Transforming your home into a Dojo....
There are some truly inspiring ninja parties out in blog land! If you are just starting your search, be sure to check out Geminye Concierge's Hi-Ya party, ninja party by Modern Hostess, Under a Cherry Tree, and Table Tops for Tots. These ladies have put together gorgeous parties and or decorations, pure inspiration! Check out the ninja party page on pinterest for more inspiration... But meanwhile, what can us regular folks do?
Luckily, an Asian theme is pretty easy to accomplish in the month around Chinese New Year. I do realize that Ninja's are a Japanese tradition, but practicality plays a part here... I kept decorations simple by purchasing a a couple of items and making others.
I loved the simple ninja face appearing in many of the parties. Even though I knew I could probably handle making my own, I was hoping someone would have shared a template. Not so! So, I am sharing my template with you (below). That just might leave you with a tad extra time to do some other marvelous thing! BTW, I was able to cut two at a time on regular cardstock
Some of the super parties above had the faces on napkin rings... cute idea, but not practical for a boy party (a rolled up napkin would surely become a plaything and prevent their intended use!). I turned the faces into hanging decorations instead. I made 24 and hung them everywhere... from string lights, Christmas garlands, our table lamp and ribbons above door ways.
In between the faces I hung paper Chinese lanterns that I got as a kit from Oriental Trading. These lanterns are a snap to make yourself (see here for example), but I didn't think I could make them myself for the $6 that a dozen of them cost. It did take some time to put them together (use double sided sticky tape instead of glue!) but still faster than gathering and cutting all the pieces myself, especially with shiny gold parts.
I also made a half dozen paper ninja stars to hang between ninja faces. Glue the ribbon or string between paper folds as it is nearly impossible to get a hole punch through the thick layers of folded paper. I would have liked to keep the colors in red, black, and white but couldn't find a timely source for that. Probably could have found it online if I had not left this part to the last minute!
I also found some Asian red tassells on clearance ($3.98 for 12) at US TOY, the company where I purchased ninja swords (best price, friendly service, free shipping). I hung a bunch of tassells outside to welcome guests and put the rest above a doorway between ninja faces.
Lastly, I decorated our mantle piece with some lighted twigs, skeletons from our nunchuck bowling game, and art samples from our calligraphy project.... More on those in another post, soon!
Luckily for me, none of the guests had seen the super-party posts so these simple decorations were enough to set the mood and inspire festivity! I love working with kids... so darn easy to please!