For my little man’s first birthday party I decided to take two things he loves: books and his plush Curious George, whom he constantly hugs, and allow them to inspire his big bash. With all the ideas out there on the interwebs (hello, pinterest) I knew I had no excuse for throwing a lame party!
I started by designing the invitation in photoshop, utilizing PBS’s coloring book images of George. I simply colored the images I wanted in photoshop, resized them and placed them in my layout. To give the invite (and party) a bit of a modern flare, I created a chevron pattern in photoshop to utilize on each of the paper products I was going to create*. For another modern touch I added a QR code to the invitation, so guests could scan the code and instantly RSVP to “The Mom In The Yellow Hat.” Once this invitation was done, it really set the bar for everything else. I saved money by designing and printing the invitations myself, so I ordered red A7 envelopes from Paper Source, and used their envelope liner kit and a photo of Quentin reading with George to create photo liners.
In edition to the invites and the envelope liners, I created cupcake toppers, straw flags, and a Happy Birthday flag banner. I repeated the fonts, colors, images and patterns to keep everything very cohesive. My circles for the cupcake toppers and flag banner were two inch in diameter. For the toppers I punched out using a 2 inch circle punch, then taped two circles over a 4-Inch Lollipop Stick
I really loved the idea of having guests sign Quentin’s copy of ‘Curious George and The Birthday Surprise’ (He has this copy: A Treasury of Curious George) Inspired by this sign, I created a chevron sign that said “When I’m older I’ll be curious about who was here to celebrate with me. Please sign my book & leave a note for me.” and framed to place on the table next to the book. In edition to the book and sign, I used Quentin’s own George related toys as centerpieces.
I covered all tables with a yellow table cloth. I decorated with paper fans and lanterns in yellow and red. I wrapped each yellow paper cup with black mini duct tape and placed each on top of a yellow plate (for a yellow hat look). I wrapped yellow plastic utensils & striped straws (topped with straw flags, of course) with napkins and tied off with bakers string. I placed the utensils in a clear container purchased at the party store and used as a centerpiece on one of the tables.
On our bar, I placed a framed copy of the invitation next to George wearing a Curious George party hat and a yellow framed chalkboard that I hand wrote a welcoming message on. In edition to more party hats, I made Curious George masks (attached to Wilton 6-Inch Sticks ), and printed coloring booklets for the kids using the templates available on PBS.
I hung a poster featuring a photo collage (in the shape of the number one) of each of Quentin’s monthly photos. I also hung a large black foam board that I had handwritten Quentin’s “stats”. I had previously used that board as a photo prop for his one year photos.
For food, we had a local barbecue place cater (ribs, BBQ chicken, brisket, mac & cheese, baked beans, caesar salad, & pulled pork sandwiches). For drinks we served sparkling lemonade, sparkling blood orange soda, cans of san pellegrino in blood orange & limonata, soda, juice, and water. For dessert, we had peanut butter brownies (placed in chevron cupcake liners and topped with cupcake toppers), vanilla cupcakes with red liners and yellow buttercream & cupcake toppers, and of course a chocolate birthday cake in the shape of the man’s yellow hat with George peeking out from underneath created for us by Christina Rey of Sugar.
Quentin had a wonderful time opening and playing with his gifts. He even enjoyed a bit of cake. When our guests left, we gave them a magnet featuring some images from Quentin’s cake smash session.
*Note: There are plenty of chevron patterns out there, but I opted to take a little bit extra time to create my own, thus I had complete control over color, width, angle, and spacing. Leave it to me to do it the hard way!