Fun Theme Party

SpongeBob Party 21yr - Sponges, Games & Food




Fun Theme Party


Claudia in ViƱa del Mar, V region, CHILE


August 2003


August 2003 Winner

Spongebob Squarepants party.  Well, I turned 21 this year; I remember I never had quite a memorable birthday bash, and much less, a themed party, so I decided to throw my own 'back to childhood' b-day,  using the theme of Spongebob Squarepants, since it's my favorite TV show, and my classmates (from Graphic Design) are all a bit into it. Since this party was 'back to childhood', it can be fit for a child as well, just add some more activities, and crafts if you want, which are always easy to think of, just by taking a look at this site (I got many ideas and inspiration for ideas of my own, right here!) I'm majoring in Design, so I made sure I could create a wonderful place, with little money (I payed for most of it myself), and things I already had at home. Being creative is the key to ending up with a work of Art, spending a little as possible!  The whole idea was to make a nifty reproduction of Bikini Bottom (where Spongebob lives), by turning my living room into a place that looked like it could be on Disneyland!  It was easy, because I made use of the existing structures and things on the room. What I did have to do, was plan this party for like 6 months in advance! Phew! It meant a lot  of work, because I had to make do on my own, but I'm rather proud at the results. 

INVITES:  I didn't sweat on it, because I wanted this to be a surprise for my classmates, who're used to go to such dull birthdays! So, I just made simple folded squares, with texts edited on Corel Draw (any image/text software will do, even Microsoft Word!), and wrote all the basic info (day, time, place); what I always do as a  special gimmick, though, is to personalize the message: I write things directly related to each of my classmates and friends. It shows you care enough to notice they have their own personalities! If it's a party for a child, be sure to write cute and funny things about his/her friends, but be careful not to step on anybody's feelings! Then, I just drew one of those wacky background flowers you can see on the TV show, on Photoshop (this can be done by hand, even, it's a really simple design), and I pasted that to the invite, I even made them pink for girls, and blue for boys. Then, I printed them all, and I cut and folded them; after that, I drew Spongebob's eyes on the cover of each invite, all of them wearing a different expression  (lucky I can draw, but these are simple, too, and you can always edit a photo and print it).  Or, if you have printer ink to spare, you can always print out the cute invitations on the Nickelodeon website.   By the way, you can find a recipe for Spongebob cake right there on the site. I even played around with said recipe, to make it easier to bake (I only had the help of one friend who came over early, that same day), so we managed to  create a Spongebob without much fuss, using: a square cake (bought), chantilly (or you can use Pillsbury cover), food colouring (for eyes and mouth, and yellow vanilla forst for the body), M&M's (eye pupils), breadsticks (limbs), mallowmars or penguins (feet), choolate dip (pants)  The effect was rather similar, and since my classmates aren't as picky as little kids, they actually loved the cake and thought it was over the top. As longs as  it looks like the character, you don't need to overdo it.  

DECO:   First, I bought a bunch of paper leis at a local birthday supply store (most should have these, and they're quite cheap, and they're good as favors), and greeted each guest with them. Every thing Hawaii is quite related to Spogebob's inviroment, so all of these things work like a charm. I thougt nobody would wear them, but they were more into being a child again, than I thought!   I bought a very cheap bag of small real shells, that were tinted light blue, at a home deco store! On the same store, I got a bag of small stars (you could paint them, to achieve more  colour; if you do, I recommend adding some glitter to them; my party was at night, so glittler was a really good idea); those were for the tables and such. Since they were too small for the walls and floor, I carved bigger stars and shells (design a simple shell and 5 pointed star shapes, and then cut a paper pattern), out of floral arrangement sponge. I already had that at home, so it was as cheap as it could get! I painted them white first, to cover the green of the material, and I used blopens to add some colour, as if they had been coloured by an airbrush, thus creating lights and shadows, adding to the 3-d effect. I'm not so good carving, so the colouring really helped. Then, I added some white glitter on top. I also carved some rocks. You can also make these out of styrofoam, no need for paint there, just colour using blopens or you can make pouder out of chalk or pastel bars.   I had a bunch of small coloured glass stones (used for deco); I remenber a bag of 100 cost no more than 2.00, and could use those for many things at a time, like table deco, or inside the sand as jewels. 

