"Some people call me Space Cowboy."
That's what my husband said on our first date when I asked him if he ever got references to "Steve Miller Band" (as his name is Stephen Miller). We went to a Steve Miller Band concert a few months later and heard "The Joker" live. Eight years later, we have a little boy who loves Toy Story. And this mama was not about to miss an opportunity to bring this "space cowboy" thing full circle with a Buzz and Woody party!
Our son was Woody for Halloween, I sang "You've Got a Friend in Me" to him every night for months, and we had just gotten back from Disney World (and Toy Story land) a week before his party. The timing was right for this theme, and it was also really fun that it featured some of his other favorite things: rocket ships, dinosaurs, horses, and pizza. A little boy's dream! This was also the first birthday where he knew what was going on and was truly excited about his party. That made two of us!
As is the case with most parties, designing the invitation helped me set the creative direction. I started with the Toy Story-inspired clipart from HadleyHampton on Etsy. I created the plaid pattern on my iPad, and I used this pattern for the placemats and cupcake wrappers as well. I also painted the cloud pattern on my iPad, and I used this for the envelope liner and the back of the invitation.
As for the tablescape, I lost my mind and decided I needed to paint a cloud scene on some bulletin board paper to use as a tablecloth. I do love the way it turned out, but I'm not sure I can say it was worth the effort! I had hoarded the paper plates from Target for about two years, and they finally found the perfect home at this party. I bought the rocket cups and spray-painted them white (I duct-taped the tops so no spray paint got inside the cups). And I made the activity cards and sheriff badges using my Cricut machine.
I finished layering the table with letter blocks (Hobby Lobby wooden section), small army men, large army men (Hobby Lobby home decor section), maidenhair ferns, and etch-a-sketch picture frames I made to display some pictures of Weston on the alien ride, and as Woody for Halloween.
The cookies from Black Dog Baking were the star of the show!
I knew I wanted to pay homage to the army men and walkie-talkie scene (while also bringing in some greenery!). I found the basket at a thrift store and added faux ferns from Target. I searched eBay for a vintage PlaySkool baby monitor, and at the time they were going for $200... so I decided paper would do just fine ;)
I also knew that I wanted to incorporate an obscure quote from the movie, when Andy's mom is hosting his birthday party and shouts, "Here come the chips! I've got Cool Ranch and Barbecue!" Of course this was the perfect opportunity for a themed snack for this party!
For Buzz's spaceship, I used a tri-fold presentation board for the main "cabin" and foam board for the wings (just duct taped to the sides). I free-handed the painting, cut out a window with my box cutter knife, and hot-glued a piece of plexiglass to the back. This turned out to be a fun little photo booth for the kids, but it did get pretty overshadowed by the fun bounce house!
You may recognize these stick horses from the farm party last year. I love getting multiple uses out of party items, and these horses from SEWnSoHandmade held up so well and we loved getting to use them again!
And now, for the clawwwwwwwwww...
I thought of a few prototypes for how to make this work, but the answer turned out to be simpler than I was trying to make it (and may or may not have been inspired by an episode of Bluey). Once again, the trifold science project came to the rescue (actually two of them glued together). Add spray paint, hot glue, a box cutter, and a brave husband willing to wear a silver glove for an hour, and you've got yourself a claw machine! I surprisingly had a hard time finding small squeaky alien toys like in the movie, so I just made some cut-outs using my Cricut.
Our party guests were given real quarters, and after inserting their money they got to maneuver the joystick and pick their prize. The kids loved it, and my dad now refers to my husband as a really great "son-in-claw."
I asked my parents if they could pick up the pizza on their way to the party, and they arrived in Pizza Planet shirts (my mom's idea!). They have always been great sports when it comes to my children's parties!
While I obviously love to throw parties, I'm also happy (and exhausted) when they come to an end. My friends joke that at around the 1.5/2 hour mark, you will usually see me saying, "Thank ya'll so much for coming!" and handing out party favors. These little pizza cookie party favors from Black Dog Baking were a perfect parting gift (and I may have stashed away one or two for myself!)
We had so much fun with our Space Cowboy, and I hope this inspires some of your own rootin' tootin', out-of-this-world Toy Story parties. To infinity and beyond!
Party planning/design/paper goods: Brittany Miller
Photos: Mallory Kellum
Bounce House: Westhouse Events
Cookies: Black Dog Baking Company
Cupcakes: Magic Muffin
Stick horses: SEWnSoHandmade
Pizza Planet boxes: BirdieandShoosh on Etsy (not currently available)
Embroidery: my Mama ;)
Blue gingham tablecloth- Target (not currently unavailable)