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Carleigh’s Fairy Garden 1st Birthday


A Garden Fairy 1st Birthday for my daughter, Carleigh. The planning began 3 months before the big day. I truly wanted this to be a magical experience for both of us!!!

Design Inspiration

I think every Mom of a girl dreams of having a princess.  This was a theme that anyone could do for any girl that ties in the dress up, the fanciful enchantment of fairies, and incorporates the indoor/outdoor element by making it a garden party, as well!  Great for spring/summer/fall birthdays.

Decorating Style

whimsical, over-the-top, and not afraid of color

Project Details

Whimsical fairy fun was the look I was going for and I was inspired by several professional party planners to pull my look together to create what I hoped was a party she'd look back on (in pictures) and appreciate. 

The cake drew a lot of attention and was a three tiered double chocolate fondant masterpiece with Carleigh, the fairy princess, sitting on top!  This was the food table's magnificent centerpiece!!!  On another table,  we spraypainted a bundle of real curly willow silver instead of keeping it it's natural brown and superglued butterflies purchased at Oriental Trading Company to the branches for a whimsical effect.  A white tutu with ribbons sewn on the skirt was fitted over a glass vase and made for a beautiful centerpiece on this table.   I created a photo garland using each month of her life's photos (+ a birth photo so 13 total photos and labeled them each.  This was the fireplace highlight!  I also had her blog printed so her baby book would be completed for the party!   What a treat this was for guests to peruse.  Additionally, I had a personlized fairy tale book made for Carleigh that she can look back at for years to come that laid on the coffee table next to her blog book guests and kids alike could enjoy.  The birthday banner and poster were also wonderful eye catching decorations that we tied together with satin ribbon. 

Aside from fresh flowers, I used tissue poms, circles, circles and more circles, and scallop punched like crazy to create a floral garden effect in the house.  I carried the hanging decor and butterflies outdoors along with flowers.  And to unify it all, "carleigh," the number "1" and the fairy image were everywhere (thank you TomKat designs), from the floral picks, to hanging from the light fixtures, to the cups and plates!   We had woodland water, pixie pink lemonade, first fairy food (baby food on a cupcake stand), snail caesar salad, fairy pizza, sugary fairy wands (pixie sticks), edible butterflies (butterfly lollipops), gnomes in blankets (pigs in blankets), and a frog-cut fruit assortment.  In naming the food, I was tried to tie it into the gardenesque theme, but wanted it to be fun.  I used clear plastic plates and cups and printed the TomKat 2" labels as stickers and put the assorted images on the lunch plates, dessert plates and cups.  They turned out amazing! 

The party favors for the 17 kiddos were embroidered personalized tshirts: frog princes for the boys with the child's  name and frog princess' on the girls' shirts with their names.  (I thought frogs still fit with the garden theme and were unisex since we had 8 boys and 9 girls).  Being in the embroidery business came in really handy.

Activities during the hour and a half party were toys on the floor inside for the "non-walkers," a bouncehouse for the age 1+ kids, two baby pools filled iwth floating bath frogs and butterflies for kids of all ages,  as well as a water table and tot-sized slide for "garden" entertainment.  Because it was July in Texas, we rented a 15' x 20' tent and had portable air conditioner cooler (my father in law's) to keep everyone cool. 

Carleigh's reaction to it all?  Utter excitement and awe.  She wasn't sure what it was all about but had a wonderful time, as did all her other fairy friends!!!  And that is what it is all about!

Vendor Resources:

My father (Continental Floral Greens): Flowers.  My father is a grower of fern and flowers in Central and North America so those were free

TomKat Studio: (all the circles, favor tags, food labels, happy birthday letters for banner, etc and IDEA!)

A Dash of Color: Pom Poms

Southern Baby Boutique: Carleigh's princess hair bow

Fairy Wonderful Carleigh's custom petitie fairy wings

Lisa Kattman Creative (cake)

Ritzy Rugrats (our shop!) Party Favor Personalized Frog t-shirts

Web Resources:

These are great sites to browse and get ideas from!


Favorite Items

Cake and Carleigh's wings!


Pick your theme 3-6 months ahead of time so you can start your DIY stuff early!  The less stress you can have the month prior to the party, the better.  If you punch circles/scallop punch flowers a little every weekday night, it makes the overwhelming number you need (or in my case, I needed), not so intimidating.  You'll be so happy you did and so pleased with your end result!  Also, when considering DIY vs. buying make sure to compare costs to see what is worth it and what is not.  For instance my pom poms, I started making them myself and found that to make them myself was costing almost $3 per pom so buying them ended up being a better fit for me.  Not to say that it is for everyone.  If you have an etsy shop like we do (, also, consider trading services with vendors you'd like to utilize for your party planning.  Consult with them early on.  You can get a lot of things for trade!!!

Most of all, party planning is supposed to be FUN!  If you aren't having fun, get help and reassess why you are doing it.  If it's not for your child, take some steps backwards and refocus and simplify.



Tuesday 1st of February 2011

I so love the cake. It is so "Fairy Garden." And the fresh flowers add a kind of fairyland charm to your decor. Great job.


Tuesday 25th of January 2011

I love everything in this party!  You really poured your heart into making this party and it really shows!