I started planning our boy's first birthday party when he was a newborn. We watched as our families and friends threw their children parties for many years before we were able to view one through the eyes of a child of our own so it felt like much more than just a birthday party to plan.
There are so many cute party ideas out there but I had trouble finding something that felt like it fit, most likely because an infant can't be very clear about their likes. Most days, the little one's favorite thing to do was watch our dog or play on his red and white gingham play mat. With only that to go on, my Puppy Dog Tails theme was born! Forget snakes and snails, this boy is all about cute and so was his party.
I love the red puppy dog tail hooks from Ikea that I knew would fit the party theme well and would be great to use as anchors on a 'look at my first twelve months' style banner.
Warning: This little gem of a project requires a year of advance planning and a commitment to a photo shoot at least once a month! I bought onesie number stickers and each month took a photo of him wearing one. It was a really special feature at the party for guests to look at and see just how much the baby changed in such a short time.
Can I have a favorite month? O.K., it was ten months.
The cake was one of my favorite parts of the party. My sister and I decorated it with enough fondant to dye our fingers blue and red. We molded the brown fondant into a little dog rump and made a pile of mud with chocolate frosting that looked like it had the dog's head buried inside of it. I crushed some oreos and sprinkled them on for dirt.
Here is a close up of the puppy tail on the top of the cake:
It wasn't perfect but it was about to meet with one year old hands!
For other decorations, my sister and I painted wooden puppy masks and the kids looked adorable posing for photos with them.
Bright paint cans were decorated with the puppy dog tails and filled with paw print glow lights and other small favors for the kids.
I used red dog bowls from the Dollar Tree with painted wooden bones to hold snacks. Kix and Cocoa Puffs cereal worked well for baby friendly snacks that looked like puppy food.
The birthday boy enjoyed the day and we are so glad that we could share it with family and friends. As a military family it isn't common to be close enough to home to have family there for special occasions and we were grateful that for this special day we did.