I’m SO super excited to finally share images and details from my daughter Harper’s 1st Birthday Party! It's still a shock to me that our Little Girlie is already 1!
For those of you who are new to my blog, or haven't experienced me in "party-planning-mode", be WARNED...there are a lot of details and pictures...but I always like to give more information than is really necessary ;) Enjoy!
When planning parties I almost always start with an inspiration piece and the rest of the theme seems to flow from there. The inspiration for Harper's party came from some items that had been in the attic at my parent's house for years and years.
About 15 years ago, my mother purchased a box full of classroom materials from her elementary school teacher’s garage sale. The box included some original Dick and Jane paper dolls that I’ve always loved...that's where it started. I tracked down the box and it was all downhill from there!
The same day that I decided on the theme, I found a vintage chalkboard at my friend Barb’s shop, Cross Creek Antiques, and that sealed the deal! I started accumulating fun, vintage school items to incorporate into the party. I found things everywhere…local thrift and antique shops, online through ETSY and eBay. I was on a mission!
I collected so many fun, vintage items that really brought this party together. Some of my favorite finds were the vintage vocabulary cards I used throughout the party, vintage lunch trays, alphabet blocks, a super cute abacus and of course the teacher’s bell.
Printables and Decorations
Once I had the theme and color scheme nailed down, I contacted the fabulous Maureen Anders and Adria Ruff, of Anders Ruff Custom Designs. I told them my plans for Harper’s party and sent them an inspiration board I had put together to give them the color scheme and other fun details. They designed the BEYOND adorable invitations, bookplates, thank-you tags, tent cards and party logos. This process was so fun for me and I am in-love with what they created!
UPDATE: The SUPER cute line of printables designed for Harper's Party are now available for purchase through Anders Ruff Custom Designs...here!
I also found some adorable vintage-inspired pennant straw toppers and paper straws from Fort and Field. I contacted Jessica to request the sayings on the tags be personalized to go with the party. They turned out SO super cute! I used them on the straws and to decorate the Apple Pencil Cake Pops.
The vintage-style Alphabet garland and the pennants used to decorate the highchair came from Pretty Little Studio. They fit in perfectly with the vintage-feel of the party and I love that I can use them as decorations now that the party is over too!
We made a chalkboard table for the kiddos to play with and it was a HUGE hit! It kept them entertained for the entire party…seriously…the entire party! To make the table my husband chopped the legs off of an old kitchen table we had that was already painted black, and added two coats of chalkboard paint to the tabletop…voila…pure genius…sometimes the simplest ideas really are the best!
I had collected (i.e. obsessively hunted down and acquired) vintage school chairs, desks and student chalkboards for the party. These were all out for the kids to enjoy too ;)
The Favor bags for the kids included flashcards, a small board book, candy (so they could continue the sugar high at home) and super cool, customized Alphabet Crayons made by Touch of Pink! I requested 10 sets of the letters ABC and told her the colors I would like. For a minimal charge, she even individually bagged them for me, so super cute….plus I didn’t have to attempt to make them myself!
The dessert table treats were all made by yours truly! I had SO MUCH fun coming up with treats for the party, and trying new recipes and techniques that have been on my to-make list for awhile now.
I created a tutorial on my site so you can make your own Apple Pencil Cake Pops. They were a BIG hit and looked so super cute…they would make perfect Teacher Appreciation Gifts!
The homemade marshmallows were delish, it was my first time making them and they’re definitely going into heavy rotation! I also made ABC Squares using Alphabits cereal that the kiddos really enjoyed.
I baked and decorated both of the cakes for the party. Let me just say here, normally I work on a much smaller scale (think cupcakes)….but I saw a tutorial for a breathtakingly beautiful Rose Cake by Amanda of i am baker and was dying to try it out! I wanted to make a multi-tiered cake, even though the most I’ve stacked in the past was two tiers.
I figured I had a special reason to go all-out and try it. The end result was pretty, a little sloppy, had a lean in the back (I turned it so no one could see)…but it was made with love for my Little Sweet Roll and that’s what counts!
At the Drink Station we served Strawberry and Skim Milk Cartons purchased from a local Elementary School. The hobnail milkglass pitcher and glasses were all purchased at local thriftshops.
The Birthday Girl
I spent more time than I’m willing to admit searching for Harper’s Birthday outfit. I ended up with a few options…you know…in case she needed a mid-party wardrobe change. When I found THE dress listed by Luxe Starling on Etsy I knew that it was perfect! It is a vintage party dress that is so simple and sweet, it was perfect for a little girl who spends most days in grubbies chasing around after her big brother ;)
Finding a headband that went with the vintage dress took some work, but it was another Etsy Shop to the rescue! Bellasma has an amazing line of headbands that are so reasonably priced you'll want an armful!
This party was truly a labor of love. I poured so much time and energy into all of the details because I wanted to create something special for my little girlie. During the planning process, I know (I KNOW) I can get a little (okay a LOT) obsessed…but I LOVE to do this! It is so rewarding to create these kind of memories and even though Harper is only 1….and as people kept reminding me “She won’t even remember it”….I will, and that’s enough ;)
All of the party pictures were taken by the uber-talented and super amazing Kara Hinzie of KV Photography. Kara’s work is truly inspiring! I feel SO lucky to have found a photographer that I adore…and one who can deal with the “crazy” that is my family ;) She has captured so many amazing moments in priceless images that our family will cherish forever!
Thanks SO much to all of our friends and family. YOU all helped make Harper's Party extra special! Now I have to get crackin' on Dane's 3rd Birthday Party...it's just around the corner ;)
KV Photography all party photos
Anders Ruff Custom Designs Invitations and coordinating party printables
Fort and Field Customized School house pennants, paper straws
Gatherings by Kate Ford Tissue Poms
Pretty Little Studio vintage style flashcards used for garland
Cross Creek Antiques large vintage chalkboard, serving pieces
Touch of Pink Customized Alphabet Crayons
Luxe Starling Vintage Party Dress