I know I’m a little behind on sharing A’s December birthday party but I figured while I’m on a roll, I may as well back track! She requested a Sheriff Callie party and I’m typically pretty opposed to character parties but I thought I could probably run with a cowgirl theme so I agreed. Of course our first step was to snap some photos for her invitations. I stumbled upon the cutest little flea market outside of town that looked like a mini old west town from the outside so we loaded up and took advantage of the scenery.
I designed a quick and colorful invitation in photoshop and sent it off to my print company. The above photo was the back and the front was this:
We used our trusty ole tablecloth trick to transform our garage into the ole west. We picked a blue color to look like sky and my mother had the idea to use cotton to make clouds. The result was pretty adorable! I knew early on that I wanted to make an old west town out of appliance boxes for the party so I called me local Lowe’s and asked them to save me a few refrigerator and washer/dryer boxes. They called within days saying they had a few and we went to work cutting and painting them. We made a bank, Ella’s saloon, Uncle Bun’s store, and of course the Sheriff’s station and jail. I had my husband cut a walkway between a refrigerator box and a dryer box so that we could connect them. That way when the Sheriff had to throw someone in jail, they had to go through the station door. We used a box cutter to make the bars and tin foil to give them a metallic look.
We took pictures of her stuffed animals and added them to wanted posters in photoshop then printed them in sepia tone and taped them inside the sheriff’s station and the outside door. I used scrapbook paper that looked like old distressed wood from Hobby Lobby for the bank and sheriff’s station doors. We bought fake money at dollar tree for the kids to play with in the bank, plastic cups and pitcher (also from dollar tree) for the saloon, and brought out some play kitchen foods and shopping bags for the general store. It’s amazing how much fun kids can have in cardboard boxes!
As our guests arrived, we got them all fitted in bandanas, cowboy hats, and deputy badges. We got the foam hats in black and brown at dollar tree and the bandanas at Hobby Lobby. Because they were so large and the majority of our guests were under 5, we cut each bandana into 4th’s. This was cost efficient and they fit much better on little ones. The deputy badges came from Hobby Lobby as well. We also gave each guest a little drawstring canvas bag from oriental trading to keep their gold nuggets in from the panning for gold station.
Because our party was in the afternoon, we served sweet snacks rather than an actual meal. We choose flavored popcorns from a local gourmet popcorn shop and put them in little cow print favor bags from Hobby Lobby. We also made s’more pops by putting large marshmallows on a skewer, dipping them in melting chocolates, and then covering in sprinkles. These were a huge hit as were the chocolate coins. I raided our American Girl collection and thought this Our Generation horse stable was the perfect addition to our table. We used it to hang onto our snacks.
I found those awesome fabric garlands on clearance at Michael’s for around $3 each and knew I couldn’t pass them up. We found the tissue fans at Dollar Tree for an extra pop of color.
Kids colored Sheriff Callie sheets and “roasted” their marshmallows over the “fire”. I found that adorable inflatable campfire at oriental trading and it was a big hit! I printed the coloring sheets directly from the disney jr. website.
My niece, nephew, and girls tried out the panning for gold station before the party started. For quality assurance purposes of course. To make this, we purchased a small bag of decorative rocks from Dollar Tree and spray painted them gold. We then took a large long plastic bin and filled it with sand purchased from Home Depot and sprinkled the “golden nuggets” all around burying them in the sand. We added water to the top and added some shovels and other sand toys we already had. We used foil pie tins which we hammered holes into the bottom so the kids could scoop and sift. Whatever nuggets they found, they got to take home in their little pouches. There was a steady flow of children here the whole party. HUGE hit even with the older kids!
Another huge hit was the Photo Booth area. To make this, I just took an image of a wanted poster I found online (I’ll link it if I can find it again) and enlarged it in photoshop. I then printed it off in quarter sections. We cut it out, burned the edges with a lighter to give it an aged look and then glued it to a piece of cardboard that was left over from our cardboard box town renovations. We used a box cutter to cut out the center and thumb tacks to secure the edges and look like fancy nails. We used a long thick piece of leftover cardboard to create a stand and then placed it in a small bucket filled with sand and rocks to steady it. The kids had fun with this but honestly, I think the adults had more fun with it! haha
Unfortunately, in my haste, I forgot to photograph the other 2 activity stations we had but they were inexpensive and simple and kept the kids busy the whole party long. We took a stick horse from our playroom and stuck it in the yard by digging a small hole for the stick. We set out hula hoops we already had and let kids try their hand at “lassoing” the horse. It was sort of like a ring toss on a bigger scale. We also had buckets which I had decorated with pictures of boots I had printed and colored. We purchased plush snakes from the dollar tree and kids had to try and toss the snake in the boot. We called it the “there’s a snake in my boot” game. Because we’re witty like that! 😉
The Sheriff and all her little pals had a great time and those darn boxes stayed in our garage for a month because we couldn’t bring ourselves to toss them! lol