The Kentucky Derby is just a couple weeks away, and that means you’ve got the perfect excuse to get together with friends for fantastic food, drinks, and Southern traditions.
And we can’t forget the element of dress-up, of course… which is one of the things that make Derby celebrations – and the pictures from them – so totally fun & unique!
PREPPY PADDOCK Theme
14 Hands is the official wine sponsor of the Kentucky Derby this year, which means it will be featured at Churchill Downs all throughout Derby Week… not to mention enjoyed by the very important guests in my own living room on May 4th. ;)
We created a vintage-modern style Derby theme for 14 Hands last year, so I wanted to go a different direction this time… Inspired by the preppy fashion often donned at the Derby, this new “Preppy Paddock” theme features a fresh garden party vibe, bow-ties, preppy patterns, and bright pops of color!
PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:
- Decorative plant containers used to hold wine and bottled water
- DIY “Party Paddock” Centerpiece with bow-tie bedecked horses
- Southern-inspired small bites like Mini Hot Browns and Ham Stuffed Biscuits
- Homemade Bourbon Peach Pie Pops + Kentucky Bourbon Puddings
- Playful photo props for fun picture-taking + printable “Photo Finish” sign
Scroll down for an overview of the party, and check out additional images in the full party album.
Alyssa & Renee had fun modeling the photo booth props! ;)
As I mentioned earlier, this theme was inspired by the preppy fashion you often see at the Derby, which is represented through bow ties and the preppy style of the party printables. Sheet moss was also incorporated for a fresh spring/garden vibe. I really had fun working on this theme and hope you enjoy it too! You can download all of the party printables right here.
My own favorite elements are probably the DIY “Party Paddock” centerpiece, Bourbon-Peach Pie Pops (embellished with bow-ties!) and “Watering Hole” wine bottle display. While browsing the garden section at HomeGoods, I stumbled on an awesome water faucet themed plant holder and couldn’t resist turning it into a creative display for the white wine! A modern white window box planter was also used for the water bottles.
Fabric Bow Ties: (DIY Tutorial coming Friday!) We made 3 different sizes of bow ties using different colors of scrap fabric. The smallest bow ties were used as drink markers on the wine glasses, and also to dress up toy horses. The medium bow ties were used to embellish vases, and the largest ones were hot glued to wooden dowels for photo booth props.
Moss-covered Frames: Unfinished wooden frames ($1 each at Michaels) were covered with sheet moss & used to display printable 4×6 signs
Preppy Horses: Toy horses were spray painted & embellished with mini fabric bow ties
Party Paddock Centerpiece: The preppy horses needed a place to party, and this one was fashioned from styrofoam, moss, and inexpensive wooden fences found in the wood crafts aisle Michaels. (The fences were $1.29 each). DIY Tutorial coming next week!
Winner’s Cup Arrangements: Trophy-shaped vases were embellished with printable labels and filled with yellow and white flowers, (white Stock, Queen Anne’s Lace, Billy Balls, and Dahlias) + printable “Win, Place, Show” pennant flags
Paper Diamond Garlands: craft punches were used to punch diamond shapes, then attached together using fishing wire. These were used to embellish around “The Watering Hole” wine buckets, pie pop display and they would be great table runners!
Wooden Photo Booth Props: from Etsy shop Say Hello were painted with acrylic craft paint and hot glued to wooden dowels
FOOD & DRINKS
– Cornbread Crostini (recipe via Southern Living)
– Ham Stuffed Biscuits with Mustard Butter (recipe via MyRecipes.com)
– Mini Hot Browns (modified from this recipe & cut into diamond shapes to match the patterns in the party)
– Veggies & Dip
– Peach Bourbon Pie Pops (recipe via The Wicked Noodle) embellished with bow ties
– Kentucky Bourbon Balls (recipe via AllRecipes.com)
– Bourbon Puddings (recipe via Sprinkle Bakes)
– 14 Hands Wine: Cabernet, Chardonnay, Hot to Trot Red Blend, & Hot to Trot White Blend
– Orange-Tangerine Mint Juleps
– Water bottles embellished with printable bottle labels