My Rowan (aka 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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!
I also painted some of the dinos solid colors and used those as simple center pieces on a couple tables.
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!
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…..
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!
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!
Of course we had time for gifts!
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….
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.
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…..
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….
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!