Lego Birthday Party on A Budget

Handmade invitations: for once I surprised my husband by not using PhotoShop. But our son is old enough to write his guests’ and his own name on each card. The circles are made of foam bought from the dollar store, and I used the tin cap from olive oil bottle to make the shapes.

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The decorations: Lego party favor bags, the punch out pinatas (more on that later)  and presents disguised as decorations. We also got yellow balloons, but forgot to draw faces on those.

 The t-shirts. I found the Lego man stencil from this site. The dollar store has colored t-shirts, although these were mostly L and M youth sizes, and I had to get the 2T and 3T sizes in white for higher prices elsewhere. Three methods for shirt printing were used with varying degrees of success. The original plan was to use heat transfers, and Wal-Mart sells these cheaper than Avery online, about $1+ per sheet; Michael’s was selling another brand for about $10 with only 3 sheets.

Because the celebrant was celebrating his 8th birthday I made two shirts with different designs. One involving the use of freezer paper as stencil and Tulip fabric paint. I got the instructions from here, although I used an 8-Lego man design. Cutting out 8 smaller Lego figures with an exacto knife proved to be tedious and messy. His second shirt turned out better, using the fabric paint to draw the Lego figure and adding a red balloon. To think I only came up with this to cover some mistakes with the heat transfer. But the ones who got this version were pleased that their Lego man had a face. One young guest refused his shirt and later declared it was “stupid” because it didn’t have any eyes or nose, ha-ha-ha.

The “birthday cake”. We have a tradition of not using traditional cakes, and so in previous birthday parties we used cupcakes to form a dinosaur, and brownies and sugar foam for the Angry Birds theme. This year my in-laws made rice krispies to resemble Lego bricks. Because one of our guests is gluten-intolerant we used rice chex. It looks messy but tastes good with semi-sweet baking M&Ms, even if the Betty Crocker cookie icing made it too sweet. Lego candles from Amazon and characters holding the candles completed the colorful effect.

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Rectangle pepperoni pizzas from Caesar’s also looked like Legos.

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The activities. Having a family with seven kids with tons of Legos living next door made our first activity possible. We declared a Lego building contest and our son picked the winner. Or rather, he declared everyone a winner, because he didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. We also had the toddlers category.

Our punch-out pinatas drew the most praises. When our guests’ ages ranged from 2 to 8 having them take turns to punch a hole to claim their party favors made a lot of sense. It was also easy to make, therefore, cheaper than buying a pinata; and we made three.

Lastly, the party favors that were supposed to go in the punch-out pinatas, are of course little Lego figures. Amazon sells them in packs, and I thought I got a good deal that cost $5 for an entire pack of 20 characters … except they arrived the day after the party, so be sure to order these 3-6 weeks ahead. At least most of our guests live on our street and go to the same school.

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I really went overboard with this party family and friends said, but there were actually other ideas that I didn’t have the time and energy to do anymore.

In the end, everyone had a great time. We didn’t have a single meltdown (although I came close that morning). And the kids look so adorable in their shirts.

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There are more great ideas for a fun Lego party here:

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