Oh snap, another theme to share with you all! I know I probably say this about all of Olivia’s parties, but this is one of my absolute favorites. We’ve fallen in love with these 8 little characters! I was totally on board when Livi chose BT21 for her birthday this year. If you’re a fellow A.R.M.Y. for BTS, you will understand why we love them so much. SO much, that I created some K-pop wall art that you can buy here & here!
For those of you that personally know me, you know how much I enjoy party planning. I pretty much pour my heart and soul into them for months. It quickly became a hobby of mine after organizing Livi’s very first birthday party, and I’ve looked forward to planning them ever since. Creating every detail of this theme was extra fun for me. I was actually kind of sad when it ended! I’ll be even more sad when she’s too old for party themes, haha. For now, I am all about it. I’m excited to share all of the details below, and why this theme means so much to us.
If you read my last DIY post where I created my balloon garland here, then you already know a little about this party theme and why we chose it. If you haven’t given that post a read, here’s a bit of backstory of what it’s all about!
BT21 is a line of characters created by the Korean pop sensation, BTS. K-pop has been spreading globally and continues to sweep nations worldwide in a huge way. Our family was completely swept! BTS consists of 7 members; RM, Jin, J-Hope, Suga, Jimin, V, and Jungkook. They collaborated with Line Friends where each member sketched and created their own adorably unique characters that make up BT21, including a special character made to represent their fan base – A.R.M.Y.
We had the crazy amazing opportunity last September to see BTS in concert in Ft. Worth for their Love Yourself tour. It was hands down the BEST concert we have ever seen. The energy from their fans is something we’ve never experienced before with any other music group. BTS has taught many of their fans to love themselves. Through their music, it’s easy to feel their passion, positivity, and encouragement.. even when most of their lyrics are in Korean. As cheesy as it may sound to some of you, it’s really unexplainable, but I’m so happy we discovered them a year ago. They have really brought a lot of light to our lives in many ways.
Alright — Let’s get it!
P A R T Y D E T A I L S:
To welcome our guests, I like to make a sign or two that set the tone for our theme. I usually create something to display in our yard with balloons, or a simple design to hang on our front door.
This year, I made a door sign to feature all of the BT21 characters playfully peeking around a large “7”. I drew and cut out my number with pink cardstock, then I created the characters using my Cricut Explore Air. Each color and piece were cut separately and glued together with black as their background. I placed the characters around the 7 onto cardboard, glued everything down, then cut the cardboard around their shapes so the entire sign is one piece.
My husband cut out a wooden sign for me using our new CNC machine to display in our yard, but we didn’t finish painting it in time for the party. I didn’t want to stress about it, so we set it aside for now. Hopefully I can share it with you guys later.
As you walk through the front door, our entry table is decked out with a DIY BT21 banner, themed prints, and sugar cookie party favors. I designed Olivia’s party invitation myself this year, and I’m really happy with how they turned out! I was able to find and use the same fonts from the BT21 logo, and one of BTS’s latest albums. Yaaas!
Just like I created each character using my Cricut for the door hanger, I made this banner the same way. I cut their outlined shapes with black cardstock first, then cut and glued the separate colors per character over the black paper so it shows through on their eyes and other details. To hang them, I hot glued black string on the backs of the characters.
I found the character faces and YOLO prints on Pinterest and had them printed at our local Kinkos, along with her invites. “Yolo yolo yolo yo” is a lyric from BTS’s song Go Go, and this print features the silhouette of Livi’s favorite member V doing the floss dance from this performance. UwU
These banners make such great keepsakes to hang in Livi’s room after the party. I made another one to hang on our mantel near her presents. My Cricut is perfect for projects like this! It definitely does not disappoint.
We’ve done cookies as party favors every year. These were a bit of a challenge at first because BT21 cookie cutters like this do not exist. I had to have them 3D printed by a company I found on Etsy called 3DBiscuits. I totally recommend them! Great prices, fast shipping, and superb customer service.
Now, I gotta brag about these cookies for a minute. Two years ago, I found Custom Cookies by Leslie, a local baker that I hired to make kitty cookies for my daughter’s 5th birthday party. She did such a great job that I knew I wanted her to knock these out of the park for me this year. I brought her my cookie cutters, and oh man.. she totally nailed these characters to a T! I shared them all flatlay style on my Instagram account if you want to take a closer look. I will always give her my business anytime I need cookies. She seriously does a fantaaastic job!