Sand!  I got a bucket of sand at the beach (that's free!), and I cleaned it up, added a bunch of glitter so it'd shine, glass marbles and stones; I used the sand for many things as well, such as serving trays, or next to the couch.  I got all blue partyware. Since you're not paying for a print, solid colours make for cheap partyware!  Blue plastic tablecloth, blue and green napkins, blue plastic plates. I also got blue/green crazystraws. Also got colourful cocktail umbrellas! It works wonders on the theme.  I happened to find fish shaped ice trays at a home deco store, so what I did was to use some of the blue edible tint on a pitcher of water, and I made blue ice cubes, in fish shapes!  Those looked good on the sodas, specially the clear ones like Sprite.  I got a can of spray varnish, colourless but brilliant, and I sprayed on all the crafts I did as deco, so everything looked wet, as if we were under the sea. I also added some glitter to that, before it dried.  I wanted to have bubbles as well, but they pop so easily, so what I did was to buy a tube of catch-a-bubble, a bubble mix that makes the bubbles stay longer, and you can even touch them, and they won't blow up. So they stayed on for quite a while, making for a nice effect. 

I found a pack of glo in the dark stickers, shaped like sea life; I stucked them to the insides of the bookshelves, so each of them would look like an acuarium. I also poured some glittery sand on the 'acuarium' floors, and stuck clear cellophane to cover the bookshelves 'acuariums'.  I used white thread (or yarn), and glittler, to make fake spiderwebs, which I put on every shelf that wasn't turned into an acuarium. I also added some 'dust' (made out of fine sand); those looked good on the books and coffe table books, making for a lost pirate treasure look.  Since Spongebob enjoys making bubbles, I made some common bubble mix, and put in a big bowl on the coffee table; I covered the bowl in bambu sticks for the look, and made some bubble wands out of wire and bambu for the handle, for the guests to blow.    I have a clock shaped like a diving suit's head, on one of the shelves, so I just made a Gary  -Spongebob's pet snail-  standee and I taped it on the clock; I added some goo to make it look more real.  I bought a bunch of light blue crepe paper (you can use normal streamers as well), and I rolled all of it, then I just cut smallish pieces with a pair of scissors, and unrolled them, to reveal uneven streamers, which made them look more ocean like, more rough. I hung them on the ceiling, from wall to wall, and a bunch on the entrance, like a curtain, so the guests would 'enter' Bikini Bottom.

I have this funny looking fish beanbag I got at Disneyland, and I hung it on the entrance, like 'peeking' through the streamers curtain. It looked really cute.  Made 'kelps' with green tulle; I cut the tulle in strips, and I shaped them with thin wire, and added green glitter paint, in lines all through the kelps, and added some touches of green cellophane to make them look wet.  I shaped them so they'd look as if the water was moving them. I twirled them in my staircase's banister, and on the chair and table legs.   Under my staircase, there's a sort of 'dark spot';  I didn't want to keep it that way, because it was ruining the deco, so I covered the walls under the staircase with black matte paper, turning said spot into a cave of sorts; I got 3 ping pong balls, and  cut them in halves,  and I coloured eye pupils with a black marker. Using a glue gun, I pasted these sets of 'eyes' to a piece of cardboard, the same size as the balls, and then I added some thin wire, to the cardboard; I hid the other ends of the wires behind the stairs themselves, sothe eyes looked as if they were floating in the cave, like an unknown creature was peeking from the dark. They looked really funny; they would've looked even better, if I had been able to put  christmas lights behind the  ball halves, so the eyes would've been more noticeable. 

I have this huge trunk in my room, so I put that on the entrance of the 'cave', and drew the eye pupils as if they were eagerly looking at the trunk, which contained the pinata, and the lootbags; I also decorated it with fake jewelry and some of the glittery sand I mentioned before.  I cut simple flower shapes (like orchids) on white paper, leaving a hole in the middle, and I shaped them with my finger, to bring them to 3-D shape; then, I painted spots and exotic  patterns using many colours, and I stuck them to small pieces of flower arrangement foam, by sticking a thin wire  through the hole. I curved the thin wire (again, molding with my hands), to shape it into a spiral, which I  painted gold, and added some crunchy gold glitter as well. Then, I sprayed the flower with the varnish, to make them look wet. I put these on the end of the banister, and on the coffee table, as details.  I have these huge windows on my livingroom, but I didn't want to close the curtains, coz it'd ruin the theme, so I had to decorate them as well. I had found (again, at a home store), a bunch of clear plastic small 'domes'; they were little, so I stuck them on the flat side to the whole window, and they looked like bubbles! I used the rest of the green cellophane I had to make a banner shaped like kelps, which I stuck to the lower part of the window, so it'd look like the ocean floor. 

