An Evening of Intergalactic Elegance: My 30th Birthday Party

Elegant Star Wars 30th Birthday Party

I love Star Wars. And I love theme parties. And for my 30th birthday, I really, really wanted to have an elegant party with a Star Wars twist. Thanks to A LOT of help from my friends, the unwavering support of my dear husband, a million ideas inspired by Pinterest, and a lifetime of collecting Star Wars toys, everything came together for an evening of intergalactic elegance… and a perfect way to say goodbye to my 20s surrounded by loved ones.

I wanted to keep costs down and am an avid crafter anyway, so most of what you see in the pictures was handmade by me or by crafty friends. And though it looks like a lot, almost everything was done in just a week before the party.

Wine bottles spraypainted gold

The tall gold vases are just wine bottles spray painted with Krylon Gold Foil Metallic spray paint. Just one coat was enough. We also used the spray paint and some painters tape to create stripes on some dollar store vases. I loved this paint so much I was tempted to start spraying everything in the house with it.

The vases used in the centerpieces were all purchased at the dollar store. We used Martha Stewart brand glitter paint to decorate. I found it worked best to paint a few layers of glitter onto the inside of the vase, and then paint another layer of metallic paint behind that to get better coverage.

(The framed artwork below is an “Everything I need to know about life I learned from Star Wars” poster I’ve had since middle school.)

Dollar store vases painted as centerpieces Dollar store vases painted as centerpieces

All of the banners were made using a Cricut and a lot of sparkly paper.

May the Force be With You banner

For the place mats, I found sparkly gold burlap table runners in the wedding section at Walmart. They were about $6 for a 10-foot roll, and we were able to cut them into 15-inch place mats and just had to do a quick zigzag stitch along the cut edges to keep them from fraying.

Intergalactic elegance place settings

I wanted an elegant black and gold scheme, so we got disposable plates, napkins, and cutlery at Party City and dressed them up with some sparkly tags with cutlery-themed Star Wars puns.

My husband also hammered out some Star Wars-themed tin can lanterns. They were inspired by some we saw on Pinterest, but Laurence made his own designs. He found that a tightly-rolled towel shoved in the can helped keep it from denting without the mess of freezing water inside (as was recommended on all the tutorials we found online.)

TIE fighter tin can lantern

In the dining room, we set up Mos Eisley Cantina, a wretched hive of scum and villainy.

Mos Eisley Cantina

(The wooden Mos Eisley Cantina sign was purchased from Etsy. I saw it and just couldn’t resist. And I think it’s going to be a permanent fixture in the house now.)

Across from the bar was The Candy Jar Jar, with a variety of Star Wars themed sweets

The Candy Jar Jar

The paper star garlands used as decor throughout the house were made by Laurence and I over the last month or so. He punched all the stars using a 3 inch paper punch. I sewed them together the old fashioned way while watching a lot of TV.

Star garlands and Yoda portrait in the living room.

(The Yoda artwork is a mosaic I made in high school. And if you look closely on the book shelf, you can see the Mos Eisley Cantina diorama where my action figures have been drinking since the 1990s.)

The dinner menu was created with Star Wars puns in mind. We also wanted to keep things simple but elegant. For the main course, we went with Admiral Ackbar’s Mac Bar: a big crock pot full of mac and cheese with lots of toppings to choose from. Guests fill their own bowl with mac and toppings and placed them on a cookie sheet; we then stuck them in the oven under the broiler for a few minutes to get the cheese all nice and melty.

Admiral Ackbar's Mac Bar

Star Wars-themed food puns

The Sarlacc Pit (hummus and pita chips)

Obi-Wan Kebabi

Seven Leia Dip

Asteroids (BBQ meatballs)

(Yes, I know that’s Admiral Piett and Grand Moff Tarkin, not Captain Needa. I couldn’t find my Needa figure.)

Millennium Chicken salad sandwiches

The sandwiches were made using Millennium Falcon & TIE fighter shaped sandwich cutters from Williams Sonoma.

Millennium Falcon-shaped sandwich

The dessert table offered a selection of out-of-this-world treats.

Star Wars dessert table

My best friend from elementary school happens to be a baker, and made me this fabulously delicious cake. It tastes even better than it looks.

Galaxy cake with Star Wars miniatures.

Another friend helped me make two different types of cookies.

Yoda oreos and Darth Vader cookies.

Both were made using the Williams Sonoma Star Wars cookie cutters, which I’ve had for a few years and are surprisingly easy to use with good results. The Yoda cookies get their color and flavor from matcha green tea powder. The Darth Vader cookies are very dark chocolate with a little black food color added. Both were really easy to make and tasted great! (Beware recipe sizes, though… we mistakenly tripled the batch and ended up with 180 Yodas! Each recipe makes about 60 cut out cookies.)

Han Solo in Carbonite Jello

And even though he drifted a little bit, this Han Solo in Carbonite Jello made by yet another lovely friend cracked me up.

The birthday girl

After dinner, we played a murder mystery role playing game called Murder on Starship Deathstation, that was full of nerdy jokes. It was our first time doing one of these murder mystery games and I think our group was probably too big. With 12 people playing, it was hard to keep track of everything and the game went on a little longer than I would have liked. But there were a lot of entertaining moments and it was a nice way to bring everyone together.

Star Wars 30th Birthday Party

One of the best surprises of the night was a number of fabulous Star Wars themed gifts. Not all of the guests are huge Star Wars fans like I am, but they still managed to find (or make!) incredible Star Wars items I’d never seen before. I love each and every one of them, and am absolutely blown away by the generosity and thoughtfulness of my friends. There are dozens of pictures of me making this happy face:

Star Wars tattoo tote bag

This Star Wars tote bag and matching wallet are going to be perfect when we go to Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim next month!

Empire Strikes Back poster art

"That's no moon, it's a space station" tea towel

My super talented friend made me this one-of-a-kind tea towel featuring a hand-cut applique Death Star!

Star Wars scroll decal

I purchased this Empire Strikes Back wall decal from Etsy to use on a feature wall in our Star Wars-themed basement, but it didn’t make it on the wall in time for the party. I’m actually really glad it wasn’t screwed into the wall yet – it made a great prop for photos!

Star Wars 30th Birthday Party

It was a lot of hard work and this party never could have come together without a lot of help from friends, but the end result was exactly what I had imagined. I still have a ton of ideas and projects that didn’t get finished in time, so it looks like maybe there’s going to have to be a Star Wars Party Episode II sometime in our future.

But for now, I am so, so thankful for all the help and love this weekend. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to say goodbye to my 20s, and I couldn’t ask for better friends. Love you all and thanks for making this girl feel like the most loved girl in the galaxy.

(This post was originally from March 2015 on my personal blog.)