Monday, June 13, 2011

My Dad's 80TH Birthday Surprise Party

Back in April my dad turned 80. We threw Him a surprise party under the pretense of having Him come to a First Communion Party. Of course I only had years and years to plan for this but didn't give it much thought until about a month before the actual birthday. Without much forethought or money the only place I could come up with on such short notice was once again the church hall at Sacred Heart. Planning kids parties are a bit easier than coming up with an idea for an 80 year old man who has never been known for numerous hobbies. After some brainstorming I decided to have each table represent my dad for each decade that he had lived. I cut pictures from old history books and old newspapers to place on the tables representing some of the fads and highlights (or lowlights) of each decade. My dad was born in 1931 so I gathered pictures from his sister and my mom of him in his younger years. I blew some of them up on my scanner and cut them out and then laminated them to make them stand sturdier on the tables.
I originally was going to rent matching tablecloths but ran across a tweet on twitter that BBJ now had a store that sold gently used linens. Since I had purchased a 60 inch round table last year I jumped all over buying tablecloths as opposed to renting them so that I could use them again on my own big table. Of course I had to get tablecloths that didn't match so that I could reuse them for different occasions on my one table at home. Surprisingly, they were just as cheap to buy since they were being shipped to me free and it cut out the gas and time of driving clear up North to pick them up and take them back. This is the 1930's table. It was done in a grey tablecloth, silver chargers & pink napkins to go with the pink wine glasses I thought might have represented those days. I didn't know what to decoupage the 30's memorabilia on so I used an old pitcher and wash bowl I found at Goodwill (very reasonably priced.) I tried to give it an old time feel. Time was ticking and I had too many things to think about so some of my tables just didn't get the full treatment that they were meant to have. This one was my mom's favorite though. She came up and helped with whatever I told her to do. It was hard to tell her what to do since I was kind of winging it and figuring things out after I got up there. Too many tables and too much lugging of junk had my mind pretty fried what with worrying about food and drinks too, not to mention music. I ended up using my Bose radio and mostly Rhythm & Blues Cd's. It filled the hall just as good if not better than any stereo I've ever had up there.
Of course I didn't have a camera so I have had to rely on a few other people to gather pictures of the event. (Thanks Mozeke & Pam! ) That's one reason I'm just now getting around to blogging it. I've also been computerless for quite awhile.
These were my dad's actual baby shoes and his little yellow one piece suit.
I cut the picture below out of a family group picture. That's my dad with his finger up his nose standing next to his mom. Boys will be boys.

I took an old wash bowl and pitcher and decoupaged the 1930's memorabilia on them.
The 40's table was done in tans, whites, and gold. I decoupaged the 40's history and memorabilia pictures on a big hat box. I borrowed Sweet Baby Boy's sail boat to put buy the cut-outs of my dad as a youngster holding his sailboat.
This is a high-school photo of him.

This is the 50's table. (And Tom & Judy) I used a black and white striped tablecloth and aqua colored ruffled chargers that I purchased at The Christmas Tree Shop. I used pink plates on top of those with 45 record shaped plates on top of those. I bought a jukebox cut-out and copied it 3 times and made a box to stick the tulips in. The tulips were $3.99 at Aldi by the way. My parents were married in the 50's and my dad was in the Navy. I borrowed Colin's anchor from his Pirate bedroom and stuck it in an old steel box that I found and decoupaged the history pictures on. My parents also had 4 kids in that decade. I'm not sure if we all made it onto the table but there was a standee of my dad holding my brother David, his first born. Chuck Berry, Marilyn Monroe, and Elvis also made it onto the table as miniature standees.
This is the 60's table. I used a green tablecloth under a purple shag square tablecloth and orange ruffled chargers from The Christmas Tree Shop. Those are pixie candy straws in rainbow colored candy cups. The napkins were tie-dye napkins I found at Goodwill and I used (but you can't see it from these pictures) small happy face Slinky's as napkin rings. The lava lamps I borrowed from my great-nieces and just used a square box to decoupage the history and memorabilia pictures from that decade. Below is our family at Easter time sometime in the 60's.The 70's table had some psychedelic lighting going on. The small disco balls had color-changing blinky lights inside the votives underneath them. The napkins had disco balls for napkin rings. The 70's memorabilia I stuck inside Lucite box lids and set them up as picture frames surrounding the large battery operated disco ball.

The cut out of my parents below is a picture of them toasting at their surprise 25TH wedding anniversary party.
My parents have always been IU fans and Bobby Knight's Hoosiers were making news back in the 80's. Since this was a man's party and my dad loves watching sportsI tried to gear it toward sports themed tables as much as I could. So, the 80's table was mainly IU themed. I didn't quite get it finished. I didn't spend much time planning for this one since I knew there was a lot of IU stuff around here since my daughter went there. The bad thing was, when I went to find the IU stuff I had a hard time finding any of it. I even had Big Boy put the napkins and flatware on the table I was running so far behind on my time. If my niece Jenny hadn't come up early to help, I don't know what I would have done. This was the only picture I got of this table.

By the time I came to the 80's I was out of time and ideas for decoupaging, so I started laying the decade memorabilia under glass from some of my table tops at home.
In the 90's we were doing a lot of rooting for the Pacers. My niece Allison's husband works for the Pacers so he let me borrow some of this Pacer stuff along with Jenny's husband who had a couple of Pacers things too.

My dad is known for toppling a few canoes in his time so I couldn't resist putting out a few pictures of tipping canoes. Some of the ones I found on-line looked amazingly like him.In the 2000 decade, The Colts were our pride and joy here in Indianapolis, so the main theme of that table became the Colts theme. Thanks to Jenny's husband Don for this special edition Colts football in the display box.

Found this Colts can in the closet at the church hall and grabbed it and threw my flowers and Colts cut-outs in it. These Colts cups and plates were in my closet at home. So were the blue champagne glasses.

I had made a bunch of foam boards full of blown up pictures that I was going to put all together and make into a big wall. I couldn't do it ahead of time because it wouldn't fit in the car. After getting to the Hall I realized it wasn't going to be possible in the short time I had to get ready so I ended up just placing them in different areas of the party. People seemed to enjoy looking at them. If I ever go to this much trouble for a party again, I will make sure to bring a camera of my own.My niece Jenny made the banner and the food & drink labels. She was a life saver. Thanks for visiting the blog today! I'm sorry I've been pretty lame about posting lately.


Kathy in FW TX said...

LOVE your tables! I am planning my dad's 90th and this is exactly how I envisioned the tables! Thank you for sharing.

Vickie / Bella Weddings said...

How smart & creative! My Dad turned 80 a couple of years ago. It was great with a lot of high school & army stuff but Damn I wish I had thought about doing the decade tables like you!
Great job & I love your blog!
Vickie / Bella Weddings

Brittany Schwaigert said...

Thanks so much for the sweet comment on my pumpkin party! :)