Last month, I threw a Movie Night theme birthday party for my daughter, Delaney. She was excited to share her 12th birthday with her middle school friends. We went through a few ideas before settling on a Movie Night theme party in our home.
I always think of the invitations first when planning a party. A couple months ago, I found some great digital scrapbook designs when I planned my five year old son's Herbie the Love Bug party. I enjoyed them so much, before I looked anywhere else, I stopped over at the Scrapmatters site to search for anything related to movies. As it turned out, they had the perfect digi collection in the colors we were thinking of...red, yellow & black. The Movie Magic Collection by Jennifer Labre Designs had everything I needed. When designing invitations, I've found it's SO much easier to start with a digital scrapbook collection. I used Photoshop Elements to create these invitations. With millions of options available in this program, I like to narrow my choices by finding a digital scrapbook collection that matches my theme and using it to create my invitations. I printed these invitations at home on white cardstock.
Delaney used a Decoration Roller from Plus Corp. to decorate the envelopes, writing her guests' names inside the strip in red ink.
With the invitations taken care of, it was time to move on to decorations! As I started looking for decorations, I wanted them to be fun, creative and also have a low price tag. Having a subscription to the Silhouette Online Store, I always search there for any upcoming projects...just to see what they have. This time, I was very pleasantly surprised to find exactly what I was looking for...some fun cutting files that I could use to decorate the house and also the cake. I found a film camera, the five movie reel & film set by Lori Whitlock and the movie night title by Samantha Walker. They all seemed perfect, so I grabbed some paper at my local scrapbook store and got to work cutting things out on my Silhouette Cameo. (Yes, I love this machine! I can't say enough great things about it! I won mine in a giveaway over on Today's Creative Blog in January 2012 and I've been busy using it ever since! Kim over at TCB often has discounts on the machines and from time to time gives one away, so stop over & check out her blog, if you haven't already!)
OK, here's the fun part! I used simple, solid color cardstock to create my decorations. Some of the paper is textured and some is not. I knew that the group I was entertaining wouldn't be too concerned with the small details, just the atmosphere!
With the birthday girl in charge, we started with the Candy Table! We thought it would be fun to have at least one favorite candy for each guest, so we asked them to name their favorite when they RSVP'd. Since they're middle schoolers, most of the RSVP's came directly to Delaney at school, so she kept a candy list. On a recent supply shopping trip, she grabbed every kind of candy on the list...and a couple more "just in case". For setup, we cleared a sofa table in our breakfast nook (it usually holds school supplies & homework, which we moved into the office and CLOSED THE DOOR!). To give our display some height, I placed a tall box in the center and added a 12-pack of soda to each side and pushed them against the wall. Next, I covered the boxes and table with a piece of navy velvet fabric I've had for years and never have found a use for. I thought it had an old time movie theater type look and it was great that it covered the whole table too! Delaney had specific ideas for the arrangement of the candy, so I let her go to work. She placed black paper bags with stars in the center of the table, so each girl could make her own candy mix. The plastic popcorn containers held pens for a party game and slips of paper with fun ice breaker questions to begin the party, since everyone didn't know each other. Delaney used colorful bowls to hold some of the candy and just left others open in their packages. She used acrylic risers to give some of the bowls a little height and sprinkled some confetti made from stars punched out of our discarded paper & shapes as a finishing touch.
In addition to candy, no movie party would be complete without a selection of salty snacks! I found a large popcorn bowl and little boxes for each girl in the dollar section at Target. We served buttered popcorn, kettle corn, herbed popcorn from Trader Joe's and aged white cheddar Pirate's Booty.
After living in my house for eight years and hosting tons of parties for both kids and adults, I've found that keeping decorations simple doesn't have to be boring. One of my favorite ways to decorate is to hang strips of streamers down from the lights over my dining room and nook tables. For this party, I had a friend helping with decorations in the morning. She cut streamers about 4 feet long and draped them over the arms of my chandeliers. Then she used clear thread to hang a few of the stars I cut out of gold and silver metallic cardstock to add a little sparkle.
We are not huge cake/frosting fans in my family, so Delaney chose a plain cheesecake from Costco as her birthday cake. I used black & red frosting tubes to add a little color and my Silhouette cuts to make it a Movie Night party cake! I cut 2 large film cameras from my black paper. Then I took one of the pieces and used clear tape to attach one skewer to each of the three legs, leaving about 3" of skewer sticking out past the end of the camera leg. After the skewers were attached, I used scrapbook adhesive to adhere the remaining camera over the top of the skewers.
Next, I carefully stuck the skewers down into the cheesecake, so the camera stood at the back of the cake. I placed a film reel in front of the camera and one of my metallic stars in front of that. I loved that the film strip had seven spots, so I trimmed a piece of white paper to fit and added Delaney's name to the strip with silver glitter stickers. Since she rarely, if ever, finds her name on a personalized item, she just loved seeing it on her cake like this. I placed the film strip in front of the taller items, stuck in "12" candles and we were set!
To cover the table and take away attention from my Christmas table cloth (the only red one I have long enough to cover the table with two leaves), I cut a piece of paper from my son's IKEA easel, long enough to make a table runner. Delaney & a friend sprinkled the table with their homemade confetti and added some film strips from the decoration roller to give it a finished look.
As far as the scheduling of activities during the party, Delaney had a great plan and the girls had a lot of fun! She started with an ice breaker her theater teacher used on the first day. Then they watched Lemonade Mouth, a fun preteen/teen Disney movie that most of the girls had seen. Delaney wanted the girls to pay attention to the details and actually watch the movie, so she found a quiz online and printed one copy for each guest. She told them there would be a quiz at the end of the movie. Everyone watched the movie and had fun filling out their quizzes at the end. For prizes, she handed out boxes of Cracker Jacks that we had decorated with a little baker's twine.
After the quiz, the girls made individual pizzas and ate while decorating the paper table runner with crayons Delaney had placed on the table in plastic popcorn containers. They had dessert, Delaney opened presents and we shot some fun photos in front of a party backdrop we had created with long pieces of yellow paper. (I "borrowed" the yellow paper from my son's preschool...his teacher's daughter was at the party, so she was more than happy to "loan" it to me!) Delaney and her friend used metallic stars I cut on the Cameo, backed them with red stars, so the "12" cut out of the inside would really pop, and placed them on the paper randomly. We used a few streamers and added a "red carpet" with some red preschool paper.
For all my parties, I try to have a little fun with my front door. For this party, I used one of my Southern Living at Home door buckets filled with white paper Easter grass. I added some of the movie night theme cuts from my Cameo, a few streamers and the large Movie Night cut to the front. I added an outline to the Movie Night cut, to give it an extra layer of color.
This bucket ended up being my favorite decoration for the party!
Delaney gathered a few fun props and the girls had a great time taking photos of each other in front of our "red carpet" backdrop! Everyone had a ton of sugar, snacks and fun!
The Movie Night theme party was perfect for our group of middle school girls!!
And it could also be perfect for your girls, boys, families or groups of any kind!
Check out my fun idea and TONS of other amazing ideas over at the link party on Today's Creative Blog! Tuesday is 'Get Your Craft On' day! You'll find SO many cool ideas there every week, you'll wonder why you hadn't found it before! Oh, be sure to tell Kim (Creator & Diva of TCB) HI and that Julie from JulieChats sent you!