There's nothing quite like butchering your favourite franchises into home-made party favors and cakes. It's fun as it is funny, and sometimes you just have to improvise when you're on a budget... and put on a brave face as you show the world that you cannot draw a pixelated gold nugget to save your life.

This past weekend, we celebrated my nephew's birthday with that Minecraft themed party he wanted. As that $2.5 billion acquisition of Mojang has not yet taken root to line the shelves of Target with all the cheap, manufactured professional level Minecraft party needs, my sister and I were left to figure out a way to work with every day candy and supplies without spending a ton on a party of 16 children.

Figuring out which candy to use and how to present said candy was a bit challenging. Forgoing the inclusion of gummy pigs was a tragic decision but it had to be done as an overpriced shipment from Florida was less than ideal (plus running the risk of introducing Florida Pigs into New York was not a risk we were willing to take should the pigs be anything like their Florida Man and Florida Woman counterparts. Though, one could say it was the fear of being met by a mini-blob of melted gummy candy—either/or we felt the best decision was made).

Not wanting to leave our bacon life-giving friends out of festivities, we found a way for them to crash the party.


Pigs grazing on square chocolate cupcakes and filling their pork bellies with lovely, lush butter cream frosting are the simple joys in life.

Speaking of grass, the grass tip cake decorator piece for piping the frosting worked wonders (thanks Pinterest!). Quite the lovely texture (or worm filled one, depending on who you ask), with an ingenious bit of two tone food colouring for a finished look.


With the cake out of the way and gummy pigs out of the picture, what to fill Creeper themed party bags with for sugar fiending kids? The first question was to figure out what sort of items a crafting Steve could find on his quest to the Nether.

Watching my nephew play Minecraft these last couple of years familiarized us with some of the more popular items. At the very least, we knew TNT was all the rage and the fascination that destroying things brings to 8 year olds should come as no surprise. Thus, with 2 x 2 x 2 clear plastic boxes, we struck upon a plan to fill them with Twizzlers and slap a TNT label on them. Had I remembered the tops had more detail to them, I would have taken markers to do some scribbling. It was probably for the best though, since I probably would have ruined things further.

Next: chocolate. Gold nuggets, more precisely.

Hershey chocolates mean a lot of things to us. We consider kisses to be an abomination of chocolate. The same goes for their bars but that won't stop us from tossing a piece on a graham cracker right under a toasted marshmallow for the annual one s'more a year activity we partake in during the Summer. Then there was that time we had the best milkshake ever made out of Hershey's Special Dark at Hershey Park, PA.


But I digress.

It just made a whole lot of sense to use Hershey Gold Nuggets to cover the Gold aspect of Minecraft. Plus, Hershey Gold Nuggets aren't so bad. That toffee one... mmmm. ..Ahem.. Anyway... While we could have easily just tossed them in the bags and called it a day, I decided to bury the gold nuggets in grass in a cube. Because gold nuggets in grass are exactly how gold is found in the real world. Should I have used brown/dirt coloured paper instead and that'd make more sense? Yeah, probably. Maybe even yellow coloured paper and make gold cubes? Hmmm. Well that's just preposterous!

I also decided to be an overachiever and draw pixelated gold nugget bars to brand the boxes. Yes. Letting people know exactly what they're getting involved in makes me smile.


Unfortunately, my delusions of grandeur soon turned to shame when I remembered drawing is not my forté. Uniform blocks are for chumps though, right? Right?!

Pop rocks were the brilliant idea that did not occur to us until a couple of days before the party. Those were also tossed into the bag along with some fabulous painting books that have paint swabs right on the pages! It's amazing... I think I have one left over which I will use. Colouring in is quite a stress reliever. Trust and believe.


Though what party bag would be complete without some sort of toy. It wasn't enough that the event was held at local arcade. No, you gotta take the festivities home too for all those After Parties. And as everyone knows, a party is just not happening unless there's a zombie guest. They liven up any gathering but none so much as the kind made of Lego bricks.

Any excuse to go to the Lego Store is a great one. But would Lego have the required bricks to create a Minecraft zombie I found on Youtube (hey now, I'm not a Master Builder nor am I the Special... so Youtube will have to do. Don't you judge me!)?


The Lego Flagship store in Midtown Manhattan did not have the exact pieces so executive decisions had to be made. I've built very few Lego sets over the past three years but enough that I could do a makeshift zombie if need be. As long as kids didn't mind some mismatched rotting colours and design choices.


Some while later, the Undead Army was born. Their dead set eyes on me and their hungering for brains forced me to move quickly.

I parceled the jerks into boxes of their own but gave them humble homes of shallow graves to rise from...


...hopefully we gave no children some sleepless nights.

So at the end of it all, we were quite pleased with our Minecraft Party. It was a lot of time consuming work but we had a lot of fun putting it all together.


Did the kids care? I'd like to think for a fleeting moment they did. But at 8 years old, it's quickly on to the next thing.


Minecraft was so last Saturday.

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