I know, I know—finally! Birthday party pics! We threw a vintage airplane-themed birthday party at our home to celebrate baby C’s first year. Even though I put too much pressure on myself as usual, I loved planning my son’s first birthday party. I wanted it to be really special and memorable for us as parents because this is our first child and that calls for a big to-do to celebrate the greatest blessing in our lives.
I’ll do a separate post about why I chose this theme and show you the invitation and coordinating printables I designed for the occasion but, for now, here’s a look at my little one’s big day.
The simple decorations I put up in our living room included a DIY pennant banner made of colored burlap and twine, a framed photo from his 1-year photo session and another DIY banner featuring his monthly photos.
I was so happy with the way the photo banner turned out after I finished it. In fact, I haven’t been able to take it down yet! It’s definitely still hanging across our mantel months later. You can get more info about this year-long photo project and see the finished collage with all of his monthly baby photos here and here.
I bought the hardcover format of Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss to use as a guest book. I asked our party guests to write a note to C on the inside front or back cover. It turned out wonderfully with all the birthday wishes written along the illustrated pathways on the inside covers. I adore this book for its lovely message and thought it was a perfect fit for the occasion and the theme. I look forward to reading it (and all the sweet birthday notes) to C for many years to come.
I created the invitation first and then carried the colors and design elements through to all the details of the party. I used a color scheme of royal blue, a lighter blue, gray, teal and yellow. I made the backdrop for the food table out of a couple rolls of kraft paper and crepe paper streamers that matched the color scheme. I incorporated the airplane shape where I could with the food (the watermelon cutouts and cookies) and I used the airplane image and airmail border from the invitation throughout.
I found some vintage-looking items to add to the decorations as well—vintage airplanes, old-fashioned globes, wooden crates and cardboard suitcase boxes with colorful world maps printed on them. I scoured Michael’s and Hobby Lobby and found most of what I was looking for so that I could use those awesome 40% off coupons.
For the smash cake decorations, I used bamboo sticks to hang the mini pennant banner I made out of card stock and twine. I love mini pennant banners on anything, and they’re easy to make with a flag punch like this one. I cut out the airplane image from the invitation and then I just cut out a freehand number 1 from leftover card stock.
The cake smash started off a bit slow, but it was successful in the end. The birthday boy seemed to enjoy his first dose of sugar. But of course you could already tell that, right? ;)
We had an abnormal amount of rain here in Texas leading up to his party (weeks upon weeks of rain and flooding), and, because I had planned an outdoor party, I was so bummed thinking that it would probably rain on the big day. I held on to a glimmer of hope though every time I opened up the weather app on my phone and saw this:
Sunday was party day. Yes, that Sunday with the only sunshine icon surrounded by all of those rain clouds. It did end up raining a bit the morning of his birthday, but it cleared up fairly quickly and we were left with bright skies for the first time in a while!
We spent the morning sweeping so much standing water mixed with soil from the flower beds (read: mud. lots of mud.) off of the patio so the sun could dry the rest. My crepe paper streamer backdrop couldn’t stand up to the wind and the moisture in the air, but no amount of humidity and wilted streamers was going to bring me down! OK, I admit I panicked when the streamers that took me forever to twist and line up evenly that looked amazing the night before started to straighten out and sag down like wilted flowers. I mean, it wasn’t an easy task making that huge thing! But some strategic taping of the streamers helped save the backdrop enough to still use it. And really, I just couldn’t have been any more relieved that the party could go on outdoors as planned.
C and his baby friends played together on a big picnic blanket on the grass with some of his toys I brought out. He had a lot of fun! I could tell that he enjoyed all of the new experiences.
We only opened a few gifts at the party and saved the rest to open over the next few days so it wouldn’t be too overwhelming for him. He did a great job opening his presents though—he was tearing the wrapping paper off of boxes and pulling the tissue paper out of gift bags like a pro!
When it was all over, the little ones took home a party favor. The favors were a globe beach ball, passport stickers and an airplane book tied together with blue raffia. I initially got the Amazing Airplanes book to read to C before his first flight because it’s cute and rhyming and walks you through all the steps of flying on an airplane. He likes when I read it, so it was an easy choice to use as a favor for his vintage airplane birthday party.
We had a great time, and I hope our guests did too! Thank you to everyone who celebrated with us, came early to help me set up, ran last-minute errands, stayed after to help clean up, baked treats, filled in to take pictures and thought about C from afar on his special day. We love you all!