I received this awesome letter (from what sound like the world’s coolest parents) and wanted to answer it on the blog.
Dear Steff Metal
I want to throw a heavy metal party for my son, turning 15 in November. I visited your website and got some ideas, like the punk cupcakes. Can you please give us some more ideas about decorating the house and walls and what food to serve? The more bizarre, the better.
I want to hang black sheets from the ceiling and stick black and white copied metal signs on the wall. My husband wants to make a flaming hand metal sign, but are not sure what material to use so it will burn in the back yard, so if you have any idea or maybe websites that i can visit, please let me know.
I think bobwire, black candles, black flowers, black balloons and red is effective, what do you think?
I think … I really want to be a guest at this birthday party.
If your son is turning 15, he’s too old for really cheesy kid’s birthday stuff, but not too old to have a good time. He’s also the luckiest son in the world to have wicked parents like you :)
I would make them up like concert tickets, with “ADMIT ONE” in big letters, and “GA Stalls”. You could make up a suitably metal name for the whole event (I’m going to a party in a few weeks called “Boganstock”) What about “Birthday-Stock” or 666-teen or “Birthday Open Air” You could even make up concert armbands for kids to put on at the party.
The overall décor of the party (Steff puts on “wedding planner” hat) depends on the type of metal your son likes. For the budding power metaller, dragons and gargoyle statues and medieval arches and lots of candles set the scene, while a black metal son may prefer inverted pentegrams, upside down crosses, and spikes everywhere. Other metal sub-genre ideas:
You can probably mash together several of these concepts and still retain a cohesive “metal” theme. Your basic decorating
You’re probably not going to find any ready-made “metal” decorations in the shops, but Halloween, medieval, circus and Viking decorations can work equally well, depending on the type of metal he’s into. You’re lucky because it’s so near to Halloween, there will be some awesome decorations on sale. Since your son’s birthday is in November, I’d save some money by raiding the stores on the 30th October.
You’re right – black and red should dominate, maybe with a little gold or silver. You can buy bulk studs and spikes and use them on the edges of the tablecloth, glue them on to plastic forks .., everything. A fog machine (which you can rent – don’t know how much they’d be, though) would add an awesome atmosphere, and of course your son should pick the playlists.
I think the cut-out signs would look great – you could try that silvery or gold cardboard so they look “metallic”. I am looking for tutorials on making a flaming sculpture, but I’m drawing a total blank.
Before bedecking the house in unholy satanic décor, check with your son that none of the guests (or the guests parents, if they’re invited) have any objections to satanic iconography. Most people are pretty cool, especially if they’re your son’s friends, but the last thing you want is a kid’s parents walking through the door and spraying holy water everywhere.
If his friends are into it, ask everyone to come dressed as their favourite metal musician. There are actually a few great costume ideas. This halloween, I am (possibly) going to be Dead from Mayhem – what about Alice Cooper? Gene Simmons? Zakk Wylde? Angela Gossow? Bruce Dickenson? Dimebag Darryl?
If your son has a playstation (and he’s a boy, so he probably does) any one of the rock / metal singstar or guitar hero games will keep the kids entertained for hours. Buy some cheap metal tee-shirt, bandanas or patches to give out as prizes for the best gamers.
Some teenages love kid’s party games as long as they’re humourous and suitably “Ironic”. I am infamous for drawing crazy “pin the tail on the donkey” variations for parties – a friend still has my “Pin the Lollipop on the Dodgey-Looking-Man-Wearing-A-Trenchcoat” stuck up on his wall. Try pass the parcel or musical chair to Iron Maiden or Necrophagist, or play a sober version of the “Manowar Drinking game”: set a bowl of marshmallows in front of each child, give them each a word like “steel”, “metal” and “sword” and set a Manowar CD on
There is always a metal covers band nearby. Shoot them an email about playing the party – most of them will do it for a box of beer.
Pizzas are a great idea, either brought or home-made. When we have parties I often make pizza (I make my own bread base, too) top them with various toppings, add a layer of cheese. I use bbq sauce to draw pentagrams on top of the cheese, or arrange the salami into a pentagram shape before they go n the oven. You can do the same thing with mini pizzas, too.
Metal chef has a great recipe for <> Pizza (it’s in the shape of an inverted cross). The Frosty Whore is, of course, totally optional.
Other great party foods are the chili variations: chili con carne, chili and corn chips, or my special Chili Fries of Filth. Garlic and pizza breads with various dips, crisps, mini hamburgers, pigs in blankets and, of course, the NZ birthday party staple – a plate of sausage rolls.
Slighly healthier guests may like Greek salad skewers with tomato, olives, feta cheese and cucumber threaded on skewers. “Metal” food is all in the names – just cook your favorite party foods and give them names like “crust-core crustini” and “tr00 tater tots”.
Another good idea is to look up inspiration from Halloween parties – often their spooky ideas are easily adapted to “grymm” metal food.
Cupcakes are practically the perfect party food – you can pick them up with your fingers, and you get oodles of cake and icing, and they’re easy and fun to decorate. If you’re looking for metal cupcakes, you absolutely cannot overlook the recipes on Metalcakes.
My mother makes the most amazing decorated cakes – sometimes I’d request a certain shape, and sometimes she would surprise me, but each year she would outdo herself. One day I will find some pictures to show you. I have had: a snoopy with a big dog bowl, a 3D stegosaurus, a 3D model of my bedroom including my Siamese cat Toby sleeping on my wed, a weighty tome of books on the dresser and some metal shirts on the floor, and a 3D mummy reaching out of a decorated sarcophagus. My sister has had a haunted graveyard complete with grave-robbers, ghosts, skeletons and spides, a pirate chest with an open lid (stuffed with choclate dubloons, of course) and a little mermaid scene. What was particularly special about these cakes – apart from the oodles of wuv and imagination that went into creating them – was that they tasted amazing. Lots of highly decorative cakes take awful – especially the icing, but these were scrumptious.
All this is to say, that I’m a bit of a cake snob, especially when it comes to kids birthday parties. The cake should totally steal the show. It should keep the guests talking for weeks after the party’s over.
Cupcakes are trendy these days, and work great because you can have a range of different flavours (and even some vegan cupcakes).
If you’re not a skilled cake-decorater, hire a local who could do it for you. Here are a few ideas:
I don’t know if people still do these, but they’ve been a huge part of every party I grew up with. What about custom temporary tattoos or guitar picks? Or something like this?
Heavy Metal Birthday Party Resources
Heavy Metal Greeting cards on Zazzle
Corpsepaint Kitty metal greeting cards by me at the Steff Metal Shop.
Temporary tattoos from Tattoo Sales
Custom guitar picks from Pick Factory
Great Halloween Food ideas (including disgusting halloween food)
Metalcakes – the best metal cupcakes around
The Black Oven – an old black metal cooking blog
Any other brilliant ideas, oh brilliant and br00tal readers?
Alles gute zum Geburstag!