I have a daughter whose birthday happens to be the same day as Earth Day! That hasn’t stopped us from throwing all kinds of different themed birthday parties in the past. But last year we decided to embrace the holiday and make it an Earth Day Birthday Bash! Even if you don’t have an Earth Day birthday, you might want to adapt some of these ideas for your own Earth Day festivities.
The timing of this party wasn’t the best for me. It was literally the day after I got back from SNAP conference. So the only way to pull this off was to invite the birthday girl–who happens to call herself my “party minion”–to do a lot of the preparations herself. Fortunately, she was game.
For example, I created this invitation before I left town and had her assemble and deliver the rest of them after I was gone. I was in such a hurry that I only snapped this picture of the invitations with my phone (no Blogger-staged photos this time, sorry!). If you can’t tell, the backgrounds for the invitation were cut out of cereal boxes, as were the worlds.
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: I have seen a lot of cool projects where people run things through their printers other than paper or card stock. This made me rather optimistic that I could run my cereal box chipboard through my inkjet printer and print directly on it. Didn’t work so well. In fact, my printer never worked well after that, so I had to buy a new one.
After that debacle, I decided to print on Kraft paper and use my cereal boxes for the background. The idea is that the invitations and a lot of the party elements and crafts are made from recycled materials. For example, the cute butterfly in the corner of the invitation is made from colorful magazine pages. And with that, our friends were all invited to participate in some “Good Green fun!” Get it?!?
Keeping with the recycled theme, I set the cake on an old cardboard box. (Sky paper background found at Hobby Lobby.)
My daughter/minion made mini-tassels to decorate the box out of old chip packages. (Tutorial by the Supermoms on One Charming Party)
We made more butterflies out of magazine paper both as decorations and as a craft for our guests to make and take, but more on that in a minute.
Admittedly, some of our decorations were more about setting the mood than saving the planet. I did some quick chalkboard art on the easel and green flowers in a blue vase were rather appropriate.
I got a plastic tablecloth with grass printed on it, and hot-glued a grass skirt around the edge to make it prettier and more green! Earth balloons were the centerpiece on each table (which doubled as craft space and eating space). And these tie dyed favor bags from Oriental Trading Co, looked great with these printable tags found on Skip to My Lou.
Our guests rotated through a few different crafty stations, making a project to keep at each that is made from a recycled product.
1) Magazine Butterflies: We scattered the discarded catalogues and magazines across the table to allow the girls to find pages in their favorite colors. You cut two squares of different sizes (for example 6″x6″ and 4″x4″). Then accordion fold them each (like you did when you made fans as a kid). Pinch the centers of the two together in the middle and tie them together with wire or pipe cleaner. You can use the ends of the wire/pipe cleaner to form the antenna. These look so cute and are fun to hot glue magnets or clothespins on the back side so they can hang around your house long term.
2) Recycled Map Party Hats: These were also inspired by the Supermoms. One of my daughter’s teachers actually had a map she was getting rid of–score! I took apart a party hat from the dollar store to make the template. The girls could trace their hat from wherever they wanted in the world. They taped them together with fun duct tape and added tissue paper fringe at the top and stapled twine on the ends to tie them on their heads.
3) Capri Sun Pouches: I realize you can’t see the pouches at all in this picture, because the girls had a lot of fun with the duct tape. But each coin purse is a individual juice pouch (cleaned and dried, of course). The edges are held together with the tape, but most of the rest of the tape is decorative. We cut or folded the front side down, so we could have a flap fold over. Self adhesive velcro closes the pouch with no sewing!
All of that crafting worked up an appetite! So we served some crunchy and yummy fare to our green guests. A heathy salad bar is perfect for the theme and a great way to accommodate different diets and picky eaters. They could add exactly what they wanted to their own salads. We also served twigs–I mean pretzel sticks–and cucumber and mint infused water. Of course, the compost pudding made another appearance, but since were weren’t in school, I just made a big batch of chocolate pudding and garnished it with the same accents as before. And fruit smoothies served in bamboo cups with birch straws (cut to size) made a perfect treat. They ended up being purplish which is the birthday girl’s favorite color.
I ordered my very earthy-looking paper goods from Garnish.
The cake is chocolate (dirt) with green grass frosting. I initially had thought to bake a ball cake for the top layer to look like the Earth, but keeping in mind, I had a morning and early afternoon to pull it all together, AND make it to the school to share classroom treats, I tried the cereal treat version of the Earth. I actually like how it looks a bit more rustic, than a smooth fondant cake. I just made Rice Krispy treats, adding blue food coloring to the main portion (2/3) and green to the rest as I stirred. I used my greased Sports Ball Pan
to form the shape and was a bit strategic about where I placed my continents so it would resemble the Earth, but you can’t get too detailed and specific this way. I also attempted a candy melt butterfly to add to the Earth. Mine didn’t come out too perfectly, but you can follow these directions to make your own.
Look! My world’s on fire!
My daughter had fun making her own piñata with a beach ball as a form. She painted the paper mache blue and created the continents with green tissue paper. Of course, the party guests had fun demolishing it absconding with the treasures found inside.
It was a great party, and I’m actually still amazed we pulled it off, given the time constraints–especially as I’m trying to put together a party for her birthday this year right before I leave for SNAP this time. Wish me luck and a whole lot more energy than I’ve been having this pregnancy!
Do you celebrate Earth Day? For more ideas for Earth Day projects and fun, visit my Earth Day Birthday Pinterest board.