Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Pokemon Birthday Party


Hello, all.  Do you have a special someone in your life who is about to have a birthday?  Do you want to give him or her a fun party, no matter what his or her age is?  Does this person love Pokémon?  Well, then do I have some ideas for you!

I would like to begin by stating that my boyfriend and I are both college students.  But, that won’t stop us from having some good, old fashioned fun.  We both love Pokémon, I love planning fun parties, and he had a birthday coming up!  So, everything was lined up perfectly to throw him a Pokémon-themed birthday party… well, almost everything.  Did I mention that we are both college students?  An 8-pack of Pokémon plates online costs about $5.  We had 15 people at the party.  So, that means two sets of plates: $10.  Add in cups, napkins, party hats, and decorations, and I would have spent over $30, probably even over $40.  So, I did the next best thing: I searched the internet for alternatives.  However, I quickly discovered that the internet is not loaded with Pokémon-party ideas.  So, I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorites as well as how to implement them!

The picture qualities aren't the best, but you will hopefully get the idea
Pokémon Cups and Party Hats:

            Materials:
o   plain or colored cups
o   party hats
o   access to a computer with Paint or a similar program
o   access to a color printer
o   glue and scissors          
            Directions:
            1)  If you wish to make your own Pokémon circles, please do so!  Perhaps the subject of
                           the party likes different Pokémon than my boyfriend and I.  Or, if you like, you
                           may certainly use mine!  If you choose to make your own, however, here’s some
                           steps:
                        1.1) Draw circles on Paint or your editing program.  Make these circles large with a                                                        thin line.  If you want perfect circles, press the Shift button while you
                                           click and drag.  I found that a 4x3 matrix of circles on one page
                                           makes for good-sized Pokémon.
                        1.2) Draw a slightly smaller, and more bold (thicker line) circle inside your larger                                        circles.
                                    Hint: If you want to save some time, only make one set of circles and then                                        copy and paste the rest!
                        1.3) Find pictures of Pokémon from online and save them to your computer. 
                                    Hint: For those of you who know nothing about Pokémon, it helps to find                                     out the names of some and then type the names into Google.  If you just                                                type “Pokemon” you’re going to have a more difficult time finding ones                                                that you can use!
                        1.4) Beginning with only one picture, paste it onto Paint.  Resize it so that it fits                                             inside the circle.  You may need to redraw one or both of the circles depending on                                       the size of the box around the Pokémon.  However, it is not too difficult to line                                               the circles up.
            2) Print your pages.
            3) Cut them out.
            4) Glue them onto the cups and hats.
            Walla!  You have some cheap cups and party hats!

Pokémon Decorations
Several of my friends helped me decorate.
            Materials:
o   access to a computer with Paint or a similar program
o   access to a color printer
o   scissors
o   tape
            Optional Materials:
o   glue
o   tablecloth (plastic and cheap if you’re trying to save money)
o   construction paper, red, white, and black (for “Happy Birthday” sign)
o   cardboard (for Pokémon stand ups)
o   twirly ceiling decorations (or paper plates to make them)
o   string (for twirly ceiling decorations and “Happy Birthday” sign)
o   ribbons (I went with a red, white, and black theme.  It just seemed to fit.)

            Directions for twirly ceiling decorations:

            1) Find some pictures of Pokémon and save them to your computer.
                        1.1) Draw circles on Paint or your editing program.  Make these circles large with a thin                                      line.  If you want perfect circles, press the Shift button while you click and                                drag.  I found that a 4x3 matrix of circles on one page makes for good-sized                                               Pokémon.
                        1.2) Draw a slightly smaller, and more bold (thicker line) circle inside your larger                                                   circles.
                                    Hint: If you want to save some time, only make one set of circles and then                                     copy and paste the rest!
                        1.3) Find pictures of Pokémon from online and save them to your computer. 
                                    Hint: For those of you who know nothing about Pokémon, it helps to find                                      out the names of some and then type the names into Google.  If you just                                       type “Pokemon” you’re going to have a more difficult time finding ones                                      that you can use!
                        1.4) Beginning with only one picture, paste it onto Paint.  Resize it so that it fits                                                      inside the circle.  You may need to redraw one or both of the circles depending on                                      the size of the box around the Pokémon.  However, it is not too difficult to line                                             the circles up.
            2) Print your pages.
            3) Cut them out.
            4) If you do not have store-bought twirly ceiling decorations, make your own with plastic plates!
                        4.1) Using the scissors, cut a spiral in the paper plates.
                        4.2) Cut a small hole near the end of the outermost section.
                        4.3) Tie string in the hole.
            5) Glue a Pokémon circle onto the centermost end of a twirly ceiling decoration.
                        Hint: If you are using colored paper plates, make sure the colored side will hang                             so that it is facing the ground.  This way, no one will know that only one side is                             colored.
            6) Let dry, and then hang!

            Directions for “Happy Birthday” Sign:

You can see the "Happy Birthday" sign in this picture.
            1) Find something round that is good for tracing and is a good size for a pokéball for one of the                          letters.  I used a roll of duct tape.
            2) Trace 14 of these on red construction paper.

