Start Your Engines! – A Monster Truck Party

If you would have told me 10 years ago that not only would I have planned, but also thoroughly enjoyed a monster truck party, I would have said you were crazy…but here I am, a mom of a now three year old boy, and an accomplished party planner of a Demo Derby Monster Truck Birthday Party!!! What a crazy boy mom’s world it has become!

Carson with his monster truck cake

My little boy, Carson, is now three and all he has wanted to talk about for the last few months has been monster trucks! More specifically, Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live and their Demo Derby monster truck. We took Carson to his first monster truck show in April and it has consumed his sweet little noggin’ ever since. The tricky part for me was the fact that Demo Derby is a new monster truck, so finding anything in regards to party supplies or toys for Demo Derby, was almost impossible. I say almost, because although there weren’t any items to purchase, that didn’t stop me from creating some personalized items for his party with his favorite monster truck!

All together, it was a fairly easy party to pull off and I had several projects that cost little to no money at all! Hello!!! I love a FREE project that can get rid of some of the craft supplies I have been hoarding all these years!

So let’s crash into this party and I will show you what I did…

For decorations, I kept it simple with some plastic race flag bunting strung up around the fence. It was super cheap for 100 FT and it made a big visual impact around our yard. I printed up some fun “SPEED LIMIT 3” signs for to place around the entrances. For all the food and other signage, I simply grabbed an image of diamond plate and used it along with the image of Demo Derby and viola we had a monster truck party!

For invites, I went with an easy texted invite, “FREE” and honestly, it was so much less stressful than printing/mailing and it still got the theme across to the guests. I found an image of Demo Derby online, so Carson was excited and it was easy to add for other elements of the party.

Demo Derby monster truck invite

I found these super cool tire drinking cups that my husband and I were even excited about, so we knew the kids were going to love them! I took the Demo Derby image from the invites and placed an order for stickers thru StickerMule. They had a promo going for 10 stickers, only $1. With shipping/tax it ended up costing $5.34, but I think it was totally worth it! For the back side I used a sheet of orange vinyl and cut circles with my Cameo Silhouette machine and it was great for writing each kid’s name with a Sharpie, so they wouldn’t get lost during the party. The kids loved them and Carson will continue to use his as long as he can! :O)

Monster truck tire cups with custom stickers
Carson with his cool tire cup
Drink station with lemonade labeled as “anti-freeze”

We kept the them of party going with a drink dispenser of lemonade labeled “antifreeze” and the food had fun names too… I cut hot dogs into spirals, which was something I had been wanting to try for a while and now we may not be able to serve hot dogs any other way! You simply take a wooden skewer and run it thru the center of the hot dog, length-wise. Then place it flat on the counter and run a knife at an angle, down the length of the hot dog, as you roll it away from you. Remove the skewer before grilling and when they come off the grill they are fun spiraled hot dogs, or “Shredded Tires!” Cheeseballs were “headlights”, Chex Mix was “Nuts & Bolts”, chocolate-covered donuts were “Spare Tires”, and I made a simple pasta salad using wheel shaped pasta for some “Wheelie” Good Pasta Salad!” 

Monster truck themed food
Shredded tires (hot dogs), headlights (cheese balls), “wheelie” good pasta salad
Nuts & bolts (Chex Mix), spare tires (chocolate-covered donuts)

For a fun cake, I stacked two sizes of cake to get four-layers. The best part of making a monster truck cake try to look like dirt is that you don’t have to be neat! Messy is ok! I used some homemade chocolate buttercream, ground up Oreos as dirt, and chopped Whoppers as boulders. I made a custom racing flag bunting by printing out on Lazer paper, cut out, threaded and tied to wooden skewers to make a fun topper. Adde some smash cars and monster trucks, and it was a hit! I always make a couple batches of cupcakes and kept them simple this time with just black liners, cream cheese icing and orange sugar sprinkles.

Monster truck cake and cupcakes

As far as the kids at the party, ages ran from 2 years old up to 11. A rather large range, but the activities seemed to keep everyone happy. First, was a simple bean bag toss, consisting of some inexpensive inflatable tire floats and monster truck themed bean bags (which were previously made for a racing party for one of my bonus-sons several years ago). Another “FREE” item! :O)

Monster truck tire bean bag toss game

A simple and super cheap project was creating a monster truck arena in Carson’s sandbox. I found an orange pool noodle for $2 at Michael’s craft store, I had to spend a little more to find an orange one :O) but all for the love of a color-coordinated party right! I used a bread knife to slice it up into rings and cut length-wise for more of the stunts. For the row of “speed bumps” I decided to hot glue the pool noodle to some scrap wood we had, so they would stay spaced out and in a line. It was fun for the little ones and something that Carson can continue to play with in the sandbox until he gets tired of it.