I added tags to our cookies that say “Thank you” in Korean – 고맙습니다. My husband and I have been learning to speak Korean and it’s such an easy language compared to most. We still have a lot to learn and are far away from speaking fluently, but it’s cool to be able to pronounce the characters and words when we see them! I thought incorporating the language was a really fun detail to my party decor.
A framed poster of our boys was a nice touch to hang over silk bamboo folding fans that we offered our guests!
I created this “Fan Yourself” framed photo as a play on words to BTS’s album “Love Yourself”. I found these fans from Amazon and the colors matched our theme so perfectly.
Here’s a shot of one of the balloon garlands I made. If you want to check out the full tutorial, click here!
We sat Livi’s BT21 pillow on our entertainment center to top the balloon garland. This is Tata, her favorite character that she got for Christmas last year.
Since our last party, I’ve painted the stone on our fireplace white and I couldn’t love it more. It’s so much cleaner and really brightens our living room. You can check out the before and after process in this post! These colors are poppin’ up against that white!
I hung the second banner here, hid Van (A.R.M.Y.) in the planter, framed another BT21 print, and added more balloons with our theme colors.
“Saeng il chukha hap ni da” is kind of like saying “Happy Birthday to you” in Korean. Our family and friends were so sweet to try singing Happy Birthday to Livi in Korean! It was a bit tricky to keep in unison, so we sang a little Korean, but mostly English, haha.
Aren’t these characters the sweetest? I admit, I left these banners up for a month after her party before finally taking them down. I love them too much!
As BT21 was created by each BTS member, I provided sketch books for the kiddos to come up with their own characters. I wanted to give them the opportunity to have fun and be creative with their own visions.
Such a fun activity to entertain our tiny guests! And they each got to take home their own sketch book.
I created this YouTube playlist to play in the background during her party. The playlist consists of clips showing the making of BT21, fun character shorts & cartoons, and BTS music videos for funsies.
Let’s talk fooood.
T R E A T S & E A T S:
We hired Chiangmai Thai Kitchen to cater the party for the main menu items. So delicious! All in all, this was our spread:
- Chow Mein Noodles with Veggies
- Spring Rolls
- Pot Stickers
- Jasmine Rice
- Pineapple, Strawberry, & Banana Kabobs
- Fortune Cookies
- Pocky Sticks
- Vanilla “Sushi” topped Cupcakes & Chocolate “Van” Cake with Buttercream Frosting
- Flavored Ramune Sodas
I found these felt sushi cupcake toppers at our local grocery store and I couldn’t pass them up. They were super cute and perfect for our party!
I really wanted to add a backdrop behind our setup, so I chose to make photo banners of BTS with their BT21 personas and random group shots. I also hung Olivia’s name in Hangul characters (올리비아) between BTS’s logo and A.R.M.Y. shield.
I was a little nervous decorating Livi’s cake! I was actually still trying to finish it as our guests were arriving, which is usually my norm to not be ready when it’s party time. I created Van by mixing a little bit of black food dye to my buttercream icing to get a subtle gray tone. I had black gel icing that I used to draw in the eyes and mouth. I guess it turned out okay! Van is still pretty cute.
We served the chow mein in Chinese takeout boxes that I found here on Amazon. Those adorable little boxes were such a huge hit!
We kept the noodles warm in our Instant pot and had chopsticks available. Chopsticks make food way more fun!
Since BT21 party plates and napkins aren’t easy to come by, I chose solid colors to match the characters: red, yellow, pink, blue, turquoise, and purple.
To add a little something extra to our spread, I found mini cardboard stands of our boys and displayed them around the food. The designs are random when you purchase them, but I was very happy with the quality! They can be found at this link. I added their BT21 character sticker to each member.
That’s a wrap on this party! Another theme in the books. I hope I’ve inspired some fun crafts for fellow A.R.M.Y., of BTS, and fans of BT21!
And a HUGE thank you and shoutout to our photographer and videographer, Christopher Alvarez from SixteenFortySix Media. He did such a great job capturing the details and candid moments. With his video clips, I compiled a birthday video of Livi’s party, you can check out here!