A Pioneer Birthday Party

We are so thrilled to have our Regular Contributor, Julie, back with us today here at the Fence!
She is so talented and, once again, is sharing fantastic ideas for a special Birthday celebration.
You are in for a real treat!

Thanks so much for your warm welcome last month!  I have to admit that when I heard that the post was live, I came down with a serious case of stage fright. Your kind & encouraging words helped ease my anxiety and made me so excited to be a part of this wonderful community.  

Thanks too for the chance to share another of our parties with you.

A Pioneer Birthday Party

The candles were barely blown out on her 6th birthday cake last year when our oldest daughter declared, “next year I want a Little House on the Prairie party!”  She’s a planner and she’s chosen some fun themes for birthdays before but this theme was especially dear to my heart. 

  I remember reading a few Little House books growing up but somehow I never fully connected with them.  All that changed when I began reading the books to my daughter a few years ago and she helped unlock the inner pioneer in my heart.  We cried through chapters, stayed up late reading chapters that were hard to put down, and I found myself so challenged and encouraged by the strength of that pioneer family bond and the harsh yet beautiful simplicity of their life.

 In addition to the Little House series, we have devoured the Martha Years, Charlotte Years, & the Caroline Years taking a brief break before the Rose Years so it was with much love and excitement that we began planning this birthday.

When I envisioned décor for the party, the elements that came to mind were fabrics, flowers, twine, hay bales, burlap & baskets.  Anything pretty & rustic seemed appropriate for a modern interpretation. A friend of ours generously brought over some hay bales from their grandparent’s barn and I covered them with old linens for the seating.  We used mini jam jars for drinking glasses, paper napkins from Ikea and flowers from our yard to set the party table. 

The inspiration for the party’s color palette came from a summer dress that I found on clearance, which also came in a coordinating top for her sister. The bonnets and aprons they got for Christmas completed their outfits!

So, with those few pieces, a color scheme emerged in shades of pinks, reds & golds.


What I appreciate about pioneer style is the way they mixed color and patterns with abandon—the more calicos, prints & patterns the merrier. So I bought a few yards of fabric for favor pouches & sachet bags and the rest of the fabric used throughout was raided from old sheets & scrap fabric stockpiles. 

 I had been inspired by a number of fabric garlands that I had seen on wedding blogs over the months and using our old sheets & fabric scraps, my daughter and I made two garlands, one for the birthday entrance and one above the dessert table.  

My daughter was so eager to help with the details for this party and one of the projects that she worked on was stitching an initial onto a little hankie for each of her guests.   

We also displayed some of her stitching work as part of the décor.

We found a small log cabin at Michaels and picked up a covered wagon kit at another craft store, adding some small garlands to make them more festive.

My daughter was pretty determined to make it as accurate as possible and early on she decided that we would serve only pie since she couldn’t remember cake or cupcakes being mentioned in the Little House books. 

A collection of baskets was used as our pie stands and the name of each pie was displayed in front of it. 

 I found wooden spools at a local craft store & looped copper colored wire through the center.

 I just rested the wire in the spool without securing it with glue and it worked just fine!

Here’s the recipe for Pioneer Pie!
  It’s really called vinegar pie but we figured that might not go over so well with the seven year-old crowd.  The flavor was great and it tasted more like a tangy, lemon-y custard pie. 

 For the non-pie lovers we had sugar cookies shaped like pioneer women.

Since it was hot, as an alternative to her bonnet, I made a flower crown using a bunch of dollar store silk flowers & this tutorial.

  We had enough flowers to make a matching one for her doll too.

During the party we set up a few rotating stations for crafts.  I had seen this sweet celebration early on and knowing that our party would be right in the middle of raspberry season I thought jam making would be perfect.  

After a few google searches for additional pioneer crafts, we decided on the following activities. Yarn dolls using this tutorialwhirligigs using this tutorial and lavender sachets using this tutorial.

Finally for favors I made drawstring bags using this tutorial and added a few pioneer inspired treats.
Old fashioned horehound & cherry hard candies in a tin box
Old fashioned soft peppermint sticks 
(with a quote about peppermint sticks from Little House).
Buttons (with a little information on the significance of collecting buttons in olden days)
Twig colored pencils (purchased from Anthropologie &TJ Maxx)

Despite the 90+ degree weather it was a sweet afternoon of celebration for a little girl whose heart really does belong in another era.  

Thank you so much for letting me share this special celebration with you and for meeting me here at the Fence today,


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  1. says

    I ADORED this post. What a great party idea, and your attention to all the details was perfection! Your little freckled face girlie is beyond cute and looks like she belongs in the Little House days.

  2. says

    What a cool party!! LOVE this theme.I need to share this with my daughter.I think I spotted Molly (American Girl doll) one of her favorites!
    Thank you for sharing and inspiring me!

  3. says

    Oh how adorable. Wish I was a little girl again. With so many great ideas it would be hard to pick a favorite but do have to say the pies and the yarn dolls really stand out to me.

  4. says

    What a sweet birthday party! Beautifully done and very creative! I had a boy so Transformers and Bob the Builder parties were as creative as I ever got! Ha! Thanks for sharing!!!

  5. says

    My daughter just told me last week she wanted a Pioneer Birthday Party. I thought oh what? My 8 year old daughter loves to watch the Pioneer Woman. I had no idea how I was going to go about this type of party. Thank you so much for posting this, it will help us not so crafty people pull off a great Pioneer Birthday Party.

  6. says

    I love everything about it. Beautiful, sweet, little-and-big-girlie! With all the girl birthdays we’ve done, I cannot believe THIS type missed the docket.
    Thanks for sharing!

  7. says

    I can’t tell you how much I love this party idea…and every little detail you and your sweet girl thought of! It’s all so charming and perfect!

  8. Miriam@bebookbound.blogspot.com says

    Oh my heavens! I don’t know how I missed this post when it happened, but thank goodness you guys highlighted it in the recap for 2012! Amazing!!! Julie, I need you to talk with my daughter and convince her to let me do this for her 7th bday. It is the most adorable thing I have ever seen! I am almost at a loss for words. Just amazing :)
    Miriam@bebookbound.blogspot.com recently posted..Christmas Carols: Auld Lang SyneMy Profile

  9. Kelcy says

    Love all the details of this sweet party. I am planning a similar one for my daughter’s 9th birthday. Wondering if you could share the details you put on the card regarding collection buttons?
    Thanks so much!

    • says

      Hi Keley,
      Here’s the info I put on the button cards:
      In the 1800s girls were given buttons by loved ones on special occasions. They collected these buttons on a string called a charm string, adding to it over the years. Here are a few buttons to start your own charm string.

      Happy party planning! It’s such a fun theme to dig into!
      Julie recently posted..5 Minute Valentine Craft and Free PrintableMy Profile

  10. says

    This is amazing!! Truly! I love everything about this! I am totally going to copy all of this in 3 years for my daughter!! Thanks for sharing!!


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