Kids cowboy birthday party (Budget-friendly, y’all!)
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.
[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…
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
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.
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!)
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.
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.
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.
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!).
[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.
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.
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!]
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.
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.
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.
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:
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 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.
Most importantly, these little two-year-old cowpokes had a great time:
I’m not gonna lie, I’m a total sucker for a good kids party (and a chance to use my glue gun).
More party-on-a-budget inspiration:
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.