Tuesday, November 2, 2010

You are Invited to our Monster Laboratory!

Late in the summer I found the above costume for my little Gabe.
I showed it to Hubby and he agreed that it was the first perfect costume for our little Slobber Monster. Fast forward a couple of months and I decided to host a Halloween Party. I battled back and forth between a "Pinwheels into Pumpkins" theme and a Monster themed Halloween party. Not because I didn't totally love the Monster theme, but because I'd already sort of had this theme in mind for his first birthday party. But, as you can see the Monster Laboratory theme eventually won out as it just went so perfectly with his costume! I designed the above invite to invite all of our guests - I couldn't help but plaster our little slobber monster on the invitation ...
as well as the above little monsters. {Aren't they the cutest?} They, as well as a few other designs, were also used throughout the party on food tents, hang tags, food bags, cookies, etc.

Guests were welcomed to Gabe's Monster Laboratory by luminaries and ghoulish gourds. I made the above wreath with black tulle and festive ribbons.

Upon entering, they were greeted by Miranda, the Mannequin and by Gordon's Green Glittery Hands.

Pre-dinner spooky snacks included these handmade S'mores Caramel Apples.

As well as Hauntingly Hot Potions including Orange Hot Chocolate, Ghost {White} Hot Chocolate, and Spooky Spider Cider.

Party cones filled with Cinnamon & Sugar Kettle Corn and Chocolate Kettle Corn were also available.

For the kiddos, we also had a 'Buffet of Body Parts' which included body shaped gummies from ears, to noses, to severed fingers and toes.

My favorites - the gummy eyeballs, brains, and fangs!

Next we move onto the 'Tower of Treats' as I'm a firm believer in eating dessert first {or at least saving room for plenty of it}! The Tower of Treats featured an abundance of sweets including ...

Cookie Monsters
Home Made Butter Cream icing between two Oatmeal-Cranberry-Walnut cookies
A tie for my favorite dessert!
Monster Head Cupcakes {Butter Cream icing atop red velvet cupcakes}
Shots of Monster Blood {Tapioca Pudding featuring lg dyed tapioca pearls}
For decor we used black and white fabric as a backdrop as well as shreds of ghoul cloth. We also filled beakers with lg dyed tapioca pearls and mini m&m candies.
'Eye'ffles {Handmade chocolate truffles - the other tie for my favorite dessert!}
Monster Cookies {designed by Whimsical Originals - notice how she replicated our monsters perfectly!} The Monster Cookies were definitely the visual hit of the party!

Cherry Brain Parts {shortbread tarts filled with cherry pie filling and freshly made whipped cream topping piped on to form a brain topping}.

Marshmallow Monster Teeth {square vanilla marshmallows dipped in colorful candy melts}

Brain Jello {cherry Jello brain}
Skull Cake {handmade by my sister}
Brain Juice Punch {complete with floating eye balls}
Centerpiece on the food table included flickering candles, beakers filled with colored water, dyed tapioca pearls, and mini m&m candies. Instead of traditional glasses, guests drank out of plastic beakers {as they needed to be kid friendly} and monster grin straws.

Candy Eyeball drink stirrers were a huge hit with the kids.

For dinner we served, Decomposed Salad, Monster Eyes {sausage balls} ...

... Breadstick Bones with Monster Blood {pizza sauce} ...
Rigaboney {not shown}, Spooky Spaghetti Noodles {black and orange spaghetti noodles - not shown} with Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce {not shown}.

Parting Favors included test tubes {plastic for the kiddos} filled with candy bones. The die cut labels read 'Thanks for Jointing Us!' {You get it? Bones - Joints!} And who could forget about the cute little Monster Cookies! Guests also had goody grub bags available to bag up the over abundance of treats from the party. I surely didn't want all of the sweets sitting around my house after the party. :)

The party was a monstrous success - although there was a fire ban in our county {due to lack of rain} so we couldn't tell ghost stories or roast marshmallows by the fire. Boo-hoo. But it was still great fun for all of the costumed guests including myself {zombie nurse}, my hubby {mad scientist}, Gabe {slobber monster}, sunbathing beauty, two mummies, Juno, lumberjack, ballerina, scary creature, old man Superman, Cleopatra & Caesar, Spiderman, Batman, Giraffe, and a Pirate!
To view larger photos of the party just click here!
Although this was a Halloween themed bash, I imagine this party being super cute and creative throughout the entire year! Select items from the party will soon be available for purchase on our website.
How to replicate the party:
Monster Costume - One Step Ahead
Monster Cookies - Whimsical Originals
Monster Invite - Crossroads Cottage
Monster Food Tents - Crossroads Cottage
Party Cones - Crossroads Cottage
Hang Tags - Crossroads Cottage
Bag Tags - Crossroads Cottage
Treat Bags - Crossroads Cottage
Monster Grin Straws: Crossroads Cottage
Ghoul/Mummy Cloth/Fabric: Jo Ann Fabrics
Black and White Fabric: Hobby Lobby
Black Flickering Candles: Hobby Lobby
Beakers, Flasks, and Test Tubes: LCM Lab
White Serving Dishes: HomeGoods and Target
Silver Skeleton Salad Forks: Target
Gummy Brains, Eyeballs, and Fangs: Target
Gummy Eyeball Ice Cubes: Target
Eyeball Drink Stirrers - WalMart
Skull Cake Pan - Wilton
Eyeball Candies - Hobby Lobby
Brain Mold: Spirit Halloween
Manequin Head: Spirit Halloween
Glittery Hands: HomeGoods
Tulle Wreath: Crossroads Cottage
KettleCorn: Popcorn Indiana
Paper liners: Jo Ann Fabrics
Tulle and Ribbon for Wreath: Hobby Lobby

Food Recipes:
Brain Juice Punch:
2 bottles sparkling white grape juice
2 gallons orange juice
2 L lemon-lime soda
1/2 gallon orange sherbert
Combine sparkling grape juice, oj, and soda in a lg punch bowl. Scoop sherbert into bowl until it has produced a nice scum over the top. Garnish with a full tray of gummy eyeball ice cubes.
Other hints:
- Monster Cupcakes: Make the cupcakes and icing ahead of time and ice. My sister and I made them a week ahead of time and stored in the freezer until the morning of. Don't add the eyes until day of party.
- Cookie Monster Cookies: We also made the cookies and icing 1 week before the party. They also froze perfectly. Eyes were added before freezing.
- Chocolate Eye Truffles: Followed the recipe on the back of the baker chocolate box. Rolled the balls in sprinkles and added the eyes. Add eyes before rolling in sprinkles. They were also frozen the week before the party.
- S'mores Caramel Apples: Made the night before the party. I'd never worked with Caramel before. Yowsers the caramel cooled quickly - within 5 seconds. I used the individually wrapped caramels out of the bag. The secret was putting the crushed grahams (to make things simpler I bought the grahams already crushed from the baking section), mini chocolate chips and mini marshamallows all in the same dipping bowl. Also I had to cut the mini marshamallows in half so they didn't look quite so large on the apples.
- Cherry Brain Tarts: I also used pre-made shortbread tarts and cherry pie filling from the baking section. I added a bit of cinnamon to the cherry pie filling just because I LOVE cinnamon.
The whipped cream was home made. The colors turned out a bit too pastel for my liking, but if I added more and mixed the cream more I would have risked overbeating the cream. {I added the coloring after beating}. Next time I might try adding the coloring before beating ...

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