It's starting to get challenging having birthday parties at our home as the kids and their friends continue to get older. Our house gets really small really fast once it's filled with a bunch of wild kids and their parents. But we were on a limited budget, so the house it was. I had to get creative with some cheap outdoor activities to keep the kids busy and then pray for good weather.
Here is the invitation. I created it myself in Word based on a few invitations I liked on Etsy, and then on the back I printed his picture that I added text to. Total cost was nominal (I already had the photo paper and envelopes).
Here is the wreath I made for the front door. I found the straw wreath at Walmart for $3! Then I just added a bandana, a "4" that I spray painted, and designed and printed out the sign and picture. Total cost: $6.
Like all parties, it was a mad dash to get everything prepared and together before everyone arrived, so I didn't get the best pictures. Here is the food table. The "H" on the mantel is special because Rick made it for Harrison's room. I picked up the corrugated tin "H" in Canton and Rick cut and framed out some wood slats and layered it with a solid piece that I spray painted red to give it more texture and dimension. I love it!
I tried to make the food as cowboy-themed as possible. Instead of paper plates I bought packages of tin pie plates from the dollar store. I wrapped the utensils in cow print napkins and tied them with twine, and stuck them in tin cans. I baked and served a cookie cake in a cast iron skillet. Little details like these make me incredibly happy. :) I already had the tablecloth and the wooden crates are from our playroom and I just turned them upside down and backwards. I bought them at Michael's last year for $6 each with coupons. I stained them and then stenciled on "TOYS" with a black sharpie. But the playroom makeover is a post for another day.
The menu included:
*Pistol Pete's Pulled Pork
*Wagon Wheel Mac-n-Cheese
*Buffalo Bill's Baked Beans
*Rootin' Tootin' Hot Dogs
For dessert I baked chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting (birthday boy's request) and a chocolate chip cookie cake. I also did that Pinterest pin where you scoop ice cream into individual cupcake liners ahead of time and stick them in the freezer until you need them...saved a ton of time doing that. Lord knows you shouldn't have to wait an extra 2 minutes for your ice cream when you have a warm, gooey chocolate chip cookie calling your name. That's just cruel.
For drinks, I served iced tea in my new mason jar beverage dispenser (I'm in love) and of course had to use my mason jars for glasses to continue the country theme. Who doesn't love to drink out of mason jars? I also couldn't resist buying some old fashioned root beer in glass bottles. I'm a sucker for soda in glass bottles. And for the littles whose parents weren't keen on giving them soda, I threw some juice boxes in there for good measure.
*Git Yer Gear (hats and bandanas which also served as party favors)
*Pannin' For Gold (uncovering buried gold nuggets in the sandbox)
*Wild West Shoot Out (tin cans and nerf guns)
*Horse Shoes (kid's set from the dollar spot)
*Steer Ropin' (lassoing)
*Ride 'Em Cowboy (stick horse races)
*Wild West Town (out of large boxes)
I didn't get any pictures during the party, but here in one of the "stick" horses I made. I saw these at the kids' preschool fall picnic and thought they were so cute! Pool noodle from the dollar store, felt ears, fur mane, twine, and googly eyes from Hobby Lobby and you have a quick and easy stick horse for about $3.
And my very favorite part of the party was the wild west town. It's so true what they say about kids being happier playing with boxes than with toys. I could hardly keep mine out of them while I was working on them. A free project with the exception of about $4 in craft paint.
Such a great day celebrating my sweet boy.