Very Hungry Caterpillar First Birthday Party {Decor Details}

(You can see the photo recap here and the food details here.)
On to my favorite part of parties: the decor details. πŸ™‚  Skyler and I were reading yesterday about different gifts people have and Skyler pegged me as “the Helper”… as I read over the traits, I saw flashes of Ezekiel’s party before my eyes. πŸ™‚ “Attention to details that other’s deem tedious, but to the Helper are details that make something more special.”  Dead on.  I love details.  πŸ™‚
The Invites:
I found this Eric Carle Bulletin Board pack on Amazon for only $3.99.  It had several sheets in it and I knew I could use it for the invites and probably a couple other things too.  

This was the only pic I remembered to take of the back – I decided to put the “full” caterpillar on the back side. πŸ™‚ (Oh, and you can pretty much just Google “Hungry Caterpillar” and find all of these images to design anything you want for your parties!  I used Photoshop to do most of my party details.)

 Glued strips of the bulletin boarder on plain white cards, cut leaf shapes free-handed out of green cardstock and glued them and caterpillar cut outs (printed on photo paper).  I had everything, except the bulletin border, so I only paid $3.99 to make 20 some invites.  I thought that was way better than to purchase some boring (and more expensive) pre-made cards.  Skyler gave me a great compliment when he came home and saw my handiwork!  He doesn’t always, so I appreciate when he does. πŸ™‚  He told me, “those look professional, like you bought them!”

Inside – edited out the personal info!  Again, I designed these in Photoshop.  I definitely need to learn more about the program, but I can make my way around it enough to get done what I need to do! πŸ™‚

Matching envelope (also edited… :))

My inspiration:
I loved these ones from Pottery Barn…but come on.  Who really can afford to mail out mason jar invites?!  Even though, entirely cute.  And do-able if you are able to hand deliver your invites.  But I loved the idea of the leaves with the holes in them like the caterpillar ate through it – so I went with that idea.

Hanging Japanese Lantern Caterpillar:

I found these 3-packs of lanterns at our local Paper Zone, as it was sadly going out of business, so I was able to snag these for a pretty good price.  Unfortunately, I was unable to find a red one anywhere.  I thought, surely, with Valentine’s Day around the corner – red should be easy to find.  Not a one that I could find in this town.  So I went with idea number 2: buying red crepe paper and wrapping a white one (left over from our wedding) with it.

In theory, it was a great idea.  In reality…not so much.  I really envisioned the crepe paper wrapping nicely around the white lantern and making a perfect red head… It turned out looking more like a mummy caterpillar…But I rolled with it.  Honestly, if I were to do this party again, I probably wouldn’t do this caterpillar.  Finding the lanterns was a pain, wrapping the red one was a huge pain, hanging them just right was a pain, and keeping the head lantern from turning around and facing the window was a pain.   (I ended up having to anchor the head to the blinds so that it wouldn’t twirl around.).

It still looked pretty cute and Ezekiel liked it – which was the best part, I suppose!  πŸ™‚  He just started learning how to say “wooow!”  And he was pretty “wow’ed” by this hanging contraption. πŸ™‚



For Ezekiel’s Alphabet banner, I had each letter printed off at Shutterfly in 5×7’s and just used mini clothespins to hang them from twine. 

For Zeek’s happy birthday banner, I used colored cardstock, more of the Eric Carle Bulletin Border, and my chip board letters to trace and cut out “Happy Birthday”.  I bought leaf cookie cutters for the fondant cupcakes, so I used the biggest one to trace out leaf shapes on green cardstock and placed them randomly throughout the banner. 

For Ezekiel’s monthly pictures, I cut out two colors of green paper and taped the pictures to the cardstock, and taped it all to the kitchen wall.  This was right above the alphabet banner.



