Many people view having a birthday close to a holiday as a nuisance. If you or one of your friends was born immediately before, after, or on a major memorial day, you either have to combine the two events or celebrate them separately but in quick succession. As a result, your friend may not feel like the focus is on his or her birthday, while everyone else will feel exhausted from planning and attending multiple festivities.
For one group of friends, however, this situation was not a nuisance, but an opportunity. One of them was celebrating their 30th birthday close to Halloween, so the group came up with a plan to host a party for both events at once. As fans of the popular video game series Fallout, they decided to throw a “Vault 30” party, thereby reflecting their friend’s birthday wishes while keeping with the mood of Halloween. In preparing for this party, they completely transformed one of their garages, creating beautiful decorations that all other partiers would emulate:
39. Fallout Fandom
As a video series taking place after the apocalypse, Fallout had the perfect atmosphere for a Halloween celebration. Given that the game involved a series of numbered vaults, it wasn’t hard to find a way to connect it to a 30th birthday party.
38. Veering Around Vault 30
The friends decided to make a giant “Vault 30” doorway and organize the rest of the party around that. Focusing the event on the vault meant they had to build it before they did anything else, so they set to work creating a doorway.
37. Building With Particle Board
The friends settled on particle board as the ideal material for their vault. Not only was it a resilient substance, but it was also relatively flexible, allowing them to shape it exactly as it would appear in the game.
36. Framing The Feature
In addition to making the door, they also had to mount a frame so that it would look like a real vault. They placed this frame on their garage door, carefully arranging it so that it would match the door precisely.
35. Evaluating The Effect
Before they went any further with the renovations, they put the door and frame in place and tested how it looked under nighttime illumination. This allowed them to make sure it had the proper appearance before they began painting.
34. Proof Positive
The light test immediately confirmed that they were on the right track. Even though they had not yet painted the vault, it already achieved most of their desired effect; this project was clearly proving fruitful.
33. Interior Illumination
In addition to evaluating it from the outside, they also had to see how the interior looked. The lack of paint was more evident here, but it was nonetheless clear that they were on the right track.
32. Painting The Pieces
Secure in the knowledge that they had designed the vault correctly, they began painting it. They chose a light silver coat to give their decoration the mechanical appearance that valuts had in the game.
31. Finer Features
Besides getting the paint color right, they also had to pay attention to small details. The vault doors and frames in Fallout had thick borders around the edges, so they created those and drilled them into place.
30. Filling In The Frame
A hollow interior would ruin the frame’s effect, so they had to do something to make it look solid. They came up with an easy fix: placing a strip of cardboard over the gap.
29. Colored Cardboard
They then painted over the cardboard to make it look like a natural part of the structure. They made this coat of silver slightly darker to reflect the obscure interior found within the game’s vaults.
28. Casting Different Colors
The vault doors in Fallout are not monolithic; they have a variety of different colors to reflect rust and different construction materials. As devout Fallout fans, these innovative partiers were not about to overlook such details.
27. Copper Coloring
In order to create the appearance of rust, they needed a reddish brown paint. They decided to go with Rustoleum Copper spray paint, which was not only the right color, but could be applied with the proper precision for the effect they desired.
26. A Stunning Success
The copper spray proved even more effective than they had hoped. Rather than drying evenly, bits of paint rolled down the rest of the wheel in drops, creating the appearance of rust from gradual water penetration.
25. Applying The Age
Once the vault was ready, they began painting the number, which would reflect both their friend’s age and the vault’s designation within Fallout. As in the game, they painted the number bright yellow.
24. Final Features
Once they had finished painting the number, they put it in place and took a look at their vault. Even in broad daylight, it was almost indistinguishable from the vaults on Fallout; at a nighttime party, it would look even better.
23. Additional Applications
In addition to designing the vault itself, they also built a control board similar to the ones found in the game, which you can see on the right. Clearly, they were not going to overlook any details.
22. Control Board Characteristics
The control board was fairly simple to assemble. They bought used electronic equipment from their local consignment shop, added a few lights and wires, and set it up against the wall.
21. Waste-Free Wisdom
Once they were finished with the vault, the friends had some extra cardboard and were determined not to let it go to waste. They used it to decorate the area around the vault with graffiti, enhancing the ominous effect.
20. Shining For Safety
At the end of the process, they realized that the door would be too dark at night, creating safety issues. They thus installed a set of lights around its edges, keeping people safe without disrupting the aesthetic.
19. Interior Illumination
As impressive as their work looks from the outside, it pales in comparison to the exterior view. The red lights create an almost radioactive appearance, causing visitors to feel both intrigued and frightened at the same time.
18. Setting Up A Shack
The Fallout games feature raiders, or wandering combatants who pillage and murder all they come across. The friends thus set up a raider shack near the vault to further match the game.
17. Doubling For Drinks
In addition to reflecting a feature of the game, the shack also housed a cooler for cold drinks. These Fallout fans were nothing if not practical in their designs.
16. Juvenile Judgment
Rather than add the spray paint themselves, one of the friends allowed a 9-year-old niece to paint the shack. Children, they believed, could better achieve the desired chaotic appearance.
15. Character Cake
In addition to decorating the garage and house to look like the game, they also incorporated one of its characters into the birthday cake.
14. Costume & Cake
One of the friends also wore a costume to look like the same character. Every aspect of this party thus exuded Fallout.
13. Cola Creations
In the games, characters drink “Nuka Cola.” Sadly, this brand doesn’t exist in real life, so the friends painstakingly created their own “Nuka” labels and placed them on Mexican Coca-Cola bottles.
12. Limiting The Lighting
Throughout the house, they practiced varying the light settings. Their goal was to make each room dark enough to be ominous, but not so dark that no one could see!
11. Screen Selection
Desktop computers also played a role in this endeavor. The friends opened Fallout screens on the computers, ensuring that no matter where guests looked, they would remember the game.
10. A Movie For Mood
The friends decided to play a movie in the background to help set the mood. Sadly, there are no Fallout films, so they chose Road Warrior instead.
9. Video Game Vehicle
One of their friends had acquired an aging Tri-Magnum, which closely matched many of the vehicles in the game. They borrowed it for the party.
8. Opting For Open Flames
The friends added an outdoor fire to their decorations. This would help to convince guests that they were living in a post-apocalyptic world, where the only source of heat was open flames.
7. Obstructed Opening
The friends blocked the front door to the house with leftover wood, fencing, and hazard tape, ensuring that guests would see the vault as soon as they entered the party.
6. Shoutout To Survivors
The party brochure was made to look like a survivors’ guide. This would accentuate the frightening atmosphere of the game and of Halloween in general.
5. Creative Costumes
As if the decorations weren’t innovative enough, the friends and their guests also wore the most creative costumes available. Some costumes came directly from Fallout, while others referenced additional post-apocalyptic stories.
4. Savvy Shirts
To ensure that their guests always remembered this hybrid birthday/Halloween bash, the friends made customized shirts. The front of the shirts had a logo to remind people of the game…
3. Noting The Number
…while the back had the number 30, making sure everyone remembered it was also a birthday party.
2. Friendly Festivities
Thanks to the friends’ creative festivities and hard work, the party was a hit, entertaining everyone who attended.
1. Mounting Memorabilia
To pay tribute to this event and inspire future ones that were just as memorable, they mounted Fallout memorabilia on their bookcase.
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