            3) Trace 7 of these on white construction paper.
            4) Find something round that is good for tracing that also has a larger circumference than the                              pokéball. 
                        Hint:  I used something that had almost twice the circumference.
            5) Line up your larger object so that it runs through both of the center edges of the white circles.                        Now, turn the circle so that you trace another line that is a mirror of the first line.
                        Hint: It should look like an eye when you finish.

            6) Take your larger tracing object and place it on the black construction paper.  Trace a      line that                  is longer than your already-traced circles.  Move the tracing object and trace a   second line                          so that there is a small space in between the two lines.  Do this so that you  have 14 curved bars.
                        Hint: They should be about a centimeter wide.
            7) Take a quarter and trace 14 circles on the black construction paper.
            8) Using a dime or nickel, trace 14 circles on the white construction paper.
            9) Cut out everything.
            10) Glue everything together to make pokéballs.  You may need to trim your curved, black, bars.
            11) Writing one letter on each ball, spell out the words “HAPPY BIRTHDAY.”
            12) Tape each of the pokéballs to the string.
            13) Hang from the celing!

            Directions for Pokémon stand ups

            1) Print out pictures of Pokémon.  Have each take up an entire sheet of paper.
            2) Cut out the Pokémon.
            3) Glue the Pokémon to the cardboard.
                        Hint: I used empty cereal boxes.
                        Hint: If you use a box, glue the Pokémon so that the bottom of the figure is at the                             edge of the box, that way there is a piece that folds easily.
            4) Cut the Pokémon figure out of the cardboard.
                        Hint: don’t completely cut out the bottom.  Leave about two inches so that you                                 have something to fold over.
            5) Cut out a strip of cardboard that is about two inches thick.
            6) Tape this strip onto the back of the cutout and onto the part that foldes over.  This will             keep the cutout standing.

            Decorating the room:


















            Table:  I just laid a cheap, plastic tablecloth across the table.  Then, I set the cups and hats                         on the table so that people could choose theirs as they entered the apartment.
            Wall:  I taped some cut-out Pokémon on various parts of the wall.
            Ceiling:  I hung my twirly cut outs, “Happy Birthday” sign, and ribbon from the celing.

How about that cake?
            Well, I will be honest; my cake was very time consuming.  It took me over 5 hours to decorate the cake and cupcakes, but I was extremely pleased with the results.  I will tell you how I did what I did; but, there are probably other cake options if you aren’t as into cakes as I am. 

            Materials:
o   a small, plastic Pokémon (about 2 inches tall, can be purchased from Amazon (I used a Lucario, my boyfriend’s favorite.))
o   a spherical cake pan (If you don’t have one, go ahead and purchase one.  I love mine, and they can be used for so many fun cakes.  Plus, they just look awesome!)
o   icing bags and star tips (if you’ve never used them before, it’s really not difficult. I’m sure you could find a tutorial online)
o   various colors of food coloring (black and red are a necessity; but I used other colors such as yellow, blue, purple, and pink)
            Directions:
                        1) Bake your cake following the directions.
                                    Hint: To make a thicker cake and avoid your cake “sinking” once it is all                                        together, use less oil… substantially less oil.  Like, one tablespoon and                                             only one tablespoon.
                        2) I made cupcakes with the leftover cake batter.
                        3) Put your cake together, and put the crumb coat on.
                                    Hint: A crumb coat is a layer of icing that catches all the crumbs so that                                          you don’t get any crumbs into your top-layer icing.
                                    Hint: Don’t forget to cut out a spot in your cake to stick the Pokémon.  Put                                      him in the cake before you put it together.
You can see the Pokemon sticking his head out from the center of the cake.
                        4) Stick in the fridge and let the crumb coat harden overnight (no need to cover).
                        5) Take a toothpick and draw the designs you want to use into the crumb coat on                                               your cake/cupcakes (another handy reason to use a crumb coat).  For the main                                cake, I made a traditional pokéball; but, for the cupcakes, I did a variety of                                    pokéballs.
                        6) Mix your icings (this takes place right before you use them).

                        7) Using the icing bags and star tips, decorate your cake.  I began with the black                                               circle in the main cake and all the cupcakes (for this part, I actually used a plain                             tip, not the star tip, but a star tip would look nice, too)
                        8) After much toil, you will have a pretty awesome cake.  Remember to put                                                        toothpicks in your cake before putting any ceranwrap around it so that you don’t                           ruin all your hard work.


Games:

            Seeing as I was throwing a party for a bunch of college students, I didn’t want to overload them with              games.  However, I couldn’t resist just one… Pin the Tail on the     Pikachu!
            Materials:
o   access to a computer with Paint or a similar program
o   access to a color printer
o   scissors and tape
            Directions:
                        1) Find a high-resolution picture of Pikachu.  Copy and paste him into Paint, and                           then make him LARGE.  I made him to cover 6 sheets of paper – a section that                                     was 3x2 pieces of paper large.  Save your work.
                                    Hint: Remember to delete his tail before printing.
                        2) Save the Pikachu to a second file without his tail and print.
                        3) Go back to your original file and delete all the Pikachu except his tail.  Print                                                   enough tails for everyone at the party.  If you want to save some paper, you can                             make the tails a bit small so that you are able to fit two or three to each page.
                        4) Cut out the tails, and put a small rolled piece of tape on the back of each.
                        5) Tape the papers to the wall. (the full papers, not the tails)

                        You’re ready to play!

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