Maureen Anders, of Anders Ruff, here to share my son’s recent Modern Italian “Little Chef” Pizza Party! Our breakfast and family room were transformed into a modern Italian Pizzeria where the children got to be little chefs and make their own pizzas. This party is full of DIY crafts for dramatic decorations that make a big impact. Pizza themed games and activities were perfect to keep the kids busy while their pizzas were baking!
PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:
- Dramatic DIY Wooden Utensil Chandeliers hanging over the children’s tables
- Personalized Pizza Making Kits with ingredients, graphic muslin bags, dough, chef mustaches & rolling pins
- DIY Paper Chef Hat hanging decor over the dessert table, tables and game areas.
- “Pizza Hole” game (also known as corn hole): toss bean bag pepperonis into the hole of the pizza (printable!)
- 12 ft Little Italy street scene coloring wall Poster (Economical + dramatic decoration + activity all in one!)
- Candy Caprese: Red Chocolate Covered Oreo “Tomatoes”, Marshmallow “Mozzarella” & Green Candy “Basil”
Pierson has been begging for a Pizza Party all year long. Growing up, I always loved when my friends had pizza parties but they were never that “visually appealing. I knew I could offer a fresh take on the classic favorite pizza party theme. Once we decided on the pizza theme, I knew I had to create what would seem to be “Pierson’s Pizzeria” (Say that in your most authentic Italian Chef accent). From classic red and white gingham decor to the pizza chef mustaches (perfect for the mustache trend), this party had every element that a pizza party needed. The dessert table even included candy and desserts that looked like pizza ingredients and Italian appetizers. Read on for the details.
The children entered “Pierson’s Pizzeria” they were instructed to get into pizza making mode by getting dressed like a real pizza chef! Each child received a custom t-shirt from Great Stitch, which was personalized on the front rolling pin graphic from our collection and a backside graphic. Each child received a custom chef hat and apron from Sookee Designs, which were adorable! The boys were white with straight pockets and the girls had white with a ruffle at the bottom and a cute curved gathered pocket.
My breakfast room was transformed into a pizzeria. Because of the large space, I needed lots of fabulous DIY ideas and decorated areas that made big impacts to the look of the room. Here were the main areas and the DIY ideas for decor.
Wooden Utensil Chandeliers: I knew I wanted to make my own dramatic and whimsical chandeliers to hang over the main breakfast room pizza making table. This was SO easy and cheap and looked so professional!
I hot glued wooden utensils from Sucre Shop around wooden embroidery rings. I then used fishing line to tie them together in tiers. The center chandelier was 3 tiers and the chandeliers on the other sides were 2 tiers. I hung them with fishing line that I wrapped around my recessed lights cans on the ceiling.
Cafe Curtains and Chair Backs: My mom sewed red and white classic gingham cafe curtains and we hung them in each window using small tension rods throughout the kitchen area and family room. I sewed slip covers for the backs of the folding chairs. Folding chairs are ugly but at least they coordinate once you add these easy slip covers.
Paper Hanging Chef Hats: I used construction paper and white tissue to make paper chef hats. I punched tiny holes in each side and strung fishing line through the hat and hung it with masking tape from the ceiling. We shared how to easily make these paper chef hats on our weekly Ruff Draft. These are so cheap, lightweight (great for hanging) and made huge impacts in front of the dessert table, Pin the mustache on the chef game and the treats table.
Fabric Bunting: We wanted to add a pop of color to the room so we made the easiest gingham fabric knot bunting. We cut strips of our leftover red and white gingham fabric and tied it in a knots every 5 inches along a piece of natural twine. We strung this from wall to wall throughout the room to tie in more color from the ceiling.
Felt Pizza Centerpieces: Adria made felt pizzas that we displayed on cake stands in the center of the table. The cake stands were sat on top of wooden cutting boards that looked like classic pizza peels that you see at pizzerias! Perfect for the decor!
I wanted the dessert table to be a focal point and also make you feel like you were in a pizzeria’s kitchen. Look closely and you will see that the guests were “faked out” by candy that looked like real pizza ingredients! To tie in the wooden color carried throughout the party, I displayed the desserts on a wooden kitchen cart from Ikea.
The cake was displayed on a metal cake stand (to feel like a pizza stand!) and was made by Mandie of Got What It Cakes. She tied in the gingham from the party and carried in the frame shape from the printables on the front of the cake with his age, 5.
