40th Birthday Ugly Dress Party!!

So this year, in honor of my 40th birthday, I decided to take matters into my own hands and throw myself a birthday party.  I don’t think I’ve ever thrown a party for myself before but I figured why not!  Taking notes from the Homebased Mom who throws such stunning parties, I knew a theme party was the easiest way to go.  I decided on an Ugly Dress Party and was so happy I did.  The party was a fabulous success!  In this post I will share some of the details of the party with you along with the resources I used to pull it all together.  Hang in there, this is probably the longest post I’ve ever written 🙂

First, let’s start with the invitation.

Etsy really came to my aid for this party.  The invitation printable above was purchased from Lora Lang Designs for $12.50.  All I had to do was supply my information and then print out the number I needed.  So easy!  Here’s a picture of the Etsy sample.

Next I had to think about decorations.  The invitation helped me decide on my pink/black color theme and I continued with these colors throughout the decor.

I also purchased this adorable banner printable below from M. Bradley Designs on Etsy.  Again all I had to do was print, cut and tie them all together with some black ribbon.  Anyone can do it!

I hung the banner above my food station.

I also made these easy tissue paper pom-poms from Martha Stewart that really added some fun to the tables and countertops.  Believe me, if I can do it, anyone can!!

The second banner you see in the above picture was a FREE printable I found online from a site called Catch My Party.  So cute!

For food you can see the adorable Pink Lemonade Cupcakes my daughter made for me.  They were so good.  I purchased the sweet dress printable cupcake toppers and matching printable floral cupcake wrappers from Etsy as well.  Gotta love Etsy!!

My food station was a small second table set up in my dining room.  I made a few things but also asked each guest to bring a small appetizer to share.

As you can see no party is complete without my favorite ketchup chips 🙂

A sign for the table made for me by my daughter:

My mini crockpot (seriously how cute is that!) was perfect for yummy Hot Crab Dip.

Beside the food station, I set up a beverage station so guests could help themselves.  Easier all around.  I purchased my beverage server from Costco for $17.00…sweet!

The Strawberry Spritzer I made was absolutely delicious and was only three ingredients!!  I also had a few other things on hand for variety.

After everyone got to the party I started with a game of Spoons.  This is one of my very favorite games to play and I knew it would be a great ice breaker.  It definitely was!  We played six people at a time and the “loser” of each round was replaced by someone new until we were down to two.  Such fun!

Those that weren’t playing spoons entertained themselves by trying to guess the year on some old pictures of me.  Feel free to have a good laugh at my expense 🙂  For friends that haven’t known me that long in my new town, I was very impressed with the winner getting 7 out of 12!

My daughter made up cute cards for everyone to mark their guesses.

Here is a FREE printable for you to use if you’d like.

Download free printable Guess the Year Voting Cards

My daughter also made cards for everyone to vote for who they thought came in the ugliest dress.

Another free printable for you:

Download free printable Ugly Dress Party Voting Cards

Now for the ugly dresses!

Here I am in all my ugly dress glory. Seriously you had to feel the polyester awesomeness of this dress to really appreciate the ugliness of this dress. I was HOT and NOT in an ooh la la kind of way if you know what I mean.

There were some really ugly dresses at this party.  Here is just a quick peek:

Old shiny bridesmaid dress:

A lovely floral ensemble.  Again you had to feel this material to appreciate it.

A chilly pepper dress with a giant matching bow.   Yikes!  I thought she’d win for sure.

However the Ugliest Dress Award for 2011 went to this “beautiful” dress below complete with chicken buttons.

Don’t you think every dress needs some chicken buttons…hahaha!

I had made up gift baskets for both the Can You Guess the Year and Ugliest Dress winners.  Both baskets included my book which I thought was a nice touch (ha!) with a whole other slew of fun goodies!  You can see the gift baskets on the table behind me in this picture but unfortunately I forgot to take close up shots.

Everyone had such a great time and many laughs were shared.  A big shout out to my awesome daughter who was such an amazing help to me!!

Let me know if you decide to host your own ugly dress party, I’d love to hear about it!  Have fun!!