I hung garland up in the living room, back and forth 8 times across.  I loved the way it turned out.  I {sort of jokingly} told Skyler I might leave it up forever.  It was so cheerful!
I used my Fiskars circle punch and scallop punch to cut out the circles from probably about 25 sheets of different colored card stock (12 x 12 size allowed about 30 punches per sheet).  After I had as many colors as I wanted, I put them all in a big mixing bowl and just mixed them all together with my hands.  Then I pulled out my sewing machine, chose just a white thread and started sewing them together, one after the other.  The punching part was a bit time consuming (but I enlisted Skyler’s help!), but the sewing part went so fast!  I think it took me less than 20 minutes to sew the whole garland.  (Side note: it’s already was used again in a friend’s little girl’s birthday party this weekend!  I told Skyler that it was worth the time and effort because I could use it for anything! ;))


Drinking Glasses & Leaves:

I saw these two posts on Pinterest:

I was really in luck, because we happened to have an entire case of Starbuck’s Mocha Frapp in our closet from our concessions for our paintball tournaments.  (They didn’t sell, so they were mine to drink!)  I did have to buy one more case to have 30 of them (enough for everyone at the party).  I convinced Skyler that it was a good idea though, because I could serve the mocha drink in a pitcher with some ice cream in it – like one of our favorite party coffee drinks that my friend Jessi always makes.  He agreed and off I went to Costco! πŸ™‚
(Luckily, they also had a coupon for $3 off per pack in the month’s coupon book!)

I had looked at these bottles many times before (during concessions time) and thought of how cute the shape was, but that darned expiration date and whatever else they print on the bottles just looked so tacky!   It wasn’t until I saw the above picture on Pinterest where the lady used the Frapp bottles, that I realized that the ink MUST be able to come off, if she was able to use them.  I soaked them in soapy water and the labels peeled right off.  I took my sponge over them (scratchy side to the glass) and the ink came right. off.  It couldn’t have been easier.  I was dumbfounded.  Not sure why I hadn’t just tried that before!!

After they were all washed, I cut out more leaves from cardstock with the leaf cookie cutter.  I loved the way the leaves looked on the jars!  I left a fine point sharpie in the tray so people could write their names on the leaves to label their drink as their own!

(I bought plastic drinking cups for the kiddos to use.  Loved the rainbow look. :))

Goodie Bags & Goodies:

I originally had bought some rainbow colored polka-dotted goodie bags from Target, but as I was looking at them, I thought of the bulletin border again.  I knew I could easily make my own goodie bags with the border and the brown lunch sacks we already had.

I cut the border to size, glued it and more caterpillars (printed on photo paper) onto each bag.  I made tags on Photoshop that read, “Thanks for coming! Love, Zeek” and printed them onto green cardstock.  After printed, I placed the leaf cookie cutter over them and traced the leaf shape and cut them out.

We wanted to do some fun Pinterest projects for inside the goodie bag!  I found this homemade playdough recipe:

And saw this candy cane mason jar playdough:

And I had visions of lumpy caterpillar playdough in mason jars!

I used the recipe from How Does She? (above).  It was an easy recipe and it turned out great!
I made three different batches to make my caterpillars have different shades of green for the body.  One batch with green and yellow food coloring, one with green and blue food coloring, and one with green and equal parts green and blue food coloring.  I layered them how I wanted in the jars, made caterpillar faces out of cardstock, and they were good to go!  And darn cute, if I do say so.  I loved how these turned out. πŸ™‚

These are all the ingredients you need!! Love how simple it was. πŸ™‚

I found packs of these crayons at Target in the party area – specifically for goodie bags.
I paired them with a coloring sheet of the Very Hungry Caterpillar (found here).

Skyler really wanted to make magnetic silly putty for the kids, an idea we saw on Pinterest:

So we bought the putty and the iron oxide and scientist Skyler got to work…but after playing with it for a while, we were pretty disappointed.  It wasn’t magnetic at all like the tutorial showed.  He took it out in the garage and put it on his magnetizing tool and it did work considerably better.  However, as you played with it, little powder parts would come off of the putty, and in the end, we didn’t feel comfortable with giving it to the kids…so the idea was scratched…

We gave them just the regular putty and a bouncy ball in the goodie bags, as well. πŸ™‚

Birthday Wishes:

I saw this cool idea on Pinterest:

I loved the idea of having the guests fill out something like this for Ezekiel.  I thought it would be fun to add them to his scrapbook.

I took these same fill in the blanks, but designed my own page in Photoshop.

I loved reading everyone’s answers. πŸ™‚


I lucked out and found this wrapping paper (that I thought looked a lot like Eric Carle’s font) at Dollar Tree!  Loved it.

These tags for the food table were made by Rachel at Polka Dots and Puppies.
She has the link to the printables on her blog here.

Sure made my job easier!  I just printed them on photo paper, cut out, and glued to brown cardstock. πŸ™‚

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That’s all I can think of for details!
If you have any questions, fire away. πŸ™‚

Love, K

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