DIY “Galvanized Metal” Letter

21 DIY Galvanized Metal Letter Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party

I came up with the idea to use galvanized metal in my son’s Monsters, Aliens, & Robots birthday party when I was searching for inspiration for his dessert table setup. I found this party from Carol of Partylicious featured by Jenny Raulli of Bloom Designs when searching online. I loved the idea of using  a sheet of galvanized metal as the backdrop and quickly went to Menard’s to find some locally, without any luck. I still have no idea where I could get a sheet of that stuff!

1 Partylicious Robot Party

I decided on a different direction for the backdrop and then came up with the idea of having a big letter J for Joseph in the middle of the backdrop. I checked Hobby Lobby and Michael’s for anything that would work and came up with two options that were just way too small.

2 Hobby Lobby Big J Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party 3 Hobby Lobby Little J Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party

Disappointed in the selection of sizes to choose from, I started thinking harder about the grooves of the metal and wondered if I could achieve the same look from a cardboard box cutout. I picked up a flat moving box from WalMart for less than $1.00 and started freehand sketching a big J on the surface.

4 J Cutout Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party

Using an X-Acto knife, I sliced through the cardboard to cut out my letter J. I’m always very cautious when using one of these blades, as my brother accidentally sliced his arm with one pretty badly when he was a teenager. Thankfully, it was nothing too serious!

5 Xacto Knife Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party

Next, I carefully peeled off the flat layer of cardboard, working slowly to try to remove as much as I could with each strip.

6 Peeling Cardboard Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party

It got messy after a while, so I just had to start peeling everything I could get my fingers on.

7 Cardboard Layers Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party

After I completely peeled off the flat layer of cardboard, I started meticulously picking off all the leftover pieces using a pair of tweezers. This part was quite tedious and time-consuming, but hey, if there’s one thing I have in abundance right now, it’s free time. This is a great project for someone who has a plethora of patience and a healthy dose of functional OCD – not a common combo!

8 Using Tweezers Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party

Finally I used the same Rust-Oleum Metallic Aluminum spray paint I used on the DIY Polystyrene Backdrop to cover the cutout in paint. The metallic silver gave the cutout the shiny, industrial look I wanted.

9 J to Paint Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party

I left the cutout in place for a couple hours, to ensure it was dry before touching it.

10 J Painted Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party

To hang the cutout, I used pins to attach it to my polystyrene backdrop.

11 Pins for Hanging Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party

I really love how the final DIY “Galvanized Metal” Letter turned out. I was able to get it to the perfect size for the backdrop I was working with and it was light enough to hang from pins to the polystyrene.

29 Dessert Table Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party

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Monsters, Aliens, and Robots, oh my!

29 Dessert Table Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party

It’s amazing my son even had a birthday party this year, quite honestly. I had very valid reasons for not celebrating his 2nd birthday – we were traveling, I had no venue, and I am not a party planner are just a few of those excuses. I can’t help it though! I don’t know how not to celebrate and I certainly don’t know how to celebrate in a small way! Go big or go home!

28 Joseph Dessert Table Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party

I had the theme chosen before we even left California in July to begin this crazy cross-country road trip we’ve been on. I loved the idea of doing “Monsters, Aliens, and Robots, oh my!” for his 2nd birthday party, as a play on The Wizard of Oz’s “Lions, Tigers, and Bears, oh my!” I consulted with Amy of Dimply Sweet and she was 100% on board with the theme and she helped me choose a color palette. We decided on blue, lime green, and gray. I loved it! She started working on the printable collection and I was blown away with the invitation she created for me. Amy doesn’t just create custom printables, she also prints everything, cuts it, and deliveries the pretties to your door.

3 Invitation Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party

Amy worked her tail off to create a custom package for my Monster, Aliens, and Robots birthday party. She came up with the idea of using gears as a design element and I thought it was such a great addition. Here are a few of the photos she sent me before mailing off my package.

7 Dimply Sweet Gears Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party 10 Dimply Sweet Welcome Sign Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party 9 Dimply Sweet Straws Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party 8 Dimply Sweet Toppers Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party

I searched the Quad Cities for a fun venue for a boys’ birthday party and wasn’t too excited about what I found, so I decided to just host the party at my grandma’s house. Just to see what I was working with here, check out this before photo of the empty space. I’d just like to drive the point home that you can throw a great-looking party anywhere! That’s another reason that having a professional photographer photograph your party is so important. In the event that hiring a professional photographer is out of your budget or your client’s budget, it’s incredibly beneficial to know your camera well enough to take your own photos.

