You guys, my baby is a one year old! I can hardly believe it myself but we have the epic party photos and mountain of new toys to prove it. It was such a memorable and special day filled with family, friends, lots of good food and fun. My amazing sister took 497 photos throughout the day, but here are a few of some of my favorite details…
The invitations were these cute “how to build a fire” invites from Paperless Post (which is funny because they actually were paper). You can always go the electronic route too, though. The quality was superb and the lining inside was a faux bois (perfect!) to match our woodsy theme.
On the invitation, we told everyone to wear plaid, which made the party feel really festive and fun and cohesive. Plus, plaid is easy to wear and most people have something already. If not, you can get them these awesome socks, which I did buy for Mumbles yet sadly he didn’t wear them because we live in SoCal and he wore flip flops instead. To get even more into the lumberjack spirit, I got these awesome Tattly temporary tattoos and I loved seeing them on everyone’s arm! So hardcore, right? I really make people commit to a theme.
My little lumberjack!
And of course I made Baxter test out the photo booth the night before the party. As you can see by how elegantly he posed, he totally loved it.
The photo booth backdrop is a brilliant DIY courtesy of my sister using pvc pipes and these shower curtain clips. Easy peasy! And no holes in your walls or worrying about taping anything up. It was perfect!
Sources: Wood cut fabric (looks like it’s sold out but it was from Ikea – see it here) | Log and tree trunk pillows | Costume ax | Beard, beard, beards | Woodland face masks (I put some of them on paint stirring sticks I had lying around, as you can see in one of the photos above)
Turns out fall is the perfect time to have this sort of party because you can find lots of decor and costumes easily. So write that down. I mean, I know lumberjacks probably work year ’round, but it’d be best to keep your party limited to fall/winter months just to make it easy on yourself.
A few months before the party, a large tree outside my office fell during a storm so I asked the crew if they could load up one of the cleanly cut pieces in my trunk. I was thrilled, Mumbles was not. The thing is a beast and really, really heavy. But, so authentic, right? Like, yeah, I’m throwing a lumberjack party and oh, I just chopped up this here tree trunk to welcome you on in. I have grand ambitions to DIY a side table out of it – maybe put it on casters? We’ll see. Also, about that sign: I’m not sure if it’s appropriate to say “haul your axes in here” at a one-year-old’s birthday party, but I couldn’t stop chuckling about it so I did it. I probably should’ve used a wood-framed chalkboard sign, but I think the punniness (that’s punny + funny) makes up for the lack of design continuity there.
On the tables outside I just used a big roll of black plastic tablecloth and a long roll of kraft paper down the center. We put fake trees on the table (hit up the Christmas aisle early!) and threw out little bundles of twig colored pencils so that guests could doodle while they chatted and ate. The twig pencils also made really darling little party favors.
For appetizers we had artichoke cheese dip, sausage dip, and ham rolls. The main menu for lunch was pulled pork sliders, coleslaw, and baked beans with “campfire flames” (cheetos), “fresh fish” (goldfish crackers) and homemade chex mix for snacks.
For the food and desserts, I don’t have sources to share because the sources are my family and friends. My super sister brought over all her genius party supplies (chafing dishes, cake pop stands, wood serving bowls, camping dishes…SHE HAS CAMPING DISHES FOR PARTIES, PEOPLE! she’s amazing!), she cooked delicious food for a large group like it was no big deal and she has great kids that you can ask to bake all your Pinterest-inspired smash cakes and arrive hours early to take orders and hang paper lanterns because they’re ridiculously talented and generous and tall (*most of these perks are reserved for family but my beautiful niece Allie, aka Little Miss Cupcake, is available to make all your Pinterest dessert dreams come true!). Oh, and when you’re friends with my friends you can call and have a minor panic attacks when you realize you possibly have 80 people coming to your house (because – and why is this? – no one really RSVPs anymore so you never really can be sure) and so you ask these friends/therapists to make appetizers and they do. I’m so lucky. My fabulous friend Sarah (an incredible hostess) made her yet-to-be-named sausage dip. It needs a name, you see, because it’s insanely delicious but it doesn’t quite look so in the bowl. It’s so deceiving. Deliciously Deceiving Dip. That’s what it is. BFOTBM is the queen of comfort food and came to my rescue with her tried and true crowd pleasers: artichoke cheese dip and mac n cheese. Allie made the adorable bear smash cake, s’mores on a stick, and s’mores cupcakes (complete with Teddy Graham toppers!), my mom made her famous cookie platter with brownies and macaroons, my mother-in-law made her addicting homemade chex mix (and I only put out a small bowl and then ate a huge tub full of it after the party – don’t judge me).
To remember the occasion, I’m already working on a photo book full of gems like this perfect shot of my brother and sister with little man. I made a book of Declan’s first year on Artifact Uprising using mostly Instagram photos so I’ll probably use them again to keep it cohesive. I had the book out at the party so guests could flip through it and tell me what a cute kid Declan is. (Worked like a charm!)
Thanks to everyone who came to celebrate with us or sent us well wishes. I truly can’t believe it’s been a year – what a rollercoaster of emotions and challenges and more love and laughter and gratitude than ever. We are so blessed to be Declan’s parents and it was so overwhelming in a most wonderful way to have our home crowded with the smiling faces of friends and family (aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, great grandparents, great aunts!) to remind us how special, how full, and how beautiful our lives are. It’s a day I’ll treasure forever.
If you’re looking for more ideas and inspiration for a woodland theme or Lumberjack party, look no further. I made my top secret Pinterest board public so you, too, can obsess and go overboard!
P.S. Land of Nod had a little Christmas ornament version of the tree trunk pillow we used for the photo booth so I made sure to order it so that I can write Declan’s 1st Birthday and the date on the back. Mumbles and I collect Christmas ornaments during travels and to commemorate special occasions so that when we decorate the tree each year, we can reflect on our favorite memories. It’s really special and I think you should start that tradition too.