Wednesday, 1 October 2014

My Studio Ghibli Themed 21st Birthday Party! (Part 1)

You may or may not have known this, but I had my 21st birthday recently! In Singapore, turning 21 is a big deal, because it means we get our 'key' to freedom, signifying adulthood. So obviously, I had to celebrate on that day itself.

And when deciding with my party theme, I went with Studio Ghibli, which turned out to be a much harder them to execute than I thought. But still ridiculously fun. And since I couldn't find anything on how to throw a Studio Ghibli themed party on the net (not for people turning 21 at any rate), I figured I'll blog about it.

Part I: How to throw the party

Let's start with... CARDS.

I didn't use invitation cards, but I did want to give thank you cards to my guests. One that would allow me to paste a polaroid picture on one side and to write a message on the other. And my amazingly talented friend Rachel offered to design the card for me!

The card was beautiful! It's me (in one of the Yukata's I own, she actually copied the pattern), with the Nekobus, Kodama, Jiji and the sootballs!


Best part? She's available for hire. You can look at her resume and examples of her work at her tumblr, or you can contact her directly via email.

We printed the cards on cardstock, and it cost me SGD$60 for 120 cards. They turned out beautifully, and I have some left over! I still have some people I have to write too, but if there are any extras, I'm thinking of mailing some to you guys. Let me know if you're interested, and I'll start counting cards and thinking of a way to figure out who to mail :D

Next: FOOD

Unfortunately, I cannot find any Ghibli-themed caterers. So unless you plan to cook all the food yourself, or have found a caterer that takes custom orders, you might be better off not obsessing over the food.


We used Stamford Catering, and I think they were rather good. The customer service was above average, with the staff recommending options to my mom to help lower our total cost, and also by giving us the phone number of the driver ahead of time, so we could contact someone. The food seemed pretty decent too! (I'm not sure, since I was running around, but everyone said it tasted good).

Lastly: Decorations:

Originally, I wanted to do silhouettes of Ghibli characters pasted on the wall, with lanterns like those from Spirited Away hanging down but, woah, have you seen the price of those lanterns? The lanterns that resemble those are all made of cloth and hence very expensive. So I nixed that idea, because it's not worth spending so much on something I'll only use once.

And due to very very poor planning, I didn't think about the silhouettes until the day before my party. Oops. So there was no time to go to a printer's to order them. In a hidden blessing, I ended up with a throat infection on that day, so my mom brought my friends out to tour, while I had one day to "rest" and make all the decorations.

Hard at work
Thankfully, my awesome lil' sis took some time out from studying to help me make a bunch of Kodama and about 44 sootballs.

Ta-da! 
And when my friends came back, we all worked on the Totoro. And more sootballs. So it turned out to cost nothing more than paper, AND I think it looks pretty good:

Photo corner! 

Sootballs and Kodama pasted randomly around the room. 
 In fact, I liked the decorations so much that I brought them back to me and used them to Ghibli-fy my room!

The blackboard is new too

Climbing up the ladder

Yes, I have more books upstairs, and they attract sootballs.
Lastly (but most important): CAKE

What good is a Ghibli themed party if you don't have a Ghibli themed cake? Unfortunately, there's a dearth of Ghibli cakes in Singapore, unlike Frozen or any other Disney cake. Googling for "Ghibli cakes" only got my so far, because the one company that was based in Singapore refused to listen to what I wanted and insisted on quoting me an absurdly high price.

But, I managed to find Agnes Patisserie (they only have a Facebook page) by googling for custom cakes! Agnes was really friendly, and coupled with reasonable prices, we ended up ordering more from her than we originally planned!


We ended up ordering the cake, customised cupcakes and sootball cakepops! The cupcake stands were rented as well. Since the bakery was based in Malaysia (Johor Baru, which is really very near), we had to pay SGD $50 for delivery.

I adore my cake! It was so hard to cut into it! 
 If you're wondering about the prices, it was:


  • RM 507 for the cake (which was 3kg) - expect prices to vary if you order a larger cake
  • RM 5 for one customised cupcakes, with a minimum order of 12 pieces (That's like SGD $2, which can barely get you a normal cupcake here)
  • RM 5 for one customised cakepop, with a minimum order of 12 pieces


See here, the cakepops, cake and cupcakes
I ordered Red Velvet cake for my cake, and the cupcakes were a mix of flavours. They were all very well received :D


I really love my cake, so here's another photo of it :D

After being cut. The cake was good! 
I originally wanted to write Part II: The Party in this post as well, but um, the length has gotten out of hand. So I'll save that for the next post :D

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