Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Celebrating the BIG "One": A Fishing-Themed First Birthday Party

I can't believe I have a one year old! It's truly amazing how fast the first year goes. A little over a year ago I was bringing home a little teeny tiny baby and now I have a mobile toddler that is literally into everything.

While the first year has definitely had it's trials, it has hands down been the best year of my life. Looking back on the first year I was a little sad that I no longer have a little baby to hold, but I've discovered that I love my son's new ability to explore the world. Suddenly, I have a child that likes to play outside, go swimming at the YMCA, and throw a ball. This new stage is wonderful in it's own way and while I'll always cherish the time that I had with him as a baby, I'm loving all of the new things he's learning. 

My son is not really into any characters yet, so for his first birthday party we decided on a fishing theme. The big "one" was a huge success! 

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Here's how we did it:


I'm all about saving money where I can. There are tons of cute fishing-themed invitations on Etsy, but to cut costs I decided to make my own. 

I love the program Canva. I use it for a lot of my blog graphics and I have my high school students use it for all kinds of class projects. 

After I designed the invitation I used Walgreens Photo to print out my invitations. Depending on where you get yours printed you're looking at about 0.17 cents per invitation which is a steal! 

Just be careful that after you edit the invitation you upload it to the photo printing site and see how that individual company will crop your picture. Be careful that you don't alter the positioning of the text too much or it will cut off part of your writing when you get it printed.

You can edit this invitation and make it your own by clicking here. It's totally free! You're welcome :) 


Chalkboard Milestones

I'm a huge sucker for chalkboards. Check out my post Week-by-Week Pregnancy Chalkboard Designs for some creative inspiration for expecting mommas. 

No party is complete with out some decorative chalkboards so I used baby's milestones to summarize all of his abilities at the time of his birthday. On your board include:
  • Name
  • Weight
  • Height
  • Number of teeth
  • Things your child likes to do
  • Favorite foods
  • Favorite books
  • Words your child can say
  • Things your child can do
  • Nicknames
  • Anything else that is special about your child

Table Decor

For the table decor I covered our dining room table with a blue table cloth. I then covered it with a party fishing net to go with the theme. I also borrowed some real fishing lures from my dad and laid them on the table.

Candy Bar

This was my favorite detail of the party. I used a serving tray and different sized containers to set up the candy bar.

To go with the theme of the party all of the snacks were fishing themed.

I had a little left over party netting that I was able to use on my china hutch to add decoration under the candy bar. Check out the post-- DIY: How to Distress Furniture for the skinny on the china hutch endeavor.

Did mention I love chalkboards??? These mini chalkboards used to label the snacks are no exception!

High Chair

My mom helped me bring this idea to life. She has the Brother Embroidery Machine and can make all kinds of amazing creations. She appliqu├ęd the number one with a fishing design on a piece of fabric and then strung it and several strips onto a piece of hemp twine. 

I used some packing tape to adhere the banner to the actual high chair. If you plan to serve your child cake I'd highly recommend some kind of splash mat. I purchased the Splat Mat by Honeyed and we now use it all the time. It makes clean up so much easier!


With the embroidery machine my mom also made my son a matching t-shirt for the party! 

Month-by-Month Baby Pictures

If you're like me you took photos of your little doll baby each month to track their growth throughout the year. How can you use those at the first birthday party? 

I have the perfect solution! Upcycle an old frame to create a photo display! Check out the post What To Do With Your Month-by-Month Baby Pictures for a tutorial.

Food & Drinks


I toyed with several different ideas for what food to serve for dinner. I finally made my decision based on the number of people I was serving. The easiest option seemed to be hot dogs, hamburgers, and chips. I thought about making chili, soup, or ordering pizza, but all in all, I was happy with my decision to cookout. 


The fishing theme didn't stop with the decor, I also tied it into the drinks. 
  • Tea as "lake water"
  • Copycat Sonic Ocean Water as "ocean water"
I added small bobbers to the top of the "ocean water" for some extra fun. The "ocean water" was a bit bluer than it probably should have been, but to be honest I winged it on the food coloring instead of following the recipe! 

Next to the drink station I included Swedish Fish in case someone wanted to take them for a swim and paper straws for cuteness.

Smash Cake

Again, I'm all about saving money so I decided to make my own smash cake. I ordered a cake for Costco for the other party guests, but I made my son's cake from a box. Every mom knows that if you bake it in your oven, it's homemade right?! I purchased the funfetti cake mix and icing

I actually made the cake the week before and put it into the freezer wrapped in wax paper and aluminum foil. The day before the party I pulled it out of the freezer and iced it to cut down on prep time the day of the party.

Party Supplies:


No birthday party is complete without presents! My husband and I joked that we'd really like any money people planned to spend on gifts deposited into his college account instead! We didn't follow through on the idea, but my son got some wonderfully thoughtful gifts. 

We purchased our son a Step 2 Naturally Playful Lookout Treehouse and my son loves it! I wanted to get him something that he could play with in our back yard and this item was the perfect idea! He still needs a little help getting up into the treehouse and going down the slide, but I know he will enjoy this toy for years to come.

That sums up the details for Baby B's first birthday party! It was great to see friends and family and celebrate this milestone in my son's life. 


P.S. Put off your dishes and laundry a bit longer--

How to Trick Your Child Into Eating Carrots

Homemade Baby Yogurt Melts

11 Romantic Chick-Lit Books for Mommytime


  1. Such neat ideas. Thank for sharing. My princess turns 1 in a few months, I need to get my thoughts together.

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