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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Farm-Themed Little Boy's Birthday Party

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Sorry it's been so long since I've posted; there's a lot of exciting things going on -lots of everyday, life stuff- and I'm working on making more time for my blog.  I'm covering all of the family and friends stuff pretty well, and that's what's most important to me, so forgive my sporadic postings-I'm trying to do better!  So anyhoo, on to the post!

A friend of mine's son is getting ready to celebrate his first birthday, and I'm helping with some decoration ideas and the invitations.  All of the prep work made me think about my Liam's second birthday party this there anything more exciting that planning for your kid's birthday party?!  I think not!  I had no idea birthday parties could be so much fun, until I had my 2 boys.
So, I thought I'd share some pictures with you from Liam's Farm-Themed party.

My wonderful husband and mother-in-law stayed up with me the night before the party to put together all of the decorations we'd be taking to the Children's Museum that hosted the party (a Children's Museum is a FANTASTIC place to hold a party; ours gave us a room and a party 'helper' and the guests and their kids got to play the whole day after the party!  Plus, I didn't have to clean up my house!)

I had been writing down ideas for this party in a notebook I keep in my purse.  I spent a lot of time thinking about cool party favors, and settled on goldfish shaped like carrots (what kid doesn't like goldfish?!) and a brown paper bag with animal stickers and bubbles.

For the goldfish-carrots, I used Wilton cake decorating bags from Wal-Mart and filled them about 2/3 of the way full.  Then I took green ric-rac to tie them off.  I took an oval-shaped galvanized bucket I got from Lowe's, filled the bottom with scrunched up newspaper, and added craft-colored paper shreds to the top.  I nestled the 'carrots' in so it would look like a harvest.  The bags did have a purple Wilton logo printed on one side of the bag, so I just turned them towards the back of the bucket.  I did the carrots on one side of the bucket and the brown bags on the other.  I printed out name labels for each kid in a primary color and put them on the bag.

The other decoration-prep that I did was very involved and slightly ill-fated...I took 4 yellow sheetrock putty containers (from Lowes), filled them with Seed-Starter dirt, and planted grass seed in each of them.  They set on my front porch rails to get as much sun as possible during the day, and I brought them in every night so they wouldn't get too chilly (this is February we're talking about).  This may have worked...if I hadn't left this step to only 2 weeks before the party.  I finally admitted that the grass wasn't going to grow, and I went to our Farmer's Market where there's a sod producer.  I bought a piece of sod and cut out 4 rectangles to fit in my putty containers.  It wasn't the golf-course grass I had envisioned, but after some trimming, it looked pretty good.  I put some toy tractors and animals in the grass, and those were part of the centerpieces.

Last decoration: round galvanized buckets (yep, from Lowes) filled with florist foam (to hold the dowels) and craft paper shreds. I printed out a #2 on a star and glued them back to back and some paper animals (glued back-to-back also) on dowels.  I wrapped a red grosgrain ribbon around each bucket and a white piece of ric rac on top of that.  I set each bucket on a wood 'disc' that Robbie cut for me from one of the many pines we've cut down in the backyard.  I thought it helped give the bucket a little height and texture and set it apart from everything else setting directly on the tablecloth.

Everything was set on red and white checkered table cloths (I had no idea it would be so difficult to find these!  Maybe it's because we were looking for them in February, and they're more of a Summer item...we ended up having to buy a camping packet from Target that came with 2 table cloths and table clips for really camping-now I know!).

I got so many compliments on the decorations-even the party 'helper' was impressed; she said everything looked so original and not many people made their own decorations-and I imagine she's seen a lot of parties in her day.

My birthday boy playing with the farm animals in the centerpiece, while we set up.

Everything else was perfect-we got McNuggets, mandarine oranges and apple juice boxes (all of Liam's favorites) and cupcakes.  The kids had a great time playing, and hopefully took good naps for their parents when they got home!  Liam and Jacob had a blast playing and seeing their friends, and really, that's what it's all about-the decorating fun is just extra.

 A view of the table, all set up and ready for hungry kids!

 Liam blowing out his candle.

My sweetheart, proudly showing off that he's 2 years old.

Good luck in your birthday-party-planning-adventures and thanks for visiting!