Party Central

A Picnic Themed 1st Birthday Party

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Planning and styling a picnic themed 1st birthday party for a special little guy’s big milestone was so much fun for event stylist and crafter extraordinaire—Valerie Gimre, of Charming Touch Parties.  Val shared that as a Chicagoan, she looks forward to summer all year long, as do most of her clients.  Summer BBQs, picnics in the park and trips to the pool are popular on most people’s summer to-do-lists.  Celebrating a summer birthday with an outdoor themed party was the perfect excuse for Val’s clients to get together with family and friends.  Just look at the beautiful and charming picnic themed celebration Val put together while still keeping a casual feel and incorporating boyish decorations.


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To help bring in that sophisticated and charming feel to her party styling, Valerie enlisted the help of graphic designer, Beth Kruse Custom Creations. Beth created a slightly rustic, and perfectly engaging printable package that incorporated mason jars and classic patriotic colors.  I love Val’s addition of tans, greys and wood elements which helped warm up the color palette.
Boys Picnic Themed Birthday Party Welcome Sign
Guests were welcomed to Rocco’s party in style with a custom sign staked in the yard.  Immediately the patriotic picnic vibe was introduced with the red gingham print and coordinating red, white and blue bunting.
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The beautiful outdoors provided a natural backdrop for this event.  Val created additional visual interest by designing her own little faux backdrop.  She added a huge picnic basket full of gorgeous flowers and strung fabric bunting made by LillyPaul Designs from poles behind the table.  A sweet ruffled table cloth provided a beautiful covering for the dessert table which was home for a lovely assortment of casual and picnic inspired treats.  There were fresh mini pies (The Sugar Path), buckets of skewered sour candy (her client’s favorite) and cupcakes (Bake It!) for the taking.  NatSweets baked up beautifully decorated cookies which coordinated with the theme. These desserts were fuss-free and easy to handle and grab.
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I love how Val dressed up the front of the table with an impressive “Happy 1st Birthday” banner and added coordinating embellishments to all of the treats.  There were gorgeous gingham ribbons, printable party flags with pie names attached to decorative toothpicks, paper rosette cupcake toppers and other sweet details that gave that custom, boutique look to the party.
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How beautiful do all of the linens look with their preppy, patriotic mix of prints and patterns?  A delicious looking assortment of candies and treats also made the dessert table highlights list.  Cute custom printable labels were attached to help tie in the theme.

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In lieu of a gift table, Valerie was quick to utilize the natural environment and cleverly came up with the idea to create a “present tree”. Tissue poms and black and white photos of little Rocco throughout his first year of life hung from the tree. The tree trunk was blanketed in red gingham fabric.  To personalize the space, Valerie draped a rosette banner with the little boy’s name from branches of the tree. It was a super sweet way to dress up the great outdoors.

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A simple park gazebo was transformed into a lovely party space. Val tied twine from each column of the gazebo and hung additional black and white photos of the guest of honor throughout the gazebo.
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Picnic tables were covered with sweet gingham and navy blue and dressed up with coordinating fresh flowers.  Utensils and napkins were wrapped up in coordinating red gingham ribbon and were neatly displayed by a custom printable sign highlighting current facts and figures about the birthday boy.
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Extra seating was available out in the sunshine.  Tables were covered in gingham, brightened up with balloon bouquets and fresh flower arrangements.
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Even the birthday boy’s high chair was dressed up for the celebration with a darling fabric bunting paired with a “one” banner.  It coordinates perfectly with the smash cake decked out in lollipops.

First birthdays are certainly reason to celebrate. Valerie did an amazing job helping her clients enjoy these special memories in the presence of great friends and family.

Don’t miss these great sources for planning a 1st birthday party!  Check out these party sources put together by the Spaceships and Laser Beams crew.

Load up on inspiration from these boy’s 1st birthday party ideas here:

Plus, don’t miss A Pajama Time Boy’s 1st Birthday Party

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Jennifer Carver

As the mother of 4 children, 3 of whom are busy boys, much of Jen's free time is spent at the ball field, brushing up on video game terminology and building Lego towers. Jen is the owner and creative mind behind Banner Events. With a passion for event planning & party styling and an obsession with the little details that take an event from ordinary to extraordinary, Jen wakes up every morning excited to get to work.