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My third son recently celebrated his 9th birthday, but since his birthday typically falls within a day or two of school starting, we wait to host his party until September so he can invite classmates.
He has always had a definite idea of what he wants, and is very involved in each aspect of the party planning and details. This year, he wanted a Gold Rush themed party. He loves the show on the Discovery Channel. However, he did not want it to look like the TV show, he wanted it to look more old fashioned, and be like the gem mining attractions near our cabin in Eastern, TN. Together, we decided to style the party as a California Gold Rush with rustic touches. He wanted a TNT box, a sluice table, and a mine shaft. I wanted to serve the food on a covered wagon, but my husband advised me that food was served on buck board…or a flat wagon, so we built a flat wagon for the food. The birthday boy wanted cupcakes, cake-pops, and candy for his dessert table. Since, Florida is nearly always hot, and is definitely always humid, we set the dessert table inside.
My husband and I DIY’ed a ton of projects for this party. We made a sluice table for the kids to pan for gold. We made sifting trays, painted garden rocks gold using several layers of gold and black shades of Rust-Oleum spray paint. I repainted Target Dollar Spot buckets I picked up on clearance and then dented them up with a light weight hammer, we used those for favor buckets. We made a boarded up mine shaft entrance with old pallet wood. We painted a box black and stenciled TNT on the front. And, we made a buck board wagon table cover, complete with wooden spoke wheels. My husband was the mastermind behind the wooden spoke wheels, and they turned out FABULOUS!
We kept the food simple, and placed crock pots of our homemade chili and baked beans on the buck board wagon, along with grilled hot dogs, and condiments in Ball Canning Jars. The food was served in pie plates from the Dollar Tree.
The dessert table was one of my son’s favorite parts of the party! I used a simple cream colored, rough edged fabric table cloth, covered with burlap, and a few bandanas. The backdrop was made with an old pallet and bandana bunting. The most delicious cake pops we’ve ever had came from Cupcakes by Dusty were stuck in a small hay bale from Shindigz. Candy Kabobs from Sweets From Heaven, Orange were made to match the theme (and were so good, they may have caused a few scuffles over who got more than who) and were placed in a mini hay bale and our family’s vintage red mini pitcher. Cupcakes from Sam’s Club were decorated with gold candy rocks from Candy Warehouse and fondant from my dear friend, Charynn formerly from Two Sugar Babies. More gold candy rocks were placed in a gold sifter. Buttermints in red bandana style wrappers and placed in glass boot mugs, both from Shindigz. I added some gold painted rocks and the most awesome fabric barbed wire decor to the table for more visual interest.
The favor buckets were lined with red and blue bandanas from Shindigz, and filled with gold coin candy, gold rock gum nuggets, and candy rocks from Candy Warehouse. I also added “TNT” sticks from Fourth of July, fun mustache tattoos from the Dollar Tree, and gold flakes mined by Stefani and her boys. I simply placed a few flakes into tiny glass vials. (I picked up the vials from the Dollar Tree full of nail art, 8 for $1, and I dumped out the glitter and nail decorations) The kids also took home their mined “gold” treasures”
My son, loves personalized everything! He was so excited to open his custom shirt from Brenda at Great Stitch. She did an amazing job customizing his shirt using our invitation and my son has worn that shirt about 10 times in the week or so since it arrived. He has even washed it twice in one day more than once! Bless him!
Styling, printables, and photography by Everyday Party Magazine
Candy Kabobs from Sweets from Heaven, Orange
Cakepops from Cupcakes by Dusty
Custom shirt from Great Stitch.