Shirley's party advice part 4 - Better at party planning than Pippa Middleton

(1000 Posts)
BlatherskiteOfTheLivingDead Mon 29-Oct-12 18:33:35

New thread smile Everyone welcome.

BlatherskiteOfTheLivingDead Mon 29-Oct-12 18:38:59

What ages of children will you have at the party MBJ?

Are you doing party bags? Fancy pass the parcel now he's old enough? Something like this would make a good filler if so.

Marking place.

I have yet to make the acquaintance of these pirate dinosaurs (DS was into Astrosaurs for a while - space-exploring dinosaurs hmm). I shall have to do some research.

If you have a friendly contact in the US who would send things on to you, then the infamous Easter Dinosaurs appear to be still available and remarkably affordable - if you gave them bandanas would they pass for pirate dinosaurs [ignorant]?

TheRealMBJ Mon 29-Oct-12 19:46:05

Wow! Those are cheap! And yes, they may be able to pass. A bit 'friendly' coloured though. If that makes sense?

Pass the parcel will definitely be played. DD and newborn (currently unborn) DNephew will be the youngest at the party and DS will probably be next youngest. It is such an awful time (poor lad) no one wants to come to parties then

BlatherskiteOfTheLivingDead Mon 29-Oct-12 20:10:03

How have I managed to get 20 coming to C's then? We obviously know too many people who love any excuse for a party wink

I think, seeing as Captain Flinn and his pals are all human children who like dressing up as Pirates, I'd use that as your main theme and just add a few dinosaurs in here or there. Maybe this one with an eye patch in the room somewhere?

I'd be tempted to have the party fancy dress too as pirates is quite an easy one for everyone to do. I saw a little girls Pirate Halloween costume that would have been small enough for B in Sainsbury's today too!

Being nearly christmas, you should be able to get hold of gold coins easily to use as gold dubloons. You could then stick them in the layers of the pass the parcel and in the party bags too. Somewhere like aquarterof would be good for picking up other themed sweets too. Maybe some candy skulls or jelly fish...ooh, ooh, you could join in the current blue jelly obsession and make some shark jellies? Half fill a clear cup with blue jelly (DW we need that link again) leave to set then put in a shark jelly sweet and top up with more blue jelly to get a shark swimming in a jelly sea. I wonder if you could get jelly cutlasses that you could put at the very bottom?

For the bags themselves, you can buy all sorts of pirate party bags or you could buy black paper bags and paint a skull and crossbones on them? Depends on how many you need to do obviously.

Pirate bunting and balloons are also easy to get for decorations.

gold for the bottom of the sea? (disclaimer: I have no idea if the gold would dissolve off in the jelly)

What about cake? Treasure chest, or pirate ship?

DW - I haven't forgotten about your lunchboxes. mini cup of grapes, a sandwich/finger roll, mini cup of crisps/hula hoops (not a whole pack - they won't eat them and can't open them), a couple of sausages, a biscuit and a fairy cake. Plus drink (or do drinks separately).

Those "Easter Dinosaurs", BTW, underwent cosmetic surgery to become dragons for DD's party. They unconvincingly deny being "too friendly". 2 of them are now resident in Blathers' house, and another is sitting on my router being network security and there may be a few others lurking around the house.

BlatherskiteOfTheLivingDead Mon 29-Oct-12 20:42:41

The only problem with dregees is that they're just chocking size for the smaller ones.... You could always make sand with mini slices of sponge cake a bit like a trifle?

I love the orange slice and pirate flag on these ones Very pirate-y.

I wonder what's in the bottom of these ones? Custard maybe?

I vote sponge cake, with a candy skull on the sand and a shark in the water.

BlatherskiteOfTheLivingDead Mon 29-Oct-12 20:45:11

chocking? choke-ing?

They're probably not but I'm always super paranoid when feeding other peoples children

BlatherskiteOfTheLivingDead Mon 29-Oct-12 20:50:33

I got some super cheap plastic wine glasses to do DD's rainbow jellies in while I was up north at the weekend. 99p for 8! I think they'll look sweet layered up.

Considering a little pile of white marshmallows on the top as a 'cloud'

Just got to fill them with water to check volume and then decide how dedicated I'm going to be to rainbow making so that I can work out how many packets of blue jelly I need to buy.

Do I go the whole hog:

Red - Strawberry
Orange - Orange
Yellow - Lemon
Green - Lime
Blue - Blue Raspberry
Indigo - Blackcurrant
Violet - Raspberry

Or use less colours?

TheRealMBJ Mon 29-Oct-12 21:22:38

Ooh great ideas! I've seen some blue jelly stuff on Pinterest but dis't realise it was a trend blush

Am knackered, having dealt with 2 poorly feverish children today and the clock shenanigans so am going to sleep.

I like the whole hog idea for the rainbow jellies Blaths.

Another vote for whole hog. Have you got any nurofen syringes? That would make it quicker and easier to measure each layer.

I think blue jelly is only a trend in the parallel OTT party planning universe, TBH.

BlatherskiteOfTheLivingDead Mon 29-Oct-12 21:38:25

After DD's hospital stay I have loads of Nurofen syringes! Good idea. Just wondering if each layer will be pathetically thin if I do all 7 colours. I guess I will have to do a trial to find out...

I think the blue jelly thing is only really a trend on here MBJ. We keep coming up with reasons to buy it smile

BlatherskiteOfTheLivingDead Mon 29-Oct-12 21:42:07

Blue jelly link is here I went back and copied off the last thread.

Right, job for tomorrow is to fill one of the wine glasses with water, divide volume by 7 and then multiply by 20 to work out how much I need. 1 pack of jelly is going to make about a pint right?

Blimey I sound the party klaxon and you runaway with yourselves.

I've been distracted by hurricane sandy updates so I'll be back in the morn to read properly. And pippa comes on here for ideas I'm certain. (I made myself a rapunzelesque tshirt tonight) polishes halo.

Ok im swatted up now.

Firstly: choking.

Secondly: if my blue jelly is sold out come feb because the rest of you have had a frenzy i will get mn to delete all the jelly links! So there.

Thirdly: blathers def do the different layers but i'd say dont do indigo and violet just do one purple layer because everytime ive seen it it looks too muddied and the effect isnt as strong.

Fourth: i have no idea on pirate dinosaurs but happy to help.

Fifth: lunchboxes great now do i ask parents what to put in sandwich? Do a selection to choose from or just give them all cheese!

DW - give them all cheese, and have a plate of alternatives hidden away for any real objectors/ demands for seconds.

Oblomov Tue 30-Oct-12 07:42:09

We just had our Dinosaur party for ds2(4). Was surprised how many children asked for Jam sandwiches. (of which we had none) So it might be a good idea to have a few of those as a secret back up supply.

Ahhhh oblomov from nov 2008 antenatal thread. <weeping our babies are 4!!! 4 whole years old sob>

see i am thinking i the absence of 'party food' should i not fill their boxes with crap like cheese strings and party rings. I'm gonna get morrisons version of fruit shoot (no aspartme) purple and yellow and put the sun emblem on them and ive already glued them onto purple boxes.

All the parents are family friends so its not unfeasible to ask each one what their child would prefer by text message but i already know mine only eats ham or cheese, cousin chicken, step cousin peanut butter so i can feel me bellowing on the day "this is not a cafe!"

Oblomov Tue 30-Oct-12 09:05:57

DrsWife. I missed your post. I didn't see you there. How are you? Ahhhhhhhh happy days, threads of Nov 08 ...........

You can get individual "snack packs" of mini party rings. Those would work.

(unless of course you want to make party ring and marshmallow tea cups which are one of my favourite things, although I haven't done them since DD's 2nd birthday, which I cannot believe is 4 whole years ago)

BlatherskiteOfTheLivingDead Tue 30-Oct-12 10:44:40

DS only eats Ham sandwiches and also won't have butter - and will look for it in party sandwiches and then reject. This is why I never do sandwiches at parties.

I'd ask.

Or give mini pizzas grin

BlatherskiteOfTheLivingDead Tue 30-Oct-12 10:47:15

"This is why I never do sandwiches at parties." Not because DS doesn't like butter - I know my own child and make sandwiches appropriately. It's knowing how bloody picky small kids can be that stops me.

Quick quick. I went to the infamous craft shop and they have those bat and ball things. You know ball on elastic jobbie. Well they had 20 pirate ones 60p each i think they were. The shop is mad busy as people travelling in for half term etc so if any use shout quick. They also had princess fairy and christmas.

They also have those my first crayons/chalks for the elc you know them ones you grab with your fist for babies. Chalk 60p for 6 and 2.50 fir crayons if anyone wants me to grab fir babies you know?

Not fir babies. For babies.

BlatherskiteOfTheLivingDead Tue 30-Oct-12 15:52:29

Ah the magic craft shop. I've found something similar near me now but always try to pop in when I'm near. Those 20p fabric kids aprons I got for DD's 2nd are still going strong smile

They still have tons of those too and xmas bits. Packs of colour me in xmas cards for 99p looks like 20 per pack. Ive got some big bits of black paper to do some firework splatter pictures. Dd1 is anxious about big school and they had exercise books for 40p so we've been playing schools which has been good as she read her first word properly today "rain" after we did oa, ai, ie, ee and sh sounds.

I nearly cried to hear her sound it out in her own.

Altho i could well be banned after she let rip in the shop with the foulest fart and dd2 filled her nappy. And that tiny shop was packed with people as dd1 yells excuse me, pardon me, sorry father christmas!!!

BlatherskiteOfTheLivingDead Tue 30-Oct-12 18:27:00

Our shop is a charity run scrap store and collects up bits from local factories that would otherwise would be thrown out but could make fab junk modelling bits. Circles of wood from the Marshall Amp factory are popular and they always seem to have huge bits of football net offcuts, huge cardboard tubes, sheets of card etc. There's no price on it and you offer what you think it's worth. They get some bits of end of stock things in there too. They had tonnes and tonnes of ball pool balls the time before last that I was in - all because the shop had changed the packaging!! They were selling them for a couple of pounds a pack! I even got an ELC tent set in there a while ago, the one with the triangular tent, the circular tent and the tunnel. The one we got for DS was £35, this one was something like £7.50! Well worth it to stop the arguments and my garden now occasionally looks like Glastonbury smile

Now I think about it, those Amp offcuts would make good cake boards....

Get down there and fashion me a rapunzel tower!! That shop sounds bloody brilliant.

BlatherskiteOfTheLivingDead Tue 30-Oct-12 20:04:11

It is! There is also a more usual craft shop section that has brand new paints, paper etc cheap too. I got some of those light up Balloons in there yesterday for £1. They're selling in Tesco for £2.99!

I might be able to get some old carpet roll type cardboard tubes if you really do want Rapunzel towers?

Naaa i'm bushed. I just need to finish the costumes and regroup. Then tackle the cake. I'm at that stage where you worry is it enough?

BlatherskiteOfTheLivingDead Tue 30-Oct-12 21:34:42

I'm sure it's going to be amazing. My invite seems to have gotten lost in the post though wink

Hallowe'en tomorrow. I know MBJ is all spooked out but is anyone else doing anything? We've managed not to be invited to a single party this year and I was going to take it easy but DS has been asking me when we're going to start decorating so I'm going to have to do something I think. I've got a couple of pumpkins and some craft things to do and I think I'll do a special Hallowe'en Dinner. We'll drive down to MILs for 'trick or treat'-ing too. Hopefully that'll be enough for him. We're back at Legoland this weekend for the 'Brick or Treat' weekend if it's not.

We dont do halloween in this house, dd dressed up to visit my dad but thats it. She carved two pumpkins with him too. When our dh's business went bust we had people coming to the house at night threatening all sorts of terrible stuff so now if the door goes at night i get pretty hysterical. I wont be putting the pumpkins outside the door thats for sure.

We get more involved for bonfire night though. Always go to the local display and as this is our first weekend at home for about six weeks i may do lots of treat food for dd. she was allowed to stay up last sat too so i may let her again.

And i text you an invite its not my fault if you couldnt crane to see inside. You can come with your sister, you can stand guard with the fire extinguishers as i'm convinced my chinese import lanterns are gonna burn down the parish hall. I bet you fifty quid my name is dirt in the parish newsletter cone december.

There are 2 pumpkins sitting neglected in our house, and nothing is going to happen to them cos I am not home until late Thursday. Alton Towers on Friday (incl fireworks) and then comes the bit where I have to decorate 2 cakes overnight - caterpillar for Saturday, fireworks for Sunday (actual b'day Monday, but school +school bonfire party then). Bless DS, though - he said he would like to go out for lunch on Sunday, so that is booked and saves shopping and cooking which we didn't have time for.

BlatherskiteOfTheLivingDead Wed 31-Oct-12 09:19:04

Well so far we've had ghost shaped scotch pancakes for breakfast and the jelly is already setting for the Orange 'pumpkins' later, we've scared the grocery delivery man with witches hats pulled out of the Hallowe'en box and are now watching our spooky karaoke DVD grin

Now time to find a how to video of how to paint DS up as a skeleton later...

TheRealMBJ Wed 31-Oct-12 19:55:10

Hi all. Yes, I am very much Halloweened out grin. But have also had 2 children with a VERY NASTY BUG the last 3 days. High, high fevers and extremely grouchy/clingy. I considered unloading the dishwasher this morning a 'win'

Have not managed to get to the shops either so we are totally out of eggs, sugar, milk, fruit juice etc etc. So, I am hiding from Trick Or Treaters. All our lights are off and I haven't lit the pumpkin blush

So, I've been thinking about presents for DS

I see Play mobile do a great Pirate ship, a good pirate costume for role play and a dinosaur book (non-fiction) and the remaining book in the pirate-dinosaur Saga.

Playmobil and party planning in the same thread? Bliss.

The pirate ship (and, come to think of it, pirates in general) is one "theme" we don't have. We have a lego pirate ship, which gets hired out to playmobil police/farmers/airport workers/Romans/Knights/Dragons for cruises.

We do have 4 different Playmobil dragons, though grin.

John Lewis have 20% off all Playmobil this week, including the pirate ship.

TheRealMBJ Wed 31-Oct-12 20:45:25

Thanks for the heads up stealth Are you Playmobil fans then?

Just a bit grin. DS doesn't play with it much but it reluctant to hand it over - DD got her first "big" set all of her own for her birthday (school - half price from Argos) and is duly brainwashed hooked.

BlatherskiteOfTheLivingDead Wed 31-Oct-12 21:10:58

I read "The Pirates Next Door" to DS tonight. Would high;y recommend it if you fancy a deviation from the Pirate Dinosaurs.

We're pretty much entirely a Lego household though so I don't know much about playmobil I'm afraid. We had the ELC Pirate ship and Island which both children have adored but I think maybe J is a little too big to be starting with that now.

Have uploaded my Halloween pics to FB. I think I may have gone a little over the top wink

Have you got "The Night Pirates"? DS loved that one - it has rough tough little girl pirates (who let Tom come along, even though he's only a boy), and Captain Patch's best pirate curse "If you don't give me back my gold, I'll TELL MY MUM"

TheRealMBJ Wed 31-Oct-12 21:21:03

Thanks for the recommendations. Will get them, I think.

Off to bed now as am pooped

BlatherskiteOfTheLivingDead Wed 31-Oct-12 21:24:01

We haven't. Probably because I always get distracted thinking about "The Night Kitchen" whenever I hear the name wink

DS is currently obsessed with a Solve it Yourself mystery book that was DH's when he was small that MIL gave us. I am so sick of it. It's not even a bloody mystery anymore as we've read it so often, DS knows all of the answers!

It's a lovely book. I must liberate it (and others) from DS's room to read to DD - it would make a nice change from princess stories.

BlatherskiteOfTheLivingDead Wed 31-Oct-12 21:30:41

Yes, I need to have a bit of a swap about here too. DS wants to read more Roald Dahl type books these days and all of his beautiful picture books are being missed by DD.

