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2.03.2015

Milestone Birthday: Planning my Dad's 70th Birthday Party

 
My dad just celebrated a milestone birthday: the big 7-0.  This was such a fun birthday party, as it was a reason for my siblings, nieces, and nephews to come from afar to celebrate together.  Great family memories were made, lots of delicious Puerto Rican food was cooked and eaten, and there were plenty of laughs.
 
Another fun thing about this party was that it gave me the opportunity to plan a party that did not involve Thomas the Tank Engine, dinosaurs, or Lightning McQueen.  Don't get me wrong, I love getting into the kids' party themes... but it was fun to have some different inspiration.  Now, I am happy to share some of that inspiration back to you.
 
The party color and pattern scheme was black, white, gray, and chevron.  Click here to see my planning inspiration board for this party on Pinterest.
 
Disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, I may receive a commission.  This does not cost you anything additional, and helps me to keep the rest of my content free, so thank you!
 
The party save-the-date card using a baby and current photo of the birthday boy.
 
The invitation incorporated photos from throughout his life and introduced more of the party color and pattern schemes.


Here you see one of the primary décor pieces from the party. I collected photos from throughout his life and printed them all in black and white (even the newer photos) for aesthetic purposes.  I made two large collages out of these images, both shaped like the number "70."  I hung black and white paper discs from Party City from the ceiling above them.

Here is the second of the two "70" photo collages, along with a chalkboard sign (close-up of the sign below).

Inspired by something I saw on Pinterest and using a chalkboard from Target (Target has a lot of chalkboard party accessories in stores), I made this sign with some facts about life in 1944 - the year my dad was born.  Chalkboards and white chalk tied in the party color scheme and was something I could use in varying ways throughout the party.


Using these budget-friendly 8.5"x11" Nyttja frames from Ikea, another décor component were these seven signs that bulleted out some highlights of each of the seven decades of my father's life.


My niece found a beautiful cake for the occasion that was decorated simply with gray ombre chevron stripes.


Gray and chevron utensils and accessories were from Party City (my go-to for party basics).
 

Flowers were a steal from Trader Joe's. The vases were these simple cube vases from Michael's to which I attached black and white photos.  The face of the vases was 4"x6" - a perfect size for a photo.
 
Favor bags were plain white bags from Party City with a label I created on the front.  The bags were filled with items that represent my dad (see below).  As you can see, I used chalkboards for signs throughout the party (all purchased from Target).

Since my dad loves chocolate (who doesn't?) I ordered these customizable Hershey Kiss labels from Etsy for another party giveaway that matched the party scheme.  

Since photos became such a big part of the décor, I also included them in an edible giveaway for the party.  I found a great deal on custom photo cookies from Sweet Express Images (located in Colorado but will ship them fresh in time for your party).

The favor bags ("Ray's Favorite Things") included a mini bottle of Bacardi Puerto Rican Rum (see below for the customized label I made), some of my dad's signature Magic Mix seasoning, a United States Air Force decal purchased from this eBay seller, an Oregon Ducks sticker, a New York Yankees pen purchased from this eBay seller, and an individual serving of Café Bustelo (also found on eBay).

I made the mini bottles of Bacardi myself using these empty bottles purchased from Amazon.  I created a "custom" Bacardi label using my dad's name and age and printed them on 2"x4" Avery printable labels.  This size label fit the bottle perfectly and were a cute DIY touch for the party favors (for the adults only, obviously). 

Another piece of party décor was also a great interactive party activity.  I created a large poster mounted on foam core with 70 empty speech bubbles.  Guests had to add things they love about my dad so that he had this great party keepsake with lots of sweet sentiments from the party guests.
 
Overall my dad had a great party!  Though a party's success is really due to the company... the décor scheme may have been icing on the cake (pun intended), but the memories came from all of the love from the people in the room celebrating with him. 
 
Don't forget to follow @fabeverydayblog on Pinterest, and share and pin these ideas if you are inspired for a milestone birthday party you are planning!

