Idea No.

14166

Cowboys! -2yr- Homemade Cowboy Invites & Envelopes

Award

Date

August 2006

From

April in Lacey, WA United States

Honorable Mention

Cowboy Party

For my son Drake's 2nd birthday, we threw him a cowboy party.  Preparation began months in advance since we wanted to make most of the decorations to customize the event.  We did some research on the internet to come up with ideas for decorations and common lingo to make it more authentic. 

We created our own invitations so they would be unique.  To start we bought a cowboy hat, sheriff's star and antique parchment paper.  I dressed my son in the hat, a checkered shirt, vest and pin and colored a goatee on him.  Since we have a split rail fence in the front yard I put him in front of it for a photo to go on the front of his invitation.  The front read "Deputy Drake is callin' you out!"  On the inside it read "To his "bang up" 2nd birthday party.  Pony up and bring the folks down for a real western style feast and great company too.  Come bend an elbow and cool yer' heels while hangin' out with the other buckaroos!  Western "duds" optional.  We'd sure be obliged if you can join us and we hope to see ya'll there. 

On the opposite panel we had the date, time, and location.  On the back were two small photos of my husband and I both dressed appropriately for the time.  It said Created by Drake's loving parents the Sheriff and the Sheriff's  Wife.  We printed them out in sepia for an aged look.  I cut paper bags into small envelopes using an invitation envelope as a guide.  The invitation were then put inside and tied with raffia.  We mailed them in real invitation envelopes and hand delivered others.  For labels we printed out our own with Drake's mailing information in the same wild west font as the invitation.  We took pictures in advance of everyone who would be attending. 

Family members knew what we were doing, but the other guests did not (this made it even better).  I made everyone a wanted/rewards poster on antique parchment in sepia and wild west font and gave everyone a slightly unique alias (i.e. Dastardly Dan for Dan).  The crimes varied from robbing a stage coach to stealing a loaf of bread.  The posters were hung everywhere. 

When the guests arrived they enjoyed reading everyone else's posters and were delighted to take them home at the end of the party.  For decorations we saved our empty paper towel tubes and purchased PVC pipe.  We made the PVC pipe into a free standing hitching post and slid the paper towel tubes over it so that it looked like wood.  We purchased a wood saw horse and cut a small hole in one end which we stuck a old stick horse into.  For a tail I took the head of a small cotton mop and hung it at the other end. 

My husband made a wood sign with arrows pointing in various directions.  One sign said Drake's Saloon, one said Rattlesnake Gulch and the final one, Tombstone.  For the saloon we took my son's nylon play tent and made a small saloon sign in front of the door (same paper, same font as above).  I took some of my husband's old ties and turned them into snakes by stuffing them, using a length of heavy wire to shape them and sewing on a red fork tongue for "Rattlesnake Gulch".  We also placed toy tarantulas left from Halloween with the snakes. 

My husband also made two tombstones that he painted with ficticious characters who died from the most unusual ailments.  Alongside them we placed the hitching post, saw "horse" which we tied to the hitching post and cactus where we took photos of each child. We also took photos next to the directional sign and the tombstones. Since almost everyone came dressed up the photos looked great.  We later mailed them with the thank you cards to each child/family member. 

As gifts we gave everyone (including adults) straw cowboy hats, handkerchiefs, stars and candy.  In the center of each table was a handkerchief with a cowboy hat filled with either old time candy or gingersnap cookies.  On the buffet table I had a bar of gold, a small train on tracks, a feather boa and a few other items that would have been common.  For the buffet we served chicken, baked beans, corn bread, corn on the cob and for dessert we had a homemade cake. 

The event was fabulous and everyone of all ages had a great time including my son.

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