All our dear friend Tanya wanted for her 30th birthday was a Doctor Who party for the ages. As big Doctor Who fans ourselves, we were excited to oblige, and embraced this quirky time-and-space faring theme for our winter shindig. We loved the idea of creating an experience whereby entering Tanya’s house, guests would enter the TARDIS itself, ready for some adventures around time and space.
Tanya’s home allowed us the opportunity to use various rooms to become different parts of the Whoverse. Walking in through the TARDIS front door led you straight into the main console room. The once regular earthling living room featured an interactive TARDIS console, as well as tables for food and drink. Once you left the console room, you entered all of time and space in our wormhole dance room. Out back we had a photobooth, and throughout the house we had hidden TARDISes and Who villains ready to exterminate. Great themed food and drink, and a playlist of spacey songs topped off the celebration.
The TARDIS Door
It’s not a Doctor Who, well, anything, without a TARDIS. That blue box is iconic to any Who fan, and we wanted it to play a central role in our party decor. Luckily for us, Tanya and her boyfriend Eric were totally down to permanently transform their front door. It’s a simple yet very impactful craft that anyone can do (no screws required!). We’ll have a more in depth tutorial for you all soon, but for now here’s a quick rundown.
We started by sanding and painting the door TARDIS blue (Pantone 2955C). For the police call box moulding, we used 8 IKEA FISKBO frames. These were all sanded and painted that same beautiful blue color. With careful measuring, we attached 6 frames without plexiglass to the door, using outdoor double stick tape. For the windows at the top, we frosted the plexi of the remaining frames, added blue balsa wood mullions, and attached them. The final POLICE BOX graphic was added, and ta-da! Tanya and Eric’s front door was officially transformed into the portal to our shindig through time and space.
The Living Room: It’s Bigger On The Inside
Tanya’s living room was not only the hub of activity during the party, but also the hub of the TARDIS. We cleared furniture to create an open, welcoming space appropriate for a large party. In front of the four existing room sconces, we put up IKEA SEMINE panels as call back to the circle motif from most iterations of the TARDIS interior. Each panel was additionally backlit with string lights so they glowed with life. In the center of the room, we featured the great build of this party: our TARDIS console. Complete with blinking buttons, a monitor, and all sorts of fun things to wiggle and push, the console proved to be an excellent focal piece and photo op for the guests. (In depth DIY coming soon!)
Eric and Tanya are great collectors of geeky memorabilia, and we were able to feature all of their toys throughout the party. Most of the Doctor Who specific items were found on the mantle surrounding a wonderful antique clock. Others were placed among the food tables, or popping up in surprising areas to the delight of the guests.
Fun details like a crack in the universe above the TV (which of course was playing Tanya’s favorite Doctor Who episodes) and the 10th Doctor’s head appearing periodically in the fireplace called back specific moments from the series. We used fun colored string lights, color light bulbs, and black light to create colorful depth throughout the room.
The Space Room
Through an archway from the console room was our Space Wormhole Room. Damn good shindigs deserve damn good dance breaks, and for a Doctor Who party, you need an out-of-this-world spot to shake your tail feathers. Thus, the idea for the space room was born. We definitely wanted to play with lighting in this room so we needed a dark starting point. To achieve this, we covered all of the walls/board game shelving in black duvateen (heavy black fabric), and the doorways with black foil curtains. Glow-in-the-dark stars were peppered around the room for added atmosphere. We topped it off with two projectors that created moving colorful aurora and starscapes, and of course, a mini TARDIS floating from the light fixture. The effect was a surreal space where people could chill or pump up the music for dancing as the mood required.
Since we asked all of our guests to come in costume, we knew we just had to do a cool ass photobooth. Using a couple old tiered Target floor lamps, painted blue, we set up a fun deconstructed TARDIS Prom-Style Photo Booth. We made sure to have lots of Whovian props for everyone to play with. Character masks, hats and costume pieces of past Doctors as well as famous phrases were at the ready. The result was a ton of hilarious photos of all of our guests enjoying themselves. Just look at these good lookin’ folks representing the best of the galaxy!
Doctor Who Scavenger Hunt
The Doctor and his companions seem to have adventure after adventure out there in the big ole’ universe. We wanted to bring this sense of adventure to our party, and we did so by arranging a Doctor Who themed scavenger hunt for our guests. A few nights before the party, we sat down with Tanya and came up with a list of things for our guests to find. These were all based on actual items we knew Tanya owned, or items we knew would be present at the party.
Our final list was:
- Find a Tardis smaller than your Fist
- Weep with an Angel
- Hunt the BAD WOLF
- Find a tie thats cool
- Shake hands with a historical figure
- Find a man in the hot place
- Pick a Rose
- Read a word in Gallifreyan
- Find a crack in the Universe
- Get Exterminated
- Fly around the Universe in the Tardis
- Banish a Monster
- Find two doppelgängers
- High five someone from the future
- Find a river that sings a song
- Sonically Screw Something
We printed these up on sheets to hand out at the right moment. The idea was that our guests could team up (or go solo) trying to find the items on our list. They would take photos of each item / person / action and report back to us when completed. The first teams to finish the list won prizes.
This relatively easy-to-organize activity turned out to be great fun. Our guests really took the hunt to heart and did not disappoint in their creative photos.
Doctor Who is such an expansive universe, we truly had so many ideas we wanted to do and just did not have time for. We peppered in as many details as we could throughout the house. Who themed snacks were on point, from fish sticks and custard, to jelly babies, glow-in-the-dark Galaxy Punch and a TARDIS cake (Thanks Ben for the cake!!). The festive food and drinks were so much fun to make, and we’ll tell you all about it in an upcoming post.
Tanya chose her 3 favorite villains to showcase in the party as well. We had the bathroom hallway cornered by a Dalek and a Cyberman – and the bathroom itself was under the watchful eye of a weeping angel.
Don’t Forget the Bathroom: Doctor Who Edition
Flickering lights in the bathroom led to more than one guest’s involuntary shriek of surprise. Who wouldn’t be on edge after seeing this? Bahahaha.
Partying through all of time and space was one wild adventure. Doctor Who party? A success, we think. We’re sure happy that we could make the day of our favorite Time Lady, Tanya. Happy birthday darling!