Well this was it. We had our last big hurrah as far as Birthday Parties with family go.
Eight is your cut off here in our household.
For Birthdays from here on out the kids can choose to have a party with their friends or to go on a small weekend trip.
So for Calvin's last big party he wanted to have a Calvin and Hobbes party.
How stinkin' adorable is that?
I was super excited until I found out that there isn't much in the way of traditional "Calvin and Hobbes" Birthday decorations. I love getting kits from Etsy to support local moms and to have unique and fun decorations I can personalize and print off as needed.
But there were none of those kits either.
So we got a little creative.
And by the way I was able to spend next to nothing when it came to this party. I didn't set out for it to be that way but it's amazing when you look back and think "thank you Lord for putting this idea in my brain that didn't cost one red cent." Can't wait to share with you!
So first of all, I found a long sleeved striped shirt from Gymboree back in Autumn and it was completely a Calvin and Hobbes shirt. Not to mention it was on sale for only $8.99 and then I had an additional 20% off coupon. Who doesn't love Gymboree?
After that I had invitations made at Shutterfly. With a January Birthday, invitations had to go out the week before Christmas. In November I was emailed a Birthday gift (my Birthday's in November, yo!) for $20.00 off anything and free shipping. So I ordered Birthday cards. I think the total for 25 cards was about $10 with tax. Woohoo! I love saving money, ladies! So my advice is if you get a coupon code or a freebie from somewhere, think of upcoming events you could use it for.
Then in December Tiny Prints sent me an offer of 5 sets of address labels for free! If you are not members at these places you really need to create an account. They send you some of the most amazing deals! So I was able to make adorable Calvin and Hobbes address labels for the envelopes. I used one of their address label templates where you can put a picture in and then downloaded a picture of Calvin and Hobbes together to put on there. And as luck would have it Tiny Prints had the Calvin and Hobbes type font so it looked perfect! Plus I got Valentine's address labels and two sets of regular address labels. But let me tell you about my awesome out of the box idea: I was racking my brain while looking at these address labels trying to figure out what other cool things you could do with them at the party. Think about it: stickers for water bottles, on napkin bundles: the options are endless! But then I found their wrap around labels to put around the corner of an envelope and I thought those would be perfect to put on the goodie bags for guests! Voila! Again I chose a label template with a photo option and imported a calvin and hobbes photo.
In the books Calvin liked to make sandwiches to run away from home so I thought simple paper bags worked for the goodie bags. Those were super easy as I have a million of those already. I love using things around the house that makes things way easy for me. Plus it was Calvin approved. Our Calvin. He spent weeks researching everything for how the party should be by looking through the books and books of Calvin and Hobbes comics that he has.
I have to tell ya, I think I stink at the role of party mom. Cute craft kits or something remarkable you are guaranteed not to find in our goodie bags. Nope, throw some food, candy, and a toy or two in a bag and there ya go. I know, I know, I'm lame but I figure I could be worse, right? I put fun dip in there (because who doesn't love fun dip?) Cheetos as tiger tails, Birthday Cake M&M's and some googly eyes to play with. Done and done.
Once goodie bags were in the bag (ha!) we started with some decorating. Guests first saw the Duplicator box and the Time Machine box on the porch. Are you kind of getting that these decorations are cheap? Um, cardboxes leftover from Christmas were free, 'yo. I am a frugalista after all here. And seriously if you were short on cash this would be a perfect party theme to go with!
Emma made snowmen that we put in the foyer for people to enjoy. Many of them are trying to slaughter each other. She got the idea to recreate the snowmen made in the comics so I gave her a slab of clay and let her go to town. She's cute like that :)
Nick free handed some of the snowmen with signs and we put them in the windows of our foyer and solarium so people could see them as they walk up to our home. There were three of them. They were so funny. I would have loved to of made some of the actual snowmen but alas, we were short on snow that weekend. Boo.
I decorated Calvin too! Isn't he adorable? I think I just showed you this picture but I cut his darn feet off so I wanted to show you the whole ensemble. He had black chucks on, a Calvin and Hobbes shirt, and jeans. We spiked his hair and he had his Hobbes with him. I love this sweet boy so much!
We decorated a little bit around the house. I love the Christmas Tree Shop and got all of our decorations from there. If you have one around you I am sure you love it as much as I do. Things are do cheap there! Decorations? $2 a pack. Plates? $1 a pack. Calvin was insisting on everything being red and black so that's what I bought. Red straws, red and black balloons, red and black. If you don't have a good party supply store near you I have linked everything to Amazon so you can find everything I've used.
We put the pom poms and the spiral doo-hickeys all around the house. I also bought crepe paper. I am totally old school and believe crepe paper to be a party must. In the 80's I remember every party having crepe paper. I'm here to bring it back folks :) I bought LED lights for the fire place from the dollar section at Target. They say "Happy BDay!" and are so cute!
For food we had lots of snacky food and then we ordered Jimmy Johns sandwiches. I think we ordered 45 sandwiches. Calvin as I said researched for the party and found that Calvin seemed to always be eating a sandwich. Plus Jimmy John's is our Calvin's favorite so it was a perfect fit. This picture was before the sandwiches were delivered but you can get the gist of it. I used newspaper as the table runner on the buffet since Calvin and Hobbes was in the newspaper! We had "tiger tails" and "chocolate frosted sugar bombs" from the comic. We also had chips, rice krispy treats, and then pasta salad and cannoli bites that my amazing Mother-in-Law made. Oh, and the fave, my sweet sister-in-law brought white chocolate mix, or white trash or whatever you call it. Yum!
For cake I really had this doozy of a story. So our neighbors decorate cakes and we've always gotten our cake from them. Then I realized (duh) that we have been trying to keep Cal off gluten so I was going to make my own cake for him so I was able to order just a fondant topper. Then after much debate we decided to let Calvin have what he calls a "gluten day" so he could eat regular cake and the bread from Jimmy John's. But by then it was too late to order a cake.
So we got a cake from Costco and I did the handwriting on it and we put the fondant topper on it. I put the message on it Calvin asked for. If you have a kid with Autism you know that sometimes they like to have things exact. I do have to put in there that this was some janky looking cake from Costco. See that wave of frosting on the bottom edge of the cake. I mean, what the what? And the frosting was riddled with cake crumbs. Weird people just weird. It was yummy though!
I also made gluten free cupcakes. I found this ladies sweet website and decided to try frosting these. Mine don't look nearly as amazing as hers but Calvin thought they were neat and that's all that matters.
We all had such a great time at the party! We had one very happy boy after he opened all of his gifts. We are so truly blessed by all of our friends and family members.
So I hope this helps you with planning your own party. I know there were about three parties I oogled over on Pinterest with a Calvin and Hobbes theme. Feel free to use any of my ideas!