For my son's cowboy themed 5th birthday party, I wanted it to be fun, playful, with a homemade and vintage feel. And I wanted to introduce a new line into my shop and this was perfect place to try it!
I tried to pay attention to every detail to make it feel like an authentic kids cowboy party, complete with a surprise pony ride at the end!
The first area of focus: FOOD!
Pumpkin spiced cupcakes topped with the western themed cupcake toppers from my shop.
I quickly learned that hosting a birthday party for boys can be particularly exhausting, keeping up with their eagerness to let out out their energy physically certainly kept me on my toes. I had planned three GAMES, two parts of which were broken by the boys. Luckily, they were not major breaks and they had fun doing it!
1st casualty: Note the fringed pennant bunting on the left. Meant to be a decoration. Well, to me, it did look really nice strung between a pole and a stick to be representative of a finish line, controlled by me. However, to a young boy, it meant a breakable finish line found in races, to be run through, a representation of victory! My fault. I should have known better. But it did give me an idea for something else to put in my shop.
I found the perfect red and white striped pillowcases at the thrift store along with some blues to match. Each only cost a buck. Cheaper than making gunny sacks, quicker too and eco-friendly by re-using already existing items. I hung them up with vintage looking clothespins that I'll use for this project later.
CLOTHES PIN DROP
CLOTHES PIN DROP
I gathered jars of all sizes and shapes, including vintage carafes. The kids had to drop the pins into the jars successfully. That only lasted a few minutes when the third game station was knocked down by one of the cowboys.
JINGY BAG TOSS
It was the "Jingy bag toss" game, as my children call bean bags. I stacked cardboard boxes atop each other, that had shaped cut-outs to throw the bags into. I made these bags with burlap cloth simply sewn together and filled with dried beans from my food storage. I wasn't able to photograph the game before it was bulldozed and before the boys started playing target practice, using each other as the targets.
I was the candy giver of bandanna wrapped mints for the lucky winners (all of them) purchased at the party supply store, Zurchers.
And last but not least, my aunt and uncle surprised all of the children by bringing their pony over. Each child was able to take a few turns around the yard. It was a surprise to me and treat for everyone!!
PARTY FAVORSFor the party favors each child received a red bandanna, a handmade felt sheriff star, all inside a paper sack with handles and their name hung by jute. In addition, they each were able to choose a red or blue lined cowboy hat.
As party favors they each went home with a bag full of goodies. These little bags are actually made out of one of my husband's old shirts. They had a perfect pattern and color for this party. I simply pinked the edges, sewed them on 3 sides, filled them with a plastic baggy full of treats and a plastic pony, and tied them with jute. A last minute idea that came together nicely.
Now onto the most time consuming work, the decorations. Of course, I had to make a birthday banner, Howdy banner and pennant banners. I specialized this birthday banner (pictured above with pony) with red, white and blue fabrics to match the theme. I tried incorporating the food tables and game displays to be decorative as well. I really wanted the entrance to set the stage for the whole party.
I lined our empty driveway with balloons, clearly marking our house as the destination. I taped the balloons to vintage water carafes to add to the atmosphere.
The guests were greeted with the Howdy banner and party favors. And in the distance you can see the pillowcases hanging on the line, like you're stepping into the old time west! In addition, I hung vintage lanterns found in my grandmother's basement around the yard to add to the western ambiance.
It was a hot day full of laughter, tears and your typical birthday party energy. It was an exhausting week putting it all together and the only regret I have is not taking more (and better) photos. Enjoy!