2nd Birthday Party :: Trash Theme

When coming up with a theme for our son Brooks’ 2nd birthday, we didn’t have to look much further than the curb on trash day. This boy was OBSESSED with trash. Not just trash trucks. Trash. So instead of forcing another theme down his itty bitty throat, we decided to get trashed and just go with it!Inspired heavily by Pink Peppermint Paper’s party, I designed invites using a recycling truck from iStockPhoto and added “BBL Waste Management” to it. The license plate said “TWO.” We mailed them in brown paper lunch sacks and stuffed them with torn up newspaper. The invites themselves were backed with newspaper as well. Wording:
We’re talking trash for Brooks’ 2nd birthday!
So dump everything and head over to our collection site for a stinking fun time, games and junk food….
at our dump….
litter us know if you can make it… Over the course of a couple months, I – like Brooks – became obsessed with trash. I would get excited if I found a nice water bottle in the street or a tin can near a dumpster. We collected loads of recyclables, bubble wrap, boxes, and newspaper, punched holes through them and strung them up with fishing line on our mantle and from the overhang over our porch.We said we were serving junk food. And yep. It was juuuuuunk! There was not one healthy thing for a human to consume at the party but I had to keep with the theme. So we broke out the Oreo’s, Cheez-it’s, licorice, pigs in a blanket, and yes… even Cheese Whiz! Yuck! We served them in foil pie tins or mini trash cans on a really expensive newspaper tablecloth. I swear, this was the cheapest party we ever had! No cost decorations! Awesome. (Excuse the next couple pics – Camera went on the fritz!)In the center of the table we ‘grew’ trash flowers which were made out of coca-cola boxes on sticks with a smashed soda can as the center. The best thing about using trash as decor was that we just kept the beer & water boxes out to use as juice storage for the kids. From the rafters above the table we hung more trash from fishing line.I made patches (using iron-on transfer paper) for our family of trash collectors and sewed them onto our ‘uniforms.’ Brooks’ jumpsuit was from an Army surplus website. Brett had his from his days in the Navy. And I lucked out because onesies for ladies happened to be di moda at the time. I saw that sucker in a surf shop and I honestly think that’s why we finally went with this theme. I could picture myself as a trash girl and the boys all came along for the ride.When we were all dressed up and ready for the party to start, I noticed that we were missing something. Dirt… Grime.. Grease! Soooo… as a crazy woman might do, I ran my fingers over our car’s tires and covered all of our faces in tire grease. Too much, you think? Naaaah. It really brought out our eyes.We played the best party game EVER. Seriously. I had no idea what a hit this would be. We got a big galvanized trash can, gave each kid a trash picker upper (or kitchen tongs for the smaller kiddos) and dumped crumpled up newspaper, boxes, and bottles all over our backyard. This game literally did not end until Brooks went to sleep. They played in trash the whole day.I found these trash picker-uppers on some random shop online (sorry… can’t remember which!) It was a bit tough to find inexpensive ones but tenacity paid off. I think they were about $1.50 a piece as opposed to $8-$10 everywhere else I looked.One big bomb of an idea? The art center. I guess 2 year olds just aren’t into sitting still and coloring silently. Silly me. Oh well. We still have about 300 of these coloring sheets in case your kiddo is also named Brooks and has BBL initials. I’ll be happy to send them your way!For favors, each kid got to take their trash gripper home along with a bean sprout in a peat pot (which we grew about a week earlier)…… and a trash truck cookie that my mom made. (She’s insane in this department btw. Expect some posts on her cookies one day soon!)Would you like some water after all that junk food?Oh but wait! There’s mooooooore junk to consume! The cake! So as you’ll see as this blog develops, I am not big in the food department. The menu is usually fast, easy, and is even sometimes edible. It’s just not my forte. I accept that as my weakness and feel that if I can dazzle you with a fun party, you might not pay attention to the rumblings in your tummy. (Honestly… who serves Cheez Whiz to two-year-olds? Call social services on me now!) For the next round of junk, I present to you Brooks’ cake…Super simple but it does the trick. In the dump truck there was cut up cake, mixed with pudding and Oreo crumbles (Suuuuuuuper healthy!) And for the rest of the kidlets? Dirt cupcakes! Watch out for worms!I just turned big boxes (thank you diapers.com!) upside down and put the cupcakes on top. That with styrofoam peanuts, bubble wrap and more newspaper tablecloths… voila! A totally trash-tastic table.Oops! We have some really wiggly pieces of trash here! Who threw those guys away?Signing off now with some very trashy guests. My mom who donned a trash bag for the occasion (who knew trash bags could be so glam!), my brother-in-law who work a trash bag kilt, my niece who had a trashy ribbon..  and my Uncle Dave. Well… he thought it was a different kind of trash party (you can’t really see the spider web tattoos on his neck, his pony tail, or that his jorts – jean-shorts – are longer in the front than they are in the back.) You get the idea. Go Dave!I will say that there was much more assembling and gathering and time spent on this party than most other ones I throw but as far as costs? Trash is cheap! And we like us some cheap trash around here!I think this boy spent the next month telling us all about his trash party. Trash… you know? The stuff dreams are made of.
To purchase printable files to recreate this party, visit my Etsy shop here.


