Zach’s Camo Party

Thanks to U.S. Toy company for sponsoring this post!

My little guy turned four this year, and when the cold weather warmed up a bit we seized the chance to celebrate and throw him the belated birthday bash he deserved with water grenades, tank art and all of the army things that make his soldier-lovin’ heart go pitter-patter.



I designed all of the camo party printables for Zach’s party, which you can purchase in my Etsy shop. I printed them on matte photo paper and put them together with some basic supplies like scissors, tape,  and twine. Quick and painless!

Food and Drinks

Meal time is Zach’s favorite part of the day, so I decided to give our party a Mess Hall spin. I set out a selection of his favorite foods—sandwiches, broccoli and carrots, trail mix and juice—and some pretty amazing desserts.


Lunch Trays were given out to guests along with bamboo forks and camouflage napkins to reinforce that mess hall theme. The kids loved filling up the compartments.


Zach is a sandwich man, so I made almond butter and honey “Soldier Sandwiches,” crusts removed for the special occasion. His favorite! I wrapped them in parchment paper and a little jute twine ( I have a bit of a jute twine obsession).


Little man loves raw broccoli and carrots, so I served them up in little cups. The cups were actually camo drink cups, but I cut them down to snack cup size. Much cuter than white snack cups.


I also served up some juice boxes. I removed the straw from each package, wrapped them up in camo, and then tied the straw back on with a little jute twine I frayed.


Gummy soldiers and a homemade trail mix (green & brown M&Ms, pretzels, Goldfish crackers, nuts and raisins) rounded out the mix. The gummy soldiers were green apple (the smell was intense), but the kids loved them. If I’m going to eat something fruit flavored, it should be fruit. Otherwise, I’m going for anything covered in icing …


… like these. To save myself some time on the desserts, I ordered a chocolate cake and vanilla cupcakes from my local Whole Foods market. I ordered them “plain”, which is one of my favorite tricks. It gets you a basic cake and cupcakes without decorations (sprinkles and such) so you can dress them up with your own toppers. I decorated this cake with chocolate rocks and a large toy soldier. For the cupcakes, I made toppers from my new Camo Collection with a 2″ punch, party circles printable, jute twine and wood lollipop sticks. Then I placed the store bought cupcake in a camo cupcake wrapper.


Samantha of The New York Cakepopery Inc made adorable grenade cake pops. Watch out, these babies are the bomb. (OK, I couldn’t resist a pun.)


Chloe of Chlobugs Cookies made the cute camo cookies. It was hard to eat just one … or two. I’m telling you, anything covered in icing … mmmmm.


And because you can never have too much chocolate or go without some sort of MRE reference … I wrapped Hershey’s bars with a candy bar wrap printable from the collection and put them in a camo bucket stuffed with natural crinkle shreds from Hobby Lobby.

Mess Hall Decor

When I was in high school, we lived overseas during the Gulf War (totally dating myself here), and my friends and I volunteered with the USO and worked in the tent cities on base passing out food and supplies to soldiers (as well as a lot of flirting). I pulled a lot of inspiration for this design from those days, but I’m keeping my bad hair and pinch-rolled jeans out of it. You’ll thank me for that.


My backdrop is a faux mess hall tent made of camouflage fabric suspended from 3M Command Hooks. I also strung up two layers of camouflage netting behind it.

I covered the table with canvas drop cloths and a vintage army blanket I found in a thrift shop. Then I made a small gold star bunting and strung some barbed wire garland along the front of the table.


Ammo boxes and vintage crates and boxes were used as risers to add height and visual interest.


I had so much difficulty finding ammo boxes locally. I found them online, but shipping was so expensive. Thankfully a last minute craigslist search saved the day.


Once all of the food was placed, I scattered chocolate rocks and plastic soldiers around to finish the table until it felt perfect. But let’s face it. It wasn’t really perfect until this cutie stepped in front of it.

