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Goldfish Theme First Birthday (15 photos)


Framed picture and invite, orange cups with blue tablecloth. Beach sand toys for decoration.

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I love to entertain and plan parties. I  love the details and decorations, the matching theme elements, and creativity.  You can imagine how excited I was to plan my daughter's first birthday party.  Knowing she would be a summer baby, I was already super happy that it would give us many outdoor options for her celebration.  I started planning several months ahead, and hubby and I decided to combine her birthