It’s a good thing that birthday celebrations are just once a year because I am always left completely exhausted by them! Given, that’s likely because I do way too much for them… but oh well! I love throwing their parties. I have had so much picking the themes and making decorations, favors, food, etc for all of them so far and since I know I only have a couple of years left before they start telling me what they want for their parties I am totally going all out when I can. Plus, I am an Event Planner by day. I mean, what do you expect?
As you might recall, Hudson’s bedroom is a Monster theme and since most of the time he is a little monster himself, a Monster Bash for his 1st birthday seemed perfectly fitting! His birthday is November 1st and being that it is the day after Halloween I did have some concerns/reservations like 1) would anyone show up or would they all be too tired from Halloween 2) if I give anyone candy I will be hated by all of the parents and 3) I don’t want anyone to think Hudson’s birthday is a Halloween celebration or requires costumes since it is just the day after. The Monster theme was cutting it close, but, it worked out really cute. As I have mentioned in Poppy’s 1st and 2nd birthday party posts, I prefer gender-neutral parties. They have the rest of their lives to choose gender-based parties so while I get to choose, no one is excluded!
For the kids’ 1st Birthday parties we usually host them at my parents home since that’s the biggest birthday party and we need more space as the guest list usually includes family, friends, plus all of the kids and their parents. Doing it at my parents allows us to have some more decoration options and keep people spread out so it never feels super-crowded.
For the Monster theme I wanted to stick with the great colors of his room as inspiration… lots of big bold bright colors! And of course, friendly monsters everywhere!
I will start with some of the decorations and how I made things…
For the dining table, I used it for the desserts and some super cute pictures of Hudson!
I used ribbon in varying sizes, colors, and textures and made sort of a grid/plaid pattern on the table with glue dots. These are my favorite type of glue dots. The ribbon I got mostly in the $1 bins at Michael’s. I used about 8 different ribbons and overlapped, some, staggered some, and weaved them to create a fun pattern of colors. I found a super cute and sparkly colorful circle garland at the $1 section in Target that I used for the front of the table. I also stuck it onto the wooden table with glue dots. *they did not leave a residue behind, however, they were not the easiest to remove… sorry Mom!*
I cut out some different “monsters” (one might just be an octopus but no kids noticed…) out of sparkly colorful paper and glued various-sized googly eyes onto them to give them some life. I scattered them around everything on the table. I made little tent cards out of card-stock and glued on miniature versions of the monsters that I cut out with my Cricut. I used the tent-cards for food labels. I used a bunch of different vases filled with Styrofoam or rolls of crepe paper to add color but be able to stick the desserts in and have them stand. I used the picture frames from Hudson’s room that matched the colors on the table.
For the food, we had ADORABLE monster-themed cake-pops by the ever-so-talented Bit of Yum. The cake-pops were both resting and standing cake-pops so that they could be used differently for decoration/presentation.
Hudson’s cake was super tall covered in green fondant with a blue & orange ‘ribbon’ around the middle made by a dear friend at the Danville Bakery. Inside had quite a fun surprise, too! She also made the really fun blue monster “smash cake” though he didn’t smash it. As a matter of fact, he didn’t even eat it. Ha! The custom cake topper was made by Accessorize Boutique on Etsy and she did a fabulous job! It was completely edible, too!!
The green monsters I made out of Oreos that I dipped into green candy melts and put the edible googly eyes by Wilton on them to make Monsters that sort of resembled Mike from Monsters, Inc. I used orange striped straws for their “sticks”.
The mini cupcakes were just basic mini cupcakes with assorted frosting and googly eyes to top them off.
The cookies; oh my word, the cookies! Poppy and I made the cookies together and they were DELICIOUS! They’re “ooey gooey” cookies that I dyed orange and also stuck a googly eye right in the center of. They were so good!!
For the food we had a whole assortment of items to choose from; Macaroni & Cheese, pulled pork and buns, fruit, vegetables, etc. But these little turkey sandwich monsters were my favorite!!! Thanks, Pinterest, for the idea!!!
We also served Tater Tots and served them in these adorable Monster bags found at Target. I cut them short and filled them up so that people could grab them and go eat their yummy lunch!
For some fun activities I ordered a bunch of inflatable monster-themed beach balls and threw those in the trampoline for the kids to kick around and play with. I also found Monster bowling at my local Home Goods store, however, they have it on amazon, too.
I also made these guys…
These were multi-functional! They could be used as a bean-bag toss game OR as a cute photo-op prop! I picked up some thin plywood at Home Depot, sanded, primed than spray painted the whole board, then I used my small craft projector to display a monsters image onto it, traced it, than painted the monster in a contrasting color. I used a jigsaw to cut out the mouths than sanded the edges to make sure it wasn’t rough and touched up the paint. I got HUGE googly eyes at Michael’s and glued those on with my hot glue gun. The letters I cut out with assorted card-stock on my Cricut and used the raised foam glue dots to adhere them to the board.
As I do for every party, I had a photo booth. I love having photo booths because I am usually too busy to take pictures of everyone myself so this allows people to have something to do and have some fun while capturing the guests at the party! For this photo booth I used my parents small patio deck that has an awning on it for the ideal location. I opened the awning and we hung black plastic tablecloths on all 3 sides – doubled up – to create a dark space for the photo booth. In order to convert it into a fun backdrop we hung colored streamers from the top to the bottom all around the make-shift photo booth.
For props I purchased blue and green picture frames on sale at Michael’s and then used the removable glue dots to stick monsters onto them. After the party I used the frames – minus the monsters – in Hudson’s room.
For the googly eye photo frame I purchased a photo mat from Michael’s than proceeded to glue on about a bajililon different sized googly eyes. Not only was this project a major pain it was damn expensive!!! Holy crap. Like, the most expensive project, EVER. I am selling this darn thing to try to make some kind of money back! Inquire if you’re interested. And no, I am not kidding!!
It really did turn out quite cute, though!
I also did a low table where they could build and create monsters out of playdough and stickers with monster cut-outs I made a bunch of. Hudson LOVED the craft table!
I made two different types of favors. I like to give out edible favors so that the adults and older kids can enjoy a treat, too. So for the edible treat, I made “Hudson’s Monster Food” which simply consisted of a chocolate & candy bark that I made a couple batches of, broke into pieces, bagged in cello bags, and sealed with large card-stock tent card style fold-overs that said “Hudson’s Monster Food”. It was very yummy!!!!
For the second favor that was geared more towards the kids, though I suppose some adults might like it too (haha), I made Monster Crayon Tote-bags. This was relatively easy as far as assembling and actually making them, however, the prep work was what was a bit treacherous. Cutting out 24 monster shapes to put onto the bags (that I made) was my least favorite part. The rest, no biggie! I got a ton of crayons from the dollar store and little note pads to go inside with some kids-snacks, to. They turned out really cute and my kids love carrying theirs around. They’re also great for road-trips or should you be the type of parent to try to do a meal-out. We are not those parents. Ha!
The little man had so much fun! He got to run around and play with friends, play with balloons, get lots of love and attention from everyone, and eat some cookies. He had a wonderful time – as did we all!