How To Plan A Stress Free Party Part 3: Decorations & Details!

I hope our previous post in the series, helped you with ideas for layout and general party set up! At the end of the series, I’ll provide a check list with all of the tips in one place as well as my prep schedule for the week leading up to the party!

Now for more fun stuff!

When it came to the decorations for the room, we tried our hand at making them ourselves! I really loved the way the display on the main table turned out and it was super simple and cost effective! Each month, M & I (struggled) to take a “month by month” picture of Y. We’d dress him up in a white onesie and jeans, and add a tie that read how many months old he was and seat him in the same chair. It started off super simple in the early days (about the only thing that was simple then, ha!), when he would just sit there and cooperate unknowingly, but towards month 7 he started attempting to eat the tie, jump off the chair and in general wreak havoc on the mini photo shoot! Regardless we got a picture each month, and the progression from baby to little boy over the 12 photos is unbelievable! I wanted to incorporate these photos into the party and decided that a backdrop on the head table, was the perfect way to do so! It wasn't difficult at all, and replaced the customary “Happy Birthday Banner” I assumed we’d use. It was definitely a more personal touch, and a conversation piece for guests as they approached the table. M loved hearing people debate which month and photo the transition from baby to little boy happened, and it was so interesting to hear everyone’s different opinions!

Basically, I took a large white project board and wrapped it in green wrapping paper. I had the month by month photos printed out as 4 x 6’s with a white boarder, and lined them up in two rows, months 1-6 and 7-12. Above these, using the same file we created for his invitations, I printed out three 8.5 x 11 sheets, reading, “Happy Birthday Mr. 1-derful” respectively. I cut them out into a wavy pattern and placed them above the images! Finally I came across this quote on Project Nursery's post and absolutely loved it, so I added a matching frame with the quote, right above the photos. It was the perfect personal touch to decorate the head table and replaced the need for decorations on the wall or a banner!

As I mentioned in part 2 of the series, the gift table also held a bib, that served as a guest book for Y's first birthday party! I originally saw this idea on the BLovely Events page (through Pinterest) who used a onesie at a baby shower in the same way. I was planning on first writing Y’s name on a onesie. I decided a My First Birthday onesie would be ideal, but searched with no luck. It wasn't until I came across this bib, in the clearance section, that I finally found a suitable piece! Other than packing it into the bag to take to the party, together with a box of markers, it left me with no work! It was a really easy addition, a great conversation piece and memento, and it was very cute to see how enthusiastic everyone was about signing it! We purchased a second one for Y to actually wear when we had cake, over his Birthday Boy t-shirt. That tee, a long-sleeve white onesie and a pair of jeans, completed his simple, comfortable, birthday outfit! 

On the table, alongside the bib, we placed two posters, outlining Y’s milestones over his first year. There is plenty of inspiration on Pinterest that can help you tailor this to your unique little one! I especially loved this one. On our poster, I added info about all of Y’s favorite things, from his favorite books, songs and foods, to all the things he can do (Wave! Give kisses! etc) as well as, all of the things he loves (walks, my parents dog etc). I created it on a chalkboard background from How to Nest for Less and downloaded chalkboard fonts from Where the Smiles Have Been, to complete the look! We then had it printed at our local Staples and laminated so that we could keep it and add it to his baby book (that I’ll finish one day!). 

Next to this, again using the same file we created for his invitation and the Happy Birthday banner on the board, I created a poster with all of Y’s firsts! I wrote the milestone in one font and the date/ month it happened underneath it in a different one. Everything from first smile, to first road trip, airplane ride, food, tooth, crawl and so on. I had kept track of these on my phone in a calendar and note over the course of the year and realized this would be a great way to get them all in one place! A quick scan of my private Instagram account also reminded me of a bunch of milestones (and luckily on the webpage – not on the app, the dates are listed underneath each picture!).

Both of these posters accompanied the bib “guest book” and like the board, were great conversation pieces. They also ensured the décor really reflected our little boy and all the many reasons we have to celebrate his first year!

A final small but effective addition to the décor, was the use of these place cards from Catch My Party. I used them to clarify what was dairy/dairy-free on the main table, one on the coloring table asking the kids to color in a sheet for Y and one on the gift table next to the bib reading, “We’re so happy that you’re here! Please sign Y’s bib to celebrate his first year!”. They were incredibly useful, and I brought along a bunch extra in case I thought of anywhere else I would need one. The pattern is also absolutely adorable and simple enough that it complemented the rest of the décor easily!

That’s all for the décor aspect of the series! If you have any questions feel free to email me ( or leave a comment below!

Next up… our menu and all the baked goods, sweets and snacks! Join us for the next part of the series coming up soon!


Popular Posts