As I said in a previous post, I recently hosted a party in celebration of my mother’s retirement. Here is a rundown on how we celebrated:

Retirement Party Invitation

Retirement Party Invitation

For the invitations, I wanted something bright and cheery. I went with what I would call a “trendy” design. It’s a one time event — so why not? I used the random polka-dots because it reminded me of confetti. My mother is well-known for always putting confetti in her cards. Once I started playing with the polka-dots in the background, I had lots of fun using that element in my decorations.

Matching the invitations, I made a few large signs saying “she is retired”. One of those went on the front door. I always like an entry sign to confirm I’m in the right place. Then I found some red and white as well as blue and white polka dot plates and napkins. I continued with the polka dots by making these wonderful dot garlands that I hung with streamers over the windows. I loved these! They were super easy to make with a large circle punch, some scrapbook paper in a variety of colors and a sewing machine. I punched a bunch of circles, arranged them in a random order, and then chain stitched them on my sewing machine. They were so cute. To accent those, I had some leftover circles that I scattered on the counter and table because we have to have confetti for my mother!

I reused one of my easy party food ideas: build your own nachos or taco salad. I always try to supply of lots of fun toppings, like meat and beans, two kinds of cheese, tomatoes, olives, lettuce, onions, salsa and sour cream. We also had a crockpot full of spicy tamales. Then I added a kid-friendly option, which was chicken strips. This time, the adults loved them too! We had a big tray of fresh veggies and one of fresh fruit. Beverages ranged from tea and lemonade to beer and wine. I made a happy little star cake with circle sprinkles, which I shared in a previous post with instructions for the paper flags. I also had a bowl of cream puffs, and we made a fruit salsa with cinnamon pita chips. I think all the guests walked away feeling full. Success!

The theme of this party ended up simply being polka dots/confetti circles, but here are a few other ideas we’ve done or seen for retirement parties:

-Oh the Places You’ll Go (for someone who loves to travel – Think maps, shoes/flip-flops, and quotes from the book.)

-Origami Cranes (for good luck – Hold a group folding session and make enough to string, put on sticks for centerpieces or line the tables.)

-Flowers (for the gardener – Buy a bouquet and get some mason jars. Put a single flower in each jar on the tables. Give the guest of honor packets of seeds.)

My designer takeway: At this party, I had a hearty amount and variety of food. I definitely noticed that a good supply of food helps make a party great.

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