This girly twist on a farm party was inspired by our little friend Madison, who wore this darling piggy costume to our Halloween party.
Inspiration for the party décor came from this Cyrus Clark fabric:
I love it because it’s “farm-ish” without being clichéd – Western with a preppy twist. If Lilly Pulitzer went to a dude ranch, she’d totally wear a fun little shift dress sewn from this print.
I would use this for tablecloths – or, in the alternative you could stitch together pink, green and aqua bandanas to make a tablecloth or a table runner to go on top of a burlap tablecloth. I’m picturing a low table set up outdoors with rectangular hay bales for seats (maybe topped with runners, to keep little behinds from coming into contact with scratchy hay?). You could even stitch two bandanas together and lightly stuff them to make individual cushions.
Food, favor and present “tables” could be constructed from old doors set on top of stacks of hay bales. I would also set up a stack of hay bales somewhere near the party site, where party guests could pose for pictures (more on that later). Depending on the season, you could add some galvanized buckets planted with daisies or mums or even add some pumpkins.
Bandanas can also be pressed into service for bunting: string twine between trees, porch columns, whatever, and hang bandanas from the twine, leaving some space in between. You could fold just the top edges over the twine and secure them with fabric or hot glue, or you could fold the bandanas into triangles and secure at the bottom corner. Easier still: use clothespins to attach the bandanas to the twine.
Instructions for making paper bandana bunting appear on Mary Janes and Galoshes' blog.
The birthday kid could harmonize with her décor if you put her in a cute bandana “pillowcase dress” like this one from EvianLizzie:
As guests arrive, turn them into their favorite farm animals, through the creative use of face paint, rubber animal noses and headbands or party hats decorated with paper ears and horns. This would make for great photo ops in the hay bale area.
For party favors, you could purchase toy farm animals and make lollipops using a farm-themed lollipop mold. Being a “boy mom,” I particularly like the idea of a tractor mold, which you can purchase from An Occasional Chocolate’s Web site. Instead of making lollipops, you could make jumbo crayons. Unwrap broken green and yellow crayons (John Deere colors, natch), put four pieces of each color into a microwave-safe paper cup, and microwave on high for four minutes or until all of the crayons have melted. (It’s okay to mix shades of green, and you could throw in some pink for a girl’s party. Swirl the melted crayon mixture with a toothpick until you get the desired swirl effect, and pour the melted crayon mixture into a tractor candy mold, filling the mold to the top. Once you have filled all of the molds on the tray, set the crayons by freezing them (still in the tray) for 30 minutes. Crayons should pop easily out of their molds.
Friend Melanie bundled the favors at her daughter LG’s pony party in brightly colored bandannas. Absolutely love this idea, and if you have an extra hay bale or two (and don’t mind picking up a huge mess post-party), you could make a pile of hay and hide the bandannas inside the “haystack,” thus turning the treat bag reveal into a participatory activity. Other activities could be as elaborate as a petting zoo or as simple as playing a “pin the tail on [fill in the blank]” game (featuring the birthday child’s favorite animal) along with a game of musical chairs played to farm-themed music.
It’s not a farm party without a stick horse. I adore these fabric horses from Lil’s Garden Shop on Etsy.
You could also make your own stick horse out of a sock: stuff the sock, fasten it over the end of a large dowel, and attach a yarn mane and button eyes. If you are only expecting a few party guests, you could make these for all of your guests as their takeaway, and not break the bank.
I would keep the kid food simple: pigs in a blanket, and chicken nuggets, broccoli and carrots served with Ranch dressing. You could also stencil the word “FEED” onto some simple brown paper bags (using an old-school stencil –you want these to look retro) and fill them with sandwiches, an apple and some chips – basically, a school lunch, but made theme-appropriate by the feed bag aspect.
Drinks could be served in a cute galvanized tin bucket decoupaged with animal-themed fabric. The “Animals All Around” model is from Plum Party and retails for $92.
Plum Party also sells green gingham takeout containers (6 for $14) that are quite adorable and would make nice take-homes for cupcakes.
The piggy cupcake toppers are from Made by Jackie (8 for $12); the barnyard cupcake toppers are from 62 Cards (10 for $8). You could ask either seller to make them without the sticks and glue them onto party blowers instead . . . .
Another cute dessert idea that is both kid- and adult-friendly: cotton candy “lollipops” displayed on an Astroturf square. These came from the brilliant mind of New York caterer Peter Callahan. I also adore his adult twist on pigs in a blanket. He cuts smoked salmon into pig shapes using a cookie cutter, then adds a wasabi caviar “blanket” to them and serves them lollipop style. I do love the idea of offering adult food selections separate and apart from the kid ones, and these little piggies would be so elegant served alongside gazpacho or other soup shooters.
Finally, on the subject of invitations - check out The Invitation Monkey's Web site for the cutest farm-themed invite featuring a chubby pig, horse, cow and sheep wearing pink and green party hats. The perfect tie-in to my pink and green bandanna motif!