Mad Scientist Birthday Party

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Theme

The dictionary describes the word, quirky, as “something that is strange/not normal but cool”.  This is exactly the word I would use to describe our son’s Mad Scientist 6th Birthday Party.  I loved mixing funky wire, weird decorations, and modern/vintage industrial items together.  The color scheme was:  lime green, gray, electric blue, orange – with a hint of purple (on invitations/thank you cards) and accented with black & white polka dot fabric.  I also wanted to emphasize circular shapes to give it a look of ‘lab potion bubbles’.

I tried to keep all decorating elements simple, fun, not-to-scary or gross, and modern.  Months leading up to the party, I had seen many other party ideas that had decorations such as chemistry tables, but that seemed a bit over the heads of our party attendees, so we kept it easy to understand.  Who am I kidding?  Even as a parent, I needed it easy to comprehend too!

Invitations/Thank You Cards

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I knew I wanted the stationary to have the fun, bright colors from our birthday color scheme.  On the computer, I created a science beaker which had orange and blue chevron lines (I so love to incorporate this wonderful pattern lately!) to give it a modern, funky look. Having orange and blue circles in different sizes gave the stationary depth and interest.

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The Cake

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I thought having a cake in the shape of a book would help to achieve the notion that great scientists need to study hard in order to be good at what they do!  Our son loves books also, so this was an easy sell.  I found this Wilton book cake pan for $5.00 on craigslist.  Success!!!

After our cherry chip flavored cake was baked and cooled, our soon-to-be-birthday boy helped me decorate it.  We slightly melted white frosting and carefully poured it over the cake.  We then used frosting outliners to make it colorful and coincide with our theme colors and design.

As for the cake base, I took a piece of wood and wrapped it with spray painted crumbled craft paper. The cake actually sat on black foam board which then sat on the piece of wood.

I loved having this activity with our boy. Homemade at its best!

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Niche Area

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I used pre-cut orange and blue foam circles (can be purchased at any craft store/craft dept.) and taped (I used painter’s tape) the circles to the wall of the area.  I then wrapped lime green crepe paper (also used for the piñata) around our basket vase (which I had whimsical gauge wire in already). Last step was to add gray fabric at the base.  This was super fast to complete!  Very easy!!!

Front Porch

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I was able to borrow a metal computer cart to help jazz up our front porch.  It helped to not only provide more space for birthday items (party favor glasses and t-shirts), but it also supported our birthday signage which welcomed guests to our themed birthday party. I loved the cart being on wheels too!  It made transporting so much easier!  SUCCESS!!!

The large white foam board came from Hobby Lobby.  I lightly taped blue and orange circles.  As for the large cardboard circle, I found this at a store that sold baby swimming pools – the cardboard pieces helped separate each pool!  I asked if I could take one and got the go ahead. After taking it home, I spray painted it silver (also accented with silver acrylic paint) and used black glitter paint to create the  #6.  Last step was to tape it in place.

Dining Room Wall Art

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The science beakers were created out of white foam sheets (11 x 17 size sheets purchased at Hobby Lobby and Michael’s).  I did make my own beaker stencil, but an alternative way would be to find an online photo, print it, and enlarge to whatever size.  I then had penciled on a chevron pattern on each beaker (once again, I created my own chevron stencil, but this can be found online as well).  Next, I used orange and blue acrylic paints to fill in between the pencil marks.  Last step after the paint dried was to outline with a black permanent marker.

The background was a cardboard piece wrapped and taped with brown, crumbled craft paper which I spray painted silver (but let the brown show here and there too – I liked the mix of color). *The fun part about crumbling is I had great little helpers!  The boys thought it was fantastic to be about to squish lots of paper!

Food

Chocolate Covered Eyeballs – these were simple, store bought chocolate covered cherries! Easy!  Creative signage helped to make this simple dessert interesting!

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Smart Brain Cupcakes – these were made of yellow cake mix with a small, metal football like pan.  Applying the food coloring and frosting technique made it appear to be brains…and my signage had to say “smart” – who really wants to eat a not-so-smart brain cupcake?

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Potato Chip Package Container – I used brown, crumbled craft paper (also keeping with the spray painted silver look) as a background feature – not a lot of prep work needed and inexpensive to use.

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Silverware Holder – Originally made from shipping tubes and a piece of wood for the base.  I actually used this last year for our oldest son’s party – only it was yellow.  For this year’s party, it was super fast to spray paint this silver and wrap size 20 gauge wire around each container.

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Decorations

The cart – I love a more industrial look which this cart has! For about four months prior to the party, I had been looking at this cart at an antique store and thought the price was a little high.  Luckily, I was about to make a great deal with the store owner (purchased for $20.00 at A Street Antiques in Lincoln, NE).  I’m very happy with this purchase, and I can use this in various places in our home for storage.

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Antique canning jar/milk jug holder – (purchased at Vintage Village Antiques for $12.00) – I LOVE THIS!!! It was a rusty brown color when I bought it, but I spruced it up by painting it green….My plan is to use this again in my future craft room for countertop storage.  As for the canning jars, my mom donated these to my birthday decorating cause.  I spray painted the lids silver and filled them with marshmallows and circus peanuts. Easy!

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Handmade little candy bags - I used brown craft paper and folded in half (actual size was about 5″ x 5″).  After cutting the paper to that  size (for the top, I used zig zag scissors), I used Elmer’s Glue to secure the sides. After that dried, I spray painted the bottom silver – leaving the top remain in the brown color.  I used a vinyl #6 sticker as a stencil for spray painting.

