Safari Party (6-7yr) Safari Suitcase Invites
Marina in San Diego CA
I made a safari themed party for my boys, ages 6 and 7.
Invitations: I purchase 8.5x11 sheets of Brown ( leather looking) paper and folded them in half. I created my own suitcase cut out. I drew lines with watercolor pencils to create the suitcase depth. I used a brown small tip marker to create the seams or stitching of a suitcase. The suitcase had a handle and a flap that would go through the handle that would keep the suitcase shut. I purchase a black ink pad and two rubber stamps "World Atlas" and african dancers. I stamped them on the front of the suitcase on opposite corners. I downloaded images of actual african postage stamps with animals and printed them out on sticker paper and place two of them on each suitcase.
The inside: I printed out a giraffe, an elephant, a zebra, a lion, a camera and travelers checks small enough to fit three on each side of the suitcase, as if the items were falling out of the suitcase. And made fabric pockets (like real suitcases) with elastic for the inside of the invitation. These pockets would be used to hold the actual invite.
The invite was a passport made of black cardstock and with paper to creat a book like invite. I used a stamp and silver embossing powder to create the real effect. Inside I used some of the wording I got from another idea on this site. This invites were a HIT, I had people calling me to tell me how great they were. In the wording I included that all explorers should come in their favorite safari wear and also the bring the completed passports. And as my guests arrived if they brought the completed passports they could choose from different items, pith helmets, beach balls with animals on them, animals masks, etc.
Decorations for tables: I bought brown fabric at Walmart Bargains for a Dollar and made the table linens for rectangular tables. I also purchase fabric with safari animals and made square linens to place in the middel of each table as an accent. I used cream colored chair covers with Khaki ties for our chairs.
Centerpieces: I used canoes made out of sticks and placed a palm like artificial leaf arrangement in the middle of each. And place a stuffed animal, lion, tigger, leopard in between the leaves. I bought balloons from OT with animal prints and tied three different ones to each centerpiece. I also had additional animals on each end of the table( like the centerpiece just a tad smaller) I purchase ceramic salt shakers at BIG LOTS that had leaves and palm trees and bamboo. I purchased lond plates and bowls with animal prints and placed two and each end of the tables for chips and salsa. I bought white ceramic napkin holders and use the napkin applique technique to glue animal print tissue paper.
Other Decorations: The place we rented was a Hall/Park , it was huge and it was crazy to think we would be able to decorated it all so we concentrated on the patio area were our tables were. This area had about 14 beams or pillards close to the beginning of the grass area. So I bought about 60 to 70 yards of sheer animal print fabric to drape along and inbetween each one . We also made palm trees, using the cardboard rolls from fabric stores, and covering them with brown felt strips and making palm leaves out of two tones of green felt. We placed wire in the middle of each leaf and stuck them in a piece of foam that was placed inside each cardboard roll. Each tree had ten leaves you could bend and adjust. We tied these palm trees with strips of left over brown felt. And I added a stuffed animal monkey to add to the palm tree.
Decorations for the entrance: I bought large pieces of wood at Home Depot and I drew animals; a lion, giraffe, elephant and also a Big Jeep used for pictures. After I drew them my brother helped me cut them to their shape. We also made a wood stand up sign that read: Safari Café, Survivor, and Wild Animal Games. Each pointing to the derection of the activities. I created a large balloon arch with animal print balloons and used streamers to place and hang inbetween the balloons to give the vines and leaf effect. I purchase banner about 2 yards long that had airbrushed animals and bamboo lettering that said Happy Birthday.
Games: I drew a monkey bean bag toss on wood and had my brother cut out the holes for it. I used left over fabric to make bean bags. I also drew and cut out wood animals for a ring toss. I placed each animal on each end of a wood cross. We made rings out of embroidery hoops and covered them with green duct tape. The kids loved it! I also purchase animal print sac fabric for races. We rented two jumps; one was a monkey with palm trees air jump and the other was a obstacle course called the Junior Survivor. It was the Hit of the party, and not as easy as it looked.
Piñatas, loot bags and Cakes: I purchased custom made piñatas Huge ones! The giraffe was about 10 feet tall and the lion was about 8 feet tall they looked like statues. And the best part was that they weren't heavy and my guests would use them to sit on and take pictures. They were great decorations too! The loot bags were inexpensive animal print bags I bought from OT and filled them with animal favors; pencils, bubble bottles, puzzles, erasers ( everything bought from OT) and lots of Candy. I used these bags because I made a lot of Candy Bags! I made the cakes for the party, (I sell them) I made three round cakes with green grass and leaf accents. As decorations, I used the tops of 2 bottles we bought at the Zoo, they were perfect. I placed them on a circle of foam and added artificials leaves. And on the third cake, I bought some animal finger puppets and used them to place between the artificial leaves and also made a sign that said Safari. We also made a bamboo canopy with drapes of fabric for the cake area. It was surrounded by palm trees and hanging monkeys.
Attire: The boys wore t-shirts I had made for them with animals on them and they each said ____'s Safari Party. They wore khaki shorts and pith helmets. We wore Safari clothing and Safari hats and I also made my own jewelry out of beads and a silver monkey charm. This was by far the best party we have ever had. I have made detailed parties before but not like this one. We still have people telling us what a great party it was. It took me from April to September to plan this party and it was very well worth it!
Thank you cards: And last but not least, I purchased some felt animal covers for lollipops from OT and tied a khaki colored paper with animal clipart that said thank you for joining our Safari Adventure! I hope these I ideas can help some of you out, I know I love to hear what other people come up with. Enjoy!