Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Fall Camo Party on the CHEAP!

Whether your planning a party for opening day of deer season, a fall bachelor party, a man's birthday party, a camo wedding or any other fun fall festivity, I've got some great ideas for you!  And the best part is - they're CHEAP!!

November 15 - Opening day - Deer Day - its a red neck, country boy holiday in Northern Michigan.  It's the kind of holiday that requires much preparation - preparing hunting blinds, studying deer habits and sighting in guns.

Our hunters headed out a couple hours before sunrise.  I was lucky enough to stay in the warm house and watch the sunrise while I enjoyed my morning coffee.  It was magnificent.  I stepped out side to snap this picture and while I was out there I heard four gun shots near by.

This year we had 18 hunters.  They harvested 3 does.  This nice doe was taken by one of our youngest hunters, Caden.

Each year my mom puts on a fabulous feast for all of the hunters who come out to the farm, and this year was no exception.  Since opening day fell on the weekend we had a big turn out; around 45 people for lunch.  Much to our pleasure my brother and sister-in-law welcomed us to feast and fellowship in their new garage. {print the sign here}

Now, if you know my mother you probably already know that not only will there be plenty of good food, the table will also look fabulous. (Yes, she's the type who folds the napkin and sets all the silverware in it's place, even when it's just her and my dad.) And, she's also very resourceful!

All of this decorating started out with a left over roll of black table paper {like this}, some burlap table runners from Christmas {we bought it by the yard at WalMart and cut it into strips, or you can pick it up through Amazon} and a roll of camouflage gift wrap {check the dollar store for something similar}!

Add in some washed and dried oak leaves and some pine cones from the woods and you're off to a good start!  The plates and napkins are from the fall collection at WalMart.

We reserve a table (or three) just for the hunters.  They love to sit together and eat and share their 'big buck' stories.

The hunters start coming in from the woods around 11.  This year was unusually warm, near 60 degrees.

Hot coffee and hot chocolate greet the hunters.

Look a little closer at the details: a deer themed 'canvas', a fall mason jar, a metal tin filled with hot chocolate and spray painted oil rubbed bronze to match the decor, an antique tool box for the cream an sugar and camo gift wrap and burlap on the table.

A few more beverages on this table - but take a closer look at the 'canvas'.  I thought these were real canvases until I picked one up.  My mom took old lingerie sized gift boxes, painted them black, put a little rolled up bag of sand inside (to weight them down) and printed out pictures with verses and glued them to the front.  So many people were fooled by these 'fake canvases'.  Talk about a cheap decoration!

Did you notice the mason jars in the pictures yet?  I love mason jars - they are so versatile, easy to store and the perfect size for a centerpiece.  These are quart sized jars that are filled with acorns and pine cones.  The acorns were collected and dried by my nieces and sister in law, the pine cones by my mother.  My mom also went around trudging through ditches and fields to gather a wide variety of... get this... dead weeds.  Really.  Ferns, milk weeds, fuzzy flowers, dried berry looking branches and twigs - the more variety and textures the better.

 Like I said before, the beauty is in the details; the mouth of the jar is wrapped in jute {find it here on Amazon} and adorned with spent rifle shells.

What is a party without a few games?  This one is the good old 'Candy Count' game.  Guess the number of 'Hunter ORANGE' M&M's.  Have guests guess just the orange candies so you only have to count some of them, not all of them.  You can buy fall colored M&M's but if you're working on a budget, buy the regular candies and pick out all of the blue ones!  This jar is from the Dollar General store, it's wrapped in jute and has a coordinating deer/camo label on the top.  Here's the printable label and candy guessing sheet.

What can a deer rub tell you about rack size?  Just ask Field and Stream, then print out the info and mount it over camo gift wrap on black foam core board.

All set.

Enjoy the feast!  Swiss steak, mashed potatoes, beans, corn, broccoli and cheese, candy apple salad, layered lettuce salad, fresh rolls and veggies and dip.

It's a family tradition.  This set of deer antlers serves both as a decoration and as a reminder of our family heritage.  This handsome rack was claimed by my Great Uncle Dorr in 1936!

Spike horns and broken sets are good for scattering about.

Here's another one of my mom's sweet inventions!  These darling chocolate acorns are made from old fashioned fondant (not the marshmallow kind), dipped in chocolate and topped with a salted caramel melting candy that's been scored to look like an acorn. There's even a little dot of chocolate on the cap to look like the stem.  And, if you're wondering, yes, they did taste as good as they looked.

Deer droppings (chocolate covered raisins).

"Take come cookies and fill your coffee cup.  Enjoy them while you wait for your big buck to show up."  Check out the box for the baggies - it's wrapped in camouflage paper!

 My favorite hunter - maybe you'll see one next time!

After the hunters head back out to the woods, the rest of the gang enjoys playing games and doing crafts.  This is my 94 year old grandma playing bingo.

And my 2 year old daughter 'playing' as well.

Amanda, Jacob and Jack studying a two dollar bill and looking it up on

Olivia getting her craft on.

Lauren and Avery working on canvases. Here's the tutorial.  I picked up a 10 pack of 8x10 canvases at Michael's on sale for $12.99.  You can also get flat panel canvases shipped to your house very affordably.  We removed the decorations from the table except the plastic table cover as it offers great protection from the paint.

A special thanks goes out to my family - my dad and mom and my brothers and their families for always welcoming us home to the farm; you are all such a blessing.

In case you didn't catch it earlier, here's the link to the printable PDF file with all of the signs we made along with some blanks so you can write in your own:


  1. Wow!! My husband, son, and son in law along with my brother and his son were lucky recipients of an invite to this awesome feast!!! They rent hunting land from your father and were invited to the dinner. He came home that night and said the dinner was great!! Now I see it wasn't your average garage potluck for hunters!!! LOL. I may start hunting:))) Becky Nicholas

  2. This is so amazing & so makes me wish I had picked a different weekend for my Christmas shopping trip! Better planning next year:). You & your mom are so creative and generous and we are sorry we missed all the fun & feasting!

  3. Unbelievably creative, Mary (& family) - what a lot of love & work went into the day!

  4. What is Candy Apple Salad? Awesome decos.