Filed under: My Life, Silly Fun


38 Responses to 40th Birthday Ugly Dress Party!!

  1. 1
    Living the Balanced Life says

    This sounds like it was SO much fun! I have a birthday in September and even though it is not a milestone one like 40 (i’ll be 46!) I just may have to have a party like this! What fun and what laughs! And I love to play spoons, have some great memories of that game, lol! Ooh! Maybe I can do a party like this for our ladies group at church! Thanks for sharing all your tips!
    Wonder Woman doesn’t live here anymore

    • 1.1
      Laura says

      Yes I think I’d like to do it again at the church as well…so many of the ladies there when they heard of it told me they loved the idea.

  2. 2
    Leigh Anne @YourHomebasedMom says

    Love, love your party theme! Think I may have to steal it!! I also love that you took matters into your own hands and threw yourself a fabulous party! Way to go girl!!

    • 2.1
      Laura says

      Leigh Anne you are such an inspiration to me. Thank you for always sharing so many great ideas and recipes!!

  3. 3
    Marcia Francois says

    What fun! And guess what I’m starting to do tonight? To put up decorations for my babies’ 2nd party on Saturday – I agree, etsy is fabulous – I also bought all my printables from etsy and they are SUPER cute (I must remember to take pics so I can blog them too).

    For my 40th in 3 years, I think I;ll do a come as you want to be in 5 years 🙂

    I really love (not!) that chicken button dress! Where did you guys get all the dresses?

    • 3.1
      Laura says

      The dresses all came from thrift stores!

      I can’t believe your babies are two already, wow!! Happy early birthday to them 🙂

  4. 4
    Looking Up says

    I love this idea!!! I’ve got a little over 3 years to get started planning mine 🙂

  5. 5
    Megan says

    Fun! I play in a themed bunco group. Maybe ugly dress will be our next theme.

  6. 6
    Missional Mama says

    OK, after seeing you in your glory, I now want to throw an ugly dress party! Looks like it was fun! The dresses are GREAT! All your friends played along which is really great too.

    Happy 40TH!

  7. 7
    Leslie says

    This sounds like SO much! I’m totally going to convince my mother to have the same birthday party theme now! 🙂


  8. 8
    Page says

    Wow what an awesome birthday party – I just loved the dresses and the whole ambience which made you feel as if we were celebrating with you.


  9. 9
    Daniela says

    I LOVE that you did this for yourself! Your creativity is amazing and it looks like you and all of your guests had a fabulous time. I celebrated my 40th birthday last year and did not have a party -I just may do this for the 41st! Great idea -you know how to live!!!

  10. 10
    Lisa says

    (Shuddering in horror at the memory) The “Barnyard-Country” look–unflattering to EVERY body shape!! Ugh! The horror of it! And all those embroidered/appliqued jumpers!! AAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGHHHHHHH. Still that Bridesmaid “ensemble” was priceless!! I remember one wedding in the late 80–each bridemaid dress was a different color [where they called “gem tones??”) a dark gold, navy blue, dark burgandy and forest green all with, wait for it! cover your eyes!! handkerchief hems!! UGH!!! It was like Little Shop of Horrors does a wedding! And BIG hair! Yikes!

    What a fun looking party! Happy Birthday!

  11. 11
    Laura @ Homemaking Joyfully says

    What an awesome idea! This looks so fun! This looks like something that would be fun for a mom’s night out type party at church or one of the ladies’ homes. I think I’ll bring this up to my group!!!!

  12. 12
    Heather G. says

    This would be an awesome idea for our women’s ministry at church!! I know everyone would have a blast! Maybe I will have to start planning! 🙂 Sounds like a fun birthday party too, love all the pictures!

  13. 13
    Joyce says

    This is fabulous!!! How great that your daughter helped you out with the party!! Future party planner! =)

  14. 14
    Kristi says

    How funny! I love this! I love theme parties! Looks like y’all had a great time!

  15. 15
    radiomomrhetoric says

    omgosh……I laughed my BUTT off!!!!! This is SUCH a fantastic idea–it makes it almost exciting for me to turn 40 in FEB!!!

