My little monkey just turned 1 a couple months ago. Not sure how that happened, I don’t feel like she could possibly be a year old, but it also feels like a million years ago that she was born. I wanted to do something really special for her birthday. I hear mixed opinions about 1st birthday parties. Some people say they should be small so the little one doesn’t get overwhelmed and some people go completely over the top huge party to celebrate with everyone they know. I wanted to do something in the middle.
Growing up, I never had a small birthday. The guest list may have been small and only included close friends and cousins, but my mom always went all out on decorations and games and specially made cakes. She made a lot of the decorations herself and saved them so my brother and I always had the same theme every year for our birthdays. It was a Hawaiian desert island theme in case you were never invited to one and were wondering.
I have so many great memories of my childhood birthdays (except for the one where my best friend had her party on the same day and everyone went to hers and no one came to mine.. but that is another story) I think I mentally decided that Elise will never have a casual no-big-deal birthday. Mostly because I love to plan parties, but also because this is the day she was born and it was a great day that I will always want to celebrate!
So I took to Pinterest as any good stay-at-home mom would do. I don’t feel like I got very many great ideas from there, but it helped me to visualize how I wanted everything to come together, and also how easily tulle can become tacky! These pics were my main inspiration of the colours and feel I wanted, which I pinned to my 1st Birthday Party Ideas board on Pinterest.
For the decorations, I started by making some bunting flag banners out of old fabric my mom had. I just cut triangles out of the fabrics and bought several metres of lace trim from Dressew. Then I spent one long night glue gunning it all together. I hung them around the party room and outside the building so people could see where to come in. I guess I didn’t get a good picture of them, but this is the fabric I used.
Then I made tissue puff balls. And I made a lot of them. Martha Stewart invented these I think, and she’s all like “These are so simple and beautiful” but my goodness they are time consuming!! I did not enjoy this part of the decoration making, but they really added colour to the party room. We also hung some from a tree outside.
I wanted to do a goodie bag, but decided to save money by making a basket of finger puppets for each of the babes invited. I found the baskets and felt at Micheal’s. Then spend several tedious hours gluing the animals together… unfortunately the glue didn’t work very well and next time I would sew them I think.
This banner was a last minute free printable I found online the night before. I just added the brown lace ribbon because it was all I had, but I think it looked really nice. It hung behind the food table, but after the party we put it up behind Elise’s highchair for her actual birthday. She loved it and kept turning around and pointing at it and smiling.
I just couldn’t stop creating craft decor projects. Once I was done my list, I would think of something else I could do. I think Dave was getting annoyed that our kitchen table had been a craft table for a month and that I kept leaving the glue gun plugged in… I don’t totally blame him.
My last project was the party hats. I found some sparkly paper party hats in one of my party bins (yes I have several) and decided that they were ugly and I needed to fix that. So I used scrapbook paper to cover them. Very easy. All I did was unfold the hat, lay it on the paper to trace it and then cut it out. Then I used my glue gun to cover the sparkly part with the super cute paper. Then folded it back into a cone. Ta daaa !
For food we had many baby friendly nibbles like fruit, dips, cheese and animal crackers. Since our birthday girl has an egg allergy or intolerance or something, I found an eggless cupcake recipe and added a super sugary and delicious raspberry butter cream on top. No artificial colouring needed, those raspberries turned the icing bright pinky red.
I organized a game since most of the guests were adult sized and I thought they might get bored at a children’s birthday party. Essentially it was pictures of all of the milestones Elise had hit in her first year. Rolling, crawling, smiling etc.. And people had to guess at what age she did each thing. (I had to use a cheat sheet to read the answers.. it was a blurry year)
And for the kiddos I was able to rent a small parachute from the Westcoast Child Care Lending Library and we played a quick round of lifting the parachute up and down. Most of them loved it
I was so happy it all came together pretty much exactly how I had planned, and only cost us about $80 including wine and food. I was busy helping Elise open presents and eat cake so my wonderful friends were taking the pictures. It was a great party!
Happy First Birthday Elise!