Thursday, August 27, 2009

Star War's Birthday

We had a busy weekend last weekend at our house. It was my son's birthday and we hosted a Star Wars party. I think that hosting a home party and catering it yourself, including the cake is a great way to save money on a birthday party. Not only that, but it allows me a great creative outlet.

We started with a homemade invitation. This area is my husband's department. He took a picture of my son with a Light Saber and dropped it on a black background. Then, using a really cool "font" he found, he built a movie poster to serve as the invite. The font that he found allowed him to get an authentic movie poster look to his text. We did print a few, but many were sent via e-mail to save us on both printing and postage.

Then, to accessorize the party, we kept it simple. We purchased a few dessert plates and some napkins with a Star Wars theme. The rest of our plates were standard luncheon plates that I had picked up for free during a Kmart Super Double Event. We also picked up two balloons the day of the party, a Mylar Star Wars balloon and a complimentary latex balloon. When we have a summer party, most of it takes place outside, so spending time or money decorating inside certainly doesn't make sense.

When it comes to the menu, we keep it simple and use a lot of seasonal produce that is less expensive. We did burgers and hot dogs on the grill with baked beans, corn on the cob (12 ears for $3), watermelon ($2.98 for a seedless whole melon), and assorted chips. My oops this time was that I had Spinach Salad, Macaroni Salad, and Potato Salad that I somehow overlooked putting out - that was not a great economic oversight. We wound up not eating all of it after the party, causing us to waste food.

But, the highlight of the party for me, is the cake. I have so much fun planning and preparing the cake for the kids' parties. They always are so excited about seeing the cake. It makes me feel good. The Star Wars theme was one that I struggled with for a little while and then decided on a Light Saber. My son upped the ante by asking for dueling light sabers. I agreed and then set to work to figure it out. I wound up creating my own template for the handles, by stacking rectangles in a graphics program. I baked a standard cake and then carved it into two handles using my template. I made my own butter cream frosting and colored it gray for the handles. I wanted to find a black decorator icing to trim the handles, but the local grocery and Walmart did not carry such a thing, so I went with blue. Then, the next challenge was the light portion. I went through a number of iterations in my mind before landing on Rice Krispies Treats covered in fondant. This was a new experience for me. I had never made or used fondant before. I found an easy recipe and some tutorial here. I made the fondant and then colored half red and half blue (you have to have the good and evil in the battle, so I had to do some homework to make sure I had the right colors). I made Rice Krispies treats and with buttered hands, rolled the mixture into two long cylinders. I let them sit out to firm up. Then, I rolled out the fondant and covered the two cylinders. I assembled and here is what I got:

To get a themed cake from a baker would have cost a lot more.

With a little bit of work, you can host a birthday party for family and friends without breaking the bank. For more Frugal ideas, check out Frugal Friday over at Life As Mom.


Jennifer said...

Oh, I love it! my ds requested a star wars birthday party and since he has never had friends over for a birthday, we decided this is the year. Thanks for the ideas!

Hoosier Homemade said...

Cool! Great job!