I can’t pinpoint the exact time it started, but many months ago, as I was teasing out my youngest son’s thoughts on his third birthday party, he blurted out: “I want a knight in shining armor fighting the dragon party!”
So specific, this one!
I attribute it to a) our homeschool reading of Sir George Slays the Dragon, and b) the Berenstain Bears book on bragging where the bears try to top each other with what they see in the clouds and one bear claims they see a “knight in shining armor fighting a dragon.” One. The other. Both. The result is… I found myself planning a Knight in Shining Armor Fighting The Dragon birthday party this summer!Now, if you Google “knight party” beware that before you get to the medieval knights in shining armor, you’re going to come across Star Wars Jedi Knights, Samurai Knights, Batman the Dark Knight, and sundry other knight ideas of completely no use. Instead, I recommend you check out my Pinterest Birthday Parties board because the more recent posts have a lot of great MEDIEVAL Knight in Shining Armor birthday party ideas.
Plus, I’m going to share my own party planning and prep with you! I honestly TRIED to keep it simple this year. Really, truly!
Knight in Shining Armor Birthday Party Invitations
Most of the time I hand stamp my kids birthday party invitations. I know it’s not necessary because we only invite family, but it helps me get in the mood for our theme. Plus designing the card sort of sets the tone and color scheme of the party well in advance! And also, it’s a fun keepsake once all the cake is eaten and the decorations in the garbage!
Knight in Shining Armor Birthday Party Decor
Castle Bunting: I saw these streamers hung like knightly banners on a Pinterest photo (this one), and thought I could do something similar. I especially loved the three colors of red, yellow, blue because they are bold and fun (and easy to find everywhere!). I wasn’t sure how to get that overlap drapey effect, so I ended up tweaking it. I laid down strips of blue painter’s tape about 18″ long, then affixed 18″ strips of colorful streamers along the tape, with just a small space between. I started in the middle with yellow, then did red and blue on each side, then alternated red, blue, yellow on each side. I changed up the patterns somewhat with each one just to have variety.
Once I had hung all the strips up in our kitchen and dining room (I only did two walls), I simply cut each section into a shallow “V” shape to create a “banner” effect! It was perfect for creating an “inside the castle” effect.
Castle Wall! I had to have a castle wall! I opened up a large cardboard box, reinforced the back with tape. Cut out the top to look like a castle. Spray painted it with gold paint (optional), then used a large chisel tip Marks A Lot marker to create worn and rounded stones. I specifically drew the stone lines over the fold lines of the cardboard to mask them a bit. Done! Didn’t take too long. I put my castle wall behind the cake table.
Photo Prop: Serendipity! We spotted this pop-up castle tent walking through IKEA a few weeks before the party. PERFECTO! Along with latex balloons and balloon sticks (amazing invention!), we had ourselves the perfect photo prop. And the tent was also part of our gift to our son as well, because he can play with it after the party too! The kids and their cousins had fun playing and posing with the tent. AND the birthday boy dressed up in his Knight costume from Melissa & Doug! I also had an extra helmet and sword as props for the other kids to share. (Balloon items and knight props from Oriental Trading).
Knight in Shining Armor Birthday Party Food
I used a red and white striped table cloth roll for all my surfaces (Oriental Trading), and a red, yellow, blue color scheme. I even found adorable “golden” jeweled goblet cups for the kids to use (Oriental Trading). There has always been WAY too many sweets and leftovers at past parties.
I really tried to keep the food and dessert table simple this year. I went with foods that could mostly be eaten by hand in a nod to medieval times:
- Dragon Scale Chips and Fire Breathing Salsa
- Dragon Fireballs (Cheese balls)
- Sword Snacks (cheese and salami and grapes) – I had this excellent castle cupcake stand (Oriental Trading) to put the skewered apps on, and also display our fun dragon puppet (IKEA), and Castle Figurines (Melissa & Doug).
- BBQ Chicken Drumsticks
- Corn on the Cob
- Baked Beans
- Green Salad
- Orange Soda
- Root Bear
- Raspberry / Lemon Zinger Tea
Knight in Shining Armor Birthday Cake
I can’t believe I made this birthday cake myself! I usually always enlist my sister because I can’t frost worth beans. This cake pretty much confirmed that fact because I was sweating it the entire time and generally making a huge mess of things. But in the end it got done. Here’s the basic steps:
The Cake: Use two cake mixes to make a rectangle cake and two square cakes. This is way more than you’ll need but I couldn’t figure out how to do it with less cake.
Cut rectangle cake to match square cake and layer the two. I used pudding between to save my frosting. Just make the pudding a bit thicker. Use a circle cookie cutter to “cut out” each corner a little.
Cut eight circles out of remaining cake and layer with pudding. These are your towers. Insert long toothpicks into each tower and fit them into the cut out corners you made.
The Frosting: Use Wilton white buttercream frosting and tint it gray with about 12-15 “toothpicks” of black frosting tint.
Frost cake. I can’t even pretend I know how to do this. I tried to do a crumb coat but forgot to chill it before doing the second coat. Mistake! Long story short, eventually I had gray frosting over the entire cake and towers that mostly looked circular. PHEW! Good luck with that. Or hire my sister!
Decorating time! Press Wilton Cookie Crumb topping onto the tower frosting to create a more defined tower effect. Top with ice cream cones! I scattered Stonewall Kitchen’s Chocolate Beach Rocks around the bottom. Used Pepperidge Farms Chessman cookies to line the wall. Pretzels and KitKat make the gate and drawbridge. And best of all, my favorite little toys, I used a Safari Ltd TOOB of Knights in Shining Armor to create a battle scene! The knightly castle bunting (Oriental Trading) gives the cake height and color!
I absolutely love how this cake turned out! I arranged Melissa & Doug Castle Puppet figurines behind on foil-covered paper towel rolls for effect and my boys have had fun playing with those once the party was over!
The best part of the party of course, was seeing delight shining in my new three-year-old’s eyes as he spied each bit of decoration and blew out the candles!
Knight in Shining Armor Birthday Gift Ideas
We mostly gifted our son the props used at the party. Here’s a few ideas for you (affiliate links):
- IKEA Castle Pop Up Tent
- Safari Ltd TOOB Knights and Dragons
- Melissa & Doug Castle Figurines
- Melissa & Doug Castle Puppets
- Melissa & Doug Castle Block Set
- Melissa & Doug Dragon Plush Toy (thank you, Uncle!)
- LEGO Castle or LEGO Kingdom Sets (you’ll have to get on Amazon because this theme is not current, but my son received an adorable Jester and another small Castle set!)
- Knight Stickers
- Usborne Castle Books – there are tons of titles!
Many thanks to my sponsors who sent items to facilitate this party: Oriental Trading, Melissa & Doug. All opinions are my own.