Monday, September 22, 2014

Party Planner: Monster Mash Birthday

When Baby M hit the 6 month mark, I started stalking perusing Pinterest for some fun first birthday ideas.  After seeing a bunch of adorable monster themed pins, I knew I had my inspiration!  I basically pinned my little heart out (and then some!), but got serious when we were about 2 months out.  I knew that we wanted to have the party at our house, with tons of personal touches and of course, lots of crafting!  And while this party was geared towards a one year old, the elements would work great for a Halloween party or an adult themed party (after all, we were celebrating Grill Guy's 33rd birthday too!).  Now that I've finally recovered from the big first birthday monster extravaganza, I'm excited to relive it all with a full recap!  Warning - This post is picture heavy, as no detail was spared, so prepare to settle in with a good cup of coffee or some wine and brace yourself for tons of monster-y goodness!!!

The whole design really came together once I crafted up the invite.  I combined a bunch of fun patterns with some vibrant colors and adorable little monsters, and of course, couldn't resist including some coordinating envelope liners.  And even though Baby M was pretty much the main attraction, I couldn't forget our other birthday boy, so I made sure to also give him a shout out on the invite too!

I went with a pretty colorful palette and tied in the theme with lots of orange, blue and green balloons.  I also added purple, green and orange table cloths to add some more pops of color.  I then made these goofy monster centerpieces that basically were tons of tulle, and a couple of floral styrofoam forms.  They definitely brought some fun to our tables, especially when the weather took a turn for the worse and forced us underneath the tents!

One fun way that I was able to bring together the theme was adding little googly eyes to every and anything, including the food!

Also, having become pretty well versed in bunting after a couple of recent parties, I knew we'd need lots and lots of birthday bunting to tie in the theme and also celebrate our two birthday boys!  I also made some quick and easy tissue garland, and strung that on our bar for a fun pop of color.
Another way to showcase Baby M's new big boy status was to feature all of his pictures from throughout his first year.  After diligently taking his monthly milestone picture on the 15th of every month, I knew I had to put each month on display.  This was super easy to pull together, as I printed out my favorite picture from each month, and simply mounted on a black foam board with bright washi tape.

Next up, I took a compilation of his pictures from throughout the year, and assembled them into a big 1.    This was also super easy, though I recommend having an extra set of eyes to help make sure the pictures are evenly dispersed and even (thanks B!).

I also designed a cute "infographic" that contained Baby M's stats from his first year.  One of our party guests hilariously dubbed this as his profile!  To create, I took a bunch of fun facts and stats and sprinkled in some cute pictures in Photoshop.  Once I saw the finished digital product, I loved it so much that I knew I wanted to create a keepsake that we could hold onto for more than just the party.  Since I was already placing a big photo print order with Shutterfly for my above projects, I browsed around their website to see what they had to offer.  Once I saw their mounted wall art prints, I knew it was the perfect way to display my work of art, and luckily they were running a fabulous sale, so I was able to score an amazing deal!

Keeping with the photo theme, I knew we had to have a photo backdrop after seeing the success that B had during her neon bbq.  We hung a bunch of streamers and cheap fans from Oriental Trading, and set out tons of cute props.  Of course being the crafters that we are, we jazzed up a lot of the props to fit the monster-y theme, but I also found some amazing finds at the Dollar Tree!  The colorful headband hair extensions were definitely a hit with this crowd!
Of course we couldn't forget about our paper goods.  I love a good printable, so I designed some custom monster tags to adorn the goody bags for the kids, and also our monster cake pops.  I then printed out some coordinating food tent signs and stuck them onto fun scrapbook papers.  I also made some cute signs to showcase our signature cocktail and alert our guests to our official party hashtag, in order to encourage that everyone share their party pics!

We tried to keep the food as easy as possible, and make everything that we could in advance.  Our menu included: Two type of pulled pork, Italian hotdogs, baked beans, corn salad, string beans, and of course Grill Guy at the grill firing up hamburgers and grilled chicken.
For dessert, there was no monster-y detail that was spared, and we managed to bring in our theme with all of our sweet treats!  We arranged everything on my dining room table upstairs and it was a great way to put everything on display until it was dessert time.  Our spread included: A custom monster cake, along with a homemade little smash cake, chocolate dipped "monster eye" oreos, ooey gooey monster eye cookies and monster cake pops!

