Hello, Anders Ruff fans! Jen Carver of Banner Events here with hopes I can bowl you over with this boy’s retro bowling birthday party I planned and styled for my 6-year old son, Max! I’m excited to share how we got the ball rolling while planning this fun party theme! I’ll walk you through all of the details–from sending out the invitations and fine-tuning the decorations to arranging the dessert table and styling the dining tablescape. I’ll even talk about the party favors! A Fresh Take Photography captured the magic!
Some of my favorite details from this Boy’s Retro Bowling Birthday Party are:
– Awesome Bowling Themed Desserts
– Bowling Pin Water Bottles
– Custom Appliqued Bowling Shirts
– Personalized Bowling Bag Favor Boxes
– Customized Logo Plates
– DIY Bowling Pin Inspired Utensils
Take a peek at more fabulous bowling party ideas:
When it comes to generating hype for a party, the invitation definitely gets things started. Don’t be afraid to shake things up a bit! There is nothing quite like receiving a creative invitation delivery on your doorstep! We like starting with a well-designed, impressive invitation that clearly announces the party theme. These bowling invitations, designed by Anders Ruff and printed by Driftwood Printing, accomplished all of our objectives! Next, we like to get a little creative with the delivery, often choosing to forego the traditional envelope in lieu of something a little unexpected or uncoventional. For this retro bowling birthday party we opted to use black jewelry boxes from Oriental Trading Co., filling them with a bed of red paper shred. To dress up the outside of the box, we added personalized delivery and return address labels, designed by Anders Ruff to coordinate with the invitation. As an element of fun, we threw in a mini tabletop bowling game with the invitation (notice the mini bowling pins). What recipient doesn’t like getting a small prize with their invitation?
Now that you’ve got excitement building for the party, it’s time to plan for decorations. Guests love arriving to a decked out party that coordinates with the theme you’ve already established. I usually start with plans for the dessert table. Anders Ruff is fabulous to work with and designed an oversized and personalized party logo that I could use as the focal point. I hung coordinating fabric on my DIYd PVC pipe backdrop stand and added the party logo.I raided my party linens for a tablecloth and runner and attached a printable “Let’s Bowl” banner to the front of the table. I continued by collecting theme and color-coordinating props and party supplies such as red, black and white cake stands and serving pieces from my inventory. I like to play around with placement and see how I want to showcase the treats I plan to serve! Once the bare bones of the dessert table are in place, I put my orders in for desserts and additional party supplies like the polka dot balloons and small bowling pin sets from Shindigz I used to add a little fun to the styling.
Now that I could see the space I had to work with on the table for serving desserts, I began brainstorming the types of sweets I would like to have created by my go-to dessert masters. Of course, I always include the guest of honor’s favorites on that list!
Christina Goff of 4 Kids Cakes has been my exclusive cake designer for years, and I can always count on her to deliver a cake that exceeds my expectations! I generally find a few cakes online for inspiration or sketch a few designs and send her a sample of the printable decorations I’d like her to match. She always creates something fresh and original that tastes as good as it looks. Christina often uses a combination of fondant and molding chocolate to create her masterpieces, just as she did with this cake.
After sending out the invitations with mini bowling sets included, I had the idea to top cupcakes with the mini pins and black gumballs to represent the bowling ball. Christina baked and frosted cupcakes for me, which I outfitted in the baking cups and topped with pins and balls. You could substitute fondant bowling pins, if you wish.
Sugar cookies are a favorite at our house and definitely a dessert table staple. Jen of Sugary Sweet Cookies has had her beautiful cookies on many of my dessert tables. I love that she took inspiration from Anders Ruff’s printable decorations and coordinated her cookies with their designs. The logo cookies were my very favorite, but how cute are those bowling pins?
If chocolate covered Oreos and/or rice krispy treats are on the top of your must-serve dessert list, be sure to check out Bella Bakery. Nicole is a genius when it comes to executing ideas you dream up! We just loved the Oreo bowling balls and rice krispy bowling pins she made for us.
Sweets From Heaven Orange made the ever popular candy “bobs” (kabobs) to round out our sweet table options. Always a favorite, Wynter makes them from a combination of candy and embellishes them with edible images to match any theme. The kids literally go crazy for these!
Next up on my decorating to-do list is the dining area. Decorating the dining table is 2nd on my party favorites list, a close runner-up to styling the dessert table. I enjoy designing a space that makes party guests feel special, and love including a variety of fun theme specific items arranged just for them. I want my party tables to have a custom look and achieve this by commissioning printable designs that I can add to party table basics like centerpieces, plates, napkins, cups, water bottles, and various food containers and packaging.
A quick look at my bowling birthday party tablescape reveals cute bowling themed centerpiece picks which I attached to paper straws and displayed from black baskets filled with paper shred. Printable logos and labels dressed up water bottles, popcorn boxes, paper straws, fruit cups and paper plates. A “gutterball” gumballs label turned an ordinary candy tube of black gumballs into a genius bowling party favor! Designed by Anders Ruff, the printable elements really helped to tie the overall theme and look of the party together.
A couple of my favorites from the table include the bowling pin sippers from Shindigz and my simple cutlery DIY project. I loved giving a bowling pin look to ordinary white cutlery! It was an easy transformation using strips of red electrical tape.
Can I tell you a secret? I have a love-hate relationship with party favors. Don’t get me wrong; they are an important part of a successful party. I love to give them, but don’t love receiving them when they serve no purpose and end up in the trash. When planning for party favors, I try to choose practical items that will result in a fun extension of the party once guests return home. I loved Maureen’s idea for this birthday bowling bag (as seen in her son Pierson’s bowling party). It’s a genius way to package up party favors at a bowling birthday party. I used the same idea for my son’s party and created favor “bags” in a snap. I simply attached a printable label and tag to glossy black gable boxes from Nashville Wraps and filled them with an assortment of bowling themed items from Oriental Trading that the children could enjoy later. There were coloring books (from the AR bowling collection), paddle balls, bowling pin pens, bowling pin stress “balls”, a bowling trophy (earned during their game of bowling) and even a bag full of “spare sweets” for the road. Guests even received a larger sized bowling set to take home, providing plenty of practice opportunities after an afternoon spent at a real bowling alley.
Wondering how this cute group spent their time besides eating and checking out party favors? We hit the road and paid a visit to our local bowling alley where they learned some bowling basics and even managed a few strikes and spares. The boys loved sporting their custom bowling shirts by the amazingly talented Brenda from GreatStitch.com. We added custom team logo stickers to the back to make it easier for the boys to stay in their lane. They all left feeling like they had reached pro status!
With no time to spare, full bellies and smiling faces, this bowling birthday party was deemed a success!
A Boy’s Retro Bowling Birthday Party Vendor Credits:
Banner Events – Event Styling
Anders Ruff Custom Designs– Printable Invitation and Coordinating Printable Decorations
A Fresh Take Photography– Event Photography
Driftwood Printing– Large and Small Format Printing
4 Kids Cakes – Bowling Cake, Cupcakes
Sugary Sweet Cookies – Cookies
Bella Bakery – Bowling Pin Rice Krispy Treats, Bowling Ball Chocolate Covered Oreos
Sweets From Heaven Orange – Candy “Bobs”
Oriental Trading – Mini Bowling Sets, Bowling Paddles Games, Bowling Trophies, Bowling Sets, Bowling Shaped Pins, Bowling Pin Stress Toys, Treat Boxes (Black), Black Necklace Gift Boxes (for invitations), Black Buckets with Ribbon Handles, Black Luncheon Napkins, Classic Red Dessert Plates, White Dinner Plates, Red Chocolate Candy, Black Chocolate Candy, Mini Red and Black Popcorn Boxes, Light Blue Snack Cups
Nashville Wraps – Black Gable Boxes, Red Paper Shred, Red, Black and Silver Curling Ribbon
GreatStitch.com – Custom Appliqued Bowling Shirts with Personalized Names
Shindigz– Bowling Pin Water Bottles, Bowling Lollipops, Red Swirl Lollipops, Black Gumballs, Plastic Candy Tubes, White Plastic Cutlery, Black Striped Paper Straws, Red Striped Paper Straws, Lollipop Sticks, Red and White Polka Dot Balloons, Black and White Polka Dot Balloons, Plastic Bowling Set
SOURCES to create your own Boy’s Retro Bowling Birthday Party:
– Bowling Pin Prop
– Bowling Pin Cookie Cutter
– Bowling Pin Drink Cups
– Toy Bowling Set
– Black Gable Box and Bowling Bag Labels
– Black square plates
– Bowling set candles
– Red Plastic Burger Baskets
– Bowling Suckers