I had a cartoon themed party for my 18th birthday last year, most of it was created by me, DIY style! I absolutely loved everything, despite it being pretty much a kids party, so I thought I would share the outcome with you. It was a costume party during summer (in England though so I was lucky it was actually a lovely day). I probably spent around 3 months planning everything so that it was all perfect. I had a separate theme for each area of the house, I’ll go into detail in a bit, creating decorations for each theme.
After many weeks of deliberation and endless hours of scrolling through pinterest for ideas, I eventually settled on going as the Cat in the Hat. I wanted to be a well known character, but unique enough that I could be pretty certain no one else would come as it too. Whenever I’m creating a costume, I much prefer it to be made up of DIY bits and bobs rather than buying a pre-made outfit. So I took to the wonderful world of the interweb. I knew I wanted it to be a girly version (seeing as the cat in the hat is male) so I mixed it up a bit by buying a black tutu. Obviously, I wanted to be the centre of attention, it was my birthday after all, so I bought the biggest one I could find. I paired this with a black crop top, where I had cut out the cats stomach out of sparkly white felt and attached this (with Wonder Web) and there we go, the simplest DIY costume ever! Add the famous hat, a tail, a big red ribbon as a bow tie, and some stripey knee high socks and you’re all done. The only thing that had to be done on the day was the simple cat makeup, and the whole thing really came together wonderfully.
TV Cartoons Lounge…
So the first of the 4 areas was the lounge, this was based around all of the TV cartoons, including things like Looney Tunes, The Simpsons, Peanuts, TMNT, and many more.
For this room I bought loads of posters cushions and cuddly toys to cover the walls and sofas, including a Simpsons donut cushion, Sylvester the cat and Tweety pie. The TV was lined with a collection of Simpsons Lego characters which added a nice touch. The focal wall in the room has a collection of different sized ornament boxes, so I took the opportunity to change all of the contents to different cartoon themed things that I had collected over the time of planning (or borrowed from my little cousin) even Mr Men tissue boxes were included! I had gained so many cardboard boxes from all the orders I had made, so I put one of them to good use and made a Snoopy dog house using only red paint and black duct tape.
Comic Book Kitchen…
The kitchen turned out amazing, if I do say so myself, and during the party it was the place for photos, as I had created a makeshift photo booth backdrop and had props at the ready for all of the mandatory party selfies. One of the features was my Uncle’s Batman shadow box style scene, which was combined with one of my DIY projects to create an option of a backdrop, the other being made up of a comic book poster and some Spiderman fairy lights (from Primark!!). I created classic flag style bunting and a circle garland out of some string and some vintage comic books found at a second hand shop. The kitchen area is quite small and most of the counter tops were taken up with drinks (and a snowcone maker!) so there wasn’t much space left to decorate. In the space I did have left, we made brightly coloured jelly shots and displayed them on a comic cake stand, surrounded by some confetti, the photo booth props and some superhero figures.
Dr Seuss Conservatory…
Seeing as I was dressed as the Cat in the Hat, I wanted to include some more Dr Seuss based things, so the conservatory ended up as the designated Dr Seuss area. This was where the food table was, including the cake and cocktail dispensers. Myself and my mum spent FOREVER coming up with and making all the different foodie bits, but all of the effort was so worth it.
The colour theme for the room was red, white and blue and we tried to come up with loads of little finger foods that I could link the name to some form of Dr Seuss reference. I am a huge fan of cupcakes, so we decided to make 2 different batches, 1 decorated and ‘Green Eggs and Ham’ and another as ‘Truffula Trees’ from the Lorax. These turned out amazing and absolutely delicious! The Green eggs and ham cupcakes were vanilla cupcakes decorated with green buttercream and topped with an egg made from white chocolate melts with a green M&M and pretzel sticks (representing the ham). The truffula trees cupcakes were chocolate cake, topped with pink buttercream and a chocolate stick holding up and pink Haribo marshmallow.
