Friday, November 11, 2011

Honeycomb to the Rescue!

This super hero party journey began with a particulary wonderful client of ours who has a son that loves comic books, Green Lantern in particular. With the movie's release this past summer, there was no shortage of themed paraphernalia flooding the marketplace. We wanted to make things unique and not something you could buy in a store so we went in a different direction. Let's make it old school, keep it rooted in the comics, and give it some real retro styling.

Our client loves to go big, inviting the entire neighborhood, so it's always, "I love it, now I want a hundred." Planning for over 300 individual pieces of dessert, and over 100 props can get overwhelming, but we're getting good at making spreadsheets and delegating our time. At least we think we are.

Designing the invitations for the party solidified our goal of creating a super hero party that harkened back to another time. This invitation resembled WWII military recruitment posters. The hexagon pattern and sharp rays of light will be themes repeated throughout other custom made printables and labels.

First, we thought that our birthday boy should have his own comic book to give out to his friends as a favor. We teamed up with a great graphic artist on Etsy, provided him with the storyline, pictures of the birthday boy, Christian, and shots of the neighborhood. Just two weeks later and we had the finished product, a personalized comic featuring Christian as the newest Green Lantern. Christian was showing it off to all his friends, and so were we.

The use of fabric really elevated our dessert table destination. In addition to layering our tablecloths on the different levels, we created a canopy style top and curtains on the side of our space mimicking rays of green light, framing our dessert tables. The custom painted skyline on our fabric backdrop completed the feast for the eyes. Top it off with a custom-made, three-dimensional, 18-inch high green lantern symbol that actually glowed. For the desserts, we went back to our (and our client's) favorites: designer cake pops, cream cheese frosted cupcakes, and candy coated popcorn to name just a few. The dessert table set-up was modified to showcase layers and levels of different desserts. Because of this design, there was less space for the ever increasing number of desserts we were bringing. We gave the edible works of art their deserved breathing room. We kept the table clean and organized by highlighting only a dozen of each dessert and refilling throughout the afternoon. The cake pops were decorated with royal icing transfers of Green Lantern masks and the Green Lantern logo. Oreos were dipped in white chocolate and then we cut out the Green Lantern logo from green Wilton sugar sheets and placed them on the Oreos.

The favors were starting to take shape: the amazing customized comic, personalized party blowers, and now something to satisfy the children's sweet tooth. We pitched the idea of the cupcake push pop to our client and she loved it. This was going to be our "wow" item. The clear push pop tube that surrounds the cupcake screams out for decoration. We turned our little push pops into mini Green Lanterns, donning a uniform and mask, complete with cut-out eyes and lantern symbol. For the uniform and mask, we made our own stickers. Your local print shop can print on more than just paper. These are vinyl adhesives. The sophisticated printer that created these, can also cut out the intricate designs, eliminating hours of tedious labor. Isn't technology amazing? Now that we knew what was going into the favors, what exactly were they going into? Initially we thought of a tube or cylinder design. The comic and push pop would fit nicely into that. Jennifer expanded on that idea and found these great clear plastic paint cans. When it came time to decorate the cans, Jeff had an epiphany. The cans have a handle just like the "lantern" the Green Lantern uses. We could turn the kid's favor container into their own take home lantern! Our favorite new medium came into play again. The vinyl adhesive would wrap around the bottom half of the can transforming it into a wonderful keepsake lantern.

Any party would not be complete without a photo booth area. And since we're in comic book land, every guest needs to showcase a feathered fedora, styrofoam barbell, and birthday wishes speech bubble.

For the dining tables, we created a city scape centerpiece using boxes wrapped in colored paper, and went back to our wonderful vinyl adhesives for miniature windows and doors. To complete the look, we added yellow strips to our marbled gray table runner, literally creating a "road runner" underneath our mini skyline. Too cute for words!

All was set for a spectacular, fun filled day. As the children arrived we gave them their very own ring and mask, since we wanted them to enjoy those items during the whole party. Christian had a blast playing with his friends in the giant mobile game truck, and the adults marveled over all the details, and delicious desserts. Many of them finding it hard to believe that we do it all ourselves, and yes, believe it folks, we did it all ourselves.

Vendors & Credits
Event Design: Honeycomb Events & Design
Cake pops, decorated cookies, dipped oreos, fondant cupcake toppers and all other desserts: Honeycomb Events & Design
Invitation, Printables and Printed Signs: Honeycomb Events & Design
Local Printer: Cole Print & Marketing, Concord, CA
Custom Linen Creation: Honeycomb Events & Design
Green & Black Paper Straws: etsy seller 'domesticcharm'
Green Cupcake Liners: etsy seller 'sweettreatsupplies'
Plastic Push Pop Containers: etsy seller 'craigjen'
Comic Book Illustration: Stephen Thornton, etsy seller name  'comicgenius'
Clear Plastic Paint Can: purchased at Michaels

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