Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Thrifty Little House on the Prairie Party

Earlier this week, I gave you a glimpse of my daughter's recent Little House on the Prairie party. I had a ball putting the party together, challenging myself to make like a pioneer and scavenge, re-purpose and borrow as much as I could. The end result, I hope, was a party that celebrated creativity and resourcefulness--two traits that Laura Ingalls and her family embraced out of necessity, and traits that I try to encourage in my own children. It also didn't hurt that the vintage and borrowed goods loaned a very authentic feel to the party. Following is a resource list, organized by activity, that demonstrates how thrifted items can be used to create magical special events:

vintage prairie-style clothing and accessories, including sunbonnets, aprons, skirts, and blouses (all thrifted except for the bonnets my daughters wore, which were originally purchased on etsy for Halloween costumes and a couple of the aprons, which belonged to my grandmother)

wash tub and doll clothes (thrifted), wash board (consignment store), drying rack (already owned), miniature wooden clothes pins (already owned)

large-eye needles (borrowed from younger daughter's preschool), pre-printed cotton napkins (thrifted gift from friend), embroidery floss (already had but easily thrifted), vintage embroidery hoops (thrifted and already had)


wooden candlesticks (thrifted--I think I got a giant bag of these for 50 cents!), acrylic paints (already had), paintbrushes (already had), mason jar for water (thrifted), vintage muffin pans to hold paint (thrifted), vintage bark bowl to hold candlesticks (thrifted), vintage pottery bowl for paint water (thrifted)

assortment of wooden doll bodies (already had, originally purchased from Casey's Wood Products), assortment of trims, laces, fabrics, and ribbons (already had and thrifted), small bottles of Aleene's craft glue (the best glue for fabric crafts, in my opinion), vintage pipe cleaners (thrifted), acorn caps (collected in the woods last fall), crate to hold scraps (saved from box of clementines), pedestal stand to hold scraps (thrifted), vintage gelatin molds to hold peg dolls (thrifted and inherited from my grandmother), calico table covering (thrifted)

small rag doll (already had but originally thrifted), vintage ring (received as a gift from friend), tea cup and saucer (thrifted), glass bottle with cork (thrifted), metal jacks (thrifted), small silver trophy cup (re-purposed Christmas ornament from my collection), image of a young Laura Ingalls (found online), large Indian head penny (already had, was mine as a child), vintage silver tray (thrifted), twig pencils (purchased at HomeGoods), handmade paper (thrifted)

small metal pails (purchased from dollar bin at Target--I had originally wanted to use tin pails that I thrifted, but ended up needing more than I had so decided to purchase new for this party and save the thrifted ones for my younger daughter's version of this party), food (thrifted--just kidding! all fresh food, each pail held an apple, bag of pretzels and a turkey sandwich), gingham pail liners (Target dollar bin), picnic cloths (canvas drop cloths, already had)

vintage candles (thrifted, they were the hard to find skinny candles that fit the vintage candle holders I love), vintage floral candle holders (thrifted), vintage plates (thrifted), silver cake knife and dessert server (thrifted), cake stand (from my collection), vintage cake decorating press (thrifted brand new in box)


wooden nickels (already had wooden disks, used paint we already had and then glued on pictures of my daughter taken at Old Sturbridge Village, hand painted "5 cents" on each one and then coated with Mod Podge), General Store sign (re-painted and re-purposed sign that was originally used at daughter's Mermaid party), props, including vintage mail cubby, vintage tin kitchen canisters, baskets, wooden boxes and crates, tin milk jug, and tin wall decorations (thrifted and borrowed from around the house), vintage picture frames (thrifted), small wicker baskets (thrifted), wooden rulers (purchased from Casey's Wood Products), wooden slates (also from Casey's), slate pencils (thrifted chalk), glass apothecary jar candy holder (borrowed from my house), tin coffee pot to hold candy sticks (borrowed from play house, originally thrifted), candy bags (already had in kitchen stash), metal scoops (thrifted), candy (purchased new, of course!), raffia (thrifted), and sewing kits (new Ball canning jars, thrifted aida cloth, new quilt pins, thrifted vintage safety pins, wooden thimbles purchased at Casey's, needles from my own stash, homemade directions and pattern for stitching top of jar, vintage buttons from my own mostly thrifted collection, and thrifted Pottery Barn labels)

Pulling together a party from vintage goods is so much fun I can hardly stand it! And lest you worry that I bought a bunch of stuff just for one afternoon, I can reassure you that most of these things will be used again for future parties, find a home (or return to their home) in the dress up bin, or be re-purposed into something completely new. This party also created very little trash (just the food wrappings really) and was super easy to set up and clean up. And most importantly of all, my little girl was beaming with joy. Next up, a vintage baseball party to celebrate my son's big day--stay tuned! In the meantime, I'm linking this up to the party at Elizabeth & Co.


  1. I would have bought the Nantucket basket with my nickel!!!

    1. The baskets were big sellers! And yes, the Nantucket basket was my favorite, too.