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Kids cowboy birthday party (Budget-friendly, y’all!)

28 February 2012,52 Comments

Have you ever seen a one-year-old wear alligator skin cowboy boots?

I knew since the first time he wore these that I wanted to do a cowboy birthday party for Levi’s 2nd birthday.

baby in cowboy boots and cloth diaper

[Levi at 13 months. My mom found these at an antique store before he was even born.]


Levi just happens to have a best buddy, Max, who turns two 10 days after him…

two little toddler cowboys

And since these two have almost all the same friends, we decided to combine efforts and do a double birthday bash this year.

Cowboy birthday party invitations


kids cowboy birthday party invitation

I found this invitation online in several places but couldn’t find the original source. (If you know what it is, please let me know and I will give credit where it’s due.) I used Pages to alter the invitation with my little poem and our party information. (Feel free to use my poem if you’d like – ha!)

The birthday party was a lot of fun, and we didn’t spend much money making it happen.

kids cowboy birthday party ideas

First we rounded the kids up and took them outside to play a couple of fun cowboy-inspired party games…

Lasso the cow game

For this game we had one dad dressed up as the horse (brown clothes, horse mask, and a red throw rug for a saddle) and one dressed up as the cow (wearing a cow mask). The kids had to ride the horse and lasso the cow with a hula hoop while chasing him around the yard. (Our husbands were incredible sports for this game!)

lasso the cow cowboy party game

Digging for gold game

My friend Rebekah came up with this game, perfect for a cowboy birthday party. She brought two bins filled with sand that had gold coin chocolates buried inside. The kids loved digging for gold, especially the older ones! We had to separate them to avoid mass chaos and unintentional bullying – one tub for the little littles (3 and under) and one for the bigger littles (4-6).


For food we served veggies, cheese and crackers, mini muffins, fruit skewers, cupcakes, and juice. Nothing super fancy, but yummy and healthy(ish) for both the adults and the littles.

cowboy birthday party food table

I decorated the food table with a plastic horse and cow from Levi’s toy box, his toy guitar and harmonica, and the piñata that we would use at the end of the party.

The kids’ cupcakes were basic chocolate cupcakes (from a box!) with green sprinkles (grass) and little plastic horsies on top, which they got to keep. I added a simple “2” candle for the special birthday boys.

cowboy birthday party cupcake for a two year old

Party favors

For party favors we had personalized sheriff badges for each kid – yellow felt on cardboard cut into sheriff stars and fastened with pin fasteners glued to the back. I printed their names on matching yellow paper and cut out just around the text before gluing to the stars. (Even simpler would be to skip the felt and just do paper altogether – live and learn.)

I also bought a meter of red and white checked fabric and cut triangle bandanas for each kid. This looked cute with their place setting (folded into a small triangle) but also provided some cowboy gear in case any of them didn’t come in costume. I did not sew the bandanas – just left them with “raw” edges.

cowboy birthday party place setting


With left over fabric I made a no sew checkered bunting (see photo below – middle left). I cut the scraps into triangles and tied the ends together for a “shabby” look (which just happened to also be the quickest and easiest option *smile*). I hung a few balloons on either end of the bunting – some red and two cow print balloons (that’s all they had left in the store!).

cowboy birthday party on instagram

[How could I leave out my instagram photos from the day??! I’m totally addicted – username: adrielbooker if you want to follow.]

I also decorated the birthday boys’ chairs with red and white balloons and signs that said “Happy 2nd Birthday Cowboy Levi!” (and one for Max of course), but I forgot to take a photo of those. I embellished them with a cowboy hat and boot graphic that I found online.

kids cowboy birthday party collage

The checkered table clothes were borrowed from a friend. They are simple lengths of fabric hemmed under, which would be super easy and quick to make if you wanted to.

cowboy birthday party table decorations

I used white cardstock and brown construction paper to make the table runner. It looked great contrasting with the red and white checks and the pop of yellow. I then scattered the horsie cupcakes for the kiddos along the runner. (Unfortunately I forgot to take a photo while the cupcakes were actually on there. I only have before/after pics.) It made for a very simple and cute kids table that I wasn’t worried about anyone “destroying”.

