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Soap Box Derby Race Birthday (24 photos)



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Recently, we celebrated one of my son's 7th birthday.  Several months ago, while looking online together, we saw a soapbox derby image.  He asked if we could have a soap box derby party and I happily obliged.  I love his style, creativity, and attention to detail.  I hand drew his invitation, and digitally edited it to clean it up some.  I layerd the image on a sunburst with vintage looking fonts for the text to create the vintage feel and look.  The drawn image was the basis for the fondant toper and chocolate dipped fondant topped Oreos from Maria at Love & Sugar Kisses.  It was also the starting point for Do and J at Piggy Bank Parties.  This was the first time that I have worked with either of them, and I cannot wait to work with them again.  Both have amazing talent!  The image had a flame along the side of the derby car (per the birthday boy's request) so I incorporated the flame into other elements of the party.  I also repeated the classic checkerboard flag throughout the party.


My dedicated husband and I tried to build a soap box car according to plans we found online at Family Fun Magazine.  Despite our best efforts, we did not feel comfortable putting someone else's child on it to race down the ramp and driveway.  We did use it as a party prop decoration.  Instead of using the homemade car, we chose to use a commercially built Kettler pedal car.  The kids rode it down the ramp and driveway to the checkered flag at the bottom of the driveway.  I lined the driveway with checkerboard pennant bunting flags., adding both an American flag and checkerboard racing flag at the bottom.  The birthday boy asked for a semi-circle American flag bunting as the backdrop behind the ramp.  To accomplish this, I used a white fabric backdrop and attached the bunting with zip ties.  Before each child raced, we snapped a quick picture of them on the car in front of the backdrop.  Those pictures have been sent with their thank you cards.  After pictures, we timed each racer.  To keep it friendly, no one "won".


On the day of my son's party, it was pouring.  We were prepared to have part of the party inside due to the ever changing FL weather, so the food table was already set up inside.  We did have to move the race registration table inside, and plan a few alternate activities for the kids.  My husband and I set up two Wii systems in the great room and had Mario Cart and M&M Racing set up for the kids to play while it rained.  We also had a balloon race car race on the air hockey table. (And more than a few games of air hockey) We were very blessed that the rain let up enough to let the kids race outside for about an hour on the derby car.  


We chose to schedule the party during a non meal time, so we served simple snacks, water, soda, juice, and adult beverages for the parents.  I made chocolate coated pretzels to serve with the grapes, strawberries, carrots & celery with dip,  chocolate covered fondant topped Oreos, and chips with salsa and dip.  I purchased a simple cake from my local grocery store, but I did ask them to decorate the sides with flames.  Maria's fondant derby car looked FANTASTIC on it.  I also ordered custom cake pops from P.O.P.S. to look like derby racer heads.  I always have candy at the house, so I put out some Firefly Confections s'mores and vanilla caramels along with store bought candy.  To customize plain Pixy Stix, I poured them into paper straws with crimped ends.  I then embellished he straws with flame flags.  To display the Pixy Stix, I took some wheels off of old trucks the boys had and glues them together to creat a vase like base.  I served all the food on white serving trays and added height and dimension with various sized wooden crates.  The table had a black table cloth and a checkerboard runner.  For the food table backdrop, I used another white piece of fabric. To add color and appeal to the plain white backdrop, I hand colored a poster to replicate the invitation.  To make that just a little more personal, I took a picture of the birthday boy in a helmet and goggles pretending to drive a derby car.  I then cut it out and applied it to the hand colored poster.  I also added ruffled crepe paper stramers to the backdrop in coordinating party colors.


Each child took home an amazing derby car favor box from Piggy Bank Parties (now available on their Etsy site) with candy in it.  The also got balloon race cars, safety sunglasses "goggles" and a small cello bag with a mini trophy and jelly beans.  I attached a simple tag with checkerboard ribbon that said, "You've 'bean' a great sport, thanks for coming!"


Despite the rain and the obstacles we faced putting this derby together, I was almost as happy as the birthday boy was with the entire party!

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Largo, FL
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