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A Dozen 1st Birthday Party Themes (that don't involve cartoons!)

Much as it saddens me to admit, kina's first birthday is right around the corner.  First birthdays are big in Indian tradition, so I've been thinking of doing a little party for her.  She is super social, so I think she'd love a party with all the people she loves.  I'm a sucker for themes, but didn't want to do anything that required too much planning, preparation, or expense.  Also, character-and-animal-themed birthday parties (Mickey, Dora, monkeys, whatever other randos are out there) are...not my thing.

Since I was doing all the research, I thought I'd share the wealth.  Here are a dozen cute (but not cutesy), relatively simple, and classy first birthday party themes:


A Dozen 1st Birthday Party Themes
(that don't involve cartoons!):

1. Library:
My friend did this for a baby shower, and I think it would be great for a 1st birthday with all of baby's favorite books.  I especially love The Very Hungry Caterpillar fruit plate - so adorable.



Nat especially loves all the old airplanes at the Air & Space Museum here, and I think this would be such a cute theme for a 1-year old or older child.  I love that it's not just, "I have a boy! Must do some sort of vehicle party!"  It's sweet and cute without being too...obvious?  I think it would be super cute to (cheaply) print some pictures of old airplanes to hang around, or design some easy printables on your own.  You could also thrift an old atlas to use a bunch of fun maps.  Here is another cute one.



I love the old fashioned feel of this party, with the old cameras and suitcases.  Lower the expense by asking friends/family for old props, and using cheap streamers to tie in different colors.



This one kills me.  The craft paper signs, the fruit/veggies in the produce baskets, the cupcakes in egg cartons, the craft paper popcorn holders, the flowers in old cans...kills me dead.



With a baby that is suuuper into frozen treats, this is right up her alley.  And, ahem, mine.



How cute is the cutout fish plate?  I especially love that it's not too masculine; this theme would be equally adorable for either gender.


My friend did this for her little boy and it was just darling.  I mean, egg cartons for Cheerios?  And check out that cardboard box airplane!



Who doesn't love the circus?  So colorful and fun.


9. Owls:
Owls are the one exception to my "no animal themes" rule.  There are a million iterations of the "Look Whoo's One" theme out there, but that doesn't make it any less sweet, especially for a fall birthday.  We did one for Nat's first birthday specifically revolving around the book In My Tree, which was his favorite.  Maybe I'll get it together enough to post about his party, which I LOVED.  Maybe.  Two years later.



I love that this just uses some simple colors to pull everything together.  Adorable and cute for a boy or a girl.



 I love that this is girly and sweet without being too frilly.  And lemons make such pretty decorations!



The Francophile in me just adores this sweet little party.  I mean, the black tape Paris skyline?  The best.



Any amazing themes you've done?

6 comments

  1. I think my favorite themes are those inspired by the child's likes or interests. Elinore's first word was cat and she was obsessed with our black cat, Franky, so we threw her a cat party. I hauled our huge framed "chat noire" poster out of the basement and used it for color inspiration (black and red). Her favorite color was (and still is) yellow so I also debated using yellow as a party theme. I guess I just like when the party tells guests a little about baby's personality.

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  2. I LOVE number 1!! You could do this with a lot of books -- make food art :-)

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  3. What does it say about me that I love the food based ones...the bbq, ice cream and lemonade?!

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  4. Lots of fun! And I think you *should* post about Nat's party, since we missed it, and I never got to see how his shirt looked on him ;)

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  5. Very cool post! My cousin did a whole "Hungry Caterpillar" party and it was SUPER cute. I wish you could see the photos. The cake was like an apple with a bite out of it, she made a long line of "caterpillar" sandwiches etc. Here's the link - hope you can see it: https://www.facebook.com/genevere1/media_set?set=a.10151339991319199.565759.753894198&type=3

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  6. PLEASE PLEASE do that pink lemonade one. All girly and pink and you can make frozen lemonade so everyone is happy!!!!

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