Owen’s First Birthday Party!

Confession: I’ve been thinking about Owen’s first birthday party since the early stages of my pregnancy. Owen was just pea-sized as I began to contemplate party themes. The possibilities for his first birthday celebration were endless!! Which theme would be the best choice?? Such a difficult decision.

Baby Faces Photo Theme First Birthday Party

But after getting to know Owen, the answer was clear. His party needed NO theme, because nothing would be as cute or as entertaining as the birthday boy himself.

And so I began planning his theme-less birthday party and somewhere in the midst of all the crafting and designing, I realized there was a theme after all: Owen. Yes, as narcissistic as that sounds, the theme ended up being all Owen.

You might be wondering what an Owen-themed bash looks like. So here you go…check out his special celebration!

My design for Owen’s invitations started with using a black and white photo of Owen’s head and topping it with a party hat (the “Owen theme” really grew from this image). Note: The invitation design is now available in my Etsy shop. I knew I wanted his party to be bright and colorful, so I picked three main colors: aqua, coral, and yellow. I ordered envelopes in all three colors from Paper Presentation. To make the colored envelopes extra special, I made liners from printed photos of Owen surrounded by balloons (the one photo of Owen on the actual invitation just wasn’t enough). I also used a circle hole punch to make confetti from tissue paper, which I put in the envelopes.

Following the design from the invitation, I created cake toppers and garland. I picked out about 10 photos of Owen with different facial expressions. We printed them in black and white in large and small sizes and cut out his head from each one. Then I made party hats from brightly colored and patterned cardstock paper and decorated them using ribbon, tissue paper and streamers. We attached the party-hat-heads to long and short lollipop sticks and skewers to make the cake/food toppers. I strung the larger heads on coral-colored twine for garland to decorate the walls and fireplace.

I stuck the larger and smaller party-hat-heads in mason jars filled with gumballs and old-fashioned candy sticks. I also put a different number-one-shaped candle in each jar and tied coordinating ribbon around them.

Every birthday party needs cake and ice cream. So I baked classic vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream frosting. I decorated the cakes with coral and aqua ombre frosting and bright colored candies. And the cake table included all the fixin’s for a tasty sundae or ice cream cone.

Other details for the party included circle confetti and bright colored fabric squares on the tables. Striped straws were a cute touch to go with the pink lemonade. And, of course, every proper birthday party needs balloons. We filled clear balloons with circle confetti, an idea I found on Pinterest.

The Owen-themed party would not be complete without MORE Owen, so I made banners of Owen’s monthly photos, 1 through 12. I also hung two wall collages of Owen pictures from the past year shaped into giant number ones. Owen, Owen, everywhere!

Since the party decorations included so many photos of Owen, I thought a DIY photo booth would be the perfect activity for the afternoon. I gathered an assortment of accessories for the “booth”, including a feather boa, a chalkboard sign, and wacky sunglasses. I also crafted mustaches, lips, and bow ties on sticks. I created a colorful backdrop from strips of fabric and streamers.

I made Owen his very own small smash cake. Knowing that the moment he’d eat his cake would be the most important and most photographed of the party, I wanted to make sure he looked extra cute. So I bought him an adorable birthday hat from PaisleyHandmade on Etsy and we sat him in my father’s antique high chair.

Our birthday boy looked so handsome for his party! I loved his cardigan onesie and bow tie, which I ordered from groovyapplique, another Etsy shop. What a good-looking one-year-old! His party was a lot of work, but it was absolutely worth it for this little guy.

ice cream sig
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29 Responses to Owen’s First Birthday Party!

  1. I adore these invitations!!! I would love to do the same thing for my son’s first birthday. Would you be interested in selling wedding invitations or your design to me?

  2. I adore these invitations!!! I want to do the same thing for my son’s first birthday. Would you be willing to sell the invitations to me? Or can I purchase your design and print them myself?

    • Hi Anne! Thanks so much. I’m glad you like the invitations. Unfortunately, I don’t have an online shop, so I have no way of selling anything. You might be able to find someone on Etsy who can replicate the design for you. I would just send it to you for free, but because of the photo it’s very personalized and takes some time to make.

  3. I absolutely love your theme for Owen’s first birthday! This is exactly what I would love to do for my little guys 1st B-Day because he loves looking at babies, especially himself! How do you make the invitation?

  4. I thought I saw this tutorial but not sure if I’m making this up in my head… how did you make the crepe paper pom poms on the top of the party hats?

    Love the invites, I used them as inspiration for my little one’s, hope you don’t mind!

    • Thank you! For some of the tops, I simply crumpled the tissue paper or crepe paper and glued them to the hats. For others I cut the paper into small strips and glued them to the top of the hat in a cluster.

  5. Hi there! I too am in love with the invitations and am planning on creating something very similar for my little Pete’s first birthday. Can you tell me, what software did you use to create the invitation? Or did you make one by hand (i.e. cut, paste, collage, etc.) and then photocopy color? I suppose I could do that.

    hmm…. thanks for your help and inspiration!

  6. I absolutely LOVE this party! My little lady is 10 months, so I’ve heard “You’d better get to planning her first birthday party!” or, “Have you decided on a theme yet?” My response is generally, “yeah, I’ve got a theme… birthday!” I’m so happy to know, after all the crazy looks I’ve gotten that I’m not the only mom out there who doesn’t think the first birthday has to be an extravagant wonderland and that it’s okay to make it all about the birthday kiddo! I definitely think I’ll be adding pictures of Rory with pasted on hats to the decor 😀

    • Thank you!! I love just plain birthday theme. :) If you have any questions or need tips for decorations, let me know. Happy to help!

  7. My will be turning 1 in April and I thought this will be a good first birthday for him..dilemma I’m also getting married in Turks and Caicos in May so money is being spent everywhere so I think this will work out fine and still be enjoyable and memorable with close family. Question: the faces of Owen are they printed on photo paper or white paper or something else ????

    • All I did was tape them to ribbon. Just make sure to tape them above the middle, or else they may topple forward from the weight of the hats. :)

    • Thank you so much! The paper plates, cups, straws, etc. were from the usual places (Walmart, Target). The paper decorations/stationary items were all designed and printed by me.

      • I should also mention that, since I planned his party four years ago, there are so many more awesome vendors for parties! For unique balloons, I check Oh Happy Day party shop and Sweet Lu Lu. And Amazon has just about every balloon you can imagine (although not always at the best price).

  8. Could you tell me what brand the blue striped bodysuit is that was used to make the cardigan? I see the etsy shop isn’t in business or would you sell your sons cardigan? I’m in love with it

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