One thing you may not know about me is that I LOVE throwing parties. I love coming up with one of a kind decorations, games, food, etc around a common theme. In the past, I’ve done vintage toys for Mr. A’s first birthday, The Very Hungry Caterpillar for a baby shower, Richard Scary’s Cars and Trucks and Things That Go (once for each of my boys….it’s a popular book in our house), Pikmin (a cult classic Nintendo game), Harry Potter, and a Little Gentleman theme for Mr. J’s first birthday. Don’t even get me started on Halloween! I LOVE Halloween and Halloween parties are always such fun!
Today, my youngest turns 5. A whole hand! My baby is not such a baby anymore! (cue sobbing). We decided to have his party this past weekend, so I’m able to share our party with you today! This year, he wanted a Batman birthday, and friends, it was on like Donkey Kong.
I got to work making cut files for banners, cake toppers, confetti, photo board, props, and more! My Circut was working overtime! But I had so much fun doing it all, and Mr. J absolutely loved it! Here’s a quick run-down of the party!
The first step to any kind of themed party is always the invitations. The invitations tell your guests what to expect and set the tone for the overall feel of your party. For this party, I wanted a bit more modern feel for the invitations. I didn’t want anything too cartoon-y, so I went with a simple black and white invitation showing modern fonts, the iconic Batman mask, and a geometric pattern in the background. And because I don’t believe in doing anything halfway, I created a matching Thank You card as well.
Did you know that because I love parties so much, I actually started designing digital invitations for friends and family? You can find all my digital invitation sets in my Etsy shop. If you don’t see one you love, let me create something just for you!
With the invitations designed and printed at my local Office Max, it was time to get started on the decorations. I set off to Pinterest to get some inspiration (see my Batman Birthday Party Pinterest Board here).
I saw so many cute signs when looking around on Pinterest, so I had to make a set for the party. I saw one that had a grayscale almost midcentury modern feel to it that I liked, so I made versions of the other two to match the same style. I bought a 3 pack of black picture frames from Walmart and set them up on the cake table and the treat bag table.
Next up were the banners. I created a cut file for the iconic mask and logo. I used this cut file many times over for various aspects of the decor. I got out my Cricut Explore Air 2 and got to work. I did two banners: a mask / logo banner, and the Happy Birthday banner. The mask / logo banner was just repeating cuts of the mask and logo strung together on black twine. When creating the birthday banner, I used the same font that was used in the invitations, and the mask from the first banner, tying things together a bit more.
For the treat bags, I put that cut file to work again to cut Batman logos to put on the black paper gift bags (bought from Michaels with a 40% coupon). I just love customizing the treat bags to the theme! I filled those bags with lots of goodies central to our theme: a mask / cape set, slap bracelets, and punch balloons I got on Amazon, plus plastic Batman cups, paper Batman masks, Batman pencils, and fun size Twix from Walmart. While there, I saw that Walmart had the same grayscale and retro Batman options for plates and napkins, and streamers, so I picked those up as well.
The next thing I wanted to get done was a photo board that party guests could take their photo with, and what photo board is complete without props? Back to my design software to create cut files for “James’ Batman Birthday” and the number 5. Once again, I used the same font as the invitation and the birthday banner. Then I cut some smaller masks and logos to glue around the board to give it more interest.
For the props, I cut large masks, a couple of logos with reversed colors, and “boom” and “pow” explosion props. I cheated a little here….I used adhesive vinyl to cut the letters and apply them to the explosion props so I didn’t have to glue and stick each one. Gotta work smarter, not harder sometimes, right? Too bad I didn’t have enough yellow vinyl to make that happen for the photo board itself! Oh well. Once I had the props cut out, I hot glued them to some bamboo BBQ skewers. I glued the pointy end to the props and covered the point with glue, because, safety first!
Next up was the cake. We almost always order our cakes or cupcakes from Sam’s Club. It’s good cake, and very reasonably priced. I had created a cake topper that I had planned to use in lieu of any cake decoration, so I just ordered gray icing with pale yellow trim icing. The cake toppers were a bit flimsy in my opinion with only a single layer of cardstock, so I cut everything twice glued them together, then I just hot glued the bamboo skewers to the back, pointy end down this time, so I could stick them into the cake. To give the center cake topper a bit of interest, I cut out some bats to stick in on the sides.
With the bulk of the decorations done, I used what scrap cardstock I had left to make confetti to sprinkle on the cake table and snack table. I didn’t go to too much trouble for the snacks this time. We just did a simple fruit and veggie offering with some pigs in a blanket. laid out on a pale yellow tablecloth from the Dollar Tree with black confetti I cut on my Cricut.
