Sunday, June 21, 2009

how to host a star wars party in 5 excruciatingly painstakingly detailed steps: part 1 - the lightsabers

I took so many pictures of my preparations for Liam's birthday(s). Even though it's weeks later, I can't waste them! So first up in our five part series of Excruciatingly Painstakingly Detailed Steps to your very own Star Wars birthday party will be...

Pool Noodle Lightsabers

Step 1: Measure one pool noodle and mark the middle.
In this case, I already had one lightsaber completed, so I used it as a guide. This is not a science. It does not need to be exact. Hopefully no one will be comparing length... they're little kids after all.
Using a sharpie or similar works well. The end will be covered by tape when all is said and done.

Step 2: Cut.
Use a serrated knife to cut the pool noodles in half. The cut surprising easily. Like buttah.


Step 3: Admire your work.


Step 4: Assemble your supplies.
In additions to you pool noodles, you will need: duct tape (silver, grey or both), black electricians tape, scissors.


Step 5: The end.
Cover the end of the of the pool noodle first. They are a bit of an awkward size in that one piece will not cover the end completely, and doing a simple 'x' will leave little corners exposed. We found this to be the most effective way to cover the end of your lightsaber 'hilt'.


Step 6: Cover your hilt.
Using the duct tape and electrical tape, wrap the bottom eight or so inches of the pool noodle to form the base of your hilt. You can chose to use all black, all grey, all silver, or a combination of all three.


Step 7: Spend hours and hours and hours detailing the hilts.
Cut lines and pieces, impossibly tiny square and thin strips of your various tapes in order to create the lightsaber hilt detail. Stay up until midnight several nights in a row in order to complete a dozen unique, one-of-a-kind pool noodle lightsaber.

Yes, THEY ARE EACH DIFFERENT. Have I mentioned that I can be a little neurotic?



Cost break down
- pool noodles from Walmart $1.97/2 = $.98 each
- 2x duct tape, 1x electrical tape ~$11.00, used approx half so $5.50/12 = $.46 each
TOTAL $.98 + $.46 = $1.44 each

Since these made up the majority of the "loot bag", it was a very frugal parting gift for all of the kids who attended. The kids beat each other silly played with these lightsabers for the entire three hour party. When it was time to leave, Liam also gave each child a Clone Wars kite that we found for $2.93 each, bringing our total to $4.41 per child. They each took home two things that they can actually play with, not a little bag full of junk.

Any questions?

Links to how we did it:

pre-party planning and ideas
the invitation how-to
pool noodle lightsabers
marshmallow fondant
the cake (in less than 100 pictures)
the big day

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Need some party supplies? Want to make your own pool noodle lightsabers? Check these links below and have it all delivered to your door. If you find any of these links are broken or sold out, let me know and I'll find some new sources. Wouldn't the minifigure ice cube trays be fun? They could be used for ice (obviously), chocolate, or even to make Lego man crayons!

Disclosure: I'm a member of the Amazon Affiliates programs. This means that if you purchase an item from a link from this blog to those shops, I will receive an affiliate commission. However, I only share products and services that I would personally use and that I hope will be a good fit for you.

52 comments:

  1. No question but seriously Amy...You are AMAZING!! I don't even realize than they are all different!
    By the way the kids LOVE them!
    God bless...and if you whant to come over sometimes this week, you just have to call!
    Elise
    xox

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  2. Love this idea!! My son is OBSESSED with Star Wars and he has three "real" lightsabers but this is a great thing to make for a Star Wars bday party. Thanks for sharing!!

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  3. What a fun idea!! I got 2 boys and that would be such a great, and safe, thing to make!!

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  4. We are making these this week for Kamden's party, thanks for the step by step and the idea in the first place. Mine will not nearly be as unique and pretty, I can assure you. You may be neurotic but me, I am impatient :)

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  5. Those look awesome! Wherever did you come up with that idea?? It's genius!

    I am sure that I will be making these soon for my little guy too :)

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  6. omg You are so talented Amy! these are incredible! love them!

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  7. Wow, you're awesome Amy, seriously. From the cakes, to these light sabers to the invitation, wow. You put me to shame, woman! I'm so the most uncrafty person I know.

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  8. I LOVE those! I want to make them now!

    And the hilts all needing to be different... that's me too. Totally. LOVE the detail!

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  9. "they're little kids after all."
    It shows how much of a nerd I am that it took me up until that statement to figure out this was for a CHILD'S party. Heh... Kudos on the details. I'm sure those little guys had fun with these for months to come.

