How are you?
I thought I would come to you with something a little bit fun - Some ideas if you have been considering and pondering having a party with no ideas for a theme. So for my Fiances birthday we decided to do an adult cowboy/cowgirl, Wild West themed party! So to begin with it sounds a little bit like it could turn into a child's party at any moment. But ill show you how we made it a true adults birthday party. Courtesy of some Cracking DIY!
It was a really amazing evening, memories were made, guests where impressed, and we had a beautiful bank holiday weekend heatwave, with temperatures of 20+ degrees C, which really made it a "thumpin' good'un even if I do say so me'self."
Now of course it depends how into it you want to go, do you make props for your parties? or hope the people who come make so much of an effort that it becomes the backdrop for the rest of it? Personally I LOOOOOVE to go all out and make props and buy in a few things here and there to make the parties we hold really ones to remember.
And of course I L.O.V.E fancy dress parties too! something about them just gets people talking! no matter who you have coming if your dressed in fancy dress even the shyest person gets to be a character. It just gives people confidence! (along with the bloodstream of alcoholic beverages lol!)
So first stop was to make a Bar!
(I swear I don't know how many forms of a "BAR" we have made in our lifetime of adult parties haha!)
But every adult party has to have a designated 'drink mixing' zone. Because its nice a simple that way for one main reason.
Guests are always told to bring their alcohol and some form of food - be it BBQ food for the BBQ, snacks, Etc. Of course we provide a basic set of alcohol and food but if you get everyone to bring something they like, you're for sure going to cater for everyone VOILA. Step one complete. Party catering made simple! And the bar makes this even simpler because, everyone has contributed their fav' bottle to the bar, therefore they are allowed to drink whatever they want from the bar. No one has to wander if they are drinking someone elses bottle of gin, or wine, or cola. Because its a free game. Some parties we have had a designated 'bartender' Manning the bar, switching out each hour, which is amazing for the bigger parties. It really polishes the vibes off for say - a cocktail party. But for our wild western themed event, we made the bar so people could 'bartend' themselves. And f we happened to snap a picture of them whilst they where making thier favourite drink? They looked like they belonged in a wild west saloon! =D
So the primary base for the bar was a wooden pallet. From there i cut off around 100mm from one edge to create the right height for the bar. and stood it on its side.
(Now the best thing about pallets is they are super strong and are fabulously easy to persuade into an upright position whilst youre working on them.)
So once it was upright I had some 2x4" posts that I coach screwed onto the sides to create the long uprights to hold the sign across the top. Cut to the same length.
For across the top I used some reclaimed trellis that happened to be in this beautiful curved shape, which was screwed onto the uprights to create the main shape of the bar.
From there the main thing to find was the bar top. So we have this piece of 18mm MDF that we had cut previously into a pretty shape for the 1950's 'Grease' Car we made a couple of years ago. So with a few bits of minimal cutting i could fit this as the bar top. I left that loose until nearer party day because i didn't want the MDF to blow in our beautiful UK weather. So ill come back to the bar top later. What we needed was something nice and sturdy to support the structure of the bar top, because the pallet wasn't very wide underneath, althought he 18mm MDF bar top may have been structulally able to support, I one for making things stornger rather than weaker haha!
So for the bar tops base/structure. I used another piece of 2x4" timber cut to length and screwed that to ther front of the pallet right at the top - extending the top of the pallet - more surface area. Then to the front of that i found this rounded 'log' post, which i 45 degreed angles the ends and screwed straight onto the front of the 2x4" timber from before. This really gave a fabulous finish to the front of the bar as it was a very visible part!.
Thats all the main structural parts of the bar itself, youll see in the photo, behind we have a rustic style shed which really was a fantastic complimentry backdrop, (excuse the mess this is after party i forgot to take photos before >.<) but it also gave us something firm to attach the Pallet-Bar to. For this I used mostly 2x2" timber and roofing baton timber. Creating a strut across the top (top left of bar you can see in Left photo), from behind the trellis to the shed roof and then one from the bottom right of the pallet going back fixing to the side of the shed, finally a piece of the 2x2" creating a right angle triangle from the right hand upright down to the bottom right brace, (which you can see slighty in the left picture) Triangles are your friend here!
The finishing touches where a cut to fit a piece of hardboard which I brown 'wood'-washed over and painted with the words
"Waterin Hole" this was tacked on the day before the party. Then it was just a few shelves built in behind to hold the alcohol bottles and fizzybottles.
To decorate the bar, we had an old horseshoe hanging around, plus we had a bottle opener in the shape of a bottle and these cute little baskets. before and after to the left. So all 3 of these came from a Pound shop.
The Bottle opener was a garish right blue colour so removed the hardware, painted a green bottle colour and replace hardware then screwed to one of the bar uprights, and the wooden boxes where a light natural wood colour so I used a very watered down acrylic paint wash to darken them down, adding both dark and light browns, a touch of green with a tiny bit of black brushed on to create better dimension. The plan was to use these with jars in for snack but the snacks got eaten quicker than expected XD.
And thats the bar done!
I Also wanted a barrel somewhere on scene so i bought this planter from the DIY store I part time in it was only £2.20! And decided to paint it too look more barrel like =D Masking tape was my friend, The process below. Plus I can re purpose this and use it for this season veggies <3
Now moving onto seating, I was worried because i didn't want to start getting the deck chairs out and ruining this western vibe we had going on, thankfully hope came in the form of a rustic bench. This is a large piece of reclaimed hardwood, that's been buried creating a raised bed - plant border for most of its life but recently been dug up. Thankfully it didn't have too much mud attached and a quick brush brought it into the seating game. Amazingly this bench timber fitted between a gap in the pallet, so we used that for support one end, and in the middle and the other end we used some heavy concrete decorative blocks. which, with a stroke of luck just happened to be the same height as the gap in the pallet! =D
For more seating I managed to buy 5 straw bales from a local supplier, they where only £2.99 each! (how amazing is that!) and I have a neighbour who owns horses who has now taken them off my hands and recycled them into horse bedding. Which is fab!The straw bales REEEEALLY brought together the whole vibe of the place. They where so out of place in the garden that I'm pretty sure they could have created the theme themselves! it was a great novelty for people to be sat up on the stacked hay bales, and was probably one of the biggest WOW factors for the least amount of effort.
Buddy LOVED the straw bales, they smell like so many things!, infact when we first brought the in we told him he was alowed to jump up on them and he was all over them sniffing everywhere =D he can jump up onto two straw bales in height! we where impressed since he has such short legs =P
(this is him curled up at the end of the evening once we had the fire out)
Behind the straw bales we had some of that bamboo screening, which really finished off the area, (but fell down mid party pahahah!) But it worked well for especially for photos. I always believe the background in photos can make or break them and i love getting a load of photos of everyone at a party because me memories not great at the best of times!
So the last thing I have photos of is the jail. This was an ingenious 20 minutes spent with my father. We where on a heavuy time constraint because at the time we where supposed to be heading out to my grandmothers birthday meal. Instead we pushed our luck and created a jail...
So to make this 'Jail'
which was just essentially an old shed door that was kicking around the garden.
Now by this point I'm sure you are wondering where the hell I get all these
random building materials from and i can answer that. Landscape gardening. My father owns his own business so naturally we end up with lots of old timber old sheds, old fence panels. Which for this happened to be amazingly helpful. And in general for outdoorsy DIY its fabulous. But at the same time I'm pretty sure my parents are hoarders and there's a whole section of the garden dedicated to "things that may be useful at some point in life"... which most of all get forgotten until they get uncovered at some point several years later...pahaha!
So... Jail door. Cut out hole in door with jigsaw cutter (doesnt' have to be neat we went for cartoony). Find tube like items - drain rods. Find tube clips. Attached tube clips around new 'window'
> pop in drain rods.
> Add new hinges.
> Hang door to existing post.
> Finish 'window' with the timber board from previous cut out to make 'windowsill'. and It was done! Seriously it was so quick and of course the drain rods where not damaged - just clipped on so we can take them back off easily. So that's most of all that was made, of course we had the BBQ out but that was tucked far away from the straw bales (FIRE HAZARD)
And we had galvanised pails and buckets full of water ready for any mess up and fires! Then in the evening we had the Log burner out and all sat around that with a little drinking game - which was brilliant fun because there wasn't much drinking and lots of exercise things to land on like: dance! Do 10 press ups! do 10 squats! so it added to the embarrassment and of course there where a couple of nasty shots in there too mwahaha.
That's everything for today!
Its was a fabulous birthday party and its Buddy birthday in the next few days soon, and he had lots of fun too 😉 Tell me, do you love hosting parties? whats the most successful event you have held and was it themed? I need theme ideas for the next party 😉 !!!
Ill finish the post with a few of my favourite photos, of course not all of the guests are happy with being centre of attention on the World wide web so its limited to a select few :*
"Time spent with crazy friends make the best memories. <3 "
My Man <3
Birthday Boys <3
Below: With CAT FROM TACKFICTION
Love you all <3