If you read my previous post, you will know that for my daughters 9th birthday we had a “Twilight” themed party! My daughter and I are both Twi-hards (and I’m not ashamed to admit it!), so we thought this was a great idea, and it was actually really easy to come up with decoration and food ideas based on this theme. Now, you could go all out and order the expensive Twilight themed plates, cups, invitation etc, or you could do what we did, which I will explain below. I am going to set it out step-by-step for you, but if you have any other ideas to add, please feel free to do so in the comments!
Step 1: Invitations
I have previously mentioned that I like to make my own invitations on the computer and print them onto card stock for a more professional look, but its also easy to purchase pre-printed invitations to give out. The invitations I created were made to look like a movie or concert ticket, complete with barcode, giving to invitees “VIP Access” to the party. I also purchase red envelopes to put them in and found little apple stickers to use as envelope seals. They looked fantastic. Unfortunately, I didn’t take any photos at the time, but you get the idea. An easier way to go would be to purchase some heavy black cardboard and red printable paper. You could print / write the details on the red paper then stick it onto the black cardboard. I found that sticking with the red/black/silver theme made it easier. You could even cut the invitations into the shape of an apple if you are feeling creative, but just a square or rectangle shape will be just as effective. Another option is to order from an online or local printer, such as Vistaprint or SnapilyPro. They create high-quality invitations and in VistaPrint’s case for minimal cost. SnapilyPro are more expensive, but they create amazing 3D invitations that look awesome! The important details to mention on your invitations are:
- Who the party is for and how old they will be
- Date of party
- Time of party (include start and finish time)
- Location (ensure to include street address)
- What to bring (e.g. sleeping bag and pillow for a sleepover; swimmers and towel for a pool party)
- RSVP details (name, number and date)
- If I am screening a movie that is rated M/PG13 or higher I let the parents know on the invitation so that they can decide whether to let their child stay for it. Ditto for a sleepover. I also provide a pick-up time if they choose not to let their child stay for the movie / sleepover. Clearly as this is a Twilight themed party, I would be screening 1 or more of the movies which are all rated M.
Step 2: Food
As previously mentioned, my daughters birthday is in January and here in Australia that means it is hot, hot hot! Therefore, we tend to combine the pool / slumber party, which means you need plenty of food to fill their empty tummies after swimming all afternoon. We usually go for a BBQ and just cook sausages / burgers / hot dogs and provide bread rolls / buns with ketchup, BBQ sauce etc. I also cut up some fresh fruit like watermelon, strawberries and mango. If you want to go that extra step you can thread the fruit onto skewers. If you are having the party in the cooler months, my suggestion would be to order in pizza, garlic bread and make a salad. Then I would just have snack foods available, like potato chips, corn chips, candy/lollies, chocolate, popcorn (especially important if its a sleepover). Here in Australia we have a fantastic party food that is a staple for all kids parties…chocolate crackles! These are delicious and the kids will love them. Of course you also need to ensure you have an appropriately themed birthday cake. For my daughters party I made individual red velvet cupcakes, with black icing and black sugar sprinkled on top so they sparkled! I cooked the cupcakes in red patty cases and arranged them in the shape of a 9. I also found sparkly black birthday candles. It looked fantastic and was pretty cheap and easy to make! For the cutlery etc I purchased red plates and black knives and forks, with black napkins. I also got black drinking cups and red straws and printed out these labels to stick on the cups. They looked fantastic!
Step 3: Activities
So, my daughter had a pool / slumber party and they watched the first 2 Twilight movies (available here), so this took up a large chunk of time which was fantastic. As your kids get older, you will find they want less organised activities anyway, so if you just give them some space and some music they will most likely chat and dance the night away. However, if you like to have at least 1 or 2 activities organised (and this is always good to have up your sleeve if the weather is not cooperating with your plans), I have listed a couple of activities below which are great for girls aged 8-12.
- Make Your Own Bag Tag: We did this at my daughters Twilight party and it was a hit. I went to my local Spotlight (you could go to any craft / party supply place) and purchased the following: cardboard craft tags (make sure they are a decent size and quality, they need to be fairly thick and have a metal eyelet); black acrylic paint; small silver stars (like table scatters); white sparkly self-adhesive letters (look for cardboard and make sure you have enough letters for each girl to spell her name); red washi tape (or something similar to use as a background); red and white embellishments; jumbo black paperclips; craft glue; some sort of clear varnish (I used Mod Podge); silver glitter. I pre-painted the tags with the black paint, as otherwise they will not dry in time for the girls to complete the project. I got the girls to do the project as soon as they arrived so it would dry in time to take home. First of all you apply the red washi tape to the pre-painted luggage tag. Don’t apply to the whole tag, just in a rectangular shape in the centre of the tag. the girls can then stick the letters of their names on. I did it in a diagonal, but just do it however it best fits and so that it still looks good. Once the letters are applied they can then use the silver stars and red and white embellishments to decorate the tag. You will need to stick these on with the craft glue. Next, attach the paperclip through the eyelet, which will give you something to hold onto as you apply the varnish. Next apply the varnish, make sure the area around where you are applying is well protected with a drop sheet or newspaper. Make sure you apply to both sides of the tag so that it is sealed. Straight away, sprinkle a small amount of silver glitter over both side. Then allow to dry. As both sides will be sticky, I would hang the tag up (maybe on a clothesline) to dry. You can hang it up using the paperclip. Allow to dry for as long as possible (overnight if its a sleepover). The girls will then have a special keepsake from the party! Awesome
Step 4: Decorations
Decorating a Twilight themed birthday party is pretty easy. I went to Spotlight and got some sparkly red and black material (about 2 metres of each, around $6.99 per metre) to use as tablecloths etc. I also got some Twilight posters and the books of course to decorate. I strung up Christmas lights to twinkle when it got dark. I also googled images that seemed to be in the theme (e.g. red and black hearts, apples etc) and printed them in colour. My daughter and I then printed them out and stuck them on the walls. I also got red and black streamers and balloons to put up. Finally, I found some red chinese lanterns that run on batteries and hung them up from the roof. So overall it was pretty quick and not too expensive to decorate.
Step 5: Thank you gifts
When the party was over the following day, we gave all the girls a little thank you gift. I got some red organza bags and then got chocolate and candy in this theme to match. In Australia the best chocolate bars for this theme are Kit-Kats and Mars Bars. I also got some stationary to match, like black erasers (in Australia, we have an awesome stationary store called Smiggle, which where I got most of the stuff), black / red pencils; maze pen; black rubber bracelets.
So there you have it, my step-by-step guide to throwing your own Twilight Themed party! I will be adding more themed parties to the list. If there is any theme in particular you would like me to do, drop me a line in the comments!