As I said in my portraits post for the week, I learned a few valuable lessons while planning a superhero-themed birthday party for O. I think that I maybe went a little overboard and made too much work for myself – they are only four year olds, after all and the party lasted just two hours. On the other hand, it was such fun (if exhausting) planning and baking and creating.
Planning the party
We searched around for a centrally located venue suitable for a handful of hyped-up four year olds. We ended up with two places that we liked: KFUM Central (the YMCA) and Observatorielundens parklek (the playground premises at Observatorielunden park). As the parklek was fully booked for all of May, the decision was made for us. But I can highly recommend the KFUM – everything went smoothly and easily.
We decided on the superhero theme mainly because O was given a brilliant superhero cape for Christmas and, given his current interest in Spiderman, it seemed like a good idea.
I had a look around on easy and quickly found some brilliant superhero clipart that you could buy and use. So I was able to use that to make the invitations and all the decorations for the party.
To make the cake toppers, I just printed the superhero images onto stickers, cut them up and stuck a cocktail stick between them and bingo, the cutest superhero cake toppers. (Many of the children took these home as souvenirs, which made me so happy – especially when the girls insisted on having the Wonder Girl and Cat Girl ones.)
I made the room decorations by printing out two versions of each image onto paper, cutting them roughly out and then sticking them together with some wrapping ribbon at the top. I used Spray Mount to stick them and that worked best (I found normal glue was too wet and crumpled the paper).
Baking up a storm
I might just have mentioned before, but I do love to bake. And this was a perfect excuse.
The sponge cake was a recipe from Lorraine Pascal’s book, Baking Made Easy. I took the Victoria Sponge recipe but then used her buttercream icing in between the sponge sandwiches as well as on top. O helped me to decorate the top (hence its slightly asymmetrical nature – anyone else have to hide their inner perfectionist when baking with their children? Or is it just me?).
The cupcakes were also a Lorraine Pascale recipe, and one that I’ve made over and over, as they just taste so good. I think the secret is the vanilla syrup that you brush on them as soon as they come out of the oven. It keeps them so moist and fresh.
Chatting to my colleagues at work on the Friday before the party, we started reminiscing about what we ate at parties as children. And they reminded me about chocolate cornflake cakes. So I decided to make these as well. O took one look at the cornflakes packet and informed me that he did not like these cakes, even though he had not tried them, and that his friends did not like them either. I made them anyway, and, of course, both O and E loved them.
On the day
The final touches were superhero cups and napkins bought at Tesco in the UK. I bought the spotty cupcake cases from Lagerhaus, along with the shiny turquoise paper plates, spotty drinking straws and the sweets that we used to decorate the cakes.
I hung up the decorations from the lamps, along the walls and in front of the windows, which was fun as they spun around in the breeze.
The party went off really well, the children ran around and danced and stuffed themselves with cake and cheated at all the games we played and, I hope, left happy.
And Husband and I? We poured ourselves a glass of rum each after the boys were in bed, and put our feet up.
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