[Side note: How cute is the littlest cowboy?! Thanks to my mom for the giddy-up onsie she sent over from America!]

baby dressed as a cowboy

A piñata to move the party back outside and wrap it all up

After cupcakes we opened pressies (fun and a little crazy!) and then we headed outside for our last game – the horsie piñata. I bought a plain white horse piñata and decorated it with brown (construction paper) pony spots and a bandana. The littlest kids had a go first (without blindfolds) and then the older kids got to smash it open.

cowboy birthday party horse pinata game

Wild West “wanted poster” for cute party photos

I used a free printable from Martha Stewart to make these cute decorations and also a large “wanted” poster for photos of the guests.

wild west wanted photo cowboy birthday party

We enlarged it, printed it in segments on four sheets of paper (letter/A4 size), and then glued it on cardboard with the middle cut out.

cowboy birthday party wild west wanted poster template

Although we missed a few kids, we managed to snap most of them. They made for some super cute party pics. Here are a few of the boys:

wanted poster photos for cowboy birthday party

Take home party bags

Lastly, we sent each guest home with a “happy trails” bag. Inside was some trail mix and a little plastic horsie toy (10 horses for $2 from our “dollar” store). I just used brown paper lunch bags, printed some cute tags on our home printer, and stapled it all together with a scrap of left-over fabric. (I told you – I really made that one meter stretch!!)

cowboy birthday party favors

Cowboy birthday party success

All in all it was a really fun, affordable party. We kept things moving so the kids wouldn’t get bored (or unruly!) and we wrapped it up in an hour-and-a-half.

cowboy mama and son at birthday party

Most importantly, these little two-year-old cowpokes had a great time:

cute two year old cowboys

I’m not gonna lie, I’m a total sucker for a good kids party (and a chance to use my glue gun).

mom and son cowboy birthday party

More party-on-a-budget inspiration:

Levi’s 1st birthday sock monkey party

Levi’s 3rd birthday rock star party

Judah’s 1st birthday circus party

Dear friends, I hope you’ve found this party post helpful. The most important thing is that you do what’s fun for you and—most importantly—for your birthday boy/girl! I just happen to like being creative on a limited income and getting crafty so I find kids parties a fun “excuse” to get my craft on! In saying that, if the party outgrows your time, ability, patience, or budget then I believe we have a problem. :) Have some fun and make sure you and your littles ENJOY the party. 


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  • Reply Becca 29 February 2012 at 2:31 am

    I am in LOVE with this theme. I just pinned several of your ideas to save for later. Way to be frugal, crafty, and super cute a the same time.
    Becca recently posted..Let’s Make an Easter WreathMy Profile

    • Reply Adriel @ The Mommyhood Memos 29 February 2012 at 1:44 pm

      thanks becca. i really have fun doing parties. fun for the kids (hopefully!!!) but also very fun for mama. :) glad you can use some of the ideas! can’t wait to see what you do once you add in your own creative juices!!!
      Adriel @ The Mommyhood Memos recently posted..amber teething necklaces | i swear by themMy Profile

    • Reply Angie le Grange 6 April 2015 at 7:34 am

      you are a lifesaver! couldn;t find any wanted poster that did not need you to download some or other downloader and then I found yours! thanks a mill

  • Reply Tory 29 February 2012 at 4:28 am

    What an awesome party!! I bet the kiddos and adults had a lot of fun. Your boy is so cute in his little cowboy costume :) … Happy Birthday Levi!
    Tory recently posted..20 Weeks :: Halfway !!My Profile

  • Reply Courtney Kirkland 29 February 2012 at 4:46 am

    What a CUTE party!! Looks like you guys had a blast! I love the “wanted” pictures! I agree with what Becca said: great way to be frugal and crafty! Looks like everyone had a blast!
    Courtney Kirkland recently posted..5 Ways to Lose ReadersMy Profile

  • Reply Laura 29 February 2012 at 5:58 am

    This party was sooo cute, and it looks like Levi and Max had a great time celebrating with all their friends. Great job Adriel!