Metal utensil holders were displayed on either side of the cake and tied in the wood, metal, red and green. I also displayed Parmesan containers but instead of real cheese, I put white apple candy sours inside! Adorable Chef Hat Cake Pops (from Pop-A-Razzi) were stuck out of the Parmesan containers (perfect for holding them!)
I used glass and metal spice containers to display candy red hots on the top of the dessert table. These had a label that said “Red Pepper Flakes”.
My favorite “fake out” treat was the DIY Candy Italian Caprese. I made these using red chocolate covered oreos stacked with marshmallows (the giant ones that I sliced with a sharp knife) and topped with a green sour belt (I cut it with kitchen scissors to look like basil leaves). I topped it with a toothpick and printable party flag from our Pizza Printable Collection in our shop.
We displayed incredible Pizza Cookies (from Firefly Confections) and Pizza Chef cookies she made to look like our graphics. These were placed in white platters that looked like Italian lasagne dishes and we added red sprinkles to the bottom to help prop up the cookies.
Adorable gingham chocolate covered oreos (Sweeties by Kim) were perfect to display out of the drawer in the wooden kitchen cart. We also displayed adorable chocolate chef mustache lollipops (Nicole’s Treats) out of the drawer.
The shelves of the wooden kitchen cart were filled with glass jars that had candy “Pizza ingredients” and custom labels. All of the candy was from Candywarehouse.com. Green Olives were actually green M&Ms, Fresh Mozzarella was actually white gumballs, Pepperoni was actually licorice wheels, Mushrooms were candy mushrooms, Sauce was red sprinkles and Green Pepper Rings were actually gummy apple rings!
Also, we designed printable pizza box labels that we customized and adhered to blank white pizza boxes from our local restaurant store! The kids used the pizza boxes to fill with cookies and treats to take home. The perfect “pizza take-out” box, if you ask me!
Planning a pizza party is easy but adding games and activities outside the “pizza making” part can be tough. I worked hard to think of popular games and activities that were not only fun but kept with the theme and were economical. Here is the list of games and activities that helped make the party a success!
Pizza Making: The children’s place settings included an aluminum pizza pan (from Dollar Tree) and a pizza kit for each of them! The children had their names at their place settings assigned with a printable label on the wooden rolling pins. Each child’s Pizza Making Kit was filled with all of the necessary items to make their own pizzas.
1) Pizza Dough Bag (Cotton Bag from Nashville Wraps) that we embellished with the Anders Ruff custom printable dough label. (We used Onlinelabels.com Opaque Iron on transfer sheets to adhere our printable to the cotton bag). We filled it with pizza dough from Trader Joes – yum!
2) Pizza Chef Mustaches were included so the kids could really look like a pizza chef. We topped the bags with our printable Pizza Chef Mustache bag topper.
3) Clear containers (Nashville Wraps) were embelished with a personalized Anders Ruff printable party label and filled with mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce and pepperoni.
4) Red pizza cutters were also included in the kit. (This party was for 5 year olds, so we made sure they had adult supervision!)
5) Wooden rolling pins (with their name label) were at each place setting as well.
6) Adorable red polka dot wooden utensils (Sucre Shop) tied with twine (The Twinery)
The place settings also included a glass drink bottles (Shop Sweet Lulu) that was embellished with a printable drink wrap and red polka dot paper straw (Hey Yo Yo). They also had a little stacked Italian salad with a printable logo on top. (Yes, they actually ate the salads!)
“Pizza Hole” (also known as Corn Hole): If you are a fan of corn hole, this game is perfect for a pizza party. I transformed it into the pizza theme by designing a 20×30 printable Pizza Hole game that the kids went crazy over! I sewed up round bean bags (red and green like most pizza toppings) for the kids to toss through the pepperoni hole in the pizza.
This game was easy to construct. I printed the Anders Ruff 20×30 Pizza Hole Game Poster Printable and mounted it with paper glue onto a 1/2″ thick foam core board. I then cut the top off a box and cut the sides on an angle so that the pizza hole board woudl rest on it at a good angle. Then I adhered the board to the box with duct tape. So simple!
Pizza Toppings Matching Game: The kids got to play the pizza toppings matching game against a partner. We created a printable that was so easy to print and cut and was a perfect activity to keep the kids busy while we waited for the pizzas to bake.
Pin the Mustache on the Pizza Chef Game: I designed a 20×30 Pin the Mustache game and had it printed at Costco for $8.99. I nailed it to our backdrop board that was covered with a white/red polka dot fabric. Printable mustache silhouettes were printed on label paper for each child to use for the game. We blindfolded the kids and they had a blast trying to pin their mustache on the poster!
