wedding and baby inspiration, diy, design and other loveliness

A Lego Ninjago Birthday Party

Every year, I tell myself, we’re going to tone it down, we’re going to invite less people and keep it simple. I’m talking about the kids’ birthday parties. When we finally nail down a theme, (at this age, we kind of leave it up to the kids if it’s reasonable.) I get excited for all the fun things we could do and it once again gets blow out into a big production. However, at the end of the day, I’ve come to the realization that celebrations are my love language, for me it truly is a labor of love and I have thus fully embraced it. The perks of children having a graphic design mom. Downsides are your seven year old thinks he’s allowed to art direct.

For my son’s seventh birthday, he chose Lego Ninjago. While I am a fan of Legos and ninjas separately (because ninjas in real life are pretty damn cool), I’m just not a huge of of Lego Ninjago–but it’s something we are okay with the kids enjoying.

We rented a park building in Sunnyvale because in February, the weather is unpredictable. It’s great because if weather permits, you have the park right outside. Fortunately for us this year, we did not have to do any indoor activities.

LEGO NINJAGO PARTY DECORATIONS
I was inspired by this Ninjago like temple set up I found on Pinterest so I redesigned it to fit my needs and printed it out and stuck it onto foam core. Sorry I don’t have any detail shots this time around–I was too tired! The goal of my parties is always: how can we blow this out on a budget? 

I happened to have a large format (13×19″) photo printer so I’m always wasting ink with these types of projects. I blew up the Ninjago characters and also stuck them on foam core as you see them prancing around the temple.

 

The font I used was this knock-off Ninjago font.

An interesting tidbit I found out from The LEGO® NINJAGO® MOVIE The Making of the Movie book is that this font was custom designed for this movie and actually won a typography award.

Sometimes to bump your decor up a notch without too much on the wallet, I’m a fan of the tinsel foil garland. Make sure you buy the shorter one if you’re just skirting part of the table. As cheesy as they can be, when used correctly, they can warm up the decor. It comes in a lot different colors as well.

NINJA STAR NAPKINS
Luckily the Ninjago colors are primary colors so I picked up some colored cups, plates and yellow napkins to add color and folded them into ninja stars. It actually is very easy! You just need two large square napkins. I found a good tutorial on how to fold them here.

I also picked up some mini popcorn boxes and stuck on some customized labels. I filled them with my son’s favorite snack: popcorn!

For the cups, I just cut out these free Ninjago Eyes. I’ve uploaded a PDF here for download and set them atop some colored square plates.
For added value, thrown in some chopsticks!

 

ninjago party

NINJAGO PARTY FAVORS
For party favors, I did a very standard colored gable box and pasted circle dots on them to make them look like Lego bricks. I found some affordable Lego colored gable boxes on Amazon. You can kind of see them sitting on the dessert table.

I purchased these really awesome ceramic minifigures that you can paint from eBay. The seller offers premade favors with brushes and paint but I opted to purchase my own once again through the amazing online mecca that is Amazon.

 

 

 

NINJAGO CAKE
While I love crafting, I am at best a mediocre baker. I wanted to have a cool birthday cake but I wasn’t going to pay an arm and a leg for it and I wasn’t going to successfully produce one–at least not this year. Here is an awesome tip to get a custom cake through Safeway. At my local Safeway (and others I’ve been to), sometimes, the decorator is willing to customize the cake for you with no additional charge so long as the cake structure retains its existing shape. What does that mean? I know our Safeway makes dome cakes which in theory could be the head of a ninja. I showed the a similar photo and asked them if they would decorate the cake in that way. The cake came out so great and it only cost me $25. Personally, I like Safeway cakes and this one was a chocolate cake with fresh strawberries and whipped filling. Good enough for me, good enough for my kid.

ninjago cake

Additionally, you can preorder any set of 10 or 24 cupcakes ahead of time with any color frosting you want. I ordered them with the Ninjago colors and that made dessert so much easier and affordable.

NINJAGO PINATA
Okay, so if you’ve read through this blog, you know we love piñatas and ever since I made my first one a few years ago, I’ve been hooked. Initially, my thoughts are to make a piñata of one of the characters–presumably Lloyd Garmadon. When I solicited this idea to my son, he said we should do Lord Garmadon because if we’re going to be attacking the piñata, it should be Garmadon. I wasn’t thrilled with the idea but it made sense and we went with it. If you want to get an idea of how I made my first piñata, check out my post about our Octonauts Party

Mostly, I’ve used cardboard but with Garmadon, I tried a different route and used foam core. This was not a good idea because the structure did not hold as well and was not as easy to bend so piñata making tip: use cardboard.

PARTY FOOD
I didn’t go all out and make the food ninja-themed but we did order some Chinese. We used a company here in the area called GoGo Cater which for a small delivery fee, will drive and set up the food for you. It helped save time and me attempting to cook for 100 guests. I supplemented the food with an Asian salad. Sometimes it’s a good idea just to have the food catered but you can supplement the sides or what not.

I also picked up this amazing Ninjago shirt from H&M. It’s those shirts made from sequins and it flips into another image. This one flips back and forth between Lloyd and Kai.

NINJA PARTY INVITES
Lastly, check out my Zazzle store for a Ninja Themed Party Invitation!

ninja party invite

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