I started thinking about Owen's 1st party when he was 6 months old! I just wanted it to be so special for him! We kept the party intimate with close family and friends, went crazy on the balloons - as they are his favorite! Made sure to serve all of his favorite foods, borrowed a bounce house from our cousins to complete the party, and we all had an absolute blast!
Owen was completely, 100% my inspiration for his party. He is my little Strong Man, pulling off the most remarkable feats of baby strength that I have ever seen!!
I saw the strong man cake topper on Pinterest from another sweet baby boy's party and the light bulb immediately switched on in my head, it was a no brainer - I had to find that cake topper for Owen, and the party just evolved around that!
Fun, funky, I just go with what I like and it all somehow comes together!
I made a lot of items myself because this was such an important day to me - I wanted every aspect to be special and fun and unique, just like my Owen.
The "faux" chalkboard with 1 year facts was an idea I had seen many places, like Etsy, and I just used black foam core and chalk markers.
The party hats I ordered online from Tom Cat Studios (also plates and napkins) and I made and added the white pom poms. The pom pom garlands for the mantle were made by a super sweet gal on Etsy - Emily, (LittleDogLaughing), and I made the mustache sticks (out of craft sticks and black card stock.
The flags for the sandwiches were made with leftover fabric tape (that I had used to seal the invites) and large toothpicks.
I made his invitations in Adobe Illustrator and ordered craft paper envelopes from paper source.
I bought the red stripy straws from etsy, as well as Owen's party hat (which I had pinned even before he was born, and fell in love with).
The large and small animals for the table and cupcakes all came from Amazon, as well as the cookie cutters for the homemade animal cookies! (Which were to die for and so easy and fun to make!)
I had the table cloth custom made to fit my table and look sort of like a circus tent with the gathered skirt and floor length, and I think that in itself really set the look of the party!
We are huge music fans, all genres, and Owen in particular loves dance parties in his bedroom, or anytime he hears music he just sways back and forth to his own beat! So we made party CDs for everyone to take to home and continue to "Party like it's your 1st Birthday". I bought the cd tins online from Garnish, and made custom labels to stick on each cd with our little catch phrase and animals from the invite. I really loved that piece of the party because I hadn't seen it done before, it was "us", and I think everyone really enjoyed it!
I also got the idea in my head that we needed circus type games for the kids to play. I had my handy brother-in-law make an A-framed board for me to paint a lion on and cut a hole out so that the kids could "feed him" with bean bags I bought from Etsy. I loved it, but I think the kids enjoyed the bounce house a lot better! :)
When party planning for such a special day - plan way in advance for multiple reasons, like spreading out the cost vs. paying for a ton of stuff all at one time, and ask for help! (Or go ahead and purchase things on Etsy, because in my case, some things ended up being more expensive to make than to buy already made).
Try and make the process easy on yourself, the day is supposed to be fun, not stressful!
Most importantly!! Hire a good photographer!! Angela Newton Roy took the pictures at Owen's Birthday and they capture that special day so beautifully!! Not a single person there aside from Angela even brought their cameras so we would have missed out on so many sweet memories (because we were so busy with our baby boy and guests) if it had not been for her!!!