    LOVE IT!!! (and love your BLOG!)

  16. 16
    Amy D says

    What a great idea!!! I have heard of Ugly Sweater Parties but never Ugly Dress Parties….maybe because I live in NH and we have to wear sweaters 9 months of the year..LOL!

  17. 17
    Ivonne Loving says

    Wow! What a great idea! In college there was a yearly event called tacky party were we dressed in the tackiest clothes we could find from thrift stores. It was so much fun! You gave me a great idea for our next reunion…maybe an ugly dress get together. Hope you don’t mind 🙂 I think your idea is brilliant and thanks for sharing. Love your photos!

  18. 18
    Amy @ Finer Things says

    Oh my goodness, that is fabulous. Who says the kids get all the fun parties?!

  19. 19
    Dee says

    wish I had read this a month ago, I would have had one for my 50th but my invites were already sent out. Thanks for the great ideas. I think my 60th will be an ugly dress party!

  20. 20
    Ann says

    Spoons? Our favorite game. But you must try EXTREME Spoons. That is when you put the spoons in the other room. Be prepared for more than a few scratches. We even broke an arm once!! We also had a proposal with this as well (the ring was tied on the last spoon)!! It’s just too fun and a GREAT way to tire out teens. LOL

  21. 21
    Bethany says

    I love ketchup potato chips, but can rarely find them here in nj. I usually bring back a few bags from Canada when I go.

  22. 22
    Handy Man, Crafty Woman says

    Best idea for a party EVER!!! I had some really ugly dresses, but I got rid of them. too fun!

  23. 23
    Jennifer says

    I threw a 40th Birthday Party last year for my hubby and I who were both turning the big 4-0 within a month of each other. It wasn’t a theme party, but I did have several people tell me how much they loved the fact that we had our own party. Congrats to you for doing the same…and Happy Birthday! PS. I am soon turning 41, an I all I feel is RELIEF that the the big 4-0 is behind us. LOL!

  24. 24
    Liz @ Wonder Woman I'm Not says

    Happy late birthday and welcome to the 40’s! I’m turning 42 this year and I have to say that life does get better as you get older (wish I could say the same about the body :). Love the theme party idea, everything looks great.

    I only recently found your blog but have to say I love it. Lots of good information. – thanks

  25. 25
    Susanne says

    Laura it looks like so much fun! I just might do this with my ladies group.

    Again a very happy birthday to you!

  26. 26
    Becky L. says

    Laura, sounds like you had a fun 40th birthday party. I loved the theme. I have heard about ugly sweater parties! Maybe I’ll try that in a few years since my bday is in Feb! Or maybe sooner! hahaha! Thanks for sharing and God’s blessings to you! Hugs!

  27. 27
    [email protected] says

    So much fun – hope you had a wonderful birthday!! I have to say, I actually said, “augh!” out loud when I scrolled down to the chicken dress. Definitely wins the prize!! What a blast!

  28. 28
    Maureen says

    I love the ugly dress party idea! I threw a party for a dear friend when she turned 40. I told all the guests to dress up like old ladies – the guest of honor came as her normal beautiful youthful self. We put some rocking chairs in the family room. The outfits were a scream – it was the best party I ever had.

  29. 30
    Renee Meany says

    Great idea! I will alter this for my Husband’s 50th this year…. maybe the ugliest old man and ladies shirt….. Thanks for sharing this!

  30. 31
    Andrea says

    Just wanted to say that after I read this post I was inspired to throw myself an ugly dress party at my next birthday. I am super-excited. It’s this Friday. Thanks for sharing the fun!!

  31. 32
    Shanna says

    What an absolutely fun idea for a theme party! It’s really funny. I’d love a party like this. I found your blog on Money Saving Mom. I hope you will visit me at mommiesandbeyondtoo blogspot dot com

  32. 33
    Tracy Snyder says

    Love this!!! Found your awesome party theme on pinterest as I’m planning my own 4-0 party this Feb.

    • 33.1
      Laura says

      It was so much fun Tracy, happy upcoming birthday!!!


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