After months of being on hyper-drive trying to get Sweet Iris launched, general parenting, and other miscellaneous craziness, I had really planned to keep things simple for my daughter’s first birthday party. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. Who was I kidding?
We were rushing around trying to get ready, but I managed just a few pictures that’ll give you at least an idea.
This post is about the really fun stuff: the decor!
Also check out upcoming posts about the fab menu (including, but not limited to: Sweet Corn and Cilantro Soup, Doesn’t Get Easier Grilled Chicken salad, Citrus-Basil Vinaigrette, 30-minute yeast rolls, Lemonade cupcakes, and Lemon-Basil sherbet), unusual serving pieces, and the crazy new kind of eco-friendly disposable serving ware we tried out (made from crushed leaves! Say what?).
So other than the doily dyeing tutorial we already did, I don’t *think* anything requires an elaborate tutorial. Instead, I’ve offered a few essential tips throughout the post to help you as you create similar items. Please comment if you have any questions at all. Here goes!
So this whole blue/green/yellow lemon “theme”, if you can call it that, was basically inspired by a couple of packs of gorgeous Isabelle de Borchgrave napkins that I fell in love with and nabbed on clearance(!) at Target a few years back. I LOVE these gorgeous napkins, and we tried to use our measly 16 dinner napkins to big effect, loaves-and-fishes-miracle style.
The half-dozen centerpieces were a major part of the napkin-multiplication project. These were born out of a look around the house: “Ok we have a circle punch. We have tin pails. We have some napkins. We have trees in the backyard.” Et voila!
The napkins were ironed and used to mat simple tree branch centerpieces with 3-D ornaments. To create the napkin mat, the back ply of the napkin needs to be removed (because otherwise it starts to separate itself and peak out after ironing).
My very favorite thing about these centerpieces is something I didn’t expect at all–the 3-D circle “ornaments” spin gently in the A/C or the breeze. It is a surprisingly nice little feature.
We used spare tissue paper for the “grass” on these centerpieces–honestly because I just didn’t have the energy to drag the baby into town (read: Raleigh) and buy something better. Sorry about that. The student will surpass the teacher, right?
Finally, we broke up the harsh lines of the mat and integrated the centerpiece and the table by scattering a few butterfly and bow confetti die-cuts, purchased from Purple Corner on Etsy.
While we’re talking Etsy, we also got tulle-backed ragged yellow flowers that we pinned onto the buffet table from I Felt Sprightly.
As you can tell, all the drama (and most of the work) was in the entryway
Here and on the front porch, the irregularly-ribbed paper lanterns (yellow, chartreuse, and deep blue), parasols, and yellow sandalwood fans (which doubled as favors for the kids) are all from paperlanternstore.com.
Also from Etsy’s I Felt Sprightly, I picked out some die-cut felt flower sets, which consisted of four different size petals, intended to be formed into 25 four-layer flowers. We thought these looked great randomly ordered and sewn into a garland for the fireplace (along with some Rit Lemon Yellow dyed doilies). We could have also used this garland draped on a chandelier or hung in close rows and gently gathered like a curtain on either side of a doorway or entryway.
I really hate that I didn’t get better pictures of the fireplace, because it really did look pretty. You can check the background of other pictures in this post to see more of the fireplace.
In the front porch picture, you can see how we hung the sandalwood fans on the porch. We found that the best way to keep them open was to wedge a folded piece of paper into the tail of the fan. The fans had small metal hooks which made hanging them a breeze. Evidently I was in such a hurry to snap this picture before the guests arrived that I didn’t notice the giant yellow lantern that had eased its way onto the railing to “sit a spell”.
Oops. It was a really humid day, and the painter’s tape we tried to use to hang the lanterns just wasn’t cutting it (or, rather, “hanging” it). Fortunately we had a roll of my Sweet Iris packaging tape handy, which I’m thrilled to learn can hold up through any sauna North Carolina can throw in its general direction. I did think about cropping that lantern out of the picture, but we do try to keep it “Reel” around here. 🙂
So while we’re outside, want to see the final product I teased you with in our doily dying tutorial post? Here’s what a simple foamboard cut-out, yellow paint (b/c the door is glass and you’ll see the backside), a hot-glue gun, and 109 doilies in varying shades of lemon yellow can do for you:
Lovely, yes? This is much easier if your child has a nice symmetrical initial: no hunting down letter templates or enlarging things on copying machines, just a ruler and a pencil will do the job. Come to think of it I may need to prioritize first initial symmetry when picking out baby names in the future…
I hope some of these ideas help you! Please comment below and let me know if you have any questions or tips.
For the rest of the story about this party, click here for the menu, and here for the cool eco-friendly serving stuff.