft paper and red and white baker's twine. I just made sure to use colors found in the game.

These guys were a blast to make.  That wasn't sarcastic.  They were awesome to see come together.  My husband spray painted some PVC pipe green to match the game, and he cut dowel rods of different lengths that I painted green.  I painted some Styrofoam balls red and added white paper polka dots and a "mouth."  I simply used tissue paper and grocery bags to get them to stand up, and Voila! Mario piranha plants!

The stars, mushrooms, and question mark blocks here are little tins with candy inside from Toys R Us, and the Mario and Luigi visors are from the craft store.

For the cupcakes, I knew I wanted something really subtle.  There was so much going on that a big extravagant cake wasn't going to go well.  I opted for some store bought cupcakes.  I asked if they could use a rounded tip to ice green and red icing.  I then just used candy melts for polka dots.  Isaiah was such a fan of these mushroom cupcakes!  (As an added bonus, the candy melts were birthday cake flavor, and they were amazingly delicious!)

We played lots of games (including an awesome "boss fight" where my husband was Bowser, shooting the kids with silly string, and they had to fight him with red and blue water balloons for ice and fire power!  So much fun!) but my favorite activity took the creative gene my husband has.  He drew up a grid to create sort of a color-by-number of Mario and Luigi that the kids used M&Ms to fill in.

Added bonus, the jars of M&Ms were a perfect party favor!  Just give yourself plenty of time to seperate these colors and count them out so you have the perfect amount in each jar.

If you'd like to download this paper to print and do at home, click here!

We added in a few gifts and his best friends and family, and my little boy loved it all!  Everyone was certainly all smiles at this classic Mario party!

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