The question I got most at the party was “Where did you get all these license plates?” I was glad to admit that I wasn’t crazy enough to go hunting for them just for the party (though I probably would have if I didn’t already own them, but no one needs to know that!) I actually started collecting them in high school and by the beginning of college I had all 50 states plus a few more to spare. They decorated every dorm/apartment I lived in throughout my college/early post-college years and have since been retiring in a nice little cardboard diaper box. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with them for the party but once I saw them again, I knew they’d become a photobooth backdrop.Using rope, I just wove them together, top to bottom and tied them to a horizontal rope up top. The metal in the plates gripped on to the rope on it’s own, so I only had to use tape on the back of a couple of them.The pickle truck started out as a part of the area but soon got taken for some spins around the party. I actually was pretty bad at remembering to take photos of everyone before they left but you’ll get the idea with these pics, I’m sure!The reflective nature of the plates didn’t make for the best pictures but it was still a pretty nice backdrop for a party about wheeled vehicles.What cute little party guests!
The most important thing was that this kid was in Heaven……even if it was hard to get him to take a photo without a cake pop in his grill!Funny little man.
So that’s the booth! Coming up tomorrow – games & how the party got hopping! Stay with me!
Part One — The Decorations. I honestly, truly thought that for this party I was going to keep things simple, but the truth is that Simple & I aren’t good bed buddies. What we got instead was a full-on explosion of street signs, book pennants, box buildings, and vinyl roads. My brain just wouldn’t quiet down and I knew that if I didn’t “just do it” I would be bummed. So, here goes. Here’s a big fat “Cars & Trucks & Things That Go” KABOOM blast for you.Come on in and let’s get motoring. I mentioned before that I used the pages from about 5 books for this party which left me with the covers. I hung one book shell on the door as a welcome sign but covered Richard Scarry’s name with Wiley’s. Not sure if anyone even noticed that but I’ve realized that so many of these details are things that I do just because it makes me happy even if no one sees. Oh the things I spend my time on.Upon entering, guests were greeted with a license plate wall (more on that later in the week)……a pickle truck made from a box (Wiley’s favorite car in the book), and a vinyl ‘road’ leading you down the hallway and to the party.I bought an irregular 25 yard roll of vinyl on sale from US Cutter and added yellow duct tape to make a proper road. (I am selling it right now in my Etsy shop. *UPDATE* The road has been sold!) It turned out super rad, though I have to admit I totally felt like Dexter while preparing this thing. There’s something a little creepy about essentially tarping your living room. But once the yellow lines were in I felt better about the whole thing.We took all the furniture out of our living room so we could make a circular road for the kids to play on. We got out all of our big trucks, set up street signs, got our box city up and let the kids go bananas.The box city was based on buildings in the Richard Scarry Puzzletown toy that my brother, sister, and I grew up playing with. The real toy “town” decorated the tables. It’s truly the most creative toy ever that even though my parents still have the one we grew up with, we actually scoured eBay last year for all the packs to give my older son as his 3rd birthday gift. They love it just as much as I did.But back to the box buildings. I wanted to stay true to Scarry’s line-drawn style and since I’m not a perfectionist anyway, I kept things super loose by hand drawing the details and purposely not paying attention to keeping things super straight.Town Hall was in one corner……the barn in the other. (My mom made the barn sign which is why it looks better than everything else!) I used makedo bits to make working hinges on the doors. Pretty cool gear for box cities and box cars if you ask me!Using book pages (many of which were drawn on by previous owners and/or upside down… again – I’m no perfectionist!) and seam-binding, I sewed about what seemed like 20 miles worth of pennant banners and strung them throughout the house. (I am also selling these right here in my Etsy shop.) They tied the book into the party a little more and were so bright and colorful they just made me happy.Can you see some of the black sharpie on these pages? I’m glad that these essentially “ruined” books got another shot at life. (If you buy these, please note that they are NOT perfect but they look great all strung up together! Just want to manage expectations here!)I also used book pages to make the birthday boy’s banner. I just printed directly onto the page, cut it out, and sewed it up. This technique was also used for “the loo,” the bag room……and above the food table.Speaking of the loo……Goldbug (who is a big fixture in the book) turned up in there to say “Hi!” My mom had a license plate purse that we turned into a towel holder. Don’t neglect the bathroom, peeps! Now that I mention Goldbug, he seemed to turn up just about everywhere at the party! In the book, he is hidden on every page and my boys know exactly where he is on each one. Using that philosophy, I hid him all over the house. First he hid by the baseboards.Next, he turned up on a mirror.Then he hid behind the Yield sign on the mantle.And finally he popped his cute little face through the window in Town Hall.
