~A Rustic yet Elegant, Cowgirl Party~

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I'm going to step away from Christmas today (gasp!!! I know!!!) and do a little "throw back Thursday" post today.

So I would like to welcome you to my daughter's 8th Birthday party!

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My little girl loves horses and knew she would begin riding lessons this year, turning 8.  She wanted to have a pony party to celebrate. I wanted to throw a fabulous party, but like usual, have a budget.  I knew the cost of the ponies alone would just about set me over the edge, so I got my creative juices flowing!

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Preptime

This picture here shows my staging area!  I spent quite a few weeks ahead of the party scavenging for party items, rustic elements, and anything I would be able to use in the décor.  I even posted a request on facebook to see if anyone had some items I just wasn't sure where to purchase.  Items like the picket fence pieces, an old milk can, or anything from an old farm!  I was pleasantly surprised that many people had these items lying around and were willing to let me have them or borrow them for the party... for free!  It's always worth the ask. I also started shopping the local thrift stores, Good Will and the like for other things I might be able to use.  I collected and stored things in my garage until the big day!  I was lucky enough to be able to borrow tables and chairs from my church.  Since the party was to be outside, I didn't have enough seating for 12 little girls and their mommies!

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Right off of my drive way, I created a "path" with these pink and white painted horseshoes to lead the way to the festivities.  The guests passed by one of the picket fence pieces with a hand made welcome pennant.  I created the banner using my Cricut cutting machine.  The horseshoes were spray painted onto the grass with a template I made out of a large cardboard box.  You can see the template on the floor in the garage picture.  Later in the afternoon, the lovely lady who brought the ponies wanted my template, so I dug it out of the trash can for her!

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Here is a photo of the ring toss game I made by collecting and reusing brown, glass bottles.  I attached them to a heavy piece of cardboard covered in pretty wrapping paper with hot glue.  I did have to order the plastic rings on-line, but this final result was an amazingly cheap game to entertain our guests!

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The pink cow girl hats were hung on the other piece of picket fencing and made an adorable backdrop.  The girls also loved picking one to wear before it was their turn to ride the ponies!

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The tables and chairs were nothing fancy on their own, so I dressed them up with pink table cloths, tulle bows and name tags.  More brown, glass bottles were added as centerpieces, filled with a lovely baby's breath like flower that grows in a filed near our house.  The first table was set for eating and the second was set with simple coloring pages, a horse craft and crayons.  I left this open for the girls to use while they waited in line to ride the ponies later!

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Down the center of the table was a burlap table runner.  Each guest had a place setting that contained a brown or gold charger layered with a pink plate, then a brown polka dot plate.  Topped with a mason jar and a pretty paper straw.  We also later added adorable chocolate, cowgirl suckers, but it was so hot we didn't want them to melt!

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Here is the food table set up.  Again with the heat, no food is out yet.  I layered different size tables, wooden chests and crates and added the milk can and urn filled with flowers.

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I drug my DIY chalkboard from my dining room outside and used pink chalk to write a sweet bible verse to my daughter.  1 Peter 3:3

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Out comes some of the food!  We served snacks and not a full meal.  I decided on a chex mix "bar" so to speak.  The bowls on the table were filled with popcorn, pretzels, corn chex, peanuts and chocolate candies for the guest to create their own snack mix.  I used brown paper bags, cut in half and stamped with a horse, for the party goers to fill, with their mix.  The crate on the table held birthday cards and another banner I made with my Cricut spelling the birthday girl's name hung on the front.  The pink frame has some photos of Sophia riding at the barn for the first time!

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The little plastic containers are each filled with pink cotton candy, YUM!  I created paper labels that say, "You are what you eat" to dress up the plain plastic lids!

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I used little boxes and vases in clear as well as milk glass to hold other sweets like pink suckers and shiny gumballs. These were a hit with the little girls!

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These cupcake stands are actually 2 old wooden candelabras that I found at the Good Will.  I painted them off white and distressed them a bit.  I think they make these store bought cupcakes - hey we can't all be good at everything ;-) - look pretty special!

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Ahhhhhh, the cake!  As I hinted at earlier, (the reason for my store bought cupcakes) I can't bake!  I enlisted the help of my BFF who happens to be pretty fabulous at cake making, and she created this!  It tasted as good as it looked!  I topped the caked with another miniature pennant made on my cricut and a small horse figurine spray painted gold.  I placed it on top of a cake stand and stood it in front of the mirror!  The mirror was also a drab, brown find from the Good Will.  A new coat of paint and little sandpaper was all she needed!  A pink, painted "S", pink spray painted cowgirl boots, more sweets and flowers complete the table.

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Moving on to the drink table!  I made the pink sign with the birthday girl's name spelled in rope.  It was a fairly simple DIY. I painted an old plywood board we had laying in the garage with pink spray paint and used hot glue to attach the rope that spells "Sophia".

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I used mason jars with colorful paper straws for beverages for the kiddos.  I found this lovely beverage serving set at the Good Will and thought it was perfect for sweet tea for the mommies!

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Our guests look as though they are enjoying the food!  There is the sweaty, (did I mention it was H O T!?) birthday girl, stopping for a smile before biting into that chocolate covered marshmallow!

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After eating we played some fun, old fashioned games like bobbing for apples!

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And even the littlest guests like the ring toss game!

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The moment they were all waiting for... the ponies had arrived!

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These boys were as sweet as could be!

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The birthday girl and I posed for a picture at the "photo booth"!  I set up a photo back drop of sorts using table cloths and wrapping paper cut into strips to hang behind the area.  I placed the painted white, steamer trunk in front for a good place to sit.  There were some fun paper photo props to use and Sophia took turns with each of the guests having silly pictures taken!

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Here is one of her and "Sage" with their matching, glitter, horse t shirts I made for them!

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All in all I believe everyone had a great time.  I have about 100 more photos I could share with you but I think I'll quit while I'm ahead!

I love creating pretty, creative, memorable and fun parties for my kids and I hope you maybe picked up a few ideas to use in your next party planning adventure!

As always, I love to hear from you!  Please leave your comments or feedback below!  What was your favorite part of the party?

MySignature!