Olivia's Rainbow 1st Birthday Party
I have literally been planning Olivia’s first birthday party since June. With her birthday falling a month after Christmas I knew that I wanted to have the bulk of the planning out of the way so that I could spend the month of January working on the finishing touches. Some people think that this is overboard, but I just love any excuse to throw a great party. And let’s face it. Her first birthday is just as much for Derek and I as it is for her.
I vacillated over a couple of themes early on, but I really just kept coming back to rainbows. After all she is our rainbow baby. Little did I know that rainbows were going to be such a huge trend a few months later. You saw it here first people.
I loved the idea of a rainbow theme, but I really hate primary colors so I went with less saturated palette which felt a little more like her personality anyway. I seriously painted about 100 different rainbows before settling on the perfect four colors in the perfect order. Design is in the details okay? I knew it was meant to be when her Cuddle + Kind Avery doll arrived and matched my rainbow perfectly. So clearly she had to become part of the decor. Along with this really cool wood rainbow stacker I found on Etsy.
I wanted the party to feel full and thoughtful, but not break the bank so I made most of the decorations myself (all except for the yarn tassel garland I scored at Crate & Barrel during the holidays). I knew that I wanted to make a rainbow for her room that would then hang above her crib, so after settling on the perfect color combination I quickly painted this canvas using craft paint from Michaels. I wanted it to have a sort of painterly quality so I just measured out the center and freehanded each row. I knew I would never find a birthday banner in the exact colors I wanted so I made that as well using felt and tracing letters in the font from her invitations I designed. Full tutorial on that soon! I spelled out her name using decoupage letters and painted them with the same craft paint.
For the backdrop I bought a roll of white butcher paper and cut it into long strips (that covered the wall) and accordion folded each one in random widths and hung them in all different directions to achieve this look.
For the food I wanted to keep the menu simple and snack-y since the party didn’t start until 2pm. I made a charcuterie spread including some of our favorite meats, cheeses, and the best fig jam I’ve ever had. I also made little rainbow sugar cookies using my family’s sugar cookie recipe that goes back several generations. I felt like that was a really special touch.
For Olivia’s cake I didn’t want her to coke out on sugar, so I opted for a grain free, dairy free, nut free, oil free version (which still tasted amazing thank you very much). I followed this recipe from Detoxinista with this delish coconut whipped cream icing. For the big cake I made my favorite vanilla cake with buttercream icing. I have been making so many cakes all year, and it was so fun to finally be making one for Olivia’s party.
For the party hats I couldn’t find anything that matched the palette so I made them as well using matching felt and yarn poms. These were not my finest work, but they were a huge hit with the kiddos. And shockingly, Olivia kept hers on the entire time.
I’m pretty sure these “many faces of Olivia” were my favorite element of her party. They were such a fun (and hilarious) little detail that I ran with for her straws and favors. I literally just printed out back and white photos of Olivia on cardstock and cut around her face, then used matching scrapbook paper for the hats. No detail was spared for this party.
For the rest of the decor, I just had the guys blow up a zillion white balloons to make the whole space feel like a big cloud (which Olivia just loved).
After everyone was through mingling and munching on snacks I made everyone come into the living room to play OLIVIA TRIVIA. I mean when your name rhymes with trivia how did you not see this coming? Plus my favorite Friends episode is the one where the girls lose their apartment to a heated game of trivia. So I whipped up this board and made up some questions about Olivia’s first year starting with easy ones like “what was Olivia for Halloween?” (turtle) and diving into some really specific ones like “who was Olivia’s first friend?” (the air vent). Sorry Sophia. There was even a lighting round!
I made the board using white foam core and cut out the letters and cards on matching scrapbook paper. Obviously I used the same font throughout her party because I’m not a crazy person.
After Team 2 whooped Team 1’s butt, it was time for cake. Don’t worry Olivia devoured her cake and clapped while we sang to her. And waved to everyone while she ate.
While everyone was enjoying their cake I had them watch a video I made of Olivia’s first year. Up until that point I had watched it probably 25 times, but there was something about having her on my lap while we watched it together and I got super emotional.
For her favors I packaged up cotton candy (clouds) and made rainbow salt dough ornaments with the leftover dough from her handprint ornament at Christmas. So thrifty.
We were so nervous that Olivia would have a meltdown at some point because she only had a morning nap, she was going through a learning leap, was getting two top teeth a few days prior, and there would be a lot of people she hadn’t seen in a while. But honestly, she just had the best time. She could tell the day was all about her and she was just laughing and scooting around all day. Our sweet girl.
S O U R C E S
ROUND BALLOON | SQUARE PHOTOS | LETTERS | LAMB DOLL | RAINBOW CAKE TOPPER | WOOD RAINBOW | CLOUD PLATES | PINK PLATES | CORAL NAPKINS | ONE BALLOON | TASSEL GARLAND | CRINKLE WALL PAPER | BOTTLE OPENER | CARAFES | WHITE BALLOONS | COTTON CANDY TUBS | YELLOW BLANKET | OLIVIA’S DRESS | OLIVIA’S RAINBOW ONESIE