Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Monkey Themed First Birthday Party

Monkey parties can go in a lot of directions like jungle monkeys with bananas or sock monkeys, and many more themes. We chose a cute little sock monkey for my grandson's first birthday party. There are even many designs available in sock monkeys! We first chose some paper ware (online) that we liked that had a cute sock monkey on it. That provided our image, colors and motif of stripes and polka dots. We ordered some of the plates and matching wrapping paper to create table decorations, but used less expensive plastic ware for the meal.

I used the monkey stamp on the invitations and also decorated a fleece stuffed monkey to match (added a shirt and striped hat made of fleece) for the photo. I made the photo removable (with a magnet attached, just in case) and decorated it with party sock monkey brads and bakers twine. I die cut the balloons and used pop dots and a pom pom on the hat to add dimension.

 I added his name to the photo on Picasa and printed them in wallet size. I decorated a purchased party hat to look like the one on the sock monkey plates.
 We had taken a photo of Clayton each month and displayed them in a Seven Gypsies shadowbox we purchased at Archivers. For the one year photo, I used a single candle as a "one" when I completed the shadowbox. It was a good way to display the progression Clayton has made in the last year.
Clayton was premature but he is doing great! He is small but very active and into everything!
 Instead of cake, we had cupcakes and cookies. Decorated cookies also served as the party favors. We did monkey cupcakes (using vanilla wafers in regular and bite sizes), chocolate chips and decorating gel. For cupcake toppers, I used both Crayola Model Magic for matching monkeys and die cut some with ones in them and layered with pop dots. Both were mounted on toothpicks.
 We did three designs of cookies, one using a monkey cookie cutter, circles cut with a drinking cup and hats that were hand cut. We used royal icing for the piping and then flooded the cookies with icing that had been watered down.
 Die cutting was also done to create pennants for decorations. We ran out of time to curl the ribbon, but curling ribbon is a great inexpensive way to add color to a party!
 I decorated water bottles with this packing tape I found with monkeys on it. They weren't sock monkeys, but that was fine. The cupcake monkeys weren't sock monkeys either.
 Helium is in short supply, so be sure and shop around if you are planning a party! We put two of the purchased plates together and used them as centerpieces with balloons coming up from them.
 For Clayton's cake, we used Wilton's large cupcake pan and I made a cake topper with a monkey holding the candle.

 Clayton is not really big on eating yet, so he just played with the frosting a little, but looks like someone really enjoyed her cupcake!!!
 Clayton's nursery is done in monkeys and he has a collection of them, so we invited them to the party to decorate the gift table. They had a grand time!
 We served BBQ (hey, the party was in Memphis!) and all the fixings, but made sure that we coordinated the colors of the food....I should have taken a photo when the fruit and veggie trays were first put out, but I was a little busy!

Below, you can see the centerpiece better. Allison and I wanted to use orange table covers (instead of brown) but we were overruled so we did add circles of color to try to brighten up the brown. We did order some wrapping paper that matched the plates to use as table runners, but it was a very breezy day and they would not have stayed down.

 We used some of the frosting on a cookie cake we made to have on his actual birthday.
 For the cookie bags, I made tags I die cut and red curling ribbon. I also did suckers using the colors of the party.
 Allison's cake had a monkey on it (almost 28 years ago), so I thought it was neat that Clayton also had a monkey on his cake. That is her cake topper below in the background.
 Here is a closer shot of the cupcake toppers....
 I have seen duct tape also used on water bottles but this packing tape worked great! I found it at Joann's.
 A friend made Clayton a bib in the colors of the party....her daughter was the one with the orange frosting all over her....I think she was past the bib stage!

 Clayton with the monkey I made for his photo and party.....this was during the photo session for the invitation, but we used the other one as Clayton was wearing the party hat in it. This one is so sweet though!
It dawned on me that if I removed the blue and yellow m & m's, we would have the color of the party. That is much less expensive than buying specific colors.....and I like blue and yellow m & m's !

I folded the napkin up and inserted the fork in the pocket and then added an orange belly band to secure the napkin and fork. I looked for some sticker or something to decorate the band but never did find anything.

It was a fun party and hopefully, you have enjoyed seeing the photos. Happy Birthday to my little monkey!


Jan Castle said...

Absolutely delightful party...thanks for the scoop! Clayton looks like he had a good time - bet he will appreciate all your work in the years to come! Time certainly has flown by...hard to believe he is ONE!
Paper Hugs,

Becky said...

Holly, what a fabulous idea for Clayton's party! Everything was so precise....he has really grown. I can't believe he is already one....he is a real cutie!!!

Tara said...

so cute! :)

Heather said...

Hi I'm Heather! Please email me when you get a chance, I have a question about your blog! LifesABanquet1(at)

Anonymous said...

Looks like a great party! You can come help with my son's. We aren't that far from Memphis! Thanks for all the great tips!