Today is a perfect day for this post for two reasons: 1) we’re getting rocked by Hurricane Sandy so I had some time to sort through (and edit!) the pictures I wanted to use for this post and 2) it’s been exactly one month since A’s birthday and birthday party, the main event for showcasing all these fun decorations! Happy 13 months to my girl! (That’s my attempt at putting a positive spin on the fact that it’s taken me a month to get this post together…)
So I already posted a sneak peak of her party here, but I didn’t get into any of the details. That’s where this post comes in. We didn’t want one of those huge first birthday parties that are overwhelming and absurd, but with two big families (and with one having LOTS of cousins with kids), it’s kind of hard to avoid a larger party. So we had to host it at my awesome in-laws house, which works better because they have lots of space for kids to run and play, both indoors and out.
To get ready for the party I had several lists going: guest list, food, decor, supplies needed for decor, etc. At one point I decided that was ridiculous so I consolidated onto one sticky note on my desktop:
Let’s start with food. A’s party was from 12-2 (her best time of day – smack in the middle of naps), so we served lunch, but we wanted it to be easy so we ordered hoagies for pick-up that morning (it was on a Saturday). We did PB&J for kids and a salad, a side of mac and cheese since it’s A’s absolute favorite, and chips. Fruit, cupcakes, and birthday cake rounded out the day. After settling on the menu I divvied up a few items between A’s ever-helpful grandma’s, and figured out a timetable for everything (what needed to be bought/ordered, when to make things, when to pick up, etc.).
Deciding on what kind of decor I wanted to do was trickier. I pinned a ton of ideas, but eventually settled on a pink and orange pinwheel theme since A loves watching the pinwheels our neighbors have in their window boxes. And pink and orange are just super cute colors for a girl’s party. As for what to make, I decided I really wanted to do something with A’s monthly photos I took all year so a monthly photo banner was definitely a must! I also thought that with the supplies for that banner, a ‘Happy Birthday’ banner wouldn’t bee too difficult to make as well. Lastly I wanted to make pinwheel centerpieces for some of the tables and for the food table, and use some of the materials to make pinwheels for hanging/decorating. Oh – and pom-poms! I wanted to make those too since they are pretty darn cute.
Here are shots of the 2 banners (with pom-poms on the spark guard!):
For both banners I used scrapbooking card stock as the background/base. For the photo banner I did add an extra layer of card stock for more contrast before gluing down the pictures. I downloaded fonts from Scraptivity for the birthday banner, printed them in a very large size and in a fun color and glued them on top. I punched holes in the two top right corners of each letter/photo, and strung them on satin ribbon picked up from the craft store.
Oh – one additional thing I did for the party, which you can kind of see in the background in the pic above, was make a kids art table. I covered a folding table with craft paper and since it’s fall we had mini pumpkins (also following the orange theme!), with markers for the kids to decorate them. Then I bought a few mini boxes of crayons of scattered them around for drawing. It turned out to be a big hit – with the adults! Definitely going to be a stable at future parties we have. Here is a better shot:
For the pom-poms, I used this tutorial, and they were super easy. Another item that will be a party staple in years to come! Here they are hanging in the doorway that leads from my in-laws’ den to their dining room and formal living room. You can see other pom-poms hanging on the fireplace in that room too.
And the focal point of that shot is the centerpiece. You can see my pinwheels in mason jars, alternating with brightly colored gerber daisies that my mother in law spotted and grabbed for me. Don’t they match perfectly?! It was uncanny. Here is the last shot I have for the party decor, a little closer up of the main table, with the paper goods set out. The food went all around the other sides of the table.
I got the paper goods from PartyPail.com – they had every color you could possibly want, and free shipping over $50. I was a little shy of that total with my order, so I was browsing for a $5ish item to toss in (I refuse to pay shipping), and found that cute little felt “1” hat in the background. Sure I could have made something, but I was running out of time, it wouldn’t have looked as good, and it saved me shipping costs. Deal.
The centerpieces were probably the most time-consuming of all the decorations so I snapped some shots along the way and will share a separate tutorial. Depending on if we still have power tomorrow and if A cooperates, I’ll get that post up in the evening.
But these shots should give you a good feel for how things looked. I was very pleased. And it really wasn’t expensive or taxing to throw it all together. With adequate planning, of course. I was all over supplies early in the month, and then I worked on things slowly here and there at night after work. And it all came together. That’s what a good list (or ten) can do for you…