Selected as Party of the Day on October 11th!

Retro Dragon Pool Party

Amanda Fenn-Rusty Chic Decor By Amanda Fenn-Rusty Chic Decor  in Birthday


Party Recap

As my son’s fifth birthday approached, he declared he wanted a dragon theme party. When I inquired for more details of why he said he loves that they fly and breath fire! After reading several dragon books and looking for more inspiration I found a retro font that sparked my creative lightbulb. I love to give a unique spin on a party theme, thus retro dragon became the overall vibe of our celebration. To highlight the age he was turning, the tag line I chose was “Five is Fire.” For the color scheme I chose muted blue and green to represent the dragons and burnt orange and mustard yellow to represent the fire. Sunshine Tulip Design created a custom party invitation that set the tone for our event, “fly on over to celebrate Jacob’s 5th Birthday!”

Since our vintage terra-cotta pool tile fit perfectly with our theme’s aesthetic I planned the main party backdrop around the pool. I painted a wire grid yellow and hung a wood bead tassel garland from Rusty Chic Décor. The wire grid also displayed a DIY wood sign. I painted retro stripes on the wood sign and glued an acrylic personalized dragon and retro wood word cut outs from Poppy Jack Shop that read “Beware Dragon Party.” I ordered a custom balloon garland kit from Oh How Charming including burnt orange, mustard yellow, willow, eucalyptus, slate blue and light blue. To complete the backdrop my son and I painted cardboard that I cut out into dragons. I dyed cheesecloth with rit dye and then hardened the cheesecloth using elmer’s glue and water around balloons to create fire. Once the cheesecloth was dry I hot glued the cheesecloth fire to the cardboard cut-out dragons. Across the balloons was a burlap banner that read “Five is Fire” from Rusty Chic Décor. The word fire was hand painted to look like flames!

The pool side picnic table was dressed with retro stripe fabric, mini plastic dragon toys, and an array of arrangements. To create the custom arrangement, I spray painted baby’s breath, bunnies tail, and various dried florals. I’m all about little details so I modge-podged a dragon from the napkin onto a vase. Each place setting included oh happy day circle plates, black doodle wood cutlery, dragon napkin, and a retro style cup from the Party Darling. To customize the picnic style dining space, I created a backdrop using dragon linen fabric and jute twine.

The food was all prepared by my talented husband. As guests arrived, they were immersed in the delicious scent of BBQ from the smoker. The menu included smoked “dragon” chicken wings, which were labeled with a DIY acrylic sign and acrylic BBQ and HOT dragon markers from Poppy Jack Shop. A taco bar because “dragons love tacos”, chips and salsa, veggies and fire roasted hummus. On the wall behind the taco bar were 3D dragons from Hip and Clavicle. A retro motif platter held the taco shells.

I painted a chalkboard easel light blue and wrote dragon games in a retro font. Activities included swimming, taking a ride on the giant dragon pool float, dragon corn hole, bouncing the fire wubble ball in the backyard, “flying” with dragon wings, and bouncing on the vintage bounce dragon. My in-laws had a vintage bounce horse in their attic that we transformed horse into a dragon! I spray painted it green, sewed fabric wings, painted a cardboard tail and made cheesecloth fire. I then attached all the pieces with hot glue. It was a throwback for all the parents and so fun for the kids to ride on!

For the party favor area, I used my hunter green desk and a vintage rattan side table. To dress up the vintage table I hung a retro color tassel wood bead garland from Rusty Chic Décor and displayed the custom printable sign from Sunshine Tulip Design. For the backdrop I created a tissue ball honeycomb wall that just shouted retro to me, so fun! I decided to create custom family party favors. Each family received a dragon book that was appropriate for their age, handmade play doh, dragon cookie-cutter, and plastic dragon toys. All assembled with eyelash yarn in fire colors!

We ended the celebration by singing happy birthday to Jacob and eating chocolate cake with a strawberry and dragon fruit compote. Now he has his retro dragon shirt to wear all the time and remind him of his amazing birthday party!


Party Highlights

  • What People Ate

    Smoked dragon wings, veggies and fire roasted hummus, chips and salsa, taco bar

  • What People Drank

    juice, water

  • Desserts

    chocolate cake with strawberry and dragon fruit compote

  • Party Favors

    homemade play doh kit with dragon toys, dragon cookie cutter and dragon book

  • Activities / Games

    Swimming, riding the dragon pool float, dragon wings, bouncing on the vintage dragon and corn hole


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