Party Decor

It's pretty ridiculous of me to require two whole posts about Truman's birthday party but I just can't help myself. This one will be devoted to all of my beloved crafts and decorations and behind the scene stuff, aka my favorite part about planning a party. :) I'm not going to describe the 'how-to' directions for each project but if you want more info leave a question in the comments and perhaps I will edit this post as needed.

Let me just say that I did not spend much on this party at all. We wanted to keep it simple but fun and not stressful in the slightest. So that meant 20 of our friends and family attended the party, including 5 other kiddos close to Truman's age. I didn't want a true 'theme' but instead focused on the idea of it being Truman's GOLDEN birthday (since he was born on March first!) and used all of my favorite bright colors just like I did in the nursery. Using my nursery 'theme' was key because I could just pull out some decor from there and use it for the party like nothing. I also have a ton of extra fabrics and papers from my nursery decor days that I wanted to use which also saved me money. Plus I just love bright colors so there is my theme, I guess. :)

We didn't even set the date for this party until about 6 weeks before the party and I didn't do a darn thing until about 5 weeks out. I would work on a project a few times a week at nights and also on weekends and that made it fun for me, not like I had to cram it all in on one day or something. I had a list of things I wanted to make and would just work my way down that list, remembering that hands-on crafts are extremely fulfilling for me---I wonder why I don't do many of them anymore?

And as a side note, I realize that Truman won't remember his first birthday party. But I'm a big fan of throwing a party to celebrate the fact that the parents survived the first year of babyhood. If nothing else, Nate and I deserved a little socialization with friends and family for that feat, and as an added bonus Truman will have fun pictures to look back on when he is older. He also had a blast but so did his parents, of course.

First things first, the invitations made by my good friend Maggie. She has a shop in Etsy called Paper Perfectionist and I highly recommend her, of course! I gave her the picture, the color inspiration, and linked to an invite online that I liked and she did the rest. I am obsessed with it, for real. Just look at my little man!


My first project was this balloon wreath that I saw online. It was incredibly easy, cost less than $10 total to make, and maybe took me an hour and a half tops. I love it and plan to use it for future birthdays to come!




Next I made Truman's birthday hat out of left over fabrics from nursery projects.


I also made the other kids' hats to wear for a photo op during the party. Well, mostly I made them because I wanted to use more of my fabric and needed another project to satisfy my crafty desire one night. The photo op was a total fail, as you will see later, but they were still cute hats!


I wanted to do favors for the babies but didn't want to be overdone with this one. So one day I discovered the amazing world that is the dollar store and found just what I wanted. Plastic pails filled with bath toys and balls or squeaker toys seemed like just enough to say 'thanks for coming' without being silly. I decorated the pails with fun ribbons, a card, and these adorable buttons I found at Michaels one day. I think the favors were a hit with the kiddos and they were fun to put together, for sure.



This little area of decor was made from nursery projects. Talk about easy! I also printed off a 5x7 of Truman's monthly pictures even though I displayed these in the house more than just here.


The close up shots from the monthly photos were a banner on one side of our archway:

And the further away chair shots made the other side. Easy and fun!

My mom brought my one-year picture and so I had to print a picture of Nate at one year old, too, and display them. I'm sorry but that profile shot of me is ALL Truman!

Another random bit of decor, above the food table: a 'T' from the nursery (fabric wrapped) and then a birth announcement with a birthday invite clipped with cheapie holders from Michaels:

I made paper flags for more bright decor and strung them across the main wall. Plus I painted this canvas one day and haven't been able to take it down just yet. :) The little flags on top are made of fabric I cut into triangles, then used Hodge-Podge to paste in on top of my paint.


Because I obviously love banners, I made this little one to go across Truman's highchair. Definitely just for prime time photos of cupcake smashing!

I am not a seamstress by any means, but I really wanted to make a table cloth for the party. I went fabric shopping with my mother-in-law and then borrowed her sewing machine to make this. Since my fabric was too narrow to fit the whole width of the table, I decided to just make a runner instead. Lois had the fab idea of using a white twin-sized sheet for underneath---we just had to cut and hem two of the sides and it was perfect! I admit, sewing is pretty fun but man it's tedious!

One of my favorite projects were the cupcakes and all that went with them. I really wanted to do these little face lollipop things that I saw online once. And so, say hello to dozens of little Trumans!


I bought a cheapy, white, plastic cupcake tower from Michaels and knew I had to spice it up a bit. So I wrapped the center cylinders with fabric then added orange ribbon to the edges. I liked how it turned out a lot! Much more festive than the plain version in my opinion.


Truman's tee shirt was purchased from Etsy shop Bowdacious baby and I just love it.

For the food we wanted to keep it simple, again. Luckily my Memaw is a fabulous cook and wanted to help out with the menu. I also had help from my mom and mother-in-law since they are all better at the food stuff than me---I'd rather just make pretty wreaths and banners all day, who cares about the food?!

