Kara's Party Ideas Retro 4th Birthday Bowling Party | Kara's Party Ideas

This amazing RETRO BOWLING THEMED 4TH BIRTHDAY PARTY was submitted by Maureen Anders of Anders Ruff. Oh my goodness, it doesn’t get much cuter than this! What a darling party and a super fun theme at that!

Party details and vendor credits at the bottom of post…

Here is what Maureen had to say about the party- “I am SO excited to share Pierson’s bowling party with you all!

When my son requested a BOWLING Birthday Party for this year, visions of a stylish and retro bowling team kept coming to mind.  There are so many easy and effective ways to add style and character to a bowling party, and I’m excited to share the Anders Ruff take on the retro bowling party theme with you today!

Sprucing up the bowling alley was not a tough task when armed with some versatile printables, fabulous themed desserts and retro, kid-friendly decor. I’m excited to get the “ball rolling” on sharing my party photos and ideas because I couldn’t “spare” any details for my little bowling fanatic.

The seated tables we set up right behind the lanes, and our dessert table was actually 2 sided.  The backdrop served the function for the dessert table and behind it, a favor table.

When the kids arrived, they saw the dessert table setup and loved it!  Then they walked behind the dessert table to find the other side of the table, which held favors and their “Bowling Bags” that were filled with their themed bowling shirt (by Made by Morgan!) along with their printable personalized name tag, and team sticker (in the shop!), which we adhered to their shirt fronts and backs.

We designed a cute label for the Gable Box/ Bowling bag and added the kids’ names with a printable customized name tag.  This helped us keep the correct size shirt and team name in the correct child’s bowling bag.  (Organization is key!)

The bowling bags were SO easy to make and were a GREAT keepsake and bag for the kids to take home extra treats!  I used black gable boxes and labeled them with a printable from our shop that was printed on label paper.  I added a personalized tag and tied with paper raffia.

The favor table also included cellophane bags that held customized coloring books from the printable collection with homemade bowling pin and ball crayons.  Black and white striped bags were set out that had our printable sticker that said “Keep the Sweets Rolling!” The kids loved filling their bags with extra sweets.

Cello bags included chocolate bowling pins and balls.  The bag was topped with a printable bag topper that said “Spare Sweets”.  I just hope the kids don’t get confused between the bowling pin crayons and the chocolates!

Back to the dessert table…. because it was SO sweet!  I printed our party sign and matted it on foam core and hung from the center of the backdrop.

Big balloons were tied on the sides of the table.  This was SUPER important for scale because the bowling alley had such huge high ceilings – it really helped fill the space.

The incredible cake, by Mandie of Got What It Cakes, was designed to mimic the look of our printable “retro bowling” collection. Vintage Confections made the most adorable bowling pin, ball and “4″ lollipops.

Trendy two tone chevron paired with classic stripes, retro dashes and polka dots were used throughout the fabric, printables and decor.  Easy to serve snacks were displayed such as cheddar popcorn, sixlets in coordinating aqua and red, and bowling pin and ball lollipops shaped for the occasion.  Spare sweets were displayed throughout the party scene.

I made layered jello shots to mimic a bowling pin and topped it off with a printable bowling ball logo.

Bowling pin jello shots, gutterball gumballs, “spare” sweets, alley decorations and team logos were some of my favorite details of Pierson’s retro bowling party.

I found the most fabulous red and black melamine trays and serving pieces that looked like lacquer and to stick with the “retro” vibe.

I found old (by “old” I mean beat up, terrible condition with ugly pink stripes) pins for $1 each and refurbished the bowling pins by using good old spray paint and red electrical tape (which is flexible and easily wraps around the curves of the pins).  I embellished them with an oversized printable P logo that was matted on a ruffled tissue backing.

Bowling ball and pin cake pops by Pop-A-Razzi were displayed.  We stuck the pin cake pop or “4″ lollipop in each box of popcorn to look cute and ended up being a favorite sweet and salty retro snack.

