Asian inspired party round-up

I wanted to go back and put links to all the party goods in one post, in case you ever wanted to try an asian inspired party too!

For the invitations



For our party invitations I made big paper cranes. Each printed on to one sheet of paper. They work well too because you can leave them flat for mailing in an envelope. Here is a template that gives you an idea of how to line up your text. Just keep in mind the text near the pointed wings should be a bit smaller then what I printed on these examples. When you go to fold them, they should look like this after the initial folds, so that the text will be on the wings when you are finished.

Here is a video that shows how to fold a origami crane which should also help.

Party Food




For the cake I made a daruma doll inspired layer cake. We bought all sorts of chips + snack food at the Asian grocery shop. Pocky, Candy Mushrooms, and ordered Chinese food from our favorite place. We picked up the Chinese food and then kept it in the oven at 170F until the guests arrived. It kept everything nice and hot, but was low enough that we could leave everything in the takeout containers.

Decorations



Decorations for the party were lots of fun! I found a lot of things at AsianIdeas.com Stuff like the red streamers, paper lanterns, and the fun doll mask. I found a big dragon kite on Ebay, but you could always create your own dragon kite too!

Piñata



For the Piñata we decided to make a Cat Bus, based off one of our favorite anime movies Totoro. I filled it with some little toys, candy, and paper cranes.

Party Favors


Party favors consisted of a few things…I made little takeout boxes for each kid to take home at the end of the night. I also created little Soot Sprite plush to help fill the piñata. We also had purchased small rice bowls at the asian market, and chopsticks. The bowls and chopsticks were used for food during the party, and then we did a quick hand washing so the kids could each take home the bowl they used. We had extra chopsticks, so those went home with them too.

Activites

Besides the piñata, and food we decided to watch the movie My Neighbor Totoro during the party. You could pick your favorite anime, or if pressed for time watch something a little shorter like a tv show sized episode of Bleach.

We also spread origami paper out among the tables for kids to fold their favorite things. Little printed origami instructions are good to put out too, so the party goers can try something new.

For music we used Pandora and chose an already made J-Pop channel to play in the background while everyone ate and mingled around.

Cake & stuff











The cake is meant to be a Daruma doll…The Daruma doll (達磨 daruma?), also known as a Dharma doll, is a hollow, round, Japanese doll modeled after Bodhidharma, the founder of the Zen sect of Buddhism. These dolls, though typically red and depicting a bearded man (Dharma), vary greatly in color and design depending on region and artist. Though considered an omocha, meaning toy, Daruma has a design that is rich in symbolism and is regarded more as a talisman of good luck to the Japanese.

About the eyes—or lack of…
The recipient of the doll fills in one eye upon setting the goal, then the other upon fulfilling it. In this way, every time they see the one-eyed Daruma, they recall the goal. I thought I would go ahead and put one eye.

Not what I would consider my best cake, but the daruma is a tough shape to make in cake :) K had asked for this cake specifically, and lucky for me he seemed really happy with it. I used two small round pans, and one half dome pan to make the shape. I was considering carving it so the bottom would be smaller and more like a daruma, but I didn’t want to risk the cake collapsing. His eyes are two white chocolate circles, and one colored in with frosting.

Then I made cupcakes with the remaining batter, and put origami cranes onto toothpicks on top. Oh, and the “15” was shaped sparklers, very cool when lit!

I think everyone had a good time last night. We ordered a ton of vegetarian Chinese food like General Tso’s, Fake Chicken Lo Mein, etc. and no one even knew it was vegetarian, which is always funny. We steamed vegetable dumplings, and some bready/cocoa dumplings we found at Kam Man. We had some little drinks that were flavored vanilla, or pineapple coconut :)

Then they watched Totoro (which was helpful in explaining Cat Bus + Soot Sprites) No one knew that I had sewn soot sprites for the piñata, so when they saw them in the movie and were talking about how much they loved them, I was excited for piñata time. I love that all the kids were excited about the piñata, and since they were older we blindfolded and spun them. After we got through everyone doing hits like that, we let them each take a swing with their eyes open.

We had origami paper out all over the table, so people could make things. I helped teach my sister how to fold paper cranes, and little origami turtles and hats turned up as well.

Three kids spent the night last night, so of course they are all still passed out asleep. Today once I get all the extra kids back to their homes I plan to try and photograph my leftover craft show goods, so I can get my Etsy shop updated. I might not be able to update it all until tomorrow, but I will see what I can do.