Easy Hiking Theme Birthday on a Budget

I wasn’t sure how I was going to make this “Hiking” themed birthday different from the “Camping” theme we did a few years ago, and let me tell you, inspiration was not coming. I had only general ideas going into the evening before the big day, but hopefully that is just proof of how easy and budget friendly this whole theme was.

Birthdays are a big deal around here, and if you’ve been around a while, then you know that there is always a theme. I was really struggling with what the theme would be this time around since the interests of my now nine year old haven’t changed much over the last few years. I’ve done all the themes already. What he really wanted was a hiking theme, but I kept fighting against it since we just did a camping theme a few years ago.

Added into all that, my husband and I spent 10 days during July in the hospital with our oldest daughter and, while she is in full health now, the week we got home was full of recovery and catching up from being away from home and the rest of the kids for so long. That left only a few days to figure out what I was going to do for this birthday.

Finally I gave in. Hiking theme it was… but I had no idea what I would do. Pinterest is always a huge help, but most of the “hiking” searches brought up tons of great “camping” themed party ideas. Or “national park” themes. Still not exactly what I was looking for. (See my Pinterest board for more ideas!)

One thing I did find was cute hiking signs I could print… but my printer wasn’t working at the last minute, so we didn’t have those.

So what’s a girl to do with no balloons, no streamers, and no idea what to start with? I headed upstairs to to the attic for the Christmas/winter decorations. Yes I did! You may recognize some of these from the Cozy Mountain Lodge Women’s Retreat I decorated for earlier this year too.

I put some of these decorations on my much loved shelves.

Adventure Awaits Hand Painted Card -- Easy Hiking Theme Birthday on a Budget

And I try to paint/illustrate a little card for each of the kids on their birthday. It’s become something that is really special to them. This time I thought it fit nicely in the decoration. You could totally do this painting. I painted the green part of the tree loosely, leaving gaps here and there in a light green. After that dried, I did it again with the same paint, but not going all the way to the edges. Then a third time after it dried again. Once it was all dry the fourth time, I added the brown trunk. Sometimes I simply use a tall triangle for a pine tree. It works great!

The mountains I put on a pedestal in the middle of the breakfast table. (Excuse the wrinkled tablecloth… the epitome of last minute.)

Birthday breakfast was cinnamon roll mountains. Super easy! Two cans of cinnamon rolls from the refrigerated section of the grocery store (though you can make your own if you have the time and inclination). I just unrolled each one and re-rolled it in the slightest cone shape. A little tip: don’t go too high with your cone or it will topple over… but I just made that one mine. 🙂 No big deal.

I made little flags out of scrapbook paper and glued “take a hike” circles on to them. The stick is a skewer I cut into three parts. I hand wrote the “take a hike” but you could use something printed off the computer or even stickers if you can find something you like.

Life's An Adventure... Go Hiking! Chalkboard -- Easy Hiking Theme Birthday on a Budget

The chalkboard was really easy to do. Honestly, the hardest part was the lettering. Again, you could even use a simple tall triangle for the tree if the scribbled lines are too much. I found that the orange chalk gave enough of a brown feel over the black of the chalkboard that it worked perfectly.

Hiking Trail Cake -- Easy Hiking Theme Birthday on a Budget

The cake was the most last minute of all. I baked the cake the night before… but I used too high of a temperature and it was dry. So my daughter and I remade it that morning. That afternoon I was assembling my cake unfrozen (freezing them first makes it super easy to assemble and frost!!) and with no real idea of what I wanted to do. None of the 2-3 pins I found were what I wanted/had time for, so I was on my own. The cake has it’s own post! Click over to find out how I made it! 🙂

And that’s how we did our easy hiking theme birthday on a budget! To top it off, we recommended some hiking themed birthday presents to family who were looking for ideas, so the back pack, nature journal and compass really added to the excitement! 🙂

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Easy Hiking Theme Birthday on a Budget

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Recommended reading:

Take a Hike: How I made a Sloped Birthday Cake
Ladybug Birthday Party Theme
Every “BUG”ys Welcome Adoption Party
Mary Poppins Birthday Party Theme

Ladybug Birthday Party Theme

Chalkboard Art - Ladybug Birthday Party Theme
I try to use my chalkboard for each event I do (my sweet husband built it for me!)… It’s something I am still working on, but it’s a fun touch for our birthdays. 🙂

My youngest daughter loves ladybugs (she’s 7). I am glad for her sake that they always seem to be in the house. She get so excited, carries them around, and then, begrudgingly, lets them go free when it is time.

It wasn’t hard to pick a theme for her birthday. A ladybug birthday for my little ladybug!

Tea Party Lunch - Ladybug Birthday Party Theme

She wanted a tea party like her sister (and her brother for that matter), so we made lunch into a tea party complete with flower shaped pb&j. We had pink juice int he tea cups.

The children loved getting to make the paper flower and ladybugs on the table. (pinspiration here) It may not be as cute to us moms as the pin, but the kids had so much fun and the birthday girl loved that they made them for her.