  • Reply Branson 29 February 2012 at 8:07 am

    Such awesome ideas!! I love it! And oh so many adorable pics. Cutest cowboys ever! 😀
    Branson recently posted..Bloom Where You Are PlantedMy Profile

  • Reply Life As Wife 29 February 2012 at 11:24 am

    The party was amazing!! I’m pinning it all for ideas!
    Life As Wife recently posted..My Son The ShoplifterMy Profile

  • Reply Jessica 1 March 2012 at 5:35 am

    The party looks awesome! Great job! I love the theme!
    Jessica recently posted..Fit with Baby| Interview with Valerie Merriweather (Part 1)My Profile

  • Reply Cheri 31 May 2012 at 4:44 am

    Hi, Would you mind sharing the source of where you were able to make and/or find the Happy Trails template for the goody bags?
    Thanks & love the ideas!! Planning our party now :)

    • Reply Alaina 25 July 2012 at 3:41 am

      Did you find anything Cheri? I was thinking the same thing.

      • Reply Adriel Booker 3 August 2012 at 3:28 pm

        Hi Alaina – I’m sorry that I didn’t get your questions sooner! I’m not sure if you get notified of my response to Cheri or not so I’ll paste my response to her here too:
        I’d be happy to email you the one I made. I should figure out how to put up a downloadable template here, but I’m not sure how. 😉 In the meantime, I’m happy to send you the one I made if you still want it! Let me know!!
        adriel x
        Adriel Booker recently posted..a weekend in the most beautiful city in the world (sydney, australia)My Profile

    • Reply Adriel Booker 3 August 2012 at 3:27 pm

      Hi Cheri! I’m sorry that I’m just now seeing your question. I’d be happy to email you the one I made. I should figure out how to put up a downloadable template here, but I’m not sure. 😉 In the meantime, I’m happy to send you the one I made if you still want it! Let me know!!
      adriel x
      Adriel Booker recently posted..dear readers, can you help?My Profile

  • Reply Alaina 25 July 2012 at 3:40 am

    I’m having issues printing the Wanted Sign. I found in the dropdown that you can change to A4 however I cannot get it to enlarge and then to print on 4 pages. I’m in need of help. Thanks in advance!

    • Reply Adriel Booker 3 August 2012 at 3:30 pm

      Shoot Alaina – did you figure this out? My husband did it for me. He has much more patience with things like that than I do. 😉 Let me know if you still need help and I’ll ask him how he did it. (I think he may have enlarged it in a program like photo shop and then printed each section at a time…)
      Adriel Booker recently to organize and write a birth plan | plan your best birth (part 3)My Profile

  • Reply Deb 5 August 2012 at 1:44 am

    Can you send me the happy trails template too? I’m going to attempt the wanted sign today! I hope I can figure it out!

    • Reply Adriel Booker 8 August 2012 at 12:41 am

      Hi Deb. I sent it. Please let me know if you got it ok! :)

      Have a wonderful party. x

  • Reply Melissa 12 August 2012 at 8:09 am

    Trying to plan my son’s cowboy birthday party. Could you send me the happy trails template? I also tried to print the “Wanted” sign but couldn’t figure out how to enlarge it, so that I could print it in A4. Do you have a saved file of the enlarged print that you could send me?
    Thanks so much!

  • Reply Melissa 18 August 2012 at 1:02 am

    Still can’t figure it out. Could you email me the enlarged print of the wanted sign and the happy trials template? Thanks so much. Trying to get everything together for my son’s cowboy party next week. :)

  • Reply David Wells 2 October 2012 at 9:53 pm

    This cowboy theme for kids birthday parties is a wonderful idea. At my home kids spend months planning their birthday parties and always looking for new ideas to make their time more enjoyable than the year before. I am sue they will love it too.

