Tuesday, June 12, 2012

An Angry Birds Birthday Party in Hawaii

On a recent visit to Lydgate, my son became rather enchanted with the sheer amount of driftwood available on the beach. While we were there, we built a fort, played guns and then I got an idea…. I said to my son, “Hey, we could make Angry Birds slingshots for your birthday with all this driftwood.” The next thought was, “Did I just say that out loud?”  Definitely a good idea in my little four year old’s mind. Luckily, his birthday was over two months away.

We collected for an hour and returned home with a booty of wood in the trunk and a theme for his birthday party. The birthday party was hit with all the kids. Here’s how it did it.

How to make Angry Birds Slingshots:


I employed dad to cut the excess lengths of the wood and make a simple and fairly even “Y” shaped branch. Meanwhile, I cut a piece of suede for the sling and punched a hole in either end. I looped fat rubber bands through each hole and then tied a second rubber band on the first to hold it to the wood. Mind you, these are for children, so they are not perfect, but they will sling the birds.

How to make Angry Birds Beanbags:

We would have to shoot some sort of Angry Bird from the slingshot, some sort of beanbag. Felt would be our best bet. The birds are round and triangular, and these shapes are pretty easy. I traced circles onto the felt with chalk using a water glass. Then I sewed them together using a ¼” hem leaving about an inch to fill up the beanbag with rice. After filling with rice, I sewed them shut. I used fabric glue to glue the simple bird faces on….

Lesson one: fabric glue doesn’t work too well on felt, it is too porous. I spent some time searching for “how to glue felt” on the internet. Most solutions involved ordering glue from the mainland, and I was running out of time. I mentioned it to a friend of mine who used to work in a costume shop. She recommended hot glue and it worked like a charm!

How to make the Angry Birds Piñata:

No child’s birthday party is complete without a piñata. Again, I spent some time looking for piñata instructions and came across this post: Kai’s Angry Bird Piñata. I wanted a rounder bird so I used a blow-up beach ball instead of a balloon. I then spent night after night shredding newspaper and gluing the paper mache. I used one part flour to five parts water for the glue and ended up using eight layers as suggested. Luckily, for the first four layers, my son wanted to help and it was a good project to let him get his hands…and feet…and legs, and everything dirty. We sat on a plastic tablecloth on the floor, so it was easy to clean up the mess. The only problem is that paper mache doesn’t always dry over night in a humid climate.

Once the last layer was dry, I put duck tape on either side of the piñata where I would put zip ties to hang it. Then I used Gesso to cover the newsprint before I began painting the bird. I left the eyes white and used two coats of red for the body. I painted card stock orange for the beak and attached with glue and tape. I filled it with candy, Angry Bird Stickers , Angry Birds Tattoos , and Angry Birds Rings (that I bought on Amazon) and put it in a trash bag to keep the critters out.

How to make Angry Birds Cupcakes:

This was a real challenge in Hawaii. First and foremost, it is hot here and the problem is that frosting melts. I decided to frost the cupcakes the night before and refrigerate, but the faces began to melt off the birds before I could even get them in the fridge.

Lesson Two: When making cupcakes in Hawaii, clean out your fridge first. Refrigerate your frosting after adding the dye. Then use refrigerated frosting to frost the cupcakes. This gives you a little more time. While it goes without saying, always frost cool cupcakes.

Before I began, I knew I would have to move fast, so I prepped the licorice eyebrows by cutting it into small pieces and slicing it down the center with kitchen scissors. I cut mini marshmallows in half for the eyes and pressed candy corn into the cake for the beak. Do you have any idea how hard it was to find candy corn in Hawaii in June?

With cupcakes in the fridge, candy in the piñata, and slingshots and beanbags done, it was time to Party!

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