Until just a month ago, Ryan still wasn’t able to sleep through the night. He would be up twice a night and I was exhausted. I would sit in the glider in his nursery and hold him until he was asleep again. As this continued and as my frustration increased, I decided that I would focus on something positive in the dark during those long nights. As I held my sleeping baby, I began to research party ideas for Ryan’s first birthday. It provided me with a bit of “fun” in the middle of the night. Naturally, Pinterest was the perfect place for my hunting. I stumbled upon this link for This Heart of Mine’s post which contained a tutorial for making tiny hats for tiny toy animals. I knew immediately that Party Animals would be the theme and that I was going to attempt to make my own little hats.
We had decided to have a small party at our home. I was well aware that Ryan’s first birthday was more for David and I to celebrate the joy that Ryan had brought us throughout the past year and that Ryan would recall his birthday solely via photographs when he was older. We also viewed it as the perfect opportunity to celebrate with the other people who have showered Ryan with love over the last year.
Once I had decided on the Party Animal theme, I got to work. Initially, I began “pinning” ideas and then began shopping. My first stop was Michael’s so that I could work on making the animal’s party hats over time. I purchased a ton of plastic animals from as well as different colored papers with varying designs. Of course, I needed adorable little pom pom balls to adorn the hats. I figured that the animals would be worth every penny seeing as they would become his toys once the party was over. They would be bonus birthday gifts! Once the animals were rocking their little hats, I took stacked pieces of wood that I owned and covered them in moss. Next, I placed the animals on top of the moss and those became the centerpieces for the party.
Little by little, the ideas began flowing. I have to admit that this ended up being a super fun theme to piece together. I found a package from Simply Perfect NY on Etsy that would take care of the majority of the decorations. She sent me the links for a ton of printables including a massive banner with four watercolor animals wearing party hats. She was able to customize it so it wished Ryan a happy 1st birthday. It was adorable. It provided the perfect backdrop for the party.
Next up, contacting the lovely ladies from Southern Sugar Bakery to ask if they could make cookies for the party. They make spectacular cutout cookies with jus about any design but they also offer the most incredible chocolate chip and sea salt cookies. OH MY GOSH. Honestly, I downed three on the drive home after I picked them up. As for the cutouts, we decided that they would make lions, zebras, giraffes, elephants, balloons and party hat cookies. They turned out perfectly.
Besides those items, there wasn’t a ton more that needed tending to with the exception of the cakes. The Cupcake Shoppe was the obvious choice to provide the main cake as well as Ryan’s smash cake. I knew that I wanted to place a few animals (wearing their party hats) on top of the cake along with a cake topper from So Simple So Sweet on Etsy so I asked them to make a simple yet beautiful textured cake. As always, they hit the nail on the head!
For favors, I simply placed a cookie in a little bag, tied a bow with twine and used my stamps to make the tags. I used various animal stamps and then drew tiny little party hats on them.
In order to provide some entreatment for the older kiddos who were coming, I put out any animal-themed board game that we owned.
A big thank you to Target for having these fun party hats for the guests!
Here is our little party animal (with his cousins) enjoying his birthday cake…
Hope you all enjoy your day as much as this kid enjoyed his cake!