Monday, December 12, 2011

Phineas and Ferb Birthday Party!

We just got finished with a birthday party for my two boys, and it was so fun I had to share right away.  My boys' birthdays are both in December, just 9 days apart.* Sam and Josh (along with the rest of the family) are huge Phineas and Ferb fans, so it didn't take much prompting on my part for them to love the idea of a P&F-themed party.  (Yes, I did prompt them.  I love Phineas and Ferb and I'm not ashamed to admit it.)

We started out with this invitation, which I designed on the computer using Phineas and Ferb clipart I found on Disney's Family website.  We left the name blank so we could just get a bunch printed as 4x6s at Walmart, then the boys wrote their friends' names on each one before delivering them.

I had three big ideas for this party, which came out with...hmmm...varying degrees of success. :)

1.  Dr. Doofenshmirtz pinata.  Dr. D. is the bumbling bad guy of the show (for you unlucky few who aren't familiar with the P&F world), whose evil schemes inevitably backfire.  Who better to be the pinata?  We even labeled the stick "The Whackinator."

As I searched Pinterest for DIY pinata ideas, this paper bag pinata tutorial stood out -- didn't seem like it could be much cheaper or easier than making a pinata out of a paper grocery bag!  The best tip on that tutorial was to cut the crepe paper while it's on the roll so you can just glue it on already fringed and awesome.  If anyone would like a step-by-step tutorial for this from me, I did take pictures so I can post one if you want it.  Basically you just fill the bag with candy, fold the top down and seal really well with tape, then hot glue miles of fringed crepe paper to the back.  On this one I started with the black in the center, then added the white for the lab coat.

Once I had the body done, I pieced the head, arms, and legs together from cardstock.  I may or may not have broken out the "Learn to Draw Phineas and Ferb" book I had gotten for Sam for his birthday a little early so that I could figure it out.  Very helpful!  The head and arms were hot glued on and held in place with bamboo skewers in the back.  For about 3 seconds I wondered if I should cover the skewers somehow, and then my sane person voice turned on and reminded me that a herd of children were just going to whack the thing to death in about 5 minutes anyway...

We got through almost all the kids twice before we ripped a big enough hole for the candy to start coming out.  That grocery bag was a lot tougher than I thought!  I had also reinforced the corners and bottom of the bag with packing tape (just a little) so it wouldn't break too early, but I definitely won't do that in the future.

2.  Invention activity.  This was hands-down the best part of the party.  When we first started planning, we talked about how P&F invent and build amazing things every day, so we decided that's what we should do, too.  We saved up all our cans and jars and cartons and lids over the past few months, then spread them out on the kitchen table with craft sticks, pipe cleaners, glitter glue, googly eyes, and other random crafty bits -- along with a LOT of glue and tape -- and told the kids to go wild and invent or build anything they wanted.  I wasn't sure how much they'd be into it, but it was a huge hit!  The kids were super creative -- we had robots and rockets and elevators and a cannon thing and tons of other stuff.  So fun.


3.  Perry the Platypus cake.  This was the toughie for me.  I have always wanted to decorate a cake with fondant, so when my lovely friend Janelle pointed me to this really awesome tutorial from Dabbled for creating a Perry the Platypus-shaped cake, I was so there.  But, as I posted on FB Friday night:

Today I learned two things:

1 -- Objects on the Internet may be more difficult than they appear.
2 -- Cake decorating will not be my avenue to fame and fortune.
This took a long time and my marshmallow fondant was SO not the right texture or consistency, and heaven knows it's not the right color.  I was about ready to throw in the towel, but once he was all done, all three of my kids were so excited and loved it so much that none of that even mattered.  And that's why kids are awesome. Also my hubby was very supportive through the whole thing, even when I was nigh unto tears after kneading that stupid fondant for an hour... :)  The boys helped me decorate the base cake with M&Ms and we had so much fun doing it together.

I am pretty proud of the tail...
 So, to sum up, the tutorial is really awesome and you should definitely check it out if you're interested in making a Perry cake.  Hers actually looks like Perry instead of Perry's fugly forest green cousin...  I will probably try fondant again some day, too.  Can't let the fondant win! :oD

 Thanks for stopping by!

*For anyone contemplating getting pregnant, I really recommend not having babies in December.  It's stinks when they're brand new and it's cold/flu/RSV season, and it's kind of a bummer your whole life.  I know this not only because both my boys are in December, but also my mom, two of my sisters, and my brother.  One of my sisters is even ON Christmas.  Everybody forgets your birthday because of Christmas busy-ness, you can't party outside, and there are always Christmas decorations in the background of your birthday pics...


Tonya said...

Hey, girl! I think the party looks like it turned out great! I really love it all...but the inventions activity is a terrific idea! I can't believe that paper bag held up that well, either! It looks like you had several kids at the party, so that was a lot of whacks with that whackinator! ;) And I think that cake looks like Perry! Great job! If anyone can do something like that, you can!!! I know what you mean about Christmas birthdays, too. My hubby's is on Christmas Eve!!!

Jen said...

Fantastic job T! Way better than I could have done. and the fact that the kids LOVED it is what matters :)
Big Mom Points scored!! Thanks for sharing. (Oh, and I have a brother with a birthday on Christmas so I understand.)

Amber E said...

(I've written an essay, my apologies!)

I love the idea of a Dr Doof pinata, that is just brilliant! We are doing a P&F Birthday party mid-summer, and it totally makes since to have him be the one you whack the crap out of.... I am definitely going to copy that idea.

As for the December birthday thing, totally agreed. My birthday is that month, so I know what it feels like to have a whole life's worth of b-day gifts wrapped in Christmas paper... Worse even is the 'joint' gifts.

When my (only) son was born two days after Christmas, I was a little bummed for him, to tell the truth. Then for his first two years of life, we noticed that it was like a (very EXPENSIVE) tidal wave of toys that month, with no real influx at any other time. By the time his birthday hit, he was numb with it... Plus, we had the added problem of many of his friends still being out of town for the holidays. Sad parties!

We decided to change it up-- we have for the last 3 years had an "Unbirthday party" at the 6 month mark, June 27th. It works PERFECTLY for us! When asked at his first one, "How old are you today, Fox?" He quickly replied, "Three and a half!" I cut a candle in half and everything! We appreciate the financial break as well. MUCH easier to do a nice Christmas and a nice Birthday.

Just my two cents! Thanks for the great ideas!

Mel said...

Are you kidding? That cake is amazing! After your facebook comment I was expecting to see something totally different, but let me tell you, I'm impressed! My boys would kill for that cake. I'm going to show them the picture tonight...I have a feeling I'll be making four of those cakes this year, although they won't look half as good as yours!

Tim and Mandi said...

Hi there, i found your invitaion on pinterest and love it! I just wondered where you found the clip art on disney family...i can't seem to figure it out!


tomiannie said...

Hi, Mandi -- it's been a long time, so I'm not sure, but I think I used the "stickers" on this printable:

I saved them, then opened it up in my graphics program to cut out just what I wanted for the invites.

Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

Just wanted to give you a big thanks for the pinata idea. We just finished ours and I think it looks so good compared to what they sell in the stores. I think we'll have the invention time, too...and I'm still wondering if I should tackle making the cake! I have to re-read your post to see if I can find the link to the tutorial.
Your kids are very lucky.