50s Theme 8yr - 50s Diner
Zina in Cedar Hill, Texas, Dallas County
For my daughter's 8th birthday party, she wanted a "50's theme party".
She had been hoooked on the 50's era ever since she had her 2nd grade program at school and my mom made her a poodle skirt and fitted shirt. She even wore those cute black and white bowling shoes and a scarf around her neck. I used to be an event designer, So in planning, I had the party in my parents garage in Houston, since all our family lives in Houston.
While here, I bought a 50's era CD from Walmart that had over 20, 50's era songs, even songs kids would love. I also bought those really cute, brightly colored 50's scarves for all of the girls and women who attended the party to wear eiter around their necks, pony tails, or as head bands. I found these at Claire's Boutique, for only 10 for $5.00. Next, I bought 50's era toys for the kids to play with at the party: jump ropes, hula hoops, jax, slinkies (the old metal ones), bubble gum, bubbles, sidewalk chalk and bolo bats. I went to a teacher's supply store and got maybe 20 feet of butcher paper in black, white, hot pink as well as turquoise which were the colors of the party. I also bought 50's theme napkins from Party City.
From a Dollar Tree, I found Coca Cola glasses (you know the clear ones with Coca Cola etched on them) for the adults as well old fashioned sundae glasses from Hobby Lobby, all the glasses were only $1.00 each. For the kids, I was able to find the same glasses but scaled down to pint size, like 7-8 oz, and they were plastic at Walgreen's for .50 a piece!!! While shopping at Walmart, I found an old fashioned napkin dispenser with Coca Cola on it and an old fashioned straw dispenser too. Both were really inexpensive.
An idea for the kids to wear if none have poodle skirts, the boys wore jeans, white t-shirts and loafers, and even sweater vests and some of the girls had on "swing dresses" which were their casual church dresses that really swung like a poodle skirt, some were even polka dot (what a coincidence), others wore jeans rolled up with no socks and white tennis. Two of my niecec even showed up as the rich girls Buffy and Bonnie. They had on cute skirts, pink t-shirts, loafers, and sweaters tied around their necks.
Once I got to Houston, I took the black butcher paper and cut out a shape of a large juke box and used the other colors of paper to make music notes and other details. It hung from ceiling to floor, so it was huge.I then hung it from the ceiling near a wall from the center of the garage. Behind the juke box was a table with a radio on it, hidden behind the juke box, which was playing the 50's music. My parents garage is full of shelves on all walls with tons of stuff, so to conceil everything, I covered the shelves with other colors of butcher paper. It totally changed the garage. On the butcher paper, I covered it with die cuts I made from the teacher supply store of girls, boys, music notes, and tennis shoes, and also some of the 50's era napkins I bought. I covered two refrigerators that were in the garage with lots of crepe paper that just hung from the top to bottom in strips. It was awesome!!!
As for the menu, I made it out of a large poster a quick menu that said Mel;s Diner in large letters at the top. I typed up the prices and menu items in large fonts: Hamburgers: .50, Cheeseburgers .55, chili dogs, french fries: .15, shakes, malts, cherry cookes, etc. We actually served these food items too. I hung the mnue on the wall next to this great table. We set up in the garage on a really cool steel table my parents had from catering, two fryers for the fries, and a griddle for the cheeseburgers and onions. We had all the fixings. We served the food in those red and white paper baskets that were reminiscent of the 50's that most concession stands use for hot dogs and nachos. Me, my mom, my sister, my uncle, and my dad worked in the diner. We all were dressed in cutoffs or rolled up jeans, white t-shirts, or simple, A-line dresses. We put on black aprons around our waists and I made name tags for us: I was Flo, My mom was Laverne, and my sister was Shirley. My uncle was "The Fonz" and My dad was of course Mel, the owner of the diner. During the party, we taught the kids how to do the hand jive. They loved it, while listening to Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, The Coasters, and many more. It was a blast, the kids had a ball playing with the 50's era toys and they were able to bring them home with them after the party instead of grab bags.
At the end of the party, we gathered all the kids into the house in front of the T.V. and ended the night with none other than Grease II the movie!!! To top it off, I bought black and white film which you can find at any film developing place or department, and I took black and white pictures and color pictures of the party. At the end I took a whole roll of black and white film pictures of my daughter posing in front of the "juke box". Once I developed the film from this roll, I sent out thank you cards to everyone who attended with a black and white picture of my daughter. It was a hit!!!