DIY Arcade Birthday Party

October 6, 2015

What 80's kid didn't love arcade games?! I knew my husband would love an 80's themed arcade party! I made him a surprise retro arcade party complete with my first projection cake.

Surprising my husband for his 30th

The first step of course in having a party is sending out invites. I know these days so many people use digital invites but I still love paper. I created these invites special for the event:

front of invite back of invite
I got a lot of compliments on them and I really loved them too!
Naturally, I started my research for the party on Pintrest. There really wasn't a ton of stuff on a 30th Birthday Arcade Party. I combined 30th ideas with arcade ideas and the party became a hybrid 1980's arcade party.

The Cake


I had the idea of making an arcade cake for over a year after seeing Disney projection cakes and this awesome cake. I ordered a projector and knew I was going to make a cake for my husband's 30th. He loves video games and there is an amazing place near us called TNT Amusements. They sell arcade games but also rent out the space for parties. Once the venue was booked the arcade theme really took off and I spent weeks doing decorations and the animations for the cake. The cake had a mostly video game motif but I had to throw in some wrestling for the birthday boy too! Check out the cake:

The Cookies and Candy Bar

This had to be the most stressful party I had to set up. I had to do everything in 5 minutes! They book their parties back to back so it was a whirlwind to say the least. I had everything packed up in containers and sketches drawn of where things were supposed to go. I think we pulled it off pretty well though. I did have a table cloth that didn't make it onto the table and didn't get as many pictures as I had wanted though. The most important part is that the birthday boy loved it! Ok, before you look at the cookies *A DISCLAIMER* The brown ones are not poo emoji cookies they were supposed to be Donkey Kong. I thought they were cute until a couple people pointed out the unfortunate resemblance. I used all candy from our childhood. I had jawbreakers, Pop Rocks, Blow Pops, Push Pops, Bubble Tape, Big League Chew, Fruit Stripe, and gummy bears. I ordered all the candy from Amazon and reused containers from our DIY wedding candy bar. I also had some fun sticky hands and slap bands for favors. I made the sugar cookies by hand cutting them and piping with royal icing. The signs I made for the candy jars said:
• Gum: Some Say 30 blows
• Lollipops: Others Think 30 Sucks
• Jawbreakers: Then there are those that say bones get rickety and eating this candy may literally break your jaw now
• Gummy bears: Dummies say gummies are now too sweet of a treat
•Pop rocks: What do they know maybe 30 rocks!
cookies cookies

Custom Plates

I even designed and ordered custom plates. I ordered them from
Custom Plate


I had fun making the decorations! I made the table banner seen in the image at the top of the page. I also made the cake base, stand up cut out of my husband and Mike Tyson, Rubix cubes, and Mario Blocks. I decoupaged bowls too for the chips so they would look like chips from the 80's!
stand ups giant rubix cube dorritos bowl lays bowl
I ordered these props from too. The glasses were the most fun!
8 bit glasses 8 bit prop


Sadly there was no booze allowed at our venue so I wanted to make the drinks fun! Do you remember Ecto Cooler? This stuff is Amazing(even better with vodka)! I got the recipe from these guys. I used the mandarin oranges I blended in the blender and strained. The tangerine Kooliad I had to find on Amazon but the rest I was able to find at the grocery store. Beware it is loaded with sugar... lots of sugar. But, its a fun treat. I even made the label say "Happy 30th Mike". I also wanted other retro drinks. It was really great timing because Surge just made a comeback and I got it on Amazon! I also got Mexican soda bottles because for some reason they still use old logos. I had to have the old logos and my husband loves the Mexican soda (they use real sugar too). The coke and sprite I actually found at the grocery store. The Pepsi though I found here. This shop really had some cool stuff I recommend it. I also had Capri Sun, Evian, and Perrier.
Ecto cooler retro soda

Hope you enjoyed this blog as much as I enjoyed planning the party! Feel free to comment or ask questions!
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