Skip to Content

Anna Drake’s Big Apple Birthday


We threw a NYC-themed "Big Apple Birthday" for our daughter's 1st birthday. We spent the last three months of Anna Drake's first year in New York, so the theme was fitting! We use apples to decorate the tables, as well as in our menu! We enjoyed apple toast (with gouda cheese) and the children had classic apple juice, while adults sipped an apple rum spritzer.

Design Inspiration

I was initially inspired by a piece of wrapping paper that featured a map of Manhattan on it. I envisioned using it to decoupage the large, 24 inch letters, spelling the word O-N-E. Everything stemmed from there... the color scheme: yellow, gray, with pops of green. That's why I went with Granny Smith apples, and not your red classic.

Decorating Style

I love modern color combinations, along with fresh prints and patterns. I love the yellow and gray color scheme, and this party was the perfect opportunity to use it!

Project Details

For the birthday party invitation, I went a little overboard with DIY. I started with a blank 5X7 folded card and used scrap booking materials to make each one by hand. I used scraps from the Manhattan maps, plus yellow and silver papers. But the most labor-intensive part was the embossing. I found an adorable set of NYC themed stamps. If you've never embossed anything, it's easy! Using a regular ink pad, stamp your card. Then sprinkle some embossing powder over the ink on the card (before it dries). Blow off excess powder, so that the powder is only left on the stamp. Use an embossing dryer to melt the powder. As the heat from the dryer increases, you will see the powder change and solidify, leaving a beautiful raised embossed stamp! We used the "I (heart) NY" stamp to emboss the cupcake toppers too! We also used real New York props like Broadway show programs (that also happen to be gray and yellow!) along with the green Statue of Liberty foam hats. At one of our favorite bookstores in Manhattan, we found New York 3-D puzzles of the Brooklyn Bridge and Empire State Building. I found a great 6-pack of hat boxes at Joanne's for only $19.99 and covered four of them with yellow and gray fabric. They were great for displaying Anna Drake's "smash cake" and then the cupcakes on the dessert table. Since we threw this party in Tennessee, and not at "home" in New York or the British Virgin Islands where we live, we didn't have her high chair. We borrowed the one her Nana keeps at her house. I made a slip cover for the back of the chair so it matched the party. It was super easy! And in the photos, it really paid off!

Favorite Items

My favorite item had to be the large 24 inch letters. They really gave focus to the table. We hung them with fishing line and Command hooks. (Who can throw a party anymore without Command strips?!?) One item that was nearly overlooked was the custom table runner, made with Manhattan-skyline fabric! I found it at a quilting store on W 25th Street that has an entire section of NY-themed fabrics! I also loved the fabric-covered hatboxes. They really brought the look together!


See the theme all the way through... We used small brochures for Broadway shows and real NYC subway Metrocards to fill the gift bags for the children. They liked leaving the party with the usual treats of course, but they loved having a piece of New York too.


Friday 2nd of November 2012

Love this theme and party-- congratulations on being one of our favorites of the week!

Kimmy Doraine

Sunday 28th of October 2012

Your use of green apples and NY as theme is kinda unique. Great job, mommy.