Idea No.

11962

Fifties Party - 45 Record Invites

Award

Date

September 2005

From

Jody in Homer Glen, IL USA

Special Mention

Fun Theme Party

I had a combination 50's party for my husbands 50th birthday.  Having 50's show cars in the past I went with a car theme and also used the oldies that we listened to at most car shows.   

Invitations:  I traced a 45 onto black construction paper and cut out.  I used a circle cutter from my scrapbooking tools to cut out the center hole.  On my computer, I printed out the 45 label which was a cd label.  They are the perfect size.  Invitation read:  Ain't that a Shame (at the 12 o'clock position) Tom is turning 50! (At the 6 o'clock position).  The place was listed at the 3:00 position, and date at the 6:00 position.  The flip side of the 45 was just a blank cd label that had a colored background.   Included with the invitation was a letter telling the people that my husband knew there was a party, just not what was going on.  I had asked that they forgo the birthday card and write a birthday wish or memory on the backside of the 45.  I took a large piece of cardboard and covered it with white paper.  I printed off my computer; Tom's Billboard and colored the letters like Billboard.  This was left out with a roll of double stick tape for the guests to post their birthday 45.  Some people got creative and used song titles, some wrote a poem, some just wrote Happy Birthday and others wrote a memory down.   

I also asked that there be no gifts but if they felt that they must do something to please make a donation to Tom's favorite charity, St. Jude's Children's Hospital.  Not everyone followed that request but we did raise over $600 for St. Jude's. 

Party was outside and food was K14drive in style.  I rented a large grill and bought hamburgers and hotdogs from Gordon Food Service (GFS) (both were great!).  Guests helped themselves to a red plastic sandwich basket lined with red/white gingham print paper (www.instawares.com).  Tables were set for hamburger fixings or hot dog fixings.  I used plates and trays bought at Joann Fabrics this past summer.  They were on their dollar shelves and were a retro boomerang print in red and yellow.  Joann's also had these cute napkins with a diner girl waitress print on them that I had used.  Also boomerang cutting boards (used at the drink table).  Another table was set with big bowls of individual package of potato chips and 4oz plastic containers of coleslaw, potato salad, or baked beans for the guests to choose from. 

All this food was bought premade at GFS and then packaged into the 4oz plastic solo cups/lids that were also bought there.  We just kept them packaged in a cooler and then took out as needed. In the beginning I bought some basket sets from http://www.fauxfooddiner.com/stuff.htm These sets included red plastic baskets, liners, and a ketchup and mustard squirt bottle with the diner waitress printed on them.  I bought 4 sets of these and then supplemented with the ones bought at www.instawares.com  .  I bought clear plastic squirt bottles at Wal-Mart and GFS to put the mayo in.  (Fun idea afterthought, hire local high school students to be carhop waitresses and serve the guests.)  I had bought big mylar balloons on Ebay of a hamburger and hot dog.  Each balloon was tied to the table where the fixings were.  I had grilled the hamburgers but put hotdogs on a hotdog steamer.  

Decorations were very minimum.  Outside of the balloons on the food tables I had balloons at every post of the canopy that I had rented.  I also bought these helium quality balloons on ebay and rented a helium tank at our local party supply store, which was cheaper than buying one of those small tanks.  I had bought a couple of lots of 45's on Ebay that I strung on plastic lacing and hung along the inside of the canopy.  Tables were rectangle tables covered with white plastic tablecloths.  I printed from the Internet fads from the 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's and 2000's.  I cut them and wanted to collage them onto the tablecloths but time did not permit it.    They were used in a game later on.

Each table had a cardboard old car, bought at http://www.fauxfooddiner.com/stuff.htm  these cars were made for kid's meals but I stuffed the front and back end of the car with tissue paper and put in a clear votive candle holder and candle.  I added some decorative rocks around the base of the candle holder to help hold the car in place. I also had 24 of these cars filled with what we used to call penny candy bought from www.nostalgiccandy.com .  These candy filled cars were used for prizes.  I had hired a DJ/karaoke and he did a name that tune game, using oldies, and guess the fad year, from the fads that I had originally printed for the tables.  He also brought printed trivia sheets that the guests had fun filling out.  Everything from old TV shows, movies, songs and artists.  I am sure it can be found on the internet.  I hired the DJ from 6-10pm but we had so much fun that we paid extra to have him stay for another 2 hours!  I was surprised how many people got up and sang!  Even the DJ was surprised.  One big change in plans were the tables. 

Originally I wanted to have round tables and cover them to look like 45's.  Our rental company sells these nice fitted plastic covers made by Kwik Covers but they did not sell the black round ones.  I did email the company, they have a website, but they do not sell direct to the customer.  I am sure that the rental company would have bought a case for me as I needed all but 5 of them but did decide that I could get better use of the canopy space with the long tables.  I tried to make my life easier by renting everything and paying them to set up and take down.  Food was great from GFS.  Oh, I did order printed M & M's from their website.  I had printed Tom is 50 and Ain't it a Shame on the M & M's.  We highlighted the M & M's by putting them on top of a small brownie square or in the center of the pretzel/kisses treats.  I could not have done all of this without the help of my sisters, brother, and their husbands/wife.  They helped with the grilling, making sure the fixings were always in order and the tables were cleared along with the setup the day before.

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