Pokémon GX themed 7th Birthday

It’s one thing to design a party around a theme you are familiar with, and another around one you don’t know anything about. Pokémon is all the rage at my son’s school these days. I’ve never been into it, so this was a world I had to learn and quickly try to immerse myself in.

To make it slightly more complex, he requested not just a Pokémon party but a “Pokémon GX” theme. From what I could gather, the GX isn’t so much part of the show but refers to a specific type of Pokémon card 🤷‍♀️ that is further along in “evolution” and more powerful (but mainly just more shiny, holographic, and therefore fun 😄).

To my knowledge, there hasn’t really been a Pokémon GX party planned before so there wasn’t much to go on. After brainstorming, I decided to keep the overall colors close to some of the original popular Pokémon characters.

I decided to base our color scheme off these three classic Pokémon characters. I leaned a little more pastel to try to bring the colors a little closer together and less contrasted.

To make it a “GX” party, I came up with a craft idea of making their own GX Pokémon cards. I figured they would get a kick out of seeing themselves as a Pokémon card.

To make the craft a reality, I would need a way to print each child’s photos on the spot. After doing some research, I decided on the Canon Ivy instant iPhone printer. It didn’t require any ink as the ink was already embedded in the paper, and the paper itself had an adhesive backer. While the print quality could only be as expected for a small portable printer, it seemed that the colors were a little more true than some of the other competitors on the market. I’m happy to say that we were pleased with the results, and the kids all got a great kick out of seeing their photos print out immediately.

The holographic lamination would be key. I found these self-adhesive ones on Amazon. To make it feel more like a craft, I wanted them to have something to do to make it their own. I ended up designing my own GX card template in Photoshop, customized with each child’s name on it, and printed it on an inkjet printer on clear adhesive vinyl. I also printed the Pokémon card back design on some cardstock via Kinkos.

Transparent vinyl and clear holographic lamination paper, both self-adhesive. Purchased off of Amazon.
I used Photoshop to design the templates, which were printed on clear vinyl. Since these could take on the ink from inkjet printers, they would also be able to be colored on with the right type of markers.

For the holographic laminate, I also cut them down to size, and then made these into little packs that I clipped together for each child.

All of this would go on top of photo, and voila, a Pokemon GX card! This is how the station and craft turned out.

Instructions. Lettering by my hubby since my penmanship is terrible.
The kids were so intrigued they went straight for the craft station even before the bouncy house.
My little ham striking a pose for his card photo
Adhering the clear vinyl template on top of the photo and backer card
The kids could color the vinyls with metallic paint markers
Example of a finished card

The only drawback of the craft was it did require a bit more parental involvement than I liked, as the kids (ages 5-7) needed some help with the different steps, so I did get a little stressed! But overall, it was a hit and took up the perfect amount of time before the rest of the party festivities.

For other activities, I had a bounce house (can’t go wrong) and also hired a Pokémon trainer through Royal Entertainers. The kids, having already made their cards, naturally assumed their roles as GX pokemon characters during the Pokémon training that “Ash” led them through!

Themed food was a little more challenging, especially with the multiple restrictions my poor food-allergic son has. Plus, we still wanted to try to be COVID cautious. I ended up not pushing myself too hard on making the food themed, and just based it off of key colors of some of the characters.

Individually wrapped allergy-safe snacks tied to Pokémon character colors. I made the cutouts from printing them on foam boards and cutting out using an exacto knife.

Here is how the full party came together!

My first time making a paper fan backdrop. The County doesn’t allow balloon decorations at the park, so I took the same concepts as making a balloon garland with all the various sizes and applied it to tissue paper fans. These are secured on a metal frame using 3M plastic hangers and double sided tape.
Gluten-free vegan fondant characters. I had them add Mew Two, Rayquaza, and Evee.
Allergy-free Pokeball sugar cookies
Snacks and favor bags
Our favorite bags included Pokémon character PEZ dispensers (which were very difficult to find…had to piece them together from four different shops!), Pokemon bracelets, a pack of Pokémon cards (split from a large pack and packed into little cellophane snack bags), and Pokémon stickers.
The Pokémon trainer also did balloon art for the kids after the obstacle course.
Balloon swords
Birthday cake time

And there you have it! Our Pokémon GX party. Happy birthday, my sweet son. We love you so much.

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