Party Time: A Super Mario Birthday

Elliott LOVES Super Mario Bros., so there was no better way to celebrate his 6th birthday than with a Super Mario party. The invitations were double slider cards based on this tutorial by thenorsugirl. A little pull on the card and the 1UP slides out.

For decorations, yellow plastic plates, hot glue and fishing line became a coin garland. Yellow and maroon wrapping paper helped turn boxes into coin and bricks blocks , which were also used for a party game. Balloons and white labels turned into chomps and piranha plants. The fabric backdrop was inspired by the one made by Chica and Jo and we used the amazing goomba template from their site.

For the snacks and treats, we used containers that looked like Super Mario items. Round boxes were painted green to look like the pipes in the game. Juice boxes were wrapped in the same maroon paper as the boxes and stacked to look like brick blocks. And mini coin blocks were created with card stock.

Treats included piranha plant pops, chips, a Mario cake from Cupcake Cafe and

amazing cake pops from Pop-N-Stuff NYC. (Full disclosure: Rita is a friend, but the fact that these are the first Mario-themed pops she’s ever made show how amazing her work is.)

For activities, the kids played “Chomp Bop,” which was just the kids running around keeping the Chomps off the ground and also bopping each other with balloons.

Next, the kids played “Pass the Power-ups” by breaking up into two teams and using spoons to pass each other little wooden mushrooms.

To calm them down a bit, the next activity was “Design a Mario Kart.” The kids quietly decorated wooden cars with markers.

The next activity was Musical Mario Blocks. We used the brick and coin blocks for the kids to sit on and the music was the Super Mario theme song.

Finally, they played “Pick A Coin” where they picked a “coin” that contained a Super Mario character figure.

Then it was time for cake!

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Easy DIY: Suprise Ball Game

For a fun party game (and because we wanted something other than a pinata), we used a bunch of surprise ball hearts, attached them to a board with glue dots and added numbered stickers.

We attached the same numbered stickers to the bottom of Hershey’s Kisses. (Avery’s 3/4″ round labels fit perfectly.) Each child picked a Kiss out of the bin and had to find the heart with the corresponding number.


You could make this game with regular round surprise balls or make egg-shaped ones for Easter. Just make sure to have extras on your board so that even the last child gets to make a choice.


Easy DIY: Filled Heart Garland

A super easy garland using:

*clear heart boxes
*ornament hooks

We found our boxes online at, but we’ve seen them at Party City, Michael’s and at baking supply stores.

Using random craft items we had on hand, we filled up our boxes, taped them shut and poked a hole on top of each for an ornament hook and hung them on a ribbon.

Easy DIY: Heart-shaped Surprise Ball

We just love surprise balls and have used Not Martha’s tutorial to make many of them. But then we thought why not make heart-shaped ones for Valentine’s Day.

We found all these great little trinkets to wrap up and used a cardstock heart for a little message, as well as to help with the shape. Stickers, badges and shaped erasers are also fun things to include.

20120114-095611.jpgTake a trinket and start wrapping with crepe paper. We recommend having the items follow the shape of the heart. For example, we kept the ball in one of the rounded areas and the flat side of the bear and the popper were kept flush with the flat edges. Keep adding items and continue wrapping.

Try to space the items out so the surprises keep coming as the heart is unwrapped. You’ll have to keep shaping/shifting items a bit as you go along to keep the heart shape. Since we used some odd-shaped pieces, we wrapped them tissue paper to help with the shaping.

When you’ve finished wrapping up your surprise ball, just use a little glue at the end of the crepe paper to secure. We finished ours by tucking in the edge and adding a little heart we made with beads and some wire. You could also use a little sticker or just leave it plain.