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Stopping Time – Forever Thirty-Nine Steampunk Birthday Party

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steampunk birthday party dessert table

Gears, glitter & cool vintage oddities — this party has something for everyone! Michelle Stewart of Michelle’s Party Plan-It DIYed her tail off for this Stopping Time – Forever Thirty-Nine Steampunk Birthday Party. Just about everything you see was “steampunked” by Michelle or one of her awesome vendors. I love the clever idea of stopping time before the big 4-0.. I’ll be experiencing those same thoughts soon! Hey Michelle — save this decor for me, would ya? ;)

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • Metallic painted Nerf gun & hot air balloon ‘zephyr’ + gold balloon topped glitter candy apples
  • Gear topped cakes pops, gear, clock & chain decorated cookies + metallic gold glitter pretzels & rice krispies
  • Vintage style photo booth props + a custom, laser-cut glittered backdrop
  • DIY pipe lamp with pressuremeter + DIY embellished favor tags & embossed popcorn favor boxes

steampunk birthday party cookies

steampunk adult birthday party ideas

DIY steampunk costume

gold glitter gear desserts

gold glittered rice krispie treats

laser cut steampunk birthday party backdrop

vintage steampunk birthday party photo booth props and costumes

glitter steampunk birthday party cupcake toppers and cake pops

DIY steampunk pipes and light bulbs

steampunk goggles

DIY steampunk favor tags


PARTY DETAILS as told by Michelle

I recently celebrated my 39th birthday with a Steampunk party. I’ve been a Steampunk fan for a while now and knew it would be a unique and fun theme for a birthday celebration. Since clocks, gears, and time travel are big components of the Steampunk genre (and I’m not super excited about being a year closer to 40), I titled my party “Stopping Time…Forever Thirty Nine.”

I knew I wouldn’t find much in stores to match my theme and that I would need to create a lot of the decor myself. I also knew I was going to have to rely heavily on treats and desserts to tie the theme together. With that in mind, I reached out to several bakers and treat makers for sweets and treats (see list below). I was pleasantly surprised to learn that most of them were familiar with Steampunk and were eager to collaborate. I started the planning process with the invitation (you can see the tutorial here) using my Sizzix dies. I then reached out to Lauren of Ten23 Designs (she created the wonderful frame and Maleficent silhouette for my Maleficent party) and asked her to think up something for my backdrop. She knocked it out of the park! I literally shrieked with excitement when she sent me her design. A clock, gears and my initials…perfection!!! My husband spray-painted the gears in several metallic colors and I added gold glitter for accent.

For centerpieces, I added coordinating flowers to the hand-painted mason jars Meghann from Always the Occasion made for the cocktail tables. The Key Wine Stoppers in vintage style boxes Princesses and Tiaras sent for party favors were a huge hit among the guests!

While sourcing decor for other parties I had planned, I kept my eyes peeled for decor that would work for my party. In June I was able to find clocks, globes and gears at HomeGoods from their Father’s Day decor line. I also found some vintage style items at the Goodwill and “steampunked” them with some metallic paints and embellishments. I also painted a hot air balloon decor piece from a transportation party a couple of years ago and my husband constructed a lamp using pvc pipe and a mason jar. For accessories, I painted and embellished two pairs of welding goggles and my son’s nerf gun. I also added metal gears and keys from Outside the Box Papers.

Carrie from Scarlet Harlow created the most beautiful top hat centerpiece for my table. The handmade and intricately detailed masterpiece was the perfect focal point and added so much flair to the table!

Using my Sizzix Big Shot, I embossed the popcorn boxes to match the handmade gift tags made by Fizzy Party. I also embossed the napkins and candy treat boxes and made a Steampunk Banner for the front table. No party goes on without a hitch or two and I had my share this time around. Unfortunately, the cake I had ordered did not arrive as planned so I made a last minute cake topper with my Sizzix Big Shot for a store bought cake. I actually love how it turned out and best of all no one at the party even noticed!

My favorite part of themed parties is the chance to dress up! Between my stash of costumes and my regular wardrobe, I was able to throw a costume together. The lovely Brenda from Great Stitch sent a personalized shirt and vest for my youngest son who happens to share my love of dressing up. I was also lucky enough to find him a large snowman’s hat at Hobby Lobby that I Steampunked by adding a pair of the DIY goggles.

Stacie from Fancy & Fold handcrafted the cutest little steampunk paper top hat that we used as a photo prop. Using my Sizzix and Cricut Explore, I also created several photo props. The family took turns posing with props including the nerf gun, a parasol and paper props.

I had such a great time planning and prepping for this party. I established new relationships with several pretty awesome ladies in the party business and also did several DIY projects hand in hand with my husband. Not to mention, I had a BLAST at my birthday party with family. Although most of my family knew nothing about Steampunk before the party, I was so happy to see them get into the party spirit and a couple even dressed up in costume!

Vendor Credit


  1. @honestywedding November 14, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    Stopping Time – Forever Thirty-Nine Steampunk Birthday Party #catering #wedding http://t.co/iK2bXBs12l

  2. 2momspopsandtots November 14, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    Such a cool party!! Thank you for having my oreos and cakepops!!!

  3. @JSGEvents November 14, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    Stopping Time – Forever Thirty-Nine Steampunk Birthday Party http://t.co/TANNvHWzNi

  4. Adva Esh November 14, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    Perfection! Best party I’v ever seen. Beautiful and amazing!

  5. Isabelle Seculier November 15, 2014 at 9:01 am

    Very cool! I have to keep this theme in mind as I wish I'll stay 39 forever (but it's still in a few years, so I have time to gather stuff to decorate at the party!)

  6. @sracricket November 18, 2014 at 4:45 am

    Decoración de fiesta al detalle y bien hecha. Forever Thirty-Nine Steampunk Birthday Party https://www.hwtm.com/2014/11/stopping-time-forever-thirty-nine-steampunk-birthday-party/ @HWTM_Jenn

  7. […] Stopping Time – A “forever 39″ steampunk-themed party. I really like the candy-filled lightbulb favors. […]

  8. Rannie Collums Gillentine August 23, 2015 at 4:22 pm

    I love this on so many levels!!!!! Thank you for the inspiration…. my twist on the theme reflects the fact that I am so blessed to still be here this year (after surviving a MVA car v/s Harley… I was on the Harley) My theme will be 39- not stopping time- just blessed it's still mine!

  9. Joy in the Commonplace July 5, 2016 at 1:58 pm

    This is so unique! love the rich colors!

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