A Sweet Celebration–Tessa’s 1st birthday party

We had a cupcake-themed birthday party for my baby girl on Saturday. Here are the details as promised.


I have been trying to do most of my designing digitally lately, but then add an element by hand that gives more of a handmade feel. This entire invitation is digital, except for the cupcake liner (made from a coffee filter) that I loosely attached with scotch tape so that it could be “peeled” to reveal the party details inside. The writing is a little hard to read the way it came out at the printers. It says: “Our SWEET Tessa is turning…1, come help us celebrate! It will be fun!”
CAKE (or rather, cupcakes):
I had been planning to do a cup-cake theme for a while, so when my mother-in-law told me she was thinking about getting the giant cupcake pan and the smaller set, too, I told her that I would be willing to help justify that purchase by borrowing them for this party (I’m really thoughtful that way. :-))
So the idea was to have all kinds of cupcakes from big to small. The hit of the party were these cupcake pops, that we have all seen from Bakerella.
Would you believe that most of my party guests had never heard of Bakerella?!? I think they were just thinking that I was really clever. Come to think of it, I think her cupcake pops were the reason I started thinking of a cupcake-themed birthday to begin with.
I used sticks, candy melts, and sprinkles from my MIL’s stash (thank you!) and topped the pops with either a red skittle or these strawberry whoppers I found at the grocery store. The pops were the first thing to disappear at the party. Everyone really liked them.
And what 1-year-old wouldn’t like their very own giant cupcake to eat? Actually, she was pretty delicate with the cake–mainly picking off the sprinkles, and so we were able to preserve most of it for us to eat later.
Just so you aren’t too impressed, every cake was made using cake mixes (I am crazy, but not completely sadistic). I spruced up a white cake mix with orange extract for regular-sized cupcakes, and that was pretty yummy. Other flavors included strawberry for the big cake, cherry chip for the large cupcake, chocolate for the cupcake pops, and confetti with colorful sprinkles for the cakewalk cupcakes. The cupcake tray, some of the liners, flags, confetti, plates and napkins, are all from the Martha Stewart party line found at Walmart.

There wasn’t any besides cupcakes…at least, not anything that wouldn’t give you cavities. I generally like some healthy options at a party, but they just didn’t go with the theme, so what could I do?
I planned the party for 2:00, so hopefully everyone had a good lunch before they came and would be able to handle the sugar rush! I did have punch–the old sherbet and lemon-lime trick. It was foamy and frothy and orange (which is important!). I also had jars with color coordinated candy–strawberry whoppers, red and orange skittles, and caramel apple candy corns, which are a light red color. (OK. So I pulled out some nuts part way through the party when guests needed something not sweet).
I was inspired by the Amy Atlas Tables and wanted a similar feel at our display.
I made this bouquet of paper flowers from coffee filters and inked the edges. I was going to make long garlands of these to hang from the banister and behind the dessert table, but I ran out of time, so I hung the paper lanterns from our wedding 9+ years ago with pink and orange ribbon. This worked out well because Tessa’s favorite word is “ball” and she could point at them and say “ball” all day long.
I also made the birthday banner (see top photo) digitally and printed out the letters on vellum card stock to give them a softer feel.
Through out the year I had tried to take pictures of Tessa each month to show how she is growing and changing. You will see that my initial format stopped working when she got to old to sit still (and not eat her sign), but at any rate, I had a picture to represent each month and we displayed them on scrapbook paper above the gift table.

We invited families, so there were a lot of different age groups to consider. For the little ones, we had tons of balloons scattered around to play with, but the older kids enjoyed those more than the coloring activity I had planned for them. I made a cupcake coloring page and bought circle label stickers for them to put on as the sprinkles. I had thought to do a pin-the-candle-on-the-cupcake game (a la pin-the-tail-on-the donkey) but again, ran out of time.
The culminating activity (after cake and presents, of course) was the cupcake walk. We took squares of scrapbook paper (in coordinating colors, of course) and put numbers on them, and had everyone walk/dance to music around the circle until the music stopped. I boxed up some cupcakes for the grand prize. The most fun was watching the babies dance to music.
The best part of the party was watching my daughter walk around and dance in her birthday outfit. My mom made her this puffy tutu-type skirt that looked like orange frosting. We bought the pink shirt and I designed the cupcake graphic digitally (credits: Leora Saford and A Print a Day), and printed it on an iron-on transfer sheet. We ironed it on white fabric and Mom sewed it onto the shirt.
Here is the skirt in action!
It was a sweet day for my sweet girl! 

(Visited 745 times, 1 visits today)


  1. Wow…that’s just WAY too cute!!! Great job Mom. I’m so sorry we missed it…we were up to our elbows in yard work ~ and have the scratches to prove it!!! Happy Birthday Sweet Tessa, I can’t wait to see you next month!!!

