Thursday, January 20, 2011

Vintage First Birthday

It will surprise no one that I'd been planning Nate's first birhday party since he was only a month old. I decided on a red wagon and vintage toy theme, because it seemed so "little boy," and mamas only get a few years before the birthday boys start calling the shots re: theme. The invitations were made in Adobe Illustrator, and I'm pleased to report I'm getting the knack of that. Mark only had to help a little this time. The envelope liner was gift wrap from Target, and I carried the dots over onto the invite.
I made the banner from stiffened felt, cut with my circle cutter, and adhesive felt letters. I attached them to kitchen twine with mini clothespins. The craft paper letters were covered in gift wrap, with grosgrain ribbon hot glued on to cover the edges. Command poster adhesive from 3M held these on the wall, and removed (mostly) nicely afterward.
The firetruck was the Craigslist score of a lifetime.
The sideboard held sweet treats, including handmade (thanks, Mom!) candy apples, animal crackers, and vintage candies. I decorated it with vintage toys. Miniature cheeseburgers, PB&J, and grilled cheese sandwiches completed the menu. (We usually do eat healthier than that, but it's a party, right?)
I had bought the Gymboree sweater secondhand months ago. While I correctly predicted his size, I didn't plan on the overly warm house. My hot-natured boy would have been miserable with another layer on. So I hung it on the entryway bench (another Craigslist find) and placed the party favors atop the bench. Q: How much does my sister-in-law Andrea rock, for wrapping all of those before the party and making a million tiny sandwiches? A: A lot. The favors were Matchbox cars, PlayDoh, and miniature Slinky and Etch-a-Sketch, depending on the age of the child. They were all a big hit, but I've since revamped my opinion on the appropriate age for a metal Slinky. Too many bit the dust in the first 15 minutes.

My accomplice friend SuperJen snagged these retro Cracker Jacks for me at Cracker Barrel. I tied them with bakers twine and set them in front of a bowl of the modern-day version. The gumball machine was free to a good home, and red and silver gumballs from Michaels added to the fun.
SuperJen also made the piece de resistance, the cake. The wagon detached to serve as Nate's cake. Jen filled it with frosting and "dirt" (crumbled cookies) for the birthday boy to devour. The bottom layer served the other guests. And like all SuperJen cakes, it was as delicious as it was beautiful.

My plan was to use the zillion pinwheels I had bought for $5 at Oriental Trading to decorate the picket fence around the front yard. But pinwheels in the rain just seemed sad, so I made a last-second centerpiece with those and some big lollipops, using a container and styrofoam I found in the garage.

Repurposed Frappucino bottles (lids spray painted by my patient hubby) made perfect vintage milk jars, and gave me the perfect excuse to use these paper straws. Beware when buying these that "red" is actually "fuschia." Oh, well- it's a safe bet that someone's daughter will want a pink party one of these days.

Birthday boy with family and friends. Bottom left is SuperJen giving giving hits of frosting to my goddaughter Caitlin.
This alone would have made Nate's day. Who doesn't love a big red balloon?

What a fun day! Thanks to all the family and friends who helped out, and to Jana Bannan for wonderful photographs.


Beth Rouse said...

Outstanding, Shannon!!!!! You are the best!

boatbaby said...

Where do I start? It's all amazing Shannon! I esp love the milk bottles :) And it cracks me up that you are calling her SuperJen now too - haha! The best part of it all though is his sweet brilliant smile in that firetruck!