I love crafty moms. Seriously, they are the heart and soul of creativity! My friend Stephanie Miranda-De Lucia is not only a crafty mom, she’s also a big time news producer for NBC LA. Some how she finds the time to produce news and create adorable crafts for her son Jason. So I asked her to share how she put together this perfectly trashy birthday party theme for her son who is obsessed with garbage trucks. Here’s how you can make a Trash Bash Party!
It’s Friday. A day, in our house, that is filled with lots of excitement and anticipation. It’s trash day and my 3-year-old son is in love with garbage trucks!
No, we’re not those “average people” that, kindly wave to the man picking up our trash then, go about our day. We’re the family that literally waits for the big arrival. My son, dressed in his garbage truck t-shirt, eats his breakfast outside so he doesn’t miss a single moment.
Salvador, yes we know our garbage man by name, holds a special celebrity status in our son’s life. And Jason, is by far, his biggest fan. So when it was time to start planning Jason’s birthday party, I was faced with a very unique theme and challenge. How do you make trash look fun and festive?
Apparently, this is a challenge many of you are facing because so many kids these days love garbage trucks! My friend Heather, who runs this amazing blog, and her daughter attended my son’s “Trash Bash” and said to me afterwards, you’ve gotta tell other moms how you did this. They all want to know! So here are my “secrets”…
My first stop was Pinterest. I started a board and collected a few ideas. By the way, this process starts about 6 months before the party. About a week into my planning I hit the jackpot. A mom friend of mine just threw her son a trash truck birthday party and offered to “free-cycle” her leftover supplies.
So, I take zero credit for the centerpieces. But to break it down, it was a dollar tree plastic trashcan, filled with rocks (for weight), stuffed with paper from the brown bags at the grocery store, and a large party pick sticking out of the top. The outside of the trash can has a printed image of a garbage truck. Easy peasy!
Now it was time to figure out the invitations. I mean, it’s not like you can walk into a party store and just pick up garbage truck invites. I know. I tried. That’s where my best friend comes in. She is Mrs. Crafty McCrafterson and came up with the best design ever. She created a garbage truck and a recycling truck with a pull out card that detailed the party information. She and her husband are the brains of that entire operation.
I made my own Happy Birthday Jason banner with green card stock, used newspaper and orange letters that I printed and cut out. I used recycled twine (the stuff Home Depot hands out for free) to connect the banner. I ordered a custom t-shirt from Etsy for the birthday boy that had a garbage truck on it, his name and his age. Super cute! And only $15.
I have a friend, who is a graphic artist for a living, and helped create a large garbage truck poster that I had printed at Costco for $5. I decided on square dinner plates (I mean garbage trucks are pretty boxy when you think about it) and napkins with an orange zig zag. And we decided to serve “Junk food” (oh yes, I really take these party themes to the extreme) and put burgers and dogs on the menu.
Cake is cool but since I love cooking and baking I tend to go all out for the dessert table. I always order a small cake for the birthday boy to put his candles on it. But for the guests I always make a tray of cupcakes. I decorated half with little orange #3 cutouts and the other with little garbage truck prints that I printed out on our home printer. I glued each cutout to a toothpick and stuck each one into a cupcake. I also made a tray of rice crispy treats and used a #3 cookie cutter to cut out #3 treats.
I filled the rest of the table with chocolate cake pops. Chocolate cake covered in white chocolate, green sugar sprinkles and a small wrapper with the recycling symbol that I printed on regular address labels and cut out.
I also spray painted three recycled tin cans, orange, added foam to the bottom and use those to display my cake pops. PS. I love cupcakes because I’m not stuck having to cut a large cake and serve it.
For the centerpiece on my main food table, I recycled Jason’s Halloween costume. He was, you guessed it, a garbage truck for Halloween! That was made with a leftover diaper box and some green and orange spray paint.
Finally, I found an idea on Pinterest that I just couldn’t live without…a Little Tykes truck converted into a garbage truck with just a couple of modifications. First of all, the truck comes in blue so I spray painted the entire truck green. (Be sure to use spray paint that is meant for plastic) I then added a grey plastic bin to the back and printed a recycling symbol and stuck it on. My son now has his own garbage truck that he can’t wait to show off on Friday.
I hope I have inspired you to plan your own “Trash Bash”. I just want to say that I am a full-time, working mom. My husband is a stay at home dad. I tackle these projects in the evening when I get home from work and can’t sleep. Jason loved his party and what mom could ask for anything more? Maybe next year he’ll have a new “thing”, a new “passion”, but for now it’s garbage trucks and maybe someday, as a teenager, he’ll take a bag of trash out for me and I’ll hear his crackling, changing voice still say hello to Salvador.