On Sunday we celebrated Matthew’s golden birthday with a small party. I am very fond of planning these kinds of things and when the party has a theme, even better (and more dangerous financially)! I had picked black & gold over a year ago for this momentous occasion so all I had to do was find any and everything that fit the bill.
Ok, not really. More like that was what I had to stop myself from doing. But here are some of the details we had to help make the party extra special.
We used balloons as one of the main elements of decorating. I got one pack each of clear, white, black, and gold balloons from Michael’s and Matthew’s parents were kind enough to pick up some helium-filled giant gold number balloons from Party City to surprise Matthew with. They were definitely one of my favorite parts of the evening.
I filled the clear balloons with color-coordinating confetti (that I found at Party City), blew them up, and left them strewn about the room. These turned out to be a huge hit, entertaining guests as they waited and sat around talking. They did get a bit noisy during the game but they were still lots of fun. Just be sure they don’t pop!
I used the black, gold, and white balloons to make a big hanging cluster in the entryway. Lots of fun and out of the way!
Gold spray paint was my best friend for this party. I decided I wanted to spray paint some plastic animal figurines gold and declare them the official “party animals” of the evening. I lucked out and found a small set on clearance from Target for about two bucks. I spray painted them gold and put them on different tables for cute little decorations.
Gold can mobile
I originally intended to use gold spray-painted cans as luminaries but when I put a lit candle in, the can got pretty hot and that made me nervous enough to do something different (using fake LED tealights would have worked well!). Plus, I knew it would warm the room up considerably if I had 8 candles burning in our little living room. So I made this instead!
I punched two holes in the top of the cans, threaded some black and white bakers twine through, tied it off and then attached eight of them to the inside of a plastic embroidery hoop! The hoop fit snugly into the underside of our kitchen shelf so I just tucked it up in there and it hasn’t moved a bit!
The cans tinkle a bit when the air conditioning comes on which is fun but also funny because they sound like tin cans tinkling. But matthew really liked them and they were a fun way to add gold to another corner of the room.
Since most of our everyday items on our mantel were already gold I didn’t really need to do anything to party-fy it. I added some simple streamers and put one of the extra gold cans up there (more to get it out of the way than anything else ;)) and it was ready to go!
Black & gold pennant banner
I bought this little black and gold sparkle pennant banner set months ago in anticipation for the party. I strung some of them up under our clock with command strips that were already up from a previous party.
With the other pennants I wrote “Happy Golden Birthday” and strung them up above the golden years timeline activity. I’m not sure what it is but then ended up looking a little “spidery” to me but they were still fun and festive.
24 Golden Years activity
I always enjoy coming up with an activity that gives guests something to do and blesses the guest of honor. So for this party I set up a timeline using butcher paper, washi tape, and sharpies. I had guests fill out a lined 3×4 project life card with a memory they had of Matthew and place it near the corresponding age on the timeline.
It was really fun to see all the memories go up and super special to read them afterward. I specifically chose project life cards so that they can easily be slipped into a scrapbook album after the timeline is taken down.
Customized Game of Things
The Game of Things is a fun game that Matthew and I have played with friends and I got it for Matthew for his birthday this year. We played it at his party, however, I wrote my own prompts that all related to Matthew in some way, for example “Things that make Matthew golden.”
It was lots of fun but each round took quite a while since we had 18 people playing. But everyone seemed to enjoy it and I liked being able to make it extra special by creating my own custom prompts.
Ever since my wedding I have become a sucker for color-coordinated straws, so when I saw a pack of black & gold paper straws at Michael’s, they hopped right into my basket. People hardly ever use straws at my parties but I don’t seem to care because I keep buying them haha. They’re just so fun and add an added layer of whimsical that I just love. (plus, people not using them means I can keep reusing them! and I’m sure if I attached cake pops to the end of them they’d get used right up…)
Baking pies for parties has become my signature. I especially love to bake pies for Matthew’s birthdays because he loves them so much.
This year Matthew’s requests were triple-berry and salt pork apple. The triple berry was a combination of blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries and had an oat-crumble topping. The salt pork apple pie we made with bacon and it was super interesting but nonetheless delicious. (both pies adapted/from this book)
Matthew’s brother-in-law’s parents sent some sunflowers to help celebrate. They were the perfect golden touch for the coffee table!
All-in-all it was a great party celebrating a great guy.