All photos and text in this post are copyrighted to Soiree Event Design and may NOT be copied from this site and used in any way without permission from the owner. Pinning images, of course, is allowed and encouraged.
Hey party peeps! Today’s guest post is a “Throwback Thursdays” post where I’m sharing my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Party I designed for my daughter last year. WAY BEFORE there were any TMNT party supplies out there! I know…I know…hard to think that only a little over a year ago there were no TMNT party supplies available. In fact, it was the focus of my March 2013 Trend Alert on HWTM. My 10 year old daughter Faith requested a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle party last year and I had to do a double-take! My 18 year old son used to LOVE TMNT when he was little! They were just making a HUGE comeback last year and have fast become one of THE MOST popular kid’s party themes today!
BUT…back then there was one problem… kids were requesting this theme before Nickelodeon had caught on and made any party supplies available, so what is a parent to do? How do you decorate your party space when there are no TMNT party supplies out there? I must admit, this is my FAVORITE part of party planning! Coming up with creative ways to interpret a character themed party WITHOUT USING ANY commercial character party supplies and by making some of the decor yourself! It’s really easy if you follow my 6 steps!
6 Steps to Decorating a Character Party Using NO Traditional Licensed Party Supplies!
Step #1: Design Your Party Space to Match the Character’s Environment & Main Characteristics!
Here I designed the party space to match the urban, grungy environment that the Teenage Mutant Nina Turtles are seen in on their TV show. I created an urban feeling table by creating a runner out of sparkly black scrapbook paper and yellow electrical tape to resemble a street and then constructed a 3D sewer pipe and manhole cover centerpiece out of PVC pipe and a styrofoam disk! How cool is that! Looks like the turtle is coming up out of the table! Super easy, yet high impact! Ninja turtles are known for living in the city sewers, so one of my main design focal points was the sewer manhole cover. Here I created manhole covers by transforming lids of plastic buckets and got double duty from them by taping them to the wall to create a wow factor table backdrop and using them on the table as charger plates.
Make Your Own Ninja Turtle Shells!
What’s a Ninja Turtle party without turtle shells! They are the iconic main characteristic of Ninja Turtles, so here we created these fabulous turtle shells from roasting pans and displayed in the table design as chair back decor. For that added special touch, we personalized each one with a custom printable medallion available here that had each guest’s first initial on them that matched their placesetting.
Step #2: Use a Printable Package that Matches Your Theme!
TMNT is a licensed character, so as a professional graphic designer, I know that designing Ninja Turtle printables with the characters on them is breaking copyright law, so I simply custom design or find a printable package that matches the look and feel of the character. Here I designed a “Sewer”© printable collection that incorporated each turtles’s signature color, weapon and of course the green ooze that is so important to their story all designed with a grundgy, urban feel. The “Sewer” printable collection is available now in our shop here.
Using printables is such a cool way to add a customized look to the party space. From one printable package we were able to create these custom items:
– 3D manhole covers
– personalized placecards & plate inlays
– table sign centerpiece
– personalized turtle shell medallions
Step #3: Use Themed Toys in the Party Decor!
I have to say, this step is my kid’s favorite part! My kids always look forward to this part because usually the toys that I use in the party’s decor serve double duty as birthday presents for them too! Companies almost always have toys available that you can purchase for most characters on TV even before they ever produce party supplies, so you can usually easily find toys to use. Here, TMNT is such a trend right now that the toy figures were everywhere even when there weren’t any party supplies! The great part about these figures is that they are freestanding and posable so I could use them in interesting ways. Here I used them to hold each guest’s place card.
Step #4: Create Themed Activities!
Setup a cool NINJA TURTLE PHOTO BOOTH! This one is SUPER easy! First of all, that fabulous brick backdrop is just a faux brick wall panel from Menards. You can also get them from Home Depot, Lowes, etc. They are 4’x8′ and come in different patterns and finishes. Embellish it with grafitti printable cutouts and a huge 3D sewer cover (available here). You just can’t pass up that great photo op when the kids are all running around in their custom turtle shells and masks!
GIRLFRIEND TIP:Be sure to have fabulous TMNT dressup items available to get really cool photos. Here the kids dressed up in our DIY turtle shells (tutorial found here) customized with our Turtle Shell Medallion printables (available here) and colored masks that matched their assigned turtle. Remember we used this turtle shells also as chairback decor for the kid’s dining table! So when they are done eating, untie the shells and the kids can now wear them for the rest of the party!
Step #5: Serve Themed Sweets!
Why not create a Ninja Turtle Cupcake Decorating Station! I made a cupcake stand out of the sewer pipe, placed the cupcakes on the stand and placed a tube of Wilton’s cake decorating Sparkle Gel and the toy weapons that came with all the TMNT toys I had just bought and used in the party decor. Now, not only do I have a fabulous cupcake stand, but now I can use it as an activity for the kids! They loved dripping the “green ooze” all over their cupcakes and adding the toys!
GIRLFRIEND TIP: Be sure to sterilize the plastic toys by boiling them in water for 5 minutes before you place them out for the kids to place on the cupcakes.
Step #6: Create a Themed Favor Bar!
I originally was going to do a Pizza Bar setup of actual pizza, but that was impractical considering the pizza would have to sit out and get cold quickly. It would, however, be really cool to incorporate a Pizza Bar activity into your party and set up a Make Your Own Pizza Bar complete with all the toppings and individual mini pizza crusts for each guest to make their own. For my daughter’s TMNT party, we served pizza and decided to create a Pizza Favor Bar instead! Here we got creative transforming an ordinary item like an empty pizza box into a WOW-FACTOR party favor box!
SHOP THIS LOOK
CLICK HERE to check out my Pinterest board for a virtual shopping list of most of the items I used in this party’s design along with prices and links to purchase them.
Follow Soiree Event Design’s board Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Party – Trend Alert on Pinterest.