DIY Birthday Themes

My kids party "themes" are never simple. They never choose the mainstream themes that one can find plenty of supplies for with a quick Google search. Oh no, they gotta be different. Let's see, the last 3 party themes I've been tasked with finding decor for have been Zombies, Minecraft, and Barbie Mermaid. All 3 required a lot of research and work, but in the end, they turned out successfully, so I thought I would share the results on here.

I always like to preface any post like this by stating the obvious fact that I am by no means a professional.  I've run across some blogs out there that have some really polished and breathtaking parties. Although, if I'm being honest, they kind of creep me out a little. I mean, everything is so organized and pristine and all the kids are dressed up in their Sunday best without a spot on them. Who are these people and what world do they live in? I'm lucky to get out alive at my kid's parties. Anyway, the point is, this here ain't no fancy operation, and you can no doubt find the same or better out on the Internets. Still, each party is unique, and I know that as a mom I appreciate anything I can find to help me with planning my kid's parties.

Up first, Zombies:

This party was held at the bowling alley, so I was limited to how much decor I could bring. Basically, the cake and paper products were my allowance, but I managed to sneak some "Zombie Tonic" inside. When my son said he wanted Zombies as his theme, I had no idea how I was going to find any decor for this party. Luckily, with the recent popularity of zombie movies and TV shows like The Walking Dead, I was able to find a set of Zombie-themed party supplies pretty easily. The real challenge with this party was the cake. There were so many different options I could go with: tombstones, brains, bloody stumps - the possibilities were endless. It was a difficult decision, but I ended up going with the 'ole head and hands coming up out of the ground cake. I recalled that my daughter (yes, my daughter) had gotten a Dr. Dreadful Zombie Lab kit the prior Christmas, and that it was basically this plastic zombie head that could ooze out all kinds of disgusting concoctions for children to eat. I thought it would be perfect for the zombie head portion of the cake, so I off I went to the local bakery with my zombie head in tow. The people at my local bakery are really great. They have listened patiently to all my crazy cake ideas over the years and never fail to come through for me. Oh, and just in case you were wondering, their cakes are delicious to boot.

Zombie Party Supplies and Neon Bugs - Birthday Direct
Dr. Dreadful Zombie Lab - Ebay 

Next up, Minecraft:

I didn't realize until I just posted these pictures how similar the Zombie and Minecraft cakes were. I'm afraid y'all will think I just told the baker to slap some grass icing on those suckers and call it a day. I assure you that is not the case. Both of these themes just happened to need grass on the cakes but that's where the similarities end. This party was my toughest challenge yet. Despite the popularity of the video game Minecraft among young boys, there is nothing out there in the way of party decorations for it. Somebody is missing out on a huge money-making opportunity here. (Edit: I just checked Google and there is now one site that sells Creeper balloons.)  With absolutely nothing out there to purchase with Minecraft on it, I had to get creative. I found a grass tablecloth that I thought would work well, and I went with plain jane plates and cups in shades of green and brown. I chose the squared-shaped plates in keeping with the pixelated world of Minecraft and silver utensils to represent mining tools. I made Creeper faces on the cups, gift bags, and balloons by cutting out squares and rectangles of black tape. Some of the helium leaked out of the balloons in transit to the party location, so the tape became a little wrinkled and my Creepers looked kinda sad, but the kids didn't seem to mind. However, the biggest challenge of this party turned out to be those little paper characters that are on the cake. You see, my kids like "stuff" on their cakes, and by stuff I mean something they can pull off and play with after the party. I wasn't going to get away with a Creeper face drawn on the cake or a photo of the characters rendered on it. So, off to Google I went again to try and find some Minecraft toys. Turns out, Minecraft doesn't have many toys associated with it either and the ones that were out there were not going to work on a cake. It was time to get creative again. I found a website that has templates of pretty much every character and item in the Minecraft world that you can print onto paper, fold, glue, and bring to life. Jerry and I spent every night for a week cutting, folding, and gluing what you see on the cake. It may not look like much, but it was a lot of work. It was totally worth it to see the look on my child's face when he saw his cake. 

Cake Characters - Minecraft Papercrafts 
Tablecloth, Tableware, Balloons - Birthday Express  
Creeper Shirt - ThinkGeek    

Last, but not least, Barbie Mermaid:

This party was held at our local water park and things were hot and hectic, so I didn't get many pictures of the decor, and the ones I did get are not that great. My daughter had requested a Barbie party with a Barbie cake and since the party was at a water park, she decided to go with a Barbie Mermaid theme. Once again, my child picked a party theme that has no party supplies available to purchase. I did find some for sale in the UK, but they didn't ship to the US. At least this theme did have some toys. I purchased the Barbie, Merliah, especially for this cake since she is the main character in the movie Barbie in a Mermaid's Tale. I stole the dolphin you see on the cake from my little girl's toy basket. I like that the cake is a twist on the traditional Barbie cake, and my little girl liked eating the icing of her butt. Silly girl! I picked up the seashell plates, pink cups, pink utensils, and the tablecloth online. The tablecloth was actually part of a Little Mermaid theme, but it didn't have Little Mermaid written anywhere on it, so it worked just fine for Barbie Mermaid. The best part of the party was when I told my little girl she was going to Disney World next month.  Jerry captured the moment perfectly!   

Barbie Merliah - Toy Stop
Shell Plates - Oriental Trading
Tablecover - Birthday Express



  1. Very creative! I LOVE the shell plates for the cake - so cute :)

  2. The boys' cakes look different to me. I really admired the little Minecraft figurine things, so kudos to you & all your folding. You pulled off three great parties. :)

  3. Very good post! Great pics of what looked to be GREAT parties! Love the look on your daughter's face when she got the news. Makes it all worthwhile, doesn't it?

  4. Thanks, Richard! Good to see you up here again! Yes, those are the moments in life I live for.

  5. Thanks for giving me props on the Minecraft paper crafts! There was a ridiculous amount of work involved in making those (especially the chicken), but they really made the cake. My son said he wants another Minecraft cake next year with even more figures, and he wants it to be underground in the mine. I see more folding in my future. Iron Gollums, Zombies, and Spiders, oh my!

  6. Thanks, Katie! I was so happy I found those!

  7. Excellent birthday party ideas. one of the latest party theme you may want to consider is the casino-themed party. There are lots of things you can actually to with this idea. -

  8. Hey! I love the Minecraft party ideas! I would love to use this invitation. Where can I get it? Or should I just print it out and write on the back? Thanks

  9. Awesome! Where can I get the Minecraft Invitation?

  10. Hi, Amy. My boyfriend is a graphic designer. He made the invitations.

  11. I love it and would LOVE to use it! Would he be willing to send it to me for my son Rhys' 5th Birthday party? It's June 1st.


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