"Minecraft-ing" that's not virtual?
'Really my child, why can't we just have a plain ol' pool party, or go to a play centre instead', was my response. Luckily, Pinterest and Google images came to my rescue, and I am happy to report that the birthday party was a huge success... and when I say HUGE, that's exactly what I mean... you'll see in a minute ;-)
So after doing lots of Pinning from other fabulous Minecraft parties ideas, I decided to not get too technical or adventurous, and rather stick to uncomplicated and low-budget :-)
With the help of my darling daughter, we've created a life size Mr. Steve, a Creeper, a Pig, Spiders for decoration, and we came up with a very authentic looking "Cake Block", that was the easiest of all to make. But the absolute hit of the party was the piñata, made to resemble a wall of "Grass Blocks" that each boy had a couple of goes at "Mining".
Mr. Steve was made from various sized boxes. A squarish box that once held my printer for his head, the box the pool cover came in for his body, and his arms were made up of two shoe boxes hot-glued together on each side. Every piece was covered with brown paper before painting the parts. We've used normal kids poster paint, and mixed blues, yellows and white together to get Mr. Steve's particular turquoise coloured shirt. I still wanted to paint his "pants" as well, but time just ran out. The face was basically a matter of drawing the shapes with a ruler and pencil, and try and try again till it seemed quite right. I found the inspiration for that here.
To say that the birthday boy loved his life-sized figurines, is an understatement :-)
The Creeper was also just two big boxes covered in brown paper before painting, and two shoe boxes to balance it out. I got the template for its face from here. The poor Piggie didn't get a photo opportunity by himself.. you can only just see him peeking out the left corner of the next photo.
The spider decorations were made from black balloons, black streamers, and red electrical tape for the eyes. I copied from here.
I found the inspiration for the piñata here. Unfortunately, there wasn't a link to a website attached with more instructions, so I'll just tell you what I've done. The whole construction was basically a variety of boxes taped, and hot-glued together. I've placed some take-home goodies inside each box, and then covered the whole thing with newspaper. More layers of newspaper glued on top with kids craft glue, formed a sort of papier mache unit. Then I've printed out "Grass Blocks" from here, to mark each box that was to be "Mined". It was supposed to be strong enough to withstand multiple blows, but weak enough to at least break through by the fifth hit. I cheated a little by cutting a tiny "X" into the middle of each "Grass Block" with a craft knife to ensure the whole piñata doesn't collapse after the first hit.
I really should have taken a "before" photo! At least on this photo, you can clearly see the "X".
Surprisingly each "Miner" stayed in their own territory.. and even more surprisingly - the "axe" hubbie created from folded cardboard and packaging tape, survived long enough to demolish the boxes till it was completely flat, and all that was left over of the "axe" was its handle! Then of course it made a perfect spot for the birthday boy to sit and enjoy his cake
The cake itself was a plain sponge cake - recipe found here, and design found here. As you'll see if you follow the link to the design, our cake is not quite as grand. Instead ours are very plain with only Betty Crocker Vanilla icing for covering, and already coloured-red-just-roll-out-and-cut fondant used for the squares. But apparently it tasted AaaWwwwESOME MUM!!
And of course no party ever goes completely without hick-ups ... the number 9 sparkler candler meant to go on the cake was no where to be found (still haven't found it!), and the only other candle available in the house was a gold star... oh well.
As far as low budget parties goes, this one was a roaring success according to the birthday boy who labelled it "the best EVA"!