How-to: Rock-n-Roll Birthday Party

For my son’s 4th birthday, we threw a rock-themed party (aka Jason Fest 4) for Jason and his friends. I haven’t come across a lot of rock-themed children’s party resources online, so I’ve compiled my ideas and inspiration here.

The Invitations

Inspired by this post on Momtastic, I created the invitations out of vintage records. I posted a how-to with printable templates for the invitations here.

The ‘Mod Your Guitar’ Station

As guests arrived, we directed them to the guitar station, where each child was given a personalized guitar and strap. I provided crayons and a large assortment of stickers, and the kids provided the creativity. Here are a few examples of their creations:

I found the pre-cut guitar shapes at Michaels, along with the ribbon. I attached the ribbon strap to the back of the guitars using coordinating duck tape. I also covered the table in neon rock-themed stretchy bracelets so the kids could also decorate themselves a bit too.

The Stage

The stage was the focal point of the party, and our plan was to set it up in the backyard under a canopy. Thunderstorms on the day of the party quickly put an end to that, and we had to create the stage area in the playroom. The stage included: a keyboard (which we already had), large speakers, an amp and an assortment of musical toys (microphones, tambourines, etc.).

I was very lucky in creating the drum set because I happened to find a Rock Band drum set at a thrift store for under $10. (If you don’t have such good luck, you can also check out this post on making a toy drum set.) I spray painted the drums and attached a large hat box for the bass drum, which was also painted silver and decorated with a large 4 made out of vellum.

The speakers were largely inspired by a window display at Crewcuts.  I started with two large square boxes and two rectangular ones. Using posterboard and a circle cutter, I cut out holes of varying sizes to create an iconic speaker look and then used spray glue to affix to the boxes.

The amp was made by my husband and is a complete knock-off of this amp toybox spotted on ohdeedoh. You can read more about our Ikea-Malm-nightstand-turned-toybox here and here.

I also found a great post on rock-themed furniture that provides inspiration for additional props that could be incorporated into your party decor.

Food and Favors

We chose a pretty bold color palette – orange and turquoise – and we incorporated it into everything, including the food. In fact, nearly all of the food was orange: buffalo wings, sweet potato chips, cheese, carrots, orange slices and guitar-shaped cheese sandwiches. Most of our guests were in the 2 to 6 year old range, so we kept the menu pretty simple.

I also made a cake and ordered cupcakes from a local cupcake shop:

You can’t tell in this photo, but I made a fondant cut-out of a guitar for the top of the cake using the same guitar icon that appears on the invites.

I ordered the cupcakes from What’s Up Cupcake and then topped them with cupcake toppers that I made using the paper and guitar design from the invitations.

There are lots of ways to go with favors and lots of inexpensive music-related toys that could be added to a goodies bag, but I think most people either throw these away or use them for a very short time, so I went a simpler route and packed bags of guitar-shaped sugar cookies. I made the cookies myself using this cookie cutter.