Ruff Draft: Solo Cup Birthday Celebration

How many times have you been to a BBQ or picnic, and have seen RED SOLO CUPS everywhere?  Well, Toby Keith has taken RED SOLO CUPS to a new level, and wrote a country song about them.  My sister, Erin, recently asked me to help with a surprise 30th RED SOLO CUP birthday celebration, in honor of Toby Keith’s song, “Red Solo Cup” (her boyfriend, Josh’s favorite song).  How could I say no – what a clever, and inexpensive party theme!!!

I was told that she had a limited budget (mostly $ towards great food & keg beer), and she wanted everyone to create a solo cup birthday hat for a contest.

invite**NEW TO SHOP:Red Solo Cup party invitation

So…. with a limited budget, I was basically working with designs & solo cups. (However, I was able to convince her to hire a fabulous local baker; Misty’s Cakery, Ohio) to create a 3D (approx 15″ tall) RED SOLO CUP CAKE!!!!

For the treat table, I designed wine wraps, water bottle wraps, party logos, party flags and red solo cup silhouettes.  The budget didn’t allow for a backdrop, but who needs one when you have such an amazing cake as your focal point??? If you display food in your party colors (such as colored chocolate dipped pretzels, oreos, strawberries & raspberries), coordinating candies, and add little printable graphics to dress it up, that’s really all you need when working with a small budget.   Get creative with the resources you already have, and go from there…..

dessert table

pennant banner

Party logos are perfect to dress up anything –  tape to glass containers, as well as use for toothpicks to hold together simple food such as: tomato caprese bites & sandwiches.

food details

I created an easy solo cup hanging decor, hung from a chandelier by punching holes in the cups and tying together with twine.  I used 4 cups total, and then stuck party logos on each end and added poms/tissue strands for extra color.

*Note – hot glue does not work well when making solo cup decorations – try staples, duct tape or punch holes and connect with twine or sturdy string.

We dressed up bottles of liquor for the top 3 winners for the red solo cup birthday hat contest.  (Added pattern paper around the top neck, then tied on some tissue strands, and a party logo)

I created a “30” stand out of red solo cup bottoms – I tried hot glue first, and then ended up using a lot of duct tape!!!  I even made a little pennant banner out of red solo cups…

more decor and food

When the birthday boy arrived, we all had on our solo cup birthday hats (I made extras for those who didn’t come prepared).

(Birthday boy below… he was SURPRISED, and yes Toby Keith’s RED SOLO CUP song was playing in the background)!!!!

birthday boySome of the great party hats worn by guests!!!

party hats

The guests were so great in participating… some of the favorites:

1. “American Made” – cup made with little metal gadgets, screws, bolts, etc by my dad who has a hardware store – so funny!

2.  “Queen Bee” – princess tiara worn by the birthday boy’s mom

3.  “Me at age 30” – my sister Laura, and her husband Dave were into bandanas and mullets when they were 30 – they dressed their cups accordingly!

4. “Vogue” – strike a pose, Erin!  I’m sure you can figure out that one!

5. “Trojan Man” – a gladiator style helmet made completely out of solo cups (my husband’s) lol

6. “Cowgirl” – cowgirl hat made completely out of solo cups, with matching purse and bracelet (yes, that was mine, and my 9 year old designed/made my purse) 🙂

7. “Cowboy” – cowboy hat made out of beer cardboard box and solo cups  (he arrived late, but was a winner!)

Throughout the evening, we played “Beer Pong” with solo cups, of course; “Flip Cup” with more solo cups and “Cornhole”…. no solo cups used with this one, except for holding beverages.

blowing out cakeBirthday boy blowing out cake, and the final 3 birthday hat winners!

Everyone LOVED the party, and the birthday boy was thrilled as well!  We ended the evening with fireworks and lots of great memories!

This is such a fun party theme – it really could be used for summer bbq’s, family reunions, neighborhood get-togethers…. even my kids wanted to participate once they saw the hats we were making!  It doesn’t have to be just for adults!!!


Love RED SOLO CUPS??? Leave us a comment and share with others!


  1. Love it! I’m trying to come up with a reason to throw a party this summer and use this theme. My husband would love it too!

  2. REALLY?! How in the world did you come up with this? AMAZING! I love this blog….always forward thinking and original ideas…..LOVE it!

    1. Colleen – this was all my sister’s vision…. I just helped her make it happen! She came up with the “make your own solo cup bday hat” contest, which really made the party FUN!!!

  3. The food was delicious as well as beautifully presented. I love parties with a theme and so many parties have no point of view, but this one did!!! It was amazing the amount of work that you put into this gathering to make everything special, perfect, and delicious (healthy too–fresh fruit, gourmet sandwiches)

    1. Erin theme was just too fun, not to do and she did an AMAZING job with the food!!!! She came up with great options that were quick & easy, and totally doable!!! From gourmet sandwiches, pesto pasta salads,to little caprese tomato bites, veggie platters, etc – the spread was fabulous!

  4. Love all the decorations! How were you able to make all the little solo cups and 30 circles? Do you sell them?

  5. Love all of this. My husband loves this song so we are doing Surprise 50th with this theme. How did you do cake??

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