Big Lebowski-Themed Birthday Party

Hello and happy Monday!  I thought I’d start off the week by posting about the Big Lebowski-themed birthday party I threw my husband this year.  He, like a lot of 30-somethings I know, loves the movie The Big Lebowski.  I actually think he can quote the entire thing.  We weren’t able to celebrate his big 30 last year, since it fell right around the time Bugaboo was born.  I knew I wanted to plan something special for his 31st – and keep it a surprise!

I decided to throw a themed party (because who doesn’t love a good theme) and host the party at a local bowling alley.  The movie has a lot of its scenes set in a bowling alley and the main characters are all on a bowling team – so it was the obvious choice.  Because the film has become a cult classic and there are festivals held all over the country celebrating it, there was a ton of fun inspiration online.  Below are some of the details I incorporated into the party!

The Big Lebowski 31st Birthday!


I sent out Evites to all of our family and friends because it was the cheapest, and honestly most of our friends are not really into RSVP’g the good ‘ole fashioned snail-mail way.  It worked out really well and it was fun getting notifications when someone RSVP’d online.  The wording on the invitation was fun to come up with and I did end up swearing…not something I would normally do on an invitation, but I was being true to the movie and there weren’t any kids coming, so I figured it was okay :)

F**k it, Dude, let’s go bowling.

Help us celebrate Hubby’s 31st birthday Big Lebowski style!
We will be bowling at The Bowling Alley at 1pm.
There will be pizza and cake on us and all games
are $3.75 per person per game
with $2.50 shoe rentals.
Feel free to dress up in theme!
This is a surprise….so keep it on the DL!

Hope to see you there, and if you don’t want to come, well, that’s like, just your opinion, man.

And this is not ‘Nam. There are rules. Please RSVP.

These were their RSVP options.  Evite lets you come up with your own versions of Yes, No, Maybe, which is fun!

YES: The Dude Abides
MAYBE: Uh, what day is it?
NO: Over the line!


I didn’t know what to expect as far as where we could set up decorations at the bowling alley.  Since it was a surprise, and I would be with my husband, I relied on some trusted family and friends to set up the decorations and desserts.  I created a poster that took a famous line from the movie “Mark it zero” and turned it into “Mark it 31” and created a banner with the lead characters images on it.  There was a ton of fan art online and I used some of the wonderful images created by fans for the banner and the poster.

The Big Lebowski 31st Birthday!

The Big Lebowski 31st Birthday!I bought a tub of Folgers coffee and replaced the label with a “Donny’s Blend” image found online.  I collected some of the iconic stuff from the movie, like a white russian drink, bowling ball, bowling shoes, and created a severed toe with green nail polish and placed all of this on a print-out of a rug.  I got black balloons and cut out white circles in the hopes they would look like bowling balls but the placement of the circles makes them look more like ghosts than anything – ah well!  Overall, the decorations worked out well for a small space!

The Big Lebowski 31st Birthday!

The Big Lebowski 31st Birthday!DESSERTS

For food we bought pizzas and beer at the bowling alley since food and drink couldn’t be brought in.  I could bring in a cake or dessert, though, so I decided to make cupcakes inspired by the movie – white russian cupcakes!  I found an amazing recipe for this online at Eva Bakes and they turned out delicious!  To decorate them, I made little bowling balls for half of the cupcakes using candy Whoppers and white icing for the three dots.  For the other half, I made severed toes using Nutter Butter Cookies cut in half.  With green gel icing, I added the green nail polish and I used thick red icing to add blood.  Pretty gross but everyone loved them :)

Toe Cupcakes for The Big Lebowski 31st Birthday!

White Russian cupcakes for The Big Lebowski 31st Birthday!


I invited guests to come dressed in theme so, of course, the birthday boy needed to be in theme!  Since it was a surprise, I packed his robe, a pair of shorts, sandals, and two of his favorite Big Lebowski t-shirts so he could get changed once he got to the bowling alley.  I thought it would be adorable if Bugaboo had a matching Big Lebowski costume for the day!  I made a terry cloth robe for him out of an old towel we had and bought this onesie off Etsy and turned it into a t-shirt (he outgrew it by the time of the party!).  He wore plaid shorts to complete the costume! They looked pretty great together.  For myself I made the bowling pin headdress from the movie – the bowling pins were made from white heavy cardboard and then hot-glued to a headband.  It was a little top-heavy so I couldn’t wear it while bowling but was still fun for pictures!

The Big Lebowski 31st Birthday!Overall, the party was pretty easy to throw together, and the great thing about hosting a party outside of your home is there is very little clean up involved!  My husband was definitely surprised and he loved the them!






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