The dictionary describes the word, quirky, as “something that is strange/not normal but cool”. This is exactly the word I would use to describe our son’s Mad Scientist 6th Birthday Party. I loved mixing funky wire, weird decorations, and modern/vintage industrial items together. The color scheme was: lime green, gray, electric blue, orange – with a hint of purple (on invitations/thank you cards) and accented with black & white polka dot fabric. I also wanted to emphasize circular shapes to give it a look of ‘lab potion bubbles’.
I tried to keep all decorating elements simple, fun, not-to-scary or gross, and modern. Months leading up to the party, I had seen many other party ideas that had decorations such as chemistry tables, but that seemed a bit over the heads of our party attendees, so we kept it easy to understand. Who am I kidding? Even as a parent, I needed it easy to comprehend too!
Invitations/Thank You Cards
I knew I wanted the stationary to have the fun, bright colors from our birthday color scheme. On the computer, I created a science beaker which had orange and blue chevron lines (I so love to incorporate this wonderful pattern lately!) to give it a modern, funky look. Having orange and blue circles in different sizes gave the stationary depth and interest.
I thought having a cake in the shape of a book would help to achieve the notion that great scientists need to study hard in order to be good at what they do! Our son loves books also, so this was an easy sell. I found this Wilton book cake pan for $5.00 on craigslist. Success!!!
After our cherry chip flavored cake was baked and cooled, our soon-to-be-birthday boy helped me decorate it. We slightly melted white frosting and carefully poured it over the cake. We then used frosting outliners to make it colorful and coincide with our theme colors and design.
As for the cake base, I took a piece of wood and wrapped it with spray painted crumbled craft paper. The cake actually sat on black foam board which then sat on the piece of wood.
I loved having this activity with our boy. Homemade at its best!
I used pre-cut orange and blue foam circles (can be purchased at any craft store/craft dept.) and taped (I used painter’s tape) the circles to the wall of the area. I then wrapped lime green crepe paper (also used for the piñata) around our basket vase (which I had whimsical gauge wire in already). Last step was to add gray fabric at the base. This was super fast to complete! Very easy!!!
I was able to borrow a metal computer cart to help jazz up our front porch. It helped to not only provide more space for birthday items (party favor glasses and t-shirts), but it also supported our birthday signage which welcomed guests to our themed birthday party. I loved the cart being on wheels too! It made transporting so much easier! SUCCESS!!!
The large white foam board came from Hobby Lobby. I lightly taped blue and orange circles. As for the large cardboard circle, I found this at a store that sold baby swimming pools – the cardboard pieces helped separate each pool! I asked if I could take one and got the go ahead. After taking it home, I spray painted it silver (also accented with silver acrylic paint) and used black glitter paint to create the #6. Last step was to tape it in place.
Dining Room Wall Art
The science beakers were created out of white foam sheets (11 x 17 size sheets purchased at Hobby Lobby and Michael’s). I did make my own beaker stencil, but an alternative way would be to find an online photo, print it, and enlarge to whatever size. I then had penciled on a chevron pattern on each beaker (once again, I created my own chevron stencil, but this can be found online as well). Next, I used orange and blue acrylic paints to fill in between the pencil marks. Last step after the paint dried was to outline with a black permanent marker.
The background was a cardboard piece wrapped and taped with brown, crumbled craft paper which I spray painted silver (but let the brown show here and there too – I liked the mix of color). *The fun part about crumbling is I had great little helpers! The boys thought it was fantastic to be about to squish lots of paper!
Chocolate Covered Eyeballs – these were simple, store bought chocolate covered cherries! Easy! Creative signage helped to make this simple dessert interesting!
Smart Brain Cupcakes – these were made of yellow cake mix with a small, metal football like pan. Applying the food coloring and frosting technique made it appear to be brains…and my signage had to say “smart” – who really wants to eat a not-so-smart brain cupcake?
Potato Chip Package Container – I used brown, crumbled craft paper (also keeping with the spray painted silver look) as a background feature – not a lot of prep work needed and inexpensive to use.
Silverware Holder – Originally made from shipping tubes and a piece of wood for the base. I actually used this last year for our oldest son’s party – only it was yellow. For this year’s party, it was super fast to spray paint this silver and wrap size 20 gauge wire around each container.
Another homemade piñata! Simply a recycled box filled with candy and wrapped with a roll of lime green crepe paper! Circle punchers let me create orange and blue circles in different sizes all around the box. One step further was to add signage to the piñata which read, “CAUTION” and “CANDY EXPERIMENT INSIDE” to add curiosity. All were secured with the help of a scotch tape.
About a year ago, I began collecting discounted white t-shirts knowing they would be great for this party (I knew our son would be excited for this themed party even that far in advance). All t-shirts were $1.00 each from The Dollar Tree. To make the shirts transform into ‘lab coats’, I used a black fabric marker and had drawn the outline freehand on each shirt. It took some time…because we had about 27 children!
Other party favors included silly scientist glasses, skeletons, brains, and spider rings. These items were found via Oriental Trading Company.
Science Experiment Show
This was adorable! My husband and our birthday boy had about four experiments they demonstrated to the birthday audience. Many parents commented how the kids sat so still during the presentation – who would have thought that would ever happen? My husband said he had a fun finding experiments to do, and our son thought it was cool he got to help Dad.
Custom Water Bottles
The tradition continues! I love creating these, and it helps to provide a healthy party beverage. Drinking water can be boring for a kid, but “Birthday Potion #6” sounds much more appealing.
I loved planning this party. I love planning every party our boys have. This one was so great to see our son’s love for science grow even more. Sure, it’s exhausting mentally and then physically, but I LIVE FOR THESE SPECIAL EVENTS! All the ideas that are stored in my head get made into a reality and that’s very fulfilling to any artist/designer. I am trying to cherish these moments because when our boys get older, they probably won’t want me to organize these kinds of things. How cool would it be for a 15 year old to have a pirate party? Not so much. Until that sad day comes, I’m going to enjoy this as long as I can. Bring on the next party!