DIY First Birthday | My Monkey’s Lunch

I’m a planner at heart, so when our family celebrates a special occasion I get a little excited. Ok, a lot excited. This past April we celebrated our youngest son’s first birthday, so naturally I started planning early….January early. I chose a monkey theme after I fell in love with an adorable monkey he received as part of a welcome home gift. With the theme in place I started to research monkey themed birthday parties online for inspiration. A few of my favorite places to go for party eye candy are Hostess with the Mostess, Pizzazzerie and Amy Atlas. There are many wonderful sites to pull inspiration from and many offer DIY projects. I love DIY projects as they can really help personalize your party and take it to the next level all at a reasonable cost.

My son’s “Aqua & Orange” dessert table cost was just under $50. That includes EVERYTHING except for the splurge on chocolate covered Oreos by Sweeties by Kim and aqua sour candies. After all, the devil is in the details as they say, and they matched my party colors perfectly so how could I resist?

Next was color. I chose the aqua & orange colors in the monkey to use as an accent. I carried the monkey with me for a MONTH as I visited my local fabric and Michaels stores just so I could get the right shade of fabric and paper.

This was going to be my first real crack at an Amy Atlas inspired dessert table so color and texture were going to be important in achieving the look. I knew I would serve cupcakes and wanted something unique as a topper. I was instantly smitten when I came across the DIY Fabric Flower Cupcake Toppers from Paiges of Style. They are labor intensive but were a huge hit at the party and were made for under $10/dozen.

To incorporate more color I added some orange DIY paper treat cones and aqua and orange colored San Pellegrino drinks with blue and white striped paper straws I purchased from Fort & Field on Etsy. I picked up some blue swirl lollipops and aqua colored sour candies from Sweet Sues Candy in Sherwood Park and finished off the table with an aqua colored DIY no sew table runner.

 The “kids table” was decorated with DIY fabric birthday hats, and to help keep the little ones entertained I added a paper tablecloth with crayons.

One of the reasons I prefer to have my birthday parties at home is because of the food. Good food is a big deal in our household. Like many one year olds, my son loves pasta so it was an easy decision to serve penne and sausage with Nonna’s sauce as the main course. It was quick and inexpensive to feed our large group. To tie in the monkey theme, I made peanut butter and banana monkey sandwiches for the kids. I came across the idea from the Funky Lunch Bunch who make unbelievable sandwich creations.

The adult’s table was decorated with an aqua tablecloth, orange gerbera daisies and a DIY monkey place card I made with my Cricut.

These awesome chocolate covered Oreos are custom made and can be printed with just about anything with enough notice.

I think it is nice for the birthday boy to have a special first birthday t-shirt. So I picked this one up from the Gap and cut out the letters in left over matching party fabric and ironed them on.

After all is said and done I like to send personalized notes to each of our guests thanking them for celebrating with us. I created a 5×7 collage in Photoshop of 12 images capturing our son during his first year and had them printed for less than $10.

All birthdays deserve to be celebrated but the first birthday is extra special. The cost for this party was low, the time involved was great, but the memories are forever.

A special thank you to Urban Infant for featuring this birthday in their fall issue!

  • October 19, 2011 - 8:22 pm

    Nicki - What an amazing job you did for your Son’s 1st birthday. Very inspiring….. Congrats on being a Mom! You take the job serious lolReplyCancel

  • October 21, 2011 - 12:42 pm

    Narissa - Steph, you are amazing at whatever you do. Very creative and it looked like so much fun. Hugs to you and your adorable boys!ReplyCancel

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