Wednesday, October 30, 2013

PPP Day 30: A 1st Birthday Party "Sweet Tea & Sunflowers"

Hi this is Clare's older sister Robyn! I am by no means a "Perfect Party Planner" but I have picked up a few ideas from my sis, and of course I have always love working with a theme in ALL things. So I am going to share my daughter's 1st birthday party that we held earlier this month, to show you how easy and not perfect party planning can be;)

I started by brainstorming ideas. I didn't want to do any of the usual suspects, and I really wanted something that reflected her little personality. I entertained "gone in a flash/camera", peacocks, and cute matryoshka (nesting) dolls as themes. And while I love all those ideas and may even use one or more in coming years, I kept coming back to the fact that my daughter LOVES sweet tea! More than anything else, the girl is never happier than when she has a straw and some ice cold sweet tea. So I decided to go with sweet tea...somehow:/

I really started planning by deciding on my color scheme. I quickly picked turquoise and mustard, simply because I am kinda obsessed with that combo lately. I threw in brown as an accent color, and because that's what color sweet tea actually is! One of the very next things I did was to start looking on Google, Pinterest, and Etsy for ideas. I, of course, shopped around for fun pieces to use as decor at Hobby Lobby, TJmaxx and even Walmart. I bought fabric and scrapbook paper to inspire me, and mostly I called my sister and cried for "Help!";)
 I don't have the gift for words that my sister does so I am simply go to walk you through the party via pictures and captions.

One of the ideas that I knew from the start that I wanted to use was a photo timeline. I had taken a pic of Gwen every month on her "birthday" and I printed them all out in sepia tone and attached them to wide ribbon with tiny wooden clothespins. Easy Peasy!
I used one of Clare's no fail party ideas and printed out a coordinating saying and framed it. It read, "When life hands you lemons put a slice in your sweet tea.". An egg basket full of lemons, and a single sunflower in a #1 vase rounded out this little display.

On the main wall I hung a basic pendant banner that I made and embellished with burlap rosettes, burlap bows, and the word "ONE".
Above it I made and hung an adorable wreath from coordinating colored tea bags.

My centerpiece for the table was actually a last minute find! I was running in Hobby Lobby the day of the party (for ribbon!) and found this awesome vintage crate and HAD to have it:) I had always, for some reason, pictured Sunflowers as my floral accents at the party and was lucky enough to find the HUGE type on sale for a dollar a stem at the local grocery store!
I used a completely unfinished piece of fabric as my "runner". On one side of the crate I had all the paper goods for dessert (plates,napkins, forks), a HUGE mason jar of gigantic sunflowers in the middle slot, and in the front spot are the favor bags. I also placed a little blue berry basket out with extra tea bags and honey sticks.

I couldn't resist putting out a small candy "bar". I found fun theme colored candy, displayed it in containers I had been collecting for the party, and put some coordinating muffin liners out for people to fill with the treats. 

I had a really high spot that I filled with Gwen's party hat and another cute framed saying. BASIC but better than boring and empty.

Finally I had my "vision piece"
 I had seen a small vintage sign on Etsy that simply stated "Sweet Tea" and I envisioned a larger stand alone sign for a corner of my party space. 
I shared my vision with my husband who willingly helped me crank out this:
This was a six foot board that I painted, distressed and stenciled. Love how it turned out! I propped  it up on a crate and stuck a small jar with a few sunflowers by it.

The favors you saw in the crate earlier simply contained the above. A bag of tea, a honey stick, and a couple of tea flavored candies. I enclosed it in a brown sandwich bag and closed them with cute embellished clothespins.

This was the gist of the party. We did serve dinner. I kept it simple and bought fried chicken and my mother-in-law prepared the sides. We served cupcakes for dessert (again from the store! I can cook and bake well, but NOT when I am the party planner;/)
Over all I think my little birthday girl was pleased, and of course the decor was more for me anyway;) 
All a 1 year old cares about is the cake!!!

Well thanks for letting me share with you! Hope you got an idea or two, and be sure to stop by my blog sometime and peek at what I do for fun:)

Couldn't you just eat my niece up with a *spoon*? Who cares about decor, I could just stare at the birthday girl all day long.;) Thanks to my exceptionally talented sister for posting! I wanted to do a party before the end of the series, but couldn't pull it off, so I am glad she had one to post for you. In my mind, this is definitely a "perfect party"- lots of love, fun, and special touches celebrating an adorable birthday girl! My sister is a whiz with themes- you should check out her fun muffin tin/bento box lunches, and all the other cute things she does on her blog, "Ramblings by Robyn".

This is Day 30 of "31 Days of Perfect Party Planning". See the rest of the series here.


  1. Oh my gosh! DYING of cuteness. This is the best thing ever! That girl does love sweet tea!

  2. I love it all, but my favorites are, in order....1) Pics of Gwen 2) The Sweet Tea sign and 3) The tea bag wreath. All so cute and well coordinated. In my old age I don't go to that much effort anymore, so I love living vicariously through you and Clare's great party planning :)



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