Every year, my son has the incredible knack of asking for a party theme that does not exist at any party store, or online, at all. He’s good like that. And when I tell him this, he turns to me and says, “Well, Mom, I know you’ll think of something.” And I sigh and complain and stress about how I’ll never figure it out. And then I do. Because I always will. Mostly because I love to make things, but partly because I have grown sort of fond of the kid too. Birthdays are meant to be celebrated, however we want them to be, I believe. So this particular year, I found myself searching Pinterest for “Plants vs. Zombies birthday party.”
To which I didn’t find too much. There are some great ideas out there, sure, but not as many as I expected. Which is why we find ourselves here today. So that I can share my experiments with you, and then you can throw your child (or app addicted husband or self) a rad birthday party if you so choose.
How to create a (rad) Plants vs. Zombies Birthday Party
I’m pretty handy at graphic design, if I do say so myself, so I made his invitations in Photoshop and had them printed super affordably at MPIX.
I started off by making the games. My first idea was to create six life-size (to the kids) zombies, and place them around the house for the kids to shoot at to their hearts content. My son happens to have as many nerf guns as kids invited to his party (it’s an addiction), so weaponry wasn’t an issue. To make the zombies, I found high-res photos that I wanted to use online, and uploaded them to a website called Block Posters. Once they were made, I printed out the puzzle pieces, cut them out, and glued them with mod podge to mat board (that I got at the Scrap Exchange in Durham – 6 giant pieces for under $5 – if you’re local, go check them out). Then I stapled wooden stakes to the back of them and my husband hammered them into the ground. Time consuming, but very easy and the kids were so excited about them. You’d think I would have taken more photos, but you get the idea. I predict that the scuba guy is going to live in my garage forever.
Once the kids were sweaty, hot, and tired from their nerf war, I let them come inside (It was over 100 degrees out. I’m not a monster. I allowed it for a few minutes). They enjoyed playing pin the eye on the zombie. And by enjoyed playing, I mean enjoyed totally cheating. Cheaters. I had this poster printed at Office Max before I knew about the Block Posters website. I won’t ever do that again, it’s insanely expensive for a large piece of paper. I printed the eyeballs on my home printer and made my son cut them out. Because I was tired, and hey, it’s his party!
Then I sent them outside again. But even in the heat, I’m pretty sure they’d agree that it was worth it, because this pinata was full to the brim with candy. My son had asked for a zombie head pinata, but my expertise isn’t in creating zombie heads out of paper mache, so I took the easy way out and purchased a chili pepper pinata on Amazon for $15, cut out the face using leftover mat board, and slapped it on there with some duct tape. Looks pretty good, huh? This was the party favorite, especially since my husband had to hold it after the tie wrap broke off and the kids (and by kids I mean adults) kept giggling that the bat “might hit him somewhere funny.”
Finally, I basically littered the house in zombies. Anything I could find on google images got printed out and used in its appropriate place.
Other stuff you might want to know:
- I bought the cake at the grocery store. Gone are my days of making a grand cake, shaped like whatever theme he chose this year. It makes me a very foul person. That’s not good for anyone. I know my limits. They were happy to print a photo of a zombie on an edible icing sheet and slap it on a cookie cake for me. And I was happy to pay them $10 to do it.
- The favor bags had stuffed plants and zombies in them, from China. I’m not proud of it, but those suckers are so expensive here! They were only $1 each where I got them online. Part of my soul is dead now.
- I carefully counted out organic crackers into sandwich bags for the kids to snack on during the day. They ate the bowl of potato chips that was out for the adults. Damn kids.
Happy kids = happy Mom.
There you have it! You can do it too. Honestly, compared with past years, this one was pretty easy. But I’m sure that just means next year will be impossible. Wish me luck!