With Earth Day upon us, I thought I’d finally publish my “green” eco-friendly birthday party from last summer that was done as part of Sparkling Design Event’s $100 design challenge. I managed to do this eco-friendly party for $58. The whole party was created from materials found around the house, recycled, or reusable. And to put me on a level playing field with all the moms out there that might want to try this at home, I did this party at grandma’s house – well away from my overflowing prop closet. So anyone really can do this without going out and buying anything fancy!
Grandpa’s garden was the perfect backdrop for this party. Mid-summer (and 97 degrees!) meant for nice lush green surroundings. We set a patio table in the hosta alcove under the Japanese maple trees to create a sense of intimacy. Little orange garlands hung from the trees for a pop of color. The table was set with a plain white tablecloth (free), and to add a little more interest, I made runners from brown craft paper (from the dollar store) and finished the edges with pinking shears.
Sheets of scrapbook paper served as placemats (29 cents a sheet). To give them some style, I used an exacto knife to cut leaf shapes from the paper and then layered a contrasting green underneath. I used plain white plates that were on hand – I prefer to use porcelain to paper whenever I can for less waste, and decent plates can be had at the dollar store if you need lots that can be used again and again.
One of my favorite touches was the napkins on the place settings. I bought plain white napkins (dollar store) and using a few green ones from an old party that were on hand, made ruffles and sewed them to the white napkins for instant drama. This was an extremely inexpensive way to get a very designer look.
In the name of all things recycled, we used an old army field table to display the food for the kids’ party. PB&J (crustless) wrapped in parchment, skewered grapes, recipe red strawberries, paper cones with Pirate Booty, and “dirt” pots fill of worms were served. All the containers were either on hand or picked up at the local thrift store. A tiny sewn bunting stretched across the front of the table and big paper flowers in orange and leaf green set in recycled tin cans adorned the table as décor.
The kids had a really great time, and I think the best compliment I received was from Gracie who said she wanted a “plant a seed” birthday when hers came around!
To keep the kids occupied, we planted marigold seeds in recycled yogurt cups. My father, a master gardener, showed the kids how to plant that particular kind of seed. Afterwards, he treated them to tractor rides around the neighborhood. (I think this was the favorite part of the day!)
For favors, I took several marigolds from dad’s garden that had gone to seed and dried and separated them. I sewed the edges of ¼ page prints that I made to form a seed envelope. The children took these, their place setting pots, and party activity home as a treat from the party.
Hosting your own “Plant a Seed” party is the perfect way to celebrate Earth Day this year, and show your kids how reuse and recycle in your celebrations for eco-friendly parties that are kind to mother Earth!