I found yellow kitchen sponges on sale, so I got about 3, and I stuck doll eyes to them,  and painted their faces; with yellow pipecleaners, I made their limbs, and I stuck them all to the window as well, and made them look as if they were swimming.  Instead of hanging balloons, I got abag of blue balloons (make sure you get the pearled ones), and after inflating them, I scattered them all (about 50, which were enough for my living room) on the floor, thus covering our flour and making the illusion of sea and bubbles. The good part is that me and my friends enjoyed playing with the balloons, even when we were  sitting  on the couch. We invented a whole game with the balloons as we chit chatted in the couches.  We have a lot of framed pics here and there, and I didn't want to move all of them, so I taped some of the shows, and copied the fishie characters from the episodes, coloured them with crayons (to make things faster, I wanted to use acrylics at first), and replaced some people on the photos with said characters. This made for an interesting activity, as my friends realized that some of the people on the pictures didn't look quite like people! So it was like playing spot the fish, or the item or thing that didn't belong there. I also printed a Spongebob portrait, and made a bambu frame for it and put it on a visible place.  

For detail deco, getting small treasure chests, faux gems and pearls, and chocolate coins  are good!  For the little table lamps, I covered the upper hole in the lamp shades, with some blue  cellophane. Pretty blue lights!   The hanging lamps in my livingroom looked a bit like jellyfish to me, so I covered the  shades with dots made of pink cellophane, and I hung pink cellopahen streamers from them. With the blue ceiling streamers, they looked like floating jellyfish!  I covered the walls (small livingroom, don't worry, you can cover one main wall only) with cheap blue paper, but only until they met the celing streamers, thus marking the ocean's  surface. I cut curved shapes on the blue paper for the surface so they looked like waves. Then, I made some giant background flowers with paper of different colours (use the show for references on these flowes, but they're very simple).   I reproduced some of the main characters in coloured paper and coloured thin foam for the  walls, but you can do without that, they were pretty much a waste of time. I used them as guest banners, instead, so I made my friends sign the backs of those figures.  I marked the kitchen door with a rough looking stop sign, made out of red paper, with  rough letters painted in white  and borders covered in bambu sticks. (I got all my bambu for free, BTW, and I get student  discount at the supply store, so I made most of this deco for a very low price).  

As a centerpiece for the main table, I bought a pineapple (nothing wasted, we ate it during  the following days), I used some remainings of all the coloured paper, to make a door and windows for it,  making it look like Bob's house. I already had a can of pineapple, so I cut the slices into cubes, and made small kabobs with  them, arranged them on a plate in front of the pineapple house. For a funny effect, I took out a chunk from the pineapple house, and  drew a little standee of Spongebob looking horror-struck at the pieces of pineapple that were scattered around as kabobs, as if  they were taken from his house.  Since we have couches, I had like four chairs on the table only; I gather loads of spare cardboard and paper during the year (because of my major), so I used some of that, to create clam shaped pieces for the back of the chairs. I gave them a nice 3-D effect by blowing some purple dust with blopens. It was easy and fast and it looked good. I added glitter, too.  I had goten a Spongebob purse, shaped like a plush Bob, for the previous christmas, so I sat him on one of the couches. Everybody loved playing with it; hands down to the easiest  deco! 

I also made some shells and stars out of the spare coloured paper, and stuck those to the floor.  Fake sand: I built half a 'cone' with cardboard, then covered it in glue and covered that with the glittery sand and some glass stones and such. Then, mount your fake mini sand dune  to the chair legs or the couches, to make them look like they're on the beach.  Extras: I got a giant Spongebob mylar balloon and just had him floating around; sometimes it  was scary, specially when you caught a glimpse of it out the corner of your eye, you see this big floating  thing, it was scary.  Coffee table centerpiece: I got a smaller Patrick Star mylar balloon, the one that comes with a  stick, so I  made a piece out of the flower arrangement sponge, and stuck the balloon to it, and then I stuck  assorted colourful lollypops (the ones with bubblegum center); get a wholesale bag, they'll  always be wanting more of those; I thought that my friends wouldn't go for it coz we're all adults, but they did! They even fought over some of the flavors! Make sure you have plenty to chose from.   

