You’ve seen those decals on car windows with the figures of the family and assorted pets and thought about how tacky they are, haven’t you? So have I. Until, that is, I found these Star Wars ones! Yes, I’m a huge fan. I was thrilled when my son decided he wanted a Star Wars themed party this year for his 8th birthday. This was one party I was really looking forward to executing!
First I had to design the invitations. I found some great ideas online. The minute I saw light saber invitations, I knew they’d be perfect. The black envelopes were addressed to either a Jedi or Princess (Jedi Max, or Princess Sophie) using a silver pen.
The next step was to sew an authentic Jedi costume for my son. Who knew there were so many pieces to a Jedi’s outfit? The belt and pouch are made of pleather, and the buckle (while not like the original) came off the ends of an old computer bag shoulder strap.
When I completed my son’s costume, my husband decided he wanted one, too! In this picture, most of the outfit is hidden under the robe. I made them as close as I could to the original costumes. While still a Jedi, my husband’s was modeled after Anakin’s whose outfits got darker and darker in color over time. Eventually, he wore the familiar dark robes you all know as Darth Vadar’s outfit.
Once I completed the the costumes, I began work on the outfits for the invited guests. By the time I finished, this rack was full.
Each boy and girl received a Jedi or Princess Leia robe that was theirs to keep.
It took about a week, but I finally completed the 24 costumes, each with a matching belt.
Of course, no Jedi is complete without a light saber, so we provided those as well. Yes, yes, I know Princess Leia didn’t have a light saber, but I thought it might be a better option than a gun! These LED light sabers I found online were perfect and affordable. They even came with batteries and, much to my surprise, stood up to the fierce Jedi battles they were subjected to. During the party, our mechanically inclined friend Sam was able to repair any light saber mishaps easily and quickly with a pocket multi-tool. Thanks, Sam!
The party would not have been complete without the help and generosity of my family and friends.
Lidia Miller from Lidia Miller Photography set up a green screen and took photos of anyone who wanted to pose. As always, Lidia always goes out of her way to do a stellar job doing what she does best. She’s a great friend and a talented photographer. She took almost all the photos you see here.
The green screen photos would later be edited to add galactic backgrounds, and once printed, sent as a thank you gift to each guest.
My son in law, Brian, owner of Excessive Beats, was our resident DJ at the party and came dressed as a Jawa. He had all the girls jammin’ to the latest kid-friendly tunes. He also did a great job preparing the food and setting up all the tables. You rock, Brian! Thank you so much.
My daughter Jennifer helped me with everything from shopping to baking cookies, and did an extraordinary job of listening to me complain about the amount of work I’d undertaken and how the next party would be at least FOUR years from now.
And then Darth Vadar arrived!
He challenged the young Jedi’s to show off the skills they’d learned earlier in the Jedi Training Academy session.
Poor Darth. At one point, I was saving him from several overzealous Princess Leias who were beating him with their light sabers all at once. He was quite the champ, for a bad guy, that is.
Designing the candy table was fun. I knew I needed props. That was easy! I just raided my son’s toy room.
I wanted a backdrop to hang behind the table so I made one using a large foam core board that I inserted LED lights into. Once plugged in, it added great dimension to the background.
I couldn’t find square black cake stands, so I made my own using plastic cups I bought at Walmart (4 for $1) and some 12×12″ boards. Then I glued gold ribbon around the edges. I sealed the tops with acrylic and several layers of a non-toxic sealant. Four of these cost me under $2.00 to make.
The black cake stands were perfect for displaying the cupcakes. I made the Star Wars cupcake wrappers using gold and black sparkle craft paper.
The cupcake picks were from a cupcake decorating set I purchased at Williams Sonoma.
I made a variety of cake pops, including Darth Vadar and Storm Trooper heads. I covered the lollipops with free printable wrappers I found online.
The gold cakepops were hand painted with edible gold dust. The cake pops were filled with chocolate cake and chocolate Oreo Cookie buttercream. They were delicious, if I do say so myself!
I baked about 150 sugar cookies adorned with different Star Wars characters as well as various space vehicles. Have you ever bitten into a buttery Boba Fett head?
I removed the labels from small sized Sprite soda bottles and added my own.
I found these small Deer Park Spring Water bottles that were perfect for small hands to grasp and added my own labels to these, too.
