Lila’s Birthday Party: Michael’s Superhero Craft Party

Michaels Superhero Craft Party | knittedbliss.com

Please forgive the photos. the party room is painted a bizarre bright yellow/green, and it messed with the colours in all the photos, it seems! I also didn’t want to put any photos of the blogs that contained photos of other people’s children, so they are pretty cropped. 

After asking you guys for birthday party ideas for Lila (thank you so much! So many great ideas, including this one!) I went with a Michael’s superhero craft party. Michael’s (a popular craft store chain in North America, for my wonderful international readers) has prepackaged craft party ideas, geared to different ages. They supply the invitations, crafts materials, thank-you cards and a staff person to facilitate the craft, and you provide the food, drinks, and kids. They generally gear the parties to about 8 children, so we invited 7 other kids to Lila’s party.

When I first called to set it up, they assumed that for a 4 year old girl I would want the princess party, which I flat out turned down. Not that I have anything against princesses, but little kids often have mixed boy/girl parties, and Lila isn’t interested in princesses at all (and no matter how many times I offer, she doesn’t want to watch Frozen). I went with the superhero theme, as the crafts seemed the most fun- they would make capes, masks, power cuffs, and decorate a photo frame. And Lila loves tying on a baby blanket and being ‘Super Lila’ at home.

Guy and I decided that since a photo frame was part of the package, we would send the kids home with a photo. I created a photo backdrop of the city to use for the kids to pose in front of:

backdrop for party

I used Picmonkey, which is what I use to edit my blog photos (I might learn how to use Photoshop one day, but my kids are going to have to be bigger so I have more time!). Picmonkey has some theme bundles, and I used the Comic Heroes theme, using the ‘Graphic Novel’ overlay (Guy is such a great photographer, right?!), and I designed the posters using themed overlays- they are below in the photo collages, with ‘Kaboom! and ‘Wow!’.

We brought a digital camera, laptop, and a printer to the party- Once the kids finished making their superhero costume crafts, we took a photo of each child against the back drop, then Guy transferred the images to his laptop, plugged them into the template, and we printed on site and put them into the frames. The results were super cute:

Michaels Superhero Craft Party | knittedbliss.com

You can see a quick video of Lila trying to blow out her candles on Guy’s Instagram, here

I made a chocolate cake,  and covered the whole thing in rainbow sprinkles and added some little printouts of  some of sound effect bubbles for a cake topper. I am always surprised at how hard I find cake decorating-  there is a big disconnect between my Pinterest cake dreams and my actual abilities.  I need to take a cake decorating class!

Michaels Superhero Craft Party | knittedbliss.com

The staff liked the posters so much they asked if they could keep them! 

To get all the party supplies on theme, I got a birthday-in-a-box set from Birthday Express. I am really impressed with the wide variety of party themes they have (even the superhero theme had 15 different types of superhero party-in-a-box themes) and I found exactly what we wanted– a generic comic superhero theme, complete with balloons, plates, cups, cutlery, decorations, etc. I think it’s really good value (the quality is great) and it is a huge relief to just get everything I need shipped to my front door in one box.

When Lila plays ‘Super Lila’ at home, she says James is Super Baby. So for the party, I put his bib on backwards and sewed a little felt star to a onesie. Instant Super Baby! If we had a bit more forethought (and less general birthday party chaos) I would have liked to take a photo of James in front of the city back drop, I wish we had thought of it at the time.

Michaels Superhero Craft Party | knittedbliss.com

What Worked Great:

  • We went in a couple weeks in advance and picked out the colour scheme for the crafts, choosing red and turquoise blue felt. I did this to ensure that both colour options were unisex, and it was worth it.
  • We took measurements for the frames in the party room, for the printout ‘POW!’ signs.
  • We also took measurements of the photo frames they use for the parties, so Guy could create a pre-sized frame template so he could drag-and-drop the photos of the kids easily.
  • My parents came in from out of town, and it was a huge help- extra sets of hands to help with James and Lila, especially at the end when Lila was exhausted from all the fun and started crying that she wanted to go home (this was about 20 minutes after she had declared that it was the Best. Birthday. EVER!). Guy and my dad took the kids back home while my mom and I cleaned up.

