Butterfly First Birthday Party
April 11, 2017
Butterfly first birthday party baby with wings

Butterfly First Birthday Party | Halfpint Design - fun ideas for a butterfly party

Butterfly First Birthday Party

As I shared the Peter Rabbit first birthday party with you last Friday and contemplated the difficulties encountered by Amy, I reflected back to my first children’s party and remembered experiencing very similar headaches! For my very first theme I chose a Butterfly first birthday party, but because my daughter's birthday is the end of February, I wasn’t able to have the lovely outdoor springtime party I envisioned.

First birthdays are fun events. It marks a real accomplishment for mom and baby. You’ve hopefully BOTH come out alive and well! And is there anything cuter than a one-year old with their little toothy smile? Baby is still too small to participate in much so these events typically are an extended family affair. In Hawaii when a baby “makes one” they throw a party like none I’ve ever seen and the whole community is invited. I embraced so many parts of their beautiful culture while living in Hawaii and celebrated my baby by bringing together all the people who loved her.


Butterfly First Birthday Party | Halfpint Design - Having the party at an event center with an ice rink gave the kids and adults something fun to do! I provided a few pair of socks for my guests just in case.

For the venue I chose Noah’s in South Jordan, Utah. I worked for Noah’s at the time, designing additional event centers for the company. This building is unique, the corporate flagship that boasts amenities no other Noah’s property can…like a winter ice skating rink on the 3rd floor rooftop! {It is a garden patio the rest of the year} In February when you’re having lots of people and you live in a tiny house I could think of nothing more fun than gathering together inside and giving the adults and big kids the chance to ice skate outside if they wanted to.

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Welcome Entrance:

Inside the entry door I created a small photo gallery to greet guests and celebrate her life; including the gift from her daddy and I. {Love Melissa and Doug toys! Especially this Alligator Push Toy}

Butterfly First Birthday Party | Halfpint Design - Entry display to showcase the last 13 months of her life.

Maternity shoot: Marissa Vargason Photography and Newborn images: Craig Tovey Productions

Butterfly Birthday Girl

The interior room was perfect for this not-yet-walking birthday girl!

Butterfly First Birthday Party | Halfpint Design - Birthday girl wasn't too sure about her wings.

For a butterfly 1st birthday, we needed cute butterfly fabric from Joanne's in the shape of a 1. I got the rest of her cute accessories from Halo Heaven which is no longer in business but The Hair Bow Company is very similar in their product offering with some even cuter styles! Must haves for the butterfly birthday girl:

  • Wings {of course!}
  • Headband or clip – we went with the butterfly clip, they are easier to sneak into hair
  • Tutu in a color that matches or coordinates with wings
  • Butterfly wand (not pictured)
  • Cute top – I chose a white onesie and made a quick #1 pattern for the fabric, ironed it on to purple felt and sewed it onto the shirt. I trimmed the butterfly from the fabric, lined it with felt as well and tacked it on at an angle. The 1 is a little large for her tiny tummy but it made for a fun outfit!


Butterfly First Birthday Party | Halfpint Design - Our buffet table. Fun "springtime" menu to fight the cold.

I kept the menu simple and “springy”:

  • Chicken Salad croissants
  • Pasta Salad
  • Butterfly PBJ's  {Butterfly cookie cutter here}
  • Butterfly shaped crackers with grapes and cheese {Pepperidge Farms has them in the perfect shape! If they aren't available in stores yet you can find them on Amazon}
  • Spinach dip with veggies
  • Snickers salad
  • Butterfly rice crispy treats {I used the largest of these smaller cutters found here and the smallest for the cheese}
  • Vanilla and chocolate cupcakes {Costco} with chocolate butterflies
  • Banana Bread “cake”
  • Beverage dispenser with lemon water
  • Hot chocolate dispenser for ice skaters


Why I Say NO to Dessert Buffets | Halfpint Design - Kids these days already consume way too much sugar. Let's give them all the fun without the crash. Cake alternative - banana bread sweetened with agave and frosted with lightly sweetened cream cheese for 1st birthday smash cake.

You'll notice I have several sweet things offered on the table, with butterfly shaped suckers and candies sprinkled throughout. I have learned a lot in the last 7 years and now I realize that we don't need to have all those sweets. It can STILL be a party! Gasp! I was pretty freaked out by the idea that this was the day my baby was supposed to dig into her very first cake. I wanted the photo op with a smash cake but I did NOT want her to feel sick and sugar crash during the party. {Which ended dangerously close to naptime as it was!} So I stayed up and made her little round banana breads sweetened with agave, then stacked and frosted them with tinted cream cheese. The plain cream cheese did not hold up very well over the life of the party so next time I'll add vanilla, a bit of butter and just the tiniest bit of powdered sugar to help the consistency. In my opinion, the banana bread was WAY better than the cupcakes and their fake frosting. {Sorry Costco} You can read more in my post about “Why I Say NO to Dessert Buffets.

Butterfly First Birthday Party | Halfpint Design - Trying to figure out why we're all singing. ??

She was intrigued by the candle {we chose not to light it} but was confused by all of us singing “happy birthday”. You can tell she thinks we're all crazy!

Butterfly First Birthday Party | Halfpint Design - Enjoying her "cake" a little tentatively. Why are they all still here watching me?

But she definitely liked the banana bread. She was hesitant at first until we got her a fork and then she dug right in! Mmmmm.