  • Reply maxine 5 October 2012 at 10:27 pm

    i love this so mad for it going to do shoppping for my baby right now

  • Reply Cowboy Birthday Party | Play With Your Family 24 October 2012 at 3:28 pm

    […] found some perfect games for the kiddos thanks to The Mommy-Hood Memos.  Once everyone got to the party we started digging for gold!  We just filled up a little kiddy […]

  • Reply Kiran 5 November 2012 at 3:40 pm

    Thank you so much for the ideas on the cowboy theme…we had one for my Son’s 2nd birthday and it turned out to be awesome.

  • Reply Ledingham Paper & Party 19 December 2012 at 6:32 pm

    Awesome. I just uploaded a “Pin the feather on the Cowboy” party game if anyone is doing a cowboy theme.

  • Reply Casie 22 January 2013 at 2:11 pm

    Love this party idea! Would you mind sending me the happy trails template as well? Thanks so much!!

  • Reply Chambre d'enfant chez les cow-boys | PLUMETIS Magazine 8 February 2013 at 11:12 pm


  • Reply Louanne 15 May 2013 at 10:56 pm

    What a wonderful blog with lovely ideas for a boy’s cowboy party! Thank you and blessings from South Africa!

  • Reply Circus Birthday Party (Judah's first birthday) 19 July 2013 at 12:36 am

    […] kids birthday parties I’ve blogged about: Sock Monkey Party, Cowboy Party, and Rockstar Party (coming […]

  • Reply Noelani 21 August 2013 at 12:01 pm

    I was wondering if I could have the template for the enlarged wanted sign, please.

  • Reply Sara 9 September 2013 at 1:14 pm

    Love the party theme and decor. Would you please email me the Happy Trails template if you don’t mind? Thanks! I’m doing a first birthday party for my little rootin-tootin cowboy!

  • Reply Jill 19 September 2013 at 4:08 am

    Super cute! I’m doing a 1st cowboy birthday for my little guy, but I live in MI so we will be inside. Your decrations are great & easy & affordable!

  • Reply The Turning Three Rocks Tour: Kids Rockstar Birthday PartyAdriel Booker 1 October 2013 at 9:24 am

    […] parties over the last couple of years – Levi’s first birthday sock monkey party and his second birthday cowboy party, and Judah’s first birthday circus party. I’m now gearing up for Judah’s second birthday […]

  • Reply Goodbye, hello: The year before and the one ahead (including the 'best of' for 2013 and why we're now homeless) - Adriel Booker 13 February 2014 at 8:31 pm

    […] Kids cowboy birthday party […]

  • Reply Audrey 1 April 2014 at 1:32 am

    This is so cute! This idea is adorable!
    Audrey recently posted..How to Introduce a Toddler to a New BabyMy Profile

  • Reply Yeehaw! | finecuppatea 5 May 2014 at 1:41 pm

    […] In case you’re wondering, I found the ideas for digging for gold and the wanted poster here. I found the pool noodle horse directions […]

  • Reply Sarah 14 June 2014 at 1:32 pm

    How did you enlarge the template for the Wanted poster?

    • Reply Adriel 16 June 2014 at 2:18 pm

      My husband did it for me but I think he enlarged it in the print settings and then printed it in four parts. Sorry I can’t be more specific than that! Good luck with your party!!

  • Reply Marilena 1 July 2014 at 1:56 am

    Hi! this theme is very funny… I like all the things you make… The ideas to play which the fathers is fantastic!

  • Reply Lori 28 July 2014 at 6:43 am


    We are planning to have a western themed party. Are you able to email the template for the Happy Trails bag tag. Thanks.

  • Reply Fathima 11 February 2015 at 3:00 am

    Hi there. Thanks alot for these awesome budget friendly ideas.i want to have a cowboy/cowgirl theme party for my Lil cowgirl. Great ideas

  • Reply Paige 24 June 2015 at 12:49 am

    This is the cutest party idea — from the decorations to the games. I love seeing all the kids dressed up. Thanks for sharing!

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