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A Monster of a First Birthday Party


For my son's first birthday party, I created a whimsical Monster party-land, complete with lots of paper monsters, bright decorations, cuddly monster favors, and creative and fun finger foods! It was an amazing day with lots of wonderful family, friends, food, and fun - Henry won't remember it...but his family sure will!

Design Inspiration


Whether designing a room or planning a party, I always have to find an inspiration source first (it really helps if I have something to refer back to in order to ensure everything matches and coordinates just right!). I had a bunch of different party themes floating around in my head, and was having a really difficult time deciding on a theme until I found theme until I found this fabric from Spoonflower! Even though it was expensive, I couldn't find another fabric I loved just as much. The big, bright monsters were the perfect thing to tie my whole party together!  I also used all the monsters on the Mini Monsters cricut cartridge for all the decorations/invites, etc!


Decorating Style

I really, really love color and pattern....but not too crazy or over the top! I like everything to look clean, intentional, and put together. This party came together exactly as I was hoping - it was whimsical and fun, but not too busy and cluttered!

Project Details

The first craft I did was the invitations! I used the "card" function on the Mini Monster cartridge, which made any monster into a two-fold card! For the paper, I used the cricut-brand 6X12 Rainbow paper stack to make these little guys - half green, half orange! I printed the inside poem on glossy photo paper (it always looks nicer!) and adhered it with glue. The monsters' bellies seemed bare, so I added a monogram "H" for my son's name. Lastly, I loaded each invite into a clear cellphone envelope! I just loved the idea of these little guys floating through the mail system!

Having had so much fun making the cards, I knew I wanted a bunch of little monsters all around the party! I went to Michaels and picked out a bunch of 12x12 solid card stock: four shades of each of my four colors. Although the multi-colored invitations were fun, I really wanted each mini monster to be monochromatic!  With my colored papers in hand, I picked four different monsters from the cartridge that 1) I loved, and 2) had relatively few "pieces." These came together really quick, and were so much fun to stare at during my weeks of prep time...I felt like I had company back in my craft room!

 HINT: to cut down on the cutting and gluing, I used googley-eyes for all the eyes (purchased as the Dollar Store!). Major time saver! 

With the rest of my card stock, I used the Doodletype cartage to make the Happy Birthday banner letters and the Mini Monograms cartridge to cut the circles.


As I was cutting out all my monsters, I went ahead and cut out three big number 1s using the Letter Envy cartridge. I used red since I was using the other 3 colors a lot more, and these would then stand out. Each "one" was about 8" tall. One was attached to the pinwheel outside the house, one to the highchair banner, and one in the top of the cake! (By the way, all the monsters (big and small) and the numbers were all cut in one sitting - in order to be efficient, I had planned out ahead of time what was going to be cut from what color, etc! The gluing of everything was then done in another sitting. All in all, the paper stuff came together super fast thanks to the cricut!).


I've been seeing lots of tissue paper poofs on blogs and Pinterest lately, and knew they were just the ticket for bringing my party display to life!  Paper poofs seem to be pretty hot right now in general, not only in parties but also in bedrooms and nurseries!  I understand why! They are SO eye-catching, and SUPER easy and cheep to make! They completely brought my party display to life. I can't get myself to take them down...I just love them! Just a note to readers out there who may not be uber crafty..."they" sell tissue paper poof "kits" - but really, these are SO incredibly simple - anyone can do them! Save yourself the money of the kit, buy a 99 cent package of tissue paper - I promise you can do these yourself! 



I was recently at a party where the hostess had some adorable flower arrangements made out of a few dried flowers and sparkly doodads! I tucked the picture in the back of my brain, and was super excited to do something similar for this party!  These were just as much fun to shop for as to make. In case you're wondering, here's where I got all my supplies! Tall Green Metal Vases - Target Dollar Spot (but they were $2.50)Striped Flowers (orange, blue, green) - Hobby Lobby ($2.00 a stem on sale)Sparkly Doo-dads (orange, blue, green) - Hobby Lobby ($2.50 a stem on sale)Florist Styrofoam - Dollar Store ($1 for a package of 3)Paper Grass (blue) - Michaels (~$3)

The monsters were sprinkled throughout the party space to really bring the theme to life! They were easily one of my favorite projects from the whole party, just because they were so darn cute! 

There were lots of other crafts and projects! You can see all the details here:


Favorite Items

So many things were my favorite! I loved the Happy Birthday banner, the mini mosters everywhere, the poofs overhead, the three tiered cake! All of it!


Keep your receipts! This time of year, there was tons of stuff in the stores that matched (orange, turquoise, lime green!). It became so easy to grab this and easy that I had so much stuff! I was able to edit down, make sure items were truly needed and matched just right...and then I took everything I did't use back!

Vote: April Party Finalists

Friday 2nd of January 2015

[…] A Monster of a First Birthday Party by megduesterhaus Beth, of Project Nursery, says “There’s nothing scary about these adorable monsters. There so many great touches in this colorful party. I love the “Adopt a Monster” favor station and the “Make a Monster” candy bar.” Click Here for More Photos and Detail […]


Sunday 29th of July 2012

Love it!! I am planning a monster party for mine soon to be 3 year old. Did you make the "adopt a monsters" or did you purchase them? Those would be fabulous to have!


Saturday 9th of June 2012

This whole party is adorable!! I'm looking to do a monster themed birthday for my sons 2nd birthday in September. did you make the monster table runner decal and the "adopt a monsters" or did you purchase them from somewhere?? Both adorable ideas!


Tuesday 17th of April 2012

Very cute party! I bet the little kids loved it.

Frauline Melfi

Monday 16th of April 2012

Super love the funky colors! And the Adopt-a-Monster concept. Henry is so adorable, too!