When Jill’s daughter requested a Hunger Games Party for her 10th birthday, she was determined to create something that both played up the woodsy/nature vibe of “District 12” and that was also appropriate for a 10 year old and her guests. SO, she dreamed up this fabulous “Into the Woods” Nature Inspired Party, focusing on the forest as inspiration. From modern animal silhouettes and crafty signs to a super creative woodland inspired buffet, I’m seriously loving everything about this modern-meets-rustic party!
PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:
- Birch slice bunting, wood grain platters & painted woodland animals
- Contemporary stag and antler backdrop on a cool wood grain fabric
- Almond “Pine Cones”, tomato “Toadstools”, “Field Greens” and other fun food!
- Fun activities like bird watching, pine cone crafting, and swimming in the “pond”
- Wood grain cupcake wrappers, Owl pops, Grizzly Bear cookies & more tasty treats!
PARTY DETAILS, as told by Jill…
THEME & INSPIRATION
I absolutely love gathering people to celebrate special occasion, and I just love making my kids feel incredibly special on their birthdays. Each of my children pick out their birthday party theme. This year, my daughter, Olivia was turning 10 and really wanted a Hunger Games themed party because she loved the trilogy so much. Because I thought the theme might be a little too heavy and because I didn’t want the theme to be so literal, we decided on a modern, into the woods themed party. Instead of opting for the typical, muted colors found in nature, I thought choosing bold colors would be a unique way to re-interpret all things woodsy. The color palette, curry and navy, was inspired by a great biased plaid fabric I found. I thought the colors were bold and fresh and would lend themselves to a modern, woodsy theme. I just love rustic touches mixed with modern elements, so I combined touches of nature, such as birch slices, wood grain, pinecones and woodland animals with more modern elements, such as bold fonts, white stags’ heads and antlers, and graphic painted woodsy themed backgrounds.
I made the invitations using a combination of fonts, backed them with curry paper and tied a hand stamped deer head on a birch slice with navy and white baker’s twine. Party guests were invited “Into the Woods” and were told to bring towels and suits for pond swimming (our pool). For the rsvp wording, guests were asked to “be a deer and let us know if they can join us.”
For the front entry, I painted an arrow sign with the curry color and used the same bold font to spell out “Woods.” For the front door, I painted a grape vine wreath curry and hung painted pinecones from it with strips of fabric. The door was flanked by two white porcelain deer that usually come out around Christmas and some plants with curry colored blooms.
For the dessert table backboard, I painted a large piece of plywood with a navy woodgrain effect I saw on the Martha Stewart website. It was simple to do and was a fun family project. I covered a large letter O that hangs in Olivia’s room with the plaid fabric and mounted it to the backboard. Inside the letter O, I attached a white deer head that usually hangs in my kitchen, and on the sides I hung additional smaller, deer antlers that also hang in Olivia’s room. All said, the backboard cost me about $40.00.
I love to bake, so I decided to make all the baked items, except the cookies. Guests helped themselves to smore cupcakes, acorns (mini-nilla wafers, nutella, and chocolate chips and hershey kisses), wild berry cobbler, candied apples (with organic twigs for handles), white chocolate owl pops, grizzly bear cookies, maple cookies, blue moons (blue gumballs), freshwater trout (blue gummy fish), mushrooms (chocolate mushrooms) and birthday cake piped to mimic woodgrain. I added natural elements with a wood “Olivia is 10” banner and custom wooden spoons. For the cupcake toppers, I hand stamped a deer onto small wood slices and then attached them to wooden sticks with hot glue.
For the main food table, the “Grazing Station” I used an old, wooden antique sink I own and filled it with white and yellow colored plants that I picked up from Lowe’s. I chose plants that looked natural and unkept as I wanted the arrangement to look nature inspired. Guests were served woodsy themed food, such as tree slices (pinwheel sandwiches), bark (chicken tenders), field greens (blue cheese, strawberries, and pecan salad), toadstools (feta cheese with cherry tomato tops), pinecones (cheeseballs formed into pinecone shapes, topped with almonds and garnished with rosemary), trail mix, wood chips (potato chips), twigs (pretzels), and gathered berries. I made the “Grazing Station” banner by using wood slices (from pre fallen trees). I printed out the words on sticker paper, cut them out and affixed them to the wood slices. I used a staple gun and twine to make the banner.
At the party the kids had a great time swimming in the “pond”, making a craft of pinecone owls, and taking pictures in the photo booth. I think the photo booth was the biggest hit of the party. I made a backdrop by painting a a navy birch tree scene I found on the fabulous blog, Censational Girl. I bought inexpensive wood frames and painted them navy, curry and white. In addition, I got some silly glasses and props at the Dollar Store and set them out with a camera. Lots of silly pictures were taken.
For a focal point behind our pool, I bought large basswood slices and printed out Olivia’s name in the same font used for the invitations on sticker paper and used the same technique as for the “Grazing Station” banner. On each side of the banner, I placed 3 36 inch white balloons. The visual appeal was great and really did not cost very much money.
For favors, I made small journals, “Field Guides”, for all of the guests using curry colored card stock for the cover and plain white paper for the inserts. I attached a twig pencil I found on Ebay with picture mounting tape and tied them with same baking twine that I used for the invites. The journals were a bit labor intensive, but I loved sending the guests on their way with something homemade and from the heart.
- Wooden Cake Topper: Baumbirdy
- Wooden Utensils: TIEtheKNOT
- Deer head stamp: extase
- Vinyl deer head decals on drink tub: Indigo Chic Creations
- Grizzly bear sugar cookies: Sugar Rush Cookies
- Cupcake wrappers, favor tags, round deer circles used on drink cups: Honeycomb Events
- Organic twigs for candied apples: brizel4TheAnimals
- Wood slices, birch buckets: save-on-crafts.com