What I Would Do Differently:

  • The capes were a bit long for the 4 year old set, I wish I had asked them to make the capes about a foot shorter than normal (capes come presized).
  • There was also a clearance bin just outside the door of the party room, and the kids pillaged it and it got awkward- tears were shed over who was or wasn’t ‘sharing’. I wish I had moved the bin before the kids arrived. You definitely want the area clear of distractions.
  • This next part sounds a little crazy, but I wish we had a ‘photo list’ of the photos we wanted to take that day- I wish we had got a family photo, I wish we had taken a photo of James as Super Baby in front of the photo back drop. I wish we had got a group shot of all the kids in their costumes together. Next time, I’ll know it’s worth putting a list together so we don’t forget.

And that was Lila’s 4th birthday party!

Note: I’m sure it goes without saying, but none of this content is sponsored. This is just what I chose to use, and I have zero contacts at Michael’s, Picmonkey or Birthday Express.  

26 comments

  1. Snow   •  

    Omigosh! She’s grown so much! Where’s your supermom and superdad pics?! Measuring picture frames in the party room?! And that professional backdrop you just whipped up?! You guys are too much! Looks like the birthday girl had a great party and good for you for sticking to a theme that works for all the attendees.
    Your family rocks at party planning!
    And be thrilled she’s not obsessed with frozen. Let it go. (Had to do it)

  2. AngelaH   •  

    This party looks amazing, Julie! I am in awe of how much you’re able to do with two little kids, and all that pre-planning! You and Guy really went all out, and I bet all the kids who were there will have great memories of that party (except maybe James, just because he’s still so small!). A photo list is a good idea for next time, but for real, you got some great photos even without it.

    Happy Birthday to Lila! What a super fun kid she is growing up to be!

  3. Val   •  

    Leila’s totally beaming, congrats on pulling off a super fun party! The superhero background photo shoot is such a stellar idea!
    I can totally relate to wishing for a photo checklist. I recently came back from a special family trip abroad and it was only when transferring the photos to my laptop once home that I realized how useful a checklist would have been. But your photos turned out great all the same, as did the cake (I think kiddos everywhere agree that Sprinkles > Pinterest )!

    • Val   •  

      Oops!! *Lila*. Not Leila. I’m blaming Lara Fabian for that typo.

  4. Jessica [Havok]   •  

    Ah, this looks and sounds like it was so much fun! And your cake decorating skills are great – I can’t even frost a cake evenly, let alone add anything to it xD And Superheroes > Frozen! 😀

  5. Deb   •  

    Okay, you guys win as the coolest parents. I agree with the “photo list”. We tried to cut a few corners when we got married, and my brother in law offered to take pictures. He is an awesome photographer, but misplaced my “list”. In the end, there were ZERO pics of Sean and I together (just us) and 4 rolls of his family.
    Oh well.

  6. Melissa   •  

    Happy birthday! I love the fact that she wanted a superhero party. Way to go!

  7. Corinne   •  

    Sounds like an amazing party. I wished I were 4 again and could be a superhero for the day

  8. Oh fun! Happy birthday, Super Lila! Glad you had an AWESOME super birthday!

    Reed’s into super heros these days, although he doesn’t really know what they are exactly because I don’t let him watch those shows yet. So he always asks questions like What does Spiderman do? How does he have webs in his hands? Why?

    When I was in Target last week, I grabbed myself a cheap Superman T-shirt to wear. I put it on with excitement and said, Reed look, I am Supermom! I thought he would be pumped, but he was just confused and asked me why I had a piece of pizza on my shirt (the logo for Superman is embedded in a triangle shape…)

    Oh well.

