A Handmade First Birthday

I love-love-LOVE styling events for our lovely friends and clients (who inevitably always become friends) … and though it is a tricky balancing act when we put together a family event, it’s just such amazing fun and very rewarding. Our little lady’s first birthday was just that – the day was a subliminal culmination of so many things we’ve blogged about already – a true testament to how much we love, live and breath all things H&D!

It’s was all such creative fun and we loved every stage of it – from planning the theme, crafting our little creations with family and friends in the weeks beforehand, bringing ideas to life on the day and even the dreaded clean up was fun with so many helping hands making light work of it all. Even Dad got happily and willingly involved at every step of the process even though he is adamantly a non-crafter.

The guest list of our “closest, inner-most-circle of friends and family” soon reached the 130 mark (a good problem to have), so we had to get creative and pool all our creative resources to make sure the day was a good balance between us having fun and being relaxed, together with getting every fed, keeping the kids entertained, ensure the drinks kept flowing in the summer heat, playing host to all our family and friends…  and the most important of all, making absolutely sure the birthday girl was happy and surrounded with lots of fun.

Now, a one year old doesn’t really have many preferences, so you won’t get many objections to whatever style or theme you go with. However, even at the age of one, these little people do tend to have a favourite book, toy, show, outfit etc. In our case, our little H&D baby just loved The Very Hungry Caterpillar book from the time she was gifted it by one of her aunts. We have inevitably ended up reading it to her a few times each day since she was 4 months old and each reading produces just as much amazement to her as the last. It was one of our favourite books when we were growing up, so we’re a little chuffed that she loves it too (along with millions of other kiddies around the world who adore the book which has been popular for over 40 years now – THANK YOU Eric Carle!)

So we based her birthday theme around a caterpillar cake which acted as an edible centerpiece and birthday cake. We’ll show you how we created this cake board in a post coming up soon! We ran with the insect theme and added little embellishments of lady bugs and bumble bees throughout the food and drink tables.

Maya's Handmade First Birthday

Almost all of our decorations were handmade and we drew inspiration from the different events and posts throughout our blog.

  • Beehive Piñata & Chocolate spoons

    We made this piñata ourselves from scratch and it was certainly a hit. Katelyn’s Third Birthday really opened our eyes to how much kids love the idea of breaking open anything that contains lollies. We’ll be posting our step-by-step guide on how to make this soon! Katelyn’s mum made the chocolate spoons – they were a hit with young and old and when placed in a little tin or jar, they are a little decorative posie in themselves.


  • Bunting

    Leanne and Stuart’s wedding was a sea of all things gorgeous, but above all I was reminded of my love of bunting and the passion was rekindled once more. I’ve since covered most of the surfaces in my house with bunting and the love is still going strong.


  • Paper pompoms & Vintage pieces

We loved making and decorating Indi’s Vintage-Inspired 21st with paper pompoms. They were such a lovely, soft touch and super easy to make. We have some instructions for how to make them in my post on wrapping with brown paper. We also used a vintage suitcase that we bought at our local weekend markets too hold her little party favours (like we did with Indi’s 21st favours and for event styling the drinks table at the Zenwave Gallery Launch). This suitcase is probably getting more of a workout now than it has in all it’s 40+ years of … vintage-ness!


  • Party Favours

The bumble bee cookies were made by Bicky’s Bickies who made the personalised cookies at Ash’s Baby Shower. We just had to get in touch with them and get some little sweet treats together as a nice little thank you to everyone that came to share in the special day. We made our own personalised tags with a little message from maya.


  • Message in a Bottle

We were inspired by Evie’s nursery transformation and the ‘Message in a bottle’ idea from Indi’s 21st birthday to make a wall feature out of messages from guests as an alternative to a guest book. We’ll show you what all the messages transform into as a display in Miss 1’s room. Watch this space!


  • Homemade Organic Chocolate Milk and Lemonade with Honey & Mint

    We have a fab spiced ice coffee recipe that is a hit with the adults (the brandy hit may have something to do with it!) so we thought of an alternative homemade favourite that is much more suitable for a one year old’s birthday. We came up with a Chocolate milk mix that worked really well on the hot summer’s day – the proof was in the multiple ‘milk mustaches’. Similarly, our adult recipe for white wine sangria inspired our homemade lemonade with honey and mint. Recipes coming soon!


  • Glass Jars

    We used recycled jars for holding fairy-floss sticks (that’s cotton candy to all your northern hemisphere Cloud9ers), lollies, chocolate spoons and other treats as well as being vases for some fresh flower posies. We used glass jars in a variety of ways for our Chatswood and Newtown balcony transformations, they are always so handy for events.


  • Milk Crate

    Another weekend markets find which has become a favourite item that just keeps on giving. We love the weathered wood and rustic appeal, and we love using it in our styling.


We really do live and breathe events and our personal celebrations are a reflection of all the things we love to blog about and share with you every day. We hope you enjoy these snapshots from our little girl’s special day – a very, totally, absolutely, uniquely Cloud9 event!


– Surangi

Hillary and Dijon - Surangi

Feel free to contact us or leave your comments below if you would like to find out more about how Cloud9 can help with styling your home or event, creating a custom decorative piece or artwork … or for any general creative advice, feedback or suggestions.

10 thoughts on “A Handmade First Birthday

  1. Pingback: Sweet Valentine; Cookie Gifts | Hillary & Dijon

  2. How sweet. This birthday party makes me feel all warm & fuzzy. The pinata is genius. Will you be showing us how to put it together? Please please? Want to surprise my nephew with one for his birthday. Macy

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  7. Pingback: Fun with paper mache: Homemade Piñata | Hillary & Dijon


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