Simply Resourceful

Simple ways to be more conscious about how we use our resources.

Pirate Birthday Party

Being a parent of one child, I understand how fast a child grows up and how I only get to experience the milestones one time.  For instance, Paul just celebrated his 4th birthday and to make it special and memorable we made it pirate-themed!  Paul has been building pirate ships with Legos for about 6 months now and is really into pirates, treasure, and cannons.

Jon and I try to keep things simple around here and birthday parties are no exception.  It's easy to fall prey to all of the disposable decorations and fancy store-bought cakes; but in our house, we find ways to make the day memorable and fun without all the waste and extra spending.

For the treasure hunt, I made a map out of a piece of scrap curtain lining fabric.  The fabric was dyed to give it a more worn look by soaking it in a bucket of hulled walnuts.  Black tea can also give a similar effect.  With crayons, I made a map with a dotted line leading the way to the treasure; landmarks such as the house, barn, and chickens were included.  To finish the map, I burnt the edges to give it a more authentic look with jagged and curled edges.

Our birthday gift to Paul was a treasure chest.  I found the building plans in a book that a friend lent me.  The chest was filled with chocolate gold coins, party favors, and a few gifts from friends.

This treasure chest is unique because to open it, you have to pull out the handles that lock the lid onto the bottom.  There are no hinges.  I purchased the handles from a flea market.

The treasure chest was hidden behind this log along with a pirate flag.  This log has been Paul's "pirate ship" all summer.  This is where his imagination goes wild and cannons and masts materialize out of branches and bark.  We have spent hours up in the woods playing at Paul's pirate ship and having picnics. 

Paul requested a pirate ship cake for his birthday.  It was a little difficult to make but the end result was priceless. Paul helped with the cannons (chocolate-covered pretzel rods) and building the plank (it's on the other side of the cake and it was also made with pretzels).  Paul kept turning the cookie sheet around and around to look at every detail.  The masts were chopsticks with construction paper masts. 

Treat bags included homemade pirate patches, chocolate coins, and Halloween stickers.


Jill November 7, 2012 at 10:40 AM  

Happy birthday Paul! That treasure chest is priceless. Love it! Nice job on the cake too, it's adorable!

Phoebe November 7, 2012 at 11:24 PM  

Paul has grown so much! That is one sweet looking pirate.
I love all the projects, especially the chest. I'm sure he will remember this birthday for the rest of his life.

About this blog

A weekly update on our adventures of trying to be more self-sufficient by using resources wisely. We explore a variety of topics that most broadly fit in the "Homesteading" category, i.e. beekeeping, organic gardening, edible landscaping/fruit forest, food preservation/canning, woodworking, soap-making, and environmental stewardship.

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