This article is part of a series where we take a suggested topic – generally something from the entertainment industry – and create a party plan around it. This can include thematic elements, food and beverages, decorations, etc. If you have a topic that you think would make a great party, please submit it to our editor and we’ll take a look! The only criteria is that it must be popular enough to be easily be researched online.
NOTE: These posts may contain spoilers.
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Steven Universe is an animated series on Cartoon Network that depicts a young boy growing up as half-human, half-gem with his Crystal Gem cosmic superhero protectors Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl; his father Greg; and a host of other human and humanoid friends that he makes along the way. Steven longs to save the world just like the Crystal Gems, which leads to adventures, comical screw-ups, and some bare-all truth telling about who he is, where he comes from, and what his place is in the world.
The series is known for being the first animated Cartoon Network series solely created by a woman (Rebecca Sugar) and deals largely with topics such as love, family, gender identity, and LGBTQ themes. Additionally, while the lead character and a few others are male, all of the Crystal Gems and most of the other significant characters are female. For more information, please see the Wikipedia page on Steven Universe.
For this theme I used the first “season” (also called “volume 1a,” which includes the first 26 shows paired together as 13 “episodes”) which can be found on Amazon Prime.
Our universe colors for this party are muted tones that are a little washed out (think pastel without the sweetness) in shades of blue, red, purple, green, and white. There is also emphasis on stars, as seen on Steven’s and the Crystal Gems’ clothing, the show’s logo, and, of course, gems galore. Here is a breakdown of the top four characters and their colors:
- Steven Universe: rose quartz (dark pink) gem in his belly button; weapon is a yellow shield; red shirt with yellow star, blue jeans, and red flip-flops; cheeseburger backpack
- Amethyst: amethyst (purple) gem on her chest; weapon is a silver and purple whip; clothing is shades of purple
- Garnet: garnet (red) gems on her hands; weapon is power gloves; clothing is shades of red
- Pearl: pearl (white) gem on her forehead; weapon is blue and white sword; clothing is white and pastels (pink, blue, and green)
If you’re looking for colors from other characters, there is Mr. Queasy in olive green; Steven’s lion all in pink; Frybo, the french fry monster in yellow, white, and red; Greg, Steven’s father, with permanent sunburn lines; and our favorite wrestling team: Purple Puma (Amethyst in purple) and Tiger Millionaire (tan accessories)!
Locations and Decorations
This show is really rich in colors and locations, which means you have a wide variety from which to choose.
- Temple Ruins: Easiest. There are multiple episodes where they are on a mission to either find something or destroy something, and they usually end up in ruined temples ranging from vaguely Greek to ancient Egyptian. This is the easiest way to decorate because it is more general than specific, i.e. you don’t have to worry about accurate details like you would in a cosplay and instead are going for an overall atmosphere. You can make a ruined temple the scene of your action by using decorations such as:
- Figurines / statues, broken and / or partially covered in moss or sand (set them up as little scenes or shrines inside bowls and you won’t get moss or sand all over the place)
- Columns / pedestals, also broken and / or partially covered in moss or sand
- Scattered rocks, stones, building debris, plants, etc.
- Tarps, sheets, blankets, etc. over furniture in shades of gray or tan
- Temple / Home: Hardest. This location is the most authentic but also requires the most work. The spaces are large, even the house itself, so you should focus on conveying the feel of the space more than trying to exactly replicate it. The outside is pretty awesome, which would make a great entrance if you have a front door you can decorate!
- House: This is a split-level house on the side of the hill that fronts the temple and is in muted shades of gray, green, and brown. There is an open kitchen, a loft for Steven’s bedroom, a temple door (leads to the Crystal Gems’ temple spaces), and a white platform they use when transporting to other places.
- Amethyst’s Temple Space: Purple junkyard. Pile that rubble high and paint it purple! You probably don’t want actual trash in your house, so use a little DIY skills and decorate boxes to look like old furniture and broken appliances.
- Garnet’s Temple Space: Floating bubbles, reddish stone walls and floors, etc. You can get clear DIY Christmas ornaments to fill with crystals and led lights and hang them from your ceiling (oooo, pretty!). Everything else is red stones like the inside of a dungeon or pyramid that’s painted red. There’s also the hint of lava beneath the floor, but you can leave that out due to its difficulty to replicate.
- Pearl’s Temple Space: White stone floors and blue waterfalls and towers. Hang blue sheers or sheets on the walls or from the ceiling and then aim a fan at them to make them ripple. White rugs (tip: bath mats are cheaper!) can take the place of white marble floors.
- Beach City: Most fun. I love this idea because you can set up stations around your space that each have their own focus, like a type of food or an activity. If you don’t want to get overly involved in decorating for so many stations, just put up a sign (like a marquee or billboard) or a picture of the space so people know what it is. If you want to get really clever, you can even give people a map (think mall directory) that shows what each station is titled and what can be eaten or done there.
- Big Donut: donut station with all kinds, but especially chocolate-iced donuts
- Fish Stew Pizza: pizza station
- Beach City Fries: french fry station
- It’s a Wash: car wash, so maybe a drink station or a favor table with bubbles
- Beach City Funland: amusement park, so junk food station (cotton candy, hot dogs or cheeseburgers, chips, etc.)
- Funland Arcade: game station
Food & Beverages
Food, food, and so much more food! The general theme for food is American junk food like donuts, hot dogs, chips, french fries, pizza, cheeseburgers, etc. If you want to get fun and impress your guests with your culinary creativity, try any or all of these:
- Cookie Cats: ice cream sandwiches with vanilla and strawberry ice cream and two chocolate cookies in the shape of a cat’s head
- Bits: french fry ends (“Gimme the bits!”)
- Together Breakfast: a stack of pancakes with syrup, whipped cream, popcorn, and a strawberry on top
- Wild Strawberry Field: fresh strawberries with the leafy tops still attached
- Fish Stew Pizza: pizza with “fish stew” or anchovies; you can also use pepperoni cut into the shape of fish or goldfish crackers
- Pie in the Face: just like the clowns like it, i.e. whipped cream in a pie shell
- Col. Kernel’s Classic Cream Corn (in a can): exactly as it sounds, but cook it first!
- Website fun: Try the Steven Universe Gemsona Generator for some character-making fun! Design your own persona and wear it proudly as a name tag or let your guests take theirs home as a fun souvenir.
- Game fun: Checkers with water balloons. This game is better played outside, LOL. Every time someone makes a move on the checkerboard, you throw a water balloon at them. You also might want to make sure the checkers and board are plastic, not cardboard.
- Arts and crafts fun: Create your own gem in a bubble! Remember Garnet’s temple space under the Locations section? You can make the gem bubbles an activity for your guests, too, but with a little more options for what to put inside. The clear ball ornaments are the main supply, and with the rest you can get creative. The most authentic would be to decorate smaller balls as the gems with paint and sequins and place them inside larger balls. If the cost is too high, you can decorate instead with a kind of snow globe-style where your guests can fill the balls with loose pompoms, sequins, acrylic gems, glitter, etc. Just make sure you seal them shut with glue or tape so you don’t have your own crystal ball explosions.
- More arts and crafts fun: Make a mini-temple and decorate your own Heavenly Beetle to live in it. Get plastic bugs, paint them, and use gems and glitter to make it sparkly and worthy of the gods.
This show really does lend itself to a great party theme: lots of colors, adventures, fantastic settings, and playful characters. It also has a lot of DIY opportunities for those that like to get crafty. Have fun with it and please share pictures when you’re done!
Bonus: If you’re interested in planning a Full Metal Alchemist-themed geek party, check out Courtney’s first “Stump The Party Planner” blog post!
Featured image credit: Cartoon Network