Sir Charlie Stinky Socks are good books for Knight lovers

TheRealMBJ Thu 01-Nov-12 10:21:51

We have a few Sir Charlies, and DS loves them but tbh, I find them difficult to read, the rhythm doesn't flow easily.

BonkeyMollocks Fri 02-Nov-12 20:53:55

Have been directed over here by TheRealMBJ , will read and be back!

This looks like the thread that will save me a headache!

TheRealMBJ Fri 02-Nov-12 21:01:30

Welcome Bonkey

I am the new girl here too, but so far I think I've learnt that the most important thing is 'The Theme' as everything can be worked around that.

I have just done my first themes I party for DD 'Halloween' which was great, although I mainly only focused on the food. Next up us DS's .3rd birthday and he has asked fir Pirate Dinosaurs. We will be having a small get together on the day 16/12. I have hit ideas but no fixed plans yet.

The others are experts grin

BonkeyMollocks Fri 02-Nov-12 21:03:47

Theme? There needs to be a theme? <panics>

grin

BlatherskiteOfTheLivingDead Fri 02-Nov-12 22:11:57

Themes are not necessary but definitely makes things easier. All my DD wants for her 3rd party is "a bouncy castle and a cake with an elephant on" so I'm using those as my theme. There are so many lovely party things out there, it makes it a bit easier to choose if you have somewhere to start. The kids love it too.

It can be anything. What is your DC's current obsession?

BonkeyMollocks Fri 02-Nov-12 22:38:11

Well, we have : Owls, Mario....that could maybe be a goer? Power rangers , actually Mario could possibly be done, no?

Thinking gold coins for a treasure hunt, mario cake (bought in, no way I can swing that!) , ummm...

<thinking cap firmly on head>

BlatherskiteOfTheLivingDead Sat 03-Nov-12 09:35:38

Mario would be easy! You can buy invites, thank you cards, plates, cups, party bags, cakes, wrapping paper for the pass the parcel and cheap bits for the parcel and party bags with no problems at all. I'm sure we could think of some good games too. My DS has asked for a karting party next birthday so I have looked into it smile

Stealth linked to some cheap owl crafts on the last thread if you wanted to go that way too.

BonkeyMollocks Sat 03-Nov-12 10:09:42

So far game wise all i have is 'Pin the moustache on Mario' grin

Had a look online last night and found plates, napkins etc since that's covered.

BlatherskiteOfTheLivingDead Sat 03-Nov-12 10:17:30

I think it was on Kara's party ideas where they'd bought everyone red caps and stuck Mario M's to the front. I considered doing it but changing the M to the child's initial instead. You could then give those instead of/as part of the party bag.

Black and white chequered table cloths with red napkins. Pizza is your obvious party food as Mario is Italian - easy smile

Will have a think of games. I was just going to take him and friends karting but he's only going to be 6 and most places seem to start at 7 or 8 sad

Want to do an owl party <stamps foot>

Blathers I just tweeted picture of very hungry caterpillar cake.

BlatherskiteOfTheLivingDead Sat 03-Nov-12 11:18:40

Ooh, that's brilliant. I've got new Tweetdeck and it's rubbish so I had to search to see the pic.

Here's the Kara's party ideas page for the Mario party

Mario would be fun too not as much fun as owls though

I have added caterpillar to my cakes set on flickr, but can't link to it from my phone.

BonkeyMollocks Sat 03-Nov-12 13:57:08

Stealth Gimme your owl plan! grin

What owl games would be a hoot?? <--see what I did there wink

BonkeyMollocks Sat 03-Nov-12 13:57:23

Thanks for that linky, great ideas on there!

tethersend Sun 04-Nov-12 13:51:22

Right.

I am throwing myself at your mercy. I am desperate.

I have booked a room for DD's 4th birthday on the 24th Nov.

I have done nothing. I have no money. I have never organised a child's party before.

PLEASE HELP.

I need:

- A butterfly birthday cake. I'm going to have to make this. I don't know how. <gibber>

- Party food. What do 4yos eat? Or do I put food in boxes?

- Invitations; when do these need to be given out?! I wanted to make ones like a Peter and Jane/Ladybird book, any shortcuts?

- I didn't want a theme, just a party... do I need a theme? Wah!

- Decorations; what do I need?

- Party bags; for the love of god, what goes in party bags these days?

- Games

- Music

- Craft; was thinking about a table for making crowns or somesuch time-filling activity

- Booze. We need booze for the adults. As yet, this is the only certainty.

- Oh god... does she need a party dress? She needs a party dress. Ebay it is.

My biggest fear- what if nobody turns up?

Gah.

Please help me.

<crumples>

BlatherskiteOfTheLivingDead Sun 04-Nov-12 14:42:53

Tethers, you are in the right place. We can help.

Right, first off, do you want to make the cake or shall we investigate bought versions too? I'm fairly sure you can buy a butterfly shaped tin if you want to make one or that you could make a decent butterfly shape from a couple of round cakes and a swiss roll. I'm also fairly sure that somewhere will sell one if you would rather do that.

4 year olds are fairly easy to feed as they tend to have pretty basic tastes. Sandwiches are always good (ham, cheese, jam/choc spread) with some crisps, some veg for show, some babybel and those mini cocktail sausages are always oddly popular. Cold pizza slices are always good too. Boxes tend to contain the mess a little and make it easier to get everyone sat down and eating but you do get more waste as they won't always eat everything in their box.

I'll have a look for some invites for you. We might be able to find some pre done printable ones.

Themes are not necessary, they just sometimes make things easier because they narrow down options when there is loads to chose from.

Decorations - For a hired room, I'd go with simple decs. I'm having bunting and balloons for DD's party in December. Balloons can even be a game in themselves once off the walls as kids love chasing them round the room.

Stealth is a the party game queen. The old ones are the best - pass the parcel, musical chairs/statues, pin the something on the something. Simple games that are easy to explain and that they've probably played at other parties are the way to go so that you don't have to spend ages explaining the rules.

Crowns is a good idea for craft. Relatively cheap to buy and can be decorated easily with a few pens and some stick on gems. You want to avoid glue and glitter as you'll be cleaning up for hours afterwards otherwise. You can get things like that cheap from Yellow Moon etc. I did little cardboard butterflies at a party a while ago that went down well with little girls...? Colouring always a cheap and effective activity too. You can print colouring sheets from the internet for no more than the cost of the ink.

A party dress is always nice smile

People will come, just try to give them a couple of weeks notice and make sure you include a mobile number for RSVPs. We got one with only a home number on a few weeks ago and it took me ages to reply whereas I'd have fired off a text straight away.

BlatherskiteOfTheLivingDead Sun 04-Nov-12 14:55:28

This is a pretty easy butterfly birthday cake. It's just a normal white iced cake (made or bought from the supermarket) covered with coloured butterflies which could be easily cut from Sugarpaste with a cutter or bought straight from ebay

There are loads of those edible butterflies on ebay. Lots of colours and styles.

This isn't the best butterfly cake I've ever seen but could be easily improved to make something really pretty. You'd need a round cake cut in two - I'd then shape the wings a bit - and maybe a swiss roll in the middle for the body. Cover in coloured frosting and then sprinkle with sweeties and it would be lovely.

You could buy a tin like this

M&S do a personalised one if you wanted to avoid the hassle altogether..

BlatherskiteOfTheLivingDead Sun 04-Nov-12 15:02:13

This cake is much cheaper than the M&S one...

BlatherskiteOfTheLivingDead Sun 04-Nov-12 15:04:34

Sainsburys do one too

TheRealMBJ Sun 04-Nov-12 15:07:59

Hi tethers! <waves>

Blathers is amazing!

TheRealMBJ Sun 04-Nov-12 15:10:27

If you have to bake, and don't want to be saddled with a tin you'll use only once, most speciality cake shops will rent tins out. I live in the back of beyond and our local(ish) cake shop rents out all manner of tins.

BlatherskiteOfTheLivingDead Sun 04-Nov-12 15:10:54

Forgot party bags! You can put in whatever you want/can afford really.

DS is 5 and tends to come home with either the usual bag of plastic toys and sweeties or sometimes, he's been given 1 or 2 larger items - like the party where he was given a small bag of sweets and a mini football. I have to say, the plastic toys tend to break within a day or two while the ball is a year or so old now and is still played with regularly so I tend to go for that option when doing his party bags as I hate the thought of spending all that money just to have it put in the bin so quickly.

BlatherskiteOfTheLivingDead Sun 04-Nov-12 17:20:55

There are all sorts of butterfly themed crafts and party bag fillers here if you wanted to carry it on from the cake?

Something like the bookmarks would be good as you could put the finished items in the party bags. I love the gliders too and they'd also be good as party bag fillers. It was the 3D hanging butterflies that I did for the other party. I'd avoid things like the necklaces/purses as 4 year olds will need too much help with them and you'll run yourself ragged.

There are loads of crowns too and stick on jewels

BlatherskiteOfTheLivingDead Sun 04-Nov-12 17:23:15

Just noticed MBJ's comment. I think I'm probably more obsessed than amazing and a mere pretender to Stealth's throne wink

Wow - lots of questions. More than I can answer on my phone, especially when I am recovering from 2 consecutive nights of cake decorating. I shall answer properly from pc tomorrow.

VHC cake got an extremely satisfactory reaction - she hugged him and then ate one of his feet grin

BlatherskiteOfTheLivingDead Sun 04-Nov-12 18:34:38

Brilliant! What better reaction could you want? grin

tethersend Sun 04-Nov-12 18:35:48

Bloody hell. You're GOOD.

Thank you so much, Blather smile

Will have a proper read when kids in bed.

BlatherskiteOfTheLivingDead Sun 04-Nov-12 21:56:05

Hope some of it's helpful tethers. Let us know what you like and don't like and I'm sure we can come up with some more

Right. Here I am, typing with fingerless gloves cos it's flipping freezing in my shed office, but at least on a keyboard.

Tethers - where are you? I have a butterfly shaped silicone cake mould (it's a bit strange, TBH - it's this one and it's like a jigsaw (but I guess that does make it easier in that it should rise evenly, etc)

Games - 4yos - don't be too ambitious. They don't really know many games yet. However, if they are all at school/preschool together then it is well worth interrogating DD as to what they games play at school - DC who don't know how to play musical statues may know duck duck goose as my DC do although they have never managed to explain it to me.

The reason I opt for themes is that they let you take deeply ordinary games/activities/food and make them special and memorable and they help me focus, but they are by no means compulsory.

I think Blathers has covered everything. 4yos eat a lot less than you think at parties (and a lot less than they put on their plates hmm), but there is no such thing as too many cocktail sausages, especially if there are adults, and large quantities of mars bar krispie cake / rocky road / other similarly calorific stuff tends to get consumed by the adults at out parties.

Invitations - I like the ladybird book idea - one of DD's friends used some of these for invitations and more for Thank you letters - would that work? You could mount them on card and print/write invitation text on the back, or just write on the postcards. For school/preschool I would give ~2 weeks notice, and make sure you include lots of contact details (home phone, mobile, email) for RSVP and set a deadline ("RSVP by 10/11/12")

I am officially blaming the multiple typos in that last post on cold fingers.

This weekend's cakes have been added to my flickr set here, BTW.

BlatherskiteOfTheLivingDead Mon 05-Nov-12 09:54:38

I love the postcard idea! Well found stealth.

I still need to sort out invites for DD's party but I'm a bit lost for inspiration.

An alternative approach to butterfly cake would be to make/buy a plain cake, either round or shaped as a number 4, and arrange lots of these on the top - maybe a round cake with a "4" made of butterflies?

Quickly putting my head in as im snowed under with rapunzel and off to fireworks. I'll catch up properly tonight but tethers, what size is your dd i have quite a lot of party dresses but in 3-4 as we get tons off my sister in law. Would that be too small for her?

Tethers u say your skint:

Could you use this image in photoshop and put your details/text over the top? Its from a peter and jane book but ties in with butterfly. If you want that but dont know how, pm me.

babyccinokids.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/ladybird-peter-and-jane.jpg

BlatherskiteOfTheLivingDead Tue 06-Nov-12 11:19:51

I think we've scared Tethers off blush

Oh dear blush she did say she didnt want a theme she just wanted a party. Maybe we've become addled by kara and her party ideas!!

oops, sorry Tethers blush

tethersend Tue 06-Nov-12 23:20:18

Oh you wonderful people smile

I did not get scared off, am just attached to a baby who, frankly, isn't giving much back at the moment. But that's another thread grin

Blathers- I am feeling a lot less traumatised by the thought of the party after reading your advice. I can do this. I teach teenagers with behavioural difficulties FFS! (Four year olds terrify me). I need to get on and do the invitations, and then I can tackle the rest. Thank you.

stealth- I walked past a shop the other day which had a butterfly cake tin in the window, so am taking it as a sign and will buy it. Thanks for the offer of a lend though! Will stockpile cocktail sausages as advised wink

TheDoctorsWife46- thank you so much for the offer of a dress, that's lovely of you- unfortunately DD is v.tall and I think a 3-4 may be a bit short. I think I might get some sort of princess monstrosity from Sainsbury's. I LOVE that Peter and Jane pic, and remember it well! I'm going to dust off my legendary photoshop skills (pfffft) and attack it. I will post the result on my profile if you don't mind taking a look when I'm done?

One thing- how long should the party last? In what order should we do things?

Hang on, that's two things isn't it?

<considers having a 'maths' table>

barefootcook Wed 07-Nov-12 02:00:19

I would love some ideas for a pirate party. My DS will be 4. The party can be held indoors or outside and will involve up to 10 children (ages 2-10) although the oldest two may be helpers. i am keen to keep it traditional with a few fun ( and simple) surprizes.

Tether - 2 hours seems to be the accepted norm for party duration. As far as running order goes, you need something individual (craft or whatever) for them to do as they arrive, then games, then tea, then a bit of unstructured rioting before you kick them out (although at DD's last party they all demanded "one more game" after tea grin)

Pirate party outside sounds fun. Are you somewhere warm? Outside definitely opens up the options for treasure hunts, walking the plank, tug of war, etc....

Tethers glad to see you back. You had us worried! Look forward to seeing the invite you conjour up. You'll be a regular on the board at this rate.

Barefoot: pirate party we have done loads of tips in the past and had some good links. I'll try to dig them out for you. We tecommend the infamous blue jelly to make jelly boats or shark infested waters.

Games such as walk the plank, treasure hunt, or pass the treasure chest instead of a parcel just open and scoop treasure out. There's plenty more on the links which i'll find for you. But stealth aleays warns any pirate or knight partiers - leave any weapons at the door, you do not want swashbuckling accidents!

http://www.karaspartyideas.com/2012/03/pirate-themed-5th-birthday-party.html

Blue jelly:
http://www.angloaustraliantrading.com/AustraliaShop/AUDetail.aspx?ID=1102

ToffeeWhirl Wed 07-Nov-12 12:58:38

Hello, I'm looking for help - have I come to the right place? My DS2 (nearly 7) wants an army party, but he wants to invite girls as well as boys. Anyone got any clever ideas about how to make the party attractive to girls as well? I'm stumped. I'm sure they will love all the action games, but I suspect not one of them will want to dress up as a soldier.

Hi toffee yes you are in the right place and I have to say well done for coming in with a completely new party theme!!! This is our 4th thread I think and we haven't done army that's for sure!!

Don't be so sure about girls not wanting to dress up, on here we have had girls dressed at pirates, dragons, knights and blathers dressed her child as an octonaut! My baby dd is about to attend our party as a chameleon,

Initial ideas, make it military rather than army then you get all the services covered off? Different flags, set a set up if you can to make a base camp? Games can be following drill etc, pass a bomb or granade, (you can buy a pass the bomb game). Set the tables out like a mess hall... Is this working for you or shall I shut up?

You def need to be drill sargents, get them doing obstacle courses, scavenger hunts, hunt for toy soldiers, giant game of battleships?......

Barefoot, page 1 of this thread had quite a lot on pirate theme. If you still want more ideas shout and i'll find the details etc from the last thread.

ToffeeWhirl Wed 07-Nov-12 13:53:13

Ooh, thanks TheDoctorsWife. Those are all great ideas. I have found a fantastic party invite (which I will shamelessly copy) with 'Top Secret' printed at the top, then the rest in army-style language ('Report for duty at 1pm' etc). I thought I could add 'Civilians welcome (even princesses)' at the bottom, then that makes it easier for the girls.

I love the idea of being a drill sergeant. I feel a bit like that most mornings anyway smile.

Sorry for all the typos etc..

Decorations: camoflage(you can get loads on party websites) get a net etc to crawl under, i tried to say set up a tent if you can. Flags or camo bunting.

Food, if you set up like a mess hall then it'd be good to do something like sausage n mash or sausage and chips that you can serve school dinner/officers mess stylie. If not maybe do lunchboxes.

Party bags should be easy with tons of soldier type toys but things like dog tags should still be a hit with girls. I honestly wouldnt put princesses on, i really think girls would be just as up for being a soldier so ling as boys dont tie them up and hold them captive etc wink.

BlatherskiteOfTheLivingDead Wed 07-Nov-12 15:19:04

My scrap store shop sells netting which would be perfect for an army party! Where are you Toffee?

Army party bits should be relatively easy to pick up. I'm sure a quick search on ebay will bring up loads. For party bags, I'd be tempted with the good old Parachuting Army man and I'm sure I've seen army-type figures in little packs next to the Lego minifigures in Tesco. Maybe a green lolly? Definitely a dog tag. I'd give them at the beginning though so they can wear them at the party. It would be easy to get girly versions of everything if you wanted but probably not necessary.

I love DocsWife's mess food suggestions. I wonder if you could get cheap, grey sectioned plates to make it look authentic? Maybe silver take-away tubs would work? I know you can buy them from Costco. What about getting some Army rations and having a taste test as one of your activities? You could either make them up and let the children have a try of whatever they fancy or, if you think you've got some brave ones, make them up in unmarked pots and have a 'guess the food' competition with a little prize for the person who gets the most right?

Snazaroo do a Brown/Green/Black army face painting set which you could get and do everyone's face while they're there. For army men, all you need is a few finger stripes so it would be quick and easy to get everyone done.

What about cake? What sort of thing did you have in mind?

BlatherskiteOfTheLivingDead Wed 07-Nov-12 15:19:51

I really need to change back from my Halloween name soon but I won't be green then sad

Pmsl can't you tell we have a new theme to play with!! You can get sectioned party plates From places like Partyrama. Which by the way blathers I discovered is br you and you can collect from their warehouse to avoid postage.

Toffee I have a huge proper camouflage net - real one from army surplus (we used it for a jungle party) - where are you?

barefootcook Wed 07-Nov-12 22:05:35

Thank you all. Has anyone made an easy pirate themed cake which looks impressive?

Blatherskite Wed 07-Nov-12 22:12:22

Treasure chests are reasonably simple but look really good. There are loads of step by step tutorials online too. You make a rectangular cake, coat it in chocolate frosting and then fill it with chocolate coins, candy necklaces and jelly beans. I think the hardest bit would be getting the lid to stay on and propped up without cracking but you could always strengthen it with a thin cake board. You can use liquorice laces etc to make strapping on the chest and crushed up biscuits to make 'sand' to cover the board in.

A bit like this

Blatherskite Wed 07-Nov-12 22:13:32
Blatherskite Wed 07-Nov-12 22:14:53

M&S sell one ready done I like the wood effect and the pink prawns in the chest on this one

ToffeeWhirl Thu 08-Nov-12 00:11:29

Thank you everyone for your suggestions. My head is spinning! I'm lucky in that I have hired an entertainer for DS2 for the first time, so she will do the party games, however the decorations, party food and party bags are all down to me.

DS2 does not want an army cake, even though it's an army theme. He says he wants a Minecraft cake confused (it's an online game that he's watched his big brother play). I asked if he wanted a model of a Minecraft creature on top, but he said no, just a picture. That should be fairly easy as I think there are cake toppers available. I know all the other DC (and parents) will be baffled by the cake, but at least DS2 will be happy smile. I love the mess food suggestions, but I'm planning to go the easy route and fill camouflage party boxes with food.

TheDoctorsWife - yes, maybe mentioning princesses is going too far. I'll just put 'civilians welcome too'.

Stealth and Blathers - that's really kind of you both to offer camouflage nets. I'm in Sussex.

And what is it about boys and army stuff? Neither of mine were in any way encouraged to play fighting games yet they both love anything to do with warfare (in fact I refused to let DS1 have toy guns for some years, but he just made guns out of Lego instead. I can't believe I am now letting his little brother have an army party. I have been worn down!).

Blatherskite Thu 08-Nov-12 08:25:34

My DS adores minecraft. We put it on the non violent version and he just builds stuff. He made a beacon the other day and even DH had no idea how he'd done it!

Oooh, could you build something minecrafty out of iced squares of sponge? Otherwise there are plenty of places on ebay that will print anything you like onto a sheet of rice paper that can then just be laid onto a pre-iced cake. IME, you need a tube of icing to finish off the edges though.

I'm in Bucks but if you wanted some netting I'm sure we could work out a way to post some. Not sure where Stealth is

I am on the other side of the Midlands from Blathers. Similarly, I would be happy to post net, but check out army surplus first to see if buying would be cheaper than posting. We got ours cheap because it was "damaged" - it turned out to be a bit dusty /grubby - nothing that a couple of days on the washing line didn't deal with.

tethersend Fri 09-Nov-12 17:19:56

Hello party sprites smile

Just back to update on (lack of) progress...

Went to buy the butterfly cake tin I saw. THIRTY FIVE ACTUAL QUID. There's no way I'm buying that, I don't love DD that much. So am back to square one and need advice.

TheDoctorsWife, I managed to do the invitation- not sure how to show you if you're interested... it's a bit shit, but it'll do. I could email it to you if you PM me?

Man down, man down, i'm hit, i'm hit...

Okay well ive got flu/tonsilitis something nasty that has left me flaked out with a raging fever, throat like needles and i cant lift baby dd.

Tethers ive messaged you.

Ive managed to take orders for lunchbox sandwiches. One child has asked for salad?!! Hope she dont want jam with the rest of them when she sees! Ive orinted colouring/activity sheets and bagged up the rapunzel paints, mini canvas and easel party bags! Before i was struck down. Dd1 is currently wiping my brow with a flannel!!!

tethersend Fri 09-Nov-12 17:48:52

Have emailed you, TDW- that's shit that you're ill sad

Hope you feel better soon- I had it last week. It's no fun with a baby.

£35 shock? That's mad. Do they do anything sensible like hiring them out? Or I could send you mine (it's a jigsaw one like the baker ross one I linked to)?

<<passes DW the lemsip>> - I am just shattered, but not, hopefully, ill.

I found a big bag of army men (little green ones like in Toy Story) on ebay the other day, which could be split up for Army party bags, but failed entirely to post a link to them.

here we go (easier on PC rather than phone from an airport lounge) - and there are also various camouflage fabrics on ebay and elsewhere which would make good party bags (but so would brown paper bags!)

ToffeeWhirl Fri 09-Nov-12 18:10:06

That's a brilliant link, stealth - thank you! smile

Tethers invite looks cracking. You have passed your initiation by making your own party initiation.

ToffeeWhirl Fri 09-Nov-12 18:25:53

blathers - my older son (13) has only just got bored with Minecraft (since receiving an XBox for his birthday), but DS2 is now hooked instead, so we are obviously facing a few more years of Minecraft-related talk in the house <sigh>. We let DS2 play it on peaceful mode and he has made some wonderful things. He's building a village at the moment, complete with rollercoaster! He wants his cake to feature a creeper, which will be very bewildering to all the children who don't know anything about Minecraft (the majority, I imagine).

A friend who has just held her own son's birthday party is lending me a 20cm square cake tin and is emailing me the sponge recipe she used. She is also going to give me some special stuff that you put in icing to make it easier to model. I'm not sure how I go about making the 'creeper' design. I suppose I could print out a picture, then trace the outline on rolled-out icing. Luckily, DS wants a flat design, rather than a model.

I was so relieved that I'd finally sorted the party venue and theme that I completely forgot the guests blush, so I was up till the early hours this morning, designing invites and printing them out. They ended up looking a bit like this.

That would be sugarcel. Invitations look good.

I spent lunchtime today talking a (male) colleague through making a raa raa the lion cake grin

Blatherskite Fri 09-Nov-12 20:11:18

DS is 5 so I can see us having a few more years of Minecraft yet. He calls it "The Grass Game" for some reason we can't quite fathom but it's stuck so that's what it's called in this house now smile

I'm suffering with my weird blood thing again and feeling like crap. Went for another blood test today to get checked out. Am still stuck with a massive yearning to go running while being simultaneously knackered and cold all the time. It's very odd.

I've started picking up things for DD's birthday as it'll be easier to get now than in December. So far I have white paper bags on the way that I'm going to design and print some labels for. I found these on ebay that I thought I might copy. I've also got the rainbow crayons. Need to decide on what else to get and get it ordered. I was thinking of maybe a bag of rainbow drops, a rainbow lolly and a coloured notepad...? What else do you think I could put in? I need to get my arse in gear with the stuffed dragon and the dolly cake topper too - and everything else of course!! shock

I love your invites Toffee. I am actually considering buying some for DD blush Another ebay bargain I just can't find the time to do anything at the moment. The house is a tip and I'm soo tired.

Hope you feel better soon DW

Come and talk to me...sad

I've been awake all night, raging fever, ive been sick a zillion times and my tonsil (just one) is massive and agony. Dd1 has a party but I can't lift dd2, so have called my mum to come and play with the kids whilst dh juggles them. I tell you I feel that ill I woke dh cos I was frightened. Hope my mum has some tlc in her. My whole body hurts and if I'm bedridden I'm meant to get an antithromis jab but I ain't got the energy to visit out of hours.

Blatherskite Sat 10-Nov-12 08:43:45

Oh DW, I'm up. You sound very poorly. I really hope your Mum can be helpful today.

Can you go back to bed? Will you be OK without the jab?

I'm in bed. Ain't been out of it since 8 last night except to wee and puke. I think I've got flu, proper flu. Cos if a spider ran over me I couldn't muster a flinch. I'm trying to keep legs moving etc to avoid a jab because I really could no way get to the walk in centre. I'm really tearful cos I feel properly poorly!

Blatherskite Sat 10-Nov-12 11:28:47

Could the doctor come to you for the jab? You need to be sleeping not moving around

Eeek. DW, sounds to me as though DH should be ringing the GP to get them to come to you (a lot easier said than done, I know - maybe you could set your formidable - sounding DM onto the job?)

What is it about party planning? You two appear to have collapsed. I am looking over my shoulder waiting for the lurgy to come and get me....

The cavalry has arrived. Dh has taken dd2 swimming and dd1 is shrieking with excitement at nanny and upcoming party. Went downstairs to acknowledge them and back to bed. Think I'm ok jab wise if I can move about so had some wee stops! Off back to sleep now xx

runnervt Sat 10-Nov-12 13:38:02

Hi party gurus. I'd like to ask some advice please. We're having a party in our house next Saturday for Ds2's 4th birthday. We're going to be decorating gingerbread men as one activity but I'm not sure what kind of icing to use. I've got tubes of icing but I wonder if the kids wouldn't be able to squeeze any out themselves. I would make some normal icing but that might be tricky to time right. Or would I be able to make it before the party?
Basically I'm after any decorating tips on offer!
Thank you

YoHoHoAndABottleOfMilk Sat 10-Nov-12 14:02:12

Hello everyone. You may remember me from the last thread and was organising a pirate party for my dd. just popped back in for an update!

I had a lot of trouble sourcing some bandanas so had a eureka moment and bought skull and bone and skull and sword black fabric from eBay for about £8. Gave the whole lot to sil to sew magic into bandanas. DH is going to go and pick them up on Thursday.

I got two cardboard boxes painted them dark brown and have made a "ship". Just need to make the sail now and that should be done by next week.

I also had a thick cardboard roll left from the vinyl we bought for the bathroom. I couldn't be bothered to throw it away, so had another eureka moment and cut it in half, covered in yellow tissue paper and made 2 palm trees.

Finally (!) I made a treasure chest from an old shoe box and have filled it with newspaper and then black tissue paper and have arranged gold, silver and red Christmas decoration beads, small decorative gold boxes (to look like gold nuggets) and some gold coins and other sparkly paper to look like bangles and jewellery. I will put this in a little "pirate cove" I'll make by putting a sandy coloured throw on the floor and add some optic fibre and chameleon lamps (all from 99p shop) to give it a bit of atmosphere.

The party is next week and I'm getting a bit nervous now! Still haven't thought of a menu and cake still needs to be decorated. I will buy plain iced cakes and paint/decorate myself.

Would iced fairy cakes be ok for pudding?

Blatherskite Sat 10-Nov-12 14:23:00

Hi runnervt I did gingerbread bear decorating at DD's 2nd birthday last year. We had DS and his friends too who were all 4 at the time.

In my experience, the little tubes are far too hard for them to squeeze out and they get fed up with trying very quickly and then wander off. What we did was mix powdered icing up in little bowls (either disposable plastic ones or reusables from the Supermarket or IKEA which tend to be under £1 for 6-ish) and give the children teaspoons to spread it on their biscuit with. If you make up a few bowls, it makes it easier for everyone to get a go and means you can make up a few colours at the same time too. As long as you make it thick-ish (think double cream), it doesn't make too much mess and sprinkles/sweeties will stick better than on the tubed stuff too. If you make it slightly runnier than you want and cover the bowls with cling film, it should last for a couple of hours.

You can always put the tubes out too. I did but they were only really used by the parents and my much older Nieces and Nephews.

My other top tip is to buy a big pack of plain paper plates and give each child their biscuit on the plate as these will then contain 90% of the icing sugar drips and wayward sprinkles and save you a lot of tidying up! It also means that you can write the child's name on the plate and know who's biscuit is who's at a glance and the plate can easily slip inside a sandwich bag or be wrapped in cling film to make carrying the finished product home much easier of you're not intending for them to eat them straight away. Some will want to, some won't.

Blatherskite Sat 10-Nov-12 14:29:01

Your party sounds brilliant YoHo. I love the Palm trees idea!

For the past 3 or 4 parties I've done, I've bought a sheet cake from Costco and just decorated it. There is no shame in it wink

Depending on how many sweets you're giving them and whether you intend to give them cake at the party too, I might not bother with pudding at all. I tend to do a fruit platter to assuage the guilt and then give them cake and sweeties at the end of the party.

Are you going for a themed menu or a more-likely-to-be-eaten menu? Sandwiches, cocktail sausages, pizza etc all go down well if you want them to eat, otherwise I'm sure we can have lots of fun dreaming up pirate food for you. Crossbones breadsticks maybe? Parrot chicken wings? Fish goujons obviously grin

YoHoHoAndABottleOfMilk Sat 10-Nov-12 14:47:54

Thanks blather, the fruit platter sounds perfect for a "pudding". I actually saw a picture somewhere of a shark fruit salad, where they'd cut a watermelon into a sharks head and filled with fruit. Don't know where I'll get a watermelon from seeing as its winter! Will have a look around.

I'm a bit worried about the timing of the party, it's 2-4pm so don't know if I should serve sandwiches or something else? I wanted to do pizzas but it'll end up costing too much.

I would have liked to have done piratey food, but am thinking it will just go over their heads at aged 4-5!

I have another question, would children really be sad if there were no party games? I've bought some little crafty pirate bugs from here for them to make and take home and I've hired a indoor bouncy slide and I'll have some bubbles blowing around.
I wonder if they'll miss a pass the parcel or musical statues?

Blatherskite Sat 10-Nov-12 14:53:08

That sharks head sounds amazing! You could always make something out of paper mache around a fruit bowl if you can't find a watermelon?

You could do the shark infested jellies that we've all been desperate to do if you fancied something to go with the fruit? You'd need to get the blue jelly ordered ASAP though

YoHoHoAndABottleOfMilk Sat 10-Nov-12 16:20:56

The shark infested jellies sound cool too, but I promised myself no more ordering online for last minute things this week! I've just seen some long shaped watermelons on tesco online, so that's sorted!

runnervt Sat 10-Nov-12 17:03:39

Thanks blathers. That sounds like a good plan. And anything that saves a little on the mess side must be good!

Blatherskite Sat 10-Nov-12 22:20:03

Help me. I'm >< this close to ordering the blue jelly and have just had a wave of sense guilt worry

I already have Red, Orange, Yellow, Green and Purple jelly. Do I really need to spend £6 ordering blue jelly for a no doubt un-noticeable stripe in some rainbow jellies?

If it were shark jellies then it is obviously important but is anyone really going to notice if I don't spend more than 50% of the jelly cost on blue jelly? I got the plastic wine glasses to put it in from a £1 shop, it probably cost less than £6 for the jelly and the containers so far!

Am I being sensible or losing my party mojo?

Skip the Blue. Save it for shark infestation. Or share with DW to halve the cost.

I'll share the cost with you no problem but will be have enough? Note the time? I am in a haze of pain and painkillers. Went to the walk in centre and got antibiotics as my mum looked in my throat and shrieked. Not the white patches i was expecting but green slime just hanging in my throat!!

Dont that put you off jelly grin. i'm sat here listening to an owl hooting outside my window.

Blatherskite Sun 11-Nov-12 17:54:05

I'm feeling better today. The Doctor said no running but I was getting really desperate to be out so offered to keep a friend company today. It was laps so I figured I could stop whenever I wanted - and ended up running 11 miles!! shock

I won't be able to walk tomorrow but I feel good now.

I think I'm just going to miss out the blue jelly. I could share with you DW, but one of us would still need to post it to the other which would mean we wouldn't save very much postage-wise.

tethersend Sun 11-Nov-12 18:09:01

Get well soon DW and Blathers smile

I have just realised that we have invited FAR too many people to the party. We could end up with 30 kids. I feel faint.

Blatherskite Sun 11-Nov-12 18:18:02

It's do-able. We had 30-ish for DD's 2nd. It makes pass the parcel a bit more complex but it's not the end of the world. They tend to amuse each other and save you the hassle.

It is definitely one to have in a hall and not at your house though.

30 is ok, in a hall. Chase responses, though, because there is nothing more annoying than planning for 30 and ending up with 20. I may, possibly, in the past, have primed a DC to tell their friends that if their parents don't reply they won't get a party bag <<whistles innocently >> Sudden unexplained rushes of responses may have followed.

tethersend Sun 11-Nov-12 22:44:24

It's not so much of a hall as a largish classroom... so, doable but tight.

I'll do two pass the parcel circles and bugger musical chairs- any other good games? I've got:

Pass the parcel
Musical statues
Pinata
Pin the tail on the donkey

Plus craft table, eating and running wild (not necessarily in that order)

Stealth, I would fall to my knees and thank a god I don't believe in if only 20 turned up grin

Tethers if it helps instead of pass the parcel i'm passing a bag to lucky dip from otherwise the unwrapping and tracking whos had a turn is a nightmare.

Blathers i can live without jelly no probs but dont sulk if i fold in feb and order some! Glad to hear you enjoyed the run but dont overdo it and put yourself back!

To everyone else fab fab party ideas!!

Moonpig have a tangled '4' card so im ordering that tomorrow!

ToffeeWhirl Mon 12-Nov-12 16:05:36

Having added up how much it will cost to make DS's Minecraft cake, not to mention the time and effort involved, I'm wondering whether it's possible to buy a readymade cake, then re-ice it to make it into the cake DS wants. Ocado do a sponge cake for 20 that would do nicely. Does anyone know if this would work? Am not sure whether I would have to take the icing off and re-ice (the cake needs to be green!) or whether I can just ice over the top.

Have seen the room where we are holding the party and it's perfect smile. Loads of room for lots of children to run around.

ToffeeWhirl Mon 12-Nov-12 16:57:43

Have just done some more exact calculations. It will cost three times as much to make my own. I thought making your own was meant to be cheaper confused?

Are you calculating just the cost of baking, or icing too? Unless you literally have nothing, I generally reckon the cost of baking is more or less the same as buying until you get to the icing...

ToffeeWhirl Mon 12-Nov-12 17:45:26

I literally have nothing!

Ah - in which case I understand the maths. Unless you are sure you will use tins, etc lots, buy the cake. You could just paint it green (paste colour + vodka) which would save double icing it?

ToffeeWhirl Mon 12-Nov-12 18:13:59

Thanks, Stealth. My Ocado order was about to run out of time, so I panicked and just ordered the lot, plus all the food for the party, plus a load of wine for us to drink after it's all over grin. At the last minute, I decided I'd rather just make the cake myself and, hopefully, it will taste better than shop-bought (assuming I haven't burnt it).

Am feeling so stressed now. I always feel like this before my children's parties. I meant last year's to be the last proper party, but DS2 had other ideas.

Stupid amounts of stress immediately before parties are part for the course, IME. It's like childbirth - it wears off and you forget grin

Blatherskite Tue 13-Nov-12 09:37:49

<sobs> The mother of DD's closest friend has just invited us to see Santa at pretty much the same time as DD's party sad

Better get the invites ordered and written out before we lose everyone!

I thought you were going to say she had hijacked your theme and you needed a new one.

Invitations definitely need to go to the top of the list.

Blatherskite Tue 13-Nov-12 12:27:32

Have ordered some. Now is not the time to be faffing about making them. This is an emergency!

A whole month in advance but at least it's not me being party-crazy this time smile

Proximity to Christmas is more than enough excuse for super-early invitations IMO

TheRealMBJ Tue 13-Nov-12 16:13:32

Hi all. Just popping in to wave 'Hi'.
We're enjoying our holiday, will get back to planning soon.

<rushes in>

people people, remember the whole "i need to make the tower and stick it in the cake retrospectively" design debate...

Okaaay... Well what about this

Ignore her decorating skills

They've stuck icecream cones end to end with a skewer through them and one on top. I can actually bake cake into them for stability like my cupcakes were going to be with skewer protruding the bottom i could just spear the cake with the tower. I mean ignore her decorating skills could i get sugatpaste onto the wafer and actually decorate the EDIBLE structure? Whats gonna stick without dissolving it?

I don't like it as much as the scaffolded version [sorry].

However, if you were going to go that way, I would coat the cones in chocolate to give you a moisture-proof surface to decorate. If you went for coloured candy melts then it would give you whatever colour you want, then use more chocolate to attach sugarpaste flowers, vines, etc.

Stealth remind me about the scaffoled version, you mean the whole drilling a pole in scenario etc? I know i know but i just cant get this nailed out and time is ticking. I really gonna end up with no cake at this rate. Ive just spent all day wrapping xmas presents for all the people that i'll be seeing at the party as thats the xmas gift exchange. Still have to glue flowers to bobby pins and i dont think its gonna work. Buy mini plastic pots to decant stuff into for lunchboxes. Make dh's flynn rider style t shirt.

And the cake. Shit. The cake.

Blatherskite Wed 14-Nov-12 14:42:27

Disagreeing with stealth for the first time ever shock I think the cone one looks OK.

If it would save you time and panic DW, go for it.

What are you gluing flowers to bobby pins for? Would sectioning clips be better? Do you have a glue gun?

Right you buggers. You will help me iron this out now because i've hit the wall. The party panic, its all gonna be crap and i'm running out of time.

Okay i absolutely have to make this tower this week, over the week. So, i've found this idea here: Save my arse cake

she says in her tutorial (thank the lord a tutorial) that she made it by covering a kitchen roll tube and the top was gumpaste. Buuuut she's driven it into a single tier and says it was too heavy. Sooo what if i used a wrapping paper tube. If i decorated the top thurd and drove two thirds into 2 tiers it wouldnt be top heavy? Buuuut plastic pipe is less likely to go soggy and prob has some self dupporting core strength.

Speak to me... Then i'll tell you the flowers dilemma. I must resolve this because im inches away from a fabulous party snd im gonna fall at the last hurdle!

Ffs ignore the typos im a woman on the edge.

Blatherskite Wed 14-Nov-12 16:09:30

That is amazing! The figure inside is lovely.

I'd go for plastic pipe over cardboard definitely. I'd make it long enough to go all the way through the cake to give it the best chance of staying up if you really don't want to screw wooden dowel into a board

I really dont wanna be screwing anything grin

if you both pm me your email addies i'll send you pics of the creations so far!

Very cute tower. Definitely needs to be plastic pipe, and go down through the cake to the board.

Looking at the shape of that tower, I am thinking that what you really need is an ice cream tub or one of those tubs that mini crispy cakes and the like come in, that you can cut to shape and glue on to the top of the pipe, then ice the lot.

Ooo ooh <<jumps up and down>>. You could put one of your LED tealights in the tower.

tethersend Wed 14-Nov-12 18:25:56

Hello ladies smile

I have decided I'm pretty much a cake failure and asked a friend to do it grin

I just wondered if anyone has any good website recommendations of where I can buy all party bag bits, plates, cups etc. from one place? I really don't want to drag the baby up and down Roman road trawling the pound shops, but I want some cheap crap to fill up bags. Had a look on Amazon, but with all the different sellers and separate delivery charges, it amounts to quite a bit... any ideas?

Blatherskite Wed 14-Nov-12 18:42:55

Ebay can be good. There are quite a few sellers that do all sorts of party bag bits and will sell you a boat load with only 1 shipping cost.

Tesco also good as are Hobbycraft these days.

I adore that Pascal outfit DW. It is sooooo cute

Ebay, or Baker Ross, or Hawkins Bazaar.

Blatherskite Wed 14-Nov-12 19:52:05

Talking of party bags, what on earth am I going to put in DD's?

All I've got so far is a rainbow crayon!

I'll do some rainbow drops and a lolly too and DD loves party blowers so we'll have one of them too.

But what else?

tethersend Wed 14-Nov-12 20:17:41

Bubbles?

Rings?

Tethers i use partyrama as i find them cheaper than ebay on a lot of stuff like a lunchbox i think was 35p but about 55p on ebay.

Yes stealth well done i will use a tealight!! My friend says she got the mini figures for dd's birthday so i should have a rapunzel to put in there too all backlit and sparkly!!!

Blathers i thankyou for pascal i must admit i nearly melted when she started crawling about and those big eyes were boggling at me on her head!

Right, ahem, as i seem to be focused on the cake now, plan in place etc etc, party bags....

chocolate elephant

more rainbow bits ignore the rainbow willy straws

Blatherskite Wed 14-Nov-12 20:25:03

I'd considered bubbles.

I'm not sure she'd get rings.

I've seen some stretchy, smiley men she might like though. She asked for 'toys'!

Maybe a little pad to go with the crayons or is that not necessary?

Blatherskite Wed 14-Nov-12 20:39:45

Dh has a lifelong aversion to bouncy balls and bins them the second he can get them off the kids. DS and DD will be getting bags too and it seems a bit daft to buy something I know even we'll bin within hours grin

Bubbles looking good though. Will people want bubbles in December when they can't take them outside though?

tethersend Wed 14-Nov-12 20:43:06

Fans might be nice?

Hang on, how old is she, Blathers? I am behind on my background reading, sorry grin

thanks for website recs, am checking them out now...

Bathtime bubbles!!

Blatherskite Wed 14-Nov-12 20:47:48

She's going to be 3. Ds and the other half of the guests are almost 6. Whatever I put in needs to be unisex as I CBA with separate piles of bags, cheap and something that won't go in the bin as soon as the kids go to bed.

I love making it easy for myself smile

She's asked for a toy. I'm considering some little cars maybe? or the stretchy men? or?

Blatherskite Wed 14-Nov-12 20:49:09

Bathtime bubbles is a nice idea.

Blatherskite Wed 14-Nov-12 20:49:54

Although DD's closest little friend has excema and wouldn't be allowed them!

tethersend Wed 14-Nov-12 20:52:13

Gliders?

Blatherskite Wed 14-Nov-12 20:59:33

I've found some lovely gliders - even some that look like dragons - hmm, maybe but mine always break them in 5 minutes.

I'm trying not to be a pain in the arse honest.

<failing>

Playdough! You know i'm all about the playdough. No wait plasticine. You can get them cheap packs all the colours if the rainbow lined up!!

Come on you know that looks so rainbow!!! Unisex. Check. A toy. Check. Not bouncy. Check...

Blatherskite Wed 14-Nov-12 22:02:48

Yeah but it's so messy! It's hard to mould so they just break it into a bajillion bits and throw it on the floor.

Playdoh then. Make your own
Rainbow slinky?
Bath crayons?
Jesus this is getting hard...
Just give them the rainbow drops and the crayon and the lolly and a bit of cake and a rainbow slinky and a balloon each.

<panicking slightly as ive gotta do rainbow party bag for babies remember!!>

Blatherskite Wed 14-Nov-12 22:21:27

I know. I'm too bloody picky for my own good. Sorry sad

Do these count as bouncy balls?

Blatherskite Wed 14-Nov-12 22:22:42

Yep. DH would have them in the bin in hours

Bother. What about slinkys? I have found rainbow ones for 60p each

Im off to bed but can we work your dc's next parties out now, around the party bag choices because you never warned us that the grinch had a rubber ball phobia before!!

Next year do sports and diamond jubilee parties cos we can pick up reams of stuff dirt cheap. Dang we could get every child a team gb tracksuit for thruppence.

Oi stealth i suggested slinkies first wink

Blatherskite Wed 14-Nov-12 22:29:37

Oh he is a grinch in many, many ways. Party bags are just one of them

Yes I saw you suggested slinkies - I was just wondering what the objection to those was grin

For babies - these are too expensive but could be made cheaply?

Blatherskite Wed 14-Nov-12 22:39:14

They'd certainly make DH's list of junk for the bin but I was more uncertain because we've had some before and DD was uninterested.

<sobs>

Blatherskite Wed 14-Nov-12 22:42:25

I'm sorry.

I've ordered the rainbow drops and the party horns and the bags arrived today. I might put what I've got so far in the bag and see if it looks full enough not to bother with anything else wink

Fabric here before I lose it, DW.

Blathers, might it be quicker to tell us what will get past DH?

Blatherskite Wed 14-Nov-12 22:45:40

I think this is why I've been searching all night and haven't found anything - even I don't know!

Oops that didn't work.

It's a flower garland

skipping ropes - they're in the US though.

Blatherskite Wed 14-Nov-12 22:56:04

I might get a few pics up and ask DD. Then I can blame her when DH strops smile

Blatherskite Wed 14-Nov-12 23:07:22

I'll get him one grin

Blatherskite Thu 15-Nov-12 14:51:15

DD and I were out today and saw some of the children who will be coming to her party. When I mentioned it, one of the Mum's said "ooh good. You do such lovely parties and party food and party bags"

Just what I needed - more pressure wink

I get that all the time - new joiners to DD's class got told how "amazing" our parties are hmm

Blatherskite Thu 15-Nov-12 15:42:10

I shall DM you my current party nightmare later stealth DW has already accused me of being a troll so I'd better keep it off board wink

Ok!

Much as I love our plumber, I wish he hadn't declared the boiler terminally ill the day after we committed to lots of other work on the house sad. Guess what DH and I will be giving each other for Christmas?

Blatherskite Thu 15-Nov-12 16:12:55

There seems to be a spate of boiler break downs this year! I know of at least 3 now.

If ours breaks down, it's going to be a long cold winter! We already gave each other new lounge carpet (as yet not bought) as an anniversary present. Well, 7 years is wool after all smile

Ours is staggering on at the moment, and the plumber is coming back to talk whoever is home to death strip it down and see if there is anything he can do on Monday, but the prognosis is not good.

Electrician, plasterer, new carpets, and now a boiler. I think next year's holiday is going to be a modest affair.

Stealth loving the dribble bibs. I was about to whine that i cant find rainbow fabric too. Sorry you have boiler problems. Think thats the only saving grace with renting. Hope you can get it sorted. And blathers many congratulations on your carpet!

Am i reading those uk skipping ropes right? A pack of 30 for no money??!!! Get them blathers they are a steal. I may get them for older dc's at party.

Use them to tie up your party problem child.

Annnnd, i have sat on my kitchen work top some pipework. I think this may work people!!! Although i'm prob gonna bash dd1's head in because first pascals tail isnt waggly enough. And then the tower was deemed too tall!! Too tall??

Unfortunately (and very misleadingly) the price is per rope, even though you can only buy them in a pack - either that or it's just wrong, as I just tried adding it to the cart and it comes up as £47.94 incl VAT (free delivery), which doesn't add up.

If you got a metre or so of that fabric, and the same of towelling, and some poppers, you would have rainbow dribble bibs at a fraction of the price of buying them... when is your rainbow party?

I think you need to impose on DD1 the rule that my DD adopted for herself - everything to do with the party is a surprise and she doesn't get to see it until the party. That or just threaten to cancel the whole thing [mean Mummy]

Blatherskite Thu 15-Nov-12 18:25:53

I think I may has resolved my party bag problems!

How cute are these!!

Exceptionally cute sod all to do with rainbows, though

Blatherskite Thu 15-Nov-12 20:00:58

At this point I am beyond caring about the rainbows!

The castles will have jungle animals on them which can be my tenuous link

Stealth i cant keep anything hidden from dd1 because im having to snatch moments where i can around dd2 teally. Dd2 is still in our room as her bedroom is currently santas grotto. Dd1 wants to know what all the parcels are. She's now mightly pissed off that "grandad" has been sending his work here wink i have an elf on the shelf hidden behind the sofa he was hastily stashed there in a hurry the other day. Today i come in and she has her cheeks pressed into the carpet craning to see under the sofa yelping muuuum look theres stuff under there?!!!

Blathers. I give up helping your party bags. Just do bloody sweets again. Skittles or smarties layered into rainbows. Honestly.

Blatherskite Thu 15-Nov-12 21:13:01

You don't like the little letters then?

Well yeah they are cute but we spent all last night hunting out THEMED stuff!! <sulk>

Blatherskite Thu 15-Nov-12 22:12:12

I know. Sorry sad

TheRealMBJ Fri 16-Nov-12 04:07:08

I found a new source of blue jelly

Am bringing loads home in my bag grin

Oooo oooo will you consider parting with any for a fee?

Blatherskite Fri 16-Nov-12 09:14:37

It's like party crack MBJ. You could make a fortune 'dealing' it to us lot when you get back wink

Talking of contraband imported party supplies, it looks like I will be spending 2 weeks in the US in Jan/early Feb. I can't decide whether 2 separate weeks or 2 weeks in one go would be less of a nightmare, but in fact it is out of my control so I have stopped worrying.

Anyway, in between work stuff, I may go shopping, so if you want any essential party supplies brought back, let me know...

BrainSurgeon Fri 16-Nov-12 10:31:08

<barges in> do you do weddings here? I need some urgent help here

Blatherskite Fri 16-Nov-12 11:41:01

Well, I sent out the party invites. Guess who was the first one to reply and say they're coming <sigh>

BrainSurgeon having only ever planned 1 wedding, I'm not quite so practiced but I can try...

I've still got to decide what I'm doing for DS's party but it's in March so your trip might be perfectly timed smile Assuming anyone ever wants to help me again after Rainbow-gate that is.

Well if I hand-carry supplies back from the US for you, then if DH even thinks about binning them, you can tell him from me that I know where he lives and can find some IT industry hit men to sabotage his next DR test.

TheRealMBJ Fri 16-Nov-12 15:16:19

How much do you need DW? Each pack makes 500ml of jelly. I would happily bring some over if you want BUT I only return to Britain on the 3/12....

Let me know

Ah mjb i dont know what i'll need and my party isnt until feb. so i'll decline at this time but thank you.

Brain surgeon im good at weddings i'll come on over and take a look..

BlastOff Sun 18-Nov-12 17:57:25

Lovely, lovely MNetters - you helped me so much last year with ds's party (especially when some supplies did not turn up in time). In fact I loved this thread and enjoyed contributing to it, but have not been on MN as much over the past year as I've been back at work, and life has been inconveniently getting in the way of MN-ing smile

Anyhow... It's ds's 4th birthday in a couple week and I'm doing an Under the Sea theme this year as per his request.

Apart from decorating the table and having given out suitably watery-themed invites I'm a bit stuck for ideas. Would love any ideas you might have.

Please help!

Oooo ooooo we toyed with this theme a little while back. Let me get dd2 in bed and i'll be back. But how many kids what age ranges and is it home or a hall?

Blatherskite Sun 18-Nov-12 18:58:45

Shark jellies! Do the shark jellies!!

grin

TheRealMBJ Sun 18-Nov-12 19:31:07

Yy. Shark jellies! I know where you can get blue jelly now that the SANZA shop is sold out.

For a fee. Of course wink

BlastOff Sun 18-Nov-12 20:43:29

Shark Jellies? Jelly with shark sweets in? What a great idea - could you do it in clear plastic glasses? Where on earth do you get blue jelly?! <sidles up to TheRealBMJ smiling sweetly>

Its in a hall, there are going to be about 15ish 3-5 year olds (gulp) and I've also hired a bouncy castle. I'm hoping all the parents will stay (most of them I know really well, and will be doing so)

For that age group, I thought mainly roaming free with maybe pass the parcel and musical statues? Maybe What's the Time Mr Wolf?

BlastOff Sun 18-Nov-12 20:44:26

<or even TheRealMBJ> blush

Definitely mostly free-roaming / bouncing. Will think about other undersea stuff when my brain is less knackered - it's been a long weekend.

Blatherskite Mon 19-Nov-12 07:49:06

It's my DD's 3rd birthday in a month and she's having bouncy castles too. She'll have DS and some friends of his there too who are all 5 so pretty much the same age group as you.

In my experience, if there is a bouncy castle to be bounced on, you've got very little hope of getting them to stop for long enough to play a game. The guy who's supplying our castle is a friend and when we went to his daughters party, even he couldn't get everyone sat down to play musical statues and he does parties like that for a living! So I'm not bothering with games this time. I've ordered some cardboard crowns and stick on gems so that they can make party hats and will print out some colouring sheets and buy a big bag of crayons from the scrap store. I've purposefully picked things that don't take long and don't require everyone being sat down at once.

Blue jelly will need to be ordered from MBJ one of those online stores that do South African/Australian food for ex pats as you can't buy it in the UK so I'd get it as soon as you can. There are a couple of links up thread. stealth and I made up an OTT party porn version a while ago that had a sponge cake (sand) base under the blue jelly and green laces (seaweed) up the sides I think. If you could source mini plastic boats for the top, that would look amazing. I'm doing rainbow jellies for DD and have bought disposable clear plastic wine glasses from the pound shop to serve it in.

I'm sure I found some gorgeous looking scallop biscuits when I was looking too. I'll try to find a link.

TheRealMBJ Mon 19-Nov-12 13:08:50

BlastOff I am currently in South Africa and can supply blue (bubblegum flavoured) jelly when I return from holiday. However, I am only getting back into the country on the 3rd and so would probably only be able to post on the 4th. Let me know if you're interested

DrinkFeckArseGirls Mon 19-Nov-12 19:23:20

Can I join? DD is 2 in a week and we're having a small get-together the following Sat. One other toddler almost 3 years old and 2 babies - one almost 1 years old and the other 6 months old. Do I have to make it somewhat exciting? confused

There will be parents of course, well 3 mothers, one father and 2 if my child free self-sacrificing mates. Kind of more worried about the adults, babies will saluvate and roll or crawl a d the 2 toddlers will hopefully just play with the toys. I do feel I should provide sone king of a game? It's in my place btw, mainly living room, not that much space.

Also looking for some food ideas, I do like to provide a nice spread . grin

BlastOff Mon 19-Nov-12 20:26:53

TheRealMBJ The party is on the 1st! But thank you SO much for offering. I will have to go and do some sourcing... Very envy about you being in South Africa though.

Was thinking blue table with turquoise table runner type of affair out of that netty material, and turquoise plates. Food plates could be red and make them look like crabs with legs/ pinchers attached, (was going to all the plates like that and then realised it would take me from now until then to just make plates!), and I have found some starfish shaped bowls.

Also will get some of those door covers which are long shiney threads to walk through and hang up on the doors and maybe some windows. (does that make sense?) It's not an easy hall to decorate or I would get some nets etc, so might give up on that.

Was thinking fish shaped sandwiches. Other than that and the shark jellies, I'm a bit stuck with food. I saw some great fish cup cakes, using smarties as scales.

As for the cake.... DS wants a sea monster but I really think that will be pushing my skills for cake decorating. Any alternative ideas or easy sea monsters?!

Blatherskite Mon 19-Nov-12 21:12:56

Sweet always easier than savoury when you're theme-ing.

Fish shaped sandwiches would work. Maybe starfish sandwiches too? Fish shaped pizza too maybe? Skips looks like little shells... or so they still make 'fish and chips' crisps? Just found some triangles of cheese labelled 'Shark teeth' which was clever and a particularly tenuous Macaroni cheese made with the conch shaped pasta labelled 'Conch shells and cheese' smile This is quite cool.

I found loads of sweet ideas. You could so shaped biscuits, the jellies of course, bowls of fishy jelly sweets (aquarterof.co.uk is good for off sweets) loads of ideas for decorating cupcakes or cake pops

Blatherskite Mon 19-Nov-12 21:14:45

This sea monster cake could be quite easy. You'd just need a sheet cake and then make the monster out of bagel halves covered in icing and held up with cocktail sticks.

Blatherskite Mon 19-Nov-12 21:18:48

This Sea Monster mask is fun. I have a cuddly Cthulhu that DD adores. She calls him 'cuddy foo doo' grin

BlastOff Mon 19-Nov-12 21:30:25

Thank you!!!

Shark Teeth cheese is cool, and easy to make - I'm guessing just little triangles of cheddar which will go down well too.

I've never made cake pops before - are they tricky? They look amazing, and I especially liked some I saw which look like little fish bowls with sprinkles as the bubbles and a little goldfish stuck on. Do I need a special mould? I would definitely need a practice run.

I am definitely doing that pepper octopus in dip - it's inspired!

I will do conch shells in pesto I think (ds not keen on cheese sauce) and can be cold easily - good find!

I'm not sure that I will manage that cake - I might have a trial run this weekend along with the cake pops and have a go, but I'm not hopeful I'm artistic enough...

Cute mask! Thank you so much for those ideas, they are fab.

Cake pops not easy, IME/O but I have a cake pop maker, which makes the middle bit easier (and nicer) but dipping them is quite tricky. I keep meaning to try again but always seem to end up stupidly out of time to do them for actual parties.

this is another sea monster cake that would work. I like the one Blathers link to, but I think she is making the method way more complicated than it needs to be. If you made the hoops of monster and left them to dry for as long as you have, then you could just stick them into a (bought) sheet cake at the last minute.

I have fish moulds from when I did DH's cake if you wanted to do a general underwater theme, but that doesn't work for a sea monster.

Sorry sorry dd2 went into her own room last night and it was a disturbed time!!

You've had some fab under the sea suggestions though i see. This should be easy to make into a sea monster cake, tentacles from sugarpaste and just make the round top cake in a pyrex basin.

jazzedupcakes.com/browse/octopus-cake/

Drinkfeck...with just four kids i'd just do a little tradional teaparty. Pass the parcel should be a good token game with babies on laps and way easier to manage than a hall of 20 kids. If you want food ideas we're usually best at themed ideas.

Blatherskite Mon 19-Nov-12 21:42:37

Yes, the shark teeth were just little triangles of cheddar I think. Sometimes the magic is all in the name wink

Cake pops can be made by crumbling sponge cake and mixing with icing before squishing into balls and putting on sticks - or you can buy a cake pop maker from lakeland for about £20 which will bake perfect little balls of cake for you. stealth has one and I am jealous. If you wanted a less labour intensive version, I saw some good ones where they'd swapped the cake bit for a marshmallow then decorated in the same way. Like these

You could always add this on top of your conch shells with pesto seaweed sauce to make it a bit more exciting..

Blatherskite Mon 19-Nov-12 21:45:06

These are the oyster biscuits I mentioned earlier

DrinkFeckArse - Apart from providing some balloons for the toddlers to play with, I don't think you need to do anything specifically for the DC.

For the adults, however, especially your long-suffering child free friends, a child's party is an excuse to eat all sorts of fun stuff which they would never normally consider. Mini cupcakes, party rings, little mini sandwiches with the crusts cut off, cocktail sausages, etc.

how about marshmallow teacups?

For games could you do something like apple bobbing but for treasure or would they freak out at putting their faces in water?

I love those jellyfish, DW grin

BlastOff Mon 19-Nov-12 21:58:27

You are all amazing! Thank you so much. I knew you wouldn't let me down!

Stealth - that underwater cake is AMAZING.

I'm wondering about the octopus cake TheDoctorsWife46 has linked to...

If you make a cake in a pyrex bowl (and I'm going to sound really stupid here), do you just put your sponge mix in the bowl and cook as usual? Do you need to grease it in a particular way?

I've never used sugarpaste before - how do you make it so smooth? Do I need to do a lot of practising first do you think? In fact, if I'm honest I don't even really know how to make the tentacles, but I'm game for having a go.

Blathers that frankfurter octopus is genius. Hilarious, but genius. I am going to have to give that a go. And yes, of course, seaweed sauce, not pesto...

Oh I'm getting really excited now! I will remember to take better photos this year to show you. Last year my photos were a bit rubbish and I forgot to take photos of the table etc.

BlastOff Mon 19-Nov-12 22:15:23

We did apple bobbing at a Hallowe'en party and they were fine with it, so that might work well. I thought about a treasure hunt in sand or in balloons, or even just finding some hidden fish shaped chocolates around the hall.

I also saw a game with a paddling pool filled with balloons and fish with paper clips on their noses, and the children had to 'fish' them out with a magnet on a bamboo stick and string fishing line - half way down the page

Also, last year decorating gingerbread rockets went down well, so thought I might do a table with gingerbread fish to decorate.

TheDW Those jelly fish are cool and I could get ds to make some with me in advance of the party too.

Octopus cake looks entirely do-able. It's annoying me now, because I am now sure that I had a cute octopus cake in one of my hundreds of cake books but I can't find it.

If you are a novice with sugarpaste, I would look in the library for a Debbie Brown book as she does the basics really well (just don't take any notice of her timings - everything always takes ages longer than she says). Definitely buy pre-coloured sugarpaste if you want a nice deep colour like that.

Oh, sorry - missed the questions about baking in pyrex.

Grease it well, and I use a baking parchment circle and make cuts into it so that it fits in the bottom, IYSWIM. I would be inclined to use a slightly denser sponge (Nigella's buttermilk birthday cake is my default) as it will hold it's shape better under the weight of the sugarpaste, and be more moist than a victoria sponge.

BlastOff Mon 19-Nov-12 22:26:29

Stealth thank you so much, great advice. Will go and look up that book in the library this week. I forsee a weekend of baking...

And I've found blue jelly on Amazon of all places! Just ordered it now in case it takes a while to come.

And blastoff sugarpaste is very very similar to playdoh so for tentacles literally you'd be rolling out a sausage shape with the paste. Easy peasy!! If you go to google books type in debbie brown and some of ger cakes are on there to give you an idea. If you type in octopus cake there are also some other ideas with instructions.

Blathers that pinterest board is so cool - except that you could spend a lifetime on a party and not do all of that stuff. So hard to choose....

Blatherskite Tue 20-Nov-12 09:38:01

I really need to become a millionaire. It's the only way I'm going to be able to do all the parties I need to do smile

4 weeks until DD's party now. Really have to start finalising plans.

I went with these for the party bags in the end. Lovely bright rainbow colours.

