April 21, 2010


We are SURVIVOR fans at my house. Big-time fans.  So when it came time to decide on a theme for what was supposed to be a surprise party for Jason's thirty-fifth birthday, the choice became pretty obvious.  We would hold a SURVIVOR competition for couples. It was AWESOME! 
I believe that attention to the details contributed to making the party a success.  So, here are the details:

I found a great image of the SURVIVOR logo with a google search, and I used that on just about everything. The invitation had actual quotes from Jeff Probst's opening monologue with slight moderation (two hours, eighteen people, one SURVIVOR).  They, along with a survey used for one of the challenges, were printed on postal packaging paper that I cut to fit through the printer.  All edges of the papers were burned and they were tied up with jute.  The invitations and surveys were delivered with a bandana that represented the tribal buff.  

I randomly drew names to divide all the party guests into the two tribes- Ulang and Tahun.  The tribe names were chosen by typing the word "birthday" in google translator and converting it to Indonesian (the most exotic language available).  To create the image on the flag, I ironed web interfacing to the back of  the fabrics to make cutting out the pattern easier, used a print off of the logo as a template, and hot-glued everything together.  I then sewed the logo onto each flag.  Each flag was fastened to a pole so tribe members could carry them around easily (although we never really did).

The game supplies were some of the most fun things to put together. They really added to the whole experience.  Here are some explanations for each item pictured:

1- I found this incense burner at Wal-Mart for $10.00.  A bit of a splurge, but isn't it awesome!

2- I saved this plastic container that had Christmas candies in it and wrapped it with fabric rope, some jute, and freshly cut bush branches and, voila!  A vote collection urn.

3-  I needed five dry erase boards for one of the games, but good heavens!  They are expensive.  So I took some foam board that I already had and glued cardstock on both sides.  I cut a sheet protector to fit over one of the sides, hot-glued it down, and wrapped and hot-glued jute around the edges for a finishing touch.  And because I seemed to be on a wrap-it-in-jute mood, I did the same with the five dry erase markers.

4- Fabric bags were quickly sewn and jute was used for drawstrings.  These were used in a final immunity challenge where the bags were tied in various locations on the playground of the park.  Contestants had to collect all four bags which contained pieces to a puzzle they had to put together.

5- It just so happened that I had these necklaces in my costume jewelry collection.  The larger one was used as the main individual immunity necklace and the one pictured above it was used only once for a challenge.  The challenge was to search the park to find the "hidden immunity necklace."

6- I wrapped a huge Sharpie marker just like the collection urn, and the papers for voting were cardstock with torn edges.

7- Of course, we had to have a new set of buffs for when the two tribes merged!

8- I hot-glued scraps of fabric onto wooden skewers to create the small flags that would easily be stuck in the ground for one of the challenges.  

Not pictured were the two tiki torches purchased for use in tribal councils.  I know.  Describing the game supplies was probably more information than anyone needed to know!

Here is the birthday cake.  I don't think it turned out too shabby considering it was my first attempt at making and using my own marshmallow fondant.  I was pleased with the final result.

And now, here are some pictures of the evening and actual SURVIVOR competition:

Darren of Tribe Tahun writing his vote at Tribal Council

Tahun with a slight lead over Ulang

This one kills me.  Three members from each tribe were blindfolded and guided by a caller to go out on the field and retrieve several tribal flags.  Never mind that there were trees everywhere.  These competitive men went running into the playing field at full speed!

Ulang members waiting for their turn to vote at Tribal Council

Clair of Ulang takes on Jason of Tahun in a test of balance

The gross food challenge where competitors had to see who could eat a Twinkie the fastest

Darren polished his Twinkie off quickly, while Doug (in the middle bending over) nearly choked on his

Jason came so close to winning the final immunity challenge.  He collected all his bags first and put the puzzle together fastest but left one piece in a bag.  Doug came from behind to win immunity, and voted Jason off because he didn't think he could convince a jury to choose him over a birthday boy.  He was probably right.

After Jerimiah and Doug were "grilled" by the jury members, the votes were cast and Doug won by only two votes.  He was presented with his million dollars (in the form of ten 100 Grand candy bars) and named sole SURVIVOR. 

Jason cutting and serving the cake

No sooner had the party ended, when talks began to arise of plans for the next SURVIVOR competition.  Bring it on!  

This post authored by Amber


Julie said...

Amber, that is AMAZING!!! Wow, I'm going to need to come to you for ideas when Scott's 35th rolls around :-).
Love ya!

Joy said...

I'm telling you, you've got to become a professional party planner "when you grow up"! Perhaps when your kids are older, and after we have all watched you on Survivor... THEN you can go for it! We were in awe from the moment we got those invites and buffs. We took photos of them and showed everyone in our family. The burned edges, the logo, the wording... We were amazed by all the accuracy and attention to detail! Thanks, Amber! It was a blast.

Mandy said...

Can I please pay you to plan all our parties for the rest of my life?

Heather said...

OH. MY. WORD. That is the most awesome party I have ever seen. Maybe because I'm a Survivor fan. Holy cow Amber! You are awesome!

CJ said...

That was such an awesome party, and I feel honored that we were invited to attend! I am serious that I want to do this again! I'll help out this time, and you can play and not be 'Jeff'. If not for your anniversary, then for D's b-day! You are so rocking awesome!!!

The Helean's said...

You. Are. Amazing. The End.

Pickle said...

Holy cow did you bring it woman! You are the queen. What a awesome party! :) I'm am totally impressed! But really I'm not because you alway do amazing things like this, so I guess I should just expect it by now, but there you go again, over the top again!

profeana said...

Oh my. I wish I loved Survivor because this looks like so much fun! I want to do this for myself.

Anonymous said...

That is so awesome! I just stole a bunch of your game ideas for my husband's upcoming survivor weekend party! Thank you, thank you!

Rachel Dawson

Robin Owens said...

Would you share what you wrote on the invitation? Great ideas! Looks like tons of fun!

Parkside View said...

Here is the text on the invitations (it was pretty much a direct quote of Jeff Probst during the opener of one of the seasons):


Underneath I included the details like the date, time, place, etc.

Holly Michelle said...

Hi Amber,
This is incredible and I love it. I found your site because I'm looking to do something similar for a party for my husband. Question: How did you handle tribal council? Did you have several tribal councils in one day? Thanks!
- Holly