Decorating & Food Ideas
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Robot Party Centerpiece
It's easy ... all it takes is empty cans and string!
What You Need: One large empty tin can (gallon paint can or 5lb coffee can), one medium can (quart paint can or 2lb coffee can), and ten smaller tin cans (vegetable or soup cans), string, black electrical tape, hammer and nail, spray-paint (optional).
Step 1: Remove the labels from the cans and cover any sharp edges with black electrical tape. If you'd like, you can spray-paint the cans bright colors; however, leaving them silver is just as “robotic” looking.
Step 2: Punch a hole in the middle of the top of each can using a hammer and nail. Tie three of the small vegetable cans together by threading a string through each of the holes, then tying a knot at the end to hold them together. Make sure you leave at least 18 inches of extra string at the top of the three cans. Repeat this procedure until you have a total of two strings of three cans each (for the legs) and two strings of two cans each (for the arms).
Step 3: Using the large can as the body, thread the two strings from the top of the three-can chain (the legs), through the bottom of the can and through the nail hole and tie, creating a pair of movable legs. Using the nail and hammer, punch a hole in both sides of the large can where the arms will be attached. Attach a two-can string through each hole to make the arms. Tie the medium can to the top of the large can to make the head. Use a sharpie marker to draw a face on the robot if you wish.
Voila! You now have a centerpiece that you can place on your main table.
Other Robot Party Decorations
- Make your front door a control panel by covering it in aluminum foil, and gluing container lids to the foil.
- Fill your home with robot-colored balloons and streamers. Think purple, silver and black.
- Use silver fabric as a tablecloth, with silver balloons tied to each chair.
- Greet your guests with a life-sized robot! tack two large boxes covered in aluminum foil to create the body. Add a shoe box on top for the head and a foil covered clothes hanger as antennae. Cut two pieces of flexible silver dryer vent as arms and attach to both sides. Finish decorating your robot with sink strainers for ears, and a variety of container lids on the front to create a control panel. If you wish, place a glove into each arm opening to complete the look, and put your robot in a prominent spot where guests are sure to see it. This will make a great prop for group photos during the party, too!
- Your robot-lover probably already has some robot toys around the house. Use those as table decorations, or build robot shapes from lego blocks.
- Go crazy with robot balloons! Tie groups of helium balloons together and anchor them in place with balloon weights. For greater impact, combine silver star-shaped balloons with colorful latex balloons. Tie at least one balloon to the back of each chair, and tie a group of five balloons to the birthday child’s chair!
- Set out a supply of Lego, Bionicle, or Tinker Toy pieces and let guests build their own robots as you wait for everyone to arrive.
- Consider a robot pinata.
- Make a banner that says “Welcome to (your child’s name) Robot Party!” and hang it near the party entrance. See the robot party banner from Birthday in a Box and let them do the work for you!
Robot Party Food Ideas
Kids are pretty easy to please when it comes to food. Pizza and hot dogs can usually do the trick. However, if you'd like to go a little more robotic with your eats, consider these ideas:
- Use shiny aluminum foil pans as serving containers for the food.
- Make your own “Nuts and Bolts” snack mix from pretzels, cheese crackers, cereal, and M&M candies.
- "Robotize" your food. Give traditional dishes robot-themed names. For example, a pepperoni pizza can become Sprocket Pizza, potato chips can become Computer Chips, etc.
- Serve drinks with shaped silly straws.
Create your own robot cake! Here are two easy ways to do it.
- Bake an 8” round cake and a 9”x13” cake in any flavor; cool and remove from the pans. Place the rectangle cake on a cake plate as the robot’s body and place the round cake above it as the head. Since this shape is larger than most cake plates, you may want to use a piece of plywood or heavy cardboard covered in aluminum foil to hold the cake. Add two Twinkie brand snacks for each arm, and three Twinkies for each leg. Cover the cakes and Twinkies with icing and decorate with various candy pieces to create a face and a control panel on the front of the body. Try using gummy rings for eyes, a sandwich cookie for each ear, Skittles for a mouth, and licorice wands for antennae. Add an outline of M&M’s as bolts across the top of the head, and lots of different shaped candy on the front of the body as lights and buttons.
- For a quicker version of a robot cake, start with a 9”x13” frosted cake. Use many small, colorful candy pieces to create a robot shape on top of the cake, and fill in the shape with more candy to create shiny buttons, lights, and a friendly face.