As a full-time working mom, it is always difficult to find time to be creative. It is a delicate balance between using the time to rejuvenate the body (also known as sleep) or the soul (also known as fulfilling my innate need to make something). When my daughter's first birthday came around, I wanted to make everything myself. But my reality just didn't allow me to and so I picked only the things I could manage and enlisted the help of other makers. Here's how it turned out!
My vision was a space-themed birthday party because we love my darling daughter to the moon and back. Even though I couldn't make everything for the party, I wanted to keep the spirit of crafting in all of the details. Things started coming together when I found much of the decor on Etsy. Here's a run down of everything from the party, just in case you're looking to create your own space-themed birthday party. It takes a small village to craft a party!
An Etsy seller, Kourtrivera, made the awesome ribbon banner and I added some gold foil strips to give it a metallic touch.
- To create the feeling of vastness, I found a giant black foam core board at my local Artist Craftsman store and created the space backdrop. I altered outer space clipart I bought from an Etsy designer, DragonflyTwist, printed them and fussy cut each piece. I compiled the words "Happy Birthday Elizabeth" with holographic letters from Staples. They're the alphabet sets that are usually found in classroom bulletins. I then free-hand drew a chunky banner using a gold marker to give the appearance that the rocket ship is pulling the banner held by the astronaut.
- Part of the birthday girl's gift was an astronaut backpack, Hello Kitty doll in a space suit, and a really amazing hand-painted astronaut doll from another awesome Etsy seller, LIllakopmis. She was kind enough to even customize the hair so that it resembled my daughter's. On the backpack, I adhered a serious space explorer iron-on patch from another great Etsy seller, MokuyobiThreads.
- Inside of the backpack were some snack-size Miky Ways. In fact the dessert table displayed Starbursts, Moon Pies, Astro Popcorn in awesome baking cups from Etsy seller, InTheClear, and Astronaut Neopolitan ice cream. Each sweet was labeled! I printed names of food using 01 Digital font and stuck them to smaller pieces of black foam core board.
- Paying attention to all of the details, I also printed space-related signs, using the same font, such as "Coloring Station" for a kiddy coloring area, "Orbital Nutrition Station" for the food buffet, "Fueling Station" for the drinks, "Waste Management" for garbage and restroom directions, "Odyssey Check-in" for the guestbook area, "Space suit Drop-off" for the coat rack, and "Wavelength Observatory" for the TV area.
- The birthday cake and delicious mini cupcakes were baked by our favorite local bakery, DuJour. Inspired by my search on Google for a "moon-shaped cake", we designed a buttercream frosted half-moon cake with gray fondant craters and a light dusting of edible stardust. I also fussy-cut another astronaut clipart figure to top off the cake. On the cake is the perfect gold glittered beeswax candle from another amazing Etsy seller, NikkiCrafts. NikkiCrafts also supplied gold and silver glittered star cupcake toppers.
- The chevron rose-gold sequin table runner is also from an Etsy seller, Jessmy. The option of rose-gold pulled in the pinks and peaches from the banner but also complimented the gold and metallics.
- Details are key! In the background, we played all space, moon, planets, and star-related songs such as "Here Comes the Sun" by the Beatles and "Moonshine" by Bruno Mars. On the TV, we looped Amazon instant space-related episodes of Peg + Cat, Daniel Tiger, and Caillou.
To keep the kiddies busy, I found cardboard space ships! I assembled, painted, and colored in a Build A Dream Cosmic Cruiser and Alex Color A Rocket with the help of my husband. They turned out to be perfect toys and photo ops.
Instead of a traditional book, we asked guests to pose with a cardboard astronaut helmet prop, snap a photo with the Fujifilm Instax camera, and write a little note to the birthday girl.
To create a cardboard astronaut helmet, I painstakingly cut cardboard with super sharp and strong scissors and painted the helmet details using black paint and stuck it on popsicle stick.
Now, about the birthday girl's outfit... our little star wore a beautifully crafted pieces from Etsy sellers!
To give the venue a space museum look, I also adhered prints to black foam core boards and added a source label with the Etsy seller name and shop URL to the lower right corner of each board. The space-themed prints included:
- "I Love You to the Moon and Back" and "Here Comes the Sun" prints from ThePrintAnnex
- "Constellation Map" print from AnneGarrisonStudio
- "Planets Galaxy" print from LucyDarlingPrints
- "Moon Space Astronaut" print from Holli
- "She Leaves a Little Sparkle" print from SarahACampbellDesign
Sprinkled on the tables were flowers from my local supermarket sitting in beautiful vintage ball jars from Etsy seller, TheCherryGrove. I actually had these left over from my wedding that I've kept in our apartment for years. They are the perfect go-to vases.
We really appreciated all of our family and friends who joined us in the celebrationLast but certainly not least, a huge thank you to my pal, Peggy, my husband, the grandmas, and our photographer, Morgan Bayard, for capturing all of the details and little moments of our day.
It was a beautiful day for my darling daughter and I look forward to her looking back at these photos and feeling our love!
P.S. Wow! *2,788 diapers as estimated by KidsGrowth.com. Now that's a reality check.