This is my maiden voyage into the land of elementary-level birthday parties. My son picked a whopper for me to start with. Thank you, kind sir.
Prepare to be wowed on a completely mid-to-low level plane. I hope you have your little ‘pin it’ button handy for at least one whole idea I likely lifted from an Etsy site or another pinterest page. One or two might have been original, but don’t hold me to it.
First up: Le Gift Bag
I bought a green pack of bags from local party store and one sharpie while at the craft store.
VOILA! Insta-bag. While it’s a pain to make everything myself, i have to say, blocks and squares and pixels are the easiest foundation for a design for even the most craft-handicapped person. Who can’t draw a square?
Above is a creeper – left – and a slime. Not pictured is a zombie face which is just two skinny long rectangles representing the eyes. I got approval from my son and that was good enough for me.
Next up – Little square blocks covered in green duct tape. And again, sharpie comes to the rescue. I learned my first crafting lesson here. Never NEVER buy the duct tape from the craft store. I paid $6.99 for a roll i saw at Target for $3.99. I’m pretty sure the craft fairies spray paint NOOB on your butt in craft glitter when you walk into the store so the CRAFTers can be entertained.
Honestly, i had no clue what i was going to do with this when i found the blocks. The store had 10 sanded wood blocks sitting out with some other crafty wood things and i said ‘eh, what the hell’. They were .50/ea and i thought i’d make a necklace or something with them. Turns out after cutting enough duct tape peace-meal to go around a cube, and getting duct tape goop on your fingers and scissors, the cube was enough! I asked my son “would you like this if you got it in a favor bag?” “yea !!” but he’s 7. I said, “but it’s just a block. It’s not attached to anything and it doesn’t do anything.” – like the way i sell my ideas with such optimistic abandon? “yea, but i could carry it around and put it somewhere”
Next i ordered a variety of minecraft themed buttons from someone on Etsy who was more gung-ho about crafts than myself to deal with backpack-type fan buttons. They earned that $10.
I grabbed mardi gra- esque beads in blue, green, and black from the party store. I don’t know why. Why not? The game has gems you mine for and can make necklaces. These look nothing like the game ones as far as i can tell, but again.. why not? Who doesn’t love shiny colored beads?
Next was a tiny Hershey bar disguised as a maiming, explosive game ‘monster’. I made 2 kinds – Creepers and Endermen. The Endermen are my own masochistic invention. You have to cut pipe cleaners and use black duct tape for these. I used garage sale stickers cut up for the eyes.
i figured out it was easier to use two small strips placed horizontally rather than cutting the tape vertically. There’s a seam, but who cares? Once they eat the chocolate, no one will remember the duct tape seam
Last on the list are the masks. Y’all, these are the most time consuming pains in the pixel I have done yet. I am second-guessing my chuckle at the Esty vendor who wanted an outrageous sum of money for a paltry five masks. I now see the wisdom, Obi Wan.
While this seemed a good idea a month ago, in actually measuring my kid’s head, i realized there’s not a lot of room for squares. The kids have to see, so there must be round eye holes. The pig was just because i was sick of looking at green and black for a week. There are pixel piggies in the game and i am guessing the last kid to show up is the one who has to settle for the pig mask, but from the creater’s stand point, they are the easiest, the cutest, and the easiest to make. If i could stretch 7 year old’s eyes farther on their head, the masks might work better. I am considering letting them all decorate a grocery store paper bag instead. At least then if it turns out uneven and misshapen, they can’t point at me.
UPDATE: it’s now post-party and i can tell you DO NOT MAKE MASKS!!! No one wore them for longer than it took to tie them, and then they were on the floor. I don’t know if it was the itchy felt, or the lack of breathing holes – eh, minor details people – but no one was impressed. Considering this took the most time and effort i was a bit dismayed by this, but fortunately i was chasing around kids to mind too overly much
The biggest hit was the graham cracker blocks! It was a stroke of genius , if i do say so myself. I had 2 extra tubs of white frosting and 2 STUPIDLY overpriced bags of Sweet Factory green candy i had originally bought to go in the favor bags. Instead, after everyone was done poking each other with the tin foil wrapped pick axes and swords, i had a great activity to sit them all down and zip it long enough to clean up the last thing and set up the next thing. It was great!
And apparently i forgot to add the cardboard cut out pick axe & sword. I cut up different size pieces of tin foil and they were able to wrap them up and ‘decorate’ said weapons. I think you can all picture what this would look like, but when i get around to it, i’ll try and search out a pic of one or two.
I made two big impressive things and never made a point to take big impressive pics of them. (so i am now) First : Enderman bean bag toss. I bought a big presentation board in black, my husband cut a big mouth and used the cut out part as a sort of obstacle to pass through. I forgot to add the eyes, so once we were there, i used some of the tin foil from the pick axe/sword craft to tape for eyes.
Next was my spray-painted Enderman guy. Just for decoration. 4T size pull ups come in a perfect cub box. I spray painted them black and added a 3rd box on top, and taped some streamers on as arms and legs. Voila.
and here is the lime green monstrosity that is CREEPER CAKE! The grocery stores don’t have the pre-packaged cake toppers for this theme… yet. So i made do with some giant Hershey bars which went over WAY better with the littles than black icing. It was great, and as far as i know everyone had a perfectly pixelicious party. My son was over the moon about it all and in the end, that’s all i was going for. If anyone else is at all impressed, well that’s just a bonus. I hope these ideas helped any number of likewise craft-challenged and craft lazy moms out there! Please leave a note if you used anything or had another idea!