Watching episodes of Friends on television always makes me laugh. I just love the silly conversations and the quirky friendships on that show. For my first monthly dinner of 2017 I decided to make Friends my theme. It was an "New Year, Old FRIENDS" theme, but this would be a great theme for a birthday party, wedding, shower...you name it!
Invite: I designed my invite with the purple door and gold frame from the show. I utilized the same font as the show with the signature dots in between the letters. The font is called Gabriel Weiss' Friends Font and you can download it here.
Entry: I attempted to create the same purple door and frame on my front door. I bought a lavender tablecloth and wrapped it around my door. I created the frame with bright yellow poster board and markers. I incorporated Joey Tribbiani's famous pick up line "How you doin'?" which I cut out using my Cricut machine.
Decor: Since the Central Perk coffee shop is such a prominent setting in the Friends episodes, I wanted to try to incorporate it into the decor of the party. I also incorporated famous lines/symbols from the characters throughout.
I looked online and called around the various craft stores, but I couldn't find a huge coffee cup in my price range. I randomly stopped at Ross two days before the party and found this one (and for only $5!) I painted it black and printed the Central Perk logo onto printable vinyl that I then cut out and attached to the front of the mug. I filled the mug with a foam piece and then a layer of coffee beans on the top.
I made some photo props to represent some of the most famous episodes/lines from Friends that I stuck into my centerpiece coffee mug. I also borrowed the complete season of DVDs from a friend to use as decor on my table.
I made my plates and napkins representative of the Friends door. I cut the napkins like the yellow frame making sure to leave the folded side of the napkin uncut at parts so it would stay together. On top of each napkin I added a mini KitKat bar with the famous Ross quote, "We were on a Break!"
For place cards, I superimposed my guest's face onto the face of a Friends character in a popular scene from the show. I purposely did not do a "perfect" match because I thought that made it even funnier. These are just a few of the examples.
As part of each place setting, I added a roll of Mentos along with the Joey's quote about being a "Mento" (mentor) for young kids.
A look at the entire place setting.
I set up a side table with drinks and an appetizer.
I made this sign out of foam board and card stock using my Cricut to cut the letters.
Instead of wine glasses, I decided to use coffee cups. I bought mugs from the dollar store, and printed the Central Perk logo on vinyl. I cut out the logo and adhered it to the coffee mug. If you use waterproof Mod Podge, it will stay through washings. For wine charms, I made tags of the characters on Friends. I even included characters like "Princess Consuela Banana Hammock" and "Miss Chanandler Bong" which gave my guests a fun laugh!
The wine labels I created on PhotoShop.
Menu: Again, I tried to incorporate different scenes/well-known lines from Friends into my menu. I started with a cheese and crackers appetizer.
I bought a cow cookie cutter from the local cake shop for my cheese. "Moo cows" as my 3-year old called them. This was Joey's "moo point" a.k.a moot point.
I served lobster bisque with a bread stick cut to be a lobster. This goes with the episode where Ross compares his connection to Rachel to lobsters that mate for life. The bisque was good, and I received many compliments from the guests. The lobster cookie cutter I bought at the same cake shop as the cow one. I made the breadsticks out of pita bread that I then spread melted butter and Italian seasonings on. I baked them in a 375 oven for a little over 5 minutes. Aren't they cute?
For the main dish, I made a shepherd's pie, and then layered it in a trifle bowl to represent Rachel's English Trifle. In the episode, the pages of Rachel's recipe book stick together so her trifle is half meat/main dish and half dessert! Even though Joey loves it in the episode, I decided to keep mine as just the shepherd's pie.
For dessert, I made a super-easy Coffee Cheesecake. I knew I wanted to do some type of coffee-related dessert to pull in Central Perk again, but then I remembered the cheesecake episode of Friends where Rachel and Chandler love the cheesecake so much they eat it off the floor after accidentally dropping it. Sometimes coffee-flavored items are too overpowering for me, but this Kraft recipe was delicious. Just the right touch of coffee flavor.
Favor: I decided to make personalized notepads for my take-home gift. I designed the layout on Photoshop with the dimensions of 4.25 x 5.5 so that I could fit 4 on an 8.5x11 paper. I printed out the copies, cut them using my paper cutter so they were all the exact same size, added a heavy piece of card stock to the back, and then glued the top together with Elmer's glue to make a spine. Make sure you use a vice of some sort to hold all the papers together tightly when you glue them, and leave it until the glue has completely dried. I left mine overnight just in case.
My notepads were 50 pages each (every page has this design), and I thought that was the perfect amount of pages.
Next to the notepads, I had this sign. It tied in my reason for giving a NOTEpad, but also let my girls know I'm Glad We're Friends.
Just love spending one dinner a month with these ladies. Sickness and life's commitments prevented all 10 of us from being able to make it to this particular dinner, but the 7 of us FRIENDS who made it sure had a nice time. Thanks for being "there for me" ladies!