My friend Brooke and her husband Joe are both really into Golf and wanted to celebrate their 40th birthdays with a Caddyshack themed birthday party. I actually hadn’t seen the movie before, but after watching it and having a good chuckle, I was inspired to incorporate as many of the humorous elements as possible from Bushwood Country Club into their event.
Bushwood Country Club Sign
A Bushwood Country Club sign seemed like a perfect centerpiece for the backdrop of the dessert table. I found the club sign online and imported into Cricut’s design space and then spent a few too many hours dissecting it and splitting it into smaller sections so I could cut it with my Cricut and piece them together to make a larger sign. I used some leftover foam board that I had bought for another project at the Dollar Store, and then added each vinyl layer piece by piece. To finish I cut around the sign using a craft knife (I started using scissors but I was scared I’d wreck the foam board and buckle it, so I switched to the knife).
Dessert Table Backdrop and Decorations
If you were to ask people the lasting memory they have from the movie, it’s probably the scenes of Bill Murray trying to blow up the pesky gopher. So I wanted to go to town with that concept and make the backdrop reminiscent of the scene, using prop dynamite and explosive boxes. Of course it needed to include a gopher and one of Bill Murray’s famous quotes from the movie:
The background was to be my “jungle wall” which I had made for another party using foliage and leftover green leaves from silk flower projects. They were attached to flower wall green plastic backing tiles, which have little prongs on them to attach flowers or leaves.
I made the prop dynamite by rolling up red paper into tubes and hot gluing them in place before wrapping them with black electrical tape. I cut an “explosive” stencil using the cricut and stencil vinyl, and crudely painted it on using a sponge and black acrylic paint. I used model magic in red to create plugs for either end and added thick black yarn as the explosive leads through a small hole that I pierced into the model magic.
The “gunga galunga” sign was made with the cricut and a double layer of card that was glued together for some extra stiffness. I glued wire onto the back of the letters which I twisted onto the jungle wall backing to hold it in place. (I used the same technique to attach the dynamite sticks to the wall).
The explosive/danger/dynamite/warning boxes were wooden crates I bought from Michael’s that I had aged using a potion of vinegar mixed with steel wool. I cut the signs out of vinyl with the cricut. I used a small box for the detonator, added a caution sign and then used some PVC piping painted red as the detonator plunger (is that what you call it??).
I bought candy in green, blue and white to fit the theme, and added a couple of extra touches with the camo hat that Bill Murray wore, as well as a captain’s hat.
(Funny story on the gopher – I bought it from a golf store 7 years ago when my daughter was a baby as I thought it would be a fun puppet – even though its one of those golf club covers. She was obsessed with it and laughed every time we used it. We called him Boris. Anyway it sat around in a toy box for a few years and it was nice to get to re-use him).
It was important to me that the cakes reflected the theme but we didn’t want to spend a ton of money having a baker custom make cakes with intricate decorations to feed 60 people. So my trick was to find funko pop characters (luckily these were available on amazon) to use as cake toppers and then use my cricut to cut card in the shape of famous quotes from the movie from each of those characters. I had a local grocery store make three inexpensive cakes with a basic golf theme (green grass looking frosting) and then simply added the quotes and the characters to the top. I added crumbled up oreos around the gopher to look like he had just come out of the ground. I cut the card shapes and then hot glued them onto clear plastic cocktail spears.
There was a rather traumatic near-disaster right before the party started when I realized that the buttercream on the cake had become so runny from the 80 degree temperature in the room that the top-heavy funko pops were becoming unstable… and then the top one made a huge jump down onto the cake below and got covered in green frosting. Luckily I was able to quickly wash him off, smooth out the messed-up buttercream and replace him, and then added cocktail sticks behind each character to try to keep them in place.
Bushwood Country Club Sign #2
I wanted to have a sign outside the door of the event to set the tone for the party. I had a set of 8 square tiles with leaves on them that I had bought from Michael’s clearance sale a few years ago. These were attached together and then stapled onto a square canvas, and I added a few flowers. For the center of the sign I used glitter card that looked like marble, as if it was a stone sign peaking through a hedge outside the country club. I found an image of the country club sign from the movie and replicated the font and layout, and then cut the words using black vinyl with my cricut maker.
Backdrop for Photo Booth
For the photo booth backdrop, I wanted to embrace the 80s golf fashion and go with a plaid print. I found blue green and white plaid flannel fabric at Joann’s which perfectly matched the color scheme. Unfortunately it was only 45” wide, so I had to go through the painstaking task of lining up two lengths and stitching them together while perfectly matching the plaid patterns (which I was 85% successful doing). I then simply pinned the fabric onto a metal frame, and added a row of bunting on the diagonal to keep it a little more fun. Here is me and my husband testing it out at the party:
Table Centerpieces and Decorations
For the centerpieces, I stole an idea that I saw done quite a lot on Pinterest and created golf flags with the number “40” on them. I bought duck canvas in dark green and dark blue to use for the flags since it had the type of stiffness I was looking for so it wouldn’t sag and hide the numbers. After cutting the triangles I realized they were still not stiff enough so I sprayed them with Terial Magic to stiffen them up even more, and they also became too straight like they were card, but it was much better than being droopy. I cut out the 40s using the cricut and used adhesive backed vinyl rather than an iron-on so I could easily reuse the flags for another party in the future. I used wooden dowels that I cut a little shorter and painted them white, then glued the canvas flag onto the top using hot glue and simply wrapping them around until the wood was covered. I then mounted the flags in a metal container filled with small rocks so it could hold the flag in place. The rocks were covered with some green canvas circles and then with a layer of green moss to look a little like grass. The finishing touch was to place a golf ball on top of the moss. I loved these flags but over the few weeks before the event they started curling up so I kept having to straighten them out… and then on the day of the event (one of the hottest and most humid days of the summer), the flags became droopier and droopier until you couldn’t actually see the number 40 anymore. This was one of the big fails I had with the decor. Lesson learned.
As a little “extra” to go on top of the napkins as table decoration, I cut “Let’s Par-Tee” signs out of card with the Cricut maker. I thought it added a really nice fun touch to the tables.
One of the famous signs from the movie is the sign outlining the rules. This was a last minute request and I made it the morning of. I bought a canvas board and imported an image of the sign into cricut design space so it would be the exact font. I edited it a little to fit the proportions of the canvas better and then cut the words out of black and red vinyl. We displayed it next to the photo booth area.
It’s almost impossible for me to make it through party planning without making bunting to fit the color scheme… and it actually seemed to fit well with the golf theme. I cut up triangles in dark green, dark blue and white and sewed them into 5/8” gross grain ribbon in an alternating pattern. I think I ended up making 60 yards of it which was no joke to sew – I tackled the project over a few days and fit in 20 minute sewing sessions sporadically to progressively make a few more yards. I hung it on my stairway prior to the event so the flags wouldn’t get creased up. I ended up using the bunting indoors along the walls and across the dance floor and outside in the patio area and along the fence.
All in all I spent about 50 hours making decorations for this party, and I was really pleased by how everything turned out. The party itself was a blast and my husband even won first place in the putting contest they held!
Here’s me in my 80’s golf outfit: