Ask Mama Jells: How can I make Yo Gabba Gabba party decorations?

All of the decor for EB’s party was handmade.  Mostly by my mother because I sent her pictures of what I wanted.  She’s an artist/art teacher and can whip something up faster than I can if we’re in a hurry.  And when I say “hurry,” I mean a week before the party and I hadn’t done a single thing but make a Pinterest file about all the fun stuff I wanted to do.  So most of the stuff I’m going to show was someone else’s idea, but made by Granny.  Except one banner, where my mom made EB into a Gabba character.  Whaaat.  So awesome.

First off, the banners.  I sent a picture to my mom of one banner and she sent me three in return.  What a gal.  One was copying someone else’s – each triangle is a Gabba character’s head, simplified.  It’s all laminated so the triangles didn’t rip of in the gale force winds we happened to get the day of the party.  Also so we could reuse them in some capacity later on.  I hung this above the party so people could see it walking up to the house.

I realized that I don't really have a closeup of the banner so I'll include the one I sent to my mom as an example below.

Image from

My mom also made a smaller set of triangles with the colors of the Gabba characters, as well as several sets of the number “2.”  All of this was loose so I could assemble it in the length I needed for the party once I decide where it was all going to go.  This was a backdrop for my side yard with the bouncy pony.

The 2's are flying up in this one.

The last banner took me a second to get while I was assembling it.  I thought to myself that Foofa didn’t have brown eyes or blond curly hair, and as soon as that thought was formed, I got what my mom did.  This is EB as a Gabba character, with some 2’s thrown in for good measure.  These cracked me up.  I put this on my other fence line.  Banners were a great way to make the entire yard feel decorated.

It's a spitting image of her, right?

I also had my mom make a dillion eyeballs for the balloons.  One for the red ones for Muno, two with eyelashes each for Toodee and Foofa, and regular sets for Plex and Brobee.  I know, this is not how I expected their names to be spelled either.  The grandmas and Maru blew these up during EB’s nap and taped their eyeballs on.  I was an eyeball Nazi while crazily whirling around the party doing last-minute cleanups and setup.  I might’ve tersely said to my party committee that “Foofa and Toodee are the only ones with eyelashes!  They’re the girls!  You have to switch those.” and that “Muno can’t have two eyes!  That doesn’t make sense!”  They very kindly pulled off the offending eyeballs and put them on the right color.  Those poor dears were helping a preggo and a party mom.  That’s a rough mix…hormonally.

Balloon central.

EB freaked out when she saw the balloons after nap.  She totally got it.  She was calling out the names of the characters for each color.  We have lights strung up over the yard and I hung one of each color on each pass of the lights across the yard.  You might wonder why I of all people were on the ladder?  Well, for one, I don’t know if I would’ve let anyone else do this part.  I had a dream.  And secondly, both the grandpas might’ve overheard my comments about the balloons and booked for the backyard.  Both told me after the party that they were talking about how they didn’t want me to be on the ladder but weren’t going to be the ones to say that.  Smart move.

My dad showing EB the balloons.

I also had my mom make smaller round eyeballs for Muno cups.  We just used red cups, both a big and small size (one for adults and one for kids) and taped the eyeball on with double-sided tape, just like the balloons.  It was also a great way to write a name on the cup.  My mom did this taping job the night before the party.  Like I said, we did it all at the last minute.  But it came out so well!

The trick is: half of each stack didn't have eyeballs. Shhhh.

The last part of the decor almost didn’t happen.  But it was my favorite part: the party favors.  I could not for the life of me find the old standard animal crackers in a box.  At the bulk groceries like Sam’s and Costco, they only have the huge plastic jars.  I needed the boxes because I wanted to turn them into boom boxes.  On the Nick Jr website they have lots of free images from the show and I saw how several people did this for their party favors.  I ordered them off of Amazon and crossed my fingers that standard shipping would get it to me in time.  The box arrived Friday.  I almost cried when the delivery guy showed up.  I swiped the image from Nick Jr, but honestly it was really hard to find.  So I’ll make it easy for you guys.  I printed the image, scanned it, brought it into Photoshop, and made three copies instead of one with some other crap like musical notes.  Just use this instead of trying to find it like I did.  Although, if you really want to, go to my Pinterest board, you can see the link I included in the picture.  But I promise, this is easier.

We didn’t cut them to the dashed lines around the boom box because the animal cracker boxes were slightly bigger.  But it didn’t look bad that they had a fit that was slightly off.  I set them up with EB’s toy so people who were unfamiliar with the show could understand why the heck there were boom boxes.  EB immediately opened one before her party and might’ve eaten 5 of them throughout the day.  We still  have some leftover so she runs around with this looking fly.  Obvsly.

Boom box animal crackers

All of this was made without buying anything special, besides the animal crackers.  It was either construction paper and laminate (if you have access to that sort of thing) or card stock for the boom box image.  I used ribbon to assemble the banners and regular double-sided tape for any eyeballs.  So much cheaper than buying pre-made Gabba decor!  And we got saturated colors for the plates, napkins, and forks.

Sweet, sweet Maru. She helped me get my head on straight in time for the party. That's why she was at EB's birth. Because she has that effect on me. Hearts to her.

I’ll put of the rest of the pictures of the party later today or tomorrow.  There’s even a video of the band playing “I like bugs.”  You know it.

Let me know if you have any questions about how to make this stuff – I’d be happy to share my secret.  Slash my mom’s secret since she’s the one that put the elbow grease in.  Yay Granny!  Three cheers for her!

Mama Jells.

22 thoughts on “Ask Mama Jells: How can I make Yo Gabba Gabba party decorations?

  1. I thought Granny’s EB gabba character was brilliant! So much work went into the making of these decorations. Great ideas and execution! The party was perfect.

  2. Her party details were GREAT!!!!! it looks like a lot of fun, specially for a two yr old “GABBA” fan!!!! I loved the boom boxes!
    Wonderful job done by all and on such a short time schedule too!!!

  3. Great party! This is so cute. You did a fantastic job. I love coming up with clever ideas for decorations and activities. Looks like you and I share the same passion for parties. And your mom, what a life saver!
    Seriously, it turned out great!

  4. Looks awesome! Whenever I see Yo Gabba Gabba on Pinterest, I know that you’ve been pinning! Haha. What a great 2nd birthday for EB to look back on!

  5. My mom did something like that for me with 101 Dalmatians. Years ago of course when the original movie came out. All I remember was all the boys wanted to be spot. He was the one with the black eye.

  6. My little girl’s 2nd bday is in 2 weeks. I have bought some Gabba stuff, but I’m absolutely going to copy your cups and hopefully the animal cracker idea. Thank you!!!!

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