The Macs

Monday, January 17, 2011

one year old in a flash {party details}

I meant to post this last week, but a certain teething little boy was needing a lot of my attention and I didn't get to it. I loved planning Levi's first birthday party. I got the idea of the One Year Old in a Flash theme from here. Levi's party was orange and gray, but you will notice that I stole many of the party ideas! Here are the details:


I loved the invitations from the party linked above, but decided to try to make my own. I used Photoshop Elements and printed everything at home. The invitation was printed on white card stock, matted on orange card stock, and then I wrapped the film strip around both pieces. The film strip is from this kit.


I made the circle garland by punching 1" and 1 1/2" circles out of orange and gray scrapbook paper. I sewed them all together with my sewing machine just like Ashley did for her turquoise, red and white party.

My circle garland was one long strand. I draped it over the chandelier in the middle of the room.

The flag pennant was made with the same scrapbook paper I used for the circle garland.  I cut out the triangles with my paper cutter and then sewed them to an orange ribbon with my sewing machine.

I made the cupcake flags with scrapbook paper and toothpicks. I think it only took seven or eight sheets of paper to make all of the decorations.

Birthday Hat


I bought the green birthday hat from Hobby Lobby. I thought I would use it as a pattern to make my own gray and orange birthday hat. The morning of Levi's birthday came and I hadn't had time to make it yet. I was going to try to let go of my perfectionistic tendencies of wanting everything to match and just use the green hat. My mom and sister were helping me set up and I was telling them my woes of the green hat not matching and we came up with the idea of taking apart the non-matching hat and hot glueing the gray felt right onto it. My mom came up with the hat above and Levi had a matching hat. Phew. Thanks mom for saving the day. :)

Photo Props

The photo props were the centerpieces. All the adult tables had one of these. I cut out mouth and mustache clipart (actually my sister did...thanks Anne!) and hot glued them to a wooden stick. I filled the planters with crayons to hold the photo props in. All the tables had paper on them so you could use the crayons to doodle too. The kids table just had a bucket of crayons and paper to draw on.

The photo props were great entertainment...even for the adults.

My brother made me these awesome thought bubbles out of wood and I painted them with chalkboard paint. He is really talented like that. Unfortunately we were having so much fun at the party that we totally forgot about them. I am sure Levi and I will find other ways to put them to use.

Party Favors

When Joel and I were at Hobby Lobby {yes, he actually went INSIDE Hobby Lobby}, he spotted these funny glasses. They were only three dollars for the whole package.

I wrapped each one up in a clear bag and tied them with ribbon and a thank you note from Levi. The camera on the circle tag is from the same kit as the film strip. They were the perfect party favors...and cheap too.

All of the kids loved them.

Photo Timeline

I wanted to have lots of pictures of Levi around for the party. I put out the framed pictures we already had, but I also wanted to have a picture from each month of Levi's first year.

The numbers for each month were made with mini clothespins, 1 1/2" punched circles, and number stickers. I hot glued the circle to the clothespin and clipped the pictures in order onto pom-pom fringe. (By the way I noticed a few of the pictures were off by a month...oops!)

Time Capsule

The time capsule was the main reason I chose the One Year Old in a Flash party. In the birthday invitation I included a gray piece of paper with Levi's name and the date. I also included a note that said this:

Please use the enclosed card to write
a note to Levi to be placed in a time capsule.
Levi will open the time capsule on his 18th birthday.

Some suggestions are:
A verse you are praying for Levi
Predictions for the future
A note of blessing
Small items of today

Thank you!

I loved the idea of Levi having this time capsule to open when he is 18. How special for him to have these notes from grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends who love him so much. I also added his birthday invitation, a few things from the party, and a little album with the 0-12 month pictures. I am thinking I may have to do this same party theme for all of our kids (assuming we are blessed with more) on their first birthday. That way they each have their own time capsule.

A few other details...
plates & polka dot napkins - Target
scrapbook paper - Michaels & some that I already had
paper straws - Garnish
gray polka dot fabric - Hancock Fabrics

(and for those who asked about my outifit)
dress-Old Navy
cardigan and leggings-Target

And one more thing about birthday parties...
I know a lot of people feel pressure to have the "perfect" birthday party. I love planning parties. I love all the details and trying to figure out a way for everything from the invitations to the party favors to work together. It is fun for me. It is not stressful (unless I put everything off until the last minute which I have been known to do). I don't love planning and making the food though. So, I usually ask for help with this part. This year my sweet mom and sister helped me make the food and frost the cupcakes.

