For this Hucklebarry Finn Birthday party you might have to feed a lot of people quickly and affordably. But you’ll want to have something yummy too. Since the theme of the book is camping, my first thought was hotdogs and s’mores. To make it just a little classier, add a bunch of delicious toppings to the mix. Yay for classy camping party food! Here’s how.

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Gourmet Hotdog Bar: For the hotdog bar, simply print the recipes (see printable downloads below), hang up with a clothespin, put out the toppings complete with labels and let your guests pile on the goodness.

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Bahn Mi Dog: This hotdog is inspired by the Vietnamese sandwich with cilantro, shredded carrot, sliced cucumbers, and spicy mayo. The spicy mayo is a simple mix of mayo, sriracha sauce to taste, and a dash of sugar.

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Reuben Dog: This hotdog was inspired by a Reuben sandwich with thousand island dressing, shredded swiss cheese, and sauerkraut.

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Simple Dog: This is just a plain-jane, no-nonsense dog with ketchup and mustard.

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For side dishes serve up chips, carrot slices, and mini pickles. I actually lucked out and found chip bags that coordinated with the party colors. Win!

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Gourmet S’mores Bar: For the s’mores bar, set out a delightful array of common and varied s’mores toppings and your guests will have a hay-day creating all sorts of exciting s’mores combinations! The winner at this party was a mallow between two Ritz crackers and peanut butter, chocolate sauce, and a banana slice. The possibilities are endless!

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Tomorrow is a party activity that doubles as a service project. It is pretty darn adorable and inspired by the book! Click for more Huckleberry Finn Party ideas.






If you’re planning your own Huckleberry Finn birthday decorations, consider holding the party outdoors. This way you won’t need a lot of extra decor. The biggest focus is on the food (the best part of a party, right? — see tomorrow’s post dedicated to that) but include a few things to tie in the theme of the book: hang some simple garlands, decorate a store bought smash cake, and make very simple favors.

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Garlands: These garlands are so easy to make. Cut out a bunch of triangles in coordinating colors and stitch together on your sewing machine. You can make all of these in about an hour. Hang them by the food, above the birthday boy, and by the activity station. They’re fun, colorful and bring attention to all the important stops at the party. Hang one on the highchair for the birthday boy too–a simple way to dress it up without going overboard. If you’re like me, you’ll also have to have this adorable letter-pressed map from the book.

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Cake: Go easy-peasy on the cake. After all it’s just going to be smashed by a one-year-old. To dress it up, I asked the baker to do a mini smash cake but had them add one extra level. Most grocery stores or other professional bakers will make a tiny cake special for smashing and add the extra level to make the cake a bit more impressive looking. Make some darling paper flags similar to the flag in the book on the raft and added a bunch to the top. It’s simple, affordable, and makes a fun impact for pictures!

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Favors: I always like to think of favors to give away that someone may actually use again, so I decided on magnets. To make them, glue a white magnet (spray paint them if you can’t find white) to a clothespin. Let it dry. Print a big “THANKS SO MUCH” (see printable download below) on white cardstock, cut them out, and cut pieces of cute scrapbook paper just bigger than the “THANKS SO MUCH” and clip together with the clothespin. Hang all the magnets on a metal doorframe for guests to take on their way out. They double as decoration too.

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Come back tomorrow for details on the food. It’s going to be delicious. Click for more Huckleberry Finn Party ideas.






Huckleberry Finn First Birthday Party: Inspired by a children’s book

When planning a children’s party there are a lot of places to look for inspiration. Many come from popular movies or video game characters. But there are also themes that are less “in-your-face” too! Think about your child’s favorite toy, book, or outfit. It’s so fun and creative to take something like that and turn it into party décor and activities. For this first birthday party (which are a delight in and of themselves) I was inspired by a darling Huckleberry Finn board book.

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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a classic book, and in this BabyLit camping primer version there are such lovely illustrations and clever quotations from the real story by Mark Twain. Think rafts, clotheslines, fishing, and friends. So cute!

