I really didn't intend to take so long to post this. Hopefully you're still interested. Maybe.
When I posted pictures of that epic failure of a cake last week my husband saw it on my blog and said it looked like a giant marshmallow. Hmmm. Instead of trying to turn it into Jabba the Hut (which I thought about) or tossing it into the pond (which I did) I should have just sprayed some yellow and brown food coloring on that bad boy, pretended it was always supposed to be an awesome roasted marshmallow cake and called it a day.
Luckily tragedy was avoided by creating a cake of epic proportions capable of distracting from questions like, 'what happened to that r2d2 cake you were going to make?'.
I found the greatest (and easiest) recipe for a chocolate cake. Ever. Which you can find right here. It's moist, super chocolately and absolutely ridiculous which I believe is inarguably the way to go with birthday cake. Plus, you need simple ingredients - everything is pictured above - and no one will know you used a mix. Trust me. And try not to eat the batter. It will be hard. Just keep telling yourself there are raw eggs in there. Maybe that'll work for you.
I also learned a really neat trick while baking this cake. I was using a 10" round, 3" deep cake pan which "requires" a heating core. I hate those things. Don't you? Anyway, I didn't want to use one. Partly because I'm stubborn and partly because I didn't want a gigantic hole in the center of my cake. I needed to put a larger dowel in the center of the cake to attach r2's head to, well I didn't actually get that far, but keep in mind this is all happening while I'm still delusional enough to think I can pull off this amazing cake. Anyway, the large hole down the center paired with that dowel down the center would've been a bit like toilet paper rolling around on a toilet paper holder. And no comments on how it actually turned out looking like a large roll of toilet paper either. I'm trying to tell you about a trick I learned.
Anyway, it turns out, all you have to do is insert one of those rose nails (the metal ones) in the bottom of your pan. It conducts the heat without leaving a gapping hole. How about that! I played it safe and baked the cake per the mix directions referring to the bunt pan cooking times then lowered my temp to 325° and finished baking in 5 - 10 min incriments. Checking it each time.
Find cool pics of Star Wars images and make up clever names for Star Wars inspired drinks. Create in photoshop making about 8" to 8.5" wide but be careful not to extend your images all the way to the top or bottom unless you've left a small border around it because it will get slightly cut off during printing. I did two labels per page. Have them printed on 12 point paper - glossy card stock. I had mine printed at Office Max for around $5. Remove soda labels and apply your labels with a spray adhesive. Anything else and they will fall off. Not cool.
Make your own invites. Find high res (by searching Google images) Star Wars backgrounds and add text. It's that simple. Remember, when having it printed make sure to size it like 4.75 x 6.75 or something like that so that none of your coolness gets cut off during printing. Save it as a .pdf and take it to your printers. Again, I used the 12 point or glossy card stock. Don't know how to prep for printing? Save it as a .jpeg image and let the folks at your printer's do the rest.
Make your own Thank You notes. They're cuter and more personal. Create a blank document in photoshop (or similar program). I wanted a 4 x 6 note so my measurements were something like 3.75 x 5.75. If you change the largest number and keep a check in the constraint proportions box, it will automatically change both number and that's the safest way to go. I added my photo on top of another red square so it would have a nice border and added text. I put his name in the bottom corner but left some space on the left for him to write his friend's name. If your child is like mine and doesn't like to write more than he has to but you're like me and you're bound and determined that he will, this is a good compromise. I didn't make him write an entire note but I did want him to write something. This way we were both happy. These I just took down to Wal-Mart and printed them myself from the self-serve printer. They were ready in 8 mins and cost me about two bucks.
We rented a waterslide so naturally I thought they should also have some pool noodles to beat each other silly with.
I made some "lightsaber" pool noodles using Chrome duct tape, black duct tape and red duct tape. An easy trick to cut duct tape into shapes, especially circles, is to put it on wax paper (the shiny side) and then make the cut. BUT make sure you put the tape on the wax paper and immediately make the cut otherwise the tape will be permanently stuck to the paper which completely defeats the purpose.
I cut pool noodles in half so one noodle equals two lightsabers. I wrapped the bottoms of the noodles in Chrome, cut black strips for the handle and cut circles for the button.
I can't lie and say I'm not disappointed that some of the things (ok, the cake!) didn't turn out exactly as I planned but something tells me that he couldn't possible have cared any less. And that's the point, really, isn't it.
It was a good party. Vader agrees.
Here are some free printables for you. If you want to use them, click on the pic to open it up then download. If you'd like more info on how I used them see my previous post, Confessions of a Chronic DIYer.
Enjoy & May the Force Be With You,
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