36 thoughts on “2nd Birthday Party :: Trash Theme

  1. Pingback: trash : Party Perfect

  2. This is one of the most clever ideas EVA!!
    I love everything about it…but the trash pick up game is my favorite. My 4 and 2 year olds would LOVE IT!!

    Great job!

  3. I *heart* this more than words can say. Amazing, creative, love-filled work, mama! And props to you for going with what your son loves, even if it’s trash. I share your party weakness (the menu,) and can confidently say that anyone who notices, doesn’t matter. The cool kids (and grown-ups) are too busy admiring everything else and having fun.

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    • Of COURSE! Thanks for the love! Love your blog as well! So many great ideas for boys! (I’m the only lady in this house too!)

  5. Pingback: trash party | Hip Hip Hooray!

  6. What a fun mom you must be! I love all the creative things you did with garbage, and the attention to detail. Your cake was a great idea.

  7. Pingback: Trash themed party – yes, trash! « Li'l Magoolie

  8. I love the invitations. Did you cut them out yourself? I have been searching for a die cut trash truck invitation and yours looks awesome.

  9. THIS. IS. AWESOME. What a fun party!!! Totally missed this, but am OH SO GLAD I found it. I just think boys’ parties are WAY cooler than girls’, but I might be biased 🙂

  10. First I just want to say GREAT job on your creativity on using recycled material and it looked like it was really fun.What I was interested in is where you bought the miniature metal garbage can.Im actually doing a sesame street theme for my sons birthday party and I wanted to buy a couple of cans for decor.Can you help me out??


  12. I’m sold! I have been looking and looking for a ‘classy’ ‘trashy’ theme for my son’s 2nd birthday. Doing a garbage truck theme 🙂 Can’t wait to get your etsy listing… need to finalize some party details, first. I was hoping to mail a ‘badge’ like the ones your family is wearing in the invites, too, for all the kids with their names. Would it be possible to do a custom etsy listing for that, too? Also – where did you get the plastic grabbers?!? They’re so pricey everywhere I see them!

    • Hi Nicky…
      Yes – I can help with the badges as a printable… you’d have to print/iron/sew. Just convo me through Etsy when you place your order. I lucked out on the plastic grabbers and found them online for a steal. Have not been able to find them that cheap again. I’d check ebay and your dollar stores. If you can’t find them, I would use kitchen tongs (which actually work best with little hands!)
      Thanks so much!!

      • Great, thanks Annika!!

        I was thinking that the ‘badge’ could just be printed on label paper so that it’s a sticker. And then maybe make ‘I got trashed at XX’s party’ stickers for their favor pails?! My mind is swirling with ideas!! I’ll let them stew and then convo you through Etsy when I’m ready. Thanks!!

  13. I adore this idea and just had to recreate it, so we did today for my 3-year-old son. Thanks for the inspiration! For our games we also gathered big boxes that we let the kids build with and knock down. We had filled the boxes with crumpled newspaper that we let them empty only to find their grabbers. I also made rubberband balls and spinning tops out of old CDs, bottle tops, and a marble for the kids to play with. Oh, and I let them make art out of scrap paper and cereal boxes. So many fun things to do with this theme. I wish we would have had time and money to get the galvanized cans and the jumpsuits—they were a great touch!

  14. Pingback: Earth Day Fun - Cardboard And Trash Parties Seattle Mamas

  15. Absolutely brilliant! Thanks so much for this – my little one will soon be 4 & is also obsessed with all things rubbish/recycling! Will be doing my best to recreate your party – & hoping I can get hold of those rubbish grabbers for cheap in the UK!!! Thank you!

  16. Pingback: Garbage Truck Themed Birthday Party | Rolling Sin...Sweets After Dark

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