The cake table was covered with a black plastic tablecloth from Dollar Tree, so I did yellow confetti here. With the pale yellow backdrop I hung behind the cake table (Dollar Tree tablecloths again) to set off the birthday banner, and the balloons (Party City), signs, and confetti to set of the cake, I think the cake table set up turned out pretty great!
***Update 3/22/22: Needless to say, my Cricut Explore Air 2 made these decorations so quick and easy to make! If you want to learn more about Cricut, I encourage you to go check out their website! Cricut has a whole host of machines (like the Cricut Maker 3 pictured below) to match your budget and the types of projects you might want to do. They also have a ton of great tools, like their Cricut EasyPress line that takes the guesswork out of heat presses, lighting, and more. Their design software has all kinds of capabilities and you can also sign up for their subscription service, Cricut Access, for all kinds of fonts, graphics, and projects!
With the decor decided, it was on to games! My best friend Heather was a big help here giving me alllll kinds of ideas for the games. She was my very own personal human Pinterest! In the end, I took some of her ideas, combined them, and made them my own.
Bat Friend Oath
I wanted to make the games seem like the kids were Batman’s helpers. So I made up some little certificates for the kids to “sign” to certify their oath as a Friend of Batman. The kids were all preschool or older, so I used a couple learning fonts for print and cursive (for the older kids) with the kids’ names printed on their certificates. The oath, such as it was, was basically a modified version of the police officer’s oath. Around the edge of the certificate were several Batman quotes I found motivational. Certified by Bruce Wayne’s signature at the bottom, the kids were initiated into the Friends of Batman club.
This was such a fun one! I ordered some plastic baseballs from Amazon (my hubby tells me that if I were a Transformer, I’d be Amazon Prime). I taped pictures of various villains from Batman’s Rogues Gallery that I found online (Catwoman, Poison Ivy, The Penguin, The Riddler, The Joker, Mr. Freeze, Harley Quinn) to the balls, then had the kids throw them into a presentation board version of Arkham Asylum (for the criminally insane). To make Arkham Asylum, I bought a black tri-fold presentation board like the one I used for my 4th grade presentation on the State of Mississippi, and cut a hole and jail bars out of it with an exact-o-knife. Then I cut “Arkham Asylum” out in some silver adhesive foil with my Cricut to apply to the header board. I trimmed the header board to resemble an arch over the asylum. Both were purchased at Hobby Lobby.
My dad was such a good sport for this game. There was no way that the presentation board was going to stay standing, so I asked my dad to man the asylum. He took it a step farther and pretended to be in the asylum and ended up being a target for the kiddos. They had a blast, dad included!
Fishing for Penguins
The concept for this turned out to be a bit more difficult to play than I planned for, but it was all good. The idea was to tell the kids that The Penguin had set loose a bunch of his penguins in the reservoir (kiddie pool) and they needed to help Batman by fishing them out. I had thought to float plastic penguins with magnets attached to them for the kids to fish out of the water using fishing poles made from dowel rods with magnets at the end of the lines. To make my fishing poles, I bought a 6′ long dowel rod (at least .5″ did), tied some string around the end, and taped it with packaging tape. I had originally thought to get some small eye screws to screw into the tip of the dowel, but I got lazy.
Tip: if you’re going this route, buy your magnets at the hardware store cheaper than most places. They also have the kind with holes in the center for your fishing poles, not to mention the dowel rods. This is the kind I used.
I couldn’t find inexpensive plastic penguins, so instead I printed some out, laminated them, and attached magnet strips. It was good in theory, but they ended up being a bit hard to fish out, since the water wanted to suck them back in. We had to float them upside down (since the magnets were on the back), and keep digging them out of the bottom of the kiddie pool. But even so, this was surprisingly the most popular game!
The last game was a lot of fun too. I ordered some black water balloons on…you guessed it, Amazon! The kids each got to throw 3 bat bombs at laminated pictures of some villains, which I had tied to the fence. This too ended up being a little tricky because the balloons tended to bounce off the pictures (if the kids were able to aim and hit them that is), then bust on the grass. But the kids still enjoyed it!
Well, there you have it, my take on a Batman birthday party. The only thing I would do differently would be to order my balloons at a floor height, as the table I had the cake set on was a bit too short and the table height balloons covered up the masks on the HBD banner a bit. Other than that, everyone had a good time, most of the food was gone, and all kids were plum tuckered out! That’s a win in my book 🙂
I hope you enjoyed this Batman-themed crafting post. What’s your favorite party theme? Tell me in the comments below!
Until next time!
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