This party was a blast! It was also the fastest party I have ever planned, ever. We put the last coat of paint on the kitchen cabinets and ceiling the morning before the party. At that point, the entire kitchen was boxed up and I had a make shift kitchen on a set of folding tables in the small area between dining room and living room. Like, we had wet paint Monday morning and Tuesday afternoon we had 12 little boys beating each other up in our house enjoying Asian-style treats! Needless to say, in 24 hours everything had to be put back into the kitchen, then cleaned, then set up for the party. It was absolute chaos, but we made it, and it seemed like a really successful party.
I could not have made this party without my amazing 13 yr old daughter! She saved the day by decorating the entire house with bamboo while I unpacked the kitchen so I could make food. I had been collecting anything that looked remotely in theme while shopping for the kitchen stuff but most of it was in a laundry basket in the garage (true story). I had one trip just after Christmas to Diaso Japan which added a few on theme things that gave finishing touches, but the biggest thing we used was my daughters paper lanterns and a whole ton of my neighbors bamboo.
I loved how she tucked the bamboo all over the house. It made the whole thing look WAY more together than I felt!
Lets start with the invitations:
I took some dowels and spray painted them black (heck, I was painting everything in sight anyway, right?) and then hot glued a red and black bead on each end. Then attached it to this page, which I printed on tea-stain colored paper. They were rolled up to scrolls and handed out tied with a red ribbon. (The inspiration and template can be found here)
The doorway to The Palace of the Shadow Ninjas was adorned accordingly:
The table scape:
Food was simple:
- Teriyaki Chicken skewers
- Seasoned rice (not pictured)
- PB&J sandwiches (shaped with a Cut&Seal)
- California Rolls (I show how to make them here)
- candy sushi
- fortune cookies
Ninja cupcake toppers were actually suckers from Amazon Prime. Ordered and shipped overnight the day I realized I wouldn’t have an oven before the party. Cupcakes, bought from Safeway.
Making the candy sushi was so fun! Cyan helped quite a bit and we got done in record time. If you have never done it, I highly suggest it. The kids thought it was pretty much the coolest thing they had ever eaten!
Party activities were also scaled down a bit for the weight of the project we were in. I bought a bunch of 2inch wide pipe insulation and 4 rolls of various colored duct tape and let the kids make their own Ninja Swords!
Never thought watching boys beat each other up would be so much fun… but these guys sure had a great time! There is something highly amusing about watching people get hit in the stomach with a giant foam sword while laughing hysterically.
After this, I settled everyone down to watch a movie (3 Ninjas on Netflix for free) while they ate dinner and then we did cake and gifts.
Favors were a troubled affair. I couldn't find anything last minute that would fit the budget and the theme at the same time, so with these, I went to another part of Asia entirely… the Chinese New Year isle! Take out boxes, chop sticks, Chinese finger traps, and Japanese candy (bought at Diaso along with the other Japanese things) were given out with a paper throwing star.
And that’s it folks! It wasn’t my best party, but I asked Logan what he thought and he was THRILLED with it. That is all that counts!