Every good party starts with an invitation. I kinda lamed out on these and just went store bought. I found these adorable little invites at Target - they came with treasure box thank you cards as well. We have a small, first-world problem: Thayer has more toys then we know what to do with and we are trying to raise our kids not to be materialistic. On the other hand we have a huge, loving, giving family. We wanted to find a kind way to ask people not to give gifts. I knew that just asking for no gifts would not work, people would want to bring something. We have been working for a couple of years on converting an old shed into a playhouse for the boys. Given all of this I wrote, "This Captain's treasure chest is overflowing. What he really wants for his birthday is a playhouse. We are asking that in lieu of a gift, you decorate the tile enclosed so that we can use it as we build the playhouse. Feel free to decorate your tile however you want - but make sure to sign it." And then with every invitation we sent out a plain white tile from Lowes. It did make sending the invitations a bit pricey, but I figure this will be made up by the lack of dealing with a plethora of plastic Imaginex toys.
My five-year-old wanted a pirate party. He loves pirates, so this came as no surprise and made decorations really easy. We already have a toy room full of pirate stuff. Perfect.
We chose black, red and white for the colors. I mostly used Target for supplies. We were at a bouncy house this year, so the decorations were limited, but we still did our best.
My mother-in-law had black tubs. We filled them with "Pirate Punch" - chocolate milk, water, and sparkling soda. We had "Pirate Swords" - Twizzlers.
We had "Polly's Crackers" - crackers and cheese and "Chocolate Sea Scrolls" - cookies.
"Fish and Chips" - Ruffles and fishy crackers.
We had "Shark Bait" - Swedish Fish and "Cannon Balls" - olives.
We had Pirate's Booty and "Pirates Loot" - fruit.
We decorated the main kids table with one of the many pirate ships we own, treasure that Thayer has collected, maps and eye patches.
The table also had little tattoo stations, so kids could put on tattoos while they waited for cake, etc.
The loot bags had the following: gold, chocolate coins, eye patches, and tattoos my sign read: "Arrrghhh!!! Get your loot me mateys." My mother-in-law made cupcakes and used a cupcake stand that looked like a pirate ship with blue "water" cupcakes all along the bottom.
We took some of our dress up clothes and used those for table decorations too. Finally, we had plates and napkins from Target.
My dad made the awesome cannon that decorated the gift table. Check out all of the awesome tiles that people made. We still did get some gifts, but most people respected our wishes and gave a tile instead. I had to photograph some of them, because they turned out so amazing and diverse. I sprayed them all with an extra coat of sealant when I got home just to make sure and hopefully soon the playhouse will be at a point where they can be put up.