Chevron cookies and bowling pin cookies from JP Creatibles were perfectly decorated and even more delicious than they look.

The children were organized onto teams so I designed 4 team logos – The King Pins, The Strikers, The Gutterballs and Rolling Thunder.  It helped keep the party activities organized and less chaotic with 20 4 year olds running around.  (The youngest guests were on The Gutterballs team, no doubt, and the oldest were on the King Pins team!)

The team logos were printed on both label paper and photo paper for different uses.  The stickers were used for team logos which would be worn on the backs of the t- shirts.  The other logos were used to embellish the chairs on the alley so that each team knew where their lane was. (And it made them look adorable!)

To spruce up the lanes, printable “Let’s Bowl” Pennant Banners adorned the bowling ball return.  Circle party signs added color to the scoring panel post and giant balloons were tied to these posts.

The kids loved rocking their custom bowling pin tees from Made by Morgan and their personalized printable name tags and team logos on their backs.  I think these are much cooler than the old school button up shirts with embroidered names!

The kids couldn’t wait to get seated because the knew a retro red burger basket full of goodies awaited them.  I used the black melamine / retro plates as the “charger” and placed a red burger basket on top with aqua tissue (Nashville Wraps) inside.

A  bowling pin jello was placed on their plate as well as a plastic drink bottle embellished with a printable drink wrap.  Paper straws were tacked onto the bottle using a tiny Glue Dot.

Inside the basket was a gumball pipette with red, white and pearly blue gumballs.  I designed a party flag to embellish the tube which said “Gutterball Gumballs”.

Vending machine capsules with black lids were the perfect fit for a bowling party and we filled them with aqua Sixlets.  We also included lollipops and black round candies.

We also displayed red window boxes filled with popcorn and tied on a printable favor tag with raffia.  We crafted our raffia to look retro by unrolling the raffia paper and fan folded it back and forth.  A new look for paper raffia.

Cupcakes were given to take home in ice cream cups with lids (Polka Dot Market).  We designed a printable wrap for these tubs.  The cupcakes were topped with coordinating fondant toppers from Two Sugar Babies

The kids packed up their goodies in their “Bowling Bag Gable Boxes, which was the perfect carrier for their treats!  Do you like the “Gutterball Gumball” tubes?  So cute, right!?

Are YOU in the mood for a bowling party? Good news! The printable retro bowling party invitation and collection is now available in the Anders Ruff Shop.”


Party Production and Styling: Anders Ruff
Printables: Anders Ruff Shop
Photography: Becca Bond Photography


Cake: Got What It Cakes
Cake Pops: Pop-A-Razzi
Candy: Oh!Nuts
Fondant Cupcake Toppers: Two Sugar Babies
Lollipops: Vintage Confections
Sugar Cookies: JP Creatibles

Fashion & Decor:

T Shirts: Made By Morgan
Shirt Name Tags & Team Logos: Anders Ruff Shop
Gumball Pipettes, Ice Cream Cups, Balloons: Polka Dot Market
Drink Bottles, Favor Bags, Straws & Vending Capsules: Shop Sweet Lulu
Gable Boxes, Tissue Paper and Cello Bags: Nashville Wraps

Gumball tubes, ice cream cups, polka dot balloons, black gable boxes, striped paper favor bags, cello bags, candy, favor boxes, ribbon, striped paper straws, red window boxes, gumballs, sixlets, lollipops- Available in Kara’s Party Ideas Shop

Leave a Reply

  1. Lynn H. says:

    SUPER CUTE PARTY – you really scored, most bowling alleys won’t let you set up all that party decor.

  2. Molly says:

    Your ideas are perfect. I love to go through!
    Lovely hugs

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  4. Bayly says:

    I love this party theme! Do you mind telling me how you made the jello shots? I’m just wondering what “flavor” you used to get the white. Thanks!

  5. Tkoepke says:

    I was wondering how you did the jello shots. My daughter is having a bowling party for her birthday and those would be perfect. Thank you.

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