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For my son’s 12th birthday all he wanted to do is have his friends over for an epic airsoft battle. I think it was a success since most of the boys that came to the party ended up getting airsoft guns for Christmas a month later. They must have had fun! To go along with the battle theme, I put together a fun Army/Camo/Jungle party for my big 12 year old! I’m so glad I can still get away with doing themed parties. And I felt pretty successful when I heard the boys say “whoa this is sick” when they walked in. Mission accomplished. Now I’m here to help you, let’s do this!
Army Party Decorations
Our dining room is always our main “party room” that I try to transform for each party. For this one I tried to make it into an jungle army base camp. What do you think?
For the feature wall I made a balloon garland in the camo colors. I actually didn’t use any camo print balloons, but they sure have those out there if you wanted to do that. I mostly used orange, light green, dark green, gold, black and some gold confetti balloons. Let me break this balloon garland down into a few easy steps for you:
- First buy balloons in various colors, sizes and get at least one pack with a print or design on them (here is a kit that comes with everything you need)
- Next blow up the balloons and alternate between the different sizes and colors and you put them on the garland tape (included in the kit linked here)
- Next I hang the garland up with 3M hooks and fishing line and adjust it until I am happy with the way it hangs.
- Finally I add the embellishments, in this case the jungle leaves, with glue dots
- Last I add the foil numbers, again with glue dots
Here’s a better close up of the foil numbers and jungle leaves that I added to the garland.
I made a banner with the birthday boy’s name to match the “mess hall” banner that hung over the table (you’ll see that a little further down) by cutting letters with my cricut in the Army Stamp font. Kraft paper is so dang handy.
I used some of the camouflaged netting to cover the dessert table (I’ll talk more about that later). I ordered some brown take out boxes and added “MRE” to them (for meals ready to eat, army food). They were just empty and I gave one to each of the kids so they could fill it with some of their favorite things from the junk food charcuterie table to take home as a favor of sorts. (I’ll talk more about that later as well).
I made these cupcakes mainly for the visual appeal, we had plenty of other junk and an awesome cake. So they were just box cupcakes and store bought icing mainly just for decoration. I stuck army men from the dollar store on top and used these camo cupcake wrappers. And an American flag in the middle of course.
I “borrowed” one of my husbands ammo boxes, took out all the real ammo, and added the word “ammo” in vinyl as a nice touch to our table. I threw some more jungle leaves around on both the dessert table and the dining room table. All along the wall I hung these faux Ivy leaves. At first I was worried that they came in individual strands, but it ended up being better because I could hang them at different heights. I just used a little masking tape and it actually didn’t take very long at all.
Birthday boy with his game face on and ready to go! Let’s move on to the dining table, I can’t wait to show you!
Camoflauge Themed Charcuterie Tablescape
Think of those fancy Charcuterie boards that are all the rage right now, now think of it in camo-themed colors, now add army decor, now make all the food junk food. And voila, you’ve got the perfect tablescape for an Army party! I was able to snag a lot of it with the post Halloween candy sales and then luckily the Christmas stuff had come out already so that gave me more options when looking for green candies. PS, get ready to get really hungry looking through these pictures ;).
Here’s how I put it all together:
- First I used this camouflaged netting as a sort of base and table runner. It was definitely the biggest “bang for your buck” purchase I made for the party. It instantaneously added so much to the table. Defining the color scheme and party theme and adding texture as well.
- Next I added a few items on the table to add varied heights. I used some wooden crates as well as some wood rounds that I have and reuse all the time.
- Then I started unwrapping! I had purchased a plethora of green and brown foods and candies (and a few other non distracting colors like black and white) keeping in mind trying to get as many of my son’s favorites at the same time. As much as possible I unwrapped things and laid them out in alternating rows or just sprinkled around the table. I left things that had the color wrappers I wanted on (like the andes mints) and wrappers off the things I didn’t want (like the orange reeses wrappers).
- The amazing tank cake my mother in law made was the centerpiece, and I put some cheap plastic tanks I found at the dollar store around the table and finished with some American flags I stuck in some donuts and other accommodating foods.
Having something that you can use as “tiers” really helps add to the look. And yes I sorted through and took all the red m&ms out of the Christmas m&m bags (don’t worry, we used them later for gingerbread houses).
Lastly I added some root beers (in the glass bottles) around the table as a finishing touch. Partly because it’s my sons favorite and partly because they were the perfect color and very manly ;).
Isn’t this tank cake my mother-in-law amazing? She never ceases to kill it when we request all sorts of different cakes from her. She used hershey bars turned upside down for the treads on the wheels and a black straw for the cannon and the top turret is a cupcake I believe! These are the army guys sitting on the tank.
Over the table I hung a “Mess Hall” sign that I made using brown kraft paper. I cut the words out on my cricut using the Army Stamp font and I had some camo tape in my craft collection. I used fishing line to hang it from the chandelier over the table.
At each spot I had a cafeteria “mess tray” instead of a plate, along with their personalized dog tag (which served as a name tag for each spot), their bandana and a draw string camo bag with their name on it (that was empty, the thought was they could use it to hold ammo during the battle).
The mess trays were quite a challenge to find. I ended up ordering them on amazon after extensive looking and hoping to get actual stainless steel ones but not wanting to pay $10/piece. I looked at several restaurant supply stores as well and just couldn’t quite find what I wanted. I ended up with just these cardboard/bamboo ones.
The dog tags I ordered from amazon and borrowed my father in laws metal stamp set to add the kids names and their assigned army alias. I was originally going to add it in vinyl with my cricut, but when my father in law offered to let me borrow his stamps I thought that would look more authentic.
The camo draw string bags are also from amazon, I added their names with iron-on vinyl using my cricut. As I mentioned they were for the boys to store ammo in for the battle. But they would be fun as favor bags as well.
Airsoft Battle Details
Our main entertainment for the party was the Airsoft battle! The kids played a variety of airsoft games like capture the flag, every man for himself, protect the president, zombies and more. We had two adults (my husband and one of the other dads) on “course” (which is our 3 acre forest) that acted as referees. They even had kids doing push ups if they were caught taking their masks off while on the course! It was legit.
I had a table set up at the entrance of the “course” (again it was just our property) with some items to help the boys gear up for battle. We had camo bandanas, dog tags with their names and army alias, “war paint”, airsoft masks and ammo, and camo drawstring bags with their names on them.
I also had a cooler full of water bottles and Gatorade for the kids to “refuel” between rounds. I wasn’t sure how long they would carry on outside but they went straight up until the darkness forced them indoors (almost 3 hours!). Luckily my mother in law took my younger kids for the afternoon so I didn’t have to worry about them running around and being shot in the eye!
I hope this post has helped you as you plan an army themed party! Below I have put together a shopping list with links of the items I bought for the party. I so appreciate when you shop through my links as it helps keep the lights on around here. And you can check out more details from the party and behind the scenes over on my Instagram page.