Sunday, March 29, 2015

A Whale of a First Birthday Party

At long last, I'm finally going to share Lucky's Under the Sea Birthday Party with you!  I started planning Lucky's first birthday party almost a year ago, when he was only 6 months old!  I quickly settled on an under the sea theme and started running with different ideas to make a pinterest worthy event.  I know that Lucky won't remember this event, but a first birthday party is as much for the parents as it is for the youngling, so I wanted to have a lot of fun planning and decorating for this party.

Planning for this event required many non-fiber craft projects.  I've blogged about many of these crafts already, but now you will finally see the finished product!  Hopefully you will get some inspiration for your under the sea party.  There is a tiny amount of crochet and pompom making in here, but I challenged myself to leave my comfort zone to create decorations myself.

How was I able to accomplish so much?  I started making decorations MONTHS before the party.  I made dozens of origami fish without knowing quite what I was going to do with them.  You can find some of these decoration items on etsy if you don't have a lot of time to spare, but if you are going to DIY then I recommend starting small so you don't feel overwhelmed the week before the party.  If your kids are older, they can even help out!

Now let's take you through all of the little projects I did to create a magical under the sea first birthday party for my baby, Lucky.

To decorate the humans, I added some flair to paper party hats with little crochet whales and hand made pompoms.  To some of the other hats I cut out shapes from the decals I used to decorate Lucky's Under the Sea Nursery.  I even found some whale party hats that matched the cups and plates!  I added some extra pompoms to the top of some of these hats. 

You entered the party with a view of a HUGE tissue paper pompom.   I then created a "waterfall" of crepe paper to bring you into the room and under the sea.  The tissue paper is still hanging in the door way almost 6 months later!  (Hey, I didn't want to throw it out!  It looks so cool!)

The origami fish I created made many appearances in the party. I had a whole rainbow fish wall above the food table and an aquarium cascade from the chandelier in the dining room.  The fish are swimming through some crepe paper sea grass.

For this chandelier I attached the origami fish and crabs to some curling ribbon with double sided tape. I curled the other ends to give a feeling of sea weed.  

Keith was the most excited about creating a net of bubbles.  We used thumb tacks to attach the black fish net to the ceiling and then filled it with balloons in different shades of blue and white.  This set up was stronger than it looks and stayed up with no problem for weeks.  The only rush to take it down was to make sure we didn't lose any pins with a little toddler running around!

I took a picture of Lucky every day for his first year of life.  This photo project included monthly pictures in a white onesie with a sticker I purchased from digitaldoodlebug on Etsy.  While I am no longer taking a picture of Lucky every single day, I am still taking monthly pictures of him with stickers for months 13-24.  Swimming fish created from crepe paper rosettes + a crepe paper triangle held up these pictures of Lucky growing.  

Lucky's chevron fish birthday banner was also held up with crepe paper rosette fish.  I designed and printed the banner myself in the blue and lime green color scheme that would carry through a lot of the party.  In the linked blog post I've shared a PDF of the banner so you can use the fishy font to create your own birthday banner (for free!)

No party is complete without balloons!  We tied helium filled lime green and sky blue balloons around the party.  There are coordinating triangle pennants lining the fire place and the food table that are left over from Lucky's smash cake photoshoot.

I had so many paper plates for a party of 15 people that I turned some plates into fish using scraps of the scrapbook paper I had used in the pennants.

As the last big decor item, I found the Banzai Playful Puffer Fish Spray Pool on Amazon and couldn't help myself. I knew that this pool would be the perfect place to put presents... AND that Lucky would have a lot of fun playing in the fish. When the summer comes we can use it as an actual pool, but for now it was the perfect scale to bring some whimsy to the party.

Now that I've taken you through the decorations of the party, it is time to start talking about the food.  Ever item we served was on theme.  I tried REALLY HARD to not go over board with the quantity while still having fun with different pun filled foods.  

I covered the table in Pacon Fadeless Art Paper, 48" x 50' roll, Lite Blue that I had left over from Lucky's smash cask photoshoot. I chose royal blue and lime green as the themed colors for the party, based in part of the Preppy Ocean Boys's First Birthday Plates and Napkins. I added some plain blue and lime green plates to the mix to have some cheaper options if we needed more paper goods.  I created a second smash cake in the party colors.  This also let me re-use the cake stand  that I made!

No party is complete without seven seas seven layer taco dip.  This melty concoction had the following layers and was baked at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes just before party time:
  1. refried beans mixed with taco seasoning
  2. cream cheese/sour cream
  3. avocado
  4. salsa
  5. green onions
  6. olives
  7. cheese

For a healthier treat, we offered "Sea Cucumber and Friends" to dip in a shellfish-free "Crab Dip".

We served goldfish crackers (cheddar cheese and pretzel) in beach pails with shovels.  

There are no pigs in the blanket under the sea, but we did find some sea snails!  

Keith loves puns, and when he discovered that he could create Peanut Butter and Jellyfish sandwiches for the party he created a little display.  All it took were a Marine Life Cookie Cutter Set. I considered making other cookies but as you are about to sea (ha!) we had plenty of tasty desserts already.

Using clear plastic cups, blue raspberry jello and some cut up pieces of fruit (strawberries and apple), I whipped up some Aquarium Jello.  

Finally we had some candy coated chow mein noodles "crab" cookies and chocolate cupcakes decorated to be fish and turtles.  I took advantage of some awesome silicone cup cake wrappers my SIL gave me at Lucky's baby shower and then used M&M's to gives some scales to the other fish.  

The sunken treasure "Pirate's Booty" rounded out the yummy treats.  

All together this created a delightful spread.  

And boy was my little Lucky boy happy at his party!

Keith and I were pretty happy, too!

Thank you for experiencing Lucky's first birthday party with me.  I had so much fun finding projects and I was so excited to share them with you on the blog.  I hope that I've given you some inspiration for a kid's under the sea birthday party.  Please let me know if you have any questions about how I made or where I purchased anything.  I tried to share all of the links I could but I might have missed something.

I already have some ideas for Lucky's second birthday party, but it is possible that he will have more input on it.  Do you have any suggestions for themes?

I haven't yet posted about some of the fabulous projects I did for Lucky's birthday party.  I'll come back and link to them in this post once they're published.  Stay tuned and come back for some great under the sea birthday party ideas!