Jen Carver, of Banner Events, here to share a fun new "Angry Bird-day" party theme launched recently in honor of two of my sons' birthdays! Feathers were flying at the Carver "birdhouse" as we were busy prepping for 20 guests to come "crash" the party.
December is a busy enough month as is, but add birthdays for two children to the mix and you've got downright chaos. To simplify things this year, we decided to host a combined birthday party for my son Jacob (turning 11) and my son Landon (turning 5). Since they are both huge gamers, we knew this theme would be perfect! I hope you enjoy the colorful photographs, captured by the amazing Karina Rigtrup of A Fresh Take Photography.
Guests each received these clever invitations designed by the talented Anders Ruff Custom Designs. Maureen did a fabulous job incorporating some fun gaming elements as well as child-specific highlights to the invitations. (I LOVE how the highscore/score reflect my children's new birthday ages! Notice how guests were invited to 'RSVP' to play? So fun!)
No Angry Bird-day party could possibly be complete without kids dressing the part! Party goers were divided into birds vs. pigs and each received a custom shirt designed and sewn by the talented team over at Create Sew Embellish. Shirts were personalized with a little Anders Ruff hang tag for easy distribution.
Inspired by the popular game, I chose bright colors (red, lime green, yellow & blue) which I carried throughout the styling. I wanted to make the party atmosphere colorful & fun, but also help guests feel like they'd been flung into the game, so we used a variety of materials to bring in some of those natural elements reminiscent from their game playing. You will see artificial grass, bird nests, wooden building blocks used as shelves, wood slingshots, raffia, twine, etc...
My favorite part of the decor was the dessert table designed to look like a screenshot of the game. Notice the play, pause & high/low score buttons designed by Anders Ruff. Cloud paper served as the background, and the table runner was artificial grass. The addition of the wood stands, built to resemble the wood structures that get knocked over by the birds in the game, really helped to bring the table to life! They were perfect for displaying gorgeous sweet "tweets" from some of our favorite dessert artists.
The kids loved the TNT favor boxes filled with popcorn (Anders Ruff), the gorgeous sugar cookies from Sweet Surrender Cookie Co., , the chocolate donuts dressed up with polka dotted treat sticks (SmashCake Studio) and party flags, & the unbelievable fondant topped cupcakes and mint chocolate push up pops from Lynlee's Petite Cakes & Edible Details . Plates were filled and re-filled with these treats!
The focal point of the dessert table, was definitely the incredibly delicious two-tiered cake with molded chocolate & fondant scenery designs by 4 Kids Cakes, and 3-D fondant birds and game elements by Lynlee's Petite Cakes.
Some of the same dessert table design elements carried over to the dining tables, successfully tying the tables together. Highlights from the dining tables included bird nests at each place setting which housed beverages with colorful custom beverage wrappers & fun striped paper straws & party flags. I added a few DIY details (the beaks on the birds & the crowns on the pigs) for a fun 3-D element. Colorful plates from SmashCake Studio were paired with licensed plates for a fun pop of color, and a slingshot added a bit of foreshadowing for the fun to come!
Planning a party that will appeal to both 4/5 yr. olds and 11/12 yr. olds can pose a challenge for any parent. I put my thinking cap on and also adapted a few ideas I found while searching the web. Here is our line-up of Angry Birds inspired games.
Slingshot Lane: I knew from the start that a "live" action game would definitely be a must. My husband and I decided creating a life size structure including faux wood structures made out of painted moving boxes, pigs, a flying bird and a working slingshot would be the highlight of the party...and it was! I put my handy husband to work on an original design for a 6 ft. portable slingshot using heavy duty PVC pipe, surgical tubing, cement, a ceramic pot & wood base for support. It worked amazingly well! While he was working on the slingshot, I got to work painting boxes I picked up inexpensively from Walmart (about $0.64 each for the square ones) and ordered from ULINE (about $0.81 each for the long narrow ones--6"x6"x36"). We added a handful of plush pigs picked up on clearance at our local grocery store, made a few more pigs using green playground balls from Walmart (only $1.50 each) and this tutorial and purchased a licensed character bird playground ball from Walmart. Voilà! One incredibly fun live action game complete! (P.S. Don't the jumbo balloons add so much colorful fun? Smash Cake Studio carries them in their shop!)
