First Birthday Party Planning Part IV: The Reveal

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Well, it’s been two weeks and my house is still recovering from Evelyn’s first birthday party. I recycled some decorations, reused a few as decorations in Evie’s bedroom, packed away the extra paper goods but the Mylar balloons are still floating, there are still thank you notes to be written and a pile of gifts that need to be put away. Such is the life of two working parents and a very busy 1-year-old!

I wanted to share a reveal of the party for those who have been following along with parts one, two and three of the planning, some last minute projects that snuck in and a final cost analysis of the DIY decor.

So here’s the full reveal:
I didn’t have a true final vision when I started scheming, but when I saw this come together, I knew this was the look I was trying to achieve — if that makes sense.
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The buffet table was decorated in kitty-appropriate details like balls of yarn, vintage milk bottles, pink toy mice (given to the cats of the family as party favors!) and a stuffed animal. The utensils were wrapped up in napkins tied up with bits of pink yarn and the paper-plate craft set the theme off well, too — as well as the birthday girl’s skirt! 
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We served cat-approved sandwiches of tuna and chicken salads on croissants, potato chips, assorted cubed cheeses and delicious a balsamic vinaigrette salad with dried cranberries, pecans and goat cheese.

You might spy the kitty-carved watermelon in the background containing a fruit salad that was also served. This was an idea I had pinned and replicated (thanks, Mom!). It was a lot like carving a pumpkin. Just sketch out your cat profile before carving to help with the big picture. Here’s more on that below:photo-1_001.jpg photo-2_001.jpg photo-9.jpg

We served “Kitty Treats” and “Catch of the Day” Goldfish crackers at our refreshments server (the treat boxes and stickers are sold at Party City). The garland above the server couldn’t have been easier. It’s just our printed-out party invitations attached by clothespins on leftover nylon rope from the tissue paper tassel garland project.
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Of course, guests were greeted with the kitty ears I made to wear for the enjoyment of the birthday girl. I think every guest wore a pair!photo-5.jpg

Evelyn’s high-chair got decked out, too! Just when I thought I had enough with tissue paper crafts, I ended up making one more all pink mini-tassel garland to go around the tray and a sparkly “one” banner to lay over top. The “one” banner was so easy: 1) type out large letters in Word (I used Geneva font in size 400) to serve as your template; 2) cut out the template letters and trace them on the plain side of the glitter cardstock (sold at Michael’s) and remember nonsymmetrical letters will have to be traced “backward”; 3) cut the cardstock letters out and string with fishing line. You may need an X-acto knife for detail

Lastly, the cakes were decorated with the kitty from the invite, or, at least that was the request. The jury is still out on whether or not the bakers at Whole Foods #nailedit. I do love that they added a real pink ribbon on the cakes. That was such a sweet and unexpected touch. Oh yeah, I also made that cake pick by pasting two trimmed invites together over a wooden skewer.

Luckily for me, Evelyn did not like her birthday cake (tears and all) so I was spared from the popular “cake smash,” which I am not a fan of anyway. But hey, we gave it a shot!

So, to answer the unanswered: Were the DIY decorations worth it? photo-24.jpg

Yes! Here’s a run-down of low costs that I guarantee you won’t find on etsy or elsewhere for comparable designs:

  • Tissue paper tassel garlands (one extra-long, one standard length, one high-chair), pom-poms (six DIY’ed pom-poms; three pre-made) and nylon rope: $50.
  • “One” banner: $1.39.
  • Invites: $23.72 (actual invite production cost was $11.74 with unlimited printing but I also purchased card stock and envelopes that I factored into this total)
  • Headbands (18): $15.59.
  • Pink yarn balls and ties (I already owned the gray yarn): $3.99.
  • Cat paper plates: I only additionally had to purchase small gray plates to make the craft since paper plates were already needed for the party, so I’m chalking this one up to $2.99.
  • Sweat equity: free, but tedious.
  • Result: priceless.

Lauren Isaacs, mom of one and digital media specialist for Carolina Parent and, writes about everything that’s popular in modern motherhood. She also writes the Carolina Parent “Your Style” column. You can read all about the party planning here, here and here.

This post was not sponsored. All opinions and selections are purely mine.

Categories: Pop Mom