My point...
Do what works for you and your family. If you prefer small parties and don't care about the details...totally fine. If you love making fancy cakes...make an amazing cake. If you love the details like those paper circles together so that everything matches. The important thing is that we shower our children with love on their special day. We want them to know how much we love them and how much more that God loves them. The day they were born is a day to celebrate! I had to stop and remind myself of this as I was planning Levi's party. When all the details didn't quite get finished like I had planned...I had to let it go. The important part was that Levi felt loved on his birthday.

And that is my birthday party advice...for what it is worth.
I have so much experience you know! :)
One birthday party down...many many more to go.


Blogger Lauren said...

SO SO cute!!!!! :)

January 17, 2011 at 9:13 AM  
Blogger Jenae said...

I love all the decorations and the many amazing details!!

I SO SO SO wish that I enjoyed party-planning! It completely and totally stresses me out. And since I don't want to be stressed on the special days of my two boys...I've decided to let most things go and just concentrate on a few small details. I have made each boy's cake (which is never very great), and a birthday banner I put out each year. I typically send out invitations (even though our parties are normally only for family). Other than that, we have pizza and just enjoy celebrating!

January 17, 2011 at 9:27 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

LOVE the wording on your invites :) i'm stealing! and the colors....amazing. you did a great job! Happy 1st Birthday Levi!

January 17, 2011 at 9:56 AM  
Blogger The Chance Family said...

We did something like the time-capsule idea for each of my boys' 1st birthdays. Since they are too young to remember the birthday and really don't need much since usually they have tons of clothes and toys, we had grandparents, family, and special friends write letters for the boys to open when they are 18. My grandmother died unexpectedly 3 days before my middle ones 1st birthday. However, tucked inside her purse was the letter she wrote him for his party. That was very emotional. Your party was adorable and I loved the theme! You're so crafty and an inspiration!

January 17, 2011 at 10:08 AM  
Blogger Treelanetales said...

It was a super cute party! I too like planning parties for my kiddos. I am hoping to use more DIY ideas for my parties this year. Thanks for the inspiration.

January 17, 2011 at 10:24 AM  
Blogger Whitney said...

probably the cutest idea I have ever seen. I am a newlywed and we are only praying for children right now, but when that day comes, I will steal this idea! Thanks for sharing.

January 17, 2011 at 10:37 AM  
Blogger Meg said...

I think you theme is awesome! Everything looked great, I love the color combination. How wonderful that he will have the time capsule for his 18th birthday. I think doing the same theme for your future kids would be wonderful. I am praying for your blessings of future kids.

January 17, 2011 at 10:43 AM  
Blogger k and c's mom said...

WOW! I loved this! One of most treasured possession is I have one picture from each of my (now adult) children's birthdays in a framed time line. It is just a perfect encapsulated shot of each year and so full of happy memories for us all.
You continue to inspire me with your brave and encouraging life, Jess. Beautifully done!

January 17, 2011 at 11:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hands down the best birthday party idea I have seen! Love it!

January 17, 2011 at 11:27 AM  
Blogger purejoy said...

wow. i'm in awe! such a great birthday and a fabulous idea. i love the idea of a time capsule. fabulous idea.

January 17, 2011 at 11:29 AM  
Blogger The Sieberts said...

LOVE it. you are so talented Jess!

January 17, 2011 at 11:35 AM  
Blogger Amanda said...

It's fun having such a talented friend! Sometimes I want to learn from you because I do love fabulous parties and details - but sometimes I just want to hire you.

You did such an awesome job on Levi's party! Do you think I could still do a time capsule for my kids?? Maybe their 5th birthday - the year they enter school. That would be a good milestone year don't you think? I really loved that idea and want to give my kids that "treasure".

January 17, 2011 at 12:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love all the details and your advice at the end! You are such a talented mom!

January 17, 2011 at 12:58 PM  
Blogger Bethany said...

What a cute party, Jessica! Levi will one day look at all the love you put into it and appreciate it so much! What a good momma you are!

January 17, 2011 at 1:18 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

this is wonderful!!! so very creative!

January 17, 2011 at 1:28 PM  
Blogger tami said...

What a blessed little boy! Thank you for inspiring me!
The whole party and details looks awesome!

January 17, 2011 at 1:28 PM  
Blogger L ~ S said...

I've seen a few comments about stealing ideas...LOL, I am sooo going to steal a few some time. I am glad I did not get rid of all my scrapbooking paper! You gave me many ideas of ways to use it!

January 17, 2011 at 1:47 PM  
Blogger Lindsay said...

Thank you so much for sharing this! My little one is having his first birthday at the end of April and I love, love, love all these ideas - I might just tweak the colors a bit.

January 17, 2011 at 4:04 PM  
Blogger Vanessa said...

My little boy turns one in July and I think I am totally stealing this idea! I looove all of it! I wish I was as talented as you with the invites, but I may be able to find someone to help me!

January 17, 2011 at 4:26 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

You do such a great job with your parties!

Thanks for the birthday party advice, too! I am the type to get overwhelmed by all of you crafty and creative ones... but it is a good reminder that the party is about celebrating the birthday person, and to do that in a way that I (and the bday kiddo) enjoy!

January 17, 2011 at 4:29 PM  
Blogger Miss G said...

I really like your words at the end about planning parties. Very, very wise. We're trying to decide what to do about our little guy's first birthday. We don't have family in town, we live in a small apt. where it's impractical to invite all of our friends and their kids . . . Kelly

January 17, 2011 at 5:57 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

I am SO IMPRESSED with this whole party! You are way talented. I love all of these ideas, but I seriously don't think I could ever come up with them on my own. I'll just have to hire you if I ever have kids :) Hope your weekend was fabulous!

January 17, 2011 at 6:20 PM  
Blogger Stef said...

this looks like it was such a fun and memorable birthday party! levi is so blessed.

January 17, 2011 at 6:32 PM  
Blogger Matt and Nicole said...

Glad Levi's party was a success! The decorations are gorgeous. I like your point about showering your children in your own way. I'm not nearly patient enough to make matching decorations, but I love planning the menu and making the food so I went all out with that. Thanks for the reminder that we are all unique and have different gifts. It's easy to get hung up on--oh, I should be more creative, etc. Sounds like January 2nd was a good day for birthdays all around!

January 17, 2011 at 7:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jess, You did a GREAT job with this. The colors are precious!

January 17, 2011 at 8:01 PM  
Blogger Allison said...

Wow! You did an amazing job! I especially loved the line of pictures from each month attached to the clothespins! And the time capsule? Too cool. You've definitely inspired me!

Happy first birthday to Levi!

January 17, 2011 at 8:50 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Amen! Unlike you I am a cake girl...if they have cake they will enjoy, I am happy. The time capsule idea is neat though. Maybe we will shoot for Logan's 2nd bday since the 1st one has passed. Better late than never, right?

January 17, 2011 at 9:24 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Oh my goodness! This is by far the cutest 1st birthday party I've ever seen! I'm bookmarking it for my future children! :)

January 17, 2011 at 9:34 PM  
Blogger Nicole said...

I'm definitely interested in borrowing your idea of the time capsule for my wedding! Also, my fiance and I have been looking for months for the containers that you housed your time capsule in. Any suggestions on where I could find some?

January 17, 2011 at 9:39 PM  
Blogger Sarah B said...

Jess your ideas are so inspiring! I loved the colors-bright yet boyish. Thank you for sharing!

January 18, 2011 at 6:16 AM  
Anonymous Karina said...

As much as I LOVE seeing your beautifully planned and coordinated party pictures, I am very grateful to you for saying not to stress the details. I HATE planning parties (not just the food, all of it!) and am ashamed to say that my children's birthday parties are not at all colour-coordinated or themed. We have fun, we have cake, we have balloons, and that is pretty much good enough. No time capsules, even the cupcakes look terrible, but so far nobody has ever complained. If I want to see it all looking perfect, I will just come here. The pictures of Levi's celebration are gorgeous. Thank you, Jess!!

January 18, 2011 at 9:19 AM  
Blogger Melinda said...

Such an adorable party!

