The Cub’s Dinosaur First Birthday Party!

The Cub just turned one (I still can’t believe it!) and we celebrated with a dinosaur first birthday party!  His actual birthday is June 2nd, but we threw his party over Memorial Day weekend so family could travel in from out of town and enjoy the long holiday weekend together.  The party wasn’t anything amazing, just some family and a few close friends, but I did try and make some of the decorations a little festive and special.  The Hubs had just gotten me my Silhouette Cameo a month before the first birthday bash, so as soon as I opened up that box, it was full blown dinosaur party mode!

Dinosaur First Birthday Party

[Full Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.  I truly appreciate any and all support!]


The Dinosaur First Birthday Party Invitations

I first made the invitations in Photoshop Elements.  I’m no graphic designer, but I love playing around with the digital arts.  As you can see, I sort of combined the chevron and chalkboard trends….what can I say, I like ’em.

I used the same chalkboard background and a bunch of the same fonts that I used in The Cub’s first birthday chalkboard poster, and the chevron background was part of a free download pack from Deviant Art….gotta love free!  Then the file was transferred to Silhouette Studio where roughly twenty copies were printed and cut out on white card stock then stuffed into red envelopes.

Dinosaur Birthday Party Invitation


The Party Cub Envelope Stickers

I bought a pack of 5″ x 7″ red envelopes from Amazon and I wanted to jazz them up a bit, and now that I had my Silhouette Cameo, I knew just the thing!  STICKERS!  Not just any stickers though….cute stickers of The Cub, of course!

So, I purchased some Silhouette Sticker paper and, in Photoshop, I created a festive little Party Cub complete with a first birthday party hat (found via a Google image search) and speech bubble.  Then I opened the file in Silhouette Studio, created a simple offset to give the whole image a nice white outline, then cut out a bunch and slapped them on the back of each envelope so there was no mistaking what was inside. :)  It made me smile and I hope it did the same for the recipients of the invites.

Dinosaur First Birthday Party

Dinosaur First Birthday Party

Lovely iPhone camera pic…..whomp, whomp. But you get the idea! Wouldn’t that make you smile if you grabbed this envelope from your mailbox??


The Cakes!

I purchased the cake from a local baker that I found online.  I sent her a picture that I had found on Pinterest and asked her if she could recreate it, and she said “Yes, absolutely!”  Well…..the final product was NOT like the one I sent her, but oh well.  It’s still cute, and was quite tasty.  We got a coordinating smash cake to go along with it….although I’m not sure why she thought it was a good idea to include crunchy chocolate rocks on a cake that a one-year-old was going to chow down on….needless to say, I scraped those off before it was time for cake.

Dinosaur First Birthday Party

Dinosaur First Birthday Party

Dinosaur First Birthday Party

Dinosaur First Birthday Party


The Dessert Table Decor

One of the very first things that I ever made with my Silhouette was this birthday banner that we hung above the dessert table.  I bought the file from the Silhouette Store thanks to my free $10 download card that came with my machine, then just cut different colored card stock to make a mix-&-match look that went with our color scheme.  I then strung the pennants and hung the banner with some baker’s twine.  You can’t have a birthday party without a birthday banner, and I love how this one for The Cub turned out.

And aren’t these hanging pterodactyls super fun??  Those came from Oriental Trading (along with the paper lanterns) and we plan on hanging them in The Cub’s room soon.  They’re a nice, sturdy foam board and will make a fun addition to his room.

Dinosaur First Birthday Party


Aside from the requisite birthday cake, we also had some birthday cookies made in the shape of “R” and “1”.  These cookies were AMAZING!  They were butter cookies with fondant icing and were sooo nom nom.  Everyone raved about them.  Next to the cookies, we put The Cub’s baby book as well as his ‘Year of Firsts’ mini photo album for guests to flip through if they wanted.

