I set out to make an amazing-as-I could Mario Bros. themed party for my daughters.
Assault of the sticker paper!
I love sticker paper. You can do so many fabulous things with it to customize perfect details for your theme. For the drinks, I bought mini-7up cans and relabeled them as “11-up” green mushrooms in honor of the girls’ 11th birthday. I relabeled Peach Tea Snapple bottles to read “Princess Peach Tea”. This was fairly easy if you have a publishing program. I’ll use 11up as an example:
- Search the internet for PNG files* of 7up can labels (for the background to blend in to the actual can), and the level up mushroom. I lucked into finding the green mushroom already paired with “1up”.
- Measure the can to determine the length and width of the sticker. I adjusted the size of the can label image to this measurement. I cut & paste parts of the image to cover the “7up” logo entirely leaving a green rectangle with the stripe & bubbles.
- Add the PNG of the mushroom into the center and adjust the size as necessary.
- Change the number. Luckily, my daughters were turning 11, so I simply cut & paste the existing “1” on the PNG to the front of the image to create “11”.
- Print, cut & stick! If this requires explanation, I probably lost you at step one anyway.
*PNGs are images that, unlike JPEGs, have a “blank” background. Where JPEGs will include surrounding space as white, PNGs will only include the shape, making the background visible on top of it.
TIP: You can find super awesome free fonts at sites such as Fontspace which has several Mario-themed fonts Make sure you are using reputable sites to avoid viruses!
Piranha Plant Decorations
The internet is teeming with adorable piranha plant crafts. Search “Mario Piranha Plant” and prepare to be amused for hours. (Watch out for Rule 34) From plastic pixel versions to bouquets you will be dazzled with ideas for your party. I decided to go with four individual 3D versions in living plants since I thought they would frame the cake nicely. If you have small children, you may want to keep decorations off the tables where they will be seated. I put bowls with individual serving bags of chips on the center of each table so they could grab while minimizing mess.
Fine sand paper
Acrylic paint in red, green and white
Dowel rod (I used 1/4″)
TIP: Determine desired size first as there are a variety of sizes in plants, Styrofoam, and dowel rods. I decided to get the plants first as I was unsure of what sizes would be available in the plants I wanted. And by “I” I mean my parents went and got them for me (thanks guys!)
- Make the mouth shape: using a sharp, serrated knife, cut a wide “V” shape in the styrofoam ball as wide as you would like the mouth to open. I started from the outside and cut to the center, then when to the opposite side to meet the first cut in the center.
- Prep ball for painting: coat any part of the styrofoam you would like to paint with wood filler or joint compound. (note: this is a NOT wood glue). I used my finger to smear a thin coat that filled in all the holes. The finish will be rough, but you will sand it after it dries. Set aside to dry according to directions on the wood filler. It will be easier to work with if you have time to allow it to dry a full 24 hrs.
- Don’t skip step 2. You will be tempted to do this. Trust me, painting uncoated styrofoam is an uphill battle….the styrofoam flakes off, the paint won’t cover the holes, etc.
- Start painting: paint the dowel rod and flower pot using the green acrylic paint. Allow to dry between coats.
- Sand the ball: once the wood filler has dried, lightly sand it to a smooth finish. If it’s very rough you may want to start with medium sand paper and then finish with fine.
- Paint the flower: I started with the red paint and painted it all close to where I wanted the white “lips” to start. Repeat until the red is uniform. Once the red paint dries, take the white paint and add the lips and random dots.
- Assemble: push one end of the dowel rod into the bottom center of the styrofoam, and the other end into the center of the pot, pushing all the way down for stability.