Funny little bug. The mantle was decked out with a Dip sign (that my husband stole for me in high school because for some reason that’s what I wanted for Valentine’s Day. See? Even then I was off my rocker.) and a Yield sign that I think someone gave to me at some point because we just found it in our garage when I fished out the Dip sign. The license plates are part of a larger collection that I will explain later this week. I got a Lowly Worm piñata from Birthday Express and used it as mantle decor instead of hanging it. (More on this later in the week as well.) We also found a Lowly Worm stuffed animal that was on sale around Christmas so I snagged him up. My mom made ALL of the cool rosette things you’ve seen throughout the party. I love her perfect touches. We moved our couch and coffee table outside for the younger kids to play on and it worked out perfectly. We also set up the ‘town’ on the table outside so kids could gobble up their pizza while playing. And luckily for us, it didn’t rain – though it did the next morning! The party gods had my back that day!For favors, we sent each kiddo home with 10 personalized bookplates.I bought these cool business card sized clear boxes from Clear Bags. They were just what I had envisioned and I love when what’s in your mind actually was in someone else’s mind at one point too. Thank you Clear Bags! My mom has this fabulous display dealio that we’ve used for everything from cake pops to glitter animals and it was 100% perfect for displaying these. These bookplates were printed on label paper so that they can be placed into the inside cover of books, so the back of the label was not pretty. Therefore, I put a little thank you note from Wiley in on the opposite side of the labels so it would be cute from all angles.The yellow pattern is supposed to mimic the “Golden Book” spine of the book itself. I’m not sure if the kids were excited about these favors or not – I’m sure they were a little underwhelmed and would have probably preferred a bag full of candy and a plastic yo-yo (I know I would have as a kid!) However, I know now that I’m a mom how much funky little junk can kids accumulate from God knows where so I didn’t want to add to the junk piles in anyone else’s house. If one person actually used these, I will feel pretty good about it.I printed on a page of the book again to make a pennant flag. “Find yours!” Now get out of here! More posts to come on food, games, and the photobooth set-up the rest of this week! I hope you’ll keep coming back for more! Have the best day.
You’re invited! I’m sure most everyone reading this blog grew up with Richard Scarry books. I know I did. But I had no idea how seriously OBSESSED boys can be with Scarry’s “Cars and Trucks and Things That Go” book until I had my rugrats. (If you have a boy and you don’t yet have this book, seriously go out right now, spend the $9 and get it!) My husband apparently would ONLY read this book with his mom each night as a kid so I guess it’s in the genes, but both of my sons are seriously beyond the point of obsession and are quite possibly addicted to this book. It’s seriously awesome.My littlest guy is the most obsessed one in the bunch so there was no other theme choice when planning his birthday party. He literally talks about ‘pickle trucks’ at least 14 times a day. I know that Richard Scarry is having a bit of a resurgence – there’s “Busytown Mysteries” on TV and games all over the place lately – but I really wanted to keep the focus on this book specifically since it’s my wee one’s first love. I scanned in the both the front and back of the book itself and altered the wording, keeping the font choice the same as the book. Simple as that.On the back of the book where there is normally a blurb about Richard Scarry, I chose to explain the reason we threw our little man this party.I changed the bar code to his initials WSL and his birthday 01.20.10. I’m such a dork at heart.I bought about 5 used “Cars & Trucks…” books online for pennies and cut them up to use as envelopes (as well as throughout the party which you’ll see more of this week.) Every invitee had a different page wrapped around their invite. And that’s that!
So… you’re invited to come check out this party this week! Hop in that pencil car of yours and come on along!