Twilight Party -13yr- Red Velvet Cupcakes
Anne in Benicia, CA USA
My daughter is a huge fan of the Twilight book series by Stephanie Meyer (Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn) and has read them all numerous times, and she also loves the two movies. Her friends have also recently gotten into the books this year and most of them have read them or seen the movies. So when we were planning her 13th birthday party sleepover, we both thought that a Twilight theme would be a perfect choice! We decided that the theme would focus mostly on the first book Twilight, though we did have some pictures and decorations using some images from the other books and the New Moon movie. We decided on a red and black color scheme, which was carried throughout the decorations, food, drinks, and favors. We also used red ribbon (the image on the cover of Eclipse") in the invites decorations crafts and favors.
INVITATIONS: I had a hard time finding invitation wording suggestions for this theme so I ended up creating my own wording: "Come join us for a TWILIGHT party to celebrate Mady's 13th birthday! Cold-blooded fun will begin at the NEW MOON (7 pm) on January 22 and conclude when it's BREAKING DAWN (10 am) on Saturday January 23. Please come dressed to dazzle in black & red and you'll be sure to ECLIPSE the sun and have a fangtastic time! And since vampires don't have beds please bring your sleeping bag & pillow. Address: xxx Street Town State. RSVP to Anne & Steve "Cullen" at xxx-xxxx." I printed the invitations on cream-colored card stock (portrait orientation) and covered them with a layer of translucent tracing paper (both from Michaels) with two holes punched at the top with a piece of red velvet ribbon tying the two layers together (all bought at Michaels and the ribbon was in sale bin for $1). I used the "Zephyr font" which looks very much like the one of the Twilight series book covers and I found it free on-line. I had some trouble downloading it but I sorted out how to do it after visiting answers.yahoo.com. On www.twilightsource.com they also have other cool fonts like Edward's Bella's and Jacob's handwriting.
COSTUMES: Guests were asked to dress in red and black and come dressed to "dazzle." Everyone got into the mood and some really got into it with their outfits. My daughter wore a black Twilight t-shirt together with a red skirt and black leggings. When guests arrived we also had a small bottle of glitter lotion (found at Target) to put on their cheeks to give them a bit of vampire "sparkle". Dressing up certainly makes for a festive party mood and the red and black looks great in the photos.
DECORATIONS: We had a fun time preparing for the party and we worked hard to stay on a budget and do this as economically as possible. We decided to go with a red and black theme for the decorations as well as asking the guests to come dressed in these colors. We went to the Dollar store and picked up red streamers (2 for $1) we also found red candles (apple cinnamon scent) and a package of silk red rose petals ($1) as well as red napkins and red plates. At a local party store we bought some black plastic table clothes and a set of 100 white votive candles and we ordered a couple of "Twilight New Moon" items on-line (paper dinner plates beverage napkins and buttons of the main characters) to round out the decorations/favors.
To set the mood we had the music from Twilight and New Moon movies (she had received the cds for Christmas) playing on the cd player during the party- they tended to be alternative rock music and they created a nice background. We printed and hung up a sign on the front door that said "Welcome to Forks population 3170" - we got it from yahoo images and it was real picture of the Forks Washington town sign). We put up the red streamers and hung them from the ceiling and the chandelier in the dining room. We wove white twinkle lights around the bannister of the staircase which was reminiscent of the twinkle lights hanging on the gazebo in the Twilight movie.
We also lit the votive candles in safe places around the kitchen and the adjacent family room. This created a magical and mysterious atmosphere for party. I also lit red taper candles on the dining room table during the dinner which made the meal seem more elegant (even though they were eating off paper plates!) I had a simple centerpiece of a stack of red delicious apples (like the apple on the cover of Twilight) on a cake stand and they looked almost unreal they were so shiny and beautiful. We bought a Twilight poster at a bookstore on sale (about $4) and taped that to the wall of the family room. We scattered the red silk rose petals over the black table cloth on the drink table and it looked lovely.
We also printed out quotes from Twilight and New Moon books and movie that we got from (www.hostessblog.com) and hung them up all over the house (things like "And so the lion fell in love with the lamb" and "We're making Italiano for you"). These were also in red black and white so it coordinated very nicely with the other decorations. It would be easy to make your own quotes from the books or movie in a fancy script. Lastly my daughter and her friend selected photos of the movie characters from yahoo images and I printed them on photo paper and they cut them out and hung them around the house along with the quotes.
PARTY SNACKS: For dinner we of course went with Italian food (since Bella and Edward eat at an Italian restaurant - La Bella Italia- and the Cullens cook Italiano for Bella when they first meet her.) So we had mushroom ravioli (which is what Bella orders on her date with Edward) from Trader Joes. It was delicious and we served it with a homemade alfredo sauce which was really easy to make. We had spaghetti with red sauce (of course!) for those guests with less adventurous tastes. We also served garlic bread (vampires in these books are not fearful of it) and a nice green salad (like the one in the bowl that Rosalie breaks in the movie). Some kids ate some of the centerpiece apples after the meal-so the centerpiece served two purposes!
For drinks we printed out drink labels for the red juice drinks (Izze juice sodas- but any red bottled drink would do) and taped them onto the bottles. The labels said things like "thirsty?" "drink up" and "type A negative". I got them from hostessblog.com and they looked amazing! During the movie I also served red and black candies to go with the red and black theme. I bought large bags of the candies and then divided them into smaller cellophane bags and printed out labels to tape on the cellophane bags that said things like "type A" "type B" and "type O" (from the same website). They looked quite fancy! I also served "Twilight Delight" Ghiradelli chocolates that I had found at Target. Both these candies also went in the goody bags. The girls were too full for popcorn but my plan was originally to serve popcorn too with the label "Jacob's wolf chow".
