DIY Mario Party Ideas

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Tragedy struck on my son’s 7th birthday party (yes, I am being dramatic). Even though the day before was in the 80s and sunny, and the day after was sunny and 70s, on the day of- a massive hail and rain storm hit. I was devastated to have to move all the party games inside and make the best of it. To say I took the weather as a personal insult that day is an understatement. Nonetheless, I think the kids had a blast and I’m here to share all the details with you. My kids were troopers and helped me reenact some of the party games outside the following weekend (when it was in the 90s and sunny…) so I can share it all with you. If you’re looking for a step-by-step tutorial to level-up your Mario-themed party, you are in the right place my friend! I’ve got it all planned out for you and before you leave here you’ll be set to pull it all off yourself. So here’s how to level up your Mario-Themed birthday bash:

Everything you need to DIY your Super Mario party from decoration hacks, party games and activities, printables, and a shopping list!
Everything you need to DIY your Super Mario party from decoration hacks, party games and activities, printables, and a shopping list!

Mario Birthday Invitation Template

I designed this Mario invitation with our party games in mind. The kids went on a quest to save Luigi (like in the movie) throughout the party, but more on that later. I’ve included a blank jpg file of this invitation in the Mario Digital Party Pack that you can customize yourself. Just open the jpg file into canva and add text boxes to add your text.

Super Mario birthday party invitation template
To order this Mario invitation ($10) just send me an email to partylikeacherry@gmail.com

Or if you’d like me to customize it for you (so it looks just like this one) just shoot me an email with the party details and I can get that file emailed to you. (partylikeacherry@gmail.com, $10) You then can use it as a digital invitation or have it printed (sized at 5X7).

Super Mario birthday party invitation template
This is the jpg file included in the Mario Digital Party Pack- open it in any photo editing software (like canva) to add text boxes and add your text to customize.
Mario Digital Party Pack
30 pages of printables for your Super Mario party including: "Level complete" banner, cupcake toppers, save Luigi party game clues and invitation template.

Mario Party Decoration Ideas

For our Mario Party decor I DIY-ed a giant Super Mario backdrop in our dining room. Our dining room is always our party room so I took the main wall in that room and created a giant Super Mario backdrop. It was so fun when it all came together- but it got a little hairy there in the middle and I started to get pretty frustrated. So let me share what hacks I learned along the way… To see a video of the party room coming together, check out this reel.

DIY Super Mario themed Party Backdrop
DIY Super Mario themed Party Backdrop

DIY Super Mario Backdrop

Let’s break down this backdrop for you, step by step! It was really fun to see it all come together in the end, but I learned some valuable things along the way.

Make your own Mario mystery blocks with boxes and cardstock!
Make your own mystery blocks with boxes and cardstock!
  1. Sky backdrop: To start I used a blue plastic tablecovers, like this, to cover the entire wall. Just keep in mind you’ll want to order enough to cover the entire wall. I use sticky tack like this to hang it up on the wall.
  2. Cloud Balloon Garland: For the clouds I ordered white balloons, like this, and used a balloon garland strip to create the garland. When creating balloon garlands it is really nice to have different sizes of balloons to work with. And if you’ve never made a balloon garland before, the strips make it pretty fool-proof. I then hung it on the wall near the top with fishing line and 3M hooks.
  3. Brick & Mystery Blocks: The heart of our backdrop were the brick and mystery boxes, just like from the classic Super Mario games. I really hate the idea of buying boxes, especially when I throw away several every week it feels like. But since I really wanted all my boxes to be the identical size, and I specifically wanted them 12X12, I bit the bullet and bought this pack. And of the 25 pack, I think I ended up using about 20 of them. The brick boxes were easy to create, I just used a ruler and a thick sharpie to draw brick lines on them. I got a little lazy and only did the front. What do you think, should I have done the sides too? For the mystery boxes I ordered 12X12 yellow cardstock (hence the reason I wanted the boxes to be sized 12X12) and used some glue dots to glue a one piece to each side that would be facing out. I then used my cricut to cut the question mark. But you could print it out and cut it out as well. (a mystery question mark template is included in the Party Pack). Assembling the boxes the way I wanted is what started to get me pretty frustrated. I kept trying to figure out how I could get the top row to seem like it was “floating”. My smart 14 year old was walking by and said, “why don’t you just put down a 2X4 across the top and then set the boxes on that? Duh! Sometimes you get lost in the trees and can’t see the forest my friends. So I told him to go find one in the garage, and he did! By the way- if you’d rather just buy some rather than make some you can totally do that! Here are some similar to what I made.
  4. Gold Coin Garlands: The gold coins were super easy to make, I just used gold paper plates and fishing line and hot glued the plates to each other with the fishing line in the center (so that it was double sided). I hung the garlands on either side of our blocks from the balloon garland (so make sure that is well attached!).
  5. Piranha Plants DIY: The piranha plants were my favorite creation, and you can see a video of how I made them here. I started with these red paper fans. It was perfect because they came in a 6 pack with 2 small, 2 medium and 2 large. Pictured below you can see the medium and large plants, the small ones I used on the dining table. I created a piranha mouth cut file and cut it with my cricut and then cut several different sized circles with my cricut. I included a piranha mouth template in my party pack. I then hot glued the mouths and circles onto the paper fans. For the small piranha plants I used those small pringle cans that I covered with these green foam sheets that I cut to size and hot glued on. I then used some wooden dowels for the stem (you could spray paint these green, but I was lazy and didn’t) and then cut some leaves with my cricut as well. I drilled a hole through the lid of the pringle can and stuck the wooden dowel through and hot glued the paper fan onto the dowel. Lastly I hot glued on some moss to cover up the plastic lid. For the medium sized piranha plants I used the regular Pringle cans and for the large piranha plants I used green buckets and large skewers that I found at the dollar store. I used some easter grass to fill the bucket and I put some of those glass vase fillers in all of the piranhas to help weigh them down.
  6. Poster Clouds: The poster clouds I just free hand traced and cut out of white posters and added the little black ovals for eyes. I also hung those from the balloon garland. You might notice the little goombas, but I’ll talk more about those later…
Check out this video on how to make your own Piranha plants
Mario Party Decorations and DIY Ideas
Mario Party Decorations and DIY Ideas

