First Beeday Party

Libby's nickname has been "busy bee" since she was about 10 weeks old. So naturally, for her first birthday party, we went with a bumble bee theme. I had searched online and found super cute ideas here, here and here. I wasn't wanting to do a black+white+yellow color scheme so then looked at doing a garden bugs theme to open up the color palette. I almost went with this paper suite. But then I found this. And wanted to use it, but was outside the window for ordering. So I got to work with Photoshop and MSPublisher and came up with this:

The main colors for the party were yellow and red with turquoise and chocolate brown. And lots of polka dots! (Side note: I was stoked to see that Kelle Hampton was also using a similar color palette for Nella's first birthday party this Saturday as well. I donated to Nella's ONEder Fund in honor of Libby's first birthday). I ordered a customized tee and asked the seller, Lil Shabebe, to change the colors to our scheme. She did it and it turned out SO cute! The sweater is actually white hearts on red, from Old Navy. My husband's and my sweaters are also from Old Navy. I made a little corsage to pin on my sweater with polka dotted ribbons from Michaels and a fabric bee brad from Martha Stewart's scrapbooking line.
I already had the yellow and white polka dotted hair bow from Lbby's 6 month photoshoot and the red satin shoes were the same ones she wore at Christmastime.

I bought the yellow leggings (Circo) and polka dotted legwarmers (Baby Legs), both on sale, from Target. The pettiskirt was a last minute purchase from Party City's costume aisle. I had ordered an embroidered bib, matching hat and tutu from an Etsy seller. She shipped overnight on Thursday via FedEx but due to weather the package was held and won't be here until tomorrow. Mild panic set in when I realized this (not to mention extreme disappointment since I ordered it the first week of January and she assured me it would be here in plenty of time for the party. It was also WAY more money than I usually spend, especially on a one or two time outfit, so yeah, I was VERY upset by this).

I dashed off to Michael's Crafts to pick up supplies to create a custom hat. I got the glittered card stock, ribbon, and marabou there and topped it off with another of Martha Stewart's fabric covered brads and curling ribbon. I hit the party store and got the pettiskirt and bib (which wasn't in the color scheme, but at this point I had to let it go. They had a similar one in blue+yellow+red but it said "First Birthday Boy." Arg.) In retrospect, I probably should have just gone the DIY route from the start and saved myself $50+ from the customized set on Etsy. Ah, live and learn. And now, I have this set coming on Monday....after the party...guess I'll use it for Libby's smash cake photo shoot in a couple of weeks. That is, if she smashes the cake.

Yesterday, she just picked the sprinkles off the frosting. I made banana cake based on this recipe from Lisa at Surviving Oz. I altered the recipe by substituting whole wheat flour and adding a little cinnamon (about 1/4 tspn.). Otherwise, I made the cake exactly as outlined and it baked up 25 cupcakes (I used a 1/4 cup measuring cup to fill each polka dotted paper cup, which I got from Michaels).  I made cream cheese frosting using 16 oz. of cream cheese and 8 oz. of banana yogurt (Stony Farms YoBaby, which is thick like Greek yogurt) and about 1/4 tspn. vanilla. After whipping it for a while it seemed a little thin so I added in about 1/2 c. of powdered sugar. That helped stabilize it. I piped in onto the cooled cupcakes and sprinkled the tops with red+aqua+yellow+brown jimmies.  I picked up two cupcake cases from the bakery grocery store so I could easily transport them to the party venue. When I arrived and set them out on the Wilton cupcake stand I had purchased from Michaels, I topped each one with cupcake picks that I made with the party circles I'd designed, printed onto two inch white, round stickers which were left over from my wedding DIY from 2007. To make them,  I simply sandwiched short lolly pop/candy sticks between the sticker and a round circle of scrapbooking paper left over from the party hats my mom and I made.

 The party hats were made using scrapbook paper from Target's Dollar Spot, curling ribbon bought from the party store, pom poms and elastic thread from Michaels, hot glue and stickers I had left over from the cupcake topper project. I downloaded a template here and we made the hats, assembly-line-style. The paper was a little flimsy so we reinforced the insides of the hats with some white poster board I picked up from Target. I just cut the template a little smaller than the hats and popped the reinforcement inside with some glue. I am glad I did, because the hats were WAY more sturdy under the grip of the littles who attended the party.

We held the party from 1-2:30 p.m. at a local Kindermusik studio. This was the best idea ever! For a small fee they let us use the space, provided the tables/chairs/paper plates/cups/etc. did the set-up and clean-up AND spent 45 minutes doing musical activities with the kiddies and their parents. It was the perfect amount of time for toddlers and littles. The studio owner, Beth, and her assistant kept everything well paced and moving along. We did the activities and then ate cake and opened presents. I had found cute wooden musical toys like clackers, hand drums and tambourines on sale at Michaels. So I wrapped them in red paper and curling ribbons that matched the hats and put a personalized sticker on each one.

The kiddies unwrapped their favors as Libby unwrapped her gifts. We got an awesome Plan Toys drum, a LeapFrog Counting Candles Birthday Cake toy (the candles turn off when you blow on them!), a darling red tutu and a beautifully illustrated and bound book of Disney Treasury of Children's Classics. We also got a Kindermusik CD, shaker egg, kazoo and treats from the Beth, the studio owner.

I ordered the polka dotted balloons from Sally at Polka Dot Market. Sally was AWESOME and actually sent a duplicate order when she feared the first one wouldn't make it me on time. Both packages arrived and I contacted her about the second one. She told me to keep it and use it for the party. YAY for excellent customer service! I'll be shopping her site again and again. The bees I ordered from Party City's website because they had no bee Mylar balloons in the store. These were actually from their Valentine's Day line and they matched the color scheme perfectly! I took all the balloons to Party City in the morning and they inflated, ribboned and bagged them for me to pick up on the way to the music studio.

I was thrilled that even with snow earlier this week (I had a snow day from work, which was helpful for last minute party projects) everyone showed up right on time. We had three families join us for the party. I am SO grateful...these three families are new friends to us (the only people we're friends with outside of work, actually) and it's because of them I even planned a real party for Libby. Everyone seemed to have a great time.

Libby's first birthday is means my baby is now a toddler. I've looked back at her infant photos today and am amazed at how much she's grown and changed in this past year. In many ways, she's still the same as the day we brought her home though, especially when I rock her at night and she nurses. We've ALL grown so much in this past year. It's amazing. This last week she's taken her first unassisted steps and cut another tooth (7 total now and more on the way)! She's talking up a storm (it's SO cute to hear her say "bumble bumble," "bah-oon," and "happy happy")! It won't be long before she's running around and a "big kid!" It's true what they say, it goes SO fast. And now we've checked another milestone off the's first birthday party!

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Adding this post to Tip Junkie's
 Handmade Project and Parties round-up!
This is Number 176 there.


Anonymous said...

I have ALWAYS admired your craftiness! So cute!!!!!

Cindy said...

What a cute theme for the party. Libby is precious!

Natashia said...

Looks like Libby had a wonderful 1st Birthday! You did a great job with all the DIY projects - everything looked great :-)

Dawn said...

What a great party! I love the invitation and cupcake toppers you made-so cute-great colors! Love those hats too-don't know if I would have had the patience to make them all!

Married2MrWright said...

Thanks ladies...this was the first DIY I've really done since Libby was born...I kinda missed my Martha Stewart-self!