Oh how time FLIES when you’re turning ONE!

It’s birthday season around here, and we kicked it off with the biggest one of all!  Our little guy just turned One and celebrated in style with an airplane-themed party designed just for him. Now, as you can probably imagine, birthday parties are a super big deal in our house.  Months of preparation,  lots of obsessing over little details, and lots of shopping go into it.  (And maybe, just maybe, lots of eye-rolling from my husband). So after all that thought, planning and hard work, I thought I would share some photos of the party … and more importantly some of my favorite party styling tips. But first, some photos of our little guy’s big day!  I can’t believe how fast the first year FLEW by!

And now on to all those creative Party Styling Tips:

1. Party Printables (and why I love them)

Of course, I love them!  After all, I spend a good amount of time designing them.  But, honestly, they’re the best.  Super easy, inexpensive, really versatile, you can print as many copies as you need…  Pretty much the only way to have a completely custom, pulled together, DIY party. For this particular party, I designed an airplane theme centered around how fast the first year flies by (because it does)!  And so my starting point was creating a sweet invitation with a photo collage on the back highlighting all of his milestones this past year.  Because, honestly, you never really tire of looking at baby photos of your own kids, do you?

2. Wrapping Paper as a Table Runner

Wrapping paper is one of my best kept secrets. Actually, come to think of it, I think it was my mother’s brilliant idea.  So here’s the great part about wrapping paper… it makes an awesome table runner.  It looks adorable, is super inexpensive, can be thrown out when the party is over (especially with all those little chocolate-covered fingers running around near the cake table), and can be used long after the party.. you know.. as wrapping paper.  Oh, and you can always wrap your child’s gifts in it and will get bonus points for being uber-coordinated.  Plus, I use wrapping paper all the time to line the inside of glass vases to make centerpieces, too. This is literally a tip that I use for every party I’ve ever thrown whether it’s in a house or a restaurant.  It’s so simple.  So here’s a photo of our son’s party with the wrapping paper (red and white polka dots) over a cheap blue plastic table-cloth.  And the best place to buy it?  Hobby Lobby at Christmas time.  They have the best, thickest paper.  (And most of my party kit designs include polka dots, so you can pretty much always find something to match).  The Container Store is a good bet too!

3. Pipe Cleaners to Decorate … pretty much everything!

Ok, so I’m slightly obsessed with pipe cleaners.  Remember in school, when you used to “curl” them around a pencil?  Yep.  That’s me.  Still doing that.  But now with my 4 year old.  He loves it too.  So I use pipe cleaners to decorate pretty much everything…  in centerpieces, on cake cutters, to tie favor bags, as extra decorations, you name it.

DSC_5366e with watermark DSC_5344e with wtrmrk First Birthday Boy's Airplane Party by Oodles and Doodles, OandD

4. Creative {adorable} Favors

I firmly believe you can’t have a great party without sending your guests home with a sweet little favor.  And so, this is usually one of those details that I obsess about for a long time trying to come up with the perfect, most creative idea.  And for this party, I hit the jackpot!  The most adorable printable suitcase favor box by Claudine Hellmuth.  I’m totally in love with these.  They are, of course, stuffed with hershey kisses in homage to our Chicago airport’s “kiss ‘n fly.”   Super adorable, simple, and inexpensive.  Each suitcase favor box is packaged in a clear bag, tied with a pipe cleaner and personalized favor tags from my Airplane Party Kit (along with a little extra flag in there too).  You can never have too many tags.  And, of course, there’s the perfect “Baggage Claim” sign from the kit to go with it all.

Boy's First Birthday Airplane Party

5. Not Just Water Bottle Labels 

Yup, those.  Now I have a ton of clients that never bother to use them.  Totally a mistake.  They can be used for lots of things!  First, of course, as actual water bottle wraps.  And here’s the tip for those: 1) don’t actually place on ice (they may run) and 2) print on Avery full sheet labels.  The entire page is sticky, so you can use it for any shape or size that you want and don’t have to worry about margins.  Genius.  Or, honestly, you can totally print them on white typing paper and glue the ends together.  It’s not exactly rocket science. But.. I use them all the time as wraps around vases.  Or, in this case, as wraps around some bar glasses to hold all my plastic utensils.  Of course you have to decorate those too!

Boy's Airplane Birthday Party by Oodles and Doodles, OandD DSC_5325e with wtrmrk

6. Digital (Scrapbook) Paper for Centerpiece Vases

This is another one of my favorite secrets.  Nearly every party kit that I design includes digital patterned paper.  And I don’t think most people know what to do with it.  It is the BEST!  First, it’s included in kits so it matches everything perfectly.  Next, you can print it just like normal and cut out any shape/size, etc. that you want (think: envelope liners, drink flags, cake bunting, back liners, etc).  But, my two favorite uses: 1) stringing multiple sheets together with cute ribbon and making a table runner out of it, and 2) lining centerpiece vases.  I think I pretty much use that trick at every party.  All you need is some cheap dollar store glass vases and a bit of creativity.  So here’s the centerpieces from this year…. matching digital paper printed and placed inside a glass vase, some shredded paper over a bit of styrofoam at the bottom of the vase, wooden dowel rods, cupcake toppers, an airplane graphic & ribbon.  You can find the super simple tutorial here.  Oh, and those Airplane party hats.  Those don’t really ever stay on little heads for very long, so why not use them as table decorations?

Boy's Airplane Birthday Party in Blue and Red by Oodles and Doodles, OandD

7. No Helium Required

You have to have balloons at a kid’s party.  That goes without saying.  BUT… I really despise having to go pick up helium balloons on the day of the party when I already have twenty million other things to do.  So this year I decided that I was going to skip the helium (but in no way sacrifice the decor).  And so I discovered balloon topiaries and balloon sticks.  Now, I always thought that balloon topiaries were beyond me.  I mean, I’m crafty but I have my limits… and I kinda assumed that was my limit.  Totally wrong on that!  So EASY! I mean so EASY!  You can find tons of tutorials online, but basically you just tie two balloons together, make a bunch of those, and then twist them all together into a ball.  (I know.. right… that should be way more complicated… ).  Apparently each topiary takes 12 balloons, but I was short, so the one in the photo is made of only 10.  Then I shoved a balloon stick in the bottom (found those at Hobby Lobby), and tada!  I’m making these for every party from now on.  I’ve finally found a decoration for those big urns outside our front door.  And, those balloon sticks completely fascinated all the kiddos since the outside balloons were finally at their height. And not one ounce of helium. Genius.

Kid's party decorations, balloon topiary for birthday, outdoor birthday decorations Birthday Party outdoor balloon decorations

Vendors:

Airplane Party Printables:  OandD Etsy Shop

Printable Suitcase Favor Box: Claudine Hellmuth

Smash Cake Photography: Carrianne Photography

Embroidered Birthday Hat: Dainty Couture

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3 thoughts on “Oh how time FLIES when you’re turning ONE!

  1. Pingback: ROAR! Our Big Boy turned FOUR (with a DINO-MITE Birthday Party)! | Oodles and Doodles {OandD}

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