Well, I planned another party. This time for my 8-year-old and with a sports theme. We rented time on an indoor turf and a local fieldhouse and when the boys had absolutely played every version of football and dodgeball they made their way to the party room.
I had decked out the party room in variations of things I had seen on Pinterest. Plus a few things I fashioned from trinkets at the Dollar Store. Sharing ideas with you here (resources where I have them).
All Conference Cupcakes
I found these small-scale plastic trophies at Dollar Tree about 8 months ago. I knew instantly that I wanted to plop them on top of something. At the time I was thinking for a basketball banquet. But that coach decided he would rather the team go to a local pizza joint. Whatevs. So, they laid in wait for a party. I was able to buy a 4-pack for $1. I do have a cupcake stand, but on the great advice of one of my friends I left them in the plastic container the store-bought cakes came in because, "they kinda look like a stadium setting." I would absolutely do this on a cupcake, again. So cute. So easy. Super cheap.
Crockpot Concessions -- Game Day Dogs and NFL Nachos with Cheese
I read on a crockpot blog that you can cook a lot of hot dogs at once, without water, in a crockpot. Sign. Me. Up. (http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/2012/04/hot-dogs-for-crowd.html) My original interest in pinning this idea was that my boys are swimmers and I could just see myself getting put in charge of concessions some day and having to figure out how to cook and sell like 100 hot dogs on one day. You could do that with this solution. Go read her blog. I cooked 30 dogs at one time, on high for 2 hours. They were perfect and plump and totally white-trash-eriffic.
The nachos were a last minute decision. What is a trip to a stadium without nachos and that weird cheese product that I love? I didn't have a recipe for this. I just threw 2 cans of Campbell's brand nacho cheese soup, 1 can of original Rotel, and one gigantic brick of Velveeta in a crockpot for 2 hours on high. This was surprisingly yummy and the kids hogged on it thoroughly. I just drizzled it over their corn chips. If I were to serve this again, and I absolutely will, I will try to find small plastic cups to serve it in.
I bought these cute popcorn boxes in my son's favorite color at Oriental Trading Co. I got mine for a screaming deal. But now they have cuter ones that actually have field hash marks on them and are only $6.25 for 24 of them. They ship flat, obviously. Putting them together is pretty easy, just allow yourself time to do that. I also stuck a foam football sticker on mine. I ordered hackie sack footballs for the parting gift bags from OTC, as well.
I love for kids to be able to take something with them. But as a parent, I hate when my kids bring home small trinkets that get stuck in the vacuum. So, I opted for water bottles in primary colors. These bottles were also from Dollar Tree. I had looked into ordering water bottles with my son's name printed on them. That would have made them like $15/piece. So, we just decorated these with a strip of paper and the foam footballs, again. I'm not a graphics designer. So, the strip of paper is just cut from a high school football field diagram that coaches use to make plays. I used Sports Diagram.
In addition to the water bottle I made small cello bags and toppers that contained the hackie sack footballs from OTC, a rope eraser from Target that looked like a basketball on the end, a bag of chocolates in sports tin foils, and a small rubber ball in the shape of some other sports ball, e.g. baseball, basketball, soccer ball.
Most of the signs were whipped up in Word. Again, I'm not a designer. I used the font SF Collegiate that I downloaded for free. I did use a small circle that I downloaded from Ruff Draft. But I used it sparingly as it was brown and green and we had really used primary colors. But you should check that site out. They have lots of free printables that are cute as can be.