Race Car Birthday Party – DIY Party Theme

My oldest son, Seth turned 3 in August.  Since he’s reached the age where he cares what his birthday party is like, I asked him a couple months before what kind of party he wanted.  Without hesitation, he said, “A RACE CAR party!”  For the next two months, he proceeded to tell everyone he could about his race car party.  I knew that I had better make it good.

My family is huge.  I have 5 sisters.  So our guest list is never under 30 people, and I can’t figure out any way to make it smaller.  I am always challenged to organize a party that will entertain a large group of people with a wide range of ages.  I also have to figure out what to feed them!  This year we went with pizzas from Costco.  I could eat them, since I was recently told by Levi’s allergist that I’m allowed to eat dairy again (I went dairy-free from Feb-Aug).  They were delicious.   Normally I’m inclined to go overboard with appetizers and desserts and all of that, but Andy has gotten pretty good about keeping me in check.

We had planned an outdoor party from 10am-12pm.  Then the forecast came in that morning, calling for rain from 9:30-11:30.  Fun.  So we had to bring everything inside our tiny house.  Thank goodness we have a finished basement!  We made race cars out of boxes for the kids to race in.  Andy was going to mow a racetrack into the backyard, but that didn’t end up working out.  Instead, we set up a couple of tables for them to race around.  Some other things we did was make a sign that read “The Pit Stop” to hang over the food, and we covered the coffee table with paper and made a racetrack for matchbox cars.  I put out crayons for kids to decorate the racetrack, but they didn’t.  I made a racetrack cake, with instructions from Parents magazine.  If you’re trying to make this cake and it isn’t Christmastime, you’re probably wondering where you get green sprinkles.  I got them at the bulk food store nearby.  They have sprinkles in all sorts of colors. I should have made a much bigger cake though.  It was tight to cut that into 30 servings.

Here are instructions for the race car boxes.  We used the Pampers boxes from the gigantic packs of diapers (size 3 and size 4 boxes).  My husband did all of the folding and taping, so I’ll try to remember how it did it.  He folded in all of the sides from the top of the box.  On the bottom, he folded in all but one of the sides.  That one side, he taped up so that it would be the “hood” of the car.  Then he taped all of the sides inside the box so they don’t pop back out.  We cut slots for holding the box right in the middle of the sides, between where the top flaps are on the inside.  Then we spray-painted them.  I’d recommend a primer color before painting a lighter color.  The blue only took about 2 coats.  The orange, without a primer, took an entire can.  We could still see some of the letters underneath it.  After the paint is all dry, cut two circles out of yellow or white construction paper for the headlights.  For the grill, you could paint it, draw it with a marker, or make it out of tin foil if you’re feeling adventurous.  We were running out of time, so we drew it on with a thick black Sharpie.   Then write or paint numbers on the side.  Voila!  Race cars!

I’m guessing you’d like to see pictures.  Here you go!


BTW, he blew out all of the candles completely on his own!  I was impressed.  Stay tuned for more DIY birthday party fun.  Levi’s first birthday party is in just a few weeks, and I’ve come up with a completely original theme.  Well, it’s original to me, at least.  I’ve never seen anything for it before.

  • OK…i need to be invited to your next bday! i am in LOVE with that cake! who made it or where did you get it? i’ve seen an LV ckpuace party but that is the greatest cake ever! can’t wait for more pics!!!

    • admin

      I actually made that cake. I used two round cake layers, crushed chocolate graham crackers for the road, and green sprinkles for grass. It was very easy.

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