  2. michelle {sweet mady's paper} says

    Everything looks so great! Thanks for sharing. You had some fabulous ideas 🙂

  3. Pink & Green Mama says

    So sweet! I love it, the skirt is adorable and I love the coffee filter “flowers” very girlie!

  4. Pink & Green Mama says

    So sweet! I love it, the skirt is adorable and I love the coffee filter “flowers” very girlie!

  5. Pink & Green Mama says

    So sweet! I love it, the skirt is adorable and I love the coffee filter “flowers” very girlie!

  6. It’s all so adorable! Love that little skirt!

  7. Oh, this looks like so much fun!

    I love your color scheme! And excellent job on the pops. You made them just in time for the next video photo round up I do.

  8. Love, love, LOVE the pink and orange!!

    Great job!!!

  9. Your kids are always going to remember these awesome parties! Good job!

  10. wedogmomma says

    That was so inspiring…I’m thinking I need another baby girl so I can get a do-over on the 1st birthday theme 😉
    but seriously….your love showed through all the hard work!
    What a blessing for your girl!!

  11. Totally Tabletops the Blog says

    Oh! I’m taking special note of the cupcake pops (dipped marshmallows, right?) and the coffee filter flowers. My girlfriend just did a cute Asian inspired baby shower last week and sent me pics. I’m posting it on Wednesday so you’ll have to check it out! Cheers!

  12. omg i love the last pic cutie pie

  13. Bella Casa says

    Awww, how cute!

    Love your cupcakes and decorations, too! You were busy!

    Found you via Entrecard, nice to meet you!


  14. Beautiful cakes! I am very impressed. I need to learn more about cake making. Thanks for the ideas.


  15. AWWWWWWWWWW!!!! Great cupcake theme. I love the photo stair display and great use for those “wedding” lanterns(wink)!

  16. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…YOU.ARE.AMAZING! I love Tessa’s birthday outfit!!!!WOW!

  17. Way too cute! Everything is perfect.

    You are officially on my blog roll because I don’t want to miss a single post.

  18. I am sooo doing a cupcake party for my daughter’s 3rd next month! and I am stealing ALL these ideas 🙂 thanks!

  19. Thanks everyone for your kind comments! I am so excited that Bakerella commented (and she might include my pops in her next slideshow)! That means I’m only 2 degrees of separation from Martha Stewart. (“Tabletops” you have to go to the Bakerella blogs, to see how to do the cupcake pops).

    A special thank you to wedogmomma who’s comment made me get a little teary. There are a lot of things I love about party planning, but ultimately I hope what I am doing is making memories and helping my that my children know that they are loved. Clearly, other people who aren’t as insane as I am, can show love in lots of other ways, but this is something I enjoy doing and it makes my kids feel special. While working on this party, my oldest said, “Mom you are not like other moms!” She assured me that she meant it in the nicest way possible. But she gets excited about the process now, too. She hung the lanterns and decorated several of her own cupcake pops.

    This is turning into a novel, but really I just wanted to say thanks!

    Annaliese, are you stealing the colorscheme, too? Do you want the birthday banner? I just clipped on the 1st and the name, so they could be removeable. Let me know!

  20. Perfectly lovely party! The poof skirt was tu-tu cute!

  21. Please tell how you make the coffee filter flowers – I just googled and NONE of the results are as cute as yours!

  22. Cupcakes and Cutlery says

    I second Brenda’s comment. I need to know how to make those flowers for a baby sprinkle I’m throwing. So adorable!!!!!

  23. redshoes595 says

    Kendra, I need that pattern for the skirt your mom made. I want my mom to make one for Taryn for her first birthday, 12-17-08. Please email me with contact info. redshoes595@hotmail.com

  24. barbaraheide says

    WOW! beautiful job!
    great ideas…i’ve got a party to plan in a month! (oops, less than that actually!)

  25. The Masked Mommy says

    This was such a cute party! She really looks like a cupcake in her birthday outfit. I LOVE your attention to detail. What a cute display above the cake table, too. I would have liked to see her wearing a stretchy headband with a red ball like a cherry on top 🙂

  26. Carrie of Bella Cupcake Couture says

    These are oooooh soooo cute!!! Great job!!! Love all the little special touches.

    Love the colors. They remind me of our Citrus and Bright Pink cupcake wrappers. Check out http://www.bellacupcakecouture.com. Would be a cute addition for year 2.

  27. How sweet! (pun completely intended!)

    I’m planning a “Sweet Shoppe” party for my little girl’s first birthday in November and loved seeing what you did with the cupcake theme. Thanks for sharing!


  1. […] is the original invitation I made for my daughter’s birthday 3 years ago (see credits here). And now I’ve created a printable version (for sale at Shop […]

Speak Your Mind