I love a good party. I love crafts. I love to create. I’d like to think I have a good eye for design, it’s some of what I studied in college (and, hello, AP Studio Art in high school). I catch myself in a happy place when I’m creating, when ideas pop into my head and I put my hands into action. So it makes sense that I love designing events.
I was excited to put together a party for my sweet daughter’s first birthday at our home. My husband firmly directed that we, ahem, I, to not put on such an extravaganza as we had for our son’s “Hole-in-ONE” Masters-themed first birthday at a cool West Loop (Chicago) restaurant with open bar. Photo below.
With a now three-year-old, full-time job, commuting to the city, schedules, other household needs, yadda yadda it was a challenge to get everything done. Sure, I would have liked to have a few more things come to life, but I think it turned out pretty sweet. And I was grateful for some work PTO to get errands done!
My daughter’s room is a mix of Alice-in-Wonderland-meets-Secret-Garden with whimsy elements, blush tones, rich greens a special Alice in Wonderland vintage book (proudly on display from my late grandfather!), drawings and trinkets. This influenced the “Sydney’s ONEderland” theme - and, hey, it’s a bonus to use and repurpose party items permanently in her room.
I am a big Disney lover but the pink striped Cheshire Cat movie creative wasn’t what I had in mind. So I went down the Pinterest hole and scoured Etsy shops and found some perfect Alice-party brands and decor that fit my vision.
Now, for a first birthday, one must have an optimal photo area for the “first cake.” I had something in mind and nothing that a few trips to craft stores couldn’t solve. The “grass” background, oversized blooming flowers, garden decor, paired with the vintage Alice images and custom Sydney golden wooden whimsy-lettered sign (found on Etsy here) was the perfect backdrop.
The cupcake stand with favorites from a local shop (Baker Boys in Ravinia District) of vanilla with rainbow sprinkles and black and white frosting atop banana chocolate chip cupcakes turned out as a perfect scrumptious display. More cupcakes with the known “eat me” in gold glitter with pink ribbons were a great topper.
With an Alice theme, had to infuse tea party elements into the display table and found some darling succulent-filled gold and mixed-pattered teacups as accessories.
You can’t forget the Mad Hatter, so I tapped my father-in-laws’ calligraphy skills for the “In This Style 10/6” top hat note. I paired some fitting colored sashes around the top hat thanks to an afternoon fabric department spree, full of ribbons and tulle that I hand-picked for her “high chair” banner — of warm pinks, white blue, and checkered tones and a golden “one” overlay. Want a mom hack?! Depending on your high chair brand, use tiny Command hooks and strategically put them under the table portion. The weight of string banner will push forward and stay generally well (better than tape, I think).
Check out more photos below of the party details.