Other foods were ladybug apples, ladybug bruschetta, and ladybug cheese and crackers.

I made the cake with red “dots” inside as a surprise. There are several ways to do them. I just made mini-muffin cupcakes and shaped them with a knife. They also make sphere pans for making them, but we couldn’t find one last minute.

Ladybug Cake - Ladybug Birthday Party Theme

I followed this tutorial for making the little frosting ladybugs. I did it all with frosting instead of edible pen, but it worked too.

Ladybugs on grass Hand lettered Psalm 150:6

And I made this for her also. (I told you in that post that I’d share this party, but never did. Sorry you had to wait so long! (UPDATED: a revised version of this painting is available in my Etsy shop!)

I try to illustrate and or paint something for the kids birthdays when I have the time and inspiration. She loves this one and put it in her school binder to see everyday. Makes my mama heart smile.

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Ladybug Birthday Party Theme

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A Simple Little House Birthday Theme for my 11 year old

Simple Little House Birthday Theme for Tween Girl from Mama's brush - chalkboard art, centerpiece, cake, meals and more

There are a lot of ideas out there for cute cute cute Little House birthday parties! Believe me, I pinned some of them. But I ran into two problems (if you can really call anything in the party planning world a “problem”). First, we don’t really do “parties”. We don’t invite friends and we aren’t looking for activities most of the time. For our family, we are a party already! When my mom and sister join us (the most local family we have), we are already 10 people. I do choose a theme for the day, though, and we try to keep as much of the day on theme as possible. “Problem” 2, most of the little house parties I found online were for little girls, not tweens. While I did use many of those parties as inspiration, I wanted something a little older… and simpler.

Baby's Breath and Checked Cloth Centerpiece - Little House on the Prairie Birthday Theme
I brought home the baby’s breath from the women’s retreat and put them in a canning jar to use for our centerpiece. I set them on a red check napkin to tie in Ma Ingall’s red check table cloth.

I picked the Little House (or “Laura and Mary” as my kids call it) theme for my daughter. This past fall she told me she wanted a “homemaker” theme for her birthday. While I found that precious, you may be surprised (or not) to hear that there is just about nothing on Pinterest under “homemaker birthday party theme”. I found all sorts of tricks for cleaning my house and for being content as a homemaker, but nothing for party decorations or cake themes. (Shocker, right?) When I thought of the Little House books, it seemed a perfect fit. Laura and Mary were little homemakers in training from the time they were little, and while the theme did become more “Little House” and not as much “homemaker” specific, it still worked.

Prairie Girl Chalkboard Welcome - Little House on the Prairie Birthday Theme

Birthday themes start with decorations the night before, but because a birthday in the Ingall’s family would have been pretty simply decorated, I stuck with the flowers and red check cloth on the table and the chalkboard sign I made. I had worked on sketching the prairie girl while I was away last weekend, but the “Have a Prairie good birthday” came to me while I was working on it Wednesday night. I wanted something to help her know what the theme actually was if she was up before we were Thursday morning.

Pancakes for breakfast - Little House on the Prairie Birthday Theme
I used a squeeze bottle to make some shaped pancakes like this “cake” shaped pancake with candles on it. I also did bonnets and her name.

Breakfast is the next big thematic moment… when a theme and time allow for it. Pancakes were the sure decision. I mixed up the batter the night before so I wouldn’t have to get up too early after my late night. Most of the pancakes were normal ovals (rather than circles to fit more on my skillet), but I did do some “picture” pancakes as well.

"Log Cabin" made from Bananas - Little House on the Prairie Birthday Theme

And my sister decided to make a banana “log cabin”. I figure it’s a lot like the way their cabin in Kansas looked before the roof was on. 🙂

Daddy always comes and takes the birthday kid out for lunch, so that isn’t themed. Sometimes we do a thematic activity, or coloring sheet. This year, I let her work on one of her sewing projects on my machine. It seemed appropriate.

And she and her sister get bonnets. They have been asking for them for a while now and I figured this was the perfect time. Because of the women’s retreat being last weekend, I didn’t get both finished, and even this one still needs it’s ties, but she is pretty excited about them none the less. I used this tutorial from Jamie Sanders at Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom.

Simple cake with pennent banner - Little House on the Prairie Birthday Theme

Dinner was very thematic too. We started with a recipe for Oyster Soup from the Little House Cookbook by Barbara M. Walker. Then we had rotisserie chicken (instead of me roasting one), corn bread and baked beans. And a simply decorated cake for dessert. I know that to be completely accurate the cake would probably have been dusted with powdered sugar or something instead of frosted with buttercream, but this was a compromise. 🙂 It was also supposed to have a layer of ice cream too, but it wasn’t working and it never did fully recover after I took it out. I am grateful that the children see my intentions more clearly than the end result!

Have you ever had a Little House birthday?

Simple Little House Birthday Theme for Tween Girl from Mama's brush - chalkboard art, centerpiece, cake, meals and more

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