January 18, 2011 at 9:43 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I don't think I have commented yet...but I've meant to. I'm in the middle of planning a joint party for my soon to be 1 and 6 year old. Usually we are a cupcakes and a cook out kind of family. Maybe with some store bought character themed party things. THIS year I want to be different. More crafty. I'm freakin stressed LOL! I do love the paper circle garland and I'm also going to use the picture for each month idea and for my 6 year old a picture from each birthday. You have me all inspired again!

January 18, 2011 at 7:12 PM  
Blogger meg duerksen said...

what wise advice so early in on this motherhood journey jess! that is awesome.
it takes some mothers YEARS to figure out that last part.

everything was adorable.
i love the gray polka dot fabric!

cute cute cute.

January 18, 2011 at 11:43 PM  
Blogger lauren haddox said...

LOVED the party! i'm right there with you...i LOVE doing stuff like this. my husband thinks i'm crazy because i mention something about william's birthday once a day...maybe not that much but close! :) jess, you did a GREAT job on the party. what a special day for a very special little boy!

January 19, 2011 at 10:29 AM  
Blogger Lexie Loo, Lily, Liam & Dylan Too said...

You did an amazing job on the party!!!

January 19, 2011 at 1:34 PM  
Blogger Liz Bracken said...

Reading this made me happy. :-)

January 19, 2011 at 7:15 PM  
Anonymous Garnish said...

Just swinging on by to say thanks for the Garnish shout out. Adore Levi's party. Love the time capsule. Abundant moments!

Garnish + Enjoy,

- Suzanne

January 20, 2011 at 8:23 AM  
Blogger Erica said...

Jess this is such a sweet party. how fun, and you can tell you love to plan parties, you are gifted at it! Thanks for sharing pictures of Levi's big day.

January 20, 2011 at 11:06 AM  
Blogger Diane said...

I LOVE this party post. I just finished a 2 year old party for my son and we had so much fun! --Diane

January 21, 2011 at 7:10 AM  
Blogger e.m. said...


January 21, 2011 at 7:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is an amazing idea. I have a little girl turning one in March and was trying to think of ideas to make it special and creative. And then I read this blog. Answer to my prayers, so thank you! I only wish I could do even half the great job you did and it will be a sweet day! Only part Im confused about is...How do you get the pictures of him on the film strip? I see you posted a link of where you got the strip but Im still confused how this all came to be.(did you cut them to size, was it one long film strip?). Thanks in advance for the info!

January 21, 2011 at 10:10 PM  
Blogger Kristen said...

You did a great job and I love your attention to detail! I enjoyed reading how you did everything. I still have a few months until my little boy's first birthday, but I have already started thinking about it and getting ideas together in my head. Thank you!

January 23, 2011 at 7:02 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

This party is just precious! More meaningful to me is your "point" about party planning...I, too, enjoy it very much...every little detail. I'm learning that I need help the day of with implementation -- like photos during the event. Will work on that for next time. I just threw our daughter's first birthday. Unorganized photos are at Wishing you many, many more with your sweet Levi!

January 24, 2011 at 7:43 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

Wow! That is absolutely adorable! I love it! I love your creativity. Thank you for sharing!!

January 25, 2011 at 9:16 PM  
Blogger Melinda Brandt said...

I just came across your blog and I loved your ideas and how you put together this party. What brand of paper did you use? I love the color combos! If you could email me at, I would super appreciate it!

January 31, 2011 at 11:20 PM  
Blogger Kelly said...

I used some of your ideas for my little guy's first birthday party. I linked up to your post.

March 9, 2011 at 9:37 AM  
Blogger Rohini said...

Its awesome :)
Lovely & Timely party ideas as i was browsing through for my DD party.

I love all the amazing details and esp. the time capsule which is nw on top of my list.

Wish you guys and LEVI many more rocking brthdays.

May 9, 2011 at 10:37 AM  
Blogger Rohini said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

May 9, 2011 at 10:39 AM  
Blogger Lotte said...

Hi there!
I found your blog through this party theme when I was looking for "the original". Totally love what you did with it! I'm doing this theme party next month for my little one so I'm personalizing it as well.
I was so touched by your post on Cora's story, too. We lost a little boy mid-pregnancy in 2009 but I cannot imagine losing my little one at 11 months. I deeply admire your strength and faith.

May 10, 2011 at 9:51 AM  
Blogger lovetheday said...

Hi There! My name is Lindi of Love The Day. Has this party been featured anywhere? It is DARLING! What an original and fabulous theme. I would love to share on my blog!

