Throwing an 80s-Themed Birthday Bash!

17 05 2014

In choosing a fun theme for my husband’s 30th birthday, we had to go with 80s. A quick glance on Pinterst confirmed that there are a TON of things you can do with that decade!

First, the décor: Our décor centered largely around candy and toys from that decade, since, let’s face it, that was our childhood! We hung Slinkies from the chandelier, strew trolls all around, and used neon colors as an inspiration.


My sister actually made these flowers for my Eric Carle baby shower and I still had them! The light-up shutter shades were part of my costume, purchased with a coupon at Michaels.

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My mother-in-law scanned 80s baby pictures to send over, and I doctored them in PicMonkey to look like old Polaroids and printed them at home on thick paper. I hung them on twine with tiny mini clothespins purchased at Oriental Trading and added some cootie-catcher/fortune-tellers that I made after seeing this garland pin.


Lollipop topiary leftover from my friend’s birthday party for her daughter


Some of my childhood toys. My mom brought over my CRATE of trolls to scatter around the room. The candy necklace was also part of my costume, and the Rubik’s Cube is from my counseling office (as were the rainbow Slinkies).




80s-themed paper products purchased from Oriental Trading with free shipping


Oversized candy buttons from It’Sugar – we gave them away as a prize

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Crazy straws from the grocery store // Party napkins leftover from my coworker’s birthday

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80s napkins from Oriental Trading and candy buttons from Michaels


We put up 3 sets of lights from my husband’s DJ-ing years

The menu: We kept the food simple, yummy, and easy to grab. My husband did all dinner cooking and I did all the dessert baking:


Among the drinks was Pepsi Throwback


Garlic chicken bites


Fruit salad with homemade orange-vanilla glaze


Yummy buffalo chicken dip served hot with tortilla chips

Dress code: We encouraged our guests to wear their best 80s attire, and they did not disappoint! We saw everything from fitness gurus, to boy-band groupies, to side ponytails and blue eye shadow. The prize for best costume went to a couple – my sister and brother-in-law. They took home an 80s themed bag of candy, which you can find at It’Sugar. Second place went to Rambo, who even brought an AirSoft gun. Here are some of the costumes and accessories:

Glitter foam earrings

Pin – I made earrings using glitter foam and a fish hook earring kit purchased at Wal-Mart. 


Prize for best costume^




With my birthday boy and his homemade stone-washed denim


Other costumes… Rambo (2nd place prize), lots of side ponytails and blue eyeshadow! My son even wore a toddler shirt worn by my older brother in the 80s.

The cake: I’m a huge fan of Christina’s Carolina Charm blog, so I knew I couldn’t go wrong with her recipe and icing tutorial for a carrot cake, my husband’s favorite. Every bit of it was made from scratch, her icing tutorial made decorating it 100 times simpler than the last cake I made, and it was a hit with everyone! (I wish there were more leftovers, but there just weren’t!)

Carrot cake

carrot cake icing






Totally forgot to take pictures of the inside… this was the tiny leftover piece later.

Other desserts: Pac Man cookies and candy!


Pin – Betty Crocker sugar cookies with black gel icing eyes


Pin – Rainbow Twizzlers tied with baker’s twine



Pin – Pop Rocks, Razzles, Blow Pops, Pixi Stix 

(The lollipop topiary was made by my friend for her daughter’s 1st birthday party and added a nice splash of color!)


Candy buttons around the utensil holders


Candy dishes, homemade tea light holders, and homemade cassette tape/record stands. I found the tapes and records at Goodwill, and the old VHS tapes were from my office.

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Party prepping!

The presents: The party was my husband’s main gift – he really wanted to spend his birthday with family. I also got him a bike accessory he’s been talking about a lot – an attachment that allows our son to ride with him. (He LOVES it! We’ve used it so many times already.)

5-11-14 Mothers Day

But what we were most excited (and nervous) about was the biggest box of all: the surprise gender reveal present. Recap here!

Gender Reveal 1

Gender Reveal 2


Gender Reveal 3

The guests: Both my husband and I have large families, so we kept the guest list to immediate family and ended up with about 20 people. We were so blessed to be able to do a surprise gender reveal for them when my husband was opening presents! (We already knew that it was a boy, but that’s another whole story.)

Gender Reveal 4




Pop Rock shots

So. The balloons for this party were a long story. I won’t get into too many details, but we had to buy them in about 5 stages since we had 2 different events that needed balloons (the GOTR 5k and the party). We bought the wrong balloons at first, the helium leaked too early, and I went on a search all over town for “It’s a Boy” balloons, which were sold out everywhere. I finally discovered that you can buy unfilled mylar balloons like you can greeting cards at the grocery store florist, which saves the helium until it’s needed! They had 2 full racks – so many options! Unlike latex, mylar holds its helium and even a week later, the balloon is still up!



We are so grateful that our families could spend the weekend with us. So many reasons to celebrate!

5-8-14 ultrasound edit 2

Our new son. May 8, 2014



One response

15 05 2015
Five on Friday | Running MOMentum

[…] | Mother’s Day was also my husband’s birthday. While we didn’t do a huge bash like last year (I cannot even fathom pulling that off again with 2 little ones!), we did have 9 […]

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