Mar 13, 2015

Themed Surprise Party - a Semi Sorta Crafting Thing

At some point this year-long craft-project-a-month thing is going to fall to the wayside because I'm already struggling to keep up and the next couple months only get busier.  But for now I'm going to keep posting the things I do manage to get completed.  February was supposed to be the recipe book, but more of my effort ended up going to something more exciting - Ryan's surprise Back to the Future themed birthday party!

The party was this past weekend, but I started planning and assembling at the beginning of February.  Having a fuzzy recollection of the first 2 movies and never having seen the 3rd, Pinterest and Google were my best assistants in finding decoration ideas.

Roommate suggested breaking up the time periods by room, so the kitchen was 1955, the living room was 2015, and the basement was the Wild, Wild West.


The kitchen was by far the most elaborate and the easiest.  We (me and my super awesome, helpful neighbor) decorated it like the school dance in 1955 from the movie.  So lots of "Enchantment Under the Sea" posters, balloons, and long strands of tinsel on the walls.  Also diner-y type food: sliders, fries (sweet potato because that's what Ryan likes), and Pepsi and "Tab" (I made my own labels because I couldn't find any - I was later told this was unnecessary and they have it at Walmart).

Living Room

The living room was the "future" (the present?), and it was mostly just "No Hoverboarding" signs, newspapers from the dystopian future created by old Biff, and the goofy "holographic" baseball hat that Marty's son wears.

Oh, and this...


The wild, wild west!  This movie I hadn't seen, so I really had to rely on Google.  I didn't go all out with the basement and I'm glad, because I don't think anyone ended up going down there anyway.

Most of this stuff was just Photoshopped to fit the page sizes I needed, and then printed.  A few things were cut out and/or taped together.  The hoverboard is the only really "crafted" thing and that was just a strip of cardboard with the image taped to each side, and a strip of painters tape to hide the rough corrugated edges.

In progress (other "in progress" decorations behind it)

Horrible, grainy picture of finished product

Oh, and of course, costumes!  Another picture fail, I got myself as Marty McFly, but not Ryan as Doc Brown.  I did take a picture of Sister2 wearing the wig, though...

Jenn McFly

Something strange and hilarious
In case you're wondering about the surprise element, it went down something like this:

  1. Roommate distracts Ryan - practically has to guilt him into seeing movie
  2. Jenn (and Neighbor) frantically tidy up and decorate their butts off
  3. People start arriving early (awesome for the surprise, but also stressful because nothing was ready!)
  4. Roommate further misleads Ryan by proposing dinner and suggesting they "stop at the house to pick Jenn up."  Without warning, Ryan calls Jenn, and she hides in bathroom to prevent him from hearing party sounds and agrees to everything they say, while trying desperately to sound normal.
  5. Jenn sends Momma to dumpster with trash
  6. Jenn stands at window awaiting car lights
  7. The car pulls up!  But Momma is also returning with the trash!  Oh no!
  8. Momma ducks inside, and we all hide in the kitchen.
  9. Jason and Ryan enter, talking about some random thing.
  10. We start giggling as Ryan comes around the corner and give a half-hearted "Surprise!"
  11. Ryan "feels feelings" and is generally blown away and touched, but does not have a heart attack.
  12. Success.

Not bad for my first ever surprise party!

Have you ever thrown a surprise party?  How did it go?

Jenn signature graphic | Business, Life & Design


  1. Love the decorations, you are very creative.

    I've never given or had a surprise party, I'm not big on parties because they mean being social with lots of people at once.

  2. This looks so fun!!! What cool ideas for decor! I have never really thrown a surprise party before but I could imagine that I would be pretty moved if someone went through all that trouble to surprise me so I bet he is holding some of those feelings :)

  3. I've never thrown a surprise party, but this looks like so much fun that if I ever do, I will be using your tips!


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