60 comments :

Papi Cruz said...

It was a most wonderful and joyous party. I can not express how happy that made me. I thank my daughter Ramona Ruby for the planning and execution of this event. Many thanks to all who helped or contributed to make my birthday celebration, a most happy day.
I am a very proud father.

Mela said...

hello, i love all the details for this party. i was wondering if you could tell me where you got the empty speech stickers

Nancy Conway said...

What terrific ideas! I'm planning a 60th birthday party for my husband, and really want to do the speech bubble poster. So I'm also wanting to know where to get the empty speech bubble stickers! Thanks for these lovely ideas!

ramonaruby said...

Nancy and Mela, thank you! The speech bubbles aren't stickers, I actually downloaded the vector clipart for free! You can find the ones I used here: http://all-free-download.com/free-vector/download/speech_bubble_vector_38116.html

Nancy Conway said...

RamonaRuby, thank you so much for sharing the vector clipart! I bought the foamboard. What I don't know is how you got the clipart on to the foamboard - they aren't stencils, are they? Did you print them onto a large poster and affix that to the foamboard? Thanks again!

ramonaruby said...

Nancy, I printed them onto a large poster at FedEx Office from a PDF file (I created a PDF with the clipart by repeating the bubbles over and over until I had 70).

Jaisy Bonie said...

This event planner really appears to love her job. I didn't care for some details such as linens, flowers, or lighting, so I trusted the planner to make those decisions. So she did - and made everything look classy and cohesive. Without breaking my bank.

akeacm said...

Where did you find those awesome candles for the cake? I love them!!!!

ramonaruby said...

@akeacm I can't remember exactly, but I am pretty sure I got them at Target.

Jami West said...

Hi, thank you so much for the great ideas! Could you help me by telling me some of the bullets you used for the 10 years framed posters? Thank you sooo much!

Unknown said...

Hi. I am planning a 50th Anniversary party for my parents. In love the picture collage in the shape of the number. What material did you use as a sturdy backing for the collage? And also, what did you use to attach the pictures? Thank you!!

ramonaruby said...

@Jami, thank you! The bullets included highlights from that decade in my dad's life, for example: if he was stationed somewhere memorable while in the Air Force; years kids were born or marriages happened; when he moved somewhere new; when he started an important job, etc.

@Unknown - I first cut the shapes of the numbers out of pieces of posterboard, then added a few strips of cardboard to the back to make them a little more firm. I secured the photos with photo-safe double-sided tape from a tape-runner (the kind you would use for scrapbooking).

Abby said...

I absolutely love the "70 Years of Ray" idea. I would love to do this for my mom's 60th. Do you have a template you used that you can share?

ramonaruby said...

@Abby - send me an email at ramonaruby@fabeveryday.com.

Suburban Epicurean said...

RamnonaRuby - you mentioned above that you "created a PDF with the clipart by repeating the bubbles over and over until I had 70" - do you still have that PDF file and if so could you send it or post it? I need it for a party we are planning. PLEASE PLEASE? ;)

Wenni Donna said...

These are so terrific 70th birthday party ideas!! I can’t believe you did everything in a budget. I also need to host a grand party on my dad’s birthday. I would like to stay within my budget so please suggest some affordable Chicago venues for this party!!

Kate Schippers said...

Where did you find that awesome invitation? Best one I have seen, but haven't come across that one on any websites. Planning my father-in-law's party right now! Thank you for the ideas!

ramonaruby said...

Thanks, @Kate! I created the invitation myself. Good luck with your party!

Unknown said...

Ramona,

I sent you an email if you could respond promptly it would be a huge help.

Thank you kindly,
Karla Gary

Unknown said...

Ramona,

I sent you an email if you could respond promptly it would be a huge help.

Thank you kindly,
Karla Gary

Deanna Byrd said...

do you still have the template for the 70 things you love about Ray board? if so can you email them to me mrsdoss2015@gmail.com

Shawn Meier said...

ditto! I love the speech bubbles, would you mind if I sent you an email as well?

ramonaruby said...

