I had an absolute BLAST planning and executing this party. I was so unbelievably inspired by the season, the color scheme, the myriad textures and possibilities to carry out a first birthday party with a winter theme. From snowflakes to crystals, multiple shades of creamy whites to sparkling silvers, natural textures like branches to fluffy fake snow, this was by far my most favorite party I've created and thrown to date.
Baby Girl was born last January on the first day of an epic snow storm here in Seattle. As the first snowflakes began to fall outside, she came into this world equally as peacefully as the delicate flakes fell outside my hospital window. Given how difficult her pregnancy was, and how at one point I was worried we'd even make it to a delivery date, one of the "happy thoughts" that would keep me going during the last five months of my pregnancy with her was planning and celebrating her first birthday. Right after she was born, as I marveled at her perfectness and her full head of black hair, I knew the theme to honor such a momentous day for our little family: a winter wonderland party. Except, it would be a winter ONE-derland, to celebrate such a wonderful day!
I started crafting and collecting decorations like a mad person.
Bright white, sparkly white, off white, cream white, white the color of clouds and white the color of snow were starting to fill my new home. Accents of strong silver -- sparkly and bright, strong yet still classic and feminine played foil to the dreamy shades of white. Fluffy fake snow with flakes of sparkle paired against rugged brown branches created instant atmosphere. And of course, an abundance of snowflakes throughout the house.
As you opened the door you were greeted by my silver tree (Z Gallerie). Adorned with various glittered snowflakes and glass icicles, the tree served both as an instant eye-catching welcomer as well as a favor server -- each child got to pick off their favorite snowflake to take home as a party favor.
I wanted to include a simple but elegant welcome banner befitting of our theme. I used glittered silver letters (you can find them at Michael's craft stores in the scrapbook section) and stuck them onto white glitter paper I cut out by hand to look like snowballs. I hung the letters that spelled "Welcome to One-derland" with a simple sweet white satin ribbon, and hung them from willow branches above our formal room as you walk in.
Baby Girl was fascinated by the welcome sign, and would stare and smile at it (even now!) for the days leading up to her party. She loves it so much, it's hanging in her room now above her crib much to her delight.
Snowflakes were a wonderful addition to the overall theme. I used them as stickers, hanging ornaments, party favors, decorations, even on the cake and for the kids activity!
I love using apothecary jars to house candy. Mix and match them -- they're supposed to be all different! Add in a cake stand to two, simple glass jars, anything that you have or that would work! You can add a simple touch by adding personalized stickers -- I made mine using a scallop puncher with white glitter paper and personalized "S" and "1".
I like using a mix of store-bought candy and homemade confections when possible. My aunt was kind enough to send some sweets our way, so I included some homemade Romanian cookies called cornulete as well as the apricot crisp cookies -- both doused in powdered sugar that fit perfectly in the snow theme. I also made vanilla marshmallows from scratch (super easy) and instead of cutting them into squares, made them into snowballs that I then rolled in powdered sugar!
|The perfect marshmallow snowball.|
Both my kids and the rest of the kids could not stop eating these fluffy snowballs!
The cake was a masterpiece. Made special order for me from The People's Cake in Seattle, it featured two tiers of vanilla cake with grapefruit filling, then the bottom tier being the most heavenly coconut cake with hibiscus butter cream and passion fruit. The entire cake was hugged in rolled white fondant, then sprinkled with crunchy sugar crystals to create that "just snowed" look.
Sitting elegantly and proudly atop the incredible cake was a simple and formidable sugar glass "1" flanked with delicate snowflakes. The snowflakes were all created by hand, each lovingly painted with edible glitter.
The amount of technique and craftsmanship that went into this cake was astounding. Guests didn't realize it was an actual edible cake! They thought it was part of the decorations, which of course it was. Edible decorations -- my favorite kind! A HUGE thank you to Beth and her team at The People's Cake for creating the perfect climax for our party. I thoroughly look forward to working with you in the future on more parties!
Beth was so sweet to include a smash cake for the birthday girl. So modern and elegant, even the smash cake served as a modern counterpoint to the rest of the decorations. And was delicious as well. Thanks Beth! She loved it!
As for the rest of the decorations, I used my dining table in the dinging room for the main food table. The weather was terrible -- cold, on/off rain, and mud so the party needed to be inside. Thankfully my dark, rich brown dining table served as the perfect base for my white and silver concoctions atop it.
I took silver painted pine cones and simply added them to a clean clear jar.
|Silver silk flowers for $0.50 post Christmas sale!|
I used my white and silver platters and cake stands for the party. It was also fun to whip out my fine crystal candlesticks and platters as well! They added the perfect sparkle and glow when the candles were lit all around. Both the taper candles and votives below added just the right amount of ambiance and soft glow befitting of winter.
Finally, no party can be complete without some sort of activity to preoccupy the kids. I took the winter theme outdoors and created Mr. Winter Owl who held paintbrushes. I picked up some hanging bird houses and fairy wands for the kids to create their own winter items. I simply provided some paint (white, shades of blue, etc.) glitter glue, sparkles, snowflakes, ribbons, etc. and let them have at it!
They had a blast making their items and got to take them home! Together with a snowflake to hang in their room as a momento, some candy, and their craft project -- each kid went home satisfied and accomplished.
Now of course...THE FOOD. I keep the season and white theme going even with the food and drink. Stay tuned for the recipes!