Pig Bowling: This DIY game is not only inexpensive, but also easy. Using a variety of craft punches & scissors, I put together some pig faces using scrapbook paper and laminated them for durability. Simply tape them to rinsed & dried out green 2-Liter bottles to make your pig pins! Using the same tutorial as linked above, I created a red bird bowling ball using a ball purchased from Walmart for $1.50. The younger crowd especially loved this game. They giggled in delight as the pig pins went flying! (Serves those lil' piggies right for stealing the eggs!)
Pig Pop: A classic carnival game, balloon darts are always popular with older kids. We added some pig faces to lime green balloons and created a fun 'pig pop'. You can purchase a cheap set of steel tipped darts (less than $5) from Walmart.
Capture the Eggs: If you've ever played Angry Birds, you know that those bad little piggies stole the eggs from the birds' nests causing them to become angry! In our game, the kids got to capture the eggs back, saving them from being eaten by the pigs! We divided up into mixed teams and hosted a relay race. Contestants rode scooters, rescuing one egg at a time in their sacks. The team with the most rescued eggs at the end of the time, won! Each child was given an embellished egg carton (purchase these darling mini egg cartons from Shop Sweet Lulu) to hold 6 golden Angy Bird eggs (Sunny Bunny Easter Eggs) filled with various candy. These were added to their favors to take home at the end of the party.
Bird-O ('Bingo'): Another classic party game, Bingo, received a makeover for our Angry Bird-day celebration. Custom blank 'Bird-O' boards were designed for me by Anders Ruff. I added a variety of character stickers and numbers, filled colorful polka dot baking cups from Shop Sweet Lulu with red & green M&Ms to serve as markers, & we were set! Both age groups enjoyed playing this game. Prizes were licensed Angry Birds sticker sheets.
Puzzles/Coloring Activity Station: I always like to have a "self-start" activity center established that gets party goers busy in the celebration from the moment they walk in. A coloring and puzzle station works perfectly. It's easy enough that kids can help themselves while you are still trying to welcome guests, check coats & collect gifts. The Dollar Tree had these licensed puzzles, and the coloring books were found in the dollar spot at Target!
Guests definitely had to be thanked for 'crashing' my boys' bird-day party, and they certainly didn't leave empty handed. A colorful favor table was set up with a smorgasbord of fun items to take home. In addition to the fun shirts from Create Sew Embellish, guests received green favor baskets filled with many licensed and inspired bird items. (Many of the purchased items were found at the Dollar Tree, including the puzzles and the hand sanitizer. The older boys took home bird houses to sand and paint from JoAnns (only $0.50 each with coupon) and the younger boys took home coloring books. Fruit snacks and crackers helped fill the baskets with some snacks for later. Each guest also got to take home some 'bird droppings'--adorable gumball tubes from Shop Sweet Lulu, filled with shimmer gumballs from Smash Cake Studio & embellished with custom printables & ribbon. With so many birds flying around, there was bound to be a few 'droppings'. Gourmet marshmallows were created custom by the talented The Marshmallow Studio. The kids were excited to select their favorite bird and add it to their favor basket. And finally, all birds need a little 'bird food'--worms! Little cellophane bags of gummy worms were individually packaged up for each friend. I love the treat bag toppers that were made to coordinate!
Jen Carver, Banner Events: Complete Event Styling
Josh Carver: DIY sling shot
Karina Rigtrup, A Fresh Take Photography: Photography
Anders Ruff Custom Designs: Printable Graphic designs
Birds Video Game Invitation/Printables: here
Create Sew Embellish: custom appliqué bird & pig shirts
Shop Sweet Lulu: 1/2 dozen sized egg cartons, gumball favor tubes, polka dot & striped baking cups
Smash Cake Studio: shimmer gumballs, striped paper straws, polka dot candy sticks, 36" balloons, rugby stripe paper sacks
The Marshmallow Studio: custom marshmallow pops
Lynlee's Petite Cakes: custom edible fondant cupcake & cake toppers
Edible Details: custom edible fondant push up pop toppers
4 Kids Cakes: custom cake
Sweet Surrender Cookie Co.: custom cookie favors
Sunny Bunny Easter Eggs: gold plastic Easter eggs