Friday, August 17, 2012

Wild About You…birthday dinner party: how to


Here’s the scenario:

Five days before your oldest child is heading back to college, your favorite sweetie-pie-in-the-whole-world, (alias your hubby) decides he wants to celebrate his fiftieth birthday

a.  in two days.

b. at the same time the family celebrates Patrick and Uncle John’s birthday.

c. so that the whole family can be together (i.e… Patrick there too).

d.  all of the above (correct answer)

That’s right. This past Tuesday, I began planning a family birthday dinner for Thursday night, but there was one caveat. It had to feel extra festive and special because Mr. Moss was celebrating his big 5-0 a tad early. So Patrick could be there.


In case you don’t realize, party planners show their love by how much they obsess about little party details, the first of which is always the party theme and colors.

So after a quick trip to Michael’s Crafts Store for some inspiration, I decided on a ‘Wild About You’ party theme; I already had some things that would work, plus---the colors were more masculine for the three birthday guys.

The sign above was at the front entrance. When you’re doing a safari theme you can be sloppy with signs. Just say you’re going for that ‘primitive’ look.

These are some things I gathered:

  • old burlap (from past Halloweens)
  • tropical fabric (from past beach party)
  • white tablecloth (a standard staple)
  • wicker placemats (used HERE)
  • green and white balloons
  • animal print cardstock (mixed with some orange and green I had)
  • poster board (for sign)
  • animal figurines for cake and place cards (Wal-mart)
  • bamboo torches (Wal-mart) on clearance
  • miniature green plants


Here’s a shot in the bright sunlight. I laid the burlap down the center and draped the tropical fabric on top. This was the main table, we needed two and I used a green tablecloth on the other one.


I was nervous about the lightweight bamboo torches, so I added rocks for stability. What do you think of the colors?


So. Can you see Mr. Soccer Ball lurking in the background? He also got into THIS POST too. Honestly? I think he’s a ghost whose sole purpose is to drive me insane. Now I just accept it. Wherever it is. Even though my son traded soccer for Crew and no longer plays, this ball will never leave us alone.


This is how I made my safari place cards…

I cut pieces of plain cardstock, and folded them over to make my base place cards. Next, I cut green strips and glued the names on each one, cutting the edges to look like grass. I glued these onto animal print paper and attached them to the plain cards. For a touch of whimsy, I hot glued little frogs on each one.


Here’s a close up of the place card. You can also see the patterned napkins I got for $2.99 at Tuesday Morning. They added some nice texture to the plain white plates.


But I love these little ol’ place cards.


Can’t explain it. Must be the poison frogs.


Here’s a helpful tip. If you’re at Wal-mart buying bamboo torches on the clearance table, please make sure they have wicks. Seriously. Before you make those happy-i-can’t-believe-it noises, ask yourself why they might be so cheap. We had to add our own wicks (not recommended) and good thing I got a quick photo before they blew out forever. Oh well, it was a great idea.

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These were wicker place mats I originally bought at Pier One. I think they work well with a safari tablescape.


I made a banner and used the scraps for my place cards.


I used rough twine and made a “X” from one wall to the other. Then I tied balloons down from the twine. I didn’t even bother trimming them, just let the twine dangle. Primitive-looking, right?

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Little animal figurines go on top the simple cake.


I put small green plants down the center of the table.


Who says balloons can’t look elegant? I grabbed my camera after dinner and took this shot.


What do you think?  I hope I gave you a few ideas for your own version of a “Wild About You” dinner party. The best part of the night was that Mr. Moss loved it all. He even wore his “birthday boy” ribbon for me. Now that’s love.

Let me know if you can use any of these ideas. I’d love to see your photos!

And now, I’m off to help Patrick organize and get ready to leave. Can it really be true?

Summer vacation has come to an end…

Thanks for stopping by, blessings to you all.


I’m linking up:



Ladies Holiday said...

I am so super impressed! Three people, five days to plan and it looks outstanding! I love this theme and all your details! Well done Leslie and thanks for linking up to Photo Friday!!!
Oh and Happy BD to all those fellas!

Audrey said...

Great look ... neat ideas ... well done.
Audrey Z.

Tea in Texas said...

Wonderful party! The wild theme is great for a 50th birthday and glad everyone shared the family birthdays. You are a quick party planner!

Thanks, Pam

Abi's Blog said...

I like it!

Leanne said...

What a fun fun dinner party!

erinstwo said...

That is one amazing party! Love all the details - I'm sure this will be all over pinterest! Visiting from Kelly's Korner.

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