Sunday, August 30, 2015

End of Summer POOL Party

I decided to do a little twist on the typical end of the summer POOL party as my August theme this year.  I went with a billiards theme as my "pool".

Invite: I designed the invite in PhotoShop.  As is typical, I did not decide on my theme until the last minute, so the invite had to be quick and easy to throw together.

Entry Decor:  I made this sign for my front door with foam board, card stock, and a wooden dowel rod.  Would have loved to have had a mini pool table out front, but I don't know anyone who has one to be able to borrow it.

Inside Decor:  I tried to craft my dining room table to look like a pool table.  I used a green plastic tablecloth and cut black card stock to put on the corners/sides to look like pockets.  I used black yarn to create pretend baskets on each pocket.  As a centerpiece, I borrowed billiard balls to fill a fish bowl and placed a black billiard triangle around it.  I bought blue pool chalk to glue to each rolled napkin for added pool-themed decor.

As a place card, I painted billiard balls.  To make these, I bought 2" wooden ball knobs from Joann's Fabric Store.  I painted them the various colors of billiard balls and used a Sharpie to write the number on it.  With my husband's help, I used a saw to slice a slit at the top low enough to hold a piece of card stock with the guest's name on it. Painting the stripes was definitely a challenge as I had to do it by hand, so they aren't perfect, but I love how they turned out.

I made simple wine bottle labels using a white ball and a red ball image to distinguish the chardonnay from the Cabernet. 

I used scrapbook paper to make miniature billiard balls for wine charms. I made these to match with the guest's place card.

Menu: For an appetizer, I made these super yummy cheese balls that look like a billiard ball set.  Just as a warning if you are thinking about making take A LOT of time to prep it all, but I do think it is worth the effort.  I would suggest slicing the peppers, olives, green onions, etc. ahead of time to save you some time the day of.  It is also fairly expensive as there are a lot of items to purchase, so keep that in mind.  The top is sliced water chestnuts and a black food coloring pen.  I served this with crackers and bread sticks.  If you want to make this cute appetizer, I found the recipe on Taste of Home here.

For a salad, I served watermelon cubes carved out of an 8-ball.  I was short on time, so I ended up just drawing the 8 ball on the watermelon with a Sharpie.  The original plan was to carve it. (The Sharpie was much easier!)

For the main dish, I served teriyaki meat balls, puff pastry, and asparagus.  My original plan was to cut the puff pastry in a large triangle and then set the meatballs in a triangle on top as if it was the "triangle" holding the balls together. I changed my mind last minute when I saw how much the pastry shrunk when baked.  The asparagus is meant to be the pool sticks.  I served additional spears in a bowl to be passed around.

For dessert, I used a butter scoop to create balls in various flavors of ice cream.  I drizzled chocolate around the edge like a triangle, and added two wafer cookies as the sticks.  The ice cream flavors I used were: strawberry, chocolate, lemon cake (this flavor is AMAZING!), mint chip, cookie dough, and orange sherbet. 

Favor:  This favor I actually invented by accident.  I ordered small billiard balls off of Amazon to use in my centerpiece, but I didn't really pay attention to how small I was ordering.  When they came and I opened them, I realized they wouldn't work for my fish bowl centerpiece and thought I would just return them.  I made cupcakes that I was planning to decorate like billiard balls and use as my favor, but the day before the party, I realized I just had too much still to do and wouldn't have time after work to decorate them.  That is where this idea of wine stoppers came about, and I decided just to try it. was easy!  I bought corks from the store and just hot glued a ball to the top.  That was it!!  They turned out so cute and were a huge hit with the girls.

As usual, we had a great time! A fun idea for an End-of-Summer "Pool" Party!