@Abby and @Shawn - thanks! It is not a template (I made the file in Adobe Illustrator), but if you email me I might be able to help.

Sheba said...

I love all of your ideas and I'm using a few of them for my dad's 80th! Thank you! I also would love the template for the speech bubbles. drotan@suddenlink.net

Sheba said...

I cannot find your email address to email you...sorry.

Susan Bonnett said...

I would love the pdf for the bubbles as well my email address is bonnettsusan@gmail.com. what a great party. Thanks

Gladys said...

This is amazing! thank you for posting this. I am planing a party for my mom that turn 70 in a month.
What do you wrote for each decade in the frames? accomplishment/or family changes?


Thank you


ramonaruby said...

Gladys - thank you! I did misc. highlights from the decade (year he got married, joined the Air Force, had his kids or grandkids, started big jobs, moved to a new city, etc.).

Michelle Arbore said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Michelle Arbore said...

Hi. I would love the PDF you used for the 70 things we love. Can you send it to me?

ramonaruby said...

@Michelle Arbore - please email me at ramonaruby@fabeveryday.com.

Marian Cunningham said...

Hi. I would love the PDF you used for the 70 things we love. Can you send it to me?

bearyspecialmarian@yahoo.com

Thank You.

templarlady said...

I would love the pdf of the 70 things we love party is this sunday!!

templarlady said...

my email: jcook22@yahoo.com

thank you so much

Jill Kramer said...

Please tell me where I can find the speech bubbles! Awesome idea!

ramonaruby said...

@Jill Kramer and others - I made the speech bubbles sign in Adobe Illustrator, so the template is only editable in Illustrator. If you don't have Illustrator, I may be able to edit the sign for you and send you the PDF, but it depends on the amount of editing needed and the turnaround time for your party. Please email me at ramonaruby@fabeveryday.com to inquire.

Reata Williams said...

Hello! I love all of your party details and creativity. I'm celebrating my dads 80th birthday on Saturday and would love to the do "Speech Bubble" activity during the entrance of the party. If you would, can you please send a template in PDF form to reatawilliams@yahoo.com. Thank You do much!!

Katherine Martin said...

I am throwing my dad a 70th birthday party and really want to use your idea with the pictures on the wall in the 70 shape. Did you have a stencil to go by to shape the '7' and the '0'? What size pictures did you use? Would like to put pictures on a poster and then just hang the poster rather than each individual picture but I am having a hard time making the numbers look like yours. Please help!

JuliciousSs said...

Hi, your blog is so helpful and inspirational as I am planning my dad's 70th birthday which is in a few weeks. I would love if you can email me the template to juliana.rozario@gmail.com. Thank you so much!

ramonaruby said...

@Katherine - sorry for the delay in getting back to you. For the 7 and 0 I didn't use a template. I just cut them out of poster board free hand.

Cheryl Nelson said...

Good evening. I too would love to have the speech bubbles sign. Can you email it to me at nelsonjacksonfamily@yahoo.com. Thanks so much!

Esena said...

Awesome ideas I am trying to get ideas for my mothers 70th birthday and I would also love the pdf for the speech bubbles if you would be so kind to share that with me.
Haroldfsena@hotmail.com

Sharon said...

I would love the speech bubbles for my hubby's 70th. Sharonmartinez7@gmail.com
Looks like a fabulous party!

Matthea said...

Love the website! Would love to get the speech bubbles for my mom's 70th as well if possible. mjantuzzi@msn.com

Thanks so much!

Matthea said...

Love the website! Would love to get the speech bubbles for my mom's 70th as well if possible. mjantuzzi@msn.com

Thanks so much!

Anna Fox said...


