Monday, August 30, 2010

{Tips & Hints} Race Car Party

As I pop around the blogosphere each day checking out all the wonderful parties and general inspiration, many times I'm struck by the thought "How did they do that?" I love it when people give a little how-to here and there, so I thought that I'd try to follow up my party posts with a Tips & Hints post on things that might be helpful if you were going to try to throw a similar party yourself.

My race car party was pretty straight forward. Not a lot of tricks to it. But here are a few tips...

Back Drop
For for the back drop, I purchased a 1x2" and cut it to be the same length as my table. Then I stapled a full size sheet to the 2" side and rolled the "bar" a half turn, so the sheet was partially wrapped around it and screwed two hooks (one at each end) into the 1" side. I then lifted the whole thing up and hung the screws on two matching eyelets that I had attached earlier to the overhang of my roof.

Once it was hung, I cut a 2x4" to the same length as my original 1x2" and stapled this to the bottom of my sheet to help pull it taught.

For the table cloth and the cake riser, I used a matching sheet so that the color flow was seamless.

Popcorn Cones
Treat cones are showing up everywhere these days. One of the best pieces of advice, I read on Martha Stewart's site (no surprise, right?! Those gals are on top of everything!) Always use TWO lollipop sticks for each cone. Stick them into the foam base separately. First insert one stick, place your cone on the stick and then, through the cone, insert a second stick. This will help keep your cones from spinning around on the sticks and give them a uniform look and placement.


Cake Pops
I probably shouldn't have tried these a couple nights before the party. But I have noticed, from reading other people's blogs, that I'm not the only one with this particular last minute inspiration. If you venture into the land of Bakerella cake pops, here are a few helpful hints...

- It helps to bake the cake and roll the balls the night before you are going to do the chocolate dipping so that they have enough time to chill.

- When Bakerella suggests making the balls the size of a quarter, pay attention. And if you are like me and think you remember how big a quarter is and don't need to pull one out for reference... just do it anyway. Trust me. Quarters are SMALL! My memory was a little faulty and let's just say that I mentally confused a quarter with a silver dollar. This, my friends, had a few repercussions. Namely, my cake balls were so heavy that once I dipped them in chocolate, they kept sliding down the sticks. Luckily, if you find yourself in this predicament it is not irreparable. First you can, of course, make your balls smaller. But if you choose not to, just (while the balls are still on the cookie sheet) insert the lollipop stick to make a hole. Pull out the stick. Dab a little chocolate in the hole and put the stick back in. Now wait a few minutes until the chocolate hardens and lift up the pop and proceed with the chocolate coating. Ta-da! Cake pop!

(Not quite as pretty as Bakerella's, but still incredibly yummy!)

Race Track
If you decide to have a race car party and want to build a track similar to the one we built...

...here's how you do it:

I ordered my track from Blutrack. (Of course, I wish that they had been called "Redtrack" so that it would have matched my party a little bit better. But, what can a gal do?!) The track is one continuous roll which makes for easy set up, and the track sets come with loop ramps. 

Once you have designed the way you would like you track to go, simply staple the edge of your track (this is the outside edge not on the track part) every few feet. Be careful not to staple too close to the ramps if you are integrating loops into your track. If the track is too secure close to the loops it will make it so that the cars can not complete the loop. I don't know enough about physics to understand why, but trust me. Just run a few tests as to determine the best place for a staple before actually adding one.

I had two baskets. A small one to bring the cars to top of the track and large one at the bottom to catch them so that the kids could race the 20-some cars before having to reload.

And, of course, you can add all your own embellishments to trick out your track!

Sooo there you have it... my Tips & Hints for throwing your very own Race Car Party. Enjoy!!

15 comments:

  1. I love love love this idea! You did a great job. I am so impressed and inspired!

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  2. Thank you for the inspiration. What a fun party!
    societypicnic.com

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  3. You are great! Thank you sooo much for sharing your tips on the backdrop. I have two parties coming up for my boy girl twins. I have been going crazy trying to figure out the best way to get my backdrop up without too much damage to my wall! Thanks again for your tips!

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  4. This is great! How many feet of track did you buy? Did you buy any extras to make the loops or did everything come together?

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  5. Hi Lisa! We bought two of the 24 foot kits (they come with loops). Here's the link...

    http://www.blutrack.com/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=shop.flypage&product_id=43&category_id=9&manufacturer_id=0&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=47

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  7. Thanks for sharing this awesome party. I love your festive ideas.
    What material is the back drop?

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  8. Hi Alexandra! It's just a large queen size sheet. :)

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  9. Any interest in selling your blue track. My husband is going to make the platform but $100 is a little too much for us to spend on then track.

    Ashley_phil310@yahoo.com

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  10. the track looks great! i've been trying to find a way to rent something similar for my kids birthday but did not find anything. Thanks for the inspiration. I found a retailer that carries the blutracks!

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  11. where did u get the blow up car?

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  12. Hi Anonymous! You can get the car at Toys 'r' Us.

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  13. Hi! Great ideas and tips, thanks. What did the kids stand on to reach the top of the ramp? Thanks!!

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  14. You don't pull it "taught" - you pull it TAUT.

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  15. Just wondering what cars you used, or if you purchase the Darda cars they have on the website?

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