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!
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.
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.
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.
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
- Cheese cubes
- Chicken nuggets
- Cheese pizza
- Sausage balls… for my big kid, Bill
- Cupcakes (a designer cupcake bar)
- 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.
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.
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.
Aside from the cupcakes and frosting, the designer cupcake bar included:
- Chopped Oreo cookies
- Chopped Reeses Peanut Butter Cups
- Chopped pecans
- Chopped peanuts
- Regular sprinkles
- Giant polka-dot sprinkles
- Chocolate sprinkles
- Pink sugar
- Hershey’s chocolate syrup
The goodie bag
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.
Happy birthday, Ariary!
And many more!