We did two kinds of cupcakes, cake pops, a four foot Cousins sub sandwich, chips, veggies with dip and hummus, fruit salad, and then foods for the kids. We had beer, wine, soda and water, too, and I was really looking forward to having a few glasses of wine but man---hosting a party leaves very little time to drink!

Cake pops:
I have seen these all over the web and figured a first birthday party would be the place to try them out. We went with chocolate cake mix, plus cream cheese frosting on the inside dipped in white chocolate and milk chocolate stripes. So fun!! We had a lot left over and I cannot stop eating them, they are so yummy.


I stuck them into a floral foam thingie covered with wrapping paper. Easy and functional! Memaw came up with this idea but I originally thought I'd try to cover a shoebox with paper and punch holes in it. The foam was SO much easier, so thank goodness for Memaw!

My family has a tradition of making red velvet cake for birthdays. I think that is because my mom's birthday is on Valentines Day so a red cake was always fitting for her. I have made a red velvet cake for Nate before and it's just so pretty and bright and different! I knew that T needed to eat a red velvet cupcake for his first birthday and I didn't really want to make a 'smash cake' or anything. I figured that a nice frosted cupcake was plenty for this baby who really doesn't get sugary junk food like that! Memaw made the cream cheese frosting herself but we used a boxed mix for the cupcakes to save on time. We also got yellow cake mix for the second flavor and store-bought chocolate frosting for those. I found really cute paper liners and Michaels and we were good to go! We made 48 cupcakes the night before the party even though I knew that would be way too many. I wanted two flavors, though, so it had to be 48---and really, left over cupcakes aren't exactly a BAD thing, you know?

Kiddie Foods:
I saw this online and had to do my own version! I found little green tins at Michaels for $0.79 a piece and filled them with fun kid foods like frosted animal crackers, regular animal crackers, goldfish, peach puffs, graham cracker bunnies, and T's favorite Gerber maple syrup/cinnamon Lil' Crunchers. Wait, what was I saying about Truman not eating sugary foods? Huh. :)

The whole spread:

So I think that is about it. I had SO much fun planning and preparing for the party that I had that post-event sadness that happens after weddings or other fun get togethers. Guess I'll just have to postpone my craftiness until the second birthday now!


Pictures and stories from the big day itself to follow...


  1. Love love love the decor!! Super cute. I can't wait to have a one year party of my own. I'll be checking this one again for inspiration :)

    By the way...the word verification is fitting is that?

  2. AMAZING! you are so crafty. I love everything and I bet Truman will love looking back on this stuff some day!

  3. So fun! I love all of your projects but I think my favorite is the little Truman pics on the cupcakes... cute cute cute :)

  4. So festive!!! The invitations were adorable and I love your craftiness.

  5. JULIA! Thank-you for that post you have refueled me to keep trucking on my projects till Saturday! Can't wait to compare notes! Love the way you made the Theme Truman!! :)

  6. I'm glad you are doing this, bc I was fashionably late and I then had the "I DON'T KNOW ANYONE HERE" shell shock that I usually get and hid over by your in-laws. So, basically, I didn't see half the fab decor that was around and I totally missed out on cake pops and cupcakes. I think that I was delirious! :)

    So, thanks for this, because my mind was clearly off somewhere else!

  7. Amazing party details. : )

  8. You went all out! Everything looked so great!

  9. You are officially hired to plan Eli's first birthday party. Seriously, girl, I saw all those decorations but didn't comprehend the time and effort you put into them. Awesome job!

  10. You did such an amazing job, lady! Everything was so bright and cheerful and obviously made with love - very impressive! And it was just a lovely party. :)

  11. Ohhhhh, I was so excited to see this post! I loved EVERYTHING, but especially the tiny little Trumans that adorned each cupcake :)

  12. I am a sucker for party decor! I love it all.

    The balloon wreath is precious. Don't mind if I steal that idea for a certain little someone who turns 1 in two months (EEEEKKKK!).

    I still can't believe he is one. And yes, Truman looks exactly like you. The profile pic of you is HIM!

  13. Holy cow mama! That party turned out fabulous! LOVE the banners and all of T's photos. So fitting

  14. Wow this is fabulous!!!! I think you should consider quitting PT and doing party planning :)

  15. Amazing party in true Julie style!! If this is a simple party, I'd love to see one where you went all out. Loving the bright and colorful theme! Great job!

  16. What a great party! You did an amazing job!

  17. Wow, Julia!! I completely bow down to your craft skills. I couldn't even think up those things to do, much less execute any of them. I love that you incorporated the fact that it is his golden birthday. And how you used the colors from the nursery. If you ever decide to leave PT, you could be a party planner for sure!

  18. This party was even better than my 30th, and I got professionals in to organise that! What an incredible job you've done here!


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