Friday, September 14, 2012

Joel's Party Preparations (2 of 3)

This continues to be much delayed because I, unfortunately, still have computer issues.

However, we had so much fun preparing for Joel's birthday party that I still want to share those details.  I mentioned in my last post that Joel often has specific plans for what he wants for his parties (and much of his life).  This year, we all knew it would be a Toy Story themed party.  I try to limit Joel's "screen time", but Toy Story (1, 2, and 3) happen to be some of the very few movies that he has seen.  Due to Joel's incredible memory I believe he has the entire 3 part series memorized.  Anyway, Joel loves Buzz!  There was a while where he would use his arms to be his "wings".

Joel also decided back in February that he wanted a pinata at his birthday party.  This was special thanks to Aunt MeMe, who made a pinata for my nephew's 10th birthday party.  Joel was instantly enthralled by the concept when he saw the pictures from Trevor's birthday.  Again, Joel's incredible memory did not forget that a pinata was to be part of the plan.

Joel decided that he wanted the pinata to look like the spaceship that stands outside of Pizza Planet in Toy Story 1.  So, I did my research to figure out what that spaceship looked like.  Here's an image to remind you.

Now it was Momma's turn to be creative and take Joel's plan and make it a reality.  Before everyone things I'm totally crazy, I see this as my gift to him.  

I started by blowing up a balloon and covering it with paper mache.  I remembered paper mache from when I was kid.  I don't know what we made, but I remember it was messy fun.

Here's the first layer drying.  Joel helped by dipping all of the newspaper into the flour and water mixture.  We didn't get any pictures of this because nobody was home with clean hands to touch the camera (except Kirstin who was napping).  Feel free to use your imagination, along with all the extra newspaper you see stuck to the opened brown paper bag in the picture.  It was probably a good thing Daddy wasn't home because he can't handle that kind of mess. :-)

Layer 2 is almost dry.  

Once the paper mache was totally dry (after about 2 days), I popped the balloon.  I held my breath as I popped the balloon and hoped the whole thing didn't crumble.  It didn't (obviously from the picture).

I used a hole puncher to make holes for the string to go through.  In hindsight, these holes should have been at least another inch lower.

With the string securely attached, I thought I'd try to make a fashion statement with my new paper mache purse.  Don't worry, I decided it wasn't very functional (or cute).
Now that I had the body of the spaceship, I needed to work on the details (the part that makes it actually look like a spaceship).

Here the "legs" are being painted red.  I used a folder that a solicitor had dropped off at our door...reduce, reuse, recycle...or as I like to think about Free craft supplies!

The birthday boy painting his spaceship white.

I love including him in these projects.  I hope that it helps him to continue with his creativity as he gets older.

Once all the paint dried, it was assembly time.

Joel and I gluing on the legs.  (Jim was home for this less messy part...thanks for taking the pictures!!)
We had to hold the legs on while they dried.  Joel was counting as he held it on.  Also, I found this hanger to work perfect for holding the pinata.  I was also able to easily move it hang on the shower curtain rod, out of reach of the kids, when we weren't working on it.

Joel stuffing the pinata with treats: bouncy balls, small plastic toys, Toy Story fruit snacks, smarties.


I attached the top of the was about this point that Jim could also see the vision of the pinata.  

I decided to add "JOEL" to both sides of the pinata.  I'm glad I did.
There are about 25 more pictures of this pinata if you didn't get enough feel free to request them to be emailed to you.  Part of that is because Joel loves to use my camera.

Joel took a picture of me creating the signs for the party.  You'll see those in the next post about the party.
For those of you that have been to one of Joel's past birthday parties or seen pictures, you know that he usually comes up with a plan (challenge) for me to make him a cake.  Birthday cake is important to Joel.  I'm not sure why because Jim always has pie (usually Key Lime Pie) and I always have ice cream cake.  However, Joel loves birthday cake.  We have even had cakes for other people's birthdays when they weren't with us.
Here are some of Joel's previous cake ideas that I created for him.
Joel's train cake when he turned 2
Joel's digger and dump truck cakes when he turned 3.
This year, Joel decided that he wanted 3 circle cakes stacked on top of each other with Buzz (with his wings open) on the top.  I'm not sure where my 4-year-old decided that he needed a 3 tier cake for his birthday, but I agreed to the challenge.  Honestly, I was more concerned about the 3 circles on top of each other than I was any of the previous cakes.  

So here it is:
Each cake is a basic homemade yellow cake with a mixed berry filling.  (I think Kirstin's strawberry filling was better, but mixed berries were on sale, so that's what Jim bought... worth trying.)  I also made homemade butter cream frosting for the first time.  It was easier to work with than my homemade cream cheese frosting, but didn't taste as good.  After looking all over the country (literally) for a Buzz with wings open to go on top of the cake, I found one at the Target down the road from our house.  The "4" candle was bought at the Wilton tent sale (along with other fun things)!

Happy 4th Birthday Joel!!!  

Party pictures are coming up and hopefully I'll have my computer back soon.


  1. Since we were out of town, I missed all of these photos and obviously the party.

    A few things: I totally pinned a pinata and fully intend to continue and master my paper mache skills at B's birthdays eventually! That looks like loads of fun and I'm impressed with the outcome!

    At first glance, you looked naked holding the balloon in the sideways picture from above (haha!).

    That cake is AMAZING! You really outdid yourself for that one! I can only wonder what Joel will want next!!!

    1. Thanks! I worry about what Joel will want next. :-)

      My shirt was a little flesh toned...haha. We missed y'all at the party. Pictures of the party should come soon.