Monday, April 8, 2013

Vintage 50's Car Garage Party

For my son's recent second birthday, I went all out with a 50's auto garage theme. Think... Vintage tool boxes. Mechanic's tags. Tire cake. Vintage license plates. Tools. Every boy's little dream, right?!

This concept evolved out of my son's obsession over cars and trucks for the better part of his existence. So, I knew I had to incorporate this fondness into the theme this year. You can find lots of vintage car and truck theme parties, but I surprisingly couldn't find much with the more dominant garage theme. After this party was complete, I realized that I have a very distinct style when it comes to events and my home decor...I use very modern prints and graphics and juxtapose them with very rustic and vintage items. So none-the-less this party ended up true to form!

Guests were invited to the party by receiving a wooden veneer box which contained a vintage automobile key. I ordered a set on Etsy that had an eclectic collection of Ford, GM and Nissan keys. I made a key chain to attach to each one just out of cardstock/scrapbooking paper.  The key and key chain were nestled on a bed of shredded newspaper inside the wooden box.

Kiddos were instructed upon arrival to find their mechanic's name tag before they were sent off to build a hot rod. I made these tags using felt, embroidery thread and hot gluing a pin to the back. 

The kids decorated cardboard box cars with wheels, headlights, stickers, license plates and steering wheels. Their custom hot rods served as the new ride they were "picking up" from the Garage as mentioned on the initial invite key chain.

This party actually ended up being a very "green" or eco-friendly event. I got the boxes for the "cars" from the produce section at my local grocer (for free). And all the other boxes used as small tables for the kids were leftover from received Amazon orders. Some were wrapped in newspaper and others wrapped in brown painters paper. I also made most of my decorations out of old newspaper.

I was able to find a blank Wisconsin license plate image online. I changed the date on the plate in Photoshop to say March '13 (the month and year of his party).

The kids had a wall of vintage license plates to use as a photo backdrop. They took pics in their cars wearing the photo props seen below! I also added scarfs for the little girls and just draped them around the mirror!

I got the above cateye glasses from HERE. They were super cute and affordable. The boys' sunglasses I already had, and I believe were from Target last summer.

Party goer Calvin aka "Cool Dude" strikes a pose in his hot rod!

The snack menu was a cross between diner and southern flare consisting of BBQ Pork sliders, coleslaw, french fries served in wax paper cones, natural applesauce and raisins for the kiddos. (Raisins & applesauce are my son's favorites!) The runner you see here I literally made from newspaper, trimmed in black duct tape and lined on the bottom with white computer paper, so it wouldn't bleed on my white table linen!

I used a great tutorial on how make these wax paper fry cones HERE.

Drinks were served at the Fuel station. A selection of local bottled beer & soda for the adults and Apple & Eve's Fruitable boxed juices for the youngsters! If you haven't tried these juices, get them! It's a sneaky and tasty way to get veggies into your toddler's diet!


My son's tire cake with cake topper banner that read, "Vroom." The cake is just made from yellow boxed cake iced in chocolate icing and covered in black fondant. The bottom tire is 3 layers and the top tire has 2. I made the banner using wooden kitchen skewers, stamped letters on fabric and weaved yarn. Super easy! The number "2" was  a cheap buy from Michael's.

And, this is my son's cake topper banner in flames!!!.....Mama didn't realize lighting candles right underneath it would send the yarn and fabric banner ablaze mid "happy birthday" singing! Quite a comical and memorable moment! This photo totally cracks me up as it captures my innocent son vigorously trying to help mommy blow the flames out and me with a super worried and dumbfounded look on my face! Luckily, I grabbed the skewers in time and ran them to the sink! Whew! Disaster averted!

I made my headband out of scrap fabric. It was my modern take on Rosie the Riveter! 

In addition to the kids taking home their hot rods, each person took home a bag of tool shaped sugar cookies so they could "work" on their cars at home. Favor tags read, "Thanks for Vrooming by." The favors were displayed in a vintage tool box I got from a thrift store originally as a room decoration for my son. You can buy the cookie cutters I used HERE.

Real wrenches were sporadically incorporated into the design. They worked great to ground floor bouquets of balloons!

Looking for the perfect Mom & Dad gift for this party? How 'bout a real retro ride for your little one?! My son received this Retro Tricycle by Radio Flyer. Here's a tip when buying a tricycle- there is a 12" radio flyer one that is really cute. It has a bell and streamers, but after reading the reviews on it, it was just too big for a two year old even though the starting age is 2. So, learn from our research and buy the 10" one I linked to above and add this adorable bell. This 10" tricycle was the perfect size for our two year old, though he doesn't quite get the concept of peddling just yet!

The day ended with a big smile on my son's face. Mom and Dad had a pretty good time too. Nothing like hitting the 2 mile marker in style!


  1. awesome party theme!
    dying to know where you scored that awesome pendant light.

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