Monster truck arena in the sandbox

I also set up a monster truck tire painting table. Equipped with kid’s washable finger paint incase things got crazy, a roasting pan from the Dollar Store for the loading of paint, an older monster truck we already had for the rolling of paint, some heavy art paper, some old t-shirts for those messy artists that needed to cover up their outfits, and some wipes and paper towel for cleanup. Super easy and Carson was super excited about painting with a monster truck!

Monster truck tire painting
Carson’s masterpiece :O)

My favorite project for the party, the one that cost me NOTHING AT ALL, was the monster truck photo prop. I used an empty IKEA box for the structure and covered it with some orange and black spray paint we had lying around in the garage. I used aluminum foil for the grill of the truck, along with some black electrical tape for the lines. For the headlights, I used small dessert paper plates we had from a previous party, sprayed with black spray paint on the bottom since that would be the side shown and aluminum foil for the “lights”. For the steering wheel, I simply spray painted a cardboard circle black, and used layers of aluminum foil and cut up black paper plates for the details to make it look like an actual steering wheel. To hide the kids’ feet so they looked like they were driving, I added some green heavyweight art paper I had in my craft stash to the back side of the truck and then the whole thing was placed in the yard with some metal supports hammered into the ground, to give it a fighting chance with all the kids! :O) I have to say other than the steering wheel needed to be reattached mid-party, it did really well, made a great photo spot, and the best part was the fact it was “FREEEEE!”

Monster truck photo prop

Kids were sent home with treat bags that were simply black paper gift bags that I painted with a large toy tractor tire! Simple and fun!

Monster truck gift bags

It was a fun party! Kids and kids at heart had fun with the activities and the simple, but fun food kept things as stress-free as possible so that we could enjoy the time celebrating our birthday boy with all our friends and family! So now that the birthday party is over, time to start thinking about Halloween! Am I right?!?!? Who is ready for fall and some cooler temps!

Until then… Enjoy The Chase!

Carson’s Woodland ONE-derland Birthday Party

When I had Carson, it felt like one of the most common phrases I heard from other parents was “Enjoy every second, they grow up so fast!” Well as I am fighting the reality of taking down the decorations from Carson’s first birthday party, I have to say they were right!

It is amazing how fast the first year goes by! It feels like a blur when, let’s face it, the year is filled with sleepless nights, more diaper changes than you ever thought was possible, trying to get the baby down for a nap, feeding the baby, bathing the baby, and trying to get the baby down for bedtime…and repeat!

The first year really does fly by and before you know it, it’s their first birthday! No matter how much we want them to stay little forever, it happens.  They are ONE!!!

For Carson’s birthday, we went with a Woodland ONE-derland theme. Filled with woodland creature sandwiches, cheese and tomato mushrooms, a fox cake and fox poop!  :O) You definitely know you are a boy-mom, when you have fox poop on the table!

The party was set with a custom bunting bannercut timber paper plates, “Don’t Feed the Bears” (Teddy Grahams), “Moose Munch” (Chex Mix), “Cucumber and Cream Cheese Critters” (hedgehog and squirrel sandwiches), DIY fox treat cups…

a “Mushroom Meadow” (made with string cheese and cherry tomatoes)…

“Squirrel Food” (Nutter Butter Cookies), “Pimento Fox-eese” sandwiches, “Peanut Bear & Jelly” sandwiches, “Forest Berries” (strawberries and blueberries), “Fox Poop” (cheese balls), a DIY fox cake on a real wood platter, cute woodland animal cutouts…

coordinating birthday hats, orange cupcakes…

and bubble wands to entertain the older kids (and the adults)!

To those of you in your first year of motherhood, don’t be too hard on yourself! There are so many things we plan to do when our little ones arrive (thank you, Pinterest), but it is hard to get it all in.  Days rush by, months are a blur, and then all of a sudden, it’s been a year! Enjoy every second with your little one… all the cuddles, all the little giggles, all the firsts, and all the slobbery kisses! Just take it all in! Good luck mommas and have fun, and of course… Enjoy the Chase!