Sunday, February 14, 2010

DIY Mario Kart birthday party

Mr. Lego told us a while back that he wanted a Mario Kart birthday party. We looked around town to find party supplies but weren't successful. Not suprising since we live in a small town. We searched the internet too but everything we found was expensive. We had decided at the beginning of the year that we would stick to a budget and the party supplies were going to go well over that.

So Charles, bless his heart, decided that we'd make what we needed instead of buying it. By that, I mean he would make what we needed. He's very creative and I stayed out of his way! My contribution was cupcakes.

His first creation was a pinata. If you've ever seen the Mario Kart game, you know there are tons of characters and objects that make up each race. Charles chose a Chain Chomp as the inspiration for the pinata. It's a round black ball with a huge mouth and sharp teeth that can chomp a racer and slow him down during a race.

He started with a plastic beach ball and blew it up to full size. He put three layers of newspaper mache over the ball using a flour and water mixture as the glue. A layer of black construction paper, black spray paint, a red construction paper mouth and white paper teeth finished it off.

After we filled it with trinkets and candy, Charles sealed the hole with black duct tape. We had all of the supplies on hand except for the candy. Pretty frugal, huh?

His next project was to make piranha plants. He took styrofoam balls and cut them half. Each half was painted red with white polka-dots. He shaped floral wire into stems and used the ends as prongs to hold the balls in place. Then he paper-mached the stems and formed leaves, painting them green when he was finished. The pots for the plants were old plastic planters we had in the shed with green aquarium gravel to hold the piranha plants in place. Plastic vampire teeth we had from trick-or-treats past served as the plants' teeth.

Not bad, huh? And we had all the supplies on hand, including the paint.

We used red and blue streamers to decorate our playroom, as well as some gold cardboards stars we found at the Dollar Store. We put gold foil-wrapped chocolate coins on the food table and in the pinata. Here's Mr. Lego taking the first whack at the pinata.

I made cupcakes and frosted them with blue, green or red icing. Then I took white M&M's to decorate the tops. The kids gobbled them right up. To get the white M&M's, I had to buy three bags of Valentine's M&M's, then go through each one and pull out the white ones. I don't know what we'll do with the rest. Wink, wink.

We used simple red napkins and blue cups for the icecream instead of spending tons of money on themed plates and tableware. The biggest expense for this party was the candy for the pinata. We only spent about $20 and had tons of fun!

Part of the entertainment included a tournament in which all the kids got to race each other on the Wii. The winner got a hand-held Mario Kart game we found at WalMart on clearance.

Mr. Lego was so proud to show off the pinata and piranha plants to his friends. He was thrilled that his daddy had taken the time to make them. I'm sure he'll never forget it, either.

Charles deserves the credit for how well this turned out. Paper mache is time-consuming and tedious, but he did it without complaint. Thanks, babe.

One word of advice. If you plan a DIY party like this with a theme, start planning and creating your decorations early. Charles started on the pinata two weeks ago to give himself plenty of time. We're so glad he did because he was out of town for work the week before the party.

Now the Princess is thinking ahead to her birthday. It's in July. Who knows what crazy theme she'll want! We'd better get started now!

This post is linked to Life as Mom's Frugal Fridays.


  1. I love this party idea! We have birthdays in July and December - so I'll definitely keep this theme in mind! -My boys love Mario!

  2. Ansley is almost 12, and she thought this was the best EVER!!! She thinks, and I guys are brilliant!!!! We are, um, additicted to Mario Kart. Ansley received this game last July, and we still play it every single day. Ansley wants to rewind time and be invited to Mr. Lego's party!!!!!!!