Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Jake and the Neverland Pirates Birthday Party

Argh, Mateys! X marks the spot--so glad you are here! This post is a long time in coming. My oldest two girls had a combined Jake and the Neverland Pirates Party last October. I guess pirates were the big thing last year because it seemed like everyone dressed up as a pirate this year for Halloween, including them. I was just excited to do a not-so-girly birthday party, because let's be honest--with 3 girls I'm sure we will have many, many girly parties through the years.

So first and foremost--let's talk cake. I was soooo excited to make a treasure chest cake. Ahhh--I was giddy thinking about it for months beforehand. The bottom and the lid are all cake. I stacked rectangular pieces of cake for both of them, then carved the lid piece so it had a curve. My husband saw me struggling with the lid and stepped in to help (he is much more engineering-minded than me)--he cut two equal semicircles which he had me hold against the sides of the cake, then he took a long serated knife and used those as his guide to put the knife up against as he cut, and voila! a perfect lid shape.

After covering in fondant I made indentations to resemble wood slats, then used some floral wire to scratch it up a bit to look like wood grain, then I painted some brown food coloring/vanilla extract combo onto it to add some dimension.

I found a coin chocolate mold and made a bunch of gold doubloons to put in the treasure chest and spilling out onto the brown sugar dirt.

And we must have Jake's sword on the front if it is truly going to be his treasure chest!

The other kid-friendly food was fun to do as well--Jake Jello boats, Goldfish, "Gold nuggets" (chicken nuggets), "Cannonballs" (whoppers), and Pixie Stix.

The decor was really easy for this party--we had black dashes along the sidewalk going up to our front door with a big X on it, then more on the wall, with Bucky's mast, which was so easy to make--I just took a piece of poster board and put strips of painters tape on it. No painting and no cutting required!

Backtracking a little to the invitations--I made a little invite that I printed on tan scrapbooking paper, then tore the edges (I tried burning them, but let's just say it was kind of a disaster, and I really am not old enough to play with fire, still!). Thanks to my husband, brother, and nephews, enough IBC rootbeer bottles were emptied a few weekends prior to the party during a rather exciting BYU football game, and I used those for our "letter in a bottle" invite, with a gold doubloon tied around it with the guest's name on it.

And to make things even more awesome for this party, my amazing and wonderful mother-in-law made my husband a fabulous Captain Hook costume for the party (and Halloween!), and we had Captain Hook answering the door when the guests arrived, and leading them through the whole party. Here he is with the two birthday girls "Izzy" and "Back-Eye Jessie"--the first thing when kids got there was to pick a pirate name that they got to wear around on a name tag. There were different jars to pick papers from, then we'd put it all together into one name. "Izzy" got a name too, and she was "Red-Strap Bertha." The kids all got a kick out of having an authentic pirate name.

And our littlest pirate was at the party too. She mainly hung out in Grammy's arms. Isn't she adorable?!

We had a few games for the kids to play, and after each of them they "earned" some new pirate accessory. First they played Pin the Hook on Hook, and they earned their red solo cup hooks.

Then we made them all walk the plank, and they got to earn pink Izzy bandanas for the girls or red Jake bandanas for the boys.

Then the kids got to dig for buried treasure in the sand table. Now, I must digress for a moment and say that little Black-Eyed Jessie wasn't as set on a pirate party as her older sister was. She wanted fairies, so I told her I would somehow include fairies in the party. It was perfect with the tie in of Pixie Dust that Izzy has in her pouch, so one of the things they had to find was a "moonstone" which they then turned into "Fairy Mary" downstairs by the Pixie Dust Tree to earn their Izzy Pixie Dust Pouch filled with pixie dust. My mother-in-law was a saint being Fairy Mary for us--her name is Mary after all--and how stinky, but my camera battery died right then and I didn't get any good shots of the kids getting their pouches. All they were were those little gold wedding favors bags you can get at the craft store that I tied ribbon to to make a necklace, then put a small packed of glitter inside. That satisfied my promise of fairies at the party, and my little pirate was a happy 

After that we got to sing, eat, open presents, and control the mass chaos that seems to ensue when presents are opened. Before leaving, the kids had to find their treasure chests (their party favors) which they discovered downstairs on the ship.

We had a swash-buckling good time. I'm sure next year we will be back to a frilly, girly party, but for this year they enjoyed plundering, hornswaggling, and being such cute little pirates.