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Monday, April 5, 2010

First Birthday Party Ideas

After all the rain last week, we had a beautiful day on Saturday for my daughter's first birthday party. This was a very homemade birthday. I have not done this much crafting since my wedding when I literally had all my friends working on a different project each night the week before the wedding. I know it's much easier to pay someone else to do a lot of this stuff, but I get so much gratification from doing it myself because apparently I'm crazy. However, all of these were pretty easy crafts so I would say give one or all of them shot if you like them (but start them as early in advance as you can-I started a week before the party to do what I could). So starting with the invitations, I dressed her up in her 1st birthday outfit and took pictures of her and then picked my favorite one for the invite and had 4 x 6 prints made. I bought colored card stock and cut it in half lengthwise so that it was 4 1/4" wide by 11" long. I used glue dots to affix the image to the paper and then trimmed the top. I set up the wording using the column function in a Word document and then printed it on vellum paper. I cut the vellum down to size using scalloped edge scissors and used a 1/16" hole punch in either corner that I put the flower fixtures through. I discovered the scrap booking department at Michaels' has an amazing of assortment of useful things I never knew existed.
Here's a picture of my birthday girl! I found instructions on how to make your own tutu at the Make It and Love It blog. Then I bought a plain white ribbed tank top at Old Navy and added the cupcake detail. For the cupcake wrapper I just pleated the fabric by making even folds and sewing them, and then I shaped and pinned the fabric onto the tank and sewed it on (I am a novice sewer so I still need a lot of practice on manipulating the fabric, but it worked out ok). I hand sewed the ric rac trim on as frosting, just putting a few stitches at either end and in the center. And I added a little cherry on top that I hand sewed on as well.
Because her birthday fell on Easter weekend, I wanted to incorporate a little bit of Easter without going overboard. Luckily bunnies and baskets are cute and springy and perfect for little girls. Here I decorated eggs to read HAPPY BIRTHDAY and nestled them in Easter grass on the mantle. I discovered Paas Color Snaps that made the lettering super easy.
It's always good to set the bar up outside if you can to keep people flowing both in and out of the house. I bought the Gerber daisies and then filled in with pussy willows and forsythia from the yard. Bowls of jelly beans and Annie's Cheddar Bunnies for the kids were scattered about. And if you don't have a metal beverage bucket, I highly recommend getting one. I use mine all the time.
A bunch of spray roses nestled tightly into Carolina's petite mint julep cup with her name monogrammed on it. If you have sterling or pewter baby cups like this, birthdays are the perfect time to pull them out and use them as little vases.
You may remember my post about where to find Party Pom Poms a few months back. One of our readers shared with me that she had made them using the directions from Martha Stewart. They were really easy to make and much less expensive than buying them, but make sure you have a really good pair of scissors.
As you can see here, my cake decorating skills could use some work, but I am learning with each one. I found the cupcake baskets at Michaels' and thought they would be adorable for the kids and cupcakes are so much easier for kids anyway. I bought an icing tip for the first time to make the icing look nicer, but I didn't buy the part that attached the tip to the bottle so for the cake I wasn't able to use the tip. I highly recommend talking to the people at the store when determining what you need (unlike me). I did go back and get the attachment before doing the cupcake icing and you can probably see the difference.
For the kids' peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, I used cookie cutters to make them in the shape of bunnies, chicks, and eggs. I would recommend cutting the bread out first and then adding the filling because there is a lot of waste so you can make croutons or bread crumbs with the leftovers instead of tossing so much.
Here is the entire buffet. Check out my post last week about the carrot wrapped flatware if you didn't see it before.
And lastly, the goody buckets. My 3 1/2 year old son and I made the chocolate lollipops. When I was kid, we had a bunny mold and always made them at Easter so I told him we would make them too. It is quite possibly the easiest thing I've ever made. We added a piece of egg shaped chalk and some chocolate eggs and nestled them all in Easter grass in a metal jelly bean bucket.

In the end a good time was had by all. It's amazing the amount of effort we put into things that our children won't even remember, but when Carolina gets older, I know she'll appreciate it. Next up, my son wants me to make him a rescue wagon cake for his birthday in June. Better find a cake decorating class now.

1 comment:

  1. What an amazing party Sarah! Gorgeous pictures - so glad I got to see it all in it's glory even though we had to miss the party. And the Pom Poms look fab! ;) Great job!