Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Lord of the Rings Birthday Party

Spencer just turned nine years old and we threw him a Lord of the Rings party. He does archery, so a lot of the inspiration came from Legolas and the other elves who use bows.

Here's the invitation:

I decorated the kitchen with some "trees", a birthday banner, and quotes from the books.

On the table is a basket with gold plastic utensils wrapped in brown napkins. I held the napkins around the utensils with little gold rubber bands from my kids' Rainbow Loom stash.  I saw that trick at a graduation party and thought it was genius.  It's so easy to find a color to match your party and they are just the right size!

The trees are pool noodles that I covered with brown paper lunch sacks.  You cut the bottom off the lunch sack and slide it over the pool noodle and scrunch it down.  Then you add another sack over-lapping the first, on up the tree.  Then I stuck some faux greenery that I had into the hole on the top of the pool noodle.  To make the trees stand up, I threaded the pool noodles over some old speaker stands we had.  But the speaker stands weren't tall enough so I had to use fishing line to attach the tops of the trees to the curtain rod as well.
The banner says "Happy Birthday Spencer" and I made it using my Cricut keeping with the gold, browns, and greens.
 The other wall held a collage of movie pictures with famous quotes.  I found all of the images (including the Middle Earth map) online and I looked up the quotes in the books. Accuracy is important to us nerds.

In the living room, I removed the curtains from the curtain rods and added two Lord of the Rings banners - one from Rohan and one from Gondor.
For these, I raided my fabric stash and dusted off my sewing machine.  I finished the raw edges of the green and black banners and made the rod pockets at the tops.  For the designs, I free-hand drew them on the white fabric with a pencil and cut them out.  I hand-sewed on all the pieces for the horse head.  But then I decided that took too long and I just glued the tree pieces on the Gondor banner.  Also for the tree, I only drew one half of the tree, folded the white fabric in half the long way, and then cut out both sides of the tree so it would be symmetric.  Just like how we all used to make hearts out of pink construction paper in elementary school.  I plan to hang these banners in Spencer's room after the party.

Outside, where all the activities took place, I made a Mount Doom on the shed using plastic table cloths.  They used that for some of the games they played.  Here's the birthday boy tossing the ring into the fires of Mount Doom.

 I made him the elven cloak out of some old curtains. (How very Sound of Music.) And ordered the leaf brooch from Amazon.  I'm sure my boys will use it for many Halloweens to come.

Now on to the party activities!
I had a station set up where they could make The One Ring To Rule Them All out of oven-bake clay.

My  husband led several ring tossing-type games.  This one, they were trying to get the hula hoops around the cones.

I can't tell you the exact rules of the games, because he just makes this stuff up as he goes based on what the boys are interested in.  Mad skillz, that one.

Then we armed them with cheap dollar store bows and arrows and let them run around playing Elves vs. Orcs.  They took this very seriously.

Time for food!  I served regular food and tried to give it a Lord of the Rings-ish name.  The coolers that held the drinks got fancy signs, though.

Then it was time for birthday cupcakes!  Chocolate cupcakes with fire frosting!

Here's how to make the fire colored frosting.  Mix up some red, orange, and yellow buttercream icing.  Splat the three colors of icing onto a sheet of plastic wrap like in the picture below.  Roll up the plastic wrap into a tube.  Insert the tube into a large leaf decorating tip (I used 1M).  Then insert that into a decorating bag.  Pipe the swirls onto the cupcakes.  It's kind of tedious, but it looks really cool when you're done.

After opening gifts, we sent everyone off with a Lord of the Rings themed treat bag.  They got One Ring (Pop) To Rule Them All, some Swedish Fish (raw and wiggling just how Gollum likes them), and a glow stick from Lady Galadriel.  They also got to bring home the rings they made and one of the bow & arrow sets.

Whew!  That was an epic party!  Good thing his birthday is in the summer when there isn't much else going on.  Happy birthday, Spencer!

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