Friday, May 7, 2010

Planning a 1st Birthday Party - The Invites

It is going to be an exciting weekend - my niece Ella's 1st Birthday Party on Saturday and a Mother's Day Brunch on Sunday!

I can't recall if my sister actually asked for my help to plan the birthday party or if I just took over the operation. . .hmmm. . .

At any rate, I had begun lobbying for May 8 as the party date a few months ago after I realized I would be out of town the following weekend (Ella's birthday falls on the 13th so a May 15th party seems a bit more of a first choice). Luckily, my recommended weekend worked for the rest of the family as well so we started with a date, time and location. Because of the number of invitees, and the lovely prospect of not having to clean up the house after a party, they picked the local park district community room for the birthday bash.

With the necessary logistics decided, the invitation task got turned over to me. There are actually quite a few adorable easy-to-order options online and if I had been asked to make more than 20 invites I probably would have taken advantage of this. All in all, I had 16 to create to cover family members and close friends.

Our decorating color scheme came out of the party dress Ella's parents bought for her. Is that not the cutest thing you've ever seen? We kept up the blue and green flower theme for the invitations.

I started with a stack of blank cards picked up at Joann Fabrics (you can usually find a 50 pack on sale that should hopefully get you through the year!) I saved some cardstock by cutting each in half - there was no need for an inside of the invites so these were one-sided cards. Printing out the party details on blue paper (being careful about margins as the text had to be in just the right part of the page) became the background for the card.

Amazing how much room all of the card making material can take up!

We picked out a favorite photo of the little one and printed it out in wallet sizes on photo paper. I will say my printer ink was running a bit low so the quality of these is not the 100% I would have liked. Normally though, I have a pretty reliable printer for photo quality prints - see the seed packet prints I created for my Mom's kitchen. I picked up some photo corners to attach the pics to the invites - using the corners and not gluing the picture down also makes it easy for someone to take the photo out and save after the invite is ready to be thrown out (although I choose to believe that everyone saves all of the cards I make forever and ever!). I think I stood at the rubber stamp display at Joann Fabrics for a good 15 minutes trying to convince myself NOT to buy more than one new flower stamp (but I did get a pretty sweet Parisian-Inspired stamp that I need to find a use for). I used these pens to blend color into the flowers from the stamp pad ink.
Timewise, the party is going to last for 2 hours - probably just enough time to hold a one-year old's interest. Plans are to start with lunch, lead into cake and then gifts for those that are able to stay. Here's hoping Miss Ella takes a nice long nap in the morning and is bright and cheery for her own party!

I'll be back with wrap up from the event including decor, favors, music and food!

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