{entertaining with style} One Year in a Flash First Birthday Party

I finally found time to go through all of the photos from Beckett’s 1st birthday party, so I thought I would share the details about this fun event.

While I know that he will never remember this party, it was still important to me that it be fabulous (but without breaking the bank).  Also, because the party was only a couple of weeks after Christmas, I wanted to keep the prep time manageable.

I started scouring Pinterest for birthday party inspiration soon after Beckett was born, and kept coming back to the fun idea of baby faces sporting party hats from Simply Radiant and Elle Belle Creative.

We had been taking photos of Beckett on each of his “monthly birthdays” and as his first birthday neared and we looked back on those photos it was so fun to see him changing before our eyes.

That’s when I decided to embrace the “One Year in a Flash” title of Elle Belle Creative’s party by combining the party hats with each of Beckett’s monthly photos.  While I loved the handmade party hat idea from Simply Radiant, I opted to make mine digitally. Since I needed to send out the invitations early, at that time I only had photos through Beckett’s ten month birthday - so the invitation featured him at months one through ten.

Carrying forward the theme of the black and white faces with the party hats, I created a banner to hang in the kitchen.  By the time the actual party rolled around, about a week after his birthday, I was able to create faces using his 11 and 12 month photos as well, and so the banner was complete with an entire year worth of photos.  Click here for instructions on how to create a party hat banner like this one.

Between family and friends with kids, the guest list for the party was quite long, so I wanted to keep the food prep as simple and kid friendly as possible. Since the party was being held from 3-5 in the afternoon, we didn’t need to serve a meal, so we opted for milk and cookies. My mom and I each made a couple batches of four or five different kinds of cookies, and we ended up with a delicious spread!

I filled our large beverage dispensers full of milk and chocolate milk (I LOVE that these dispensers have an inner chamber for ice - so the milk stayed cold without getting watered down). And I filled our smaller beverage dispensers with ice water. 

The fun stripey straws came from Sweet Shop Lulu, and I already owned the striped tray (it was part of Target’s outdoor collection a year or two ago).  I also sat out Sharpie markers in three coordinating colors so that people could write their names on their milk cups.

I found the cute striped plates and napkins in each of the coordinating party colors at Oriental Trading Company.

I also used a couple of the napkins to decorate the bases of the beverage dispensers.

Oriental Trading Company also had the great coordinating striped and polka dotted pennant banners that we strung together across the kitchen and in our front entry. 

Because we wanted to encourage all of the kids to play in the basement, I ended up making another party hat banner - this time with orange hats - to hang in the play area, as well as ordering a few more of the pennant banners in orange.

The party was so much fun, and Beckett was quite a good host - even sharing the icing on his smash cake with the other kids.

Of course, the highlight of the party for many of the kids was drawing on our chalkboard wall in the kitchen.  By the end of the party, the wall was covered in notes for Beckett - and he LOVED it!

And my mom even made Beckett that cute shirt in the coordinating party colors. How fun is that?

Since I made the invitations and party hat banners {click here for the banner tutorial}, my only expenses were the plates, napkins, straws, pennant banners, a couple gallons of milk, and a few packages of cookie dough (I could tell you I made the cookies from scratch....but why lie?).  We also bought his smash cake from a great local bakery (Happy Cakes) - but I even had a coupon for that!  All in all, it ended up being a very simple and low-cost party with a big impact! 

Are you looking for more kids' party ideas? You might be interested in these posts!

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