My little man is now 7 years old. His birthday was last week, but we had his birthday party yesterday at the party. Having a birthday in Seattle in March is a tricky thing – you never know what it will do. The weekend was supposed to be sunny when I first picked this location, especially on Sunday, but when I checked the weather report 3 days before the party, it said 70% chance of rain on Sunday – not good for an outdoor party in the park. But it was too late to change, and I was still in the finalizing process of the party, which included a lot of sewing. A lot.
Months ago when we started planning for his party, Minecraft came up, along with several other ideas. As his birthday got closer, he kept changing his mind on what to do, where to go, theme, etc. Finally about 3 weeks before the party date, on my own birthday, I sat down and planned it out. When he came home from school that day I told him “You are having a Minecraft birthday party” – he was okay with that, but was still talking about location – swimming pool, jumping place, etc. I said no, here’s what I have planned, and we’re going to a local park. Once he heard all of my ideas, he was really excited; from there it was full focus for me – and I entered crazy sewing mode.
That Friday I found another “crazy sewing lady” mom friend at school and showed her my mockup idea for party favors – I asked her how crazy I was. The response: “Very crazy. But a good crazy.” That helped, and told me I was on the right track – I still had about 2 1/2 weeks to go.
Cut to Saturday night and I was up late sewing, trying to finish the party favors. I had all the games planned out and items gathered up; then I woke up early Sunday morning (around 5am) to finish sewing the party favors, and to quickly make one last item on my list, to help identify me as mom for the parents I didn’t know, and a helpful tool for me during the party – a café apron (more on that later).
First off, the Birthday Boy requested a custom Steve head shirt. My husband picked up a plain green t-shirt that I could customize. I cut out several tiny squares and used 2-sided fusible to attach the squares. I didn’t have time to sew them on, but they stayed on for the party. Unfortunately they became stained with grass and cake so I needed to wash it. Because I didn’t sew it on first, I had an issue, but I can fix it, and there is another customization request in the works too. The second time I make this shirt it will take longer, but look so much cooler! There were a lot of comments about the shirt, and the boys seemed to love it, especially my Birthday Boy!
Next I was able to get a couple quick shots of the food table before the boys attacked it. We had all pretzel sticks, carrots, fruit, Creeper juice, and TNT, and even a pile of dirt – a dirt cake topped with mini Minecraft characters. We actually had to remove the Minecraft characters from the cake as the boys kept touching them, pushing them farther into the cake, and almost knocking over the cake, while discussing which one they were going to take.
I had 4 games planned: Creeper Ball, Kill the Creeper, a Water Relay race, and Digging for Diamonds. The first game we played (before the rain) was Creeper Ball. I stood back off the field, while my husband was with all the boys and the cones he set up. Don’t ask me the rules – he made them up as they played, but all the boys had fun – there was a lot of laughing, dodging and throwing, and no one got hurt!
And then it started raining… I had reserved a covered picnic table area, and we put it to good use! Kill the Creeper was next. I did my own version of Pin the Tail on the Donkey – Minecraft Style. I keep hearing that you don’t kill the creeper, you just run away from him, but that doesn’t turn into a productive game for a party. So I changed it. I took a piece of black foam core, and cut out squares in 4 different greens and black, and glued them on the board to make my creeper. Then, I had some fancy bar toothpicks that I thought would work as swords. I printed out everyone’s name, and several swords – each boy was given a sword with his name on it so we knew where he tried to “Kill the Creeper”. Sword on one side, name on the other. I even tried to incorporate the Creeper image into each boy’s name, so not all names are spelled correctly. They didn’t seem to mind.
The Birthday Boy was given the first shot. The Birthday Boy had also decided where to place the small red square where it would “kill” him – and amazingly enough he stabbed the creeper in the red square, dead center, first try. We had a large creeper head that we borrowed from a party guest, and I knew he couldn’t see through it. I was told that the Birthday Boy touched the Creeper board with his fingers, felt the red square, and knew exactly where to place the sword. No prizes for cheating… So the red square was removed and replaced with a Sharpie X. The lucky winner got first pick at the goody bags and mini Minecraft character to take home – I believe Enderman and Wither were his selections.
Next we did the water relay race, and since it was raining, it helped them! We had them divide up into 3 teams – Aqua, Red and Blue. Each team was given a large spoon, and they shared a giant bowl of water. As fast as they could, run to the large bowl, fill your spoon, and then get to your team cup as quick as possible and fill the water cup. This game took awhile – there were several instances where the boys would get the spoon to the cup, and not even a drop would go in. Fill the cups we did not – we gave them a 2-minute warning, and when the time was up, blue team won!
I also had a Digging for Diamonds activity – Riley and I went to the store and picked out some “diamond” beads, filled a pot with dirt, and gave them gloves and gardening tools. Did they use the gloves? No. Or the tools? No. Was it messy? Yes – especially when it started to rain. Fun to clean up? Not at all. But they all loved it, and all went home with some diamonds for mom.
And finally – the pièce de résistance… the party favors. Minecraft Mug Rugs. Yes, I am pretty impressed with my party favors. I created the designs turned them into Photoshop templates, picked out fabric colors, cut a billion tiny little squares (yes a billion) and then sewed all the tiny little squares back together. Then added batting and backs and quilted them and finished the binding.
I have been playing with the idea for awhile, and finally had a chance to do something with it. I created 15 different Minecraft mug rugs. Cutting out the squares took forever, but I finally got in a rhythm to sew the mug rug top together, that made it a little faster. Not one was perfect, I was in a hurry, but I don’t think the 7-year old boys cared. They were so cute fighting over them.
The Mug Rug characters pictured below are: Enderman, Chicken, Wolf, Creeper, Ghast, Skeleton, Cow, Slime, Dirt Block, Steve, Pig Zombie, Pig, Sheep, Mooshroom, Zombie. And now I’m finding all these new characters and I want to make more! But I do need a Minecraft break, it’s been 3 weeks of nonstop Minecraft sewing. The Mug Rugs were very popular, and although the boys may not fully appreciate them (what they are for or how long it took) my husband says the parents were impressed and can appreciate them. I didn’t have time to Scotchguard them though…
It was difficult to get pictures of the mug rugs as I was at the party and I had to throw them on the table quick for a photo op. I didn’t have time to get nice photos at home before we left. I will be recreating all of these, and maybe more, and will get some better photos. For now, though, you get the idea.
And finally, something created for me. A café apron to wear at the party – it was very nice to have to hold my phone, camera lens cap, marker, swords, etc. – all the essential party supplies so that I was always ready.
It seemed to be a successful party – the parents seemed really pleased with the activities for the boys – they kept moving (especially in the rain) – and the mostly healthy snacks and fun party favors. I had fun at the party – everything went as planned, and I didn’t forget anything! A success.