Friday, November 25, 2011

Ahoy, Matey!!

July was a special month for Nathan.  My little baby boy was turning 3.  It was exciting to plan a birthday where he could celebrate with all his friends.  What was even better was to share a Pirate birthday party with one of his best buds, Logan.  It was a special treat for me because I was able to plan this swashbuckling party for two with my good friend, Lisa.

The Invitation:
Both boys got dressed as pirates as they hand-delivered a message in a bottle to their friends inviting them to join their pirate crew to find lost treasure.  Bottles were purchased from Oriental Trading Co.  Each bottle came with bottle, labels, small invite, sand & shells.  I decided to create our own invitation by creating a "piratey" message on tan cardstock and distressing the edges. 

Costumes for Captain's Logan & Nathan:
Morning of the party, the birthday boys received their very own pirate backpack from Pottery Barn Kids, Captains Hat from Party City., and personalized pirate tee from Personally Yours By Jen.  Perfect gift to get Logan & Nathan set as pirates for the day.

Guest Arrival:
Each crew member received a loot bag containing a bandana, sword, eye patch, and telescope to be used on their quest for treasure!  Loot bag was purchased at Packaging Specialties. Labels and tag were part of the Pirate Birthday Party printables purchased on Etsy from Anders Ruff.  Accessories were purchased from Oriental Trading and US Toy. 

Party Set-Up:
Outside the pirate crew found tables decorated in a pirate-themed colors of red, black, white & turquoise.  I made a Jolly Rogers flag as the focal point of the dessert table that was covered with pirate paraphernalia such as gold coins, a pirate ship & octopus, pirate hat & sword, fish net, treasure map, goblets, and treasure chest.  Red & black licorice, gold-foiled chocolates, fish-in-the-sea jello, yellow & chocolate cupcakes filled the dessert table.  Anders Ruff food tags & cupcake toppers were used to accent these yummy treats - perfect for any pirate!

Food & Drink:
Their seafaring menu included the perfect combination of kid favorites & matey must-haves. The pint-sized pirate smorgasbord included fish & chips (really chicken sticks & fries), gold fish crackers, Pirate Booty (popcorn) & fruit kabobs. For the seadogs, a more mature menu including sandwich rolls, & a shrimp & crab platter were enjoyed. Beverages, including red pirate punch & water were served to the young crew; while the more seasoned sailors enjoyed bottles of Henry Weinhard’s Rootbeer & Black Cherry Soda.
Eating Area:
The crew of 12 little pirates came aboard the pirate ship (3 kid-sized picnic tables).  Tables were made by Lisa’s husband - supplies purchased at Home Depot.  Tables were decorated with hand sewn masts designed by myself - fabric & dowels purchased at JoAnns.  Fun pirate accents such as fish net, laminated treasure map placemats & gold doubloons decorated the table top. Seated on board they were able to enjoy their pirate grub and plan their plundering. A quick swabbing of the deck followed. (Little pirates also make big messes!)
Games & Activities:
After their bellies were filled & they got their sea legs, each pirate was presented with a treasure map to help them in their quest for buried treasure. The crew was split up into groups of three as they ventured to different stations to earn additional pirate loot.
Stations included:
Pirate Ship Ring Toss– They earned their cannonballs (mini pirate beach balls) by participating at this ring toss station.  (beach balls purchased from Oriental Trading)
Walk the Plank– What do you do with a scurvy pirate? Make him walk the plank! Hooks were given once they walked the plank and jumped in the shark infested water (plastic balls). Inftatable shark & hooks were purchased from Oriental Trading and US Toy.
Pirate Bean Bag Toss– Here they got their very own stuffed parrots (US Toy) after participating in the bean bag toss.
Fishing for Buried Treasure– At this station they fished for buried jewels (inflatable palm tree & pool from Party City).
Buried Treasure Hunt– This was the concluding station. Each pirate had 1 attempt to pin the treasure chest at the correct location on the map (Party City). This was followed by the discovering of actual buried treasure–a treasure chest full of adorable treat bags filled with edible golden treasure, topped off with Anders Ruff printable treat toppers.
The party ended with the traditional singing of ‘Happy Birthday’ followed by ice cream cups (labeled with Anders Ruff printables), cupcakes & personalized mini cakes (Fred Meyer Bakery) for the pirate captains. All hands were on deck to watch the opening of the birthday booty for the guests of honor.

A big 'Thank You' to Andrea of Andrea Pasion Photography for capturing this special day for Nathan and Logan on camera.
A special thanks to Jen Carver of Banner Events for featuring our band of pirates on Anders Ruff.
Credits & Resources:
Stylist - Vivian Kerr & Lisa Saunders
Pirate shirts –  Mouse House Memories
Stripey straws, pirate cupcake liners – Hey YoYo
Toy Pirate ship – Amazon
Invitation bottles, games, Goody bag items – US Toy, Oriental Trading
Pirate hats, tablecloths, gift wrap, balloons, inflatable palm tree with cooler – Party City
Sails – JoAnn Fabrics

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