Camo Party Favors


For party favors, guests were given helmets, grenades and survival kits filled with fun goodies from U.S. Toy.


I made favor tags to thank our guests and clipped them to the bags with a simple DIY—soldiers glued to clothespins.

Camo Party Activities

To keep the kids entertained, I came up with three fun activities—tank painting, a water grenade fight, and I also set up a tent to play in.


My friend Jessica of Everyday Party Magazine made me an A-frame tent, which I set up in the backyard. Isn’t it awesome? Zach sleeps and plays in that tent 24/7. His favorite thing ever!


I put a blanket, camo pillows my mom made, some toys and a bucket of soldiers in there. It made a really fun area for the kids to rest and play.


It was also a great place to day dream.

The tank painting was so much fun. I set out some art paper, paints and cute little Tanks from U.S Toy. The kids dipped their tanks in the paint, and then drove them across their canvases. The wheels made interesting patterns.


By far, the favorite activity of the day was the water grenade fight. I built two bunkers out of boxes and covered them with camouflage netting. The adults couldn’t resist diving in too.


Each group was given a basket of water balloons and a white flag. It ended up being girls against the boys. The girls waved the surrender flag a few times when they ran out of ammo, but the boys were ornery. We had to reload  the bucket of water balloons several times because everyone wanted to keep going. So much fun.


The smiles and squeals of delight were hilarious. No one actually got hit, but there were a few close calls. I’m sure it won’t be our last water grenade fight. 😉

Hope you enjoy it!

Vendor Credits

Camo Party Printables | Me, Three Little Monkeys Studio
– Bucket of Toy Soldiers, Camo Bucket, Magnetic Toy Compasses, Large Toy Soldier, Pull Back Tanks, Binoculars, Pull String Grenades, Plastic Canteens, Dog Tags, Camo Blowouts, Camouflage Helmets, Grenade Water Guns, Water Balloons, Paratroopers, Camouflage Cups and Napkins | U.S. Toy
– Camo Cookies | Chlobugs Cookies
– Grenade Cake Pops | The New York Cakepopery Inc
– Chocolate Cake and Cupcakes | Whole Foods
– Tent | Everyday Party Magazine
Biodegradable Lunch Trays | Shop Sweet Lulu
Gummy Soldiers and Chocolate Rocks |
– Barbed Wire Garland and Camouflage Netting | Hobby Lobby
– Camouflage Fabric | Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Store


    • Gretchen says

      Thank you, Britni! The detail on those cake pops were amazing. Can’t wait to meet you in a few weeks!

  1. says

    Well, no one every needs to do an Army party again, because you just KILLED IT. I LOVE IT! I need to know what filter you use on your pics too.
    That is the best tip about cutting party cups down to make snack cups! CLEVER!

    • Gretchen says

      Now Brittany, flattery will get you everywhere. I will share my filters if you tell me how you get your hair so perfect. Thank you for the sweet comments!!! XOXO

    • Gretchen says

      Thank you so much, Megan! I bought them last year and just knew one day I would finally find a use for them. One of my favorite party items I’ve ever used!

    • Gretchen says

      Thanks, Dawn! Since I design and sell the printables and do parties like this for my shop often, parties tend to be same old same old around here. Still fun to plan and execute though, and of course the kids always have a good time. Hopefully it inspires others. :)

  2. says

    Okay Gretchen. When you told me your site was about throwing awesome parties, I figured it would be awesome. But I didn’t know it was FREAKING AWESOME :)

    I LOVE these themes and how much detail and work you put in them. From the amazing printables to the pop cakes…amazing :)

    It was sooo NICE meeting another mom at GBS!!!

    Seng |

  3. Nicole says

    Hi Gretchen,
    I absolutely loved the party bags!!!! My 9 year old is having and outdoor laser tag party and I think these party bags would compliment his theme very nicely! Are the tags available in your etsy shop? Also was wondering what type of glue you used to stick the toy soldiers onto the clothes pegs with? thank you

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *