Red Balloon Birthday: The Details

My house is almost back to normal around here.  There are a few red balloons still floating around and leftovers in the fridge, but I don’t mind that very much.  I like when celebrations linger a bit.  I wanted to share some of my favorite details from Jonah’s first birthday party.  I kind of went a little crazy with the crafts, but it was just so much fun to be creative and really make our birthday theme pop.  (pun intended?)

I did my best to take pictures before and during the party, but I also wanted to enjoy the party and not be stuck behind my camera the entire evening.  So, I cheated a little and staged some of the pictures in this post for blog documentation purposes.  Plus, I really want to remember everything about this party, since it was such a special event for our family.  Now onto the goods, and let me warn you, there are ALOT of them!

First, I will start with the invitation, which introduced our red ballon/french theme.  Thanks to GIMP and a lot of time playing around with different ideas, they came out great! The envelopes we sent them in were lined with a picture of Jonah holding a “bonjour” sign and his red balloon.  Everyone loved the picture, and it really made the invite extra special.  Now onto the actual event.  When guests arrived, they were greeted with a giant, 30in red balloon out front.  It was one of my must-haves for the party, especially with how much Jonah loved it.

The welcome table was backdropped with a painted mural of Paris and, of course,  a red balloon in flight.  I painted the mural with a brush and some black paint onto white cotton fabric.

The welcome sign greeted our guests in French and was draped with a mini-burlap bunting.

I kind of went crazy with the banners for this party.  Each of them was unique and kept with the black, white, and red theme.  I also played around with the red balloon look by using red circles and red pom-poms.

The french theme really came alive with the food.  Isn’t that why we love France so much?! We had quite the spread.  We served two types of sandwiches.  The ham and butter baguettes, a Parisian specialty, were wrapped in striped papers.

The croissants were topped with roast beef and swiss and wrapped in white parchment.

We also served a creamy tomato soup, mini-quiche, veggie chips, and goldfish.  The bon-appetit banner was a given.

For drinks, there were sodas, lemonade, Perrier, and water.  I loved how the water bottle labels came out (l’eau is water in French, in case you were wondering.)

We wanted to make dessert really fun and festive.  We started with a make-your-own-crepe station.  It included homemade crepes, nutella, strawberries, bananas, and whipped cream.  Everyone had so much fun stuffing their own crepe, and thanks to Josh, they were delicious!

Dessert continued with red-velvet “balloon” cake pops.  Thanks to my cousin Emily, they were absolutely amazing and a huge hit.  I can’t take much credit except for dipping them in white chocolate and adding red sprinkles.  Aren’t they adorable?

And of course, you can’t have a party without cake.  Our homemade 4-layer chocolate and vanilla striped cake with buttercream frosting was delicious and beautiful.  Josh’s dad stacked, iced, and decorated it.  I absolutely love how it turned out!  It was exactly what I had envisioned and looked amazing when sliced.

For Jonah’s smash cake, I made a simple white cake just for him.  I decorated it with a bunch of red balloons and icing “string”.

He didn’t exactly smash it, but he had fun playing with the icing. My little cutie!

Because the party was all about Jonah, I wanted to make sure there were some special things to celebrate him.  For example, he made my white pumpkins a little more personal.

We also decked out our back door with pictures from his past year in the shape of a one.

Finally, we set up a time capsule that Jonah will open in 20 years and asked everyone to write him a note.  You would not believe how precious the notes are.  We know that Jonah will love reading those words from his friends and family when he turns 20.

As a thank-you to our wonderful guests, I gave out Petit Ecolier cookies and our crepe recipe that they could take home and try for themselves. I really hope they do!

There you have it! The party from start to finish.  It was so much fun to plan and execute that I’m already brainstorming my next soirée.  Christmas party anyone?! Ok, I’ll take a break and relax for a bit.  Seriously, Josh, I promise! :)

14 thoughts on “Red Balloon Birthday: The Details

  1. You did a great job. The party was so much fun and the decorations were great. Jonah had a great time too, I’ll bet he was pooped out after!

  2. Angela, great job! You really nailed the details. My mouth is watering:) What a special party to celebrate your big boy! Very creative and unique! Now I want crepes!

  3. Hi there! I found a pin of your “1″ collage on Pinterest and am planning to do the same for my little girls 1st bday in about 6 weeks. Are those 4×6 size photos you used? Or 5×7? Thanks for your help!

    • Hey Kristin,

      I actually used both sizes (more 4×6) and just arranged than to look right. I think the 5×7′s were more on the top of the one and the base of the one. I’m sure it will look great however you arrange it! It was a super easy decoration to put up.


    • Thanks! I just saved all the notes in his baby book. I wasn’t super official about it, but you could totally seal them up in a shoebox if you are good at keeping track of stuff!

  4. What a wonderful party! I’m planning my little boy’s first birthday party and I love the time capsule idea. Please can you come and plan our party? ;-)

  5. This is an awesome idea! Your Jonah is one month older than my Jonah :) His first party was space themed and I went crazy with the decorations too. Everything was made by me and I spent months planning it.

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