I love Minecraft. Well, I actually have no idea how to play Minecraft or even what a player's end-game is when playing Minecraft (To build the most houses? To acquire the most stuff? To not get killed by the exploding green guys?). Frankly, the game eludes me. But I love the way my kids play Minecraft together. I really should capture it one of these days, because when they're having one of their good moments (for example, Robby helping Jocelyn build her house, or Jocelyn saving Robby from getting killed), I stop whatever I'm doing, and I enjoy it. I bask in that moment just relishing that my kids *sometimes* are so good to and for one another. And more of those moments occur while playing Minecraft than in any other venue. So I love Minecraft. Everybody was game for a Minecraft birthday party for the year of 9 and 7.
Creeper Mason Jar Piggy Banks
I knew I wanted to make these Creeper mason jar piggy banks as favors months before the party. Since I save our marinara sauce jars (our town doesn't recycle glass but my household does!), I always seek out something mason jar-related for each holiday/party. And it's a good thing I decided on *the* mason jar project so far in advance, because I actually had to switch our family's marinara brand to accomodate! This design required a nice flat center, which Ragu was nice enough to offer. Unfortunately, Ragu's jars look more like sauce jars than mason jars compared to some other sauce brands, but I digress. The piggy banks actually became more of my husband's project -- they are quite a bit of work. If you see these on another blog claiming how easy they are, remember this: they lie. These needed two coats of green spray paint on the jars and lid; the tops painstakingly drilled for the entry point of the coins; and then my portion, which was the face design. I sized a creeper for the jars (free creeper jar design) and used the template to cut out adhesive black vinyl. From there, all I needed to do was stick 'em on. For an extra favor bonus, I filled them up with candy.
Minecraft Perler Keychains
These favors were nice and easy! Me and the kids made an evening of it. Robby (an impatient almost 7) was a little hard to work with, but Jocelyn (a mostly patient 9) caught on really quickly. The materials I used were: perler beads, key rings, jump rings, free patterns, and examples on pinterest that I used as patterns
Construction Paper Creeper
More easy! I used the free perler pattern for the paper counts. Then I trimmed my 8.5x11 paper to 8.5x8.5, laid them out on the floor, and taped them together. I did a quarter section at a time to keep things manageable and then taped the sections together. Easy Peasy. Since I was feeling particularly productive that evening, I utilized the leftover paper by trimming it into small squares for confetti.
Minecraft Pool Toys
Ice cubes from amazon. I couldn't resist. I love party-themed pool toys for a pool party, but there's no Minecraft pool toys. I checked. So I opted for these guys, which the kids LOVED.
Keep Calm and Mine On
No tutorial needed. :)
Alex/Jocelyn cake really. (I lightened up Alex's red hair and gave her blue eyes to be a Jocelyn.) Again, a free perler bead pattern was my guide. I used a brownie pan to be able to go square with the cupcakes, but I really didn't need to in retrospect. I don't think the circle of the cupcakes would have been very obvious with the icing. Otherwise, I just used grocery store food coloring for the icing. The cake consisted of 64 cupcakes total, so it was time consuming but no skill needed whatsoever.
The Minecraft Gift
Lego Minecraft Village. It killed us to spend so much on pieces I knew would 1 by 1 (of 1,600!) get ate by the vacuum, but they both really, really wanted it. We've been able to swing joint birthday parties all their lives, but them requesting a joint gift was a first.
White electrical tape was perfect for this job. If I strived to make each piece of tape line up perfectly (which being a little OCD, really was my inclination, but I was strong and resisted!), it would have taken FOR-E-VER. However, just cutting and slapping those pieces on there went pretty quickly.
So then I got cocky and was like ya I could do another window.
Sliding glass doors -- bring it on.
I cursed this ambition repeatedly when it was time to take all the tape off. It actually came off really easily, but if you're anything like me and love the set-up but abhor the breaking down, stick with one window.
Minecraft Perler Wreath
My trusty wreath is all ready to to dress up for each season and birthday. (The base is foam that's wrapped in burlap, which I find to be the perfect base for most decor.) From there, pretty red ribbon on top and overlapping white and black cardstock squares on bottom with hearts made from . . . yes, more perler beads. This was the point in my life I re-embraced perler beads. We used to be pretty tight, but it had been 25+ years. We picked up right where we left off. I used this free perler heart example as a starting point and just went a little bigger with it. Once each heart was ironed, I ironed them together. That was a little tricky. Then I used double sided tape to adhere the hearts to the card stock and attached the piece to the wreath with fishing wire.
Minecraft *Indoor* Centerpieces
I loved everything about these . . . except of course the fact that the approximately 1 MPH winds in Arizona proved to be too much for my top-heavy creations. I was able to keep one up just long enough for a picture in its intended environment!
Then I moved all six of them indoors.
Other than that, I loved them. They were super easy, super cheap, and super cute. The best combination. I used mason jars, twizzlers, card stock that I labeled with "TNT", a little bit of twine, balloons, balloon holders, and electrical tape for the minimalist face designs.
I used my Amazon Prime account to create a free playlist for the party. The kids now listen to their Minecraft tunes while getting dressed for school in the morning. Every morning. Then they leave, and I'm left singing, ". . . don't mine at night. . . ." the rest of the day while working. Ah, the joys of parenthood. :)