Two weeks ago, we had a surprise birthday party for my father in law, Bob. He turned the big 6-0 this year! We had his party at my sister in law's cafe in Lewisville.
If you know me, you know I always have to have a theme to my parties. We thought long and hard, but settled on a "swamp people" theme, since that is his favorite TV show.
Getting ready for the party, I did what any twenty first century party planner does...I looked on Pintrest of course!
But... sadly there were not many swamp people parties. Most were for kids and didn't have too much to them.
So, I thought I'd share some of my swamp people party ideas, just in case you decide to throw a swamp party for someone special in your life.
I thought I would highlight a few of the things that I made for this party. First, I made swampy, glow stick votives. These cost $5 for the set and I got all the materials at the dollar tree. I found some twigs in the front yard & glued them around the sides. I plan on recycling these for fall! I filled them with water & threw in a green glow stick (also found at dollar tree). The only thing I would have done different on these is maybe add green food coloring to the water and/or about 3 or 4 more glow sticks in each votive.
Glow Stick Votives
Two glass vases
Two Candle sticks
twigs from the yard
glow sticks & water
Materials for making signs for the party. All FREE!!! Found in an ally down town. (most off old pallets, throw outs from an antique shop, & boards fallen from old buildings).
First of all, I never really thought that there was a "font" for swamp writing, but technically there is. I sat long and hard thinking of how to paint on these signs to make them look "swampy". I finally perfected the "swamp font", which is actually making it look like a 2 year old wrote it-the messier the better!
I recommend using a truck for project #3-Swamp trees! I got some pretty crazy looks from my neighbors driving down the street like this.
The original plan for these was to use the crepe paper to fold up or spiral to attach to the branches to look like moss hanging down from a swamp tree, willow tree, or whatever kind of tree you want to make.
After I got them made and started attaching the paper, my sister in law & I decided we liked them better without the crepe.
Find lots of branches. (and I mean lots!!!) I broke them off to be the heights I wanted. I found two black buckets at the dollar tree & removed the white handles. Next, I put the foam in the bottom of the bucket & began to stick the branches in all different ways. I threw in the rocks around the sides of the foam to weight it down and support the heavy branches. As I added more branches, I continued to fill the bucket with rocks. After I got finished, I hot glued hunks of moss on top of all the rocks to cover up the "ugliness".
You can also use a much prettier base, spray paint your branches white or a bright color, & hang jewels, feathers or anything else that you can think of to make these a more elegant addition.
Assemble these where ever the party is. These do not transport well!
Total cost on these (2 buckets $1 a piece + foam $1+ 1 bag moss $1)=$4
Add rail road rocks (free) & branches courtesy of crazy Arkansas weather(free)
The free signs (swamp font at it's best) & Swamp trees
For this sign, I recycled tin from a previous project, painted it up, & took it into the backyard & added a little buckshot flair to it. Perfect for what I needed!
(& yes, I shot those holes myself-& reloaded the gun, I'm sort of proud of myself over that...)
Total cost=FREE!! (minus the cost of the bullets, which my hubby already had)
Bob's awesome red velvet gator cake, courtesy of All in Good Taste Bakery in Texarkana. They always do a wonderful job on cakes for me, but I honestly think it was one of the BEST cakes I've ever eaten.
The Birthday boy himself
Dalton has gator fever!
April gave Bob his birthday card.
Look at all those candles! We ran out before we got to 60...
Bob & his friends from work
Another "free" sign. I think this could be recycled to flower bed decor? haha!
up close view of the stick votives-definitely much cooler in person, but still wish I had added a few more glow sticks.
I added the gator hats & plastic snakes around to serve as decoration, but they were perfect to let the kids play with & send home with them.
Luke was showing Bob his snake.
Bob & his "Troy" pose-He looks just like him!
Val & Bob
The Clark ladies & Aunt Sue
My brother & sis in law
Overall, we really pulled one over on Bob! He never knew what we had up our sleeves. Both of my sister in laws, Val & Robbi, did so much to make the party amazing! We all came together and had a wonderful time We had around 65 people show up, so we definitely had a good turn out to celebrate Bob.
Since we didn't have a lot of room, we kept the decorations to a minimum, but they had a wonderful effect.
Total cost of decorations for the party:
$2- 2 Buckets
$4-tissue paper for pom pom puffs
$3 Gator hats
I think that's pretty good! Of course we also had cake, ice cream, & all the food, but overall, it was a very fun & easy party.