Thursday, April 26, 2012

Bayou Bash First Birthday Party

This party was for my son’s first birthday. His birthday falls at the same time as both my husband’s and best friend’s birthdays. For the past seven years we’ve done a joint crawfish boil to celebrate, so I wanted to pull it all into one big swamp bash. The invitations were sent in cardboard boxes filled with newspaper, Spanish moss, a plastic alligator and an egg which had to be “cracked open” to find the invitation. We got such a fun reaction from guests thinking there ACTUALLY was a live animal inside the box as indicated by the sticker on the outside of the package. I even got phone calls asking what to do with the "animal". I had planned to do paper mache eggs but it was a HUGE glue and spray paint disaster! I then thought I could use real eggs but I didn't have enough time to eat that many so Michael's and a power drill to the rescue with already formed eggs from their Easter section.

Since there were officially three birthday honorees I didn’t want just one cake or three big ones, so I decided on three small ones. I saw something on Pinterest a while back that I used as my inspiration but wanted it to be much more "Swamp-ish". So I sent my husband off to the garage to build my vision and I contacted Edible Details. I showed her the sketch for the cake swamp centerpiece stand and she crafted the three fondant swamp creatures to use as a topper on each cake. I didn’t want the table against the wall because I wanted the guests to be able to walk around the display and see the animals (and my husband's hard work) on the ombre style cakes. Each cake sat on a wooden stump that was built into the hand crafted box filled with moss and a large plastic alligator.

I had big dreams to hang spanish moss from the ceiling. We Louisianans love our spanish moss but not in our food. I couldn't keep it from falling so after some advice on Facebook The Flair Exchange came to my aid with some wonderful muted color tissue paper I was able to make some tissue tassels to decorate our tent in the backyard.

To decorate the chandelier in the dining room I created some fringe tissue balls based off of a tutorial from Oh Happy Day. I changed it up a bit by simplifying some of the materials and it came out really well. I'll be sharing this tutorial on Pure Joy Events soon. It's really easy and can provide a great party effect with little effort.

Other food and drinks that were served included boiled crawfish and all the fixins' (of course) swamp dogs (hot dogs), pelican, crawfish and INCREDIBLE personalized Tabasco bottle cookies from Frog Prince Cake and Cookie Design, “Dirt” cups with chocolate alligators and rocks, "swamp water" and mint julep iced tea for the adults served in mason jars.

The alligator and bayou theme was carried into everything else for the party. The Purple Pug send an incredible banner complete with fun fringe and glittered gators. The wreath that greeted guests when they walked in from The Knock Knock Factory was a huge hit as well as adult favors (alligator bottle openers). The kid’s favors were homemade swamp slime in push pop containers and they had a ball playing with them. I will post a tutorial later this week. The recipe is so easy (and cheap) to make and can be dyed any color!

This new swamp collection will be in the shop soon! Thanks to all great vendors helped with products and it turned out so wonderful. Most importantly, the birthday boy had a great time and so did all our friends and family. We love you Jackson Bonham and can't wait to celebrate many more birthdays with you!

Vendor Credits:
Invitations, Paper Collateral and Party Styling: Magnolia Creative Co.
Fondant Swamp Creatures: Edible Details
Tabasco Cookies: Frog Prince Cake and Cookie Design
Alligator Banner and Flag: The Purple Pug
Baking Cups (Dirt Cups): Shop My Little Love
Swamp Wreath: The Knock Knock Factory

Tissue Paper for Tissue Tassels: The Flair Exchange
Gator Bottle Opener Favors: Cayenne Marketing

Paper Straws, Lanterns, Tissue Fan Flowers, Balloons, Paper Plates, Napkins: The Polka Dot Market
Wooden Utensils: Web Restaurant Store

These boy party ideas were also featured on Spaceships and Laser Beams.

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  1. Emily, this is fabulous! I'm drooling over your shabby fabric garland and those cookies...and that glitter banner! Did you hand-stamp all those utensils yourself? Amazing!

  2. I did stamp the utensils and it was so easy! You can buy the small letter kit at Michael's and I just taped together the individual stamps to make his name and stamped away. It took MAYBE 30 minutes to do 60 utensils!

  3. How did you make the egg invitations? My daughter wants a bird themed b-day party, and I would love to do something similar!!

    1. Hey Angie,

      I bought them at Michael's. When I got them home I found out they will filled with styrofoam but it turned out fine. I drilled holes in them with a hand held drill and then rolled up the invite and tied some twine around it so guests could pull it out and sealed it with a sticker that said "wild animal" but you could use whatever. If you have any other questions feel free to email me.

  4. This birthday party is INCREDIBLE. You are a girl after my own heart. I love party planning. I wish I had a little boy because this party is so adorable. I've already pinned :)

  5. I absolutely love this party theme...and am doing something very similar for my son in March. I was wondering, where did you get the large plastic/rubber gator figure that is placed under the cakes in the pics? I have no idea where to find something like that.

  6. Now this is certainly a unique theme for a first birthday party! This sure is a great new idea out from the usual Disney-themed parties I get to see.

  7. Hi Milton! Sorry I'm just now seeing this but I actually borrowed the gator from a friend. I've heard from several clients that Hobby Lobby sells one and also Discovery Toys? Good luck and I hope your son's party is SWAMPTASTIC!!!

  8. i am curious and LOVE the invitation idea for this but did it cost a fortune to ship to each person? my kids are having their party at a local aligator farm in a few weeks and this would be perfect!!

    1. Hello nfbissell! Mine were around $1.44 each to mail because they are REALLY light! I think if you send them farther (like into another state/across the country) it may go up a little but the average price seems to be around $1.50 - $2 each.

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  10. Wondering where you got the boxes from :) Adorable!

  11. Which boxes are you referring to? The invitations?