Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Red Wagon First Birthday!

One of my favorite photos of our son is the one we took of him at 4 weeks old asleep in a mini Radio Flyer wagon.  We used it on his birth announcement, so I decided to take his one year photos with this same wagon and use this as the theme for his first birthday party.  He sure has grown!!

And now on to the party details...

Invite:  My sister-in-law helped my ideas come to life with her PhotoShop skills.  I wanted the red wagon to say my son's name, so she helped with that.  I also wanted the event title to match the Radio Flyer logo, so we worked on that.  I had the invite printed at FedEx/Kinkos on card stock, backed them in light blue card stock, and they were done.

I asked my talented friend Jill, of Little Boy Blue, if she could make John a wagon shirt, and she designed this amazing onesie!  She does such an awesome job (she even made him a matching super hero cape just for fun!).

Decor:  At our entry door, I borrowed a Radio Flyer wagon from friends and attached balloons to the handle.  I added a simple sign I quickly made on the computer to welcome guests. Inside, I borrowed another wagon to collect gifts.

I made a pendant Happy 1st Birthday banner out of card stock to place above the food table, and used a mini wagon to hold the plates and napkins. I borrowed yet another friend's plastic Radio Flyer wagon to hold the drinks.

As a centerpiece at each table, I bought wagon wheels from Harbor Freight.  I then bought red and white flowers and arranged them in one of those green foam pieces to place on top of each tire.  I bought $10 worth of flowers at a local florist and arranged them myself to save money.  Next to each tire flower, I made a frame to showcase photos for each month of John's first year. I didn't want to spend money on 13 frames, so I made them myself.  I cut one piece of foam board into 5x7" pieces, covered the front in black card stock, hot glued black ribbon on the edges, glued the photo in the center, and cut out a wagon with the number of the month on the front using my Cricut machine. I actually loved the way they came out, and this was a super cheap way to do it.  I stood two frames back to back so they could prop each other up and hide the back of the foam a bit.

I used a blue plastic tablecloth for my dessert table so my red items would pop a bit more. On the table, I had a couple 1 year photos of John with the wagon as well as a mini Radio Flyer banner I made out of card stock.  I made simple cupcakes for the kids with red/white polka dot wrappers. I topped them with white icing and scrapbooked toppers. I used my Cricut machine and Paper Dolls Dress Up cartridge since it had a wagon.  I love how they came out.  The smash cake was simple with a blue J on it.  I am glad I used white icing for the smash cake because John got icing everywhere!

For the cake, I wanted to make a Radio Flyer wagon.  I started with a simple vanilla cake in the largest rectangle pan I owned.  I placed it on a cardboard cake plate cut to fit exactly, so no edges would show.  Then I frosted the entire thing red. I free-handed the logo on the front (I am not the greatest artist), but you get the idea.  The wheels are frosted Rice Krispie Treats covered in frosting.  For the handle, I cut a dowel rod and covered it in black electrical tape.  The "handle" at the top is also electrical tape.  I cut a pizza box (since this is all I had handy) to run the length of the cake plus a little extra in the front.  I covered this in electrical tape as well and attached the dowel.  The cake is propped on a Toms shoebox covered in construction paper, and I died coconut green to give the look of grass.

For the favor, I made sugar cookies. I originally planned to do them in a wagon shape, but had a hard time finding a cookie cutter that wasn't a million dollars.  Instead, I did a simple circle and then just piped the wagon and number 1 on with frosting.  I put these in a clear bag, folded the top and used the extra cupcake wrappers to add a little color. My brother helped me design a wagon wheel tag that read "Thanks for rolling in to celebrate with us!" I placed the favors on the dessert table in another mini Radio Flyer wagon.

Menu:  I stuck with a simple menu of sandwiches, chips, and watermelon.  The only menu items that went with the theme were Gerber Wagon Wheels I set out for the little kids, and the Jello Wagons I made out of baby food containers I saved.  I found black spoons at a local fast food restaurant (they gave them to me for free!) to use as the wagon "handle".  I attached the card stock wheels with glue.  Some fell off, but most stayed.

Activities: I stayed simple with the activities.  We had a jumper we borrowed from a friend, and I had out a wagon, Radio Flyer scooter, and a Radio Flyer tricycle that we already owned.  Kids enjoyed taking turns with these.  I made an official Radio Flyer license for each kid.  These are free to download. I bought the Scotch brand photo-laminating sheets from Target to cover them and make them look more official.  These sheets are about $2 for 5 of them.  I also had crayons and wagon-themed coloring sheets set out for kids to do.

All in all, the party was fun and not too expensive (my kind of party!). It was great to celebrate our little man's first birthday with so many family and friends. I would definitely recommend a Radio Flyer themed party for a first birthday party. I felt there was even more I could have done if I had more time as well.

Side note: If you are interested in purchasing the banner, cupcake toppers, month frames, and favor tags, I saved them and I am planning to list them on Craigslist. I'd be happy to have someone time making them as they are super cute!!


Marne said...

How in the world do you have the time to do this? Do you not sleep? :-)

kheise508 said...

You are awesome Carole! I love the wagon cake!!!

Unknown said...

The cake looks amazing!!! And the happy birthday sign!!! So creative!,

km said...

DARLING in every way possible!!! The wagon jellos are so cute! all your details are DELIGHTFUL!!!!!!

Jill said...

i wanted to tell you that i just found your blog and i LOVE it! so excited to look through your different themes for inspiration! :) my husband is a pastor and we have people over frequently...i'm so excited to find some new ideas.
thanks! i'm your newest follower :)

Angela said...

Wow, you really do throw amazing parties. Thanks for sharing all your creative ideas with us.

Amanda P. said...

Hi, Do you still have the things for the party that you said you may put on craigslist? If so, I would love to buy them. My e-mail address is


Amanda P. said...

Hi! I would like to buy your party stuff if you still have it!