Cardboard books- I found these at Hobby Lobby for about $1-3 each.  I painted the books in our birthday colors and stored party favors in them!

Blue chevron notebook – purchased at Michael’s for $3.00. When looking through the entire inventory at the store, I couldn’t find one with a letter ‘B’, so I made my own on the computer and used a glue stick to adhere.

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Metal file/office containers (found at a second hand store for $3.00 each) – made interesting features on the cart.  I used craft paper off the roll – crumbled up and then spray painted in taller container.  For the hand, I found a paper mache hand at Michael’s for $7.99, and then painted it flesh color with acrylic paint and then placed it with the crumbled paper.  Next, I added size 20 gauge wire and twisted it around/above the hand.  Last step was to add styrofoam balls (this was from a solar system kit found at Michael’s – on clearance due to a missing  ball a.k.a ‘planet’). What a freaky look!  The kids loved it!

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Eyeball – this is a paper mache ornament I purchased at Michael’s for $2.00 and then painted with acrylic white paint. I used a circle stencil to define the center area and then used markers and a red pen to make blood shot features (Having it be made of paper mache made this step easier – I just followed the textured lines already there).  For displaying, we used a simple banana holder – it worked perfect!

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Photo frames – A few months ago, our son dressed up for career day at his school as a mad scientist.  I took a photo of him and was able to use it for his birthday party. I jazzed up the photos on the computer and then found inexpensive frames at Michael’s and The Dollar Tree. On one of the frames, I glued wooden circles (found at Wal-Mart for about 3.00/package) after painting them.

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Glass centerpiece containers  - (found at second hand stores for about $2-3 each) These were filled with individually wrapped eyeball bubble gum (yes, discounted Halloween candy from a little over 7 months ago, but they were unopened packages!  I promise!!!).

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Funky styrofoam centerpiece – The base of this started with left over solar system balls/pieces (as mentioned under Metal File Containers) which I glued together with Elmer’s Glue.  I used a circle stencil to draw different sizes of circles and then painted them random orange and blue.  Next, I used wooden letter beads that spelled out our son’s name and wove it through size 20 gauge wire.  Last step was to stick the wire in the Styrofoam and bend it to my liking.

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As for the blue chevron plate base, I found this at Michael’s for $3.00.  So cute!!!

Glass container – Back in December, I found a glittered letter ‘B’ ornament at an after Christmas sale (.25 cents!). The ornament was originally silver in color, but I went ahead and repainted it green.  It still had a glittery textured which I liked!  I then used size 20 gauge wire and twisted and turned it (connecting it the letter ‘B’ in the middle of a glass container.  I LOVE this decoration and now use it in another spot in our home for display.

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Piñata

Another homemade piñata!  Simply a recycled box filled with candy and wrapped with a roll of lime green crepe paper! Circle punchers let me create orange and blue circles in different sizes all around the box. One step further was to add signage to the piñata which read, “CAUTION” and “CANDY EXPERIMENT INSIDE” to add curiosity. All were secured with the help of a scotch tape.

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Party Favors

About a year ago, I began collecting discounted white t-shirts knowing they would be great for this party (I knew our son would be excited for this themed party even that far in advance).  All t-shirts were $1.00 each from The Dollar Tree.  To make the shirts transform into ‘lab coats’, I used a black fabric marker and had drawn the outline freehand on each shirt.  It took some time….because we had about 27 children!

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*As for our real lab coats, I found three out of four at second hand stores for about $2-3 each.  My husband’s lab coat was from a previous Halloween costume, and I purchased it on ebay for about $10.00.

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Other party favors included silly scientist glasses, skeletons, brains, and spider rings.  These items were found via Oriental Trading Company.

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Science Experiment Show

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This was adorable! My husband and our birthday boy had about four experiments they demonstrated to the birthday audience.  Many parents commented how the kids sat so still during the presentation – who would have thought that would ever happen? My husband said he had a fun finding experiments to do, and our son thought it was cool he got to help Dad.

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Science Craftiness

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Well, it’s not a surprise I would want to incorporate craft time at the birthday party!  The styrofoam and fuzzy wire idea came from a craft our youngest son made in preschool this past spring.  I thought we could spin this idea with a science theme…so after cutting 4” x 4” styrofoam pieces (I found styrofoam sheets at Michael’s), we sat up a table with the pieces and many colors of pipe cleaners (easy to find in any craft section/store). This became “Fuzzy Wire Experiments”!  In addition to this, we also had styrofoam balls (purchased at The Dollar Tree but can be found at any craft store), and this activity was called “Eyeball Creations”.  It was interesting to see what the kids came up with.

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Custom Water Bottles

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The tradition continues! I love creating these, and it helps to provide a healthy party beverage.  Drinking water can be boring for a kid, but “Birthday Potion #6” sounds much more appealing.

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I loved planning this party.  I love planning every party our boys have.  This one was so great to see our son’s love for science grow even more.  Sure, it’s exhausting mentally and then physically, but I LIVE FOR THESE SPECIAL EVENTS!  All the ideas that are stored in my head get made into a reality and that’s very fulfilling to any artist/designer. I am trying to cherish these moments because when our boys get older, they probably won’t want me to organize these kinds of things.  How cool would it be for a 15 year old to have a pirate party?  Not so much. Until that sad day comes, I’m going to enjoy this as long as I can. Bring on the next party!

 ~Angie

 

Our crazy, wacky family….

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Birthday Party Photo Collages

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