The other snacks included:
- Watermelon (‘Once-ler-watermelon’)
- Strawberries dipped in blue chocolate (‘Things strawberries’)
- Nuts (‘Beezlenuts’)
- Marshmallows – dipped in chocolate and sprinkles (‘Hello Mellows’)
- Yoghurt covered raisins (‘Truffula Seeds’)
- Oreos stacked with red wine gums (‘The Cat’s hats’)
- M&M cookies (‘Seussical Cookies’)
- Popcorn – mixed with rainbow drops (‘Hop-on-Popcorn’)
- Pombears (‘Barbaloot bears’)
- Pretzels – topped with a Rolo and walnut (‘Yertle’s Turtles’)
The cake was professionally made and it turned out exactly how I wanted it, capturing the whimsical vibe I was going for in the whole party, with the topsy-turvy tiers and perfect Dr Seuss goldfish splashing out of the top. I couldn’t have asked for anything better to top off a super colourful food table display. One of my guests also brought along a ‘sweet trolley’ that she had themed around Dr Seuss also, so my guests could go and get a pick and mix any time they pleased, it was fab!!
Seeing as it was my 18th, I was officially legal to drink alcohol, so the cocktails were flowing, with the help of these enormous drinks dispensers. This meant we could make a huge batch of each cocktail and the guests would have easy access to fill up whenever necessary. It worked a treat! I again decided to come up with some Dr Seuss themed labels for each flavour of drink…
Blue – ‘Beezlenut Squash’
Pink – ‘Pink Yink Ink Drink’
Yellow – ‘Seuss Moose Goose Juice’
The decor in this room was minimal, seeing as most of the space was taken up by food! However, I maximised the use of the walls and ceiling, by hanging paper chains and tissue paper flowers from the ceiling. I also ordered a Dr Seuss inspired signpost to go on one of the blank walls, which could be personalised to give that extra handmade look. The DIY projects I made for this room included some truffula trees – made from pool noodles, duct tape stripes and tissue paper flowers. I also made the cat in the hat goldfish bowl, using orange foam and blue glass beads in a round vase to create the look of a fishbowl. I also spray painted some fake flowers blue and put two bunches into milk bottle vases filled with red sand and made ‘Thing 1 & 2’ stickers. I handmade loads of these stickers without the numbers inside the circles, so that my guests could write their name inside and stick them onto their red solo cups so that they knew which drink belonged to them. I think that this room was definitely my favourite room – potentially because it had the food in it, but either was it ended up being exactly how I had pictured in my head.
I was so lucky that it was a nice enough day to have the outdoor section of my party (even though the party was in the middle of summer). The main DIY project that I created for this area was my Disney signpost, this was made entirely from scratch from poster board and each sign was designed and painted by hand. It took ages to finish but it was so worth it! The signpost was made up of arrows pointing to various Disney destinations, each place was taken from a different Disney film and the fonts used were based upon the film titles and painted in the colours associated with the films. I then added various extra little bits and pieces with my trusty glue gun, such as starfish to the Little Mermaid inspired sign. The finished product was made up of 13 signs and it ended up being a test of people’s Disney knowledge to see who could get where all of the places came from. I put each arrow onto a large post and nailed it to the garden fence.
The entire garden was covered in coloured solar powered fairy lights so that a few hours into the party, when it started to get dark, the lights would come on and create a fantasy fairytale land. The other outside decorations included an inflatable palm tree drinks bucket (Lilo & Stitch) and little army men (Toy Story) were placed around the garden. Around the top of the trampoline I had made a garland/bunting from a pack of giant playing cards, by hole punching and threading onto a string (Alice in Wonderland). I also hung some snowflake garlands on the outside of the conservatory (Frozen) and scattered seashells into the flower bed (The Little Mermaid/Finding Nemo) and the genie’s lamp from Aladdin. We had giant colourful outdoor beanbags for people to relax and enjoy the summer sun.
I also made a rose in a bell jar centre piece for the table (Beauty & the Beast) and hung up the DIY mad hatter’s hat (previously made for my cousins world book day costume) along with a giant pocket watch prop (Alice in Wonderland). I created the wanted posters from Tangled, purely from tea stained paper and copying images from google. Finally including a bunch of helium balloons to represent one of my all time favourite Disney films, Up.
So there you go, a detailed overview of the party including DIY decorations, food ideas, fancy dress. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed planning it!