Sorry for being such a nightmare sad

So party bags will now be - white paper bags (possibly with a bright sticker on the front) filled with a bag of Rainbow Drops, a lolly, A rainbow crayon, a party blower and a windmill. I might do the cute letters too.

Ooooh ive ordered some blue jelly from amazon now just to have some!! I may use it at the party i may not but it feels nice to have it in reserve.

This morning is the first time in around six weeks that im up, properly dressed rather than grabbing whats clean and hair straightened. I need some more gumpaste but the caketower is def coming along nicely. I really do not enjoy this cake making lark though ive decided. My heart races doing it because i worry about denting it/dropping it/splodging it. I'll be glad to do dd2's because painting that dolly wont be as traumatic.

Blathers have you finished your doll?

Blatherskite Tue 20-Nov-12 09:58:33

No. I haven't finished my dragon either. I've been so poorly, I haven't had the energy. Definitely feeling better now though so will crack on.

"properly dressed rather than grabbing whats clean and hair straightened"

Damn. I knew I was doing something wrong. Having driven 3 hours to the office in the pouring rain for the second day running, I was told by someone that I looked as though I was in pain hmmsad.

<<note to self: must stop and put makeup on, instead of just walking in to the office on a conference call which you had to join from a traffic jam because actually you can't drop your DC off at 7am, even if you wanted to>>

(feeling sorry for myself today - partly because I wasted spent a happy evening googling undersea party ideas and looking through cake books and only remembered at 11pm that I had to get up by 6am, and had still to print some photos for DS to take to school and fulfill Tooth Fairy duties)

Has anyone seen any really effective and simple cakes for not very adult men? We seem to have agreed to shoehorn a trip to see DB2's new flat and have a "birthday lunch" into a weekend that really didn't have space for it, and it would be nice to make him a cake, but I will have about 5 mins to do it once we have finished stripping yet another room of woodchip (I loathe that stuff) and somehow moving all the furniture out of 3 rooms.

Stealth i know you feel sorry for yourself but god that made me laugh. In my former life i used to be a senior manager for bt and you described my old working day! Now we're poor and ive got sick down my leg and dd1 whining that shes tired. If someone asked me to even dial into a conference call nowadays i think i'd turn to mush. Somewhere in here is an intelligent business minded young woman but the mirror shows me a greying hagard blob that knows cbeebies inside out!

Woodchip- i actually got dd1's old room stripped of it in a day once. I used a carving fork to scratch into the paper soaked it in vinegar/water and ut really did scrape off nicely.

A cake.... Hmmm well you could re-ice a ready made one? That'd be quick. Off to google simple cakes.. Whats he into?

Mens cakes are rubbish!! Do blathers pizza cake!!!

Pizza cake is a good call. It would be transportable as well. Shame I didn't read that an hour ago - I could have got pizza for the DC and saved the box. I feel DH and I may be eating pizza whilst stripping woodchip.

We have acres of the bloody stuff to do, eventually, so we bought a big steam stripper, which does work, but they are big rooms and it still takes forever. All the walls and ceilings were covered in it, apart from 3 rooms which have artex on both walls and ceilings instead.

Blatherskite Tue 20-Nov-12 19:37:15

I asked Dh's friend who worked at PE and he got me a fresh box. It was really easy to transport too.

Come on!!!! Easy peasy pizza cake! Think blathers said she would have grated White choc on instead of yellow sugarpaste so that cuts the time down a treat!!

What else did you put on it in the end, Blathers?

Blatherskite Tue 20-Nov-12 20:55:32

Easy peasy! That cake took skill :p

It was a large flat sponge, covered in red frosting, either white choc or yellow sugar paste cheese (I put on both but removed one cause it looked odd, I think DW is right and it was the yellow) Mushrooms were made out of Ivory sugarpaste and painted with brown colouring. Pepperoni was circles cut out of fruit leather. Did I do green peppers too?? I'll find a pic

I'm sure if stealth attempts one, mine will look shit very quickly.

Ha ha sorry to say its easy...lets not forget that i am currently shaping gumpaste into a frigging tower with roof and (ahem stealth) working lantern!!!! That pizza is easy in comparison.

Come on stealth this is a breeze for you! You sculpted a whole dragon the other week!! You can lob cheese on a pizza (yours looked lovely blathers) dont forget the ferrero meatballs i think you thought they would be ott blathers but they would look suitably manly for your db stealth!!! Get that glazing gel stuff out and make them all oily!! And i reckon any pizza shop would give you a box! A plumbers gave me pipe!!!

Blatherskite Tue 20-Nov-12 21:39:41

Yep, if stealth attempts it, it'll make mine look crap but I'm prepared to take one for the team.

I bet if you asked for a spare box the next time you bought pizza, they'd give you one happily.

Whoa ignore my overuse of !!!!!!!!!!!'n

Mate if stealth did a rapunzel cake it'd make mine look shit. Yours looked lovely <strokes blathers hair and reminds her that she also did a lego cake >

Blatherskite Tue 20-Nov-12 21:45:33

I did. I was rather proud of the teddy bears picnic one too <needy>

wink

Believe me, I have no time to do this cake. DH will kill me for even contemplating it. If I can somehow make it to a shop to get fruit leather stuff then I might try, but it's not going to get sculpted and painted mushrooms, that's for sure.

What was the sauce? Just red butter cream?

Cheese and meatball pizza then and didnt we figure out that the stems off jelly cherries looked like peppers! What about that bloody cake pop machine? Cant you do a batch of them and dip in choc/sprinkles.

<whispers to blathers- bet its gathering woodchip dust in a cupboard somewhere>

Blatherskite Tue 20-Nov-12 22:15:04

I did cream cheese frosting from the Hummingbird Bakery book and added a lot of red food gel, and some blue I believe. Tomato sauce is brown-y red.

I did see a bizarrely easy cake during my search, let me see if i can find it...

Blatherskite Tue 20-Nov-12 22:16:32

And yes, there was definitely a cake that had used jelly cherry stems as green peppers - good memory DW!

I need to pay a cheque in this week and will be walking right past the fruit leather selling shop if you need me to pop in stealth smile

resists double entrendre around pussy

i mean wtf is that cake?!!

<<adds cream cheese to "how the hell am I going to get to a shop" list>>

Blathers that is most kind of you but this is for Saturday - I am in a meeting in a Heathrow hotel (exciting venue hmm) for the next 2 days, so basically I will be relying on finding a 24 hour shop somewhere between there and here on Thursday night.

Cake pop maker is so not gathering woodchip dust. The kitchen is the only civilised, finished room in the entire house, and I used it to make dragon poo eggs for DD's party. So nerrr. However, I think chopping ferrero rochers in alf would be quicker than making and coating cake pops, even if DS will grump (he hates ferrero rocher).

That cake is truly strange, DW, and yet not as simple as it ends up looking - all that painting, not to mention making the cat.

please ignore all typos. It somehow seems to be 11pm again, I have to get up ludicrously early again, and I still have to pack and choose radiators.

DrinkFeckArseGirls Tue 20-Nov-12 23:10:52

Thank you TheFictirsWife abd stealthsquiggle.

You want a theme? I'll give you a theme! wink

Dinosaurs. Ex bought that huge blow up something-saurus hmm a d I have pit it to any use yet. So dinosaur party it is. Unless I run out of time and it's tapas style food.

Dinosaurs is cool. Especially for littlies. There is so much cute dinosaur stuff out there.

<<sits on hands. I am not doing vicarious shopping. I am working out BTUs because I have lost the envelope that I worked them out on before, then I am going to sleep>>

BTU's?

I'm up..dd1 is ill, fever etc. (prob what i had last week) this is evil but my mind is going dont be ill i needed you at playschool so i can get the tower finished!!! Assuming shes well enough for her party.

Drinkfeck- right well you only really need to theme the food if thats where you wanted a bit of fun. Dinosaur shaped sandwiches. Date you serve the dreaded turkey dinosaur (they'd be like cold nuggets) yes i admit to having some in the freezer, boiled eggs could be dino eggs esp if uou coloured them! Errrrr hold on....blathers is good at theming food.

Back again, you could do the big water melon head that was mentioned a few pages ago filled with fruit. Swamp dip and breadstick dinosaur bones.
Cheese triangles could be stegosaurus spikes. Salads for herbivores!

Blathers will be along in the morning with some good ideas

Blatherskite Wed 21-Nov-12 13:40:06

Dino hats and volcano cakes and those marbled boiled eggs are all brilliant! I have one of those dinosaur sandwich cutters smile

I have to say I'd be tempted by the Dino chicken shapes too. Cold chicken nuggets always go down well.

You could do the Sharks teeth we talked about up thread and just call them dinosaur teeth? Or stick them into half a watermelon with toothpicks and call them Stegosaurus spikes? Chicken drumsticks could become T-rex arms or Pterodactyl wings? I've seen meringue bones in a halloween book that could work. If you can cope with giving them all fizzy orange, you could call it Volcano Pop? You could make fossil biscuits if you could find a amonite shape to use? humous swamp and bread/veg sticks? Veg could become Brachiosaurus food?

You need one of these for the top of the cake! I think you could probably get away with a plain and easy cake if you stuck that on top smile

Blatherskite Wed 21-Nov-12 13:42:56

How about this idea but instead of using the raisins (which seem to have plumped up and look gross) use jelly bugs instead?

Blatherskite Wed 21-Nov-12 13:45:28

You could do burgers and just rename them Brachiosaurus burgers? Hot dogs become Hot Diplodocuses? with ketchup lava of course smile

LOL at the wishosaurus - I bought my DM one of those - he's lovely

Blatherskite Wed 21-Nov-12 14:25:04

I think I should just take out shares in Fred to be honest. Such a lot of their stuff is in my cupboards lovely smile

Cracking up at pterodactyl wings.

Blatherskite Wed 21-Nov-12 14:37:34

T-rex arms would be an instant MN giveaway though wouldn't it. Almost as obvious as Pombears...

Oooh to be outed by a chicken drumstick smile

Drinkfeck if you want to really destroy your house, you could give the toddlers dinosaur tails like DW and Blathers forced me to make (along with dragon wings). They are soooo cute.

Yes love the tails but it may be cruel to get drinkfeck to make tails for babies for our amusement. grin

TheRealMBJ Wed 21-Nov-12 17:12:08

You lot are awesome!

Blatherskite Wed 21-Nov-12 17:15:57

I think the word you're looking for MBJ, is 'obsessed'

Possibly 'crazy'

blush

I was being restrained and only suggesting tails for toddlers grin

whiskeytangofoxtrot Wed 21-Nov-12 18:57:37

hello awesome people -
I wonder if anyone can help? or whether i should start my own thread but
I am looking for ways to do a drinks party on the cheap but doesn't look like it?
Want to do some kind of nibbley food too?
Thanks in advance and do tell me to beggar orf if am in wrong place

Not the wrong place at all as mjb says we're awesome!! Puck our brains grin

we need more details in order to help though. Who's it for? Whats the occassion? Wheres the venue and age ranges?

Then we'll let loose on you!

We've been here over a year now doing this thread. We're very dedicated to parties and i love it that blastoff came back for more!

Sorry mbj i got your name wrong way round in haste x

DrinkFeckArseGirls Wed 21-Nov-12 21:08:22

Blather, *Dw and squiggle - I'm on awe! shock

There is no way I'm going to do any most of the stuff myself... But tails... How do you do them? To be fair my DD is not into dressing up that much and the other toddler is very girly so not sure she'd appreciate being made fun of the tail but the babies... <evil cackle> the babies can't run away grin.

I need to re-read all your suggestions and make a plan.

Sandwiches, eggs and burgers are all doable but I am not blessed with the gift of bake. Will buy the cake and any other sugar-orientated items. Although <wobbles a little> DD is on egg and diary free diet due to her eczema, which is now 90% gone so I feel I should make an appropriate cake myself and not give her chocolate one I found from M&S. Is baking your own birthday cake really cheaper? Argh...

No i dont find it cheaper!

Definitely not cheaper. More smug points, and quite a lot of satisfaction in retrospect don't ask DW about that for a few weeks, but not cheaper

Ladies - this thread is amazing!

I really need your help. I have DS's 3rd birthday in 4 weeks time. About 15 3 year olds coming. Haven't a clue what to do with them all.

Have hired a hall, and DH is going to dress up as Santa and hand out gifts instead of party bags.

Having a picnic style lunch for them.

But what do I do with them for 2 hours?

HELP!!

Blatherskite Thu 22-Nov-12 08:18:25

Buy a cake and get the Wishosaurus drinkfeck It'll look amazing.

Got to run and do the school run but will be back for the other parties in a bit.

Blatherskite Thu 22-Nov-12 09:54:07

whiskeytangofoxtrot I guess the way to do a drinks party on the cheap is to plan your cocktails carefully. If you can find a lot of drinks that use similar ingredients then you won't need to buy as many. Places like Aldi do some very good and highly recommended wines and spirits but at a much lower price that the branded ones. I keep meaning to try their Prosecco and Baileys copy both of which I've heard raved about on here and by friends.

Or, If you think your friends would go for it, I'd try to make it a 'bring a bottle' party. You choose the cocktails, make a list of all the drinks you'll need and then request that everyone brings a single bottle. You can then provide the glasses, mixers, lemons, olives, umbrellas wink and nibbles...?

Erm, what sort of nibbly food did you fancy? The shops will be full of that sort of stuff now Christmas is approaching if you wanted to buy it ready done? I can have a search through a few cookbooks if you wanted to make your own?

Blatherskite Thu 22-Nov-12 09:57:17

Would second the made cake not being cheaper. I have been known to buy a huge sheet cake from Costco for £12 and just decorate it to get the best of both worlds smile

Egg/Dairy free would definitely put the price up too ime. DBro is egg/dairy/wheat/gluten intolerant so I've tried those cakes in the past too and would definitely not call them an easy bake either.

Blatherskite Thu 22-Nov-12 10:03:37

midnightinmoscow It's my DD's 3rd birthday in about 3 weeks time and I've booked a bouncy castle for them. I'll do some colouring and crown making for the tired ones but apart from that I'm just leaving them to run around.

If you want games though, keep them simple for little ones. Musical bumps works well at this age, as does pass the parcel (with adults watching to oversee any fights when the music stops wink), maybe some sort of egg and spoon (bauble and spoon) race or sack race in big santa sacks if you're embracing the christmas element? 3 years olds are quite easy to amuse to be honest. If you get a bubble machine and put some music on and you'll keep them busy for a good 20 minutes and just chasing balloons or a soft ball round will go down well too.

Blatherskite Thu 22-Nov-12 13:33:53

I know I annoyed everyone with my party bag picky-ness but the windmills arrived this morning and they are sooo cute smile

Crowns look good too although I think I might need lots more stick on gems. 126 don't look like many when they actually arrive! I do have glittery foam stickers too to bulk them out but you can guarantee they'll all want 20 gems each!

Blathers - windmills what windmills last time you were on animal letters. Show me these windmills.

Midnightinmoscow- my dd was three last year and games didnt realky work. Pass the parcel is good. I did craft stuff and a hunt the jigsaw pieces for all the kids to make a big floor puzzle. If you can get a bouncy castle they really will just jump around and eat!

Drinks party - ive tried quite a few of aldi's copycat drinks and they are great. If you can get a copy of nigellas christmas from the library she has loads of classy nibbles that are easy to do. Spiced nuts, glazed sausages etc and in the back are tons of cocktails because last year i made all her mocktails. I was massively pregnant and sulking.

Agree with bring a bottle but make a cocktail menu and bar area and let people choose off the menu if you want a classy affair rather than a big boozy house party stylie. The thing with parties is the setting makes a lot if difference. If you can get people to wear cocktail dresses/suits already your setting the scene. Get big pitchers of decent cocktails and platters of nibbles. Sorted. Honestly get the nigella book it will give you tons of ideas.

Stealth- text me cos ive deleted your no by accident and i'll sneak preview the cake tower

Blatherskite Thu 22-Nov-12 13:50:54

I'm sure I mentioned the windmills upthread confused These ones

I'm going to get the animal letters too I think, just waiting for the RSVPs so I can buy the right letters.

I've got the Nigella Christmas book if you need any recipes copying out.

The cake tower is amazing. You are very clever DW

Ahh yes sorry you did post those before. Ive dine more to the tower today added the greenery around the window etc and up the tower but the roof is not holding up well some tiles have come loose and one has cracked but im leaving well alone until sunday.

Im feeling the pressure as everyone is telling me how excited their kids are what costumes they've been buying etc etc. im worried about games but im not sure i can articulate it.

Ive got tons of sweets (i feel i should get more)

Games are:
Pin the nose on flynn rider (should i give a prize to all that take part?) each kid will have a different nose and aim to get it in the right place. Different noses because in the film they can never get his nose right. So should i reward them all (15 kids) or the one that gets the closest?

Pass the flynn rider satchel. Sit thy backside down open bag for lucky dip.

Musical statues. Dd has already told me if shes out she's still playing so thinking im gonna give a sticker to each "out" so i can still see who the winner is.

Dd wants to build towers. Ive got shed liads of duplo. Now i can leave them to it(boys and littlies will gravitate to it over haur plaiting!!) or should i turn it into a contest? Who has built the tallest?

Im scared. In gonna have to do the hosting because dh will be dressed as flynn rider hiding with shame in the corner.

Jesus ignore my typos honestly i cannot mn on my phone!!

Blatherskite Thu 22-Nov-12 14:12:56

I think your games sound brilliant DW. Pin the nose on flynn rider is inspired smile

I'd maybe give a small sweet or a sticker to everyone who takes part and a slightly bigger prize to the winner just like you're doing with the musical statues. There has to be a point to winning after all.

For the tower building, I'd be tempted to just leave it as an unrewarded activity. You could end up with floods of tears if someone thought they were winning and then it falls (or gets pushed) over.

I always get more confident when dressed up so you might find that DH comes into his own when he has his costume on.

eek what kinda prize shall i give to the winner? Im all partied out already. X

Blatherskite Thu 22-Nov-12 14:52:50

Maybe a mini packet of haribo for the runners up and a bigger packet of buttons for the winner?

Or a lolly for the runners up and a lolly and a little packet of sweets for the winner?

Yep i can do that!!

I will reply properly later but I don't bother with prizes at all, apart from pass the parcel, any more. DC seem quite happy with winning being it's own reward and there are no tears from non-winners.

Thanks for all the advice and assurance that I can let them run wild for most of it!!

I'll go easy on the party games, just some simple stuff.

Thank the lord for bouncy castles!

How can i get sugarpaste through a sieve? I dont have an extruder/shaper. Its not goung through. Do i need to loosen it with trex and knead it loads or am i missing a trick somewhere?

Blatherskite Fri 23-Nov-12 16:11:30

Sugar paste through a sieve!! Why? No idea on how either I'm afraid. I've got a Food mill that might do it but that doesn't help you blush

Ooh, but I bought one for Sis! You could borrow perhaps?

I only came on to post this How cute would they be for a girly party smile

Blatherskite Fri 23-Nov-12 16:12:53

Food mill/Mouli

They're really handy for weaning

To make bushes/grass!! Duh! wink

Im gonna try trex when dd1 goes to bed. God i love her but honestly she will not shut up wittering on at me and i cant concentrate on anything. Its either question, question, whine, whine, whine or pucking dd2 up making her cry. I cannot wait for 7pm today!!

Those cakes are fab. Ive got a group of girly mates and try to make them all cakes for birthdays but two of the five havent had one. I may do those for all of them next time! Whats the heel etc made from?

Blatherskite Fri 23-Nov-12 16:23:48

Oh, of course! Bushes. Why did I not think of that hmm

I can ask Sis about the mouli? It crushes potatoes and carrots easily so I don't see why it wouldn't work with sugar paste you'd just need the bigger of the meshes.

By the looks of it, those heels are made from ice cream wafers. I'd guess you'd make the sole from biscuit?

Definitely trex. Or you could grate it and then squidge it back together?

Trex worked brilliantly. Im almost done. Im fighting thevurge to get out if bed and do more to it but i need to sleep as dd2 is bound to get me up at dawn.

Have to finish the cake, shop for party food and then make up the food for lunchboxes tomorrow. My mind is buzzing and i cant settle at all.

How did it go, DW?

Blatherskite Sun 25-Nov-12 09:01:42

It's today I think. The cake looks awesome. I'm sure she'll report back later

Helllloooo rapunzel fans!!

Well, im here, i survived it. 14 kids and 7 babies. My cake first of all was bloody great (polishes halo) it looked like a lilliput lane cottage. I'll upload photos to my profile but not today as im on my phone.

Decirations, balloons, bunting, purple tablecoverings and i forgot i'd bought a maaasssive yellow vinyl tablecovering. About 50 mtres so i draped that around the stage area and it looked brill.

Crafts: they all loved making pascal blowers, lanterns and every sungle girl got plaited and the hairdresser colour coordinated all my glued flowers to each childs dress. To top it all four different people asked where i'd got the flower slides so more pride when i said i'd made them.

Food: lunchboxes went down brilliantly. Less wastage, no bickering and far easier for me. They made the table look far nicer too. I made individual fairy cakes with each childs initial in too. The cake i put up on the stage behind dd so at the end of the food we got her up to blow out the candles and she had to be lifted for the one at the tower top. To top it all the little lantern stealth suggested glowed/flickered the whole party.

Games: we ran out of time for pin the nose on flynn after pass the flynn bag and musical statues where dd threw a strop cos she was out. She took a massive swig if her drink knocking her head back but apparently drinking a drink doesnt count as moving!!

At the end of the party we all went outside with our lanterns, there were a group of teens loitering outside so i was a bit apprehensive. but we released four flying lanterns into the dark and the kids loved it. The teenagers then piped up, you should have written a message on like "im sophie, im 4 today" and i got choked up. I felt so bad that i'd judged these lads and they were so sweet, when one lantern faltered one lad gingerly edged it into the sky!

So thats it, dd2 somehow poo'd without any of us noticing and its burned her little bum. But she wasnt bothered. She spent all day dressed as pascal and rapunzel had a fantastic day.

But ive not eaten all day and im that tired i feel sick. Oh and dd got a canvas with acrylic paints set and i spied them thinking "they'll be handy when i make dd2's peg dolly!"

Hooray for another successful party - well done DW. I have to say I had never really considered lunch boxes, and I think mine are both too old now, but it's clearly a good solution for littlies.

BlastOff Sun 25-Nov-12 20:25:04

Sounds fab DW. Well done!

And it's not a birthday party if the birthday boy/girl doesn't have a strop and cry!

Blatherskite Sun 25-Nov-12 20:42:02

It's sounds so good DW. So glad it all went well and that cake really did look amazing.

Is it me next? 3 weeks yesterday to DD's party!

Lunchboxes sound ace but I'm not really feeding them as our party is between 2 and 4 so I'm just sticking nibbles out.

Plus, I really want my white table with brightly coloured plates on wink

Mine was 2-4 but i felt like i had to feed them. Not one kid grumbled but my mum moaned she hadnt eaten all day. I laid on coffee and cake for adults!

But yep, its you next. No pressure!

I should add blastoff that dd not only cried/stropped but this morning she was also monumentally sick...whilst i was making sandwiches!! She'd got over excited then had a coughing fit and threw up. The problem was shes never really been properly sick so she was shocked but couldnt talk so i rushes forward and caught it in my hands but it was all over the kurchen floor. It felt very very wrong to wash my hands (three times) and just resume sandwich making!!

Blatherskite Sun 25-Nov-12 21:34:04

I'm going to get huge Costco pizzas and bags of sausages I think. I want a big tray of fruit laid out like a rainbow, plus the rainbow jellies* and rainbow cake of course and I'm considering getting a load of skittles and sorting them into individual colours.

I've got bunting and balloons and will go to the scrap store this week to buy a huge piece of card to make a rainbow on to act as the backdrop for the food table. I can get cheap crayons from there too and print out some colouring sheets. Will colouring and crowns be enough with the bouncy castles do you think? I'm considering a pass the parcel...

Need to finish the dragon and the peg dolly too.

OK, enough of a brain dump. I could be here for pages!

* Rainbow jellies issue - the plastic wine glasses I have, have a hollow stem which will need filling. I think filling it with purple jelly will a) be a waste of jelly and b) spoil them effect a bit. I'm considering making up some plain gelatin to fill the stem. Maybe with some gold glitter added. It will be next to impossible to get out as the stem is too narrow to get a spoon down. Does that sound OK?

That sounds brilliant!!

Ive got my blue jelly from amazon, its a piddly amount for the money i dont think i'll have enough at all so be glad you didnt do it.

Blatherskite Sun 25-Nov-12 21:56:25

I've just remembered I've got some edible (just in case) gold stars in the cupboard. They'd look good suspended in the stem right? Or would they just dissolve?

If you chilled it fast they'd prob survive it i reckon.

whiskeytangofoxtrot Sun 25-Nov-12 22:11:19

Yikes
Feel I am out of my depth with all of this, you lot all sound amazing.

Right, drinks party
Maybe 20-30 guests
Timings?? Don't want people to bring their DC but also don't want them to stay too long and drink us dry...grin
What to eat? That is more than kettle chips and sausage rolls but isn't going to bring me out in a rash trying to cook...

Hello chums

Have not read the whole thread but am doing a bit of advance planning for DS's 5th birthday. It will be a whole class affair, jointly with his little friend whose birthday is the same day.

I am after some tips on party bags. Don't really want to fill them with random plastic Pound Shop tat. Would rather get one gift in each which is fairly decent, plus a few sweets to pad it out. Eg went to a party today where all the boys got plastic dinosaurs and all the girls tiaras.

Any good ideas? I'm not crafty at all, and I did the Bookpeople thing last year, so after something different.

Fromhere - when is the party? My DC went to a party today and got chocolate advent calendars instead of party bags, which they were thrilled with.

Whiskey, not being the proud possessor of a social life other than through my DC, I am a little out of my depth on drinks parties.

However - timing - 8-10pm sounds late enough to deter people from bringing DC. I will think about food. Not proper meal type food, I take it? Only I would tend to do something like a vat of chilli with bread and/or jacket potatoes.

I once did a bath time pack with expandable flannels, bath bombs and flashing toothbrushes.

Today i gave out paint palletts.

Books or the trusty cone of sweets is a winner. Esp if you do something like blathers layering rainbow colours in the cones.

Those punchball balloons are good or a craft item that they make andctake home like a t shirt, crown, sword, apron. Look on baker ross and you'll find tons of cheap craft kits. Mine all made a lantern with a flashing tealight inside.

Whiskey, just flick back a couple of pages and blathers and i were talking about nigella recipes for your snacks, shes offered to copy out recipes you may want and they are all eaaassyy

Blatherskite Mon 26-Nov-12 09:16:16

DS went to a party last year where all the boys got mini footballs. He loved it. I can't remember what the girls were given unfortunately.

They've been given those Mr Maker craft kits before too and they went down well.

The sweet cones we gave out at DD's party last year were very popular and cheap too.

Whiskey stealth's chilli idea is good. If you wanted pre made you could go for pizzas or the shops will be stuffed with party food nibbles at the moment, usually on 3 for 2 type deals too.

<<mounts hobby horse >>

I don't like gender - specific presents, so I would look for something that they would all like.

party pics on profile....

Blatherskite Mon 26-Nov-12 14:15:14

I try to go gender neutral for my bags too. Mainly because I CBA with sorting out 2 sets of bags.

Give everyone footballs! Or dragons grin

JetcatisBack Mon 26-Nov-12 15:57:58

Errrm, could I ever politely join your most excellent thread please?

My DD is 6 next month, and has a party booked at her gym club - half trampoline/half cheerleading. She's going to love itgrin Me - I'm a bad of nerves alreadyblush I struggle with anxiety to start with, and this is about sending me over the edge. She last had a party 2 years ago, when I hired an entertainer to do it all for me, which was so much easier. This year, while the coaches will be there to organise the kids etc, I'm still left with organising food, party bags, invites etc. And it all feels a bit much...

The main issue is that the venue is 25 miles away from us/her school, and while some have been lovely and RSVPd pretty much straight away, so far there is only 5 definite yes's. I have planned on 30 kids (number of kids in her class), at what point do I allow DD to start inviting the 'extras' she keeps talking about?

Food - Head coach (and party planner) says if they don't do catering (which they can't on this date), then most people just go down to bulk buy from McDonalds down the road. But, I was thinking of maybe doing food boxes, as not sure who would be able to leave to do the Happy Meal run - or even if I would be happy with Happy Mealshmm But then what goes in a Food Box? <just to say, I haven't had time to read the whole thread yet, so apologies if it has already been covered - I will read it thoroughly tonight once I get back home>

Party Bags - they supply them, but i'm not too sure what goes in them. Should I be prepared to add a few items, or do kids not really expect much these days? <hopeful>

Cake - no idea!

Clothes for the party girl, no idea either!

Any help would be greatfully received, as as a lone parent with no family close by, I'm rapidly winding myself up way too much over thisblush

Panic not, jetcat. I am a little overwhelmed with electricians and impending plasterers and the fact that there is nowhere left to sit down in this house right now, but that all sounds very sortable to me. (translation: I'll get back to you!)

Do you want to bake cake, or buy it?

Blatherskite Mon 26-Nov-12 16:10:53

We can help - but after swimming lessons. Will be back later smile

JetcatisBack Mon 26-Nov-12 16:27:28

Thanks so much!

I will probably buy the cake, as I'm not convinced my baking skills are up to scrutiny.

I should add, party is at 1.30 and as ive already gotsomething on that day, time is tight to set up food tables etc. Hence thinking about having as much done in advance as possible!

Righto im here whilst those two are busy. This is easy to sort.

Lunchboxes i just had at my party and i did: sandwich (blathers says mini pizzas are better), a little tub of mini party rings, a fairy cake, cocktail sausages, a babybel and i put crisps on the table. (in flynn rider frying pans by the way people!) bottle of fruit shoot style drink. Sandwiches i knew all the people so asked what they would all like, out of 22 kids only one had cheese. The rest had ham or jam.

Cake - buy it. In fact i'd buy a plain cake and a cheerleader cake topper.
here or
item.mobileweb.ebay.co.uk/viewitem?itemId=260971332510

party bags- check what goes into them and if you're not convinced add something else, we discussed party bags a bit further up but for a whole class party even a quid each mounts up so either do a lucky dip with wrapped books from booksets from the bookpeople or a cone of sweets but use flumps to eek it out!

Invites, are you confident to design your own and print them out? Maybe in the style of a sporting match flyer/scoreboard.

Feel calmer now?

Oh i did grapes/blueberries in a little pot too.

JetcatisBack Mon 26-Nov-12 18:20:06

Thank you thanks

Invites - these were shop bought Minnie Mouse ones, I was panicking about running out of time so bought a shed load few. Her class have all been invited, as I figured they should get first invites, but there are at least 4 who cant come and have bothered to let me know. The issue is that there is a maximum of 30 kids allowed, due to coaching ratios etc, so I don't want to invite loads and risk them all turning up...

Food wise, thanks for that, it helps a lot. I don't really know a lot of the kids/parents (I don't do the school run) and wont get the chance to ask. I was thinking of maybe doing different coloured food boxes - each for different sandwich filling? So def ham, could I really do jam?? and maybe a couple of cheese? SHould I prepare back up sandwiches just in case? I like the idea of fruit in a pot as well, as DD loves berriessmile

Cake - if that first cheerleading pic was red (DD's colour) it would be fab. I was toying with the idea of getting one made, there is a shop that does that nearby. Is that an expensive option do you think?

Party Bags - how could I forget the Book Peoplegrin I will go and check them out!

Is there anything else I should be thinking about do you think? I'm not too sure who provides party ware etc, but would I need that if I were doing food boxes?

<apologies for all the questions, this is why I get so anxious - so many questions!>

Blatherskite Mon 26-Nov-12 20:37:11

We don't mind questions smile

I would definitely check what they provide in the party bags. Are they a part of the party package or an added extra? If they're no good and/or expensive, it might be nicer to do your own.

You wont need anything else except lunchboxes, mini pors so you can do it all a bit cheaper eeking stuff out and carton/bottles of drink makes it far easier.

I didnt think jam was a valid option but stealth told me they were most asked for at hers. I then asked parents (i know you cant go that far) and i was shocked that the majority said jam! Its obviously a parenting secret that we're all giving jam sandwiches!

If you have a valid reason to push for rsvp's that should be ok. Stealth says get your dc to go around saying we need an answer or you wont get a party bag and as your venue us providing them, its a genuine threat.

You could get a cake printed up in a big asda or tescos they usually do them cheaply. Have you got a gym team logo? A team shot or something?

Not guilty on the jam sandwiches - I so cheese or ham and that's it.

If you could stretch to £1.50 each you could get them a pair of cheer leading pompoms each from Ebay...

Cake - if you have the logo, and don't want to bake, definitely find a Tesco or Asda who print cakes and get it done there.

Invitations - be ruthless, but maybe also try and facilitate lift sharing since it is so far, if you can?

Ha ha sorry stealth who said jam was popular at parties then?

JetcatisBack Tue 27-Nov-12 00:08:04

Party bags are included with the price, I will chase up tomorrow to find out what is in them and post back here for your expert opinions smile

DD is a bit of a gobshite talkative wee soul, so will impress on her the need to tell her little pals about if they don't reply then they cat get a party bag - that is genius!

Cake, yes they have a logo, but its copywrited, so not too sure where i would stand on thathmm I can pm the link to the website if you'd like to see the colours? (DD also on website in Cheer costume)

From what I can gather, those that are coming are lift sharing, so maybe that's already in the pipeline, but I know I am seeing a couple of mums on Friday, so will put the suggestion forward thanks smile

Ham and cheese it is then!

Copyright on logo could be an issue - Tesco et al won't print anything if they think it is copyrighted.

You could contact the seller of that cake topper and ask if it could be done in red?

this seller can make it on icing

because its on icing not rice paper it would be far more robust. And i doubt you'd have the copyright worries if you got permission to use the image from the gym club? Have you got a squad photo or a shot of dd in her kit?

On the question of getting a cake made - yes, probably expensive (£40ish, at a guess) but maybe worth it if you can afford it and it's less stress.

JetcatisBack Tue 27-Nov-12 08:56:47

Ooh, I like that one Doc'sWife (had originally typed DW, but forgot which nickname you go byblush - I could always ask if the club if they would mind...

See, it didnt even cross my mind to contact the seller re the ebay one - thanks so much for helping me figure this all out guys thanks

Stealth - I was looking at cakes in M&S, which were around the £30 mark, so I guess I could always enquire how much getting a cake made would be - DD would love a trampoline cake -even more so if it had a cheerleader bouncing on it! (pics on profile of DD and her mini cheer troup)

I have ordered the food boxes from ebay, so that's a start - yes?

If you were looking for a cake like this although the modelling on that one is not great IMHO then you might well end up paying more - but it would be worth a phone call.

I like these to go into cupcakes (or rolls, in place of sandwiches??)

There is also a whole set of "go team" cheerleading party supplies, but I can only see them listed from a US supplier that doesn't ship to the UK sad

The cakes in m&s are quite steep. If you got the personalused topper made you could get a plain celebration cake from tesco far cheaper and then you glue the topper on. Even better they do a value cake with balloons on that you could pick off and re-cover with the topper.

Your profile isnt public so cant see the colours but could we use this somewhere?[[ http://item.mobileweb.ebay.co.uk/viewitem?itemId=200853967671&index=20&nav=SEARCH&nid=14324023519]]

Oh and call me dw or whatever, my dh aint even a doctor! wink

PMSL that it was DW, not me, who introduced Playmobil into the equation for a change

JetcatisBack Tue 27-Nov-12 14:22:20

Seriously you guys are amazinggrin

DW - I love the playmobil figure, I can see a spending spree on ebay coming up, as I also love those cheerleader figures Stealthsmile I think I am probably going to go with a bought cake with a topper on, as the party has already cost me quite a bit, and funds are tight this near Christmasblush

Profile should now be public, even though the pics are a bit small sorry.

JetcatisBack Tue 27-Nov-12 15:00:12

Playmobil cheerleader is boughtsmile

Blatherskite Tue 27-Nov-12 15:04:22

Aww. The cheerleader will make a good momento for her to keep afterwards as well.

Could you go for HSM plates etc? More likely to be UK based and will have a cheerleading theme?

If not, I think I'd just go for red and white bits as that would work well too

JetcatisBack Tue 27-Nov-12 15:06:37

Right, I'm off out for a few hours to brave the floods so could I request if you know where I could find (as I have no idea what to search for)

- little pots to put some fruit in - I'm thinking these would need to be sealable so that they can go in the food box?

- a good set of books that I can split up, DD loves reading and would love the idea of getting a book in a party bag. Books would need to be for boys and girls

- And any recommendations of where to get the party food/mini pizzas et al? THe only thing I can come up with is Icelandblush Are there any recommendations?

And sorry, I appear to have totally hijacked your threadblush

How about [[ http://pages.ebay.com/link/?nav=item.view&id=280899486963 these]]?

Try that again

these

Blatherskite Tue 27-Nov-12 20:35:03

Have just finished pimping the white paper party bags. I'm really pleased with them. Itching to fill them but then I'd have to store them somewhere.

Still waiting for 2 RSVPs and have spent the last hour trying to word a chasing text message in my head that doesn't make me sound like a party mad loon. There are 2.5 weeks left until the party - I need to wait don't I?

Blatherskite Tue 27-Nov-12 20:36:49

Those pots are available on UK ebay too - here

Blathers what have you done to the bags?

Stealth- we've had our first playmobil moment here, dd got the school for her birthday. It took us two hours to make it!!!!! Two frigging hours?!!!

Jet- i have tons of pots left from my party with lids. I will gladly post them to you. How many would you need tho?

Blatherskite Tue 27-Nov-12 21:22:51

I've printed little rainbow labels that say "thank you for coming". It looks good on the white bags

wheres wally a bit more money though

i love wheres wally me!

Blatherskite Tue 27-Nov-12 21:44:38
Blatherskite Tue 27-Nov-12 21:49:43
Blatherskite Tue 27-Nov-12 21:51:19

Moshi Monsters popular at this age

Jet also wanted advice on food. If she dies pizza is she better to buy normal cheap pizza and cut it up than mini ones?

( blathers knows all that costco has to offer i bet she says costco do great mini pizza)

The works website is on a go slow but im sure we can find a discount code for them too and the xmas bargains thread always has discount for delivery codes for book people.

I have 41 pots not checked lids but def similar amount. Any good?

Blatherskite Tue 27-Nov-12 22:07:30

Not mini ones but Costco do enormous pizzas for about £7 each that I cut into about a dozen slices each. I'll be buying the enormous bags of cocktail sausages too.

I've got MIL booked in to take me the day before the party as I don't have a card smile

Welcome to the wonderful world of Playmobil, DW grin. DD got the school for her birthday, and that construction time sounds about right to me. All the pre existing Playmobil children have been forced into formal education now, much to their disgust - although they were last seen heading out on a school trip (to the farm, I think).

Did I link to a US vendor of those pots, then? Sorry about that - that's what comes of MNing on my phone via shiny new android app which keeps crashing

I love Costco pizza. In fact, I have been into Blathers' local Costco a few times (it's a couple of miles from one of our offices).

JetcatisBack Wed 28-Nov-12 07:31:50

Blathers, your party sounds like its going to be amazing - I am loving reading all about what everyone else is doingsmile

Stealth, I LOVE playmobil, many a happy day hour played with it when I was a child, DD1 didn't really get into it, but am hoping DD2 will - she has a really vivid imagination, and I think would love to act out the stories.

DW - thanks so much for the very kind offer - that will teach me to get carried away when reading the thread - as soon as I saw the ones Stealth had linked to, I bought themgrin (thanks Stealth)

I completely forgot to ask last night about the party bags, so will have to wait till tomorrow now, but I am liking either the Horrid Henry set, or there are a couple of sets of 10 that I like - the Moshi Monsters and the illustrate your own book DW linked to.

Thanks for the food tips, but I have yet more questions blush Now that the fruit containers are sorted, what to I put the other stuff in - ie. I'm thinking sandwiches can be wrapped in cling film (unless you experts could think of something way cooler...), but what about the pizzas, little cakes etc? Would they be ok just lose in the box?

Sorry - sooo many questions...

Blatherskite Wed 28-Nov-12 08:18:10

shock stealth! You do realise the next time you are at said office we absolutely need to meet up don't you!

We're mostly LEGO fans in this house but I bought the kids this and this for a wedding in the Summer and they are one of the most played with toys we have now. They love them and they're so easy to take with us when we go out. Worked wonders at keeping them quiet through a 3 hour wedding meal and speeches!

jetcat you could always wrap your sandwiches/pizza etc in napkins and seal them with a sticker? Either a plain one with the filling/topping written on or maybe one like this? These are the ones I was looking at when I came up with the idea for DD's party bags.

Its a small world isnt it. My londoner dad is now working near blathers. And when i had a crisis with the parish hall at the weekend it was actually blathers miles away that could help more than anyone else i know locally. It was really weird texting a "stranger" from the internet miles away before any of my rl friends in the town!

Jet you sound very organised. I put mine in little ziplock style bags but in hindsight i'd do as blathers says. Far classier.

And wait for it...the playmobil school has been used all morning and tears when it was time for playschool. She then said she loved it so much that i heard myself say "there is more you know, and you do have birthday money!" Wtf was i thinking?

LOL DW - DD has the various school extensions on her Christmas list. If you think the school was hard to put together, you should try the Roman Ampitheatre hmm (much played with, though - the police like going to watch a good gladiator fight, the dragons like joining in, and the ambulance is generally on standby for the lion and tiger grin)

re food wrapping - I would have thought minimal wrapping to make it easy to eat, but I guess since you want to fill them in advance and transport them maybe things need to be a bit wrapped. Napkins would be good, or you could go really OTT and get greaseproof paper squares? Cling film can be tricky, IME.

Blathers - I shall let you know next time I am coming over that way and we can do Costco pizza for lunch.

Ha ha blathers read that as "YOU can do costco pizza for MY lunch"

Stealth -Dd had 54 quid birthday money. Shes chosen the gym, school band and canteen. Thank god she deems the pirates,knights and fire dept as "urgh thats boys" cos im not sure dh could cope with much more assembly.

Although i did say that with multiplecsets we'd surely end up with a collection of those little screwdriver things so it'd cut the time down a bit. Now tell me how am i meant to store all this cos no way is it being dismantled!!

The Costco comment made more sense than it looks - they do the world's cheapest lunch - huge slice of pizza to eat in for next to nothing shame I always end up spending a fortune while I am there

Multiple magic Playmobil tools does speed up assembly. I won't tell DD about your DD's now better equipped school - she only has a £10 WHSmith voucher from her birthday, which is a bit rubbish because we never go anywhere with a WHSmith sad.

To store Playmobil buildings, you will need (a) a larger house and (b) a handy grandparent to build a play table with huge pull out drawers.

Nope grandparents are all pretty useless hence shes had money thrown at her for birthday. (four sets and a great grandma).

Blatherskite Wed 28-Nov-12 18:39:40

I've had all my RSVPs after only the gentlest of nudges wink 15 kids. I'm definitely ditching pass the parcel. Bouncing, crown making and a bit of colouring will be enough right?

Blathers - bouncing and crown making fine.

DW - aforementioned play table is copied from one that GLTC sell, if collected grandparents wanted to throw money at Christmas.

I passed stealths bag and it was still bedlam. Kids held on to it, some took twice, some walked off. I hate pass the parcel. No i hate the new everyones a winner pass the parcel. We need to campaign for newspaper wrappings and only the odd prize thrown in like the old days.

Blatherskite Wed 28-Nov-12 21:36:25

Yes, it would be next to impossible to get them all sat down at once. I'm not going to bother.

I think I've got decorations sorted. I've got balloons and bunting. I'm going to get a huge piece of card from the scrap store to make a backdrop for the food table too I think.

The party is 2-4. I'm considering just doing pizza, cocktail sausages, chicken nuggets and crisps for the food table along with some rainbow fruit platters, the rainbow jellies and maybe some marshmallows (clouds) That's loads for a party that's not over a mealtime right? Should I do anything else?

Has anyone made a rainbow cake before? I'm planning 6 layers. Will regular sponge mix coloured with gels do it or do I need something more robust for a cake that tall?

Ive made one that was different colours of brown and caramel flavour and it was 5 layers...and wobbly. When and if i do mine im planning on dowels through it for stability. I know your planning buttercream but im thinking of doing two/three crumb coats then double sugarpaste cos im thinking it will look wobbly.

My concern is how the colours will develop in the sponge. Im worried they will muddy on cooking and i want vibrant e numbers!!

And thats made me laugh by the way "oh im just doing nibbles as mines not at a mealtime". You're serving more than i did in the same timeslot. See, you have the fear. Will it be enough? Will the games be enough? Will the room look bare? The fear. You have it.

Blatherskite Thu 29-Nov-12 08:18:08

Yes, it's got to be vibrant. It won't be a rainbow cake if it's just variations on brown/beige. I guess I need to do a test cake?

I definitely have the fear. I always have the fear!

Pass the parcel is hilarious. DD's friends are now so well flipping trained that they self-police - if it stops on someone who has already had it, they insist on passing it on until it reaches someone who hasn't - I had to tell them when everyone had had a go and it was genuinely up to DH chance who got it. You need one person to watch (me) and one to work the music (DH) and a distinctive wrapping on the centre parcel so that I know when to tell DH to choose his winner (anyone as long as it isn't one of our DC). The only time it didn't work was DS's 6th (I think) when I had 3 circles, and one managed to get about 3 layers ahead of the others confused - since then I have done one big circle with 2 parcels in order to get through it quicker, before they get bored.

Rainbow cake - I have never tried it, but with a really tall cake I would be tempted to use madeira or pound cake or something a bit more solid than sponge to stop it collapsing - and/or put in a board and scaffolding (straws) halfway up.

Blatherskite Thu 29-Nov-12 12:34:33

I need some gel colour recommendations that's for sure! I've done a mini test cake today and the colours are a bit lame.

Or should I go more pastel being as I'm feeding it to other people's 2 year olds?

you're feeding it to other people's 2yos just before you send them home, right? wink

What colours do you have? Most of mine are squires. You do have to over colour cake mix though, as it fades as it cooks. I put an unbelievable amount of colour into the icing for the pizza cake to achieve ketchup colour (ended up with a combination of red, purple and yellow). Cream cheese icing was a genius suggestion, BTW - my DM, who normally leaves the icing, ate hers and polished off DS's (he won't eat icing at all. His favourite sort of cake is "spare cake" (offcuts) hmm).

Blatherskite Thu 29-Nov-12 12:48:08

I've got Dr Oetker ones. Well, I did - I just used pretty much all of them trying to get these test cakes bright enough!

It means I'm in the market for a whole new set though wink

The only good thing about these colours is that they didn't fade much while cooking.

I love Hummingbird cream cheese frosting. I could eat it on it's own - no cake needed blush

Yes im going for madeira. I did dd's cake as maderia two cakes stacked for height but put dowels in the first and it stood up brilliantly. I've got two sandwich tins and i'm thinking of dowel/straws after three layers then a bloody great big one down the middle on 7! Its the fact that its so tall but narrow esp when buttercreamed layers they slide.

errr this is not good enough for me

this is upside down surely?

muddy!!

nailed it!

Dr O are officially rubbish. If you're in the market for a new set then you could get the one I have bought SIL for Christmas and am now desperately coveting

here

<<glares at random collection of colours which is too extensive to justify replacing>>

I want that!!!!!! I think my colours are all sugarflair.

<has anyone actually checked out my profile pics yet? Sulk>