If you follow me on Instagram, then you already know that I have the best dog in the world. Hands down, no argument, don’t even try to dispute it because I will win. I’m writing this with him on my lap right now though, so I might be the slightest bit biased.
Back in September, my roommates Bridget and JC realized that our (my partner Zach and I’s) corgi mutt Pixel and their pit bull Tank were adopted on the same day! Years apart, but the same adoptaversary nonetheless. So we couldn’t not throw them a joint party to celebrate the occasion. I am a big advocate for the phrase “Adopt Don’t Buy”, and can’t wait to adopt another once we have enough space in our home. It’s the same sort of mentality for why I don’t want children. If I do decide to have them one day, though, then I will adopt instead of giving birth. It’s best to give an existing life a better one, rather than support the industry that creates a surplus of lives that don’t need to be bred or created in the first place. Did I explain that well? Probably not, so you can read more about why you shouldn’t support pet-trades and puppy mills, and why you should adopt instead, on PETA’s website here.
We invited our friends and their dogs to celebrate with us! Here’s how to throw not just any dog party — but a proper dog party.
STEP ONE: CREATE YOUR INVITATION.
I created mine by drawing little party hats and other fun doodles on an existing image in Photoshop, but you could probably execute this a lot better. Send the invitation (either digital or print) to your friends, family — and their dogs too, of course! Since it’s 2016, you’ll probably want to create a Facebook event for the party so friends will remember to keep their schedules free.
STEP TWO: PICK YOUR LOCATION AND THEME.
We opted to host our party at Friends of Hermon Dog Park, an open space on the outskirts of LA that was pretty deserted. We set up next to a low-hanging tree, which was perfect to hang our banner and balloons from. If your climate and weather allow you to have your party outside, do it! It’s best to give the dogs room to run around and play with one another. If there isn’t a private dog park near you, find a friend with a big backyard and beg and/or blackmail them accordingly.
STEP THREE: DO ALL YOUR PREP WORK.
This is really a few steps in one. For the adoptaversary party we made…
- Monogrammed bandanas
- Photobooth props
- A custom pennant banner
- Loot bags
Here’s how to make ~all of the things~.
You will need…
- One standard bandana (or more, depending on how many pups you want to make them for). You can also get any fabric that’s 22 inches by 22 inches, which is the standard size for a bandana.
- Iron-on letters (I got these from Jo-Ann’s but you should be able to find them at any craft store very easily, even the dollar store)
- Hair straightener (Or an iron, but a hair straightener works better for this size)
How to make it…
- Tie your fabric into a standard bandana style (here), fitting it specifically to the dog in question.
- Cut out the iron-on letters for whatever you’re spelling out. Cut them as closely as possible, while making sure they’re still legible. If you’re using particularly small letters, use an X-ACTO knife instead of scissors to do this step.
- Figure out exactly where you’re going to put the letters and space them out. Ideally, the letters should be on the side of the bandana (see photo reference below).
- Heat up your hair straightener/iron.
- Place one letter on the bandana. Iron letter on in that spot, holding straightener/iron clamped in same spot for at least 20 seconds to secure it while being careful not to burn fabric.
- Repeat step 5 for rest of letters. Touch up all letters at the end if need be.
Use my existing tutorial here, but swap the bridal motifs to things like dog snouts and “Woof” speech bubbles.
CUSTOM PENNANT BANNER:
You will need…
- Thick card stock
- Black marker
- String or twine
How to make it…
- Decide what you want to write on your banner. I chose our dogs’ names but feel free to mix it up, as long as you choose something short, sweet and personal.
- Using card stock, a pencil and a ruler, draw out an isosceles triangle (two long sides and one shorter side, nerd).
- Cut this out carefully, then use it as a stencil to trace out as many triangles as you have letters/symbol in whatever you’re spelling out, one triangle for each. For example, “Pixel & Tank” took 10 triangles.
- Fold over the top edge of the triangle — about half an inch.
- Add line of glue, then glue string in place.
- Repeat step #5 for rest of triangles, in order of how the letters should be.
- Let dry.
TL, DR: You can also buy a basic pennant already made and write the letters directly on it. You’ll have to create your phrase in correspondence with how many triangles are already on the pennant this way.
As far as the loot bags go, fairly straightforward — Bridget got colorful paper bags from Target, filled them with a treat and chew toy each, then sealed with a pink ribbon.
STEP FOUR: ENJOY THE PARTY!
Take lots of photos, play party games, and have a doggone good time.
Another great thing to incorporate into your party is dog-friendly cake or cupcakes. I was planning on making some, we just didn’t have enough time the day before. You can make them yourself following an online recipe like the one for these, or a lot of dog boutiques tend to offer baked goods nowadays too. Be sure to also bring…balloons, more tape, a tablecloth, dog toys, blankets, folding chairs, a portable music player, and lots of snacks/beverages to keep guests (human or other) satisfied throughout the party. And poop bags — seriously, we almost forgot to bring extra ones and it would’ve been a disaster.