“Little Italy” Coloring Wall Poster: Under my kitchen bar counter top there is a big wall that divides the breakfast room and family room and I wanted to decorate it and transform it into the pizzeria theme. To make a big impact, I designed a Printable 12 foot Little Italy Coloring Wall Poster that looked like a street scene straight out of Little Italy. The facades of storefronts were named things to fit the party theme like “Pierson’s Pizzeria”, “Pizza Take-Out”, and more. It was personalized with his age and name in several places. I had this printed at our local printer for around $12 on architectural sized paper.
This is such a fun activity and the kids always flock to the coloring wall posters at our parties. The original idea came from our Super Hero party featured here 2 years ago! It is great because a lot of kids can color at once and it keeps them busy during transition times.
I designed a printable crayon box that I filled with crayons for all of the kids to use at the party and take home later.
Coloring Activity Sheet: I had a low table from ikea with 4 stools (embellished with our printable pizza box label to spruce up the boring white seat!) that was set up with activity sheets for the kids. The printable pizza party activity sheet had a pizza chef to color, tic tac toe, word search and a maze. The kids loved doing this!
“Hot Pizza”: Adria made the cutest felt pizzas that we placed on the centers of the tables on a cake stand. These were so adorable and the kids loved them! To incorporate them into the activities, we played “Hot Pizza” (Get it? Hot potato but with the pizza). What a classic fun game turned pizza party game!
We had a few areas that included favors for the kids to take home goodies.
Pizza Take-Out: I love letting the guests take some fun treats home from our parties, so we set up a “Pizza Take-Out” station. The printable poster was hung over a metal kitchen cart rack from Ikea. Each shelf had goodies galore.
We designed custom printable pizza favor boxes that we filled with adorable pizza cookies from Firefly Confections. These were a huge hit and such a great take home favor.We printed our customized “Thank You” labels and ironed them onto more of the smaller Nashville Wraps cotton bags. The kids used metal scoops to add candies from the containers. The containers included candies from Candywarehouse.com to look like pizza toppings. For example, “Olives” were actually green M&Ms. “Mozzarella” were actually white gumballs.
I always think of red and white after dinner mints when I think of the Italian restaurants we visit. I thought it would be cute to include those in the decor and favors. Clear gumball tubes (from SmashCake Studio) were filled with Cherry Sassy Spheres from Candywarehouse.com. We added a printable party flag that says “After Pizza Cherry Mints”. (Not all kids like peppermint, so these are actually cherry flavored but look like traditional italian mints!)
“Lets’a Make’a Pizza” Cupcake Table: We had so many treats and ideas that we also decorated a black buffet table for more treats. I designed a Chef Poster to hang on the red/white fabric backdrop. We hung paper chef hats above and decorated the front with a pizza party printable banner (included in our Pizza Party Printable Collection). We hung one of the adorable girls’ aprons (by Sookee Designs) from the corner to tie in the fabric items. Treats included more of the cherry sours “after pizza mints”, Chocolate Mustache lollipops, Chocolate covered oreos, as well as drink bottles and cupcakes that were embellished with our printable party logos. More cotton bags were included as well as cute paper sacks (from Hey Yo Yo) for the kids to fill with treats.
All of the Pizza Party printables and invitation are available in the Anders Ruff Shop here.
- Complete Event Styling and Concept: Anders Ruff
- Photography: Becca Bond Photography
- Party Printables and Activity Printables: Anders Ruff
- Custom Pizza Party T-Shirts: Great Stitch
- Custom Girls and Boys Hats & Aprons: Sookee Designs
- Candy: CandyWarehouse.com
- Cake: Got What It Cakes
- Custom Cake Pops: Pop-A-Razzi
- Custom Cookies: Firefly Confections
- Gingham Chocolate Covered Oreos & Chocolate Lollipops: Sweeties by Kim
- Chocolate Mustache Lollipops: Nicole’s Treats
- Cupcake Wrappers: Bella Cupcake Couture
- Glass Drink Bottles: Shop Sweet Lulu
- Gumball Tubes, Paper Plates: Smash Cake Studio
- Polka Dot Paper Straws, Paper Sacks: Hey Yo Yo
- Wooden Utensils: Sucre Shop
- Cotton Bags, Paper Shred, Clear Containers: Nashville Wraps
- Cotton Baker’s Twine: The Twinery
- Opaque Iron On Transfers & Label Material: OnlineLabels.com