display friday { retro puppy dog party }

A couple of months ago, I teamed up with Gretchen from 3 Little Monkeys Studio to create an adorable retro-ish puppy dog birthday party for Cash! I met Gretchen through her Etsy shop when I was looking for a cute puppy dog birthday party invitation for his first birthday, and things snowballed from there.

I was just tickled to find out that she had an entire coordinating party pack that went with the puppy dog invitation, and she was so accommodating with everything. Her original design for the puppy dog cards were for a baby shower, but she changed all the wording so that it would work for a birthday party.

For the invitations, I purchased clover colored envelopes from Paper Source, as well as a white calligraphy marker to write the addresses in. Then I went online to USPS and ordered custom stamps with Cash’s cute little face on them! I loved the invitations, they were absolutely adorable!

The first thing I created with Gretchen’s party pack were the doggie bag favors. I used brown lunch sacks and filled them with ‘puppy chow’ (cocoa puffs cereal), ‘dog biscuits’ (graham cracker sticks), and a bouncy ball. The puppy chow and dog biscuits were sealed in cellophane bags with an Avery label that I found in the office supply section of my local walmart. The little dot at the end of the label was the perfect size to border the puppy dog candy label! Then I enclosed the lunch sack with the adorable little party circles. I love that you can use them as squares, or as circles, and so I used a mixture of both for the favor bags.

After I created all the favor bags, I started thinking about how I wanted to display them. I moved a small vintage cabinet right next to my front door and filled it with the bags, and then added some cute vintage décor. The party pack included a candy bar label wrap that says “Thanks for coming” that I decided to frame and put with the favor bags since I was not serving candy bars in our favor bag.

And since I am absolutely crazy about chalkboard paint, I hung a little mirror that I recently painted over in chalkboard paint from the cabinet door telling people to grab a doggie bag!

We had quite a few guests that were under one year, so I included some ‘puppy treats’ (Gerber’s yogurt melts) in little favor bags with a tent card so the parent’s knew what it was. The party circles also made cute adornments for my vases!

We did the traditional hang-some-balloons-from-the-mailbox, but I also framed the puppy dog party sign and hung it from my wreath hanger on the front door. I’ve never seen anyone hang a frame on their front door, but I thought it was super cute, and a great way to let people know where the party is!

The party took place in our backyard, and we had almost 100 people over for hotdogs that day! So I made the decision to set up a cute dessert table in my dining room that wouldn’t be exposed to the heat. And it also gave me the freedom to go all out and decorate with the birthday banner and some hanging fabric. I used twine to create the birthday banner, and it is hung from safety pins on a fabric backdrop that I created using remnants of blue and white linen fabric.

I mentioned I love chalkboard paint? Originally I wanted to try to find some ceramic blue and green dog dishes (that were safe for humans to eat out of!) until I realized how expensive that was going to get for the size dishes I would need. Then the idea struck me to use my chalkboard paint to create a label for some large, clear jars I have. (You can find something similar at IKEA or Walmart!) I drew a doggie paw in chalk on all of the food jars. There were several more of these jars outside with the hotdogs for potato salad, fruit salad, chips, and 5 gallon size jars of blue and green kool aid!  It was a really easy and inexpensive way to coordinate the doggy theme without buying new serving dishes that I may not be able to use again. And now, they are perfectly reusable for a host of other things. The choice to use clear dishes also let the colors from the paper products do the talking. I feel like the party decorations you can pick up in a kit from a party store can get really loud and overwhelm your cute ideas! These were perfect to compliment, but not overwhelm the polka dot tent cards, party circles, cupcake wrappers, and straw flags.

The little tent tags were another fun way to coordinate the puppy dog theme with the food. The cupcakes were labeled ‘pup cakes’. The Chex muddy buddy mix was labeled “kibbles n bits’. The shortbread cookies were labeled ‘dog biscuits’, and the cake pops were labeled ‘doggie bath bubbles’. I found the galvanized buckets at target, and painted a dog paw in chalk paint on it as well. The ‘bubbles’were a string of patio lights, also from target, with the cake pops poking out. The cake pops were the first dessert to completely disappear!

One of the cutest little details of the party was the green striped straws that I found on etsy.com. I added Gretchen’s adorable little party flags and stuck them in a mason jar.

I used an old crate upside down to prop Cash’s newborn picture, and a recent photo of him. The larger photo is a blank canvas with the picture mod-podged on (decoupage glue you can get at any craft store) and a twine clothesline with the party circles and candy labels hanging from.  Those party circles came in handy for so many different ideas! They were like my go-to decoration to spice anything up! I love them!

Another special customization Gretchen did for me was the ‘Toilet Bowl Water’ sign I hung from Cash’s wagon. I used the water bottle labels and then filled the wagon with ice, and hung the toilet bowl water sign from twine across the front of the wagon.

Here are a few other pictures from the day. I hope you enjoyed looking at it as much as I had fun creating it!

Sources:

Invitations & coordinating party pack

Striped Straws

Chalkboard Paint

Large jars

Round patio lights

Dog bone shaped candy mold (for cupcakes)

Dog bone shaped cookie cutter

Envelopes

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