I started planning the first birthday party months ago. In June, I knew I wanted to do something in red and yellow. At first, I thought maybe a Curious George theme would be fun (I saw so many cute things on Etsy!) And then I started thinking about sock monkeys. I didn’t want to go overboard with monkey-anything.
While we were on vacation, I came across (online) a Stampin’ Up sock monkey stamp set, and I was sold. Except, it turned out, that set was retired and no longer available through SU reps. I
needed wanted the stamp set (and I ended up winning a brand new sock monkey stamp set – plus the accessories set – in an ebay auction for less than what the sets would have cost new when they were available.) From there, the party evolved.
First up, I ordered invitations. I had taken a couple of photos of Lucas (and one happened to be with his sock monkey.) I ordered the invitations from Tiny Prints when there was a deal (like 40% off) and loved how they turned out. The sock monkey photo was on the back, and the invitations didn’t focus so much on that, as they focused on the first birthday. Perfect. (And these were sent to a lot of family members who I knew couldn’t come, mainly because of the photo on the back.)
I saw a ribbon wreath on Pinterest and I wanted to make one. The party gave me a perfect excuse. I basically married two tutorials together to form my wreath. It took me two evenings in front of the tv to cut and glue the ribbon loops – and one more evening to glue those to the wreath. I may end up doing my own tutorial on this because it really was easy – and I can hang it up whenever I’m in the mood. It isn’t tied to the party!
I also wanted to make a happy birthday banner. I had sock monkey fabric, but also this red and yellow fabric. In the end, I went with something more neutral – I can reuse it! (See a theme here??) This took a while, but mainly because I was lazy. I could have done it over the course of two evenings, if I had really tried. I love how it turned out. (And it’s still hanging in our dining room. It’s a happy birthday all the time!)
I knew we were going to have bottles of water at this party. It was end of August, it’s still hot, and it’s not like any other party – aka a keg party – that we’ve had. I bought the white tub at Target on clearance. I found an Etsy seller who had the printable labels, so I bought the file for $4 and printed them on cardstock. I tore the original labels off the bottles, and taped mine in place. The only downside was the colors started to run (I needed wider tape), but overall, they were super cute. I loved how they turned out.
Favor bags. These were one of my favorite pieces of the party. I cut the card stock into smallish sizes, and I stamped away until I figured out just what I wanted. I did use both stamp sets and I colored the balloons yellow and red (just like our own balloons we had at the party!) I then tied each tag to the paper bag (which I bought at Michaels in a pack of 13.) The bags had items like sock monkey stickers, bubbles, a book or game or slinky. Smallish items. They were cute, though.
Remember all of the monthly photos I’ve posted for the past year? Those were not done in vain. I printed those off as 5x7s (through Snapfish) and the day before the party, I took the 12 month photo and had it printed. I used some scrapbook twine (hung with thumbtacks) and clothespins to hang the pictures. They were a hit – and so fun to look at! He changed so much month to month.
With every shopping trip, I kept my eyes open for anything red or yellow. Target clearances things throughout the summer, so I snagged red bowls for less than a $1 a piece. I had a mason jar that I put my red and white straws in. The red wagon was bought on Amazon and featured some sock monkey fabric, and the sock monkey sitting on him. I made fruit kabobs the day before the party (which were a HUGE hit) and I also had red, yellow and brown candy in jars. I had also bought some clear bags for people to fill with candy before they left.
I somehow managed to convince my mom to make a cake. I’d seen my share of crazy cakes on cakewrecks, but I had confidence in her. I bought the cake pan (with a coupon. of course.) and she worked her magic. I know it wasn’t easy, but I think it came out SO great.
Finally, weeks before the party, I had talked to Mendie about doing a sock monkey shirt. She embroidered this little number for our little guy. I loved how it turned out, and he received so many compliments on it!
And, with that, I think the party has come to an end (with the exception of one or two “how did I do that….” posts!) I’m so glad I put in the work for my baby’s first birthday party. I’m not sure how I’ll top it next year, but I’ll aim for that!