My son had his heart set on a Star Wars party for his 5th birthday. Because he was turning 5, we decided on Star Wars Episode V. There were only two issues with the theme:
1. We had been to a lot of other Star Wars parties, and I wanted his to be unique; and
2. I haven't seen any of the Star Wars movies.
Luckily, it turned out to be a blessing that so many of our friends had thrown Star Wars parties (because my friends rock, and they graciously let me borrow a lot of things for the party). I was also lucky to have Pinterest, Google, and Youtube to help me adequately research Star Wars so that it looked like I saw the movies. You can check out my pinspiration here.
One of the best things about my son's party was that it really did take a village to throw it. I couldn't have made all the robes and lightsabers without help from my friends. I also really appreciated all of the items that were lent to us to make the party even more special.
I made a video invitation on imovie based on the opening credits of Star Wars (like this one). I have no experience with imovie (or editing any type of movie), so I watched a lot of youtube videos that walked me through how to use imovie and how to make the video invitation. It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be, and the invitation was a big hit!
Once I figured out how to make the video, I had to figure out how to send it. I contemplated sending the video directly in an email, but I eventually decided it would be better to use Paperless Post (so that I could track the RSVPs easily and so that I didn't have to worry about whether everyone could view the video).
I created a movie poster from the Star Wars Episode V poster to use as the main image on Paperless Post. I uploaded the video invite to youtube (and used the privacy settings so it was only visible to those who had a direct link), and then I included a note in the Paperless Post invitation to click on the link to check out the preview.
We had been to some amazing Star Wars themed parties, and while imitation is the highest form of flattery, I didn't want my party to feel like a carbon copy of the other parties. I wanted to make the day special for my son.
I ended up sticking to the Star Wars Episode V theme. I tried to use things from Episode V only (or things that existed in the Star Wars universe during the timeframe of Episode V). I also had a theme of light side vs. dark side, as Episode V is the episode with the epic battle between Luke and Darth Vader (or, so I've been told). I figured this would help make this party a little different than the others.
I used Star Wars action figures and toys (I even incorporated my son's Yoda lunchbox) as decorations. My son now plays with all the toys. We also had good friends who threw an amazing Star Wars party and who were kind enough to loan us some key items (including a giant Darth Vader!).
I like to do something fun in the entrance because it sets the mood for the party. I saw so many great ideas on Pinterest, and initially thought I would get white balloons and add stormtrooper faces to them. Then I realized how much work that would be, so I just decided to go simple with lightsabers.
For the tables, I got black tablecloths. I was planning on making an ambitious centerpiece with two lightsabers crossed against each other, but I decided to simplify. Luckily, I found Yoda easter baskets at Target, and I used those as the centerpieces. (Have I mentioned how much I love the easter basket aisle at Target? I also found the train centerpieces for my son's 2nd birthday party there). I filled them with napkins, because when you have kids, it's always nice when there are extra napkins on the table and you don't have to get up!
Most of the other decor was done with signs. I made sign for each food "station" to go with the theme. I also made some signs to go around the house to go with the theme:
The food was split up into stations, which I viewed as different restaurants or bars in space.
Each station was represented by a sign. I bought black poster paper, and my son and I added "stars" to the paper by dipping toothbrushes in white paint and moving the bristles with our fingers, so that the paint would spatter (don't worry it was washable paint!). We then used my silhouette cameo to cut out the letters on the signs.
We had the "Admiral Ackbar Snackbar," where we served "Vader Veggies" (veggie sticks), "Princess Leias" (potato chips), Dagobah Dip (lentil and bruchetta dip) with pita crackers, and other snacks.
We also had "Jabba the Hutt" for the kids, where we served Pizza Hut pizzas, Tauntaun Tenders (dinosaur chicken nuggets from Costco), Carbonite Jello, and Yoda's ears (edamame).
For the adults, we had "Obi-Wan Kabob-ies" which served Persian food (chicken kabobs, stews, rices, and salads)
For the drinks, there was "Yoda Soda Shop"
I decorated my water dispenser with felt, and made a fun sign for the alcohol. Because R2D2 was the main focal point of this area, I also added a C3PO to the ice bucket.
I had the hot drinks inside, out of the reach of the kids. I found a great stromtrooper Starbucks sign that was perfect for the coffee!
For dessert, I had two tables one for the light side, and one for the dark side.
The light side table was full of fruit and had a sign that said "Come to the light side, we have wookies."
The dark side had Darth Vader with a sign that said "Come to the dark side we have cookies." I included a variety of cookies (including gluten free options). Because I know a lot of parents do not like their children to have a lot of sweets, I try to put any cookie or sweet options up high out of the reach of little kids so they have to ask their parents (and they can't just stuff their faces when their parents aren't looking).
My favorite cookies were the Leia ones I made. A good friend (who had a Star Wars party for her kids before our party) made the most adorable Princess Leia cake pops for the party. She took donut holes and dipped them in candy melts and then dipped them in a darker chocolate (for hair) and she added Leia buns and faces to them. How cute are they:
She let me have her extra lips (which were heart shaped sprinkles), and I was really tempted to copy her cake pops (they were so cute and so good!), but I didn't realistically have enough time to make them (and I arguably lacked the skill to make them too). I really wanted to do something similar though, and eventually I found the perfect solution (thanks to Pinterest).
I bought Vanilla Wafers. I dipped the tops of them in melted chocolate for the hair and then I put m&ms on the melted chocolate (with the "m" side facing down) to make the buns. I piped eyes with frosting, and I used frosting to make the heart lips stick to the cookies.
For the cupcakes, I also stuck with the light vs. dark side theme. The light side were homemade mini vanilla cupcakes with vanilla frosting. The dark side were store bought chocolate chip muffins with Trader Joe's cookie butter (cookies 'n cream flavor) as the frosting. I tried to make it look like a battle, with a center platter that held the candles and had Luke and Darth in their epic battle. For the backdrop for the cupcakes I put up a birthday sign that I borrowed from another friend who previously had a Star Wars party for her son (her son has the same first name as my son, so it worked out great!).
I hired a Luke, Darth Vader, and Leia to entertain the kids. They were great! They introduced themselves, and then trained the kids to be Jedis. Then, they went on a treasure hunt and the treasure was light sabers. I made the light sabers with pool noodles and duck tape (luckily a good friend shared her tips from when she made them, and a lot of my friends came over for a craft party and helped me make them all - it was a fun girls night and a huge help!).
The kids also got Jedi robes. I mentioned to a friend that I wanted to do Jedi robes, and I was trying to find an easy no-sew options. I never expected for my friend to offer to make the robes, but that is exactly what she did. I didn't want to take her up on her offer, because I felt like it was too big of a favor to ask someone, but she insisted. I am glad she insisted because and it was hands down the highlight of the party. She used this pattern. I was told they were "easy" to make (but take that with a grain of salt because that is the opinion of someone who knows how to sew and is very talented). She even made them in three different sizes - a large for kids 5+, a medium for the kids 2-4, and a small for the infants and little ones. I hid them in different areas in the yard, so that when it was time to pull them out, we knew who was holding each size, and we could pass out the right sizes. I like to respect the privacy of my friends, so I won't show the pictures I have with the kids faces, but trust me when I say that the sight of a bunch of kids running around our yard dressed as little Jedis was priceless! And the little infants in their Jedi outfits were pretty priceless too!
We also had a bounce house. I originally did not want one because we were hiring entertainers, but my the day before the party, my husband voiced that he thought we really needed one, so I got one last minute. It was nice to have it, but I should have deflated it when the performers were there because some of the kids were slow to join the entertainers because they were bouncing and didn't want to stop.
The robes and lightsabers were the favors, but I also did a CD. I always get a lot of complements on these, and so our friends now look forward to getting one.