My son is really into pirates–the friendly Jake variety and even the not-so-friendly rum-drinking variety–so it was only natural that his 4th birthday be pirate themed. The entire party was Pinterest-inspired, so the ideas are not Ashley originals. (See my relevant board HERE. There is some really cute stuff on there that I didn’t even use.) We had the party at a pavilion by a public splash-pad where the kids could play in a water fountain. I started with inexpensive vinyl tablecloths. I picked up some black and white fabric to make the table runner. I added twine and an eye patch with hot glue to the red-striped cups to make them extra “pirate-y.” We served chicken, fruit, and Goldfish crackers for lunch. I ordered the cookies from a local bakery, and made the cake myself (more on that below). I ordered the sail for the backdrop from Etsy and just lucked up on finding an old curtain rod to hang it from. I put bubbles, chocolate coins, mini-telescopes, and some other “gold” treasure in the favor bags. Never one to overlook any detail, I even ordered myself this cute pirate-eque shirt from Hope’s. (I tried to convince my husband to wear a costume, but he didn’t go for it. To his credit, it was a hot day.) Voila, Pirate Party!
Red Plates and Cups from Shop Sweet Lulu
Buy Paper Straws and Favor Bags HERE
Gold Coins, mini-telescopes, pirate hats, eye patches, temporary tattoos, and bubbles from Oriental Trading
Fondant decorations are cute and give a clean look, but most people (including my 4-year-old) aren’t crazy about them, so I use fondant sparingly. I used fondant only for the red stripes, eye patch, gold details, rope, letters, and number. I HIGHLY recommend ordering Satin Ice Fondant. It tastes much better than the brand that you can buy at your craft store, and it is much easier to work with. (A 5 lb tub is way more than you will need for the details on this cake, and it comes in a tub so you can save the rest for future projects.)
The bottom cake was an 8″ square, and the top was a 6″ circle. (Both were 3 layers tall.) I frosted the bottom with chocolate buttercream, then made lines in the frosting using a toothpick. Next, I sprayed a light coat of edible black spray color over the chocolate frosting to give it an even more real aged-wood appearance. I used edible gold spray color over brown fondant pieces to get the “metal” look on the hinges. (The spray color was easy to find in the cake section of my local hobby store.) I used THIS alphabet cutter set to cut out the letters and # 4.
After frosting and adding fondant details, I used some (washed) toys that my son already had, and some chocolate coins to finish decorating. I added crushed vanilla wafers to look like sand around the cake board.
I do not recommend using a cake mix, as cake mix cakes do not stand up well to stacking. A made-from-scratch cake works best. Also, be sure to use supports and a cake board between layers.
Good luck, mateys!