Hello! Well, it has certainly been a while, but I am back with a new post on Bugaboo’s 1st Birthday Party!! His party was several months ago but better late than never! For Bugaboo’s first birthday, we decided to make it monkey-themed. From the day he was born, we’ve been referring to him as monkey-this and monkey-that, so it was definitely fitting! His party wasn’t huge, just our immediate family and close friends. It was the perfect size for an indoor party since we knew it would be much too cold to have any part of it outside.The planning of his party was really important. As a free-lance costumer, I had signed contracts for two jobs that would take place the two months leading up to Bugaboo’s birthday. I was already nervous about finding the time for these two jobs while staying at home with Bugaboo every day, so I knew making decorations and planning a menu really wouldn’t fit in. Knowing this ahead of time, I was able to plan his party and make all the decorations, plan the menu, make up the invitations, basically get everything ready before I would start working. Crazy…maybe….but I have to say it was really nice the week before his party just opening a big box with everything all finished and ready to go. Just cleaning the house and making the food was enough to worry about the couple days before his party that I was pretty thankful I had everything already done.
Planning his party ahead of time also allowed me to stick to my pre-determined budget, which was really important. I was able to pick things up every time I had a 50% off Joann Fabrics coupon or when I saw things on sale at Target. I have learned I always spend way more money trying to put things together last minute!
When I started planning Bugaboo’s monkey party, I started by choosing fabric. Maybe it is the costume designer in me, but choosing fabric is always the first place I start. I found this adorable monkey print at a local quilt store and picked up matching fabric to coordinate with it. I loved the cute little monkeys and the color scheme, so I knew it would be the perfect starting point for the party.
Monkey Print: BERMUDA by Ann Kelle from Urban Zoologie (Robertkaufman.com, AAK-11505-237), Striped/Polka Dot Fabric: Designed by Amy Schimler for Robert Kaufman (Robertkaufman.com, Creatures and Critters 2). Polka Dot fabric: Didn’t save the information but am working on getting it!
I scanned the fabric into photoshop and re-drew the monkeys on the computer so I would have a digital version of them. I used these little digital monkeys everywhere – on the invites, food cards, banners, picture holders, and even on his chalkboard sign. The fabric was incorporated into the decorations, using it mostly for the fabric banners. I also used the fabric to make Bugaboo’s party hat and bib and for a tiny party hat for Southside, the stuffed animal monkey :)
I made the invitations, again in photoshop, and found a lot of inspiration for wording on Pinterest. Actually, I found a lot of inspiration for everything on Pinterest. I created an idea board and constantly referenced it while planning things.
Luckily, we have a lot of indoor plants. They were perfect for creating a jungle atmosphere in our family room. One of my favorite decorations was the month-by-month photo banner I created with the monthly photos I’d taken of Bugaboo. It was so fun to see them all in a row like that! I used clothespins and my digital monkeys to hold them on a piece of yarn. I also loved how the chalkboard sign came out. I downloaded some free chalkboard fonts and backgrounds off the internet and created the sign in photoshop. Guests really loved reading about Bugaboo’s likes and favorites, and it was a great backdrop for photos. I used a frame we already had, which added a nice finished look to the sign.
My husband was in charge of the music and slideshow – he definitely stepped up and created an awesome playlist featuring monkey- and jungle-related songs. I’ll share that with you later this week! He also put together a montage of photos of Bugaboo over the past year and we put them on our digital frame and placed it on our mantel. Several of Bugaboo’s stuffed animal gorillas and monkeys joined in the decorating.
Here are a few more photos of the decorations and a few of the food. Tomorrow I’ll go into detail about our monkey-inspired menu and show you many more pictures of the desserts and food! Later I’ll also be showing a few tutorials on some of the projects I did for the party in case anyone else out there is getting ready to throw a monkey-themed party!