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This party was for my son’s first birthday. His birthday falls at the same time as both my husband’s and best friend’s birthdays. For the past seven years we’ve done a joint crawfish boil to celebrate, so I wanted to pull it all into one big swamp bash. The invitations were sent in cardboard boxes filled with newspaper, Spanish moss, a plastic alligator and an egg which had to be “cracked open” to find the invitation. We got such a fun reaction from guests thinking there ACTUALLY was a live animal inside the box as indicated by the sticker on the outside of the package. I even got phone calls asking what to do with the "animal". I had planned to do paper mache eggs but it was a HUGE glue and spray paint disaster! I then thought I could use real eggs but I didn't have enough time to eat that many so Michael's and a power drill to the rescue with already formed eggs from their Easter section.

Since there were officially three birthday honorees I didn’t want just one cake or three big ones, so I decided on three small ones. I saw something on Pinterest a while back that I used as my inspiration but wanted it to be much more "Swamp-ish". So I sent my husband off to the garage to build my vision and I contacted Edible Details. I showed her the sketch for the cake swamp centerpiece stand and she crafted the three fondant swamp creatures to use as a topper on each cake. I didn’t want the table against the wall because I wanted the guests to be able to walk around the display and see the animals (and my husband's hard work) on the ombre style cakes. Each cake sat on a wooden stump that was built into the hand crafted box filled with moss and a large plastic alligator.

I had big dreams to hang spanish moss from the ceiling. We Louisianans love our spanish moss but not in our food. I couldn't keep it from falling so after some advice on Facebook The Flair Exchange came to my aid with some wonderful muted color tissue paper I was able to make some tissue tassels to decorate our tent in the backyard.

To decorate the chandelier in the dining room I created some fringe tissue balls based off of a tutorial from Oh Happy Day. I changed it up a bit by simplifying some of the materials and it came out really well. I'll be sharing this tutorial on Pure Joy Events soon. It's really easy and can provide a great party effect with little effort.

Other food and drinks that were served included boiled crawfish and all the fixins' (of course) swamp dogs (hot dogs), pelican, crawfish and INCREDIBLE personalized Tabasco bottle cookies from Frog Prince Cake and Cookie Design, “Dirt” cups with chocolate alligators and rocks, "swamp water" and mint julep iced tea for the adults served in mason jars.

The alligator and bayou theme was carried into everything else for the party. The Purple Pug send an incredible banner complete with fun fringe and glittered gators. The wreath that greeted guests when they walked in from The Knock Knock Factory was a huge hit as well as adult favors (alligator bottle openers). The kid’s favors were homemade swamp slime in push pop containers and they had a ball playing with them. I will post a tutorial later this week. The recipe is so easy (and cheap) to make and can be dyed any color!

This new swamp collection will be in the shop soon! Thanks to all great vendors helped with products and it turned out so wonderful. Most importantly, the birthday boy had a great time and so did all our friends and family. We love you Jackson Bonham and can't wait to celebrate many more birthdays with you!

Idea

Party Highlights

  • Dessert

    Cake and cookies

  • Party Favors

    Alligator shaped bottle openers for the adults and swamp slime in push pops for kids

  • Best Moment

    Jackson's first bite of cake

  • What People Ate

    Cake, cookies, "Dirt Cups", boiled crawfish

  • What People Drank

    Swamp water and mint julep iced tea

Comment

24 comments

  • Nicole L

    Nicole L wrote:

    SHOOT 'EM! Cute party!

  • Nicole L

    Nicole L wrote:

    SHOOT 'EM! Cute party!

  • Nicole L

    Nicole L wrote:

    SHOOT 'EM! Cute party!

  • Maria L

    Maria L wrote:

    I love this! I'm doing a Frog Prince birthday for my son based on Disney's "the princess and the frog". It's his favorite movie! There just isn't much out there for just prince Naveen, so I'm thinking of incorporating the bayou theme to it! I was wondering if I could have your receipe for the Swamp water? Such a great idea! Thank you!

  • Magnolia  C

    Magnolia C wrote:

    Hi Maria! It was so easy! I found several recipes that used green sherbet and such but I made a simpler recipe myself - regular lemonade mix with green food coloring added. I also added gummy worms, Swedish fish and some edible pearls. It was simple, easy and tasted great! Your party theme sounds adorable! We love that movie at our house and watch it often. Thanks, Emily

  • Candice P

    Candice P wrote:

    I love the pinwheels, do you have a tute for it by any chance

  • Candice P

    Candice P wrote:

    what did you use as moss lookers?

  • Magnolia  C

    Magnolia C wrote:

    I used moss "tape" that I bought at Dollar Tree around the base of the cake. I taped actual Spanish Moss under the bases and then used reindeer moss around the base of the stand I also purchased at Dollar Tree.

  • Magnolia  C

    Magnolia C wrote:

    I purchased the green and brown ones from Polka Dot Market and the newspaper ones I used this tutorial. http://myhandsmadeit.com/2010/09/21/accordion-pinwheel-fan-tutorial/ Have fun!

  • Maria L

    Maria L wrote:

    Thanks so much Emily!!!

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    Brettlyn S wrote:

    did you just blow these eggs out then put the the sticker over opening and where could I get the stickers? Love this idea

  • Magnolia  C

    Magnolia C wrote:

    Actually I purchased them at Michaels and drilled a hole. It was VERY easy and not as fragile as dealing with real eggs. Email me at emily@magnoliacreativeco.com to order stickers. Thanks!

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    Brettlyn S wrote:

    Thanks so much, we are having a jungle theme party for my five year old daughter in November these will be perfect. Do you have an etsy account?

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    Brettlyn S wrote:

    Also, then im done, did you actually put something in the egg or just put the alligator in the box?

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    Brettlyn S wrote:

    i think i figured it out you put the invitation in, yes i'm blonde

  • Magnolia  C

    Magnolia C wrote:

    Yes I did put the invite in it and the sticker held it in. I have etsy and website, magnoliacreativeco.com or just email me and we'll set it up.

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    Brettlyn S wrote:

    thanks again emailing you now:)

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    Allison H wrote:

    Where did you find this alligator?

  • Magnolia  C

    Magnolia C wrote:

    Hey Allison! I actually borrowed it from a friend. A customer that purchased the swamp printable collection from me found him on a website and sent me the link in case anyone asked. I'll find it and post it here for you.

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    Allison H wrote:

    Thank you so much!

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    Allison H wrote:

    Can't wait to know :-)

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    Allison H wrote:

    Hi Magnolia C, I have another question for you that I hope you can answer. I went to your website and looked at your Swamp Party Printable collection. Do you know what type of paper was used for the food tags? Thanks :-)

  • Magnolia  C

    Magnolia C wrote:

    Ok, bad news, I can't find that link. I remember I found a couple when she and I were searching online. Just search "plastic alligator toy", he was about 15" long. I'll keep searching. I'm going to keep looking though. For all the printed items in the party I used brown kraft cover stock paper. I bought a package at Joanne's but I'm sure you can find the same at Michael's or Hobby Lobby. It gives a great, natural look.

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    Allison H wrote:

    Thank you! I did search and haven't found one just like this one. Please let me know if you do find it! Thanks too for all of your quick responses and help!