Friday, February 7, 2020

'Toy Story' DIY Birthday Party

I am all about having fun birthday parties on a budget.  Creating memories and making it magical without buying a bunch of stuff that ends up getting tossed a day later.  Not to mention, I find joy in creating so having a big outlet for it makes me happy.  That's why I've blogged about birthday parties time and time again.  Here's a few from the past:

Book theme
Big Adventure [girl]
Construction theme
Tutus & Tools [girl]

For the first time ever, one of my kiddos actually wanted a cartoon-based theme: Toy Story.  Our house has become TS obsessed so it was no surprise to me (we dressed up as TS characters for Halloween too *here's a photo of us*) and I knew that it was going to be a fun and easy theme since it's such a common/popular one.  Pinterest has lots of ideas, a few in which I did but I also added a few that are new. So scroll on down and hopefully be inspired to create your own Toy Story party with almost all DIY elements!

[Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links to products I used in my projects.  Purchasing through these links earns me a small commission at no extra charge to you. Thank you for supporting my blog.]

Let's talk decor, food and my favorite- activities! First up...


The easiest way to decorate the walls for a Toy Story party is of course- Clouds!  It's a classic symbol from the movies and all you need is white paper. I also (very last minute) made an etch-a-sketch design on a white board and hung it up to add something else to the wall.  Looking back I wish I would have added red paper around the outside to make it look more real, but it was a late night, last minute thought.  You win some, you lose some.

Using some miniature toys that were too small for table decor and my son's little letterboard, I made it look like Buzz put together a special message just for him:

I also made some cardboard blocks and painted them to spell out my son's name.  These were surprisingly time consuming so if you are going to do them, start early!

As for the table decorations, I separated them into themes a little:

Grab a collection of "Toy Story" toys like Woody, Buzz, Rex, etc. and stack them on tables with books and blocks.  We didn't own any of these toys a the time (he got them that day as gifts!)  but a friend of mine let me borrow everything from her.  Thank goodness for friends!

On one table I did Woody & Rex with books and blocks and hung "Woody themed" colored balloons above it.  On another table I did Buzz Lightyear with some cars (and of course the Pixar ball!) and hung Buzz colored balloons over it. It's all about positioning here- see how his foot is propped up on a block and he's holding the ball?  You don't need to spend a lot of money, you just need to get creative!

On both the Buzz table and our third table (with a Chatter phone from Toy Story 3- found that at a yard sale!) I ran a long roll of white paper down the center of the table and placed cups full of crayons on it so that guests could doodle while they enjoyed the party!

While the paper & crayons is sort of an activity, I have 2 even more fun ones coming up.  But first, let's talk...


Over the years I have come to the conclusion that the easier the better. I used to plan a ton of interesting foods and it stresses me out.  This year, I ran with the "Pizza Planet" theme from Toy Story and ordered pizza for pickup! Best idea ever.  Just pick it up and bring it home.  If you can find a Pizza Planet Truck toy, set it next to the boxes for instant decor.  If not, even print out a photo of the PP logo and put that next to it.

I also placed a Mr. Potato head next to bags of "Potato" chips (again... so easy!) and made fruit kabobs with the card "You've got a friend in me" (you know, because the fruit is all hanging out together like friends- ha!)  Lastly I made a green drink "LGM (Alien) Juice" and sweet tea (labeled "to infiniTEA and beyond)

We also made cupcakes and placed them on the "Blast off Rocket Cupcake Stand" (I got mine from Party City for $6 and it's so sturdy I saved it for future use!).  The frosting is just blue, purple and green mixed together in an icing bag (Buzz Lightyear colors) and topped with the same colored sprinkles (I think I found them at Walmart).

My son had a very specific idea for his cake- asking for a picture of Woody on one side, Buzz on the other and it to look like a galaxy on the side.   Since I have zero artistic skill, I used a transfer technique similar to this, except I only piped the outline instead of making it entirely filled in.  On the sides, I started like I was doing an ombre icing and let it mix together some before adding Wilton Galaxy Sprinkles (a little pricey but worth it. They are cool and we are still using them up!)

I wish I would have used a transfer for the words too but I clearly overestimated my handwriting skills too. My son didn't care, so that's what matters.

Now onto my favorite part:


There are lots of 'Build a Forky' kits in stores & online but the character is chip board instead of an actual 3D utensil so I didn't like that idea.  Instead, we created our own.  On a table I laid out plastic forks & spoons, googly eyes, some sharpie markers (to draw the rest of the face), pipe cleaners, some generic play dough & cut apart craft sticks for the feet.  On a long piece of paper I wrote out the steps on how to build it (just for fun since it's pretty self explanatory) and set up a letterboard displaying the activity as well as a little embroidery I made previously:

[Photo from my Instagram page. Please follow me for more fun crafts!]

This was a fun little activity for people to do together!

Look at those great Forkies!

Then of course, was my big project for the birthday- a custom handmade Toy Story 'Face-in-Hole' (see my post on how to make it HERE).  My son specifically requested this and I knew I could make it.  It ended up being really fun for me to do and we still play with it every day 3 months later!

Lastly, my son had asked for a claw machine but seeing as I was already making the face-in-hole I thought that wasn't an option.  Then we remembered that his grandpa had a small one at his home.  In typical grandparent fashion, when we mentioned it, he spent a good amount of time making sure that it worked with individual bags of gummies per the birthday boy's request. (these kids are so spoiled aren't they? hehe) Needless to say, the kids loved playing it! Thanks grandpa!

Lastly, we whipped up this "Birthday Buzz" shirt, designed by the birthday boy himself (with some help from mommy!) using our Silhouette Cameo and heat-transfer vinyl:

I hope you've enjoyed seeing all the fun elements from our Toy Story birthday party and are feeling inspired to make your own. Some ideas are easier (or faster) than others but are all DIY and totally fun for a kids' party! Which is your favorite part? Don't forget to follow me on Instagram!


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