Idea No.


Panda Party -1yr- Paper Lanterns



July 2012


Britny in Richmond, TX, USA

Runner Up


For my daughter’s first birthday, we chose a panda theme. She adores this panda toy that hangs from her car seat, so now everyone buys her panda stuff- socks, hats, books, toys, etc. So of course we had to do a panda theme and chose raspberry pink and lime green as accent colors. 

INVITATIONS: I made the invitations using my cricut so they looked sort of scrapbook style. It was a 4x6 piece of pink scrapbook paper. The left half had a lime green with modern floral print rectangle covering the pink, so the invitation was half lime green, half pink. In the middle of the green rectangle was a picture of my daughter in her birthday outfit- a onsesie monogrammed with a one, a little panda, and her name in hot pink, a hot pink tutu, and a lime green and pink rosette headband. She was holding her large stuffed panda in the picture. On the pink side of the invitation was the party info printed in a bamboo looking font. It said Our Sweet Baby Brooklyn is turning one, come to her panda party and join in the fun. In the middle of the invitation was a cute little panda wearing a hot pink bow that I made with my cricut. This panda kind of became the logo for the party. 

DECORATIONS: The decorations included pink and green paper lanterns and pink and green tissue paper poms. These were hung on the front porch, the canopy in the backyard, and above the food tables. I also used my cricut to make banners using the same scrapbook paper as her invites. One banner hung above windows in our dining room, near the dessert table. It said Happy First Birthday Brooklyn. The other hung above the windows near the food table in our breakfast nook. It was a timeline with different frames, each had a picture of her from each month and a newborn picture. We also had several vases with hot pink flowers scattered throughout the house. 

FOOD BUFFET/DRINKS: I served some Asian food to keep with the panda theme, but also regular finger foods for those who wanted something different. I placed the Asian food on my tiered buffets plates and the rest of the food was on green platters. The tablecloth was pink and I sewed a modern floral pink and lime green table runner that went down the middle. I put food labels next to each dish. These were made with the same scrapbook paper as the banners and invites. The menu consisted of: egg rolls, potstickers, sweet and sour chicken skewers, California sushi rolls, panda crackers (round crackers, spread with cream cheese and I used black olives to make panda faces), roasted chicken sandwiches, black bean salad (made with watermelon and pineapple pico de gallo), honeydew and watermelon balls served in a hollowed out watermelon, spinach artichoke dip, and cream cheese picante dip with chips. Most of the food was either Asian or pink and green. The chicken skewers and sandwiches had toothpicks with pink and green scrapbook paper flags or little pandas on them. Chopsticks were wrapped in coordination paper and placed near the sushi. 

Kids’ Buffet: Macaroni and cheese served in lime green takeout boxes, apple cups (I put strawberry yogurt in the bottom of clear punch cups and placed granny smith apple slices in the cups, and kid sushi (made with rice krispy treats, Swedish fish, and fuit roll ups). I put a little chalkboard menu next to the buffet.  Drink Station: I had a table set up with a pink sign that said Brooklyn’s Brew in lime green bamboo letters. On a small chalk board I wrote the drink menu: green tea, pink lemonade, bottled water, and sodas. I place pink and green plastic straws in a little jar. The straws had little scrapbook paper flags on them that the guests could write their names on. The lemonade had lemon slices and raspberries floating in it and was served out of a glass drink dispenser that has the little tap on it. The green tea had mint leaves and lime slices floating in it and was also served out of a glass drink dispenser. The water bottles labels were replaced with scrapbook paper wrappers. The water and sodas were placed in a pink tin tub. 

CAKE/DESSERT BUFFET:  In the middle of my dining room table, I had a three tiered glass cake stand. On top was my daughter’s smash cake- A tiny cake with pink ruffly looking icing. The bottom two tiers had cupcakes- chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and chocolate candy placed on them to look like panda faces, and strawberry cupcakes topped with little cupcake picks made out of scrapbook paper that said Happy Birthday Brooklyn and Brooklyn is One. I also made panda cake pops, green tea marshmallows, panda sugar cookies, and more of the kid sushi. All of this was displayed on white platters tied with pink and green ribbons. 

ACTIVITIES:  As the guests entered, I had a little sign displayed in a bamboo frame that asked them to put on panda ears (I made out of black felt and pipe cleaners) and sign the inside cover of Brooklyn’s panda book (Panda Bear, Panda Bear by Eric Carle). In our game room we had several activities and crafts. The directions for each were displayed in bamboo frames. We colored Frisbees that had a panda sticker on them and took them outside to toss them. They adopted stuffed pandas by adorning them with their choice of bow or bow-tie, naming them, and filling out an adoption certificate. I also made a panda bean bag toss. I painted a large panda with an open mouth on cardboard. The kids tossed bean bags (made out of modern green, pink, and gray fabric used for the table runners) into the panda’s mouth. They got to choose one small prize for each bag they got in the panda’s mouth.

FAVORS:  All of the crafts and prizes were placed in their favor bags. The bags had a panda on them and I wrote each child’s name on the panda’s tummy. I had already placed little boxes of chocolate or strawberry filled panda cookies in their bags (found these in the dollar section of target). We also cracked open a giant, lime green. number one piƱata, the adults played washers (like horseshoes), and we watched a slide show of pictures and videos from Brooklyn’s first year. As the guest left, they were given a homemade fortune cookie as a favor. Inside, instead of fortunes, were little strips of paper that said Thank you for coming to my first birthday part. Love, Brooklyn. I placed the cookies in small plastic bags and closed them with a panda sticker. As I’m typing all of this, I realize I may have gone a little overboard with the crafting, but it was a labor of love that I can’t wait to show my daughter pictures of one day.

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