Monday, August 25, 2014

Harper's Country Fair Themed 1st Birthday Party

Wow, hard to believe my baby is a year old already. I have been so busy this past year, trying to find some balance between being a good mom, going back to work, keeping up with house stuff, it's been crazy. My husband is a huge help, and that I am grateful, but it's been challenging and amazing all at the same time. Harper is a wonderful, happy little girl, so I had to throw her a huge bash of course.

Since her birthday is August 23rd, I wanted to take advantage of being outside with family and friends, and utilizing our screened porch and backyard. I'm a December baby and never had a birthday party outside. I knew we were going to have a lot of little kids in attendance so I thought putting on a country fair with games they could play would be fun and it was a total success! Who needs a jumpy house when you can quickly create your own games from stuff you can find around your house, Dollar Tree store and free wood pallets.

First I searched on Pinterest and pinned a lot of great ideas other moms did for their kids' parties. Here's a list of the games we had:

"Bucket Ball" - My dad screwed $1 buckets onto a wood pallet I sourced for free from a lobster shack down at the shore. The owner let me take as many as I wanted and now my husband is using them for his own projects. The wiffle balls were free from my sister's boys.

"Ring Toss" - I cleaned 9 Sierra Nevada beer bottles my husband enjoyed and my dad glued them to a piece of plywood I sourced at Michaels for $4. I could have cut a piece of scrap wood but I was just running out of time. The rings were a pack of 5 glow in the dark bracelets from the Dollar Tree.

"Tin Can Alley" - I stacked two of the free wood pallets, used Ikea baskets as a base that I already had lying around our home and when Harper finished her "Graduate" puffs, I cleaned the can and used those as my tin cans. It was super cute.

"Gone Fishin'" - We filled up Harper's kiddie pool with water, and we bought two sets of little fishing pole & plastic fish at the party store. They were on sale for $1.99 per set since it was the end of the summer.

"Bean Bag Toss" - My friend let us borrow her bean bag toss tailgate game which was perfect

"Photo Booth" - we hung up a quilt between two trees, set up a bale of hay in front and my nephew helped me make a ton of masks I downloaded for free (search on google) and printed a photo booth sign (another pinterest find). I bought a few more fun dress up items at Dollar Tree.

Photo Booth sign printable -

As for décor, I wanted quilts everywhere, bales of hay and old vintage looking windows. I sourced the quilts from Mike's aunt who quilts and sent down 4 from Massachusettes, perfect! My father picked up two bales of hay one we used at the "Photo Booth" and another was out in the backyard as seating with a scrap piece of fabric that I had. Driving in our neighborhood one night I saw that my neighbor was replacing all his windows and had a stack of 6-pane wood windows he was going to trash. I knocked on his door and he let me take two of them. I printed all of Harper's monthly photos and set them in the window panes using masking tape and scrapbook paper.

Other photos on display were taken at a local farm by my sister. Its nice to have a photographer in the family. My sister had a "Smash the Cake" session with Harper which was super cute. Other décor items were 4 photo books I created on Shutterfly to document Harper's first year, mason jars with cute cut out tops (Amazon) and pink and white striped straws from Michael's, mini bale of hay from Jo-Ann Fabrics and quilts used as tablecloths really added a lot of color to the party. My girlfriend let us borrow her cotton candy and popcorn machine which was a huge hit. The kids and adults loved it. Overall it was a great party, one we will always remember.

If you want to see all my inspiration, follow me on Pinterest and you can source these same ideas.

sorry for the blurriness. Harper's Smash the Cake photos on display along with her 1st year photo books and goodie bags

Happy Birthday Harper banner I made with scrapbook paper and I printed out the letters using MS Word

Shutterfly photo books and goodie bags

Yummy dessert table. I made the chocolate cake (I'm not a baker) and we had cupcakes, fruit kabobs, blueberry pie and lollipops that were on display covering a cereal box with yellow paper and paper tickets. The plastic ware was from Dollar Tree along with the containers they were in. Rose Napkins were from Ikea for my Harper Rose.
table set-up with burlap runners and mason jars. You can see the game set up in the background
testing out the photo booth

singing Happy Birthday. The vintage high chair was my sister's. She uses it for photo shoots an I made the "one" banner in front with burlap, $1 ribbon from Michaels and painted wood letters from MIchaels that are $.49 each.

My little girl
my mom in disguise with my two nephews Jaxon and Wesley

Brooke and Maya playing with "Gone Fishin'"

Our good friends testing out the photo booth, Keri, Trevor, Mason, Blake and little Tess Rose

The kids loved the photo booth!


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  2. Amazing pictures of your baby! Belated Happy birthday to you baby! Yeah it’s an astounding time for parents to host their kid’s 1st birthday party celebrations. I have great memories of my daughter’s 1st birthday party that we celebrated at Los Angeles event venues and the place was awesome too.