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When using something as inspiration, you don’t have to copy every last detail. For this party I used the following five elements from the book to create a festive put-together party without trying to match every detail:

• General campy feel of the book
• Colors and patterns from the illustrations
• Font used in the book
• Clothespins
• Rafts

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1. Campy Feel: Since the book is a camping primer (teaching kids about camping using a classic book), I wanted the party to feel kind of like you were on an outdoor adventure. So without going overboard, I made it feel like one. We grilled hotdogs and roasted s’mores, then stepped it up a notch with fancy toppings and food labels. I also simply held the party outside.

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2. Colors and Patterns: Using the colors and patterns from the book was probably the biggest element I pulled for the party. The colors are so great in this board book – reds, turquoise, olive, goldenrod, orange. It was perfect and great for an end-of-summer bash! I used the colors from the papers for favors and garlands. I had a blast picking out fun campy patterns too – like bandana, faux wood, and polka dot.

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3. Font: The font used in the book was fairly distinctive. All caps and funky. I purchased a cool font called “Press Style” that has a similar vibe to the book and used it to create the food labels, activity, and favors. (Printables coming later this week.) Throwing in a fabulous font is a great way to tie your party theme together.

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4. Clothespins: One of the pages in the book has a cute clothesline (where Huck Finn decides to borrow some clothes) and the clothespins on the line grabbed my attention. Ideas started flying and I ended up using clothespins to hang signs and make favors. I even got mini clothespins to construct the food labels. Who hasn’t wanted to buy mini clothespins? Now you have a reason. It was fun to take a simple element like this and brainstorm fun ideas.

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5. Raft: The raft page is really what hooked me on this darling book in the first place. I used the raft page as inspiration for the party activity. Get excited! I have a full ‘how to’ to share this week AND it doubles as a service project. Score!

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Stay tuned for the pictures from this real life party including “how tos” for the food, décor, favors, and activity. I hope you love it too and start thinking of out-of-the-box things you can use as party inspiration. Click for more Huckleberry Finn Party ideas.






The perfect finishing touch to any Camping Party is the classic s’more. While it’s an obvious idea, actually cooking up s’mores for a dozen or more kids running around an open flame might be to difficult. Instead, send your party guests home with a little diy kit to make their own s’mores.

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You Will Need: free printable “S’more For Later” label (download below), sticker paper, kraft french fry boxes, clear plastic bags, s’more supplies (graham crackers and cookies, chocolate, and marshmallows), red twine or string

Directions: Fill a clear plastic bag with the s’more supplies. Tie the bag closed at the top with some twine. Print and cut out the free printable “S’more For Later” labels on sticker paper. Stick a label onto each french fry box. Slip a bag of s’more supplies into each french fry container.

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Click for more Camping Party ideas.






If you’re having a Camping Party, you’d better serve s’more cupcakes. They perfectly combine two of my favorite treats – cupcakes and s’mores! You might be asking how to make s’more cupcakes. Well, they are a lot easier to make than you’d think.

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You will need: your favorite chocolate cupcakes in some pretty cupcake wrappers, marshmallows, graham crackers, chocolate, marshmallow frosting (recipe below)

Marshmallow Frosting:
1 cup butter, just soft enough to mix
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 jar (7 oz) marshmallow fluff
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Beat the butter until fluffy. Add the powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, to the butter. Mix until it is well combined. Add the vanilla extract and mix. Stir in the marshmallow fluff with a spoon.

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Directions: To make the s’more cupcakes, first pipe a small amount of frosting on top of each chocolate cupcake. Smooth out the top of the cupcake with a knife.

Place your marshmallows on top of some parchment paper in the oven turned on broil. Watch the marshmallows closely and pull them out just as they start to get toasted on top.

While the marshmallows are still warm, pull them off of the parchment paper and place them on top of your cupcakes. Top the cupcakes with a small piece of graham cracker and chocolate.

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Click for more Camping Party ideas.






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