Baby M wasn't quite sure what to make of his personal monster cake, but after getting a couple tastes, he decided it was pretty yummy and even tried to share with Mommy!
We also kept with the season and the theme for our beverage selection.  For the kiddies, we mixed up a fruit punch and for the "adult monsters", I mixed up a variation of my apple cider martini, and just refilled throughout the day as needed.  It's definitely a lot easier to offer up a big punch to your guests, and it was certainly a crowd pleaser as I had to refill it a couple of times!

The monster theme turned out amazing, and our guests had fun getting in on the action and even found some super adorable monster-y gifts for Baby M.  He was also gifted some thoughtful and personal items from our friends and family.  My two sisters got him this custom wagon with his name engraved on the side - he had a blast riding around the party and I can't wait to take him apple and pumpkin picking in it soon!

Another super thoughtful gift was from his Aunt B!  She made him a customized card from Treat, which is one of Shutterfly's companies that allows you to fully customize cards with pictures and text.  I practically started crying when I opened it, seeing all of Baby M's pictures, coupled with a thoughtful personal message from Aunt B.  B also showed me some of the ones she made for other friends and family and I'm totally obsessed!  Given the option between off-the-shelf versus personalized, I'll always choose the custom route seeing as I love to add personal touches whenever I can, so I can't wait to use these in the future!
Some other fun extras that I found to help tie in the theme were little monster buckets from Target that held utensils and straws, along with little "monster bone" stirrers.  Luckily once we hit September 1st, all of the craft stores already had out their Halloween lines, so there was no shortage of great monster goods!  We also ended up renting a bouncy castle to keep our little guests entertained.  Baby M was still a bit too small to enjoy it at the party, but we were able to bounce around in it the next day for a little bit.  And B and I maaaay have also checked it out once all of our guests left and Baby M went to bed for the night.. blame it on the monster punch!

Even our Gal Fred got in on the monster action!

All in all, it was an amazing day spent with our closest family and friends and I couldn't be happier with how it all turned out.  The rainy weather threw us for a small loop, but luckily everyone made the best of it and didn't mind hitting up the tent when the rain picked up.  I can't believe my sweet little baby boy is one and now that we've survived his big first birthday party, I can honestly say I can't wait to plan his next one!

I hope you enjoyed hearing all of the gory details of our fun little Monster Mash, and I promise to break out some of the more detailed craft projects if you are interested!  Just let me know in the comments which ones you'd like a tutorial on!

Resources: Table and Bouncy Castle Rentals: Party Perfect Rentals, Cake: Sarah's Sweet Treats, Printables, Invitations, Infographic: The Printable Gal (that's me!), Age Tees: Homemade - Tutorial Here, Photos and Infographic Wall Art: Shutterfly.

Excited to be linking up with Meg, Leeann, Kimberlee, Molly, Carly and Logan - Thanks Gals!

- M


  1. Awww I love this! My daughter will be 1 at the beginning of November, so we've been planning our little hearts out over here, too. I love crafting stuff, too, so I've got a HUGE amount of pins for hers.

    It's funny, a lot of your details are things I have been planning to do, like her month by month photos and the infographic to keep for after the party. Oh, and especially love that your dog got in on the party theme too! :)

  2. Best Party Ever!!!!!! And all of those personal touches really made the day special. My personal fave was definetly baby M's smash cake!!!

  3. That's amazing! Looks like a lot of work, but a lot of fun! You did a great job with all of the details and décor!

  4. What a great party! I love the monster centerpieces!

  5. Girl, you know how to throw a party! All of the details are adorable from the invites to the dessert station. So cute!

  6. Fabulous party!! Looks like Baby M had a blast! He'll be thankful in the future to see from all the pics what a wonderful celebration it was! This obvi took tons of hard work, but lots of love:)

  7. Such a fun party! Love all the decorations, you did an amazing job!!

    <3, Pamela

  8. i love this idea, and you really pulled it together - love it! if i have a little boy i am so doing this!

  9. Okay so several things...
    1. I absolutely LOVE this idea! I will have to start planning for my little one's birthday (even though its in 10 months... LOL)
    2. My son shares a birthday with his dad, too!!
    3. Thank you soooo much for linking up with us! :)

  10. OMG, okay so much cuteness in these pictures between the ADORABLE little birthday fella and the creative and amazeballs DIY decor. Great job!

  11. all I have to say is wow!! I think i need to start planning my kids' party for next July to do something half as good as this... Such a cool, different theme. Wonderful job!!


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B & M

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