Monday, June 25, 2012

Made by Me Monday

Happy Monday!

I am am going to try and bring some organization to my blog post. So bear with me as I try to establish a pattern!

My father-in-law turned 70 this past weekend. A few months ago my mother-in-law asked my assistance in planning and executing a surprise party for him. My father-in-law lives to fish, so a fishing themed birthday party seemed more than appropriate.

We found some great accessories on sale at Wal Mart: serving bowls, platters, glasses, metal tubs, and tablecloths.The rest of the decorations were made by myself and mother-in-law.  Our color theme emerged as we found such great deals. Our color scheme was blue, turquoise, and lime green.

I got some fabric scraps in our colors and cut out a square design and made a pennant banner. My mother-in-law volunteered to sew the pieces together. We took 2 squares and sewed them together with wrong sides together. This way the front and back of the banner we both finished. The final step was using iron-on transfers to spell out H-A-P-P-Y B-I-R-T-H-D-A-Y.

I also made a wreath out of tulle. I bought a wire floral wreath and tied slip knots of lime green and bright blue tulle to the frame. Next I took some balsa wood and painted it with Martha Stewart Chalkboard paint. I attached the balsa wood to the frame so that it could be seen in the center of the wreath frame. On the chalkboard painted balsa wood I wrote "Happy 70". I hung the pennant banner and the wreath on the food tent.

For table decorations I used my Cricut. The cartridge, "Boys Will Be Boys" has some cute fish and fishing accessories on it. I cut out fish as large as my Cricut would allow, which was 5 1/2 inches. Half the fish were blue with green trim and the other half were green with blue trim. I also cut out fishing poles. I adhered all the fish and fishing poles to blue and green drinking straws with glue dots. I put them in small juice glasses that were double lined. In between the two layers of the glass, little fishes swam around. All I needed was some type of weight to hold them down. The problem is the glasses were clear acrylic and anything I put in could be seen. At the last minute I remember buying some water beads at a craft fair a few years ago. I really had not used them and luckily for me, I had both blue and green beads. I hydrated them and used them in the glasses to provide weight to keep the glasses on the table and to hold the fish and fishing poles in place. {they made great things to throw at each other as the party progressed.}

We also decided to have a camp fire and roast s'mores. We took little plastic bags and stuffed them with a graham cracker, a marshmallow, and a Hershey's mini bar. I printed name badge labels that said "S'more Goodness, Bill's 70th Birthday.  I had also cut out little 1 inch green and blue fish and put them in the center. The Short Chic was so excited for her Papa's party she asked for a job. She designated herself the S'more passer-outer!

The last thing I made was drink labels. My mother-in-law said she wanted a way to keep track of everyone's drinks {we had 50 people invited to. the party} I used Martha Stewart's chalkboard paint and painted it on some Avery name labels. At the party, I stood at the drink station and served the guest their drinks and wrote their name on the label {it got a little crazy so I am super thankful that one of My Husband's cousins helped me juggle this task}.

The food was not made by me! My mother-in-law decided on some barbecue so The Husband got to prepare all of it! Well, honestly, my mother made the baked beans and coleslaw. I wish I could one day share my mother's baked bean recipe because it is divine but Momma is one of those cooks that never measures a thing. She just adds stuff until it taste the way she likes it!

 Keeping a secret from an adult is not always easy. Papa wanted to go out to eat with his brother, sister-in-law, brother-in-law and his wife the night of his party. Everyone had to tell little white fibs in keep the secret under wraps. My mother-in-law spent the afternoon leading my father-in-law from place to place in order to keep him away from home so we could decorate and set up for the party.  The weather is the one thing we did not count on! It has not rained here in weeks and was not forecasted to rain at all the day of his party. But wouldn't you know it, we woke up to massive grey clouds...and rain. It rained up till an hour before the party. Once it finally rained, the sun came out and gave us a perfect sunny afternoon. It just delayed our set up for the party!

I must tell you about the birthday gift we decided to give my father-in-law. We decided to collect 70 memories from people who knew my father-in-law. We sent out emails, letters, and hand delivered notes asking people to share a memory they had of my father-in-law and mail it back to us. We then collected them and presented them to him the night of his party. It made a great gift and provided for great discussion as he sat around remembering all the times people wrote about.

As big and strong as The Husband is, he is a sentimental fool. He loved reading those memories to his father. {He even got a little choked up by a few of them! But don't tell him that I told you!}

Happy Birthday Papa!


  1. Sounds like the surprise party was a success! Wouldn't you love to quit your state job and be a party planner?

  2. Fantastic! And I might have to steal that gift idea!

  3. Fabulous- as always!!!

  4. Wow! That party looked great! You did such a wonderful job and I love the idea of gathering memories to share. It looks like a good reason to have missed that basebal game...

  5. What a wonderful party you had for Papa. I am sure he LOVED it. You are SO good at it. Happy to hear you received 70 memories.