My son’s obsession with cowboys and old westerns was the heart of this birthday bash! He wears a bandana, cowboy hat, belt, and lasso about every day. As soon as he gets off the bus from school he changes into his cowboy get up and with his cap gun in his little leather holster, runs around the house and yard pretending to capture bank robbers and save hi-jacked trains. Living in NW Montana, my son meets more real cowboys than he knows what to do with. Each time he sees a man in a cowboy hat he stares at him with wide eyes and awe and it’s pretty much like seeing a celebrity for him. So I took the old Western theme and put together a DIY cowboy birthday party that he really loved!
I ordered these adorable invitations on Etsy and had them printed at my local printers. I really love how they turned out!
We started the party off with having the kids grab their cowboy gear. They each got a hat, bandana, mustache, a felt horse, and a sheriff badge. (I will be sharing these easy DIY felt horses in my next blog post!)
Making themed food is always my favorite part of party planning ! I searched Pinterest for some ideas and created some of my own. I start off with making a list of what food I can make the day before and then a list of food that I will make the morning of the party.
Food to make the day before:
- Chop up the veggies for the veggie tray. I just cover the veggies and put them in the fridge until it’s time to take them out.
- Chocolate cowboy hats- These were a hit and also very easy to make! I bought a bag of milk chocolate candy melts and melted the chocolate over a double broiler. Using a fork I dipped a Pringles chip into the chocolate and shook off the excess. Then while they are on a cooling rack with parchment paper, top it off the a Rolo candy. SO easy.
- The “hay bales” were rice krispy treats wrapped in a red vine candy. I made these the day before and put them in a tupperware until it was time for the party.
Food to make the day-of:
- Cowboy pops- I was afraid the marshmallows would get stale if I made these the day before so I made them the morning of. Using the same chocolate I used for the cowboy hats I dipped the top of jumbo marshmallows into the chocolate and then while the chocolate is hot, dipped it into a bowl of crushed graham crackers. It’s like a s’mores pop! I used cake pop sticks from Hobby Lobby but you could also use wood skewers.
- Pigs in a blanket- I made them just before the party started so they were still a little warm when it was time to eat. I just wrapped cocktail wieners with some strips of crescent rolls and baked for 12-15 minutes at 375 degrees. What kid doesn’t love mini hot dogs? Don’t forget to set out the ketchup!
- I had a few bags of popcorn that I just dumped into a galvanized bucket about 20 minutes before the party started. Freshly made popcorn would have been better but this was so much faster.
This tablescape was left simple and functional because 7 year old’s don’t care much about centerpieces. The only thing I REALLY did not like was how the creases were so prominent on that table runner. It was a type of vinyl and not fabric so I couldn’t just iron it out. it drove me crazy! So if you are like me and despise a creased tablecloth, I would buy a fabric one or have this one sitting out for several days to flatten it out more.
I used pie pans from the Dollar Tree as plates, bandanas as napkins tied with suede leather strips and topped off with each kid’s sheriff badge with their name on it.
I picked up a black foam board from Hobby Lobby and a package of rope from the Dollar Tree to make the “yeehaw” sign. I just laid out the rope to how I wanted it and then piece by piece hot glued it down. It was a little tricky getting the rope to curve the way I wanted it to, but still only took about 30 minutes to make.
The fabric banner I hung above the table was an incredibly easy and a quick DIY too! I made a pattern on a piece of card-stock of the shape I wanted the bunting and then just traced and cut out each piece. I picked up three different fabrics from Hobby Lobby and I have so much leftover that I think I will be making some pillows soon. I then hot glued each piece of bunting to a long piece of red and white bakers twine with extra twine on the ends to hang it up.
The “wanted” posters were from Hobby Lobby and I just printed out a couple photos of my son and taped them up. It came with a pack of 4 and was about $5.
I made all the food labels, the Outhouse sign, the Waterin’ Hole sign, and the Tattoo Parlor sign. You can download them for free at the bottom of this post!
I bought a LOT of my supplies from Hobby Lobby. They had a Western party section and I was thrilled because it was harder to find cowboy party stuff than you’d think. Plus, they have so many rustic galvanized metal buckets and trays, and I got them for 50% off. The bandana pattern tablecloth on the food table, table runner on the kitchen table, wanted posters, trays and buckets, balloons, favor gift tags, — were all from Hobby Lobby. I made a LOT of trips there the week of the party. And don’t forget those 40% off coupons!
Games and Activities
I meticulously shoved one chocolate gold coin candy in all 20 red balloons. This took forever and would not have been so hard if the candy I chose was smaller. The day of the party I blew up each balloon and while an upbeat old western song played, I dropped 3 garbage bags full of these treasure filled balloons and had the kids stomp on them to pop them and find the gold inside. It was hilarious and I think the kids really liked this game the best.
Lasso The Bull
The kids stood in line and took turns using my son’s play lasso an inflatable bouncing bull toy. We got ours at a local shop but you can find the same one here.
Pin the Tail on the Horse
I purchased this printable on Etsy and had my local printers print it out for me. It’s a 24″ x 36″ size poster, so if you want it printed on one large sheet, it will cost about $30 to print. I called several places and I just did not want to pay that much. So I asked if they could print it on smaller pieces and I would just tape them together. That cost me only $5!
The Tattoo Parlor
I found a huge package of cowboy tattoos and stickers on Amazon for the same price as a tiny package of them at Hobby Lobby so I set up a little table with a wood bowl full of temporary tattoos and another with a damp cloth. Temp tats are always such a hit at every party I throw and they are SO inexpensive!
What’s Your Cowboy Name? Use the month of your birthday, the first letter of your first name and the first letter of your last name to get your best rodeo name. I made a printable you can download here.
The Favor Bags
I used brown paper lunch bags I had already and made a fringe top to each bag. I hole-punched the top of the bag to tie red and blue bakers twine through and attach the tags. The brown tags are from Hobby Lobby and I stamped each one with a cowboy boot and wrote a little note on the back thanking them for coming to the party.
A few other cowboy party ideas:
Put bullseye candies in favor bags
Make cowboy hat and boot shaped cookies. (I picked up the cookie cutters and never had the time to make them)
Pan for gold with kinetic sand and chunks of gold spray-painted rocks
Have the kids decorate their cowboy hats with stickers and glitter
You can find free cowboy/cowgirl coloring pages online and set out crayons for the kids to color their own picture.
If you can have an outdoor party, a stick horse race would be so fun!
Gold Mine Bubble Gum Nuggets would be fun to put in favor bags or in the balloons for the stomp game.
Set up a cowboy photo-booth! I really wanted to do this because we do a photo-booth for every party but just didn’t really have the room to do this in our house. You can find props and backdrops on Amazon.
If the weather is nice, you can have a campfire in your backyard with s’mores and roasting hot dogs. We have about 3 feet of snow right now and bundling up 6 kids to trudge out into the snow seemed like a lot of work!
I made a Spotify playlist of old western music to play in the background during the party. It really set the mood! And I even threw on some of my old Hank Williams vinyls while the kids ate cake. Music can really make a party!
We sure did have fun at this little buckaroo’s rodeo! I hope this gave you some ideas and inspiration to host your own Cowboy birthday party! YEEHAW!
To print out these signs and food labels, just click on each image! I printed the food labels out at a 3.5 x 4 size, the root-beer label as a 5X7 and the signs at full size.