birthday party

Derby Mom 360: Mario Kart Party

Mario Kart Tournament

Looking around the internet I couldn’t find much guidance as to how to throw a home Mario Kart Derby Mom 360: Mario Kart TournamentTournament so it seemed like a good topic to share here.

I hosted this event as an adult dinner party. We did a fully Italian themed potluck complete with dinner, drinks, Mario Kart Wii and a lot of heckling. You could easily substitute out the cocktails and have this party for kids instead. Also, you could skip the tournament play entirely and just use some of these fun elements as an accent to your next Mario themed birthday party.

Derby Mom 360: Mario Kart TournamentThis entry is linked to all the different parts which include tutorials, links and downloads on the following:
Award Ribbons
Single Elimination 12-person Tournament Brackets
Mario & Goomba Construction Paper Decorations
Checkered Pennant Racing Flag Decorations

Enjoy! Hope you have a great party!

P.S. I’d love to see how yours turned out. Post to the Flickr Group to share your creations.

Derby Mom 360: Nautical Bunting

Bunting for Nautical Themed Party

Buntings, also known as banners or pennants, are a fun way to dress up a party, to use as an all-the-time decoration in your child’s room or even just  in the background of a photo shoot.  You could make them from paper, fabric or some other material entirely.  I chose to go the quick and easy way from this project and print them on paper.



Below is a printable PDF with twelve flags for this bunting.  Two flags have a picture (an anchor and a boat) that I used at the beginning and end of the shorter words.  The other 10 designs all have a white circle in the middle to put your letters.  I used Hagin Caps Medium font which I thought looked very cute with this theme.  You can print the flags as they are and then write the letters by hand.  You could cut out and glue letters on. Or for those of you more graphically inclined you could use any page layout program to add the letters on the computer and then print them out already to go.  Whatever method suits your still set.  Here are the files you’ll need:

Printable Nautical Bunting
Font – Hagin Caps Medium

For me, it was easiest to just layout all the letters on the computer. I printed out all my flags on regular copy paper and then used spray adhesive to attach them to card stock. Then with a ruler and rotary cutter, cut out each triangle flag. It’s a great way to make very straight lines but if you don’t have a rotary or a craft knife, scissors will do just fine. If your printer can print on card stock, you can do that and skip the spray adhesive entirely.

Derby Mom 360: Nautical BuntingNow you’re ready to start stringing your bunting. I chose to hang my banner in three lines but there’s no reason why you can’t string it all in one either.

First, get your hole punch and put two holes in every flag, one near the top right point and one near the top left point.  Then layout your flags as you’d like them to read.  Here’s how I did mine:




Figure out about how long you’ll want your jute and add 4 feet or so to that so you’ll have plenty to work with.  Start with your last flag first.  So I’d string “Boat” and push it all the way down to the end.  Then “Y” and push it all the way down to the boat with about two inches of space in between.

Through trial and error and some great help from my sister-in-law, we figured out that it was best for us not to tie a knot to hold the flags in place.

The jute keeps them from sliding around too much.  If you just string them all up with no knots, when you hang them you can still move them around a little bit, which worked out best for us.

Derby Mom 360: Nautical BuntingFINISHED!

After you’ve strung all three, space all the flags out evenly and you’re good to go!  If you hang the bunting by the jute and not the flags, the banner will remain in great condition and you can reuse it for many events to come.
Derby Mom 360: Paper Boats for Nautical Themed Party

Paper Boats for a Nautical Themed Party

These paper boats are a really fun touch to a nautical party and they do actually float! With sails, they can be a little less balanced but without sails you could put several in a bowl or bucket and make a game out of it.


You’ll want to start with a decorative piece of paper.  Here are some fun full-page printable nautical patterns that will work great for these boats.  You can do the same design on both sides or switch them up.  There are two half sheets I used for sails and flags.

Printable: Blue Anchors on Gold
Printable: White Anchors on Blue
Printable: Blue Anchors on White
Printable: White & Blue Stripes

Printable: Blue Solid
Printable: Gold Solid

Printable: Blue & Gold Solid
Printable: Gold & White Sails 

Derby Mom 360: Paper Boats for a Nautical Themed PartyTo start, you will make a basic origami paper boat.  They look pretty good made from a sheet of letter sized paper or you can play around with the size and ratios.  Print up one of the full page patterns from the buttons above and then trim off any extra white on the edges.  I prefer to do this with a rotary cutter and a ruler but if you don’t have one you could just use scissors.

This site has a nice diagram of how to fold a boat.  You’ll want to fold a standard origami boat or any kind you’d like!  I did one or two on regular paper first before trying it with my fancier stuff. ​

The next step is the fun part, making the boat your own!  I added one sail and a string of flags to each bigger boat.

Derby Mom 360: Paper Boats for a Nautical Themed PartyTo apply the sail, you’ll need a mast.  Take one of your sewing pins from the last project and poke a hole in the high point of the boat to make a start hole.  Then you can poke the sharp end of the skewer through it.  Then cut the skewer down to your desired length.  I used electrical tape to attach the end to the inside underneath of the boat.

Then you’ll cut out a sail size of your choosing.   Making a bit of an curve to the shape instead of just a triangle makes it look like its sails are filled with wind.  I made a starter hole with a pin on the top and Derby Mom 360: Paper Boats for a Nautical Themed Partybottom of each sail.  then I threaded them threw the skewer doing my best not to stretch the holes out too much so the sail stays tight to it.

Next I made some flags for extra embellishment. First, glue the string down under a flap of the folded boat inside the hull.  Tie off the other under the sail near the top hole.  I added some Elmer’s on that knot so it wouldn’t slide down.  Fold a paper in half and cut out triangles with one side as the fold.  Then you can put a dab of glue inside and fold it over the string.  Play around with flags and sails to make your boat your own.Derby Mom 360: Paper Boats for a Nautical Themed Party


Congratulations, you’re done.  These make great party favors, centerpiece accents or a fun photo shoot proper for a bath or kiddie pool.