Knight Party 5yr - Royal Cardboard Castle
Carrie in Fort Ransom, ND Ransom County
June 2003 Winner
For my son's fifth birthday party: My son wanted a "Knight" Birthday Party. I wanted this party to be very special so I decided to make costumes for each of the children. Some of the children, including Bailey's brother were very young (1 1/2) and some were up to 7 years old. We had twelve children invited.
Bailey, was the Dragon Slayer. I bought his costume through the Birthday Party Express Website, complete with visor, sword shield and cape. For the 7 year old knight, I made a tunic out of red felt with a yellow fleur de lis and red belt with attached scabbard. Attached to the tunic was a "chain mail" hood that was detachable, which was made of a silver sequined fabric that did not need to be hemmed. For the 4 year old knight, I used the cape that I ordered from BPE as a pattern. It had a red felt collar and a silver sequined cape with a "chain mail" hood that was attached. For 6 year old royal wizard, I made a long cape and hat out of blue suit lining and silver lame' appliques of stars and moons. My husband helped out by making a "wizard's staff" out of a twisted tree branch and a carved "crystal" styrofoam ball (like Gandalf's on the LOTR). For the Royal Explorer I made a green tunic with a red fleur de lis applique'. There was a brown belt wrapped around the tunic which held a compass, a telescope and a small plastic knife. The explorer's hat was a big brown spanish style (think Christopher Columbus) with a large red plume.
There were 3 girls ages 4, 6, and 7: Each girl received a silk pointed princess hat with a flowing train made out of sparkly organza. The hats were easy to make using fusible webbing and just straight seams on the sewing machine. Each girl also received a "royal scepter" made out of a wooden dowel and a beaded wire star shape on the top with ribbons trailing down to match their hats. Each girl's hat was a different color. Pink, Lavender and Yellow. Because of the cost of making dresses would have been very high, I asked the parents of the girls to let their children wear "princess dresses" to the party on the invitation in parenthesis at the bottom. There were 4 boys all under 2 years of age: Each was a "royal jester" Red and Gold Jester hats, with bells on the ends were given to the boys as well as a small "rattle" a dowel with a styrofoam ball attached to the top which was wrapped in red cotton fabric with little tiny bells attached and had small little gold ribbons that trailed down from the handle. They were adorable!
Invitations were printed from the computer onto yellow parchment paper, I edged each page by hand with a gold marker pen to make them look "Royal" Each child's invitation was folded twice. The back was 1/2 of the page and the top was folded 1/4 and the bottom was folded 1/4. The invitations were addressed on the back as "Lady Brianna of Nielsen" "Royal Princess". They read:Hear Ye! Hear Ye! Noble Knights and Ladies Fair are invited for feasting and festivities to honor Sir Bailey of Mennis' Fiftth Birthday (with the date and time following) at Sir Bailey's Castle. Ladies, wear your gowns. Knights, wear your swords and prepare to do battle with an evil dragon. Each invitation was wrapped in a green iredescent ribbon and sealed with wax. We hand delivered the invitations. The kids were so excited! For table decorations, we had a silver tablecloth with little jewels attached. Bailey's Fischer Price Magic Castle was the centerpiece on the main table, with a stuffed wizard on the other table. We had purchased 20 acrylic goblets at a paper store and hot glued little jewels to the sides for each child's drink. Instead of buying "knight" place settings, we just used gold paper plates and napkins to keep the cost down.
This was an outdoor party on approximately 2 acres so we had a lot of area to decorate. I picked up 5 boxes from an appliance warehouse near my employer, which my husband and I designed into a castle complete with a working drawbridge, two turrets and a dungeon in the back. We just left the castle the brown color of the cardboard, but I did cave in and paint the drawbridge red. Below the windows that were cut into the castle, I hung banners that I had made from felt with gold fleur de lis and Bailey's name embroidered in the center in purple thread. I also made banners for the front of the house. Inside the castle, from an overhanging tree branch, we hung the dragon pinata. We have a fence in front of our yard, which we stuck alternating red yellow and purple flags in the tops of the posts, which looked very festive also. When the children arrived at the party, Each child was dressed up in their costume and a digital camera was used to take their picture. Then each child was seated at the table and served their royal meal. The royal meal consisted of corndogs "meant to look like turkey legs" A bowl of jello jigglers jewels, I used an easter egg shaped mold for strawberry, blueberry, orange and assorted colors of jello and just placed them in a crystal bowl. We also had good ole french fries just because the kids like them! For the punch, I used a green sherbet recipe, which we called "Dragon's Bane Potion".
For the cake, I bought a castle cake pan online and just made a chocolate cake decorated with tons of colored icing, using a pampered chef cake decorator, It took a long time to frost with all the different colors, so I would probably recommend purchasing a cake, if you don't want to spend two to three hours frosting and mixing up frosting! When everyone was done eating their meal, we started playing games.
The first game included every child and we called it "Slaying the Dragon". My husband "the dragon" took the girls away to the dungeon and accidentally left behind a secret map which detailed where the "dragon's eggs" were located. For the Dragon Eggs, I found a recipe online made out of 2 1/2 cups flour, 2 1/2 dirt, 1 cup sand, 1 1/2 cups salt and water. You mix all the dry ingredients together and then add water until the mixture sticks together. I placed plastic eggs inside each one with little jewels and gold inside of them and a plastic dinosaur figure. The eggs take about 4 days to dry, so you have to think ahead and start a week before hand. The kids then have to keep the eggs as a bribe to get back the princesses out of the castle. The explorer gets the map. The knights get to rush the castle gates once the eggs are found.
The princesses get to play a little game in the dungeon while waiting for their rescue. The dragon comes out of the castle and the kids give him the eggs, which are placed inside the castle. But the dragon won't give up the princesses! So the wizard thinks up a spell and defeats the dragon. Then the princesses are freed and the kids each get to crack open one dragon egg and keep the treasures inside. Then we had the kids slay the dragon pinata and keep the candy and toys inside. After this we let the kids play for about a half hour and then asked everyone to come to the tables to open gifts.
Each child got to present the birthday knight with the gift. After all the gifts were opened, we had the birthday boy thank each child by dubbing them royal friends of the kingdom. Instead of giving out toys and candy for favors, I made each child a cookie bouquet. It consisted of a styrofoam base wrapped in cellophane wrap and star, moon, dragon and castle shaped painted sugar cookies on popsicle sticks and wrapped in decorative wrap. Attached to each cookie bouquet is a royal thank you note, written by the dragon slayer himself.
The party lasted about two hours and was a whirlwind, but my son will never forget it! Each kid took home their costume, little dragon toy and candy from the pinata and a cookie bouquet. We sent out seperate thank yous about a week later with a copy of the digital picture of each child inside so that the parents could put it on the refrigerator. I spent about $125 dollars on all the fabric, food and decorations. I spent a large amount of time designing and making the costumes and the castle. Time was the biggest obstacle! It was worth it to see the happy look on Bailey's face.