For Ethan’s 3rd birthday, we chose the cartoon and toy he was the most interested in at that time- Spongebob Squarepants. When he watched the cartoon, he would rewind the theme song over and over again and dance and sing “Oooooooh”! How can I not make him a Spongebob party after that? Some people are opposed to character parties, because they can easily look like a “birthday in a box”, but you can make any theme more refined if you mix and match decor instead of over-using the character.
I wanted to focus on all things “under the sea” : fish nets, rustic plates and cake stands, nautical elements, etc which were all related to Spongebob and easy to obtain because it was summer. I also brought in the pineapple element because, that is where Spongebob lives, and pineapples happen to be everywhere at that time, so those were also easy to find. Here’s the final product of my vision: complete with a certain modern day Spongebob as I like to call him.
After the theme is chosen, I always have my party hat on, every store or website I visit, and I get inspired by my findings. These are my initial findings and things I collected before I went on full on party mode.
I wanted the invitation to be fun. I found an adorable printable on Etsy from LilGiggs. I thought of adding a little extra and purchased pocket envelopes and I cut out and glued a tie, a shirt collar, and part of his pants, so it would look like his full outfit. I loved how it turned out
I tried to incorporate all of the birthday boy’s favorites into his party. Ethan is a major foodie and LOVES cheeseburgers. Sometimes I wonder if this is what attracted him to this cartoon- the krabby patties!!!! Lol Along with BBQ and a big spread, we also offered “krabby patties” aka In-N-Out burgers:
For beverages, we offered all things spongebob and under-the-sea related: pineapple juice, “ocean water”, “fresh water” and a flavored lemonade bar. I decorated the lemonade dispenser with tropical leaves to mimic a pineapple:
I also decorated plastic cups with vinyl pineapple cut outs that I got from Mac Creations from Etsy. Andrea always does all of my custom vinyl cut outs and is always so accommodating!
A requirement from my kids is always to have a piñata. I found a spongebob piñata but also a cheeseburger one at Target. After purchasing, I customized it with cut out letters that I cut out with my Cricut machine, and labeled it as a Krabby Patty.
Ethan also loves water balloons and bubbles. I made a water balloon station at “Jelly Fish Fields” and sadly did not get a picture of my bubble station that was filled with various bubbles, and huge bubble makers. Sorry, these are real life parties people! I may do a lot with my kids’ parties, but I don’t hire a professional photographer, and I don’t stage them to a point where kids are scared to play with things or eat the desserts hehe…. but you will get a glimpse of it later. Stay tuned.
Aside from the dessert table, we also made ice cream “krabby patties” with various cookie flavors from chocolate chip to snickerdoodle……coupled with popsicles, they were a hit in the hot July sun. I made and packaged them myself and then filled up the ice cream cart I rented:
Birthday boy was definitely a fan 🙂
(And there is the glimpse of the bubble station- to the right lol)
Of course, we had to do Chum Buckets as favors. I purchased these buckets at the infamous 1 Spot at Target, then used my Cricut to cut out letters with vinyl paper:
I filled them with all things Spongebob: his flute that he plays during the theme song, “ocean water” bubbles, bubblegum tape that I made look like Gary, and I also made my own candy kebobs. I found a how-to on the Gary bubblegum tape on daneesdelights.blogspot.com. She’s so creative!
For the candy kebobs, you’ve seen these around…..but $3 a pop was out of my budget (yes, I do have a budget, kind of lol), so naturally, I found a way! I rolled up my own sour belts and painted the pineapple stripes with food coloring. Yes, it was a little time consuming but it was fun, and I didn’t do them all in one day.
I displayed the chum buckets in a boat that I had purchased for his first birthday, which was a Nautical Mickey Mouse theme. It currently houses toys and figurines in his room, but I was glad to be able to use it again for this party:
We also gave out these picture snow globes I found, but I made them “under the sea” by incorporating blue sand, and spray painting the bottom aqua. I left out my polaroid camera, and guests took pictures and inserted them in the globe and took them as favors- so fun!
On the other side of the dessert table, I did a pineapple display, made to mimic a palm tree. There’s a lot of how-to’s out there, but I found the easiest one on makelifespecial.com. I lined up these pineapple cups, both for filling with beverages and also with all the sweets from the dessert table so guests can take some home.
I made most of the desserts myself. I recently started making simple cakes…..by simple, I mean baked and frosted with buttercream, and adding some fondant elements, toys, whatever I have on hand that will add a cute touch but not take me days to do. I added a toy spongebob that was supposed to be a gift to Ethan, but I needed it for the cake! lol besides, its his anyway after we clean the frosting off right? Right.
The sign and life saver are actually decorated cookies that I made. And this is only my second cake that I’ve ever created- it’s definitely going to take some practice, but the birthday boy enjoyed it!
Aside from that cake, I also made a couple pina colada cakes and added these cute rustic cake toppers that I purchased from Alexis Mattox Design. Her toppers are made very sturdy and a great value, a lot lower in price than all of the other calligraphy toppers you find out there.
As I mentioned before, I started out this sweet journey with making decorated cookies. Character cookies are so time consuming, but my primary reason for learning was so I can make them for my kids’ parties, so I did not hold back- Spongebob and all his friends made an appearance:
I wanted to incorporate Krabby Patties in there again, so my talented friend, Anna San Pedro, who I order my macarons from, made me these amazing macarons:
Aren’t they fun?
I also made cake pops shaped like pineapples and in keeping with the tropical theme, I made some passion fruit panna cota:
I also filled up the dessert table with various candy, all relative to the theme, of course:
Here is an aerial view of how it all came together:
Everyone enjoyed the sweets, especially the birthday boy!
For the table decor, I purchased the wood paneling at Home Depot, painted it, and staggered it to bring some depth to it. I then hung all these tissue honeycomb balls in various shades of blue that I purchased from Shop Sweet Lulu– her shop is so cute and has all kinds of unique party goods. If you’re not sure how to decorate or can’t decide what to do, her shop offers tons of inspiration!
I really enjoyed planning and executing this party because Ethan is my youngest, and I can still do cutesy things and not really have any parameters because he just lets mama do it all at this point. I think I still have free reign for at least a couple more years, no? 🙂