After watching Star Wars: The Force Awakens, I decided to finally write about Big B’s Star Wars party. We usually do a theme for each of the boys’ birthday parties, and without hesitation, Big B wanted to celebrate with The Force for his 6th birthday. As I was at the tail end of finalizing my dissertation, I didn’t have the time and effort to plan a big shindig. So, I opted for an intimate DIY Star Wars dinner instead. We invited six neighborhood kids, Big B’s friends, over for dinner.
I went online to do my research and was quickly overwhelmed. There was a plethora of ideas online: from over the top elaborate celebrations to lower key gatherings. I opted for the latter given my circumstance and resources. Big B’s party was mostly DIY, thanks to hubby’s help. This truly helped keep cost lower.
Since I had a very tight budget, I created my own invitations. Party Ideas by a Pro has a lot of ideas for party invitations as well as other party elements. I decided to print my invitation on plain printer paper which we already had plenty of. I found a Jedi Council symbol and printed it for the seal. I used my Silhouette to cut the symbol in circular form. You certainly don’t need a cutting machine to do this, plain scissors will do.
I made my invitations plain because our colored printer was broken, so black and white it was. I wanted to make it a little more embellished but time and resources were not on my side. (The image on the left is what I sent out and the image on the right is what I wish I could have sent. See the difference?) Thankfully, you can find free Star Wars font online. This was key to not just the invitation, but to the decorations as well.
I bought a couple of black plastic table covers at the dollar store and used one to cover a wall. Cloth would have been best since you can iron out the creases for better aesthetics and it’s reusable. However cloth would have been too expensive for the amount of coverage I needed. I stuck stars to the cover to make it look more space-like.
Tatooine and its two moons were made from round paper lanterns. You can find paper lanterns at many brick and mortar party and discount stores. These are also available online, but a lot of them are actually more expensive unless you buy in bulk. The biggest lantern was originally white. I painted it with brown watercolor to make it a little more dessert planet looking.
I used the Star Wars font and my Silhouette machine to cut the lettering on yellow construction paper. Again, you don’t need a machine to cut the letters out, but it does shave off a lot of time.
I bought white and black balloons for Stormtrooper and Darth Vader masks. I created the mask elements on my Silhouette. Feel free to download the mask details (Stormtrooper 1, Stormtrooper 2, Darth Vader) for personal use. Instead of having floating balloons, and paying for helium, I bought balloon cups and sticks. Since buying 100 sets, I have used them for all of my parties and still have some left in my garage. Kids don’t really care if balloons float or not, they just want one to take home. The one advantage of using balloon cups and sticks over helium inflated balloons is there’s no risk of the balloons floating away (and potentially ending up in the ocean). To add details to the mask elements, I used a silver gel marker which are available at Michael’s or other art stores.
The birthday banner was a gift from my sister for Big B’s 1st birthday party. Although it’s not theme-related, we have used it every year for his celebrations. It’s more of a sentimental move than anything; Big B posing in front of his birthday banner through the years. If given the time, I would have loved to make a banner with Star Wars fabric.
The table was covered with the other black plastic table cover I bought. I saw that many hosts added confetti or stars on their table for added pizzaz, but I was too lazy and didn’t want to clean confetti after the party (they get everywhere!). I wish I had thought about using Star Wars fabric as a table runner. That would have been cute and added another layer to the overall look of the table.
The table setting was actually the only party element where I splurged. I bought eco-friendly square plates and compostable cups which are more expensive than their non-green counterparts. It’s sometimes challenging to plan a themed party that’s eco-friendly, but at the very least, the table setting can be green because there are so many different kinds (like the ones I reviewed here and here) and can be purchased pretty much anywhere.
There were three different colored napkin lightsabers. For these, I went to the dollar store. I cut black construction paper for the napkin rings. Again, I used the silver gel marker to add details to the lightsaber handle. I also bought light up ice cubes. The ice cubes were supposed to be just a back up in case my Yoda Soda didn’t work. We ended up using them anyway and the kids loved them.
Food and Beverage
My absolute favorite site for Star Wars party food ideas is justJENN recipes. Oh man, her ideas are awesome! I just drool browsing through her site. For Big B’s party, I created my menu from the Star Wars Cook Book by Robin Davis. We served Boba Fett-uccini, Obi-Wan Kebabs, and Yoda Soda. I topped the pasta with minced broccoli and sautéed red peppers to make Boba Fett’s helmet. This was not detailed in the cookbook, I just thought it would look nice and people would get what the dish was before I even said its name.
Hubby grilled Obi-Wan Kebabs that were made with chicken, zucchini, corn, and pineapple. There are many ways to make the Kebabs, some hosts make them with all fruit. For some reason, we decided to skip the potatoes and use pineapple instead. No one was the wiser and it tasted good.
The Yoda face grape platter is a pretty popular Star Wars food item that you will encounter online. I asked my sister to make it because I had a million things to do and the guests were arriving soon. The eyes and mouth were made with banana and blueberry.
For dinner “rolls”, I used Millennium Falcon and Tie Fighter sandwich cutters. Hubby found the sandwich cutters two years prior from one of those deal-a-day sites and they came with a vintage tin lunchbox. It’s actually kind of hard to find these today, and I tried. I totally forgot what recipe I used for the rolls. These may just be homemade pizza dough that I sprinkled garlic salt on top of. After they came out of the oven, I wished I would have brushed the top with egg to add some color. Those starships are looking mighty pale.
The Yoda Soda was a bit of a bust. I could not find lime sherbet or sorbet for this recipe. My brother-in-law just bought whatever sherbet flavor he could find that was white in color. This is where the light up ice cubes came in. We switched all the light up ice cubes green before adding the beverage. It turned out pretty cool.
For dessert, I found these amazing paleo chocolate cupcake and vegan frosting recipes online. They cupcakes were a hit. I was super busy at the party that I forgot to take pictures. I’m sure you’ll be able to find a ton of birthday cake/cupcake ideas online.
(Sort of) Party favor
I don’t really do goodie bags. I think the one time I sent party guests home with (edible) goodies was for Big B’s 4th birthday party. For this party, the six guests went home with their very own lightsabers. This was hubby’s big moment to shine. He created all the lightsabers using pool noodles, duct tape, and electric tape. I found pool noodles at the dollar store. I think they were either $1 each or two for $1. He found many tutorials online that outline how to make pool noodle lightsabers. It took him one night. The guests also took home a stormtrooper balloon.
As for entertainment, well, I didn’t have any planned. As soon as the kids saw the lightsabers, they each grabbed one and started swinging them around. I just let them at it in the living room.
There you have it. A (budget-friendly) DIY Star Wars party. I’m actually planning a second Star Wars party. Little B decided that he wants a Star Wars cake for his birthday this year.