Luke’s First Birthday

By Kelli Hall a member of the Minted Design Community

When it came time to plan my little boy’s birthday, most everyone I know assumed I’d go a little overboard. That I did, but with Minted’s amazing party decor, It was more about the special details than over-the-top scale. The look was inspired by Luke’s favorite things: a single red balloon, along with food themes and illustrative details reminiscent of Shel Silverstein story books. I had visions of understated white and fluffy textures, punctuated by bright, happy pops of red, and energetic scribbles. I tried to keep the busyness to a minimum and let the little details and punchy color palette take the spotlight.

My favorite part of planning Luke’s special day were the little projects that went into it. Here are some of my favorite (and affordable) ways that I made Luke’s party unique:

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Invitation: I created Luke’s invite to be both playful and clean, with an emphasis on our little guy’s name, along with a single, delicate hand-drawn balloon.

Sign Holders: I saved little baby food jars, painted the inside with white paint and filled them with white beans. All the sign needed was a wooden dowel affixed with glue. I just inserted it into the bean-filled jar and we had a perfect way to show-off our “all white” hors d’oeuvres display.

Hors d’oeuvres: I’ve learned, through multiple food disasters, that the best fare for any at home party, Is food that can be served room temperature. I like to make easy stuff the day before and drop it in place before guests arrive. In this case, It was store bought popcorn, mini biscuits and caprese skewers.

Popcorn Cups: These were super simple! I took the Minted pinwheel template, rolled it into a cone, affixed it with a dot of glue, and simply filled them with popcorn.

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Colored Vases: I knew I wanted bright red vases, with puffy, cloud-like flowers floating on top. But red vases in the perfect shade? Not budget friendly. So, I bought cheap clear ones, and painted the inside fire-engine red.

Custom Linen Napkins: I transferred the hand-drawn balloon graphic from Luke’s invite to iron-on transfer paper. With a couple presses of the iron, Inexpensive linens were transformed into a special custom detail.

Table Runner: Using a doodled pattern pulled from the invitation, I uploaded it to Spoonflower to create a custom fabric length. When it arrived, I simply trimmed the edges with pinking shears, and voila! Custom table runner. I think it looks great as a back-drop for pieces of minted giant confetti.

Giant Confetti: It’s sized PERFECTLY to fit within the inner rim of a standard dinner plate. So genius. I put one at each place to unify each setting and add a dose of happy color.

Place cards and Holders: Mini plastic gum ball machines felt perfectly in line with a balloon theme (what’s more “floaty” than a treat you can use to blow bubbles?) and Kraft place cards with playful white hand-lettering finish off the look. But before you start thinking I’m all crazy for using calligraphy on place cards for a small party, hear me out: place cards can be hand-lettered for as little as $1 apiece! Meme Davis made these spectacular cards for us at an affordable price.

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Flowers: A few days before, we found some hydrangeas from Whole Foods. We stuffed them in the painted vases along with some wildflowers for a textured centerpiece with a fun, fluffy feel suggestive of clouds.

Mini Bags: I used some iron-on magic for the mini fabric favor bags as well. Each child’s name was typed up in a coordinating script and printed onto iron-on paper.

Favors: I found mini yo-yos, sunglasses, and chinese finger cuffs at a party supply store. To complete the favor bag, I ordered customized pencils from Oriental Trading Company.

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Mini Treat Bags: A scalloped sticker with a hand-drawn cloud embellishes a bag of white Jordan almonds.

Sugar Clouds: We found a wonderful vendor that makes little sealed bags of cotton candy in any color you choose. We ordered these perfect little ‘spun sugar clouds’ and finished them off with a bright balloon sticker.

Marshmallow picks: A sweet cupcake flag makes basic store-bought vanilla marshmallows feel much more special.

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Party crowns: My absolute favorite part of the whole event were these sweet little paper crowns. They’re the perfect size for little ones, but adults got a kick out of wearing them too!

Luke’s Duds: Our little man wore his bright red birthday cords (Everything came from ebay! Right down to his little Chucks!)

Marzipan Berries: We incorporated a little touch of Shel Silverstein by serving sweets named after Luke’s favorite rhyming poem. We also served Ickle-Me Paninis and Hippopotamus sandwiches.

Cakes + Dessert: Each little cupcake sits atop a mini stand lined with pieces of minted table confetti. I created tiny little cupcake flags by snipping off the end of a minted pattern sheet and gluing them to a toothpick.

Book Displays: Vanilla marshmallows were displayed on stacks of Shel Silverstein books. A little touch of pattern was added by lining an acrylic rectangle with minted paper pattern sheets and placing it under the marshmallows.

Photography: Morgan Blake of Three Pennies
Calligraphy: Meme Davis
Cake: Kelly Kakes
Cloud Cookies: Preppy Confections
Cotton Candy: Atlanta Concessions
Lanterns: Paper Lantern Store
Table Runner: Spoonflower
Personalized Pencils: Oriental Trading Company
Paper Goods: Minted | Up Up and Away Party Suite designed by Kelli Hall

  1. Beautifully captured! Well done Kelli, Matt & Luke! x

  2. This is absolutely gorgeous Kelli. I love seeing your vision for the party suite so perfectly executed for Luke’s birthday! Love his outfit too. He’s a cutie.

  3. Amberly

    LOVE the red glasses. Where did you buy them??