For our daughter's first birthday party we decided to host the party in our backyard. She has a spring birthday and it would give the kids plenty of room to run around. We started with the butterfly invitation from Tiny Prints and I scoured the stores starting in February for decorations or craft items. The baskets and garlands from World Market were perfect and we built the rest around those colors and designs. We took one of the baskets to the bakery and asked them to design a cake to match it. We entertain a lot so we had most of the serving dishes but decided to add some kid friendly non-breakable additions and some outdoor tablecloths. Since we had boys and girls we made sure we had lots of colors with some pink thrown in. We also had several ages of kids and lots of adults so we varied the activities and menu to match. We had lots of bubble toys, a tub of rubber frogs, a splash table and balls for the kids to play with. For the menu, we had chicken salad sandwiches, tomato tarts, melon balls, bug shaped mac and cheese, pbj sandwiches and ham and cheese sandwiches, chocolate covered pretzels and cheerios along with the cake and cupcakes. For beverages we had water, juice boxes, lemonade and raspberry lemonade punch. For favors we had bubbles and a rubber frog for all of the kids.
Springtime, our backyard as well as making sure the party was appropriate for both genders and several age ranges of the kids attending as well as all of the adults. We used the fun felt easter baskets and garlands and decorations (that were not limited to easter only designs) we found at Cost Plus World Market as the basis for the colors and decorations and cake. I looked at lots and lots of photos from Project Nursery, Ohdeedoh, TomKat Studio, Hostess with the Mostess
The table linens are outdoor tablecloths (easy clean up) from Tuesday Morning The decorative baskets and garlands which provided the basis for the theme were from Cost Plus World Market in their Easter section; additional felt baskets came from Target's dollar section. The birthday banner came from Crossroads Cottage at http://www.etsy.com/shop/crossroadscottage The tissue poms were DIY using the Martha Stewart tutorial on http://www.marthastewart.com/how-to/tissue-paper-pom-poms-how-to The cake, smashcake and cupcakes were a custom design by a local bakery http://www.haydelbakery.com/ The balls and bubbles were from Target. The tubs and buckets were from Big Lots. The rubber frogs were from http://www.beadsbythedozen.com/ The balloons were a balloon kit from walmart. The food labels were DIY with clip art and foam. The plates and utensils were from walmart. The bowls and cups were from Target The pinwheels (garden and table size) were from Dollar Tree. The photo garland and bows were DIY using materials from a local craft store. The invitaations were from Tiny Prints at http://www.tinyprints.com/
We bought a lot of pieces that can be reused over several years with multiple themes - the cups, bowls, tablecoverings, birthday banners, baskets, tubs, garland all can be adapted to other themes for the next several years and some of them can be used for bbqs and other parties in our back yard.
Shop the easter decorations for lots of springtime or garden theme decorations - and if your party is not until after easter shop the clearance aisles after Easter. Also, since it was hot and we were worried about rain and dew overnight we could not set up the day before which meant a LOT of decorating and set up the day of. I made all of the DIY items starting several weeks in advance - a couple a night. We cooked all of the food the day before and just assembled the sandwiches that day. We could not set the food out until right as the party was starting because of the heat - get someone to help you take the photos - I had less than 5 minutes to snap these before I had to take over hosting duties. Also the bakery did not charge any extra to match the cake to our decor - don't be shy about taking something in to them to design around rather than use their stock designs. PS Do not set chocolate covered pretzels or anything else on a metal tray outside - they melted quickly and the tray got very hot.