Cupcake Themed 1st Birthday Party

cupcake theme

In all the busyness of life lately, I realized that I failed to put together the plans for Ariary’s first birthday party… THREE days before the party. Thank goodness for Pinterest and Hobby Lobby!

While I had planned for an entire year to have an owl theme, a cupcake theme seemed so much easier when faced with last-minute party planning tasks. I went to work browsing the internet for ideas and was not disappointed. Then, Bill and I headed to Hobby Lobby (coupon in hand) and were pleasantly surprised to find a large selection of cupcake-themed items in the Spring section of the store, all 40% off!

cupcake birthday ideas

To dress the birthday girl, I put out a plea on Facebook for a cupcake onesie and Jellybean Boutiques had one ready to go. I made the tutu myself as well as the headband. The entire outfit cost $15.

The Decorations

first birthday party

As always, I tried to put the focus in one place. For me, it is just more economical than decorating the entire space.

I used a pink, rectangular table cover and a white, round topper (cut to look scalloped) over my dining room table. Then, I sprinkled it with plastic chips  (kind of like bingo chips) that matched our colors of pink, green, purple and orange to make the table look like a giant cupcake with sprinkles.

Over the table, I brought the streamers to the chandelier from the walls and added balloons on top. Hanging from the bars of the light fixture were tissue-covered styrofoam balls. Just take squares of tissue and use straight pins to attach them to the styrofoam. Continue covering the ball until you cannot see the white ball underneath. Hang with a ribbon.

cupcake party favors

Since I had extra tulle (from the birthday girl’s tutu) and streamers, I used that and the goodie bags to decorate the top of the piano.

I also added a garland of photos with one picture for each month. It was simple to print these on cardstock, use a pair of decorative scissors to create a pretty edge, and then string a ribbon through all of them. Since we found a pack of twelve cute cupcake clothespins and I only needed four for the goodie bags, I added the extras to the garland for an added little eye-appeal.

first birthday party

Since it was a first birthday party, I could not neglect the highchair. I had extra tulle from making the birthday girl a tutu and made large bows to attach on each side of the chair. Then, I laid a white towel over the chair… for protection and to disguise the brown polka-dotted design of the chair.

The Food

Since I lacked the brain-power to plan, I turned to my children to decide upon the party menu and they did very well.

  • Vegetables with dip
  • Fruit
  • Cheese cubes
  • Chips
  • Chicken nuggets
  • Cheese pizza
  • Sausage balls… for my big kid, Bill
  • Cupcakes (a designer cupcake bar)
  • Cake
  • Ice cream

PennyMom and my mother-in-law played an extremely important part as they each brought items for the menu, leaving me with nothing to prepare but the cake and pizza.

cupcake birthday ideas

A friend loaned me her giant cupcake pan. The bottom was chocolate and the top vanilla. This was not as easy to decorate as I thought it would be. So, to cover my mistakes, I edged the bottom in gumballs that matched the theme colors and then pressed sprinkles to the edge, finishing with a dusting of sprinkles on top.

The Games

cupcake birthday fun ideas

Even though this was primarily a family party, I knew there would be a few children… the majority of which were mine… and they would expect some fun. I planned to print out cupcake coloring pages but found wooden cupcakes with markers at Hobby Lobby for only $1 each.

Then, the biggest hit of the night… the designer cupcake bar!

The main cake only used about 3/4 of the batter for the top and bottom, so the extra was used to make 6 chocolate cupcakes and 6 vanilla cupcakes. I used a cookie scoop to put vanilla frosting in one quart-sized, zip-top freezer bag and chocolate in another. I twisted the bags down, added a clip to hold the frosting in place, and snipped the corner off with scissors when it was time to decorate.

make a cupcake

Aside from the cupcakes and frosting, the designer cupcake bar included:

  • Chopped Oreo cookies
  • Chopped Reeses Peanut Butter Cups
  • Chopped pecans
  • Chopped peanuts
  • Gumballs
  • Regular sprinkles
  • Giant polka-dot sprinkles
  • Chocolate sprinkles
  • Pink sugar
  • Hershey’s chocolate syrup
(Please be kind to your guests and place all nut products in containers away from the other items.)
The children had a blast creating their own cupcakes and it was simple for them and me.

The goodie bag

cupcake party favors

My children think that if there is a birthday party, there must be a goodie bag, but this was not a kiddie party. Just some families getting together for a simple celebration. That is why I decided to give each family a cupcake kit to take the fun home.

Each gift bag contained a funfetti cake mix, icing with sprinkles, and cupcake liners. Attached to the bag with one of those cute cupcake clothespins was a card that read, “Thank you for making my first birthday so sweet.” On the inside of the card was a picture of the birthday girl. (PennyDad was so impressed. It has been a LONG time since he was given a goodie bag!)

For the children, I made gumball cupcakes. I cut pink and purple cardstock using a template as my guide and twisted it around to look like a cupcake liner, securing it with packing tape. I poured gumballs into a plastic baggie and twisted it closed, covering the twist with packing tape. Then, I attached a small piece of packing tape to the inside of the liner with one side of the tape securing to the baggie. The packing tape was perfect for keeping it together without looking gross.

The Fun of Turning One

The party was so much fun and amazingly easy. Everything came together quickly, and Ariary had a blast.

I know she will not remember her party, but I am so happy that we have it well documented with photographs so one day she will look back and know how much Mommy cared to make her special day a fabulous one.

first birthday party

Happy birthday, Ariary!

And many more!

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  1. says

    A designer cupcake bar! Are you serious? that is an awesome idea. All the food looked great. I’m 20 weeks pregnant and you are making me drool! And I loved the fact you pimped up her high chair!!

    • Penny says

      Ha! I think everything made me drool at 20 weeks pregnant. LOL

      The cupcake bar was such a hit. I need an excuse to do it again soon.

  2. says

    You did a great job with the party! I like everything and your cupcake cake looks good to me you did great fixing it. The food looks yummy and your birthday girl is sooo very cute.

    • Penny says

      Thank you. I was holding my breath, praying that the top would not slide off halfway through the party. LOL :)

    • Penny says

      It is so easy! I made one today while traveling to see my niece for her birthday. Took about an hour, start to finish.

  3. says

    The designer cupcake bar looks awesome. I might have to do something like this for my daughter’s birthday party in October. She is turning 13!! Ahhh another teenager in the house….sigh. I want to do something special for becoming a teen.

    • Penny says

      That would be so fun for a young teen birthday. Those years can be so hard because they are not quite grown but think they are. I think it could be done up really cute. Have fun!

    • Penny says

      I love the colors too. I really wasn’t sure until I was inspired by a napkin. Inspiration is everywhere. 😉

    • Penny says

      Thanks, Lisa. I had so many gumballs and we don’t eat them. It was a last minute thing but worked out so perfect.

  4. says

    Note to self: Put planning for baby’s first birthday part on my calendar now!

    Yep, I’m sure I will be the one planning just a few days out also. Looks like you pulled it off well though.

    • Penny says

      Ha! I used to be the person who would start planning six months ahead. Now, I am down to three days. Lord help me in the future when I dwindle that down to a few hours. 😉

    • Penny says

      Thanks, Becca. I think she is pretty adorable but we have been blessed with four gorgeous kids. I would like to say that they got it from me but I just think it was the right balance of genes. LOL

    • Penny says

      Thanks, Kelli. I can’t believe how excited my Dad was about the goodie bags. It’s nice to impress him sometimes. Guess I will always be Daddy’s girl.

  5. says

    your cupcake ideas were amazing i enjoyed every aspect of the party ! my favorite was the cupcake granson’s birthday is coming up in a week i will sure be using your ideas thank you.

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