    I'll be making mine twice as large with PVC pipe centers for the "big kids" (aka college students) ;)

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  10. I just bought all the stuff to make these. I love the idea. The only problem is I had a tough time finding pool noodles, but after calling everywhere I did find Target had them.

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  11. Any chance you have a JEDI TRAINING CERTIFICATE that you made for the party that you can attach on your website for our use??? Brilliant as you are, maybe you did this?!? THANKS in advance!

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  12. Just bought the pool noodles at Dollar Tree for $1 each. Can't wait to make them into light sabers for my boy's party. Thanks for the idea and instructions. He is having a lego party so we are doing Star Wars with a little bit of Lego City in there. Fun!!

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  13. Very cool!! ...hey-- you might be able to put one of those battery operated candles in the hole at end and plug up with something transparent in a flash ( maybe a clear bottle lid or the end of a water bottle cut off and then the electrical tape taped around it on the edge... for a snug over the duct taped end fit...if the kids want a real light effect... ..and you know how many ppl toss these noodles at the end of the summer-- tons!! I would see them in the trash all of the time last summer-- have a bunch of crafts I want to do with them now and will be collecting them... :)

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  14. I love this sooooooo much!! I am totally doing this!

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  15. I love these. My son (3) recently discovered Star Wars-which makes my hun\sband grin from ear to ear. He wants to play light saber-but everything I can find is either going to break (the expensive lighted ones) or break something (the hard plastic ones). This is perfect. I had some pool noodles-but by the end of the summer they have already started to degrade from the sun and chlorine. Hoping I can find some this late.

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  16. I saw this on Pinterest and gave this post a shout out on my blog here. This is the best idea ever!

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  17. AWESOME... I love this idea so much. I made them for my son, then my husband decided we needed to take it one step farther... they needed to LIGHT UP!!
    http://kkghoffman.blogspot.com/2011/09/pool-noodle-light-sabers.html

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  18. Thank you sooo much for sharing! This is an awesome craft for my little jedi's bday party.

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  19. Thanks so much for this. My son is super excited for his Light Saber to be completed. :)

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  20. I just made 4 of these in 20 minutes. The hardest part was finding pool noodles in February!

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  21. I linked this tutorial from my blog with pics of how mine turned out! Hope that's okay!

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  22. These look great! But if anyone is planning to make these for any 'diehard' Star Wars fans, here is the colour scheme they insist on, based upon the movies:
    blue - Anakin Skywalker or Luke Skywalker
    green - Yoda
    purple - Mace Windu
    red - the bad guys, like Darth Vader
    I know, it seems crazy, but there it is! They really insist on it! : )
    Can't wait to make these for my little guy!
    Thanks for sharing!

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    Replies
    1. Nerd alert: Anakin's was blue & then given to Luke. Later Luke made his own green one. Once Anakin became Vader he made a red one.

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    2. Uber nerd alert. The red sabers were red because the "bad guys" (Sith) did not have access to natural crystals, which grew in a variety of colors. The artificial ones they made themselves generally all came out red. Luke's green one was also synthetic because after the events of the first three films, the "bad guys" (Empire) destroyed the world where the Jedi's light saber crystals grew. Thus all of the "New Jedi" had to forge their own crystals as well.

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  23. That is AWESOME! You could even put those large glow sticks in the center to make them have a light - or maybe a skinny flashlight. Thanks for sharing!!! :)

    ~Bekah @SonshineTotSchool.blogspot.com

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  24. hahaha! No way my son will get a chance to play with this!! Its all mine!!

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  25. What a GREAT idea!!

    I'm feverishly wracking my brain for a way to have those be allowed during our summer camp program. The boys (And the girls!!) would LOVE them.

    Now, to convince the stuffy, head up butt corporate types....

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  26. The coC we attend has a tent meeting every summer. Pool noodles are used to cover the end of the tent poles and the left overs are very popular play items w/ the kids, wait till I show up w/ a box full of these!!! They are going to go crazy, great idea!

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  27. This is great although I was waiting to see how you made them 'light' sabers - I love things that light up. someone mentioned glow sticks or a small flashlight. did anyone try this? if so, how did it work? I just wonder if the light would be strong enough to show through.

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    Replies
    1. Did anyone ever answer your question? I'm wondering the same thing.Thanks

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  28. I HAVE to make these for my 2 boys bc they (break)go through those plastic ones so quickly! I also love your budget friendly birthday party ideas! :D

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  29. I just made these for my son's 5th birthday party and they were a huge (HUGE) hit! All the kids were doing lightsaber duals in the jumper house. And, I even caught a couple of dad's taking a second lightsaber for themselves so that they could play with their kids at home. :-) This is a wonderful party takeaway. (It made it worth the hours I spent decorating them.)

    If you have a Dollar Tree or similar store nearby, they sell pool noodles, duct tape and electrical tape - all for $1. And, Michael's sells colored duct tape (all colors).

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  30. fantastic! we begin construction on our own set tonight for a star wars birthday party tomorrow afternoon. :)

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  31. Manon (Germany)
    Perfect!!!!Thank you!!!!

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  32. Thanks for this idea! I just made these for my son's birthday party this week -- mine aren't nearly as detailed on the handles but I was pleased that I could whip out eight of these in less than thirty minutes, and with the Dollar Tree noodles these are really fun but cheap favors! Thanks again!!

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  33. Love the light sabers! Planning a karate/Star Wars party for a going-to-be-eight year old. Thank You! Caitlin (www.theroommom.wordpress.com)

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  34. Awesome Idea! I just made these...I will post a pic soon as party is tomorrow and want to see how it goes over. It took me one evening from 9-1 am to make 12 of them start to finish. And I am pretty detail oriented and precise and did manage to make 12 unique designs. Some of the simpler ones actually look a little cooler I have to say such as a black and gray simple stripe pattern. I only did one that simple and I think it is my favorite. I bought $1 pool noodles from Dollar Store. When I read about cutting in half, I worried would be too short. I then compared height of my noodles to some at local grocery store and the grocery store ones went to my nose from ground, dollar store ones went mid chest so substantially shorter. Grocery store ones were $3, dollar store were $1, so I simply decided to buy one dollar store one for each kid and cut a little shorter. Proabably gives me a longer light saber for less. The smaller dollar store pool noodles also allowed me to cover buttom with two pieces of duct tape, one horizontal, one vertical. This is an awesome idea and I can't wait to see how kids like it! Also, bought one two pack of electrical tape for $1 at dollar store and two rolls of duck tape grey at dollar store and there was plenty and leftovers for 12 of them at about 7-9 inches long at the base as I measured each one....hope this helps! Thanks for great idea!

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  35. These hurt far less than the hard plastic ones. I love how they turned out for me too. Thanks!

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  36. Excellently done! I've been using sawed-off pool noodles for various fun bopping activities for years, but I'd never thought to turn them into lightsabers. What fun!

    I wonder if some clear packing tape over the detail work would reduce the chances of the tape bits slipping around.

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  37. Thanks for the share-- I am hosting a Star Wars sleepover in 3 weeks, and this is a key part of the plan. Love these!

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  38. Oh wow I love this idea. I am helping with a benefit in August for a little boy who has a brain tumor now for a second time. He picked Star Wars. We have bracelets that say "Fighting cancer Jedi style." I'm thinking that I will be making some of these to sell along with the ribbons at the benefit. Thank you, you totally made my day :-).

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  39. This is such a great idea!! I featured you in a post about pool noodles: All Things with Purpose: Use Your Noodle Also made these for my son and he loved them, especially the cool sound they make!

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  40. Ok I don't know what I love more: how cute they turned out, or your directions on how to make them!!! :)

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  41. Thanks for the great idea! We used it this weekend!

    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152081323170538.895465.798910537&type=1&l=8e542a21ed

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  42. This is such a great tutorial! I came across it via http://rainbowsandunicornscrafts.tumblr.com, and I can't wait to do this.

    We have a pretty decent bunch of kids in our neighborhood, but one recurring issue is that they tend to improvise games with sticks and/or rocks and have great fun right up until someone gets hurt. I'm going to make a dozen of these and stash them in a bucket on our porch, so they're easily available; I think I'll add a little label saying "bring me home!" with our address on the butt end, covered over with clear packing tape before I add the rest of the hilt tape, in hopes that they'll drift back to our house and therefore continue to be available, but these are cheap enough that it won't seriously bug me if they wander off permanently.

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  43. This is EXACTLY what I'm looking for. Thank you. Love the detail. And now I need to get my act together for a Friday bday party!

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  44. These are an amazing idea! We are going to try to make our own for our son's 7th birthday. He will love them!!! Thanks!

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  45. Thank you so much for the link to the noodles on Amazon. I looked everywhere and they were so expensive (unfortunately Dollar Tree does't have them in November). These are going to be perfect. Thanks for the tutorial! I'm excited about our Lego Star Wars party!

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  46. Fabulous idea! My son is having a Star Wars / Pool party being summer in Australia and I had no idea what party favours to get the girls. This works for everyone. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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