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Disney Cars Birthday Party

Cars Birthday Party

July 22, 2011 Sarah Coggins
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Our son has definitely had a love for cars (specifically Disney-Pixar Cars) for the last year. I joke my mom started it with the Lightning McQueen walk/ride toy she gave him for his first birthday. Maybe it was the light-up Lightning McQueen shoes Trent picked out for him in December. Or maybe just that boys & cars go hand-in-hand? Regardless the reason, my child loves all things Cars. Thus, it was pretty obvious the theme for his 2nd birthday party should be Cars.

Disney Cars Birthday Party

Save the Date

In early June I mailed out “save the date” style postcards to his friends. Found the idea here and thought it was too cute. Who doesn’t love mail? Dylan gets excited about ours and rarely has a piece addressed to him so I thought his friends might find it fun to get a little something.

Cars Birthday Party: Save the Date Postcard

For the front, I used an image I found on Flickr. The back had a note from Lightning McQueen stating to save the date of July 16th for the party.

Party Invitations

The following week, I sent out the official invites. I came up with the idea in Photoshop but wanted a bit more depth so the final invites were a hybrid design. I created the background black/white checkered paper and printed it out to 5×7. The section with the info was made in Photoshop and printed on 4×6 photo paper. I used the same Lightning McQueen clip art on the invite & return address labels.

Cars Birthday Invite

This party was for his playgroup friends & their families so we chose to start at 10am. Early enough to beat the July heat and enjoy the backyard – plus wear out the kids for afternoon naps.


We had box “cars” for the kids to color and “drive” ….

Cars Birthday Box Cars

Bean bags to toss into a tire …

Cars Birthday Tire Bean Bag Toss

“Car wash” (ie, ball pit) and the climber

Cars Birthday Party

plus his two toy push mowers (amazing how toddlers love those!), small Cars coloring sheets to color (last minute addition as Dylan wanted to do that waiting for his party to start) and we played a little “Ramone’s Body Art” getting temporary tattoos.

Outdoor Decorations

For decoration in the yard, I hung the birthday banner and road signs that I made as well as a couple of old records with the centers spray painted silver to look like tires & hubcaps. Against our house, we had a real hubcap and a subway art print I created:

Cars Birthday Party Outside Decor

Flo’s V8 Cafe

Inside, I set up our kitchen as “Flo’s V8 Cafe” and split the food & drinks into two locations. The drinks were at the bar area and I put together this fun display using a plush Lightning McQueen toy, gas pump (idea from Disney and can of “Dinoco” oil I made from one of our niece’s empty formula containers:

Cars Birthday Party Beverage Decor

The adults had red party cups and each of the toddlers got their own Take ‘n Toss Cars cup to use & take home. Before the party, I printed a label with each name to mark the kids’ cups to help keep them straight.

Cars Birthday Party Beverages

The food area was designated with our “Flo’s V8 Cafe” menu. I created the logo in Photoshop using online images as examples. Each of the foods were given a fun name. The place setting at the bottom is from Sara Schmutz‘s Summer Picnic Embellishments. I used glue dots to adhere the menu to a record and set Dylan’s little metal Lightning McQueen lunch box in front:

Cars Birthday Party Menu

To eat, we had Perdue Chicken Nuggets (in Cars shapes, of course!), cheese cubes, and Chicken Minis & Fresh Fruit from Chick-fil-a:

Cars Birthday Party Food

Followed by “Piston Cup-cakes” for dessert (oh yes, I had to go that cheesy! LOL). I made the cupcakes myself and used Cars baking cups and cupcake picks by Wilton.

Cars Birthday Party Cupcakes

For cake time, we had the 6 toddlers seated at a small picnic table in the backyard. I have to say, I’ve never been more impressed! As badly as they all wanted the cupcakes throughout the morning, they sat so nicely and just looked while we sang happy birthday and Dylan blew out the candles.

Party Favors

On their way out, each of our son’s friends grabbed a party favor bag:

Cars Birthday Party Favors

The favors were wrapped in brown sandwich bags and sealed with labels I created in Photoshop. I used the same checkered flag border I made for the invitations. Each had a child’s name on it followed by a thank you from Dylan. Inside was a pullback Cars toy from the Disney Store, coloring sheets and a small bag of M&M’s.

Finish Line

It wasn’t until the party was winding down that I thought to get someone to take a family photo (I was enjoying the fun too much!)

Cars Birthday Party Family Photo

Dylan had a great time despite his lack of a smile here. He was tired & a bit displeased we pulled him away from the fun for a moment to take a photo. It was all we could do to get him to look at the camera. 😉 His shirt was my final party “decoration.” I followed this tutorial and finished it off with a fun red zig-zig stitch around the edges using my sewing machine.


  • Linda July 22, 2011 at 3:53 pm
    You did an excellent job with the cars theme! Andrew went through a Cars phase, was really into the movie and the toys. Every now and then, he will still pull them out to play with.
  • Sandra Collins July 23, 2011 at 4:49 am
    sounds awesome!!!
  • Ryzmomplus2 July 23, 2011 at 7:00 am
    I cannot believe he is already two! That party looked so adorable, I love all the games! super cute!
  • allison c July 23, 2011 at 5:03 pm
    Loved it: so creative as always. Although you forgot to mention the headband! :)
  • Julie S. July 24, 2011 at 8:23 am
    What an awesome party! And thanks again for sending me the iron on for Brayden's shirt- we will be using it at his party today!!
  • Bonnie July 27, 2011 at 7:41 am
    What a great party! You outdid yourself Sarah! I love the family picture too. I think it's perfect!
  • ter@waaoms July 28, 2011 at 10:53 am
    happy birthday, dylan!
  • Kimberley September 27, 2011 at 12:03 pm
    Cute, cute idea! My G would love this!!
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    Hi! I'm a DIY and craft obsessed mom to 2. I have my hands covered in sawdust or paint any given day. My husband and kids join me in many of our projects. When we aren't creating at home, we're creating memories in our many adventures. Join along! Read More


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