Monday, December 16, 2013

Its-a MEa, MARIO!

Wow, wow! WOW. Phew. I build up for months and months and within 6 hours, the whole thing is done! The birthday party this year was another success, or, so my son says. 2 kids were sick and 2 others had family obligations, but I suppose I will choose to be thankful that I had more than enough of everything to go around!

My son loves mario. We started him out with the 8 bit Mario emulator a few years ago, and since then he has played Mario on Nintendo 64, and Wii as well. He loves Mario in every form! What can I say? He comes by it honestly.

Noah's other requests for his birthday this year included a real cake (no cupcakes) and he wanted to skate. Roller skate and scooter! That actually helped mama out a lot, so I didn't have to worry about planning games and activities like I have in the years past.

I am going to do my utmost to give you as much information as I am able so that you, too, can throw a KICKIN Mario party. I might also throw some other ideas that we didn't use into the mix because they are awesome, I just ran out of time...

 Lets start simple. I found this printable on Pinterest...the party planning GENIUS site. I printed out the appropriate amount, cute, scored, folded and glued. It was tedious, but totally worth it! I used them to put Kellogs brand Super Mario gummies in, which, for those of you that might have a peanut or treenut allergy, these are completely safe. They are produced in a safe facility as well. 

Next up, the treat bags. Super easy, super cheap. I went to the Dollar Tree and picked up these red bags. I loved them because they were the older color red from the 8 bit Mario games. They were also large enough to fit the items that I bought for the treat bags. I found this printable (hello, pinterest!) and printed them out and glued them on. No fuss, super easy. 

Lets see, I guess we can talk about the hats. They were really hard to come by. The BEST place to buy solid color hats (in this case, red for Mario, but you can also find Luigi green) is Hobby Lobby, and trust me. My husband and I BOTH looked. Everywhere. Online and off. Hobby Lobby is your best bet. I used adhesive felt and cut out the Mario symbol and used Fabritac to help them stay on the hat for good measure. They were a big hit. Here was where I got the idea. 

We also had a hard time finding Princess Peach crowns, or ANY crowns that were not some crazy color like purple or pink, so my husband created these out of foam from Hobby Lobby and gems, from Hobby Lobby as well. These crowns can also be created with a good weight, stiff felt, but we went the more affordable route for this particular project.  

The foam was too short to go around the head so he added an extra triangle piece to the crown so that it would go all the way around. We used strong adhesive Velcro and added enough so that it would be adjustable for each girl. 
 LITERALLY the ONLY adhesive to use on foam is this spray adhesive. Once you spray, you need to set something heavy and flat on top of the foam and leave it. Once it is stuck, it is stuck. Its....awesome...
 My husband was a genius and made a mask so that the spray would go only where he wanted it to go. Then the gems went on and were pressed with heavy books until they were stuck well.
This was yet another tedious task, but I felt they had to be made. I found this project (duh, do you have to ask where?). I bought lots of foam balls at Walmart and wasted 2 cans of spray paint before I realized that Styrofoam needs a special type of paint. Apparently the chemicals in the paint EAT the Styrofoam. I was miffed, to say the least. 

SO...I chose the poster board rout. Hello, Dollar Tree! I got the terracotta pots at a yard sale back the beginning of fall. They were painted with a base of white. Terracotta is very porous and will absorb your paint and cause a bubbling effect as well. The base coat dry, I was able to then paint them pipe green with spray paint. I also painted the inside top half green. I chose to use this tissue grass that my Sister-in-law shared with me from her party.

 Thank you, Amazon! Inside the pot, under the grass, I found floral foam at The Dollar Tree, cut it to fit snug, and then put the craft stick down into it. 

To create the plants themselves, I cut 2 red circles (the size of the top of the pot), cut out a V shape for the mouth. Then, I cut out 2 circles (cutting 1 in half) and created the polka-dots, then I traced the V shape in the mouth, and made the lips. I used duct tape to attach the stick to the back circle, and then glued both circles together with Fabritac. I cut teeth out and glued them between the lips. Sounds complicated, really isn't...but I am not so good at explaining this one. 
For my pinata, I used a square box to create a similar pinata to this one. The kids really like to hit it, so I don't use the strings. I covered the box in yellow streamers. I had my husband cut and tatter them before I glued them on. After that was complete, I printed and cut 4 question marks  and glued them on! This was actually really simple. I filled the pinata with a mix of twisty straws, glow sticks, and then a pack of pinata mixed candy from Walmart. There were also whistles in my son's request....I know the other parents hate me today, haha. 

The poor pinata met a fated end: 

The backdrop was....SO...much work. My husband and I spent 4 entire days painting this puppy and making the props. However, it was worth every minute and if anyone is interested, it IS for sale...$100 plus shipping. You know, in case you are interested. 

We got a drop cloth from Lowes. This one is 6 feet by 9 feet. We covered it with a layer of white as a base. We custom matched colors from the original 8 bit Mario game and bought sample sizes of those colors. ( only a couple bucks for custom colors!). We did buy more of the blue. I believe we bought a gallon. 
The props were made from cardboard. I just measured and cut. The grid size that we used was a 12 inch square with 3/4 inch squares for the pixels, or "bits". We measured and made a grid, counted, marked, and painted.  
 This guy was off. Poor goomba. I can't blieve I cut part of his head wrong. Oh, well!
 Each of the boxes you see here are 12 inches by 12 inches with the same 3/4 inch grid. Marked out, painted. Painstakingly painted.

The results though? They were AWESOME! 
To affix the goomba, coin, and mushroom, my husband appoxied 2 strong magnets and a tack to the back. The Tack allowed the magnet to stay on the canvas, and the magnet on the object allowed us to switch up and move stuff around. Everyone had a blast with the photo booth! (I forgot to take the magnet off in my pic...oops!)
So for the goodie bags we used water bottles from and dry erase boards, bought at the same online store. The mustache bowls are from Walmart in the party section. Thought they were fun. I sewed and stuffed a small 1 Up plush for each child. I used felt, fabritac, and stuffing from the sewing section at Walmart. The question boxes with their gummies, and I found atomic fireballs at a gas station! (displayed in a left-over green pot). The kids seemed to love their stash! No cheapie throw-away toys for this party!
Each child was also sent home with a gold star balloon. I bought them at Dollar Tree, and if you aren't sure they will have helium (since ours NEVER has any) you can buy them un-inflated and do it yourself, which is what we chose to do. Once the bags got stuffed, the balloon was tied to the handles so it wouldn't fly away. 
I went SUPER simple on the food this year. In years past we have gone all out and no one has eaten, so it was a waste. We went with veggies, fruit, and cheese puffs from Sams Club. The brand is UTZ, and they are also peanut and tree nut allergy safe. They have a special facility just for that purpose. 
For the tables we did blue table cloths and yellow circle plates, so that it was like the coins in the sky level.  

Super simple and we still came home with almost everything, haha. And SO many cheese puffs...going to be eating those for a year!

Our cake was made by some dear friends of ours, who are better called, family, at this point. Noah was over the moon with what they created. We added his characters (washed, of course) and it was perfect! 

I made these invitations....and neglected to take a picture of mine. I seriously can't believe I did that....and they were a hit with the kids and parents. I also found not just black, but PINK mustaches at Walmart in the same section that the bowls were in. There are 6 in a pack and they are very affordable. They also stick very well! 

Here is the link to my pinterest board: it has lots of ideas that I didn't use and wanted to, but had no time to work on. I did, however, do a couple of my nails all fun: 
If you made it to the end of this incredibly LONG post, you must have been REALLY interested in planning a Mario party. I would love to hear your thoughts, and see your parties! Link them up if you want!Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Oooooh, that's a really cute party! And all the props you made are so cool!

  2. Everything looks amazing as I knew it would. So sorry we missed it.