My littlest monkey just turned one!  I can’t believe how fast the year flew by.  We love how Cristian’s Woodland One-derland Birthday Party turned out! Here are some tips and tricks on how to recreate a picture perfect party for your “little monkeys”.  It really is easy and actually a lot of fun, especially if you like crafting!!

Here are the steps I always take when planning a birthday party.

1. Select a Theme

When planning a party I always like to start with selecting a theme so I can create a “look” for my upcoming event.  I then like to peruse pinterest or other party sites for inspiration, colour combos etc. I create a vision board (Pinterest is great of this) to gather all my ideas and thoughts.

2. Pick a Venue

Once your theme is selected, the next thing to do is figure out the location for the bug day.  Since my family is extremely large (13 nieces/nephews under 12), I like to rent a space so I don’t have to worry about all the mess a great party makes!! I also like that the “monkeys” are able to run around and play freely.  For this party we rented a community centre.  I highly recommend checking out your local community centre, because they often have an option for the kids to spend an hour or so in the gym.  I love this because it gives the “monkeys’ a chance to burn off all there extra energy. Even the adults have a great time running around! lol! (Did you notice the matching t-shirt on the birthday boy? – This is another easy custom touch you can add to a party – I created a design to match our theme for the birthday boy and had it printed on a onesie for him to wear)

Woodland 1st Birthday Party

3. Order Your Invitations

Once your have selected a theme, date and location for the party the next thing to do is have your invitations made.  I used our Woodland One-derland invitation.  It turned out great!  I love invitations that are personalized with a photo of your “little monkey” because it adds that little extra special touch.

Woodland One-derland Birthday Invitation

3. Order Your Cake and Treats

The next important thing to do is to source and book your cake designer.  You will want to do this as far in advance as you can because the good ones book up fast! It is important to find someone who you like and is also close to your location so that you don’t have to travel far with your goodies.  I love Cupcakes Undercover and use her for all my important events. Tammy’s cakes are delicious and she always finds a way to compliment my party designs.  I ordered a cake and cookies and then received a complimentary smash cake, pictured below.

4. Create Your Party Decor

The next thing to do is to plan how you are going to decorate.  At Little Monkey Designs we design printable decoration sets that match your invitation and theme to a “t”.  Our sets include a banner, welcome sign, water bottle labels, food labels and cupcake toppers.  Once you have these printed the rest is pretty easy.  I also created the large foam board with backdrop for the candy table using the pics I took of my son each month.  A great keepsake a wonderful anchor for the table display. For the rest of the decor I used items I already had at home or that I can source locally.  I used moss covered floral blocks, tree bark, burlap and pine cones to add that “woodland” touch to my printed decor. Check back next week for DIY steps on how to create your own chocolate dipped marshmallows and creme puff hedge hogs.

4. Plan an Activity

For this party I thought it would be a neat idea to have a photo booth with some fun and handmade props. I created some woodland animal masks from felt (Check back next week for the DIY post on how to create these mask – including a downloadable file), and added a few other signs and small props for the kids and adults to have fun with. This activity involved having a skilled photographer, which brings me to my next must have…

5. Book a Photographer

I love the idea of capturing candid moments at a party, but when you are so busy making sure everything is running smoothly at your event, it becomes next to impossible to also take great photos.  This is why I suggest you either hire a photographer or ask a close family member or friend (who has a great camera and likes taking pictures) to be in charge of shooting your party.  This will ensure you capture those lasting memories.  We used Melissa Yvonne Photography to shoot the party and create a fun little woodland one-derland photo booth set-up. Check out all her fabulous post on her Facebook page too! It was probably the best money I could have spent on the party, because I got great pictures from the whole day and all the guests all receive high resolution images of their photos taken in our Woodland One-derland photo booth. Here are some pictures to show you just how fun it really was.

6. Eat the Cake

After all that planning, running around and making sure everyone is having a great time, the next important thing to do is sit down and have a big fat piece of cake!  You deserve it mamma! The birthday boy loved his cake too! Yummy yummy!

I hope you can take some pointers from our party to create that magical first birthday for your “little monkey”. xx – Diane and her littlest monkey Cristian


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