Western Party Decorations

With a few Western party decorations, you can turn your home into a ranch that's a perfect backdrop for cowboy birthday parties. It's possible to invoke the spirit of the West without feeling like some outlaws robbed your bank account.

Balloons and Streamers: After choosing a basic color scheme for the cowboy birthday party, it's easy to come up with balloons and streamers to tie the party together. Try red and white for boys and pink and brown for a cowgirl version. Use streamers on the ceiling in a basket-weave design for an immediate Western look. Group helium balloon bunches together, and weigh them down with toy horses. Scatter the balloon bouquets throughout the party room.

Tables and Centerpieces: A simple red and white-checkered tablecloth recalls the chuck wagon meals that cowboys enjoyed. If you don't want to use cowboy- or rodeo-themed paper plates and cups, consider giving children old pie tins as plates and small glass pint jars for cups. For a centerpiece, use horseshoes, rope for a lasso, a bandana, some thrift store cowboy boots and a hat to make a unique display of the cowboy's greatest tools on the open prairie.

Make a Western Town Backdrop: Ask for some large cardboard boxes from a furniture or appliance store, and create a Western town. Cut out shapes for windows, and paint the cardboard to look like storefronts. Be sure to include a saloon, jail, hotel and bank in your town. (Don't be surprised if the kids want to have their pictures taken in the jail.) The Western town can either be fully finished before guests arrive, or you can make decorating the town's buildings a part of the party activities.

Wall Decorations: Make garlands of thick rope to wrap around banisters, to accent entryways and even to rope off areas where guests should not wander. Other clever wall decorations include cardboard cutouts of horseshoes, sheriff stars, six-shooters and cowboy boots.

Make a variety of silly wanted posters out of poster board cut in half. You can also create distinct wanted posters of each guest to decorate the walls. Just take mug shots at the party, attach them to the posters and send them home as party favors.

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