I'm planning my first milestone birthday party. It's a 50th for my boyfriend. Also must it is a nice break from the sparkles, pink & princess theme I am used to planning for our girl parties.
I have searched Pinterest long and hard to get ideas for a surprise 50th. I came across the party you planned for your Father. You and your family did such a beautiful job planning each detail. I never leave comments but would like to thank you for sharing all these wonderful ideas with everyone.
I had no idea Target had so many chalkboards, plan to incorporate them as you did throughout. I also loved the picture collage of 70 and the bubble poster. The vases with the picture is a great center piece. I take alot of pictures and these are great ideas to incorporate them into the theme.

My questions you used so many pictures. How did you save on printing them? Did you use a desktop printer or printing service?

Also you said for the bubbles you created an Adobe template then had FedEx print a poster. Did you order the poster online through their site? I did not realize they printed posters.

Thank you again so much for sharing your father's beautiful party and answering so many of our questions.

ramonaruby said...

Hi @Anna Fox! I just replied to your email, but so that others can see the response to your questions, here is some of the info again. Thank you for the kind words about the party!

For the pictures (for the vases and the large 70 collage), I printed the pictures myself onto cardstock. Since they were all black and white, and since I needed so many, it was more cost-effective to just print them myself. As you can see, they still looked good, even though they were printed on cardstock (and not glossy photo paper). I just cut the pictures out myself from the cardstock (since it was just regular 8.5x11 cardstock). I secured the photos to the vases with double-sided tape.

I printed the "70 things..." sign at FedEx Office, and I actually took the PDF file to them in store with a USB flash drive. I tend to always go in so I can explain what I am trying to do. When you respond to my email with your boyfriend's name, I will send you the PDF print-ready template and some printing instructions for you to take to FedEx.

Hope this helps!

Marlyn said...

Wow, absolutely love all of your ideas!

I'm holding a surprise 70th party for my father, but on a tight budget. Could you possibly send me some of your templates.

Thank you so much x

largalas said...

I am having a 70th party for my husband and would love to use some of your ideas. Could you send me the PDF of the 70 Things.... speech bubbles?

jen rodriguez said...

Wow!! Everything you've done is awesome! Hoe long did it take you to put all this together? Months? Its my parents 70th this year and planning something but feel time constrained. Thanks

jen rodriguez said...

Would it also be possible for you to send me the file for "70 things..." sign customizable to my parents names? My email is jenrod729@gmail.com. thank you so much

jen rodriguez said...

Would it also be possible for you to send me the file for "70 things..." sign customizable to my parents names? My email is jenrod729@gmail.com. thank you so much

largalas said...

Sorry, I didn't give you my email. It's largalas09@gmail.com Thanks for this, I am so excited to start planning this event.

Brunell Moody said...

These ideas are incredible!! Planning a 70th birthday party for my husband in August. Would you send me the template for the '70'
things? Thank you in advance. Blessings on you for sharing!! brunell6127@gmail.com

ramonaruby said...

@largalas, @jen rodriguez, and @Brunell Moody - I just sent you emails.

@Marlyn - please email me at ramonaruby@fabeveryday.com, as I don't have your email address in order to get more info on the sign you need.

Wendy Schneider said...

I love the Bacardi label! How can I get it to use at my Dad's 70? Thanks!

Unknown said...

I want to use the Bacardi favors for my father's 70th party as well in a few weeks. I'm technologically challenged. How can I get the labels to say "Steve"? Do you have a template you can email to me at baddgyrl@gmail.gom. Thank you.

LuckyPogo said...

Wow! I am blown away by your party planning skills. Beautiful details! I'm last minute party planning and would love to use the speech bubbles and bacardi labels, if you would be able to share my email is msishac1@gmail.com This might just save the day 8-)

stevenjared0853 said...

Loved the superb celebrations of your dad’s birthday. My brother has planned a large exhibition of all his paintings at one of marvelous venues in Chicago next month. Hope he gets good response from all his clients and public. Helping him in doing arrangements!

Edith Davis said...

Would it be possible for you to please send me a copy of the 70 things pdf too please? Email is edith.sigley@gmail.com. thank you!