May 11, 2011 at 5:12 PM  
Anonymous Sali said...

Beaytiful party! the circles and sweing machine idea was great.
Have more fun for the next birthday

May 15, 2011 at 9:42 AM  
Anonymous Nikki @Pennies on a Platter said...

Beautiful party! We did "One Year in Flash" in December and it was so fun. You have great photos!! Thanks for sharing. :)

June 2, 2011 at 1:01 PM  
Anonymous Cindy said...

Loved this! Thanks for taking the time for sharing all the details!! I created many of the decorations you made and have already used them for a couple of parties! Our baby boy just celebrated his 1st birthday last's been fun watching Levi grow up on your blog, knowing that our boy is just about 6 months behind! You've inspired me in so many ways that I've linked a lot of your ideas and your 30 day challenge on my blog!

June 16, 2011 at 9:29 PM  
Blogger SuzyQSparkles said...

What about adding a note (at least from you) and a few photos each year to the time capsule?

June 24, 2011 at 6:57 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

What an awesome party! I was inspired by your photo garland (found via Pinterest) and I mentioned it in my own 1st bday party blog post today. Thanks for sharing!

June 27, 2011 at 4:26 PM  
Anonymous Cindy said...

I just used your idea of displaying 12 months of pictures across the mantle for my daughter's 4th birthday! I loved it! I think it's going to become an annual tradition for us!!

August 3, 2011 at 11:15 PM  
Blogger L ~ S said...

I was surfing the net for photo ideas and saw a photo that I was sure was Levi and what do you know? It was!

August 19, 2011 at 1:58 PM  
Anonymous Sue said...

All I can say is WOW! It was an excellent party! Congrats to you for that wonderful birthday idea! It was gorgeous! I can almost feel the joy in every photo! =*

September 5, 2011 at 9:26 AM  
Anonymous Jamie said...

what a great party for great in fact that I copied it for my little Hannah's first birthday! Feel free to check it out here:

Thanks for the inspiration!

November 11, 2011 at 12:10 AM  
Blogger Vanina said...

wonderful! thanks for sharing and for the inspiration!

December 1, 2011 at 2:50 PM  
Blogger ellie g said...

Oh my GOSH! This party is so stinkin' fantastic. That color palette is YUMMY!

December 26, 2011 at 4:51 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

I absolutely love this post! But what I love more than the theme, are your comments and suggestions about what it is important to us about the party! I feel it is easy to get caught up in the blogging world and see such flawless put together parties that it becomes stressful. I felt your comments were very helpful to me to remind me what his first birthday is all about :)

January 13, 2012 at 11:39 PM  
Blogger The Rhea Family said...

What a cute party! So much that I used the theme for my daughter's 1st birthday. Thanks so much for the details and for letting me "borrow" your ideas.
Here is a link to my party details in case you want to check it out:

January 17, 2012 at 10:17 PM  
Blogger The Rhea Family said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

January 17, 2012 at 10:18 PM  
Blogger Sarah Maxey Photography said...

I am so in love with this party idea!!! Thank you for sharing- I have been trying to decide what to do for my sons 1st birthday in a couple months and THIS is it :) You rock!

February 11, 2012 at 9:16 AM  
Blogger The Rufus Family said...

I love this so much this is also our son's first birthday theme! I do have a question (regarding the film strip from the digital scrapbook layout). How did you get the photos into the blank spaces? It may sound silly and I may just not know how to work our new Mac...but I'm having the most difficult time trying to insert a photo to the strip. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you!

March 1, 2012 at 10:01 AM  
Blogger NIBBLER said...

Thank u for reminding me of the most important part of the party. I tend to get lost in the details. I'm planning a photoshoot party for my one year old too and am completely inspired. Thank u. I know God will make it awesome.

May 10, 2012 at 7:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The letter to your son was beautiful . I'm so inspired . My son Turing one soon and I'm planning to use your theme just different colors. Thanks

June 23, 2012 at 12:20 AM  
Blogger Mrs T said...

I really loved your party and all the details. For a moment, I started to feel a bit jealous and inferior and then I REALLY loved your closing point. It's so true, and to hear it put so honestly from an obvious perfectionist like you is really heart-warming. May G-d bless you and your family with health and happiness always.

June 26, 2012 at 12:03 PM  

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