Dinosaur First Birthday Party


On the other side of the cakes, there was some spare room, so I placed a little piece of decor that I had made with my Silhouette….a cute little Rowansaurus sign…..ya know, just keeping with the theme.  I made this the same way I made the frames and cover of his ‘Year of Firsts’ album….used the negative space from the cuts and filled them in with colored card stock.  I think I’ll hang this up in his room now too.

Dinosaur First Birthday Party


Party Dinos!

Scattered around the food tables were some fun little plastic dinos that I had dressed in party attire….everyone needed to get into the party spirit after all!  I just bought a pack of a dozen and I also picked up four larger plastic dinos from Target’s One Spot, then I painted party clothes on them with craft paint, jazzed them up with some ribbon, and added party hats and signs that I made with my Silhouette.

For the signs, I used the Sketch Pen function with the same silver sketch pen that I used for The Hubs’ Transformers Father’s Day card, and then cut them out….some of the phrases included:

  • Ain’t No Party Like a Dinosaur Party!
  • ‘RAWR’ Means ‘Happy Birthday’ in Dinosaur
  • Rowan Is ONE!
  • Happy Birthday Rowan!
  • It’s The BIG ONE!

I loved these party dinosaurs so much, I wrote a whole post about them, and you can check it out here!

Dinosaur First Birthday Party

Dinosaur First Birthday Party


I also painted some of the dinos solid colors and used those as simple center pieces on a couple tables.

Dinosaur First Birthday Party


Birthday Balloon Wreath

I just love wreaths….they’re so fun and easily jazz up a space.  A couple years ago I made this birthday balloon wreath that I hang up at home during our birthday months and change out the initial in the center depending on which family member’s birthday we’re celebrating (an ‘R’ for The Cub’s in June, an ‘M’ for The Hubs’ in October, and a ‘C’ for mine in April).  The initials are just foam letters from a local craft store and easily slide in/out.

This wreath was so easy to make and I’m glad I was able to incorporate it into The Cub’s party.  You can read more about how I made it here.  And look, more pterodactyls!

Dinosaur First Birthday Party

Dinosaur First Birthday Party


First Birthday Chalkboard Poster

Is there really a first birthday party nowadays that doesn’t include a chalkboard poster??  I mean I see these things everywhere!  Of course, I had to make one for my little man.  You can check out more about how I made The Cub’s poster here (and see an updated color version).  I printed out a black and white version for the party then later created one in color just to jazz it up a bit.  It still makes me happy every time I see it…..

Dinosaur First Birthday Party


If you have a Mac and would like to learn how to create your own chalkboard poster WITHOUT needing Photoshop, check out this tutorial.  It’s so easy!

How To Make Your Own Chalkboard Poster on a Mac

First Birthday Photo Collage

Another piece of decor I made was this little photo collage.  I cut out a large “1” from a cardboard box that we had then threw some green washi tape around the edges just to clean it up a bit.  Then I dug up a bunch of photos that I had already had printed and selected the cutest or most memorable ones, which were then applied with glue dots.

It made a nice little addition to the party as guests were able to look back on The Cub’s first year….a lot of the photos had already been shared on Facebook but some were new to most people.  Grandma loved this poster so much she kept it after the party!

First Birthday Decoration


The Gifts!

Of course we had time for gifts!

Dinosaur First Birthday Party

Dinosaur First Birthday Party


Smash Cake Time

Then it was cake time!  The Cub had never had dessert prior to this (just nummy fruits), so he wasn’t quite sure what to do at first.  He started out very cautiously and gingerly, then eventually started to dig in.  He enjoyed making a mess, which is his usual MO during meal time….

Dinosaur First Birthday Party

Dinosaur First Birthday Party

First Birthday Smash Cake

First Birthday Smash Cake


Then it was clean up time!  He actually didn’t get too messy from his cake smash session….a few baby wipes later and he was so fresh and so clean clean again.