Mario Kart Birthday Cake

The focal point of our cake table was, of course, the amazing cake that my mother-in-law made. I put the medium piranah plants on this table as well, one on each side of the cake. And then I used more Easter grass to fill in the empty space.

This DIY Mario Kart cake was the perfect addition to our super mario party!
This DIY Mario Kart cake was the perfect addition to our super mario party!

She used this hot wheels set along with these racing flags for the cake toppers and the rainbow road track is these airhead rainbow belts.

Super Mario Party Cake Table Decor
Super Mario Party Cake Table Decor

Mario Party Tablescape

Moving on from the wall to the table- I’m excited to share how the Mario Tablescape all came together. I started with a base layer of a red tablecloth. I like to use the real tablecloths, and this red one I bought originally for our Harry Potter party and we’ve been able to use it for several parties now. Just measure your table so you’re getting the right size.

Super Mario Birthday Party Tablescape Ideas
Super Mario Birthday Party Tablescape Ideas

I got this faux grass tablerunner for the center of the table and I alternated my DIY mini piranah plants and these mystery boxes for the centerpieces. We also had cupcakes with green frosting and piranah plant cupcake toppers that I set throughout the grass. I made the cupcake toppers by cutting out the piranah shape with my cricut, but I have made a printable cucpake topper version for you included in the Mario Digital Party Pack. They are meant to be printed on 2 1/12 inch circle labels and then you can make them double sided with a toothpick in the middle to create your own cupcake toppers.

Piranha plant cupcake toppers printable
Piranha plant cupcake toppers- print and cut or print on 2 1/2 inch sticker labels to make your own cupcake toppers. Printable included in Digital Party Pack.
Mario Digital Party Pack
30 pages of printables for your Super Mario party including: "Level complete" banner, cupcake toppers, save Luigi party game clues and invitation template.

For the place settings I found these fun iridescent checkered plates and these awesome star plates. I thought they looked super cool layered together and the finishing touch was red polka dotted napkins. Sure you can go with those paper plates with Mario’s face on them…but isn’t this so much more fun and unique? For cups I went with gold ones that ended up being more of a dull bronze, what I really wanted was shiny metallic gold (like the plates) like these.

Mario Party tablescape and place setting ideas
Mario Party tablescape and place setting ideas

Each place setting also had a mario character mask and a little mystery box party favor with little trinkets inside. I got all of those things from this set. Lastly I sprinkled gold star confetti and chocolate gold coins around the table for the finishing touch. Above the table I hung some mushroom paper lanterns from our chandelier similar to these.

