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Dive-in Movie 1st Birthday Celebration!


One of our most memorable moments of 2012 was our daughter, Harper Rose's 1st Birthday Celebration! Although a nod to her first 365 days of youth, we wanted this celebration to be about all of us, and the fact that we made it through the first year of parenthood!
Her birthday is in the dead of summer here in Arizona so options are limited! I began brainstorming a few days before the event... HA! Kidding- I pretty much started brainstorming our first night in the hospital. If you can't tell by now, that kind of move is all my style! We came up with a Dive- In Movie theme where our adult friends could lounge in the pool and stay cool and our friends with kids could enjoy the movie on the big screen; we were thinking beautiful summer night, huge projection movie screen, swimming, floaties, movie candy and concessions and ice cold Kool-aid (and adult refreshments)!

Project Details

This celebration has so many little touches that turned out making the event; the chic yet cheap couture look alike cupcakes, favors, DIY Photobooth and Movie concessions.

Love the look of the trendy and $5 per cupcake joints? Who doesn't.... when you're ordering for 50 however this sweet treat can break the bank alone! These beauties require a quick stop at your local grocer's bakery. Ask for the decorator himself/herself and bring a photo. We ordered 2 flavors and asked for extra frosting, extra chunky with an extra round tip. The decorate who seemed perhaps a little "seasoned" in his style questioned me, but then after seeing the photo of the high dollar version understood, and solidified my smarts but saying, "GREAT IDEA!". I then added the little picks randomly on the display and called it a masterpiece! Total for cupcakes gone couture.... $31

I really had no idea what kind of favors to make for this event... naturally I could have given each child a gonga movie sized candy box buuuuut I thought that may be frowned upon by parents, after all this was not a sleepover! I came across these individual popcorn boxes at Target on clearance for $3.33 per pack of 4. Bargain at double the price! Then I headed to my favorite dollar store and loaded up on miniature extras to fill them up! I used large bouncy balls in the bottom of each carton to take up space and elevate the goods on top. Each favor contained popcorn, squirt guns, gummy bears, costume jewelry, fake tattoos and more! I designed the lollipop looking round favor tag, stuck it on a skewer stick and popped it in! The strip of raffle tickets were the final touch, which I delicately tucked into each end of the carton. Each favor cost less than.... $5

Walgreens is king of movie candy. Each box about a buck... We also we're the talk of our new neighborhood when we were able to give full size leftovers for Halloween! The boxes the candy are housed in are photo boxes from JoAnn's. Got those babies on sale for $1.50 each! We rented concession machines from the same vendor that provided rental furniture; cheaper trucking than two companies. Popcorn machine with popcorn for 75 guests was about $50. Nacho Cheese dispenser with ooey gooey cheese about $35. Movie treats, a la casa $114.

All the rage these days, photobooth. Also, all the bank account! Photobooths from vendors can actually be somewhat affordable for a life event such as a wedding. For a 1st birthday the $600+ it costs to have one just wasn't going to fly! So, I started thinking. How can I encourage guests to take photos, try to get a shot of everyone there and help continue to incorporate the theme? DIY Photobooth I tell you! Find a place that can be off the beaten path and out of the flow of traffic. You want your guests to be engaged and excited about choosing their funny props and making silly faces. Pressure can be daunting! A closed door or blank wall look great and provide an easy place for guests to just step into! Use wrapping paper as a backdrop for the photos. Tape it from the floor to the ceiling just in case guests want to get high or low with their props! DIY Photobooth total.... $14!

A BIG THANK YOU to Deborah with for capturing HRo.'s day! More details at




Favorite Items

Favorite by far are the favors. In my mind I saw it but when I was shopping and putting it all together I had no direction, yet somehow it all turned out. The girlies main component was costume jewelry and the gents was squirt guns and temporary tattoos. I kept one for myself too....


Plan it out, think about the space you have to work with and be original! I had seen plenty Movie themed parties, but none that had a dive in component!

Movie Party Ideas Perfect For A Drive-In At Home

Wednesday 21st of May 2014

[…] love the setup and organization of this Movie Party featured on Project Nursery. They have all of the popular movie snacks set out for guests to […]

Kimmy Doraine

Monday 28th of January 2013

Such a unique party idea or theme! And the photo booth was a bonus too!