CAKE: For the cake I made red velvet cupcakes since I wanted to find a nice deep red-colored cake. This was from a mix. They looked and tasted good and I made a homemade cream cheese frosting for the tops. I "splattered" them with cherry pie filling (just the sauce not the cherries themselves) to look like fake blood - and they were quite tasty. I served this with vanilla ice cream. I printed out "Happy 13th Birthday Mady" on card stock along with a printed picture of Bella & Edward and taped them to tooth picks so I could stick them into the cupcakes. If I had it to do over again I might go with something more simple and prettier like devils food cake with red icing and just decorate them with quotes or pictures from the movie because the red splatter may have been a bit off-putting to some of the girls. But I think it helped that I announced loudly that the red on the frosting was cherry pie filling! Another cute alternative cake idea would be to make cupcakes decorated to look like werewolf faces (check out the "Hello Cupcake!" cookbook to see the picture) - this would particularly good if you go with more of a "New Moon" werewolf theme.
ACTIVITIES: When the guests arrived we decorated Twilight bookmarks. I had printed out free printable bookmarks (www.bellaandedward.com) pictures and my husband had them laminated. The bookmark pictures included pictures from the four Twilight books as well as a few of Edward and Edward and Bella. Next time I would also have pictures of Jacob as he was the most popular character! I punched a hole in the top of each laminated bookmark and the guests could create a tassel at the end by tying a length of embroidery thread and threading pretty beads onto the thread and typing it. The thread and beads were left over from a jewelry making kit my daughter got for her b-day last year. We also had a simpler decorating option of tying red ribbon through the hole and this looked quite nice and was faster and easier. Later in the evening we watched the "Twilight" dvd and half-way through took a break to sing happy birthday and have the cupcakes and ice cream. Watching the movie helped the guests (even the newbies) to answer the trivia questions and follow the Treasure Hunt story later in the party.
GAMES: We played four games during the party (keep in mind this was a sleepover!). The first was a guessing game. I taped the name of a character to each of the guests backs soon after they arrived. This was a great ice-breaker because they had to go around and ask other guests yes/no questions to guess the identity of the character on their back. I gave the kids that were newbies to Twilight easy ones like Edward or Bella ones with medium-level knowledge got characters like Jasper and Esme and guests who were really into the books received harder characters to guess like Aro or Marcus. The second was a trivia game. I had came up with questions that I got from the movie and some from the books. These included questions like "What did Bella order at her dinner date with Edward?" and "who is the strongest of the Cullen family members"? You could tailor questions to be easier or harder depending on the age and familiarity with the books and/or movies. You can also look on-line for Twilight trivia questions but I decided to make up my own since some of the on-line ones were pretty difficult. Our favorite game was the Twilight Treasure Hunt. I do a Treasure Hunt at every party and it is always really fun for the guests and it is fun to make the clues go along with the theme.
For this party I started off with instructions "Bella is being tracked by James the evil vampire who wants to kill her. He has followed her every move and if we also follow her path we may be able to help the Cullens save her. We may even get a reward for this dangerous work! The first clue is to go to the place where Esme can prepare Italiano for Bella" (next clue hidden near oven in kitchen). Other clues included "Go find something that could belong to the Quillete tribe" (clue tucked inside a Native American vase) and "For the next clue find a large object that the Cullens would not need or use" (clue hidden on the bed under a pillow). The other treasure hunt clues led them all over the house up and down the stairs. You can adapt them to the book that you're focusing on and different locations in or around your house. The last clue instructed the guests to "Go find a costume that Bella might have worn when she was taking ballet lessons as a child" which led them to a bedroom closet with my daughter's old ballet costumes. Underneath one was a basket with the goody bags- the "reward" for their search.
Lastly we also had a "New Moon" board game to play (daughter got it for Xmas in anticipation of her January b-day) but we didn't have time to play it until the next morning. We found the board game rules a little confusing so I recommend reading the rules carefully BEFORE the party if you plan to play it at the party. It was fun though filled with trivia questions about New Moon. Best to do teams and pair "experts" together with "novices" for this game.
FAVORS: The goody bags were fun to put together- and my daughter and I were always on the lookout items that could work as favors items during the month before her party. This is what we ended up with: small bottles of "Twilight Woods" body lotion on sale at Bath & Body Works "Twilight Delight" Ghiradelli dark chocolate squares red and black Lindt candies (also on sale after Christmas) red candies "packaged" and printed with with Twilight labels New Moon notebook stickers and New Moon buttons (Bella Edward Jacob and Bella & Edward) - both bought on-line from Party City. Guest also got to keep a small red scented candle with their name and Twilight glued taped to it and the bookmark they decorated.
The party was a big hit and everyone had a great time! In true vampire fashion the guests did not seem to sleep (enough!). They loved the decorations and even though the labels on the drinks and candy was a bit of work they really thought it was cool. They also seemed to really enjoy the treasure hunt. They could have played that even longer! The girls were talking about the party days later- so I guess it was worth all the planning and work. My daughter definitely had a very fun time with her friends and a very memorable 13th birthday! Good luck with your Twilight party - it is such a great theme for a tween or teen! "