Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Christian's Popcorn Movie Party

“Certain things leave you in your life and certain things stay with you. And that's why we're all interested in movies -- those ones that make you feel, you still think about. Because it gave you such an emotional response, it's actually part of your emotional make-up, in a way.” ~ Tim Burton

An opportunity to visit the cinema brings back memories of the cast of Annie belting out "Let's Go to the Movies." There is just something so exciting about visiting the theater! When son Christian suggested a movie night to celebrate his 11th birthday, we considered a trip to the movies but ultimately decided to plan a movie night at home so we could afford to include as many of his friends as possible. But we still wanted to build the excitement of a trip to the cinema.


A movie night was a great fit for our busy December schedule, but would be a great option for family fun throughout the winter.


Rather than focusing the party theme on particular movie, we opted to use a more general popcorn theme.


The fun started with a popcorn box invitation inviting friends to pop over for Christian's birthday movie night.


See this post for details about Christian's invitation and step-by-step directions for making the popcorn box pockets and paper popcorn.


A movie party needs concessions, and we had plenty for Christian and his co-stars.


We set up a little ticket booth outside the kitchen door to welcome guests. Mary Ashley and Emma served as our Lester Cinema workers, passing out tickets and popcorn boxes to the kids as they arrived.


I purchased plastic popcorn boxes from Target (2 for $1) and filled them with popcorn before the party. Christian set up the movie so when guests came in to find their seats in the family room, they were met with music and images from our special feature.


We watched one of the boys' favorite action movies and served popcorn and soda during the first half of the party. We timed an intermission and dinner break to avoid a kissing scene. (Thankfully, my boys still prefer pizza to romance any day!) Pepperoni pizza and bottled Cokes made an easy, kid-friendly meal. Then it was back to the action.


After the movie, we gave the kids one more box of popcorn -- clever cupcakes to celebrate our superstar Birthday Boy.


I baked our cupcakes in a brownie pan -- like a muffin pan, but with square-shaped wells. Hours before the party, I frosted them with buttercream icing, wrapped them with striped liners, and topped each one with marshmallow popcorn and yellow sugar sprinkles. The girls made the marshmallow popcorn for me by using scissors to cut slits into marshmallows. Easy, cute and perfect for our theme!


The folks at Cricut were kind enough to send me a Cricut Mini to review, and I enjoyed using it for the first time for this party. With Cricut Craftroom, I was able to use shapes that came with the Cricut Mini to make liners for our square cupcakes. I simply layered a rectangle and scalloped edge to get the dimensions I needed. Then the Cricut made easy work of cutting red-striped paper from Michaels into my popcorn boxes. I wrapped the liners around the cupcakes -- creasing each corner to make them look like boxes -- and secured them with tape. I am really enjoying exploring the Cricut Mini, so look for many more projects to come! I look forward to trying more complex paper-cutting crafts, but I am glad to know that the Cricut Mini can be used right out of the box without investing in a single cartridge.


Our party colors were red and white, with accents of yellow and black. A single roll of red chevron wrapping paper from the dollar section at Target made easy table runners for both our kitchen and dining room tables. Popcorn, popcorn boxes, balloons and movie-themed paper products took our theme from the small idea to the big screen.

Left to right, popcorn box cupcakes filled my tiered server in the dining room; plates and napkins from Party City and striped straws from The Sugar Diva added color; and a popcorn bank from Wal-Mart served double duty as a ticket receptacle and an anchor for helium balloons in the dining room.


For a fun favor, I purchased a variety of theater box candies. I found the candy boxes at Wal-Mart, but one of the boys asked me if I went to a movie theater to buy them. "Yeah," 13-year-old Carson quipped, "because we wanted to spent $10,000 on candy." I had planned to give these out as the boys left so they wouldn't lose the special prize attached, but we had fewer guests than we anticipated, so I let them enjoy their candy during the movie.


I wrapped each box with colorful streamers and attached red and yellow tickets to each one. This shape was also included with the Cricut Craftroom software, and it was perfect for greeting guests at our ticket counter and thanking them for coming with favor tags. The "golden ticket" for each box of candy was a Red Box code for a free movie. I purchased a bundle online and had them e-mailed to me so I could distribute them individually. I had enough left over to allow our four children a free movie night.

So as exciting as it is to sing "Let's Go to the Movies," I hope our blockbuster party showed that it can be just as exciting to let the movies come to us!

I am compiling a list of our favorite family movies to share on A Little Loveliness and would love to hear your recommendations! Please share them in the comments.

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