1 Before Setup Space Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party

I took on quite a few DIY projects for this birthday party. First of all, I created a DIY Polystyrene Backdrop for the dessert table. Check out this post for all of the details on that project.

2 DIY Polystyrene Backdrop Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party

Amy helped me out tremendously by creating a mock-up for my dessert table. I told her I needed as much hand-holding as possible to pull this off without her presence.

4 Dimply Sweet Background Mockup Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party

The DIY “Galvanized Metal” Letter is another project I created to hang on the backdrop. Can you tell I created it from a piece of cardboard? Here’s the link to that post, if you’re interested in creating your own.

21 DIY Galvanized Metal Letter Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party

I’ve also created a great tutorial for making your own DIY Fabric Garland and you can find the details here. It was a fun project and I’m really looking forward to making these for the rest of my future parties.

22 DIY Fabric Garland Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party

Along the lines of DIY crafts, I picked up a few things at Target and Walmart after Halloween and was able to get a great deal on some after holiday clearance items that went perfectly with a monster birthday party. I found this little monster at Target. He came in a bag as a puff ball, a goggly eye, and a sheet of sticky felt pieces. I followed the instructions and voila!

19 Monster Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party

I also found this cute monster wreath at Target. He was pretty simple to put together, though he required a bit more time and resources.

20 Monster Wreath Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party

I used the purple monster to place on the dessert table to fill up space. I also found this great alien balloon at Walmart and it was the perfect size to also place on the dessert table.

18 Alien Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party

For the robot, I used a mixture of large and small cans, goggly eyes, and silver pipe cleaners to create him. I then set him on top of a cake pop stand from Michael’s, shocked he fit perfectly on there.

17 DIY Robot Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party

Speaking of dessert table, I collaborated with some incredible vendors to fill it with sweet treats. I ordered custom lollipops from Lollipics. I chose blue raspberry and green apple and used a photo of Joseph dressed up in his Frankenstein Halloween costume. Can you believe that image is 100% edible?! Lollipics is pretty amazing! I created the lollipop stand using a brick of floral styrofoam and spray paint.

16 Lollipics Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party

Marie of Sweets Indeed also sent me some scary cute monster Candy Kabobs. Her sour lollis are so fun and tasty! Who doesn’t love sour belts turned into art?!

15 Candy Kabobs Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party

A few months ago, I won a great giveaway hosted by Tonya of Soire-Event Design that included an order of her adorable custom cotton candy bags. She came up with design on the label too. Don’t you just love them?!

14 Cotton Candy Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party

No dessert table is complete without cupcakes, of course! I ordered mini cupcakes in gourmet flavors from HyVee – my favorite hometown grocery store. They tasted just as good as they looked! The cupcake toppers were handcrafted by the amazing Blanca of Creativities Galore. I’m always in awe of her custom cupcake toppers, so I just knew I needed her to create some for this Monster, Alien, and Robot party.

11 Gear Topper Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party 13 Alien Topper Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party 12 Robot Topper Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party

The amazing NatSweets also spent countless hours creating these amazing cookies based on Dimply Sweet’s original designs. Here are some photos Natasha shared before mailing my cookies out. Her work is just outstanding and I was so thrilled to have her finally providing cookies for one of my own parties, as I’ve photographed her custom cookies on numerous occasions in Southern California.

5 NatSweets Cookies Full Collection Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party 6 NatSweets Cookies Full Collection Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party

I found some cute Halloween cupcake candy toppers at Target and displayed them on the dessert table too, so that guests could decorate or embellish their own cupcakes. The monster divider was found at Walmart.

23 Cupcake Bar Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party 24 Cupcake Bar Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party

The dessert table doubled as a guest favor table. I found some fun monster goodie bags at Walmart.

25 Goodie Bag Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party

Guests filled the bags with Lollipics, Candy Kabobs, and cotton candy to take home.

26 Goodie Bag Inside Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party

I even saved some sweets and put together a goodie bag to mail to the hubs, who was at sea with the US Navy. He had to miss out on our little guy’s 2nd birthday party, but I wanted to send him a sweet surprise, so that he could still feel like he was there. He told me he showed everything off to whoever would listen. My job is done! When even the hubs is bragging about my craftiness, well, I know I did a good job.

27 Goodie Bag Mail for Daddy Maria Healey Monsters Aliens Robots Birthday Party

I’d like to thank all of these vendors for their phenomenal products:

Dimply Sweet, custom printables

Creativities Galore, custom cupcake toppers

NatSweets, custom sugar cookies

Lollipics, Frankenstein lollipops

Sweets Indeed, monster Candy Kabobs

Soiree-Event Design, custom cotton candy bags

HyVee, gourmet cupcakes