50's Party 5yr - Pink Poodle Skirts
Rebecca in Austin, TX USA
We decided to have a 50's sock hop for our daughter's 5th birthday this year, and planning it was a lot of fun!!
A few months before the party I started my search for the perfect invitations. I found several that were cute, but settled on a classy ivory cardstock with a soft almost watercolor-like picture of a poodle skirt and blouse off to one side. I glued a rhinestone to the center of the belt for an added touch. I printed the invitations in a matching pink ink with the following text: "Rock and Roll is here to stay" We're having a sock hop for (birthday child's name) 's birthday. Put on your dancing shoes and shake, rattle and roll over to The (last name) Diner & Dance Hall on (date & time). Poodle skirts, scarves & sunglasses provided. R.S.V.P. to (phone #)"
We wanted the party to be held at our home and decided the sock hop part would be in our Gameroom and our kitchen would be transformed into the diner. I'll start with the "dancehall". We started by removing all of the furniture from our Gameroom except a small round ice cream shop style table in one corner and our couch (which was pushed up against the windows). The primary colors for the party were black, pink & red.
I wanted to really transform the room, so I first made 48 12" tall music notes out of black cardstock and stapled them all over the room. I also made 100 12" records using black construction paper (my cropping tools for scrapbooking came in handy here) and various shades of pink and red "labels" for the records. I used the titles of 100 fifties songs and changed the names a little for fun, then wrote the new names on the records. For example, "Sixteen Candles" became "Five Candles", "Tequila" became "Milk", "The Monster Mash" became "The Furby Mash", "It's Mashed Potato Time" became "Mr. Potato Head Time", etc. It was quite fun coming up with the new names. I stapled them all around the room, along with the music notes. This was to be a game for the adults at the party, too. The goal was for them to see how many of the original song titles they could figure out by looking at the new ones. It was a fun way to involve them in the activities of the party.
Back to the decorations, I also found these thee dimensional vintage car cutouts that were a metallic red, which was perfect for our color scheme. I purchased 24 of them to staple around the room, too. We rented a full-size helium tank and inflated red, pink, black and white balloons to cover the ceiling - 48 of each color. It looked amazing!! Next I placed a full-size jukebox cutout in one corner and draped some fuzzy dice over it (we also had pink and red fuzzy dice hanging from the ceiling fan).
The last decoration for the Gameroom was a 5 foot tall (3 feet in diameter) silver soda mug filled with pink and white balloons (pink for the soda and white for the whipped cream), topped with one red "cherry" balloon. This also had a huge straw coming out of it and was a real hit!! We found this at www.shindigz.com. I purchased 2 of them and had another in one corner of our diner downstairs. I also purchased from them a personalized banner that said "(Birthday child's name)'s 5th Birthday Sock Hop". The banner had a juke box, records and music notes. They have several others to choose from, too. I was completely impressed when it arrived and was made from super heavy duty vinyl as opposed to poster paper. I hung that from the 2nd floor banister as a grand welcome sign when you came into our foyer upon entering our home.
Moving on to the Diner decorations as mentioned above I had the 5 foot soda mug in one corner. I also moved our kitchen table into the garage and rented 4 small round tables and white wooden chairs to make it more "diner-like". I covered the tables with bubblegum pink tablecloths and made these cute center pieces from black card stock. They consisted of three tiered records, each raised with a 1" foam cube to off set it from the one below it, with a cutout of a boy and girl dancing. Of course, the cutout had the girl in a full skirt and a ponytail. I used pink curling ribbon to tie around the ponytails and they were adorable. I found the sets to make them at www.shindigz.com. I also found at a local party shop a huge, one-piece fifties decoration that I hung from the ceiling. It had thick, braided streamers, a jukebox and a crepe paper ball, all in the matching colors. It was a nice added touch and really made the kitchen look like a diner.
Prior to the party my husband and I, as well as our daughter got in full 50's costume. My husband was the cool guy with the slicked back hair, rolled up jeans, tight white t-shirt and leather jacket. I went for the 50's mom look and had a full black skirt with white polka dots, a white blouse with a black cardigan sweater. I had a bright pink sash around my waist, a black and white polka dotted scarf around my neck and fixed my hair 50's style. Our daughter had a bubblegum pink poodle skirt with a black sash, a white blouse and a white monogrammed sweater. She had saddle shoes and a high ponytail tied with a pink scarf and another tied around her neck.
When each of the girls arrived, I had them come into the "dressing room" (study) and pick a bag. I had pink and red lunch sack-style goodie bags that I decorated with 50's items cut from a large paper tablecloth. Each bag contained her pink felt poodle skirt (www.orientaltrading.com), 2 pink scarves that I made (one for her ponytail and one to tie around her neck) and a pair of pink sparkly "cat glasses", complete with rhinestone accents (these were a craft kit from www.birthdayexpress.com, but I completed them prior to the party). When all the girls were in their costumes, they looked unbelievably adorable!! We have the best pictures from this party. Of course, the girls got to keep their costumes after the party. Once dressed, the girls went upstairs, where we had 50's music playing (I purchased several 50's compilation cd's at a music store). They had fun dancing around and being taught several 50's moves by my sister-in-law and my mother. We had a hand-jive contest and a limbo contest, which were both a lot of fun. A real vintage-replica bubblegum machine was the prize for each game. I purchased pink and red blow up saxophones, guitars and microphones at a local party shop, so they were also "playing" the instruments and trying to learn the songs. Several of the adults took over with the microphones and had a little karaoke contest on their own, which was hilarious!! The dad's all danced with the girls and a fun time was had by all.
Next it was time to move downstairs to the diner. After over an hour of dancing, the girls were pooped and ready for cake! I decided not to do a traditional cake, but made individual "cupcakes" in ice cream cones that looked like little sundaes. I topped them with a scoop of icing, sprinkles and a cherry. They were adorable. We also had root beer floats instead of regular ice cream. I found these cute black music note sticks to put in the floats and the girls loved the touch. I did have some food out, too (veggie tray, etc), but that was mostly for the adults to snack on during the party. After cake we opened gifts and enjoyed a being still for a few minutes!! When it was time for the girls to all leave, I had them draw a card out of a little bag to see which of the blow-up instruments they could take home. I also had a goodie "bag" for them, but instead of bags I found these cardboard 50's cars that are used for kid's meals at 50's-style diners (http://50smemorabilia.safeshopper.com). I purchased pink & red to match the party colors and filled them with fuzzy dice, 50's candy (rock candy, Bazooka gum, etc.) and a 50's replica Hotwheels car (I found these in sets of 5 on eBay from the early 90's). Each girl also got to keep her costume. This was the most fun party we've had yet and I can't wait to try to top it next year!!