Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Yo Ho Ho and a Bag of Loot

If you have been a follower of my blog for very long, you have probably picked up on the fact that I love to throw parties. I can think of at least three other posts I've written about party planning. (I'm too tired to link to them now, you'll have to search my list, if you're interested.) Anyhow, I normally start planning a party months in advance, purchasing plates, cups, decorations, and some food items long before the date arrives. However, with my new work schedule, I've barely had time to think about my son's 5th birthday party, much less plan it. And the party is a week and a half away. Crazy, right?

What I have done is selected the theme and begun thinking about how to incorporate it into this party. Also, tonight I put together some favor bags for the kids. Like all of his previous parties, this affair will likely be adult-heavy and kid-light, but there could potentially be more than just the one (that's right, one) child guest that we had last year at the upcoming shindig. My son has made a few friends in the neighborhood, so I have my fingers crossed that at least some of them will be able to make it.

This year we have selected a pirate theme. As usual, costumes are strongly encouraged. Luckily, my kids have acquired a large selection of costumes, including several pirate options, so I will not need to put a lot of time into making their costumes. Which is a good thing, because I don't have the time (sad face). Anyhow, I wanted to share with you what I HAVE accomplished so far, and that is (as I mentioned) the favor bags. See below:

I know you are probably looking for Waldo in all this mess, but bear with me.
I started with a few yards of the pirate fabric, thinking I might make the kids
some pirate bandannas for their party favor bags. (The original idea was to
use the bandanna AS the bag, but I changed my mind, as you will see.) The
rest of this stuff was party favors ranging from 75 cents to $1.50 per package.
I think I spent $9 on this project and made 9 favor bags. Not bad.

First thing I did was sort the favors into piles. And moms of multiple kids, I
do know that this will probably start some fights, but I didn't have enough
items to give every kid all the same things. Hopefully I can distract them with
cake and other sugary treats so they won't realize that some have whistles, some
have eye patches, some have whistles and eye patches, and some have none of
the above. At least this should keep things interesting.

For the bandannas, I cut the fabric into large squares and serged the edges.
Easy peasy. Hopefully I didn't make them too small... if so, then they are
handkerchiefs, not bandannas. I'm sure even pirates had to blow their noses
sometimes, right?

A finished bandanna. I made black with skulls for the boys and red with polka
dots for the girls. Yet another thing for the kids to fight over...

Every kid gets a compass, though. I absolutely love these and I think they
are the best item in the bag. 4 of these babies for $1.50 is not too shabby.
I'm not sure if they actually work, but hopefully none of the kids get lost in my
backyard and have to put this to the test... (and no, my backyard is spacious,
but seriously not big enough for anyone to get lost in.) I tied a piece of red
yarn to each one so the kids can wear them.

One of my packages of favors came with four favor bags, but they were kind
of cheesy and made of plastic... And although I originally planned to use the
bandannas as the bag, I came up with this brilliant little scheme while working
on this project: treasure map bags. These are just paper lunch bags which you
can buy at the Dollar Tree, 100 for $1 I think. I used these same paper bags for
the "loot bags" at my son's last birthday party, which was cowboy themed.
I left a space at the top above the picture to fold the bag over.

On the back flap I put each kid's name. And yes, they are all captains. And I'm
sure that like too many cooks, too many captains can be a bad thing too... but
when Admiral Mama is on the job, I'm expecting calm seas and smooth sailing.
At least, it would be nice.

Do you have any ideas for incorporating a pirate theme into this party that I could steal borrow? I haven't decided what to do with his cake yet. Suggestions? Also, I am thinking of doing like a treasure hunt for my kid's presents. We'll hide them as the guests arrive, and make a map and or clues that will lead the kids to the next clue and so on until the presents are found. I need to get on that. Food ideas, anyone? I am thinking Goldfish crackers, as hardtack and rum would probably not be the best idea for a 5-year-old and his friends. Let me know what you come up with! I know there is tons of creativity swirling in your brains!


  1. Fish sticks, shrimp, fish & chips, maybe a seafood & crab salad mix for adults? You can buy imitation crab meat (subway recipe, imitation crab meat, shred it up & add mayo!) and make some sort of dip or salad for adults. Sandwiches w/toothpicks in it w/flags that say "Land Lovers"...or you could cut them out to be shaped like fish. I'm sure there's a cookie cutter somewhere. Blue koolaid (ocean!), blue could make a treasure chest cake, a sheet cake w/a treasure map on it or a cake w/a jolly roger flag on it.

  2. Such great ideas! I think the simplest cake would be the jolly roger flag sheet cake, though I've seen some really cute cakes with beach scenes. Cinnamon and sugar mixed would make nice sand.

    Don't forget the oranges to prevent scurvy in the crew. ;)


  3. My friend Tonya just did a pirate party for her son and I thought it was cute how she labeled the finger food...

    I think the scavenger hunt is a great idea. When we were little, my neighbor used to hide costume jewelry in the yard...the sandbox...wherever we were playing and we always thought we were finding legitimate buried treasure. In fact, she didn't tell me until I was well into my 20's that it was her.

    Good luck!