Super Mario party cupcakes- piranha plant cupcake toppers
Super Mario party cupcakes- piranha plant cupcake toppers

Mario Party Games & Activities

The decorations are so fun and really set the mood/stage, but the party games and activities are what can really make or break the party (in my opinion). The rain and hail really put a damper on my plans, but we did the best we could. And to be clear, I think free play is fine at a party! Kids crave that time to just do what they want. However, I also plan in some structured activities. In our case I sent the kids on a quest to save Luigi from Evil King Bowser. Here’s how it went (you can see our quest in video form here):

Luigi Gets Kidnapped

Step one was to have a very public kidnapping of Luigi in front of all the party guests. I had gotten a little stuffed Luigi and placed him in the center of the table. After all the party guests had arrived we had lunch, and as the kids were wrapping up their lunch, Bowser (my 12 year old son) came in and with a very evil laugh, took Luigi, left a ransom note, and ran off. This is the costume that my son used to be Bowser.

super mario party table
If you look closely you can spot Luigi there in the center of the table

The ransom note that is left by Bowser is what initiates the quest. I have included all these clues and notes as part of my Mario Digital Party Pack. You can check out what that first one looks like below (they coordinate with the invitation):

party guests begin their quest to save Luigi from Bowser with this scavenger hunt clue.
Have Bowser leave this behind after kidnapping Luigi. Have a kid volunteer to read it aloud to everyone, or read it to them.

Princess Peach Obstacle Course

My 10 year old son acted as Toad (and wore this hat) and played the part of their guide through this quest to save Luigi (similar to how he does in the movie). So once they read the clue, Toad guided them to the Princess Peach obstacle course. I had set up a little obstacle course in our front yard using existing elements (like our climbing dome, slide, swing set, see saw, etc) but because of the rain we resorted to setting up a little obstacle course in our hallway.

reading the first clue on the quest to save Luigi
Our little party guests read their first clue on their quest to save Luigi!

Before they started the obstacle course they had to smash the mystery box to get a power up (like the clue instructs). The way we did this was I had made one of the mystery boxes a little differently. I cut a hole in two sides (although in retrospect I wish I had just cut one hole) and covered the holes with yellow tissue paper. I put enough chocolate coins inside the box for all the party guests.

Make your own Mystery Block punch game for your Super Mario party!
Make your own Mystery Block punch game for your Super Mario party!

I had the kids punch through the tissue paper and grab a chocolate coin to eat for their “power up”. To give each kid a chance to punch through the box I had a little stack of yellow tissue paper near me and after each kid went I just held a new sheet of tissue paper over the hole (rather than make like 10 boxes). The kids got a kick out of that. Next we had them each complete the obstacle course and then Toad handed them their next clue.

in line for the princess peach obstacle course
In line to do the obstacle course

Fight Donkey Kong

Their next clue tells them they must fight Donkey Kong! Just like in the movie, if they can beat him they will progress in their quest. In this case they have to beat him to receive their next clue. My son who played Bowser, was also our Donkey Kong with a little wardrobe change. He put this DK costume on to battle the kids. The plan was to have each of the kids have their turn in the “arena” (i.e. trampoline) with DK. But again, because of the rain, we moved it inside and just had them “fight” in the family room. I strapped some boxing gloves that we have on the kids when it was their turn to fight DK to make it a little more fun.

Let everyone have their chance to fight Donkey Kong in order to earn the next clue!

My son did a great job of fighting the kids and letting them get some good shots in (they didn’t go easy on him) before he would dramatically collapse on the floor and I would raise their hand up and count “1-2-3… knock out!!!). After everyone had a chance to battle Donkey Kong, Toad gave them their next clue.

Race on Rainbow Road

This was the most disappointing thing to not be able to do outside. I had set up a “rainbow road” course in our yard including spray painting a track (this stuff is great and goes a pretty long way, I did use 2 bottles). I had added a few easy obstacles to the track, including putting chairs with pool noodles going across so they either had to jump over them or climb under them (like hurdles). I had created 4 extra mystery boxes and my plan was to line them with garbage bags and fill them with water balloons. I was going to place them at different places along the track so the kids could stop and grab one and throw them at the other races. Much like getting a shell from a mystery box. The rain stopped us from doing all of this, but I did have my kids reenact it the next weekend and they had a blast.

Make your own mystery boxes and fill the with water balloons for your Mario Kart track race
Make your own mystery boxes and fill them with water balloons for your Mario Kart track race

The inside version was to have the kids race along the road aisle runner that I had set up mostly for decoration. We last minute turned it into our “rainbow road” and had the kids take turns racing back and forth on it. We timed it to make it more interesting and had them each stomp one Goomba along the way (more on the goombas later). And don’t slip on those banana peels! Once the kids had all taken a turn Toad handed them their next clue.

Make your own track with goombas and banana peels for your Mario Kart party
Make your own track with goombas and banana peels for your Mario Kart party

I made the bananas with toilet paper rolls and leftover yellow cardstock from the mystery boxes. They were super easy to make. Here’s a video of how I put them together. Just tape one end of the cardstock to the toilet paper roll, wrap it around and tape it again. Then just twist the top and cut 3 or 4 peels- in a triangle type shape with the end of the peels being skinnier and the top of the peels being wider. Finally draw on some eyes with a sharpie.

Make your own Mario kart banana peels out of cardstock and toilet paper rolls.
Make your own Mario kart banana peels out of cardstock and toilet paper rolls.

Stomp all the Goombas

The next clue told them that the Goombas had taken over the tree house and they needed to stomp them all in order to get their next clue. We had to change it last minute to the Goombas had taken over the family room. So we set all the goombas up on the floor in the family room, the kids had to stomp them all and inside one of the goombas was the next clue!

Make your own Goomba army with balloons, paper plates and this printable!
Make your own Goomba army with balloons, paper plates and this printable!

To make the Goombas, I ordered these balloons and then just duct tapped a plate on the bottom (for weight and so they would “stand up”) and used glue dots to put the goomba face on. The goomba faces I just printed and cut out and I’ve included these faces in my Mario Digital Party Pack. Don’t forget to put the next clue into one of those balloons before you blow it up! Here’s a video of how I made them (give me a follow while you’re over there!).

Mario Digital Party Pack
30 pages of printables for your Super Mario party including: "Level complete" banner, cupcake toppers, save Luigi party game clues and invitation template.
Stomp the Goombas Mario Party Game Idea. Pop balloon goombas while looking for your next clue!
Stomp the Goombas Mario Party Game Idea

Yoshi Egg Hunt

The clue they found inside one of the Goombas told them it was now time for a Yoshi Egg Hunt! We were going to do this out on our lawn, but had to adjust and do an inside egg hunt. This egg hunt is just like your regular Easter Egg Hunt, except that they are looking for the golden egg which has their next clue. All the regular eggs had little candies or leftover trinkets from the party favor pack I got.

A Yoshi Egg Hunt is a fun and easy Mario Party Game
A Yoshi Egg Hunt is a fun and easy Mario Party Game

Super Star Piñata

Inside the Golden Egg was a clue that tells them they now need to find the super star and that they need to smash the super star open to save Luigi. You will need to customize this clue based on where you want to hide the super star. (You can do this just by writing on the clue or by opening this clue into canva and adding a text box to add the details on where the super star is hidden). I ended up hiding it inside our ottoman in our family room. The super star is a piñata! I got a star pinata and added black ovals for eyes to turn it into the super star.

Make a star pinata into a super star by adding some eyes for an easy Mario party activity!
Make a star pinata into a super star by adding some eyes for an easy Mario party activity!

But guess what’s in the super star? It’s not candy! I warned the kids that “it might not be what you expect inside!” (after all they just did the egg hunt so hopefully their sugar cravings have already been met 😉 It’s Luigi inside! This requires a little bit of stealth. You see, after Luigi was kidnapped (at the beginning of the party) by Bowser, we then shoved Luigi into the piñata (it was a tight fit) and hid the piñata inside the ottoman to be found later by the kids. Once the piñata was found they got to smash it to bits and free Luigi inside. Once they did this they were given their last note by Toad:

Final clue in the “save Luigi” party quest

After this we did cake, presents, and free play until the parents arrived. This could also be a good time to show the Super Mario movie or play a Mario Kart tournament on the switch, depending on the length of your party. And that’s all folks! Check out the shopping list below and more details on the digital party pack as well.

Mario Party Shopping List

For your convenience here’s a list of items that I used (or other options) for your Mario party:

Mario Digital Party Pack

This digital party pack comes with 30 pages of printables (mostly in jpeg format, some PDFs) to make throwing your Mario party even easier! After purchase you will receive an email with a link to a google drive folder where you can download and print all of these files. The party pack includes: cupcake toppers, “level complete” banner, 7 Save Luigi Quest clues and an additional blank clue so you can make your own, invitation template, and a few extras like the Goomba heads to help you with your DIY decor!

Mario Digital Party Pack
30 pages of printables for your Super Mario party including: "Level complete" banner, cupcake toppers, save Luigi party game clues and invitation template.
Mario Digital Party Pack- 30 pages of instant download printables to help you throw your Super Mario Party.
Add to cart with the button below to purchase this Mario Digital Party Pack
Cupcake toppers featuring all of your favorite super mario characters! Print on 2 1/2 inch circle labels for easy DIY cupcake toppers
The party pack includes all the printable clues you’ll need to have your own save Luigi quest!
“Level Complete” banner included- numbers 0-9 are included so you can customize for your event. Ex: if the birthday kiddo is turning 6 create the banner “Level 6 complete!” with included letters and numbers.

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