As I mentioned before, I typically pick a theme for the boys’ birthday celebrations. The celebrations are not always lavish, sometimes it’s just dinner with the family. For Little B’s second birthday, we threw him a Western themed party.
I don’t know why I thought of it, but it was a fun little theme. As usual, I went online for inspiration. There is always the danger of going overboard since there is a plethora of ideas. However, given the time and budget constraints, simple was what I was going for.
I wish I had something to show you, but I don’t. I was weeks from defending my dissertation and I had no time. I sent a text message out to those invited. Can’t get any simpler than that.
Again, this was very simply done, understated even. I made pinwheels from paper I bought at Michael’s and hung them on the wall. The hardest part was choosing which paper to buy. There were so many cute ones available. I also bought a plastic banner from Amazon that was very much reflective of Western prints. Aside from these, I blew up red and blue balloons.
In planning parties, I always try to repurpose or recycle something, not only to save money, but in an effort to be green. I purchased a plastic red and white checkered table cover at Party City. We used that table cover for three different parties before I finally threw it out because someone punctured holes in it. I then layered a brown craft paper which served as a runner. The craft paper was packaging paper I received in the mail with some product samples.
We have a bunch of small mason jars around the house, so I made sure to use those instead of buying new pieces. Some of them were used for the centerpieces. I covered the jar with burlap I saved from my sister’s wedding invitation and tied with fabric I bought from Hobby Lobby.
As for tableware, I bought pie tins for plates and used our white cloth napkins and silverware. The napkin holder is made of cloth: the same red fabric from the centerpiece and denim cut from Big B’s old torn jeans. Again, I used small glass jars as drinking glasses. The mustaches and Sheriff stars for the drinking glasses were created from my Silhouette. The blue fabric tied around the glass was leftover from one of my previous projects. The paper straws can be found pretty much anywhere.
Food and Beverage
We served very simple food to match everything else. In my mind I had a vision of cowboys sitting around a fire chatting while eating dinner out in the open. I tried to think about what they would have eaten that is kid-approved. I decided on grilled chicken and corn – not historically accurate, I’m sure. Since Little B was big on spaghetti at that time, I served his favorite. Lastly, I made homemade strawberry lemonade. One of the perks of living in Southern California is that we have access to fresh local strawberries year round. They’re not as sweet as when in season, but still fresh.
One of Little B’s favorite fruits is watermelon. Since his birthday was in the winter, fresh watermelon was not easy to find. I opted for the next best thing: a cake that looked like a watermelon. His cake was an ice cream cake I bought at Baskin Robins. There was no way I was making an ice cream cake. I suppose with a lot of research and experimentation, I could have. Again, time was not on my side.
(Sort of) Party favor
You can’t have a Western themed party without cowboy hats. I think this was what sparked the whole Western theme to begin with. I saw a hat somewhere and decided I was going to center a party off of that. I bought the cowboy hats and bandanas on Amazon. The background for the favor table was tissue paper from a gift Big B received last year. No, I still don’t think I’m a hoarder (hahaha), just selective in what I save.
There you have it. A simple Western themed party.