Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Santa's Ski Lodge and Campgrounds Party

The party theme started with my having a bear family.  My friends know I love bears and have given them to me over the years.  They have been to quite a few parties I've helped plan.  This was their first appearance at the office party.

Since it was a lodge theme, I wanted the party goers to feel like they were looking out the window at the campground's cabins.  I created this in Photoshop, and my husband printed six of them for the windows.

We set the mood the week before the party by building this fireplace from foam core.  We made the outer shell from white, and the inner box from black.  Michael's is carrying the large sheets of foam core now.  I bought the electric logs online years ago from a theatre prop company. 

You can see the office lobby which I converted to a dining room.  I made the placemats from rubber shelf liner from the Container Store. I cut them off a roll of the liner to the cost of $1 each.  I found the birch trees on sale after Christmas last year for $5 each.  I added the sticks to give them height.  I put styrofoam in tin buckets and added the trees, greenery and polar bears.  Kohl's has a sale of stuffed animals and books every year.  The entire amount goes to charity.  I gave the books and bears to our littlest guests (and a few of the teenagers).  I attached the bears with red polka dotted ribbon.  I ordered the polka dot napkins online.  The green pockets are the game directions, folded to make the pockets.  I have collected enough place settings for 60 people from the Dollar Store over the last few years, along with ceramic plates.

This is a table of eight in the small conference room that opens into the main lobby.  I purchased these foldable chairs on sale this summer from Target.  We have enough chairs now for these parties without having to rent any more.

This is the office phone booth.  I took the arm chairs out and put them by the fireplace. I made these bears from foam core and fun foam.  I explained how to do this in another blog.  I cut holes in their middles.  I bought battery operated guns that shoot round foam disks.  This game was hard as the foam disks come out quickly and the holes in the bears were small. 

To keep with the cabin theme, after dinner we had a game challenging these architects and their loved ones to build a cabin from newspaper logs.  We provided the supplies like tape, hole punch, brads, string, glue sticks, posterboard, and foam core bases.  I had used a snowflake paper punch for snow glitter on the tables.  Most of the teams used it for their cabins.  Once the competition got fierce, our competitors  even started taking the ornaments from the office Christmas tree for decorations.  The above entry had a front porch and dog house.

We had the band musicians judge the competition.  This entry had a fence, backyard parking, rolled trees, and a brick sample for the chimney.

The first of the above two photos is the interior's display counter.  It made the BEST tabletop shuffleboard.  I ordered the weights online in two colors.  We added stick on felt dots to each puck so that they wouldn't scratch the surface.  I drew the circles on with glass markers.

We moved all of the lobby furniture to the back kitchen.  I used the gray rugs to warm up the space. We brought two greenhouse plants in from the patio for the winter, so I used them to soften up the space also.  I enlarged this photo for you to see the pvc structure between the two seating areas.  We built this to hang the paper mache reindeer. I strung a whole package of bells from ribbon and tied it around the reindeer's neck.  I purchased pvc bow and arrow sets years ago at a craft fair.  Party goes took turns shooting the "magic" arrows at the deer to make it fly.  Behind the first set of chairs is a three tiered serving dish that I set up for s'mores.  We were going to build a fire in the fire pit on the patio, but it was waaaaaay toooo cold.

You can't have a ski lodge without a ski slope.  I reused wooden skis from the kids All Night Grad Parties.  They fit three people.  You put a foot on each ski and pull the skis by the sets of ropes each person has.  We added sticky felt pads to make it even more slippery.  We taped down heavy gauge plastic.  I place snowflakes I had been cutting out all week under the plastic.

Here's a close up of our ski slope.  We stood at the end of it with a stop watch and timed the groups.

Here's the oversized Santa we bring to the office every year.  The reindeer can actually be used as a footstool.  Opposite these two characters is a martini bar I set up with two large containers with spiggots.  I made cosmos in one, and raspberry vodka lemonade in the other.    This photo also lets you see how long the main hall in the office is.  The ski slope is on the other end of it.  Last year, we used it as a remote control race track.

Well, that's this year's Christmas party.  I hope everyone had as much fun participating as I did planning it.

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