Dinosaur First Birthday Party


Inflatable Dinos/Party Favors

From Oriental Trading, I also purchased some inflatable dinos.  We had roughly a dozen and scattered them around the yard and in the bushes as decor, then all the kiddos took one (or more) home with them if they wanted as favors.  I didn’t get many photos of them, but you can get the idea…..

Dinosaur First Birthday Party

Dinosaur First Birthday Party


And that was that!  A successful first birthday party, if I do say so myself.  Like I mentioned earlier, it was nothing amazing, just a low-key, casual affair with little touches of specialness.  That pretty much sums us and our lives up though….

Dinosaur First Birthday Party

Just look at that lip! Ahhhh, I love him so. (I do believe this was taken right after a follow-up application of sunscreen, which he kept trying to wriggle away from…..)

I’m already thinking about The Cub’s second birthday….anybody have any good ideas for themes?  I’d love to hear them!

Thanks so much for stopping by!  If you enjoyed what you saw here today, please share the love and pin it!  And I’d love for us to stay connected!

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About Christine

I'm Christine, a SAHM to a spunky toddler and his mini-me infant brother, and married to the best guy you'll ever meet. I (try to) spend their nap times getting my craft on and I blog about my creations and adventures in parenting at Where The Smiles Have Been. My loves are all things DIY, especially Silhouette projects, wreaths, & personalized decor. And ice cream....definitely love me some ice cream.


  1. I love the birthday invitation you made. How did you change the shape of the backgrounds?

  2. Grace Wong says:

    Hi Christine,
    I came across your blog when I was doing research for my upcoming baby girl’s first birthday party. Your blog is so much fun to read! All your projects are filled with fun and the tutorials are always so detailed. I am not a art and craft person but it makes me feel like I can handle it. I can’t wait to try some of your ideas!!! Keep it up and I look forward for more! =)

    • Oh Grace, thank you so very much for such a sweet message!! I’m so happy to hear you like what you see here, and that it’s inspiring you to try some crafts yourself. And trust me….if I can do this stuff, anyone can! ;) I try and write my tutorials so they include everything you’ll need to try it on your own. That’s what I like to see when trying out a new project, so I try and write mine up the same way.

      Thanks again for your comment! You just made my day! :)


  1. […] The invitations to The Cub’s dinosaur first birthday party & the stickers on the envelopes […]

  2. […] party for him.  I wrote a post about the festivities and you can read more about the shindig here, but I thought these dinos were so special that they deserved a post of their own.  The party […]

  3. […] Some of these fonts also came in handy when making the invitations for The Cub’s dinosaur first birthday party: […]

  4. […] acrylic craft paints because they are so versatile: you can use them on plastic (like I did for the party dinosaurs for The Cub’s first birthday party), canvas (which I did for this and this), wood, glass, metal, and (the aim of this project) […]

  5. […] Cub to actually play around with it…..he acted in a similar fashion with his cake during his dinosaur first birthday party.  Maybe he’s a natural skeptic, or perhaps he just doesn’t have a big sweet tooth […]

  6. […]  Ahhh, sales make me happy.  I also had a bunch of craft paint left over from painting the little party dinos for The Cub’s first birthday party, so that’s what I used here.  They were the Martha Stewart brand acrylic craft paints in […]

  7. […] had some extra 5″x7″ red envelopes left over from The Cub’s first birthday invites, so I grabbed a couple and addressed them to the Grandfathers.  Then I slowly folded each letter […]

  8. […] made two versions…..a black and white version that I printed out and used as a decoration at his party, and then a colored version with his updated height and weight statistics.  I also changed a few […]

  9. […] I started this project, I had planned on using the pictures as a decoration at The Cub’s first birthday party….I was going to make a big ‘Year of Firsts’ sign and have all his framed photos […]

  10. […] wreath made the perfect addition to The Cub’s dinosaur first birthday party that we just had.  The party was being held outdoors, and I was a little concerned about the wind […]

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