Little Dylan’s favorite place right now is his great grandparent’s ranch, which is located out in the country in a small Texas town. Mom and fabulous photographer Melissa knew she wanted to give him a party there and one that captured his love for the place, but she wanted something different than the traditional farm animal theme. “When I got to thinking about all of the other little things Dylan loves at this stage– bounce houses and foods like popcorn and snow cones – it all just came together in my head.” After several brainstorm sessions with her mom (“my fellow party decorator and queen of all details and embellishments!”) and her good friend, and invitation and printable designer Jill of Stamped Paper Co., the theme took off for Dylan’s fourth birthday party.
Dylan’s only two requests for his party were cupcakes and balloons. “He was easy to please and that left me a ton of creative wiggle room for a party theme!” The invitation was the first party element Melissa began work on. Once this fun farm-carnival invitation was finalized, the party colors fell into place. “The whole idea of a red and white striped ticket stand/booth at a country fair was the core inspiration behind the red and white striped invitation bags, and so those colors/pattern along with a blue accent came to life in all the party décor.”
Since the party was held at a real working ranch, a tractor with hay rides for the kids was super easy to execute! “We simply hooked up a trailer and threw out some hay, and the kids were in heaven riding around to see cows and horses.”
And what made this all the more realistic and executable on her end was that Melissa’s brother owns a party rental business, so he was a one stop shop that covered the bounce house and concession rentals for popcorn, snow cone and cotton candy! “Having Uncle Jason’s snow cone stand trailer, sign and machine made an amazing shaved ice activity for the kids possible.”
Melissa had seen some Ferris wheel cupcake holders online and instantly loved them. The fact she couldn’t find where to buy them made her desire them even more. “This became an obsession for me to source since I could visualize it so well as the perfect centerpiece and since one of Dylan’s only two requests were for cupcakes. I wanted to make that extra special for him.” Melissa’s mom gets all the credit for making it happen by finding a wonderful vendor based out of South Texas. “He created this just for us and very affordably!”
Mini ferris wheels found at Joann’s were used for table centerpieces. “They were sold as part of their Easter collection with the intent to hold Easter eggs, but I spray painted them black for the party with the hopes of filling the egg holders with either flowers or peanuts.” Because of the wind that day, they stood alone in vintage Coca-Cola crates alongside tin buckets of peanuts and photographs of the birthday boy.
As Melissa planned this party four weeks away from giving birth to baby number three, this was truly a family and friends affair. “Jill was beyond instrumental in bringing the theme to life with her party printables! She handmade the banners for the party – both a large “Happy Birthday Dylan” set as well as a mini set for the bundt cake, which was one of my favorite touches! She also designed signs for the tables, food label cards as well as the invitation. Her work is amazing and she has such a way of bringing a theme to life on paper that can transform your party!”
Hotdogs and hamburgers with sides like deviled eggs and potato salad with lemonade were on the menu for the day. Uncle Jason even provided a a margarita machine for the adults. “We had a big dessert table, which I wanted to have the sort of feel of a bake contest/cook-off at the fair, which is where a lot of our blue ribbon accents came to life.” The table featured items like banana pudding, caramel apples, cookies, a bundt cake and the cupcakes, accented with a few fair foods and details like bottled Coke and Dr. Pepper, boxed popcorn and cotton candy cones.
Red and white striped cello bags held favors that included a custom bagged “petting zoo” (aka bag of animal crackers) plus a mini stuffed farm animal, a farm animal rubber stamp and some lollipops.
“My son is still talking about this party! He loved it and it made such an impression on him. We have since made a photo book of his big day, and he so much loves to look though it daily.” Thank Melissa for sharing this fun birthday party with us!
invitation and all party printables (cupcake toppers, pennants, food label cards, signs, etc)
bounce house and concession rentals (snow cone, popcorn and cotton candy) as well as a margarita machine.
now sells the ferris wheels