Birthday parties? Yeah, we got them! Two a year, and so far I’ve thrown six themed birthday parties for my kids. I end up loving each one more than the last. It’s so exciting to research ideas, and create DIY projects to go along with each boy’s special day!
He’s loved puppies since just after he turned one (although now that he’s a big boy, he’s branching out into dinosaurs!), so it made sense to fill up his day with puppy love and a Puppy Dog birthday party!
On the Big Day!
We like to make our kids’ birthday’s special by taking them out to breakfast on their big day, and then going on a special trip. Sometimes they are big trips, and sometimes short. This year we kept it short with breakfast at our favorite, First & Last Bakery in Hartford, and then a visit to the LEGO store to pick out a small Duplo set (Superman. Of course!).
The following evening, we threw the big family birthday party for our little guy!
I started out with hand-crafted Puppy Dog birthday invitations using scrapbooking punches and cardstock! I had so much fun making each invite have a unique puppy!
I’ve had a piece of dog-print fabric in my stash for almost two years now, and this fabric actually became the inspiration for the party and color scheme. For the boys, I made coordinating t-shirts with ironed-on puppies. I ironed a sheet of Steam-A-Seam onto the back of a section of fabric and cut out dogs, balls and stars. These were easy to iron onto the shirts for each boy. My only regret is the craft store didn’t have ANY 2T or 3T blank shirts, so my two year old is wearing a 4T shirt that is a bit large!
I also made the birthday boy a bib with puppies on the outside and blue minky on the inside, plus a lining of PUL fabric between. It was perfect, maybe even better than the t-shirt!
Having thrown so many parties, I have learned less can be more (when it’s crunch time, you don’t want to have your husband in the basement still blowing up complete Pinterest-Fail balloon topiaries. Not that I know anybody who would make their hubby do that or anything!). So I really tried hard to keep this party simple – not counting the balloon topiaries. Oh and the pretzel dog bones. Yeah…. moving on!
Puppy Dog Birthday Party Decor
I chose a red, white, and brown color palette, and decorated with red and blue balloons, including 36″ balloons I tied to a paper serving bowl to create hot air balloons full of Beanie Babies puppies!
With the help of craft supplies sent for review from Oriental Trading, I create several simple decorations.
For a simple garland, I punched out a generous number of various sized circles from chevron red, white, and blue scrapbooking paper, as well as scalloped rounds from brown kraft paper. Then I zipped them through my sewing machine with red thread to create a paper circle garland. So super easy and I will definitely create this garland style again. As my sewing machine kept snapping the thread, I ended up with many sections of garland, so I laid them on the serving table at intervales to create a “striped” effect. I also dangled some from our gazebo chandelier!
For menu signs, I wrote on chalkboard paper to create each hot dog creation “recipe,” then mounted the sticky-backed chalkboard paper to the kraft paper with a tongue depressor between the layers to create a sign. I stuck the signs in simple ceramic milk bottles with baker’s twine tied about the neck for easy sign holders!
Puppy Dog Birthday Party Menu
Being a puppy party, we had to serve “dogs” – hot dogs! We’re not a big hot dog eating family, but I did find some Coleman’s organic hot dogs at our grocery store and they were very tasty. I scoured Pinterest for the best “hot dog recipes” to create our hot dog bar, and posted the signs with the suggested recipes behind the food platters.
The menu was simple:
- Grilled hot dogs
- Grilled sausages
- Hot dog toppings bar (ketchup, mustard, chili, cheese, sauerkraut, jalepenos, cheese, banana peppers, relish, grilled onions, red onion)
- Baked beans
- Mac & Cheese
- Cole slaw
- Watermelon Salad (totally awesome, and totally went with the color scheme too!)
- Dog Bone Pretzels with mustard (a cute idea, but I need to try a different pretzel recipe!)
Puppy Dog Birthday Party Games
Okay, to be honest, I had a whole idea for playing party games, but… since we only invited family and there’s not many young kids in our extended family, we ended up just letting the cousins play. Believe me, they romped about like little puppies enough without me master-minding games for them. Some ideas I had were:
- Pin the tail on the Puppy
- Obedience School (like Simon Says but with Puppy commands like Fetch, Bark, Chase Tail, etc).
- Red Rover, Red Rover
- Puppy Dog Face Painting (which I’m pretty sure would’ve been a Pinterest Fail too!)
Puppy Dog Birthday Dessert Table
Instead of birthday cake, we served Pupcakes! Our little son is obsessed with cupcakes! These pupcakes were very easy to make – frosting, Nutter Butters, Nilla Wafers, candy eyes (such a time saver and very inexpensive in any craft store’s cake section!) and a fine tip for detailing.
The rest of the desserts:
- Salted Caramel Pretzel “Bark”
- Puppy Chow Chex Mix
- Puppy Kisses (Hershey Kisses)
After eating and eating and… eating… and being a little scared of the candle on his birthday Pupcake, we brought out our son’s BIG present: our family had gotten together to give him a Radio Flyer Red Wagon! His big brother pulled the wagon around the corner to surprise him… at the same time that a plane flew overhead, so it was a bit anti-climactic. About a half hour later though, I about had a heart attack seeing him hanging onto the wagon for dear life with an exhilarated expression on his face while his brother pulled him along at break-neck speed! Yikes! We’re gonna love that wagon!
Oh and! Our baby praying mantises from the garden are growing up and exploring. One came to visit the party, and our little boy was just delighted to have a green friend crawling on his arm for awhile! I think he’s loving bugs a bit more than puppies lately!
Hope you enjoyed a peek into our party! I’ll be sharing birthday present ideas with you later this week! A good time was had by all, and another themed birthday party goes into the books!
Thanks to Oriental Trading for providing supplies to facilitate this post. All opinions are my own.