MUNCHIES:  Have fruit pieces, sliced oranges and lemons, for drinks and beverages.  If you have Coke or Sprite, try perking them up with lemon juice!  Pink Lemonade and Shirley Temples (Sprite and grenadine) will do the colour trick.  Chips and dip.  Goldfish crackers.  Ka-Bobs, made out of cheese cubes on pretzel sticks  Krabby paties! We made hamburgers, with all the ingredients seen on the show. Everyone can make their own combo. Just put the patties in the buns, and bowls and plates with the rest of the  ingredients, like lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and cheddar. Don't forget the mayo and ketchup. I served them with chips, instead of fries, though (less work!)  Cake (mentioned above) and ice cream. I bought a bucket of ice cream, so they could each scoop their own, and layed out bowls of  M&Ms and Skittles, plus some dolphin shaped gummies I found. Also, whipped cream and strawberries. Let them make  their own desert!   

LOOTBAG:   I made little pouches out of bubble wrap. They sell it by the foot, and it's very cheap. Plus, they all get to play with them, by bursting the bubbles!  I tied them with raffia.  As favors, I put lots of bubblegum (I bought a wholesale box)  as an extra favor: the SB bible! I copied quotes from the show, and several pieces of Spongebob wisdom from different sites on the web; downloaded the Spongebob font, and printed small books that went in the lootbags.   Bought cheap small bubble wands, fizzy soap bars, assorted fruit candy, a pencil made out of some twisting material; they are very silly, and come in bright  colours. I gave one each.   Small sponges, shaped like sea life. If you can't find them, you can make them out of regular bath sponges.   Water balloons, colourful fruit gummies, an idea from this site: give away a 'Plankton' made from twinkie covered in green frost, use laffy taffy, m&ms et al to make the eyes, and pipecleaners for antennae and limbs; check the  net or the show for references. 

ACTIVITIES/CRAFTS:  I had the Spongebob game for Playstation, so we played that as people arrived, and then later  with my best friend, coz she slept over.   We played a lot with the scattered ballooons, made a tournament out of that.  Since we're all majoring in Graphic design, we played Pictionary. I'm glad I found something fit for us, it made it even more challenging and fun, since they all sketch very well, the kitchen sponges, and the Plankton made out of a twinkie, can be crafts, if you're having this party for kids; they can keep them after that.  An idea from this site: make your own hamburgers, out of chocolate chip cookies and candy! Use laffy taffy or fruit by the foot, mint wafers for the patty, and don't forget green  coconut for the lettuce!  ---don't forget to take pics! You'll want to remember this by. Lay out a couple of disposable  cameras, to allow the guests to take pics as well (I didn't mind, we all took photography class anyway, they'd all be good pictures :)   

PINATA:  Pinata (made it myself); he's square! It was really simple. Even a box will do, just get some crepe paper, coloured paper, white paper, and a marker. Really simple.  I printed the eyes, though, I worked up a system with a pull a string that doesn't  tear, without opening the box and not ripping poor SB; I made several and  gave a string to each, but only one of them opens the pinata.  Fill pinata  with gummies, worms (I single wraped them on cellophane),  starbusts, bite-size candy, gold coins, sea-themed sheets of stickers, fancy soap, one or two waterguns (they went crazy over these!), one or two big sponges, bouncing balls!! I added a bunch of lose small rubber balls (buy them by the bag); so  when the piƱata opened, they just went bouncing everywhere, it was quite a surprise.  Streamers (both packed and lose) conffetti!! I added tons of that, so it was quite surprising as well.  Chewable candy, always a fave. Extra water balloons.  Fish figurines.  A small pot of goo, everybody likes goo. 

MUSIC:  The Spongebob soundtrack is OK, but it only lasts like 8 minutes, so have some extra CDs  ready; all surf music is good, from The Ventures, to the Beach Boys, and even some pieces from the  California guitar trio, or similar; all surf oldies are the most fit for the theme, just watch the show and see for  yourself.   Now you know why it took me about 6 months to put this party together! but it was so worthy...of course, if you have a bigger budget than mine, you can take less time to do this...  ENJOY!!

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