Butterfly First Birthday Party | Halfpint Design - Baby "drop zone" for the cake

I didn't get a photo of the highchair pennant banner but Grandpa sure got some good smiles! If you're going to do a banner make sure you scale it down appropriately or it'll consume the baby and the highchair! I ended up with 7 triangles, each with a little “1”, attached to a large strip of lavender ribbon.

*Pro Tip: If you care about the clothes they are wearing it's best to strip them down or take off the “cute” first layer before they smash that cake! And a “drop zone” or “splat mat” is a great idea when giving your little darling a messy piece of cake with frosting. I used a folded purple plastic table cover.

Butterfly Decor:

Butterflies are such a perfect theme for a 1st birthday. My favorite feature of the party has to be the butterfly chandelier hanging over the buffet table. It took me hours to complete but once I got the hang of it went pretty smoothly. I used a die cut for all the butterflies in different patterned paper. I've made another one since with a patterned side and vellum side and I like both looks. {but a Cricut Air would make it go a WHOLE lot faster!}

Butterfly First Birthday Party | Halfpint Design - Buffet butterfly chandelier centerpiece and butterfly lanterns

I taped a few extra butterflies to large white lanterns hanging on either side.

Butterfly First Birthday Party | Halfpint Design - Buffet butterfly chandelier close up.

By bending the top butterfly wings up slightly you get a lovely fluttering effect.

Butterfly First Birthday Party | Halfpint Design - Vases with large butterflies and dollar store mini-butterfly balloons dotted the sitting area

These large butterflies I collected at Michael's and paired them with a cute little mini-mylar balloon from Dollar Tree. These were displayed in purple vases down the dining tables. Butterfly First Birthday Party | Halfpint Design - Fun spring colors and butterfly napkin rings

I wrapped the pale yellow cutlery in napkins and finished them off with butterfly napkin rings purchased from Oriental Trading. These have been discontinued but I found some similar at Amazon.

Butterfly first birthday party | Halfpint Design - these gummy butterflies are the perfect party favor

I also got the gummy butterflies from Oriental Trading and they are still available.

Butterfly First Birthday Party | Halfpint Design - Store bought cupcakes with added chocolate butterflies

I did have a great time making all the chocolate butterflies for the cupcakes and cake topper. After a steep learning curve I emerged victorious! It's pretty easy to do once you get the right amount of detail and a little practice. I'll do a tutorial in the future to prove it.


Butterfly First Birthday Party | Halfpint Design - Party favor bags filled with caramel popcorn. Decorated with grass and butterflies that hold the thank you note.

I kept the favors simple and they turned out well. People liked the popcorn. I mean, who doesn't like caramel popcorn?! But if I did it again I'd use a stronger clip. The bobby pins were a simple solution since I already had 100's of them. But they weren't strong enough to hold the butterflies and tags straight. {I did it again and it was so much easier with the use of my new Cricut Air! Check the out updated DIY Butterfly Favors here. Snag a couple of FREE printables and birthday butterfly images too!}

{My type A personality cringes at this photo of crooked tags! But I swallowed my pride and decided to share it so you can see that not everything turns out perfectly!}


Butterfly First Birthday Party | Halfpint Design - Make your own butterfly mask station. Glitter glue, {washable} markers, and jewel stickers

Knowing that some people wouldn't want to skate and others would need to warm up I created a “make a butterfly mask” station. I included glitter glue, washable markers, jewel stickers {that ended up on the birthday girl somehow}, regular stickers, and ribbon and string to tie them on. Butterfly noisemakers filled the requisite butterfly quota for guests who didn't want to wear a mask.

Butterfly First Birthday Party | Halfpint Design - Having the party at an event center with an ice rink gave the older cousins something fun to do! I provided a few pair of socks for my guests just in case.

Ice-skating was so much fun. I wasn't sure how many people would venture outdoors but all the older kids and many of the parents were on the ice. The cousins had a grand old time! The older one in this photo had her wedding reception on this very rooftop last summer. A very different view it was then! I also purchased several pair of socks to provide guests that wanted to skate but wore dress shoes. I have lots of wedding experience so I know to anticipate the needs of guests and provide anything they might need. Children's parties are a lot easier to anticipate. Keep your diaper bag full of tricks handy and you should have everything you need!


Butterfly First Birthday Party | Halfpint Design - Happy Momma with a happy baby, well, not so happy at this moment!

I've learned a lot in these last 7 years planning and hosting children's parties! The MOST important lesson I can share with you is to ROLL WITH IT! Things always {and I mean always} go wrong. Nothing is ever perfect. You could keep planning, adding, and spending money, but at some point you need to stop and have the party. I planned this Butterfly theme party for my baby's 1st birthday for 2 months and thought I was ahead of the game, but the DAY OF preparation that completely threw me for a loop. Getting to spend time with my family and closest friends made the day perfect, regardless of any setbacks. You aren't always going to have a happy one year old. {Cue pouty face above!} And it's easy to get sucked into providing an overly elaborate event. Just try to relax and remember you are celebrating you and your baby's big accomplishment!

If you have a first birthday party you'd like to share with us please visit our submissions page. We'd love to have you join the Halfpint Design family and show off all your hard work!

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Until next time,

Halfpint Design, personal


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Gingerbread houses in a row as table runner centerpiece for a Christmas Cookie Exchange Party I’m Bri of Parties With A Cause. I’m a mother to three crazy awesome kids, interior designer, & party planning junky. I love reading, globe trotting, and frozen yogurt. And I’m elevating the party experience one cause at a time! Read More

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