Jul 1, 2013

Baby’s First Birthday Party

We had a special party for Oliver’s first birthday. Everyone had a great time, especially the little man himself. The theme was mustaches and glasses, based on a series of photos I started taking of Oliver with paper props. The series came out so well that I really wanted to use it for something fun. When it was time to start planning his party, it became the perfect theme - fun, easy and meaningful to us.

It started with the invitations, which I designed myself. I wanted to use my favorite photos of him on the front, almost like a giant photo-booth montage thanks to instagram filters. This was the cover:

I love to do super-stylized, playful typography - so on the inside I played with the party details:

I also designed an envelope seal with the number 1 wearing glasses and mustaches to match the invitations. This also appeared throughout the party:

I kept the decorations simple. We recycled the same paper lanterns and party supplies in shades of blue and green that we used at last month’s baby shower.

My favorite thing is the garland - I turned all of Oliver’s mustaches and glasses photos into a hanging garland display for family and friends to peruse.

On the front door, I blew up the design for the envelope seal and turned it into a party sign.

On the cupcakes (chocolate with aqua vanilla icing from scratch) I made tiny little paper props out of cardstock, toothpicks and skewers with mustaches, glasses and stars. I also used some leftover envelope seals with the “1” on them for some additional cupcake decor. It was quite a festive display on the cake plates.

Then of course there were the actual glasses and mustaches for the party, set up on a table in blue mason jars for guests to help themselves. There were stick-on costume mustaches for the adults, glasses-nose-mustache disguises for the children, and for everyone - a selection of paper props to hold up, similar to the ones I had used in the photos for Ollie all year long. They were perfect for photos!

The big thing was a faux photo booth we set up using a tripod and a backdrop. Using a navy blue sheet, I cut out some felt stars and pinned them onto the background. All the guests took pictures with Oliver while holding up the paper props. I love the way the pictures came out. I plan on making a photobook out of all the party pictures.

There were mustache straws for drinks. One thing I learned from the shower we hosted last month was that people are more inclined to try new things when they know what it is. So for this party I designed some quick little food label tents that I could put out on the buffet.

We made all the food ourselves but kept it simple, and did ourselves a big favor by picking things that could mostly be made ahead. The menu included mini french tomato tarts, prosciutto wrapped melon, greek pasta salad, watermelon mint salad, mini spinach tarts, crudite with herbed yogurt dip, baked artichoke dip with crostini, summer sangria, infused lemon mint water, lemon iced tea and an assortment of mini gourmet sandwiches that included: prosciutto, fig & pear; ham, brie & apple; roast beef & cheddar with an herbed mayonnaise, grilled zucchini, basil & fresh mozzarella; crab salad; and smoked salmon with caper cream cheese. All the work ahead of time really paid off because I wasn’t stuck in the kitchen during the party - just a few things had to be popped in the oven (I had to bake the pre-mixed artichoke dip and spinach bites, and reheat the french tomato tarts) and everything else could be pulled out of the fridge. It was great.

The favors for the children included their own set of all the props we had outside. Sunglasses, disguises, mustache straws, crayons and stickers. I used the envelope seal stickers to also seal the bags.

It was a wonderful day and I think our little man enjoyed it immensely. He loved having everyone sing him happy birthday almost as much as he loved attacking his cupcake. Happy Birthday Oliver!

Paper props on sticks, mustache straws are from Oriental Trading
Costume mustaches, plastic glasses/disguises, and party favors are from Target
Paper Lanterns are from Asian Ideas
Baby mustache onesie is from Old Navy
The invitations, seal stickers, door sign, cupcake decorations, photo booth backdrop, and photo garland were made by me.


  1. Wow this looks absolutely fabulous!



  2. I absolutely LOVE! LOVE LOVE LOVE! The invitations are fab - you should start selling stationary.