Google Something Clever 2.0: A Custom Birthday Party for a Kid With Weird Interests

Jan 29, 2013

A Custom Birthday Party for a Kid With Weird Interests

My kid has weird tastes. Well, weird for a kid. He likes Devo and Black Sabbath. He chose to be Anubis for Halloween last year. And then there are the birthday parties. Last year, he asked for a Muppet party. No problem; his birthday wasn't until January, and there was a new Muppet movie coming out in November. There'd be plenty of Muppet-themed party supplies by January, right? Wrong. I went all over the internet and finally found some stickers and things that some lady made. They were okay, but nothing I couldn't have done myself. So when he requested a Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man party for his fourth birthday, I knew I was going to have to get creative.

I bought some plain white goody bags. I was going to print out labels with pictures of the Marshmallow Man to stick to them. Then I thought, hey, maybe I can just print right on the bags. I changed the settings and told the printer I was printing on "glossy brochure paper," because there was no option for "goody bag." I did get a bunch of paper jams, but it worked out.

For the goodies themselves, I got pink and green slime, of course. And I ordered some buttons from Amazon. I could have made these myself, but I have no idea where my button maker is. Yes, I have a button maker. You can get them at A.C. Moore for like $20. I should ask you why you don't have a button maker.

I also made stickers. Avery makes these round labels that are glossy (number 22807), so they look like legitimate stickers. I gave each kid half a sheet, which is six stickers, and I sealed the goody bags with the rest (and of course, there was candy.)

Then, there's the cake...

Now, I am an amateur. I make one crazy cake a year. So, this is not something worthy of a reality show on the Food Network, but it's good enough to impress a bunch of preschoolers, and it's way cooler than the store-bought cakes the other parties at the bowling alley had. If you are also an amateur who likes to impress preschoolers, read on.

First, I made a double batch of Rice Krispies Treats. I put half in a 13x9 inch pan, and split the other half between two loaf pans. One loaf became the torso and legs. I reinforced it with two bamboo skewers.

Then, I used the other loaf to round out the torso. You can use a serrated knife to carve RKTs, but I found it easier to just squeeze and pinch it into shape. I microwaved pieces for 10 or 15 seconds at a time so they'd be softer and easier to shape.

I used more skewers to attach the head and arms, and that was it! Not hard at all, I swear. I did this two days before the party and stuck him in the freezer. 

Earlier in the week, I had made marshmallow fondant following this recipe. Wilton recommends that you cover your work surface in Crisco to keep the fondant from sticking. I disagree. I found it more helpful to roll it out on confectioner's sugar, just like you would roll dough out on flour. Also, cleanup is way easier that way!
The actual decorating took forever. If you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen me bitching about that on Friday night... until 3:30 Saturday morning. This happens to me every year. Don't be dumb like me and wait until bedtime to start decorating. If you don't count the three breaks I took, I ended up spending about six hours on that bitch.

 But again, it's not hard; just time-consuming. You just cover the RKT with sheets of fondant and squish the seams together with a wet finger to blend them. For the details, you just make balls and snakes like you do with Play-Doh. Need a circle? Use a glass. Need stripes? Pizza cutter.

The hardest part were the oddly-shaped things- namely, the ghosts I put on the cupcakes. I had to cut out each one by hand with a butter knife. At the party the next day, a friend suggested making a custom cutter out of a tuna can and pliers. I might try that if I need to next year... He's asking for a Star Wars birthday, so I'm all set on goodies. I just have to keep my fingers crossed that he doesn't ask for a life-sized Boba Fett cake.