  9. Barbara   •  

    I know this is only my personal opinion, but I find it quite shocking what it takes to entertain a four year old kid on here birthday! Doch like your website; lots of good ideas.

  10. Renee Anne   •  

    I loved the video! Also, it looks like it was a great party 🙂

  11. Danette Bartelmay   •  

    It’s hard to believe that Miss Lila is 4 already! I love the Superhero theme! My daughter and Son in law are way in to that theme as well 🙂 Your party looks like it was a huge hit. Your children are beautiful, healthy and joyful looking as always my friend. What more can life give us, right?
    Happy Birthday Sweet Lila.

  12. Kat   •  

    That looks like such a fun party! Lila looks like she had a total blast 🙂

  13. kathy b   •  

    Oh those parties are so emotional for the kids. THe birthday girl or boy seems to go from high to low. So much joy its hard to handle !

  14. Iliana   •  

    Oh wow this looks like such a fun party! The cityscape background photo opp was a great idea, and such a cute party favor. Happy birthday to Super Lila! It looks like everyone had a blast!

  15. Stefanie   •  

    OMGosh, how fun! I didn’t know Michael’s hosted birthday parties. Now living in the suburbs I love Michael’s. Ours is so big and clean. Glad she had fun.

  16. Pam   •  

    This looks like it was a wonderful party! Also, I bet Lila loved that you made her cake — and that’s who it was for, not Pinterest 😉 Back in the day, I made some cakes (which never turned out as well as I’d hoped) and bought some cakes (one was a really fancy Thomas the Tank engine one) but my kids always loved the things I did myself the best.

    One of our best party was a “puppy party” – we let kids decorate cardboard boxes which we’d cut doors into as dog houses, served snacks in (clean and new) dog bowls, etc. It was super weird, but the kids LOVED it.

  17. Alina   •  

    Lila, happy birthday!! How time flies! I still remember how you were in a belly! I hope you will have a fabulous year! Congratulations, dear Julie, on a party success. Looks like it was so much fun!

  18. Jess   •  

    What amazing party! It looks like she’s having a total blast! She’s adorable and looks like a fun time was had by ALL!!! xo

  19. Linda   •  

    Well, you may have missed a couple of photo ops, but sounds like everyone came away with fun memories. Miss L looks so happy. The little Mr. looks pensive. Both super cute super heroes.

  20. Anna Prasad   •  

    I have been playing catch up with my blog reading and almost missed this beautiful post. What a great party!!!!

  21. Loulou   •  

    Now, that sounds like it was a fun party, in deed! I love how organized it seems like you were, with the posters and the plan for photos to go in the frames. I’d say you two are definitely super-parents!

  22. Kessa   •  

    Aw! What a wonderful party! I don’t think it is necessary to always have princess parties for little girls… It should be what they are interested in! How sad it will be to force a superhero kid into a fluffy dress just because the parents think it will be best! After L’s first birthday party, I’ve realised just how crazy it can be planning a birthday party for little people… So don’t feel bad about forgetting some things! When Lila grows up, she will only remember the awesome superhero party she had. 😉

  23. Tien   •  

    LOVE that you went with the superheroes theme! Fun for both boys & girls. That cityscape photo idea was brilliant and really unique. Great team work! It sounded like Lila had a grand time … despite the tears at the end … my mom always says that a birthday party isn’t successful unless the birthday girl/boy cries at least once 😉

  24. Victoria   •  

    This party looks amazing! I actually booked a superhero squad birthday parties at our local Michaels. I started looking around the internet to see what everything looked like for this party. This will also be my daughter’s 4th birthday party. Between the cake and the crafting, was it enough to keep the children entertained the whole time? I am worried they will get bored and I need to come up with some other things to entertain them with.

    • Admin   •     Author

      It was more than enough to keep them busy, we didn’t even have time to make the power cuffs. I had the same concerns you have, but having lived through it I can say it went great!

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