Guardians of the Galaxy Party...

 Eleventh birthday parties are hard.  I don’t recall my eleventh birthday party, but I’m sure my mom had the dilemma of entertaining a bunch of “tweens” for a few hours.  Of course, times have changed. I actually feel things have become a little more complicated for birthday parties.  

This is how we partied in the early 90's! Of course I entertained with my Hot Lixx guitar while my cat showed everyone her butthole.

These days kids show up to parties armed with IPads and their favourite Nintendo DS games with no intention of socializing with other kids, except to show each other what they built in Minecraft the night before.  Back when I was 11 if we wanted to bring a Gameboy to a party you had to pack some extra double A’s, deal with the whole no back lighting issue and if you are way old like me, you were not able to save your Super Mario game.

Last year we did the whole laser tag party.  It was expensive, stressful and LOUD.  This year we decided to have a small movie party at home for a couple friends.  The package of invitations I bought came with six invitations, so we invited six kids.  I figured it would be better to have just a few kids (expecting some to say no) than to have a stressful, chaotic party.

Speaking of stress, parents these days don’t RSVP anymore!  When did we, as parents,  decide that letting someone know to prepare for your child to enjoy a party (with enough food for them to eat and a Loot Bag with their name on it) was not a common courtesy?  I had one RSVP this year – and that was to decline.  The other five kids just showed up unannounced.  Luckily, I just went out and assumed they would all come, but the whole time I was nervous that our only party guests would be a couple of cats (although cats in party hats would be pretty fun).  

Preparing for the party knowing that it may only be us was a little disheartening, but I wanted to throw a pretty awesome party with the theme of our favourite movie of 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy. 

“Groot Bags”
When I think of a party theme, the first thing I think of is ways to play with words.  Of course the first thing I could think of was “Groot Bags”.  At first I figured I would just get some store-bought bags and write “Groot Bags” on them.  Luckily I forgot to buy bags when I was at the store.  I had all the items to put in them but nothing to put them in.  I figured I would put the items in paper lunch bags temporarily so I could at least sort everything out. 

That is when the “Groot Bag” was born.  I realized the paper bag would be a perfect colour for a Groot face.  I took out a dying brown marker and drew a Groot face.  I’m not much of an artist, and it didn’t take long to realize that something was not right.  After a few more tries, I decided to draw the face right on the bag and cut the top to look like the top of Groot’s head.  It was perfect – and surprisingly easy!

These are so simple to make that I'm sure you can figure it out from the picture alone, but for a few pointers I made one of those fancy collage things from my phone to show the process of the Groot Bag! 

I made friendly Groot faces but you can make him mean if you are in to that sort of thing! 

Baby Groot Pudding Cups

I found some really great instructions to make Groot cupcakes. I didn’t have plans to have cupcakes at our party, but I thought I could add the cookies to some chocolate pudding and make our very own Baby Groot pudding cups.

I followed this recipe for vanilla bean shortcake but instead of adding food colouring, I added some cocoa powder.  Unfortunately the cocoa powder, although I only added a few pinches, made the recipe turn out crumbly and practically impossible to roll out.  I added a bit of water and was able to roll it out but it was very difficult to work with. 

I made a stencil out of an old birthday card (if you use paper it gets too thin and greasy from the cookie dough).  Baby Groot is very easy to draw. The best thing about it is you are drawing a tree, it doesn’t have to be perfect, but I do recommend that you stay away from thin lines (watch the neck and the arms), you’ll find out why later. 

Roll out the dough and cut around the stencil.  I made six (pretty large) cookies with this recipe.  Once you have your shape cut out, follow the directions from this YouTube video (fingerprints for eye sockets, spoon edge for mouth, lines in body with spoon).  I had made these cookies a few days prior to the party so I put them in a Tupperware container and froze them until they were ready to be decorated. 

When I opened the container the day of the party it was like a Baby Groot massacre!  There were heads and arms all over in the container.  I matched up what I could, melted some modeling chocolate and attached the limbs back on.  Luckily they held pretty well, but I think this could be avoided with thicker arms and necks and without a modified recipe. 

I decorated the cookies with a black sparkly icing pen and set aside to let them dry.

For the pudding, I bought two packets of Jello chocolate pudding and followed the directions on the packet.  To make it look more like dirt, I smashed up some cookies (this was my favourite part) using a sandwich bag and a meat tenderizer and sprinkled them in the pudding.  

While they were extremely fragile, they turned out to be a cute addition to our party table!

Star-Lord Cake
It’s not very easy to buy a Guardians of the Galaxy cake around here, and if it were I would have put down some good money to have it made by a professional.  I am not a very good working with food so decorating a cake is way out of my comfort zone. 

Last year I made an Iron Man cake and it (luckily) turned out to be pretty decent.  I had the gel food colouring left over which came in Handy for the Star-Lord cake.  I had to go out and purchase a black gel colouring to make the “silver” part of the mask, but other than that I had everything else on hand.

The cake was made using approximately 18 cupcakes.  I am a big fan of not having large knives out around small children so these cupcake cakes help with my anxiety level.  Trust me, these are very easy to make, the secret is to use a lot of icing. Really a lot. I used three of those little store bought canisters when I only imagined using one.  I guess you could say I only used 2.5 canisters though because some of it was wasted (or eaten) when I made too much of some colours.  The easiest way to learn how to make these pull-apart cakes (without me rambling on) is to follow the directions here (only make a cool Star-Lord mask shape, not a turtle). 

Basically you ice the bottom of the cupcake, stick them in place on a platter and make it into the shape of a cool Star-Lord head.  Then you add icing over the top of all the cupcakes (icing over the cracks so they look like one complete cake).  Don’t worry about smooshing the cupcakes if you have to, it makes the cracks smaller and uses less icing.

After you have a plain coating over the whole cake, use your favourite icing tip (or cut a hole in the corner of a sandwich bag if you are brave and draw out the colours of your mask.  I started with the red eye circles and worked my way out and hoped that it would turn out to be a decent cake – like I said, cake decorating is stressful!  Once I had the mask completely painted, I lined it with my Wilton Black Sparkle Gel Pen (I mentioned it earlier for the Groot cookies too).  I can’t stress enough how much I love this product (no I’m not getting paid to say that).  It really made me feel like I had control over the icing and everything turned out great. 

To finish it off, I took some red gel colouring and mixed it with some sugar and sprinkled it over the eyes (to make them look a little more sparkly). 


I was very lucky to find official Guardians of the Galaxy decorations in the clearance section at Party City for $1 each.  I bought some blue and orange streamers and hung them from the curtain rod behind the table and hung up a poster we had.  Other than that, the main focus was on the Groot bags, the cake and the pudding cups.

I didn’t expect much for games.  I knew with eleven year old boys, they would rather shoot each other with Nerf guns and run around and  make my neighbours downstairs hit the ceiling with the end of the broom handle.  I did find an excellent Guardians of the Galaxy Bingo printable online ( but that only lasted about ten minutes before the Nerf battled recommenced.

Overall, we had a great party.  There are plenty of other great Guardians of the Galaxy party ideas out there, but I just ran out of time/money.  If you do a search you can find a pretty cool Groot pinata but my apartment was not big enough for that and I would probably start to cry with kids smashing Groot's face in!

I think next year we'll do an iPad party where nobody talks to each other, except to show your Minecraft creations.  Sounds like it would be a little less work and a lot quieter! (of course I'm kidding!)

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Hello..this is my blog. I bought this fancy theme and I don't know what to write here just yet. Maybe one day remind me I have to write something inspiring here?