Nature-Inspired Organic Monkey 1st Birthday Party
Date: Saturday, February 25, 2012
From the moment my son Keiran first looked at me with his big brown eyes we’ve called him our little monkey. When it was time to decide the theme for his 1st birthday party, it was an obvious choice. Although I wanted a sweet monkey party, I didn’t want it to be fantasy jungle or cartoonish monkey. I opted for very nature-inspired elements, with lots of browns and greens, bananas, and rustic decorations which were captured beautifully by the lense of Iliana from Iliana Morton Photography.
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Paper Goods & Decorations: After browsing the net for invitation ideas we came across a fun DIY banana invitation idea from Fowl Single File, they were perfect and easy to make. Next, I purchased a monkey graphic design on Etsy from Print Candee and had my husband design a few signs, water bottle wrappers and stickers. I purchased yellow, brown and green scrapbook paper from Michael’s and made two mini banners, a door sign, favor tags, and a very long pennant banner to decorate the whole side of our fence. I also wanted to have a full-size festive ‘Happy Birthday’ banner so called a real pro for that and had Nancy from A to Zebra Celebrations design one. Her banner was fabulous and went perfect with the theme. To cover the tables, I purchased various fabrics from JoAnn and made table cloths and a runner. For the table centerpieces, I placed an artificial plant wrapped in kraft paper and tied with yute next to a framed sign and a decorative wicker ball, all on top of an artificial tropical leaf.
Appetizers Station: Aside from the Hawaiian BBQ catering we served, I thought it would be fun to have a table filled with refreshing appetizers where guests could enjoy a variety of small bites ranging from exotic fruits and fresh veggies to salty pretzels and popcorn. Next to this table, I used a small baker’s rack to hold all the eating essentials and to display my special touches such as the wood letter ‘K’ I painted and a little stuffed monkey. To hold the rolled utensils in the napkin in place, I tied them up with a brown chenille stems and curved the hanging left over piece to look like a monkey’s tail.
Favors & Candy Station: Since not all of our guests had children, I wanted to have favors/treats for them to take home with them too. I love using unexpected furniture pieces as part of the décor so I used our sofa table and just styled half it with favor bags for the kids and the other half with sugary sweets from Candy.com for the adults. I personalized the whirly pops with royal icing. The kids’ bags were filled with fun toys, activities, crafts kits and candy. Each bag had a personalized tag I made using scrapbook paper and a felt sticker monkey. We also had a cute monkey piñata filled with candy. Kids simply go nuts when they get to crack open a piñata and the candy starts falling. It’s definitely one of my favorite Mexican traditions.
Sweets Table: More than foodies, we are “sweeties”. We love desserts, so I knew the desserts table had to be the main attraction filled with choices and yummy treats for everyone. For the backdrop, I twisted two long pieces of kraft paper and intertwined them together then tied the ends with yute. I then stapled it to the wall and glued artificial leafs with Glue Dots. Then I just hung yute from side to side to create a jungle vine look. These three materials were also used on the table along with baskets, ribbon and bamboo placemats.
For the spread, I started by making monkey marshmallow pops which I styled in foam-filled rectangle basket. I used a smaller similar basket to display the fun Chiquita banana cake pops made by Kris from KCreative Cake Pops. I glued little banana candies on top of chocolate-covered marshmallows nestled inside yellow mini cupcake liners. I made individual pineapple jello mini cups which were super fun to eat with the mini spoons. For perfect sugar cookies I had Sandy’s Sugar Cookies make monkey faces and Hayley Cakes & Cookies do peeled bananas and leafs. They were beyond adorable. I turned regular yellow meringue cookies into unique ones by adding dots of colored royal icing. I also had to have coconut macaroons. Finally, I had my mom bake and decorate the cutest cake ever. She topped it off with a 4” custom monkey and other fondant decorations from made by the talented and amazing Brittany from Edible Details.
The party was an absolute blast. Guests, both big and little, enjoyed visiting the various stations and awing over the desserts table. Doing a lot of creative details myself and integrating items I already had into the party allowed me to stay within budget. I had almost as much fun planning and styling this party for my little monkey as he did eating cake!
– Photography: Iliana Morton Photography
– Monkey & #1 Fondant Cake Toppers: Edible Details
– Banana Cake Pops: KCreative Cake Pops
– Banana & Leaf Mini Sugar Cookies: Hayley Cakes and Cookies
– Monkey Face sugar Cookies: Sandy’s Sugar Cookies
– Happy Birthday Banner and Brown Runner on Food Table: A to Zebra Celebrations
– Candy: Candy.com
– Monkey Digital Clip Art: PrintCandee
– Cake: Carmen Ramirez
– Everything else: The Marshmallow Studio
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