Idea No.


Luau Party 1yr - Make your Lei & Flowers



February 2008


Rebecca in Colbert WA USA

Special Mention

Tropical Hawaiian Luau

For our youngest son we had a luau for his first birthday.  This theme worked great for a large crowd- with all of our family and friends we had 54 people (plus the 4 in our immediate family). 

I made blue invitations with waves embossing on them- I used 2 stamps, the first was a picture of 5 surfboards stuck into the sand, each with a letter on it to spell ALOHA, the second stamp said Surf's up let's party!".  On the inside we printed out all of the party info and glued the paper inside.  It said: Hau'oli La Hanau Kaleki  (Happy Birthday Garrett)  Aloha all your beachcombers!  Hula on over to  XXXXXX  for Garrett's 1st birhday- It's a luau so wear your finest Hawaiian attire.  We hope to see you Aug. 20th at 5pm.  There was a fun font that I used and I cut the edges of the computer paper with some deckle scissors before gluing it in. 

For decorations we used yellow plastic tablecloths and the  picnic table clips to hold the tablecloth had silk hibiscus flowers on them.  We had a 2 tables for the food palm trees and fish.  We hung a couple of fish mobiles in the trees and used fish netting to decorate some walls.  The party was outside so there were some limitations on what we could decorate.  As our guests arrived we had a mix of Hawaiian music and the Beach Boys playing in the background.  I found a wooden sign at Dollar Tree that was a Hawaiian print shirt with a hanging part that said Welcome we hung that by the front door. 

Everyone was greeted with a lei at the door- shells for the men cloth flowers for the women and those plastic-y ones for the kids.  Some of the kids requested the nicer ones- if they did I gave them the nicer ones but most didn't seem to care.  I bought the plastic ones 7 for $1 at the Dollar Tree- fabric ones we found at Walmart 3 for $1 and the shell ones actually came from Hawaii- my sister went in May and I asked her to get some there 3 for $1.  Also as people arrived I gave them all name tags with their names written ragularly and in Hawaiian.  You can look them up on .  This was a fun thing because we all struggled trying to figure out how to say our names and since it was such a large group I didn't feel so bad if I was slacking on the introductions!! 

For food we had crock pots full of pulled pork the kind you can buy in the tubs with the sauce already on it- we choose honey BBQ.  It was much easier than having a roast pig but still gave you the idea of it.  We also had fruit kabobs- pineapple strawberries and grapes on skewers.  We had a pina colada fruit dip to go with them.  We also had sweet and sour meatballs with pineapple in another crock pot and the Hawaiian sweet onion chips.  I also had a bowl set out of these Ocean Creatures goldfish type crackers that I found and we had a meat and cheese platter that we used sailboat toothpicks to make a pupu (appetizer) platter.  I really lucked out finding some platters and bowls with hibiscus floweres on some and palm trees on others.  (And I got to keep all of them!)  I also found some small metal sand buckets to put the untesils in.  I made up the little packets where you roll up the untesils in a napkin.  I used a wheel type stamp that had flip flops on it and made the paper wraps to hold it all together.

For dessert we had fish shaped frosted sugar cookies blue with sparkly sprinkles and tropical flavored popsicles.  For the cakes we made a pineapple upside down cake and a 9 by 13 sheet cake.  On the sheet cake we frosted it blue but had not mixed in all the way so some white frosting still showed.  We really put it on thick and made waves.  At one end there was the beach- frosted brown with ground up grahamn cracker crumbs for sand.  We used a plastic palm tree from one of our dinosaur sets and I made a hut.  The hut was great I used a yogurt container and glued toothpicked all around it.  The roof was a little tricky because I wanted it to overhang the side of the building but be kind of pointed on the top- it took several days to finish the hut because I could only put a section on the roof at a time then wait for it to dry.  We used a black Sharpie to color in a door and window.  It was very impressive looking I will admit. We prescooped the ice cream- only fruity flavors- we had strawberry and a rainbow sherbert.  Or people could have popsicles. 

For the kids activities I kept them simple since the birthday boy was only one.  We had a table set up where the kids could make their own leis- We used yarn the I had precut and put masking tape on one end the make the threading easier for the kids.  Then we used neon colored straws that I cut into 1 inch pieces and I cut out hundreds of flowers from all colors of construction paper.  So you just alternated a flower and a straw until the necklace was full.  We also had an area to make your own tissue paper flowers- I cut tissue paper into 6 x 6 squares and you layer 4 pieces- fan fold them and put a pipe cleaner around the center.  Then you cut the ends to round the paper unfold and fluff the paper for a flower.  These were good activites-  a lot of the parents were still eating but the kids could work on them by themselves- it was actually cute because the bigger kids were helping the smaller kids.  We also have a big play structure and a tree house that has a zipline coming out of it.  Those are always used at any outdoor function we have at our house!  We also had a pull string  fish pinanta.  It worked out so that most of the kids got a string and they all just pulled at once!  What chaos!  It was great. 

For the party favor bags I gave each of the kids a bucket that came with a shovel.  They each also got a sand mold neon colored hibiscus printed pinwheels plastic jumping frogs tropical fish sticker sheets and a bottle of bubbles.  I will caution you that it was hard to have the buckets- they are really big and I was struggling to fill them without spending a fortune!!  I happened upon a clearance rack for the sand molds (25 cents each) and that filled up a big space!  I also went with the full size bottles of bubbles.  They were actually cheaper to buy in bulk and took up more room than the mini bottles.  For the food part of the favor "buckets" they got Finding Nemo fruit snacks and individual packs of Goldfish crackers.  Everyone got to keep the leis also and we had a bunch a extra hibiscus pinwheels- lots of adults took them of the way out!! 

For the thank you notes I used a really big fish stamp and lots of bright colored paper- on the inside we wrote: Mahalo thanks for helping me celebrate.  Your gift was "fin-tastic" and I had flip flop stickers to decorate the envelopes.  This was a really fun party- I really wanted to have a luau at some point and since I ended up with no daughters I felt like I needed to have this one right away!!  You can't have a luau without a bunch of floweres and you can't get away with flowers at a big boy party!!  We had a blast!     "

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