At the last minute, my husband made some custom labels that we wrapped around some Hershey Chocolate bars. He had designed much fancier ones, but Office Depot printed them incorrectly and at the last moment, we had to improvise.
No party is complete without a piñata! Yes, I handmade made that, too.
I couldn’t find a Death Star piñata anywhere, so that was one more thing I had to make myself. Do you know how hard it is to find a beach ball in late October? Luckily, I found one at a local Dollar Store. Good thing I still remember the paper mache making skills I learned in elementary school.
When it came time to hang the piñata, we realized that the 20 ft. ceilings would make that impossible. So, I gathered all the children in one area and chucked it as hard as I could against the hardwood floor. Luckily, it cracked easily and the candy frenzy began.
And, then there was the cake. Months earlier, I asked my son what kind of cake he wanted. Of course, this is the most important aspect of the party for me for obvious reasons! He first said he wanted a Millennium Falcon cake, but later said he’d be happy with anything. I debated. R2D2? Easy, but overdone. Same for Darth Vadar. Just about all of the main characters have been done over and over again. And done well, too, so it didn’t really matter what I chose. Four days before the party, I still wasn’t sure what I was going to make. Then it hit me. Yoda!
I really like this guy. He’s old and wise, and über cool! Most importantly, he presented a challenge for me. A challenge, you ask?
Yes, because I’m not much of a sculptor. I have friends who specialize in sculpting, but not me. I dabble on occasion, but only when I absolutely have to.
Given the time crunch and all the many other things I had to do for the party, I was really under the gun to get the cake finalized. I had first made a ‘test head’ which kinda, sorta, looked like Yoda if you blinked a whole lotta times really, really fast, but not so much. It was more like a cross between a Ninja Turtle and ET.
I knew the color was wrong, but I had some dark green modeling chocolate on hand and I thought I’d do a practice run with that. The further along I got, the more I thought I could just use the test head. I could have passed it off for Yoda once the ears were attached, but that would have gone against everything I feel so strongly about. I believe one should strive for their best as much as possible so I decided to start again and give it another try. This was going to be my last attempt before I decided on something else.
It’s at times like this that I wonder where and how I make these things happen. I started working on that second head and before I knew it, Yoda was coming to life before my eyes. I felt like a woman possessed. Possessed by someone far more talented than myself. Perhaps I was channeling a tiny little bit of Stuart Freeborn, Yoda’s creator, who looked down at me from heaven, and after seeing my first attempt, took pity on me. It’s not perfect, but I was very pleased.
Soon, the cake cutting buzz began and everyone gathered around the cake and candy table.
I really loved watching the faces of the children and adults alike when I finally cut the cake. As much as they wanted to eat it, they felt badly about cutting it. While I’ve long lost that cringe factor when seeing one of my cakes being cut, I have to admit that it hurt to have to cut this one in particular. Yoda just stared at me, taunting me, daring me to make the first cut. I hesitated a bit. I told everyone how hard it was to slice him up, but then I remembered the yummy deliciousness on the inside and finally went for it.
Everyone wanted to know if there was really cake inside. See for yourself! The birthday boy chose the flavors: Vanilla Bean cake with Chocolate Oreo Cookie buttercream. The bottom tier was a chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream. My son asked for two different options ‘in case people don’t like one, they can have the other’. He’s knows the deal!
All in all, the display looked just as I had envisioned it in my head. It’s at moments like these that I remember the pretty cakes my mother would make me for my birthday when I was a little girl. Things sure have changed since the days when a plastic ballerina topper was the envy of all your friends.
All in all, the party was a great success. All the late nights and early morning hours of work definitely paid off. An afternoon of family, friends, and a great sense of accomplishment is the best I could wish for. Hugs, kisses and words of gratitude from my son were MY icing on the cake.
Wonder what the young Jedi got for his birthday? A vintage Kennar/Hasbro Millennium Falcon toy. My husband and I came across this toy while shopping at Toys R Us and we couldn’t resist. I was thrilled to see a remake of the original. I will never forget my son’s face when he opened that box on the morning of his birthday. He was quite speechless, a very rare occurrence.
Happy 8th birthday to my little man. In the words of Darth Vadar, “The Force is strong with this one.”