a pirate party for harrison

What does every 4 year old boy love? Pirates, of course! When we asked Harrison what he wanted for his 4th birthday party we easily settled on a pirate theme, with a hint of Jake and the Neverland Pirates. His party falls at the end of July so I usually try to plan for it to be hot! Would you believe the day of the party was a breezy 70 degrees? Just gorgeous! So our bouncy house/water park for the kids turned into just a bouncy and slide day. I planned a couple games for them which can be seen below. I love seeing the kids faces light up when they start playing a game. Even the easiest games can entertain and create a sense of excitement when they win a prize.

The party planning started with a Zulily sale, obviously! Invites and paper products were the featured product from Meri Meri so I stocked up on invites, thank you’s, treat bags, a pirate center piece, a banner, plates & napkins and pirate hats (also found on Amazon).

pirate hat invites

pirate hat invites (photo from merimeri.com)

A pirate party isn’t complete with out dressing like a true pirate. I used a 6 ft. folding table and used a couple yards of red and white striped fabric as a table skirt. The top is covered with a long piece of grey and white striped wrapping paper. We had a selection of paper pirate hats, eye patches, giant pixie stick swords, compasses, muslin bags to fill with gold coins and pirate tattoos.

dress like a pirate table

dress like a pirate table

get yer pirate booty

get yer pirate booty

ahoy! pirate hats

ahoy! pirate hats

thar she blows

thar she blows

anchors away... pirate swords

anchors away… pirate swords

which direction... compasses

which direction… compasses

eye patches

eye patches

fishing... tattoos

fishing for tattoos

gold coins

gold coins

muslin bags for coins

muslin bags for coins

The sweets bar was fun to put together. I hung a nautical fishing net, found at Hobby Lobby, behind our dining room buffet. Then I covered the front of the buffet with a couple yards of burlap fabric. I also used an empty frame and hung two plastic swords from it for the backdrop. We had cupcakes, cookies, twizzlers, gold cannon balls (Ferrero Rocher truffles), gum balls, sour gummy worms and ring pops.

pirate sweets bar

shark bait and gold cannon balls

shark bait and gold cannon balls

cookies

cookies

pirate jewels & creepy crawlies

pirate jewels & creepy crawlies

anchor, swords & gum balls

anchor, swords & gum balls

My favorite part… the cookies. My husband’s aunt has been doing cakes for friends and family for years. This summer she decided to try out decorated sugar cookies. I told her our theme and she and her daughter ran with it. Julie & Anne blew me away when they dropped off dozens of perfectly decorated pirate cookies. They seriously looked better than any I have seen online and tasted just as good. We had pirate boy faces, skulls, number 4’s and gold coins with a ‘H’ for Harrison. I hope these pictures do them justice but they probably don’t. Just writing about them is making me crave them. Amazing is all I can say.

decorated cookies {4's, pirate faces & skulls}

decorated cookies {4’s, pirate faces & skulls}

cupcakes & cookies

cupcakes & cookies

gold coin cookies

gold coin H's

gold coin H’s

so many cookies

cookie tray

I loved this pirate ship centerpiece from Meri Meri on Zulily. Complete with little paper pirates and a drop anchor with gold chain.

pirate ship centerpiece

pirate ship centerpiece, cookies & treat bags

pirate ship

pirate ship

pirate plates and napkins

pirate plates and napkins

I was inspired by Miss Martha’s party cup garland game and created this little Pirate Pong game. A twist on this post on her blog. I thought it would be simple and fun for the age group of children we were having. And they loved it wanting to play again and again. Very simple to create with red solo cups and paper lunch bags. I used a stencil to cut out the letters for the cups and bags. Then put the ping pong balls in a glass jar with a Pirate Pong chalkboard to top it off.

pirate pong

pirate pong

Pirate banner from Meri Meri on Zulily.

pirate flag banner

pirate flag banner

Another simple game for the kids, we filled a few buckets with sand to dig for treasure: necklaces, rings & gold coins. They had a blast doing this and it lasted longer than I thought too.

treasure dig

Last year, I made my first piñata for Harrison’s 3rd birthday. In keeping with that tradition, I made a treasure chest piñata. So easy to make with a few simple supplies… cardboard, tissue paper, packing tape and ribbon. I like to make pull string piñatas for this age so we aren’t worried about a bunch of 2-4 years olds blindly swinging a bat. The best part is it is practically free except for the candy filler.

treasure dig

treasure chest piñata

One of the biggest hits with the kids were the jello pirate ships.

jello pirate ships

jello pirate ships

It’s not a party without the cake… 0ne afternoon I was browsing thru various Jake and pirate cakes and Harrison peeked over my shoulder and requested a pretty elaborate Jake cake that also had Captain Hook and an island with the other Jake characters. So after plan A, which is plan Aunt Amy makes the awesome cake, didn’t work out we went to plan B, make a grocery store cake look awesome. My husband, Scott, was the brains behind this project because I was in my ‘party freak out mode’. Not pretty. The day before the party we purchased a white quarter size sheet cake and a round double layer coconut cake. I had also picked up some Jake & friends and Hook & ship characters at Target. We dyed a jar of white icing blue and spread it over both cake tops to create the ocean. On the round cake we spread crumbled graham crackers to create a little island then put Jake, Cubby and Izzy on top with a ‘#4’ candle and a couple pirate flags. For the Hook cake, we simply put the ship with hook and his alligator on top. Then created a pile of cannon balls with 4 black gum balls. I did this in 2 spots to fill some of the empty space. I also used the gum balls around the base of the cake. I think it created a tougher look for the Hook cake since he is usually up to no good. I also put 2 flags in the corners and used 4 taller birthday candles. Harrison was pretty impressed with his cake when he saw it the morning of the party. Mommy and Daddy were pretty proud of our skills too.

easy jake cake diy

easy jake cake diy

jake and friends

jake, cubby & izzy

hook and ship

captain hook and ship

I created a simple pirate wreath for the front door. I used a wreath form and wrapped it in a wide burlap ribbon then wrapped a black pirate skull ribbon over the burlap. I evenly spaced the skull ribbon and used an additional piece to hang the wreath.

pirate wreath

And the shark park bouncy house kept the little ones entertained.

shark park bouncy house

shark park bouncy house

That’s it – A cool July Pirate 4th Birthday Party! If you have any questions about what I made or where I purchased something feel free to ask in the comments below.

Sources:

Muslin bags & striped treat bags: Pick Your Plum

Invites, thank you’s, treat bags, banner, pirate ship centerpiece, pirate hats, plates, napkins, cupcake wrappers and toppers:  Meri Meri purchased on Zulily.

Eye patches, plastic swords & tattoos: Target party section

Pirate buckets: Target clearance after easter

Pixie stick swords: Sam’s club and diy

Compasses, gold coins, fishing net backdrop, silver anchor, pirate ship, empty wood frame, mini suitcases, mini chalkboards: Hobby Lobby

Red & white stripe fabric and burlap fabric: Jo-ann Fabrics

Grey & white stripe wrapping paper: Homegoods

White tiered tray and Silver tiered tray: Pottery Barn outlet

Chip board words: Michaels-dollar section

Vintage glass bottles: my own stash

Photography by Heidi on Park.

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2 Responses to a pirate party for harrison

  1. Grandma T. October 15, 2013 at 2:45 pm #

    The decorations were amazing, and the cakes were top notch! The kids, and adults, had a great time!

  2. Aunt Lisa October 16, 2013 at 10:48 am #

    This was such a great theme for a party, Heidi. Everything was so adorable, and such great ideas for a 4 year old ‘s party. Great job!

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