Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Holden's First Birthday {Circus Theme}

As my sweet baby Holden's first birthday quickly approached us I was walking through the Wood connection on just one of my way to frequent trips, and saw the adorable wood elephants, and some wood mustaches and other goodies and I knew just what I wanted baby H's birthday theme to be . A circus theme, how adorable would that be?! I didn't want it to be too stressful but of course wanted it to be cute and fun for our guests and so this is what I came up with.

First off the weather was beautiful,lLove summer birthdays, so we had the whole event outside and it was perfect. At one point the sun was beating down on us so we just slid into the garage and all was well.

Chalkboards are always a must at a party am I right? I adore chalkboards and think they are perfect for all decor. This one is actually port of my home decor and I just took it right off the wall for the party. I just got this one at hobby lobby and painted the edges red to match my kitchen. It was also super cheap especially with a coupon so that is always a plus.

I love the striped paper straws for parties especially the really thick high quality ones that don't go as soggy as fast. We all like cute but no one wants a soggy straw. I have had these in my stash for a while now but I originally got them from Orson Gygi and I simply used some fun Washi tape I already had from Pick Your Plum and taped little pieces to the top making little flags. These make it cute and go with the theme but they are also to write your name on so you can keep track of your drink in the sea of cups at a party.

The cake was so so simple but I absolutely love the way it turned out. I have been loving the simple layered cakes with a banner as decor lately so I went with it.  I used two cake mixes for a four layer cake. I made them just like THIS POST. But before I baked them I split the batter into fourths in separate bowls then I added food coloring to each bowl, red, green, blue and yellow. Then each colored batter was baked in its own circle pan for the time suggested on the box. Once they were cool I wrapped them in seran wrap and then in foil and put them in the freezer. This is such a great cake decorating tip, because then it is much easier to frost when the cake is hard and frozen. I just hate when I am trying to frost a cake and it is all crumbly. Also putting it in the freezer makes them so much more moist. mmmm.

On party day about two hours before the party you can go ahead and make your homemade frosting from THIS POST, and then start frosting them frozen making sure to frost in between each layer. once they are all stacked and glued together with the frosting then you will frost the whole outside. I just used a plan white frosting, a cute banner and then when you cut into the cake it is a colorful surprise of goodness!!

Like I said I simply topped the cake off with a little banner I crafted up the night before. I just took some colored paper and cut them into one by 8 inch strips then cut the strips in half so they were about 4X1. Then I folded them over and cut some into a triangle shape and others into a pendant shape and then glued them onto some red bakers twine. Then I used some cute letter stickers I had in my craft stash to spell out "HOLDEN IS ONE.} Then I tied the little banners to some paper straws. Then to get the banner to stick up nice and sturdy I poked some wood scewers into the cake on each side and then slid the straws over top of them. Then I added some cute little clown candles I found at Orson Gygi and the cake was complete. And can I just say sooooo delicious.

Holden's little special smash cake was just a mini version of the big cake I made. I just used a little bit of each of the colors of batter and baked them in 4 different cupcake tins and then used half of each cupcake and layered them using frosting between each layer, then frosting the outside and put a polka dot colorful one candle on top.

These little adorable guys came from the wood connection and I just painted them with some craft paint I already had. They are what inspired this whole theme. I will be using them as decor in my boys room now that the party is over.

I think that displaying photos at a birthday party is the best part. So everyone can oo and aww over how cute they are. I displayed some pictures of him on a couple tables in some 99 cent IKEA frames {love these}, one in a fun wood connection frame, and of course I had to make a picture banner of each month of his little life so far. 

Why yes of course I took some embarrassing pictures of this adorable boy in a clown suit just for some pics for the tables! I am so that mom. But seriously I have never seen a cuter clown in my life.

The month to month banner was super easy and it will be fun to display over his crib in his room now that the party is over. I just printed out some pictures that I had of the little bug from the day he was born, each month until his 12 months. Then I punched two wholes in each picture at the top and then just strung through some bakers twine and it is done. How fun is that to see how much he changed and grew in just one little year.


For food we had hot dogs and chips keeping up the circus theme and then some of our friends and family brought some salads and fruit to eat as well.

We had two circus tents for the kids to play in while they were there. The one pictured above is my mother in laws from IKEA and then other one is a DIY A frame tent my cute Ty and I made together for one of Holden's presents. Tutorial coming soon!

Another fun thing we had going on throughout the whole party was a little photo booth set up for the kids to be silly, have fun and get their pictures taken with some fun circus theme props.  You can see more about the photo booth and how I made the props from THIS POST.

Check out this post for some photo booth ideas. 


The party turned out perfect, it was so much fun and our sweet little Holden is loved by so many people. Thank you to all of our friends and family who came and made it such a success and so much fun for our little bug!

Tutorial coming soon. Holden's birthday present made by yours truly including the fabric. EEEK its exciting I can't wait to share.

I know everyone says this but really I can't believe my baby is already one. The second baby seems to grow up even faster than the first. Happy Birthday Holdy bug we love you to the moon and back plus infinity.
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  1. oh my gosh, what a cute party! I especially LOVE Holden's clown costume, and your cake! Cute on the outside and inside! Well done!

  2. This turned out fantastic! I love how simple yet perfect it was. And the photo booth is adorable!

  3. He is really very sweet! On my daughter’s first birthday I also threw grand party at most beautiful Chicago venues. This party was very enjoyable and I had hired professional planners for arrangements. It was the best birthday party I have ever attended.



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