Billiards Party -8yr- Pool Table Cake
Janet in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
For my son's 8th birthday, we decided to do a billiards party with an appropriate 8 ball" theme. We live in a condo and our unit is too small for a party. The last few years I have rented the party room but asked if I could use just the game room for a couple of hours which is free of charge. My son has been playing pool with my husband since he was about 3 years old so he was very excited to show off to his friends. This party would be even better if you have a pool table in your home but this worked out just fine for us.
INVITATIONS: We made these using green cardstock for the base cut in a square. It was slightly smaller than 5" square as the only square envelopes I could find were 5". I then cut a black triangle (the rack) as large as I could fit on the front and rounded the 3 corners. Then I punched out 15 circles in the colors of billiard balls and glued them in the rack. Solids only no stripes and no numbers on them. The center ball was black and had a white sticky 8 in the center. This was stuck in the center spot of the rack and raised a little using a sponge dot. All the details were printed on white paper and adhered inside as the green was too dark to print directly on. They came out super cute!
DECORATIONS: As billiards decorations are impossible to find we went with lots of green (for the pool table) and black (for the 8 ball). We blew up tons of balloons in the colors of the balls and made several HUGE bouquets. Each one had a prominent black balloon with a large 8 in the center. The 8's were done on my friends cricut using sticky white sheets. The room isn't very big and there were six bouquets so it made a huge impact. The food and cake tables were covered with brown plastic table cloths and then I put a very wide runner of green felt from the fabric store. They were to resemble pool tables and looked pretty good. I then cut out several large colored circles with a circle punch and scattered them on the table to resemble the pool balls. There wasn't a formal eating area just a seating area with a couple of couches but this worked as I only had 7 kids. I covered the coffee table with a green plastic cloth and bought black plates cups and napkins. I added a white sticky 8 on the cups.
ACTIVITIES: When the kids arrived I had them decorate a visor for themselves using fabric paint and foam stick ons. My husband then spent about 45 min showing the kids how to play and giving them tips and pool etiquette. He explained a few different terms (snooker pocket etc.) and we used this later for a quiz.
GAMES: While they played my husband did a couple of little games with them. Closest shot to the 8 ball corner to corner sink and a few others he made up as he went along. While the kids were eating we did a quiz about some of the terms they just learned and the first one to shout the right answer received a gold coin. Each one ended up with several coins. After they ate we had a quick game of "pin the 8 ball". I used a large green poster board and similar to the invites I centered a large black "rack" and adhered 14 large colored circles to represent the balls and left the center spot empty. I then had several black circles cut (with an 8 in the middle and sticky tape on the back) that the kids were to try to get in the center while blind folded. They then spent about another 30 minutes playing more pool.
COSTUMES: This theme didn't warrant any costumes so we didn't have any ourselves or ask anyone to dress up.
PARTY FOOD: We had pizza veggie tray and watermelon for the main meal. Water juice and root beer for drinks. While the kids were playing I had placed a few large bowls on the coffee table with cheese balls popcorn and chips. I gave them each a black cup (with an 8 of course!)to scoop up and eat the snacks. This helped them move around the table and such while they played. They got silly and started combining all three! On the food table I also had a few items I made. Pretzel rods dipped half way in chocolate and colored sprinkles (cue sticks!) chocolate dipped oreos with a number 8 piped on donut holes on sticks and dipped in colored candy coating to resemble pool balls. Since all 3 items were store bought all I did was melt and dip. It really wasn't a lot of work. I also made rice crispie squares my son's favorite!
CAKE: I made this billiard table cake starting with a chocolate 9 x 13 which I double layered with chocolate buttercream in the center. I frosted the top smooth with green (vanilla) the sides with chocolate and piped chocolate around the top and bottom edge. I then placed six oreos on top for the pockets. I made a rack with black shoestring licorice and filled in with gumballs. I had a white gumball separate at the other end and a pretzel rod cue stick. I dipped the pretzel about a third in chocolate for the handle and then just the tip in blue for the chalk. It was super easy to make and came out really cute.
FAVORS: I had large green plastic beer cups left over from another party so I used those to hold the favors. I put a little black tissue in the bottom and had one each of the dipped pretzel cue sticks oreo 8 balls and donut holes in each cup. I added a few more edible treats like gumballs black shoestring licorice (I had a ton left over from the cake) a package of Aero Bubbles some tootsie midgies and a York pattie. My son and I made each guest a pool table book mark to go in. We used a rectangle of brown cardstock centered with a slightly smaller green piece then a black rack and the pool balls. Then we added a brown cardstock cue stick and punched a hole at the top and added black ribbon. On the back we printed "Philip's 8 ball birthday bash" and the date. The cups were covered in clear basket wrap and tied with black ribbon. We attached a large black cardstock circle with a white 8 in the middle (again using the cricut)and my son wrote a thank you on the back of each with a silver pen. Although this party had a grown up theme the kids had a blast and think they are all "pool sharks" now! Adult supervision and instruction is definitely needed at this age as so the table does not get scratched. My husband made that pretty clear to them right off the start. This was the cheapest party I have ever thrown and probably the best! Now I just have to figure out how to top it next year!"