We had so much fun celebrating Carley's first birthday! A Wild Wild West cowgirl birthday party seemed like the perfect theme and my mom and I had a lot of fun creating decorations, food and games for the party. Go big or go home, right?
I love sending paper invitations through the mail; everyone gets a cute picture of your kiddo and hopefully they won't loose the information.
Put on your hats, grab your badge and get ready to party! The hats are from Amazon - they came in bright red and blue, my mom had the genius idea to paint them in party colors. She used Acrylic Paint to make the trim and star brown, turquoise and pink. We ended up with two different sized hats the 6 pack Straw Cowboy Hat was toddler sized and 12 pack Straw Cowboy Hats ended up being child sized. (The child sized hats had a little wider brim.) Once the kids chose their hats we wrote their name on the inside with a permanent marker because its inevitable that someone will leave theirs behind.
Check out these before and after pics of the hats:
Each kid got a Metal Sheriff's Badge to wear for the day and take home with them.
We went very simple with the table decorations. I got brown table paper at Party City and we re-used burlap table runners that we made last Christmas. My mom cleaned up some old horse shoes, painted them white, then teal and pink and finally gave them a light coat of stain to distress the a little. We used plastic horses from the toy room as 'center pieces'.
My mom told me over the phone that she picked up some cardboard while at the recycling center that she hoped to make into a western town. I had envisioned something much smaller but I have to say the town turned out awesome! A big thanks to my niece Emily who helped tape together and paint these giant buildings.
I'd like to say that we emptied out my mom's house and barn to decorate for the party, but the truth is she has beautiful western decor every where you look and probably the only thing you would even notice as missing is the giant wooden wagon wheel that is usually propped up in the front of the house. Having the party at my parent's beautiful country western home really came in handy for me. ;)
We played several western themed games at the party and we got this great idea over at Leonie's Cakes and Parties. The bottom cans are large tomato cans and the top three rows are/were green beans! My mom took images of pink, brown and turquoise bandannas and and put western themed clip art in the centers. She even got these cool Big Tex Holster Set guns to go with the theme!
Sloppy joes on homemade buns by Aunt Pam, baked beans, macaroni and cheese, veggies, chips, pickle spears, cowpies (no bake oatmeal cookies) and hay bales (Rice Krispie treats). It was nice to do a lunch party - we tried to do a combination of purchased and homemade.
I made Rice Krispie treats into hay bales thanks to the idea from catchmyparty.com. I piped warm chocolate onto the bars to look like strings - they turned out cute and they tasted really good too!
Before we played games we got all of the kids together for a picture (the willing ones anyway). Don't they look great in their hats and badges?
My mom went and dug some old barn wood out of the corn crib - who knows how long it has been in there but it looked fabulous for some western signs! She started with the Wild Wild West sign and went on to make a few more!
We played rope the calf using hula hoops that were wrapped in jute to rope a Steer Head roping dummy that was stuffed into a hay bale. We got the idea from Apartment Therapy. This game proved to be very difficult for our age group.
Again, my mom made the bottle ring toss game! She took empty Sparkling Grape Juice bottles, painted them the same as the horse shoes and added a horseshoe and star design to the front. She took a cardboard box and cut holes in it to fit the bottles so they wouldn't tip over. My mom also took these Swimming Pool Diving Rings and covered them with jute. What a fun game! We got the idea from CatchMyParty.
Daddy and the birthday girl - enough said. ;)
My SIL Aaryn let us borrow their kiddy pool and make it into a sand box. We mixed in lots of coins and let the kids pan for gold. I made sifters by taking mini foil pie pans and punching holes in the bottom with a scrapbook punch and a hammer. I think they would have worked really well in dry sand, but since it was raining our sand was wet and heavy and the pans just folded over. The kids (and even some adults) had fun searching for 'gold' regardless.
Jack found a nice bag of loot! We ordered 5x7 Cotton Muslin Bags from Amazon, painted a dollar sign on them with acrylic paint and wrote each kid's name on the bag. We tried to write names on most things in order to save on confusion and lost or forgotten items.
WANTED: Mieke and Eliot for a cash reward! Check out this cool hand painted sign my mom made to match the invitations, she used two layers of cardboard and acrylic paint.
A quick pic of the birthday cowgirl with mom and dad!
I'm not going to lie on this one; the super yummy cake was from Costco! Enough cake to feed 40 people, with 2lbs of cream cheese filling and custom colored frosting all for $18.99 how can you beat that?
The Hot Pink Paisley Bandanas were also ordered from Amazon they were nice and big; we tied them together and attached them to the table paper with rolls of duck tape (and by some miracle they stayed!).
Happy Trails Mix was our take home party favor for the adults. I mixed a combination of peanuts, cashews, almonds, M&M's, and candy corn. I also made one bag nut-free for one of my nieces who has a nut allergy. We found this idea through Pinterest, however, it's just a picture on Flickr so, unfortunately, I don't know the original source.
Carley got lots of wonderful gifts including a baby doll, a walking/talking horse, cute clothes, jammies, a hat, a purse, money and more! Thank you everyone who gave our little one a gift.
She did really well opening her own gifts!
Yee Haw! We all had fun!
A very special thank you to Grandma Mary who did so much work making Carley's first birthday extra special! We love you!