Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Luke’s 1st Birthday {Food and Jungle/Summer Decor}

I figured I would break this up into two posts so it didn’t become visual overload! For Luke’s first birthday I did a jungle theme which kinda morphed into a summer/jungle theme because I had such a hard time finding jungle items that I liked. Here’s a glimpse into some of the food and decorations I did for the party:

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I took a basic $1 yard-sale photo board and hot-glued ribbon in the party luke's first b-day 086colors on top of the existing white ribbon. I popped the “buttons” off to glue the ribbon and then hot-glued them right back. Desserts were cupcakes, animal crackers in a cookie jar, m&ms, nuts, watermelon, s’mores and monkey bread (which turned out amazing thanks to Sarah’s recipe – thanks!).

I couldn’t find a cupcake stand I liked, so I just wrapped two boxes in luke's first b-day 083birthday paper and made my own! The cupcakes were topped with brown sprinkles and some of them had animals on top. I took jungle animal stickers from Michaels, stuck them to cardstock, then hot-glued it to a toothpick and stuck them in.

I made a separate “smash cake” for Luke – my first foray into cake-decorating! I am no professional but it was fun and easy to make this monkey cake, thanks to

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Some food pictures – we had sweet and sour meatballs, pasta salad, buffalo chicken wing dip, chips and salsa, seven-layer Mexican dip, hotdogs for the kids, Italian pinwheels, and veggies and dip.

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Gotta love a party in the garage! :)

On the tables, I placed an orange placemat topped with a mason jar and pinwheels. I wanted to put sand in the jars, but that was too expensive so I just poured in sugar! I made the pinwheels using a tutorial from Amanda’s site and I really like how them came out. I also put my baby food jars around the base of the mason jars.

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(One of the candles had blown out but you get the idea!)

Of course I had to personalize my chalkboard in honor of the birthday boy:

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I also made this easy banner (I got the original idea here – super cute!). I just cut out a dollar-store banner, used the letters as templates, and mod-podged fun scrapbook paper over the top. I used tiny clothespins to affix it to the twine. I am keeping this from year to year and plan on hanging it up each birthday that he has (I figure I can get maybe 8 years out of it before he thinks it’s way too lame. :)

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Last but not least, here are the kids’ goodie bags. I used wooden animals from Michael’s, hot-glued them to treat bags, and personalized them with each kid’s name.

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There you have it! I’ll probably do one more quick post actually showing the birthday boy :), but I figured some of you are like me and would enjoy seeing how someone else did a party. :)

Oh, and I forgot to add that my budget for the entire party was originally $100, but it ended up being $150 - still not too bad for food and drinks and decor for 35 people!

To see how I did the invites and tea lights, click here.

Linked to:

Transformation Thursday @ The Shabby Chic Cottage
Sunday Showcase @ Under the Table and Dreaming
Tot Tuesday @ My Delicious Ambiguity


  1. AWESOME!!! You and Jill could totally start a business together doing event planning. Holy tomoly this is great! And I like your cupcake stand way more than anything I ever saw! Espec good for those people who don't have much storage space for a gadget they'd only use 2x a year!
    Fab fab fab!

  2. Awww everything looks great!!!

  3. Oh wow, everything looks so amazing!!!!

  4. Everything looks really cute! Happy 1st birthday Luke!

  5. Soooo cute!! I am a sucker for anything jungle themed. My Noah had a jungle nursery :) I buy those wooden jungle animals from Michaels all the time and use them for gift "tags"!

    You did a really great job with the theme and I am uber-impressed with the monkey cake. Thanks for sharing!

    Happy Birthday to Luke :)

  6. Everything was very nice Jess. Very creative decorations.

  7. Happy Birthday Luke!

    So glad everything went well. It looks FANTASTIC! When I clicked on the first picture, Yum! Monkey bread! :)

  8. I just bought invites, cupcake papers, and finger puppets with a jungle/zoo theme! Baby Girl's 2nd birthday isn't until January, but the deals were good! I'm definitely marking this post so that I can refer to it as we get closer to birthday time!
    Thanks for the ideas!

  9. What a great job you did on the birthday decorations. The cake is adorable. I'm quite impressed.

    My first time by, and I think your blog is precious. Where were you when my kids were little!?

  10. The monkey cake turned out so cute! Great job Jessica.

  11. it all looks so cute!! hope he had a great 1st b-day!!

  12. What a great birthday celebration! I've only just heard of the smash cakes, what a great idea - your cake was too cute to eat let along destroy!! LOL...Hard to believe how fast they grow up - I thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog! I'm now following your blog and hope to see what else you're up to!

  13. You’ve got a great blog here. Would love it if you’d link up this party and some of your creative ideas for toddlers on my Tot Tuesdays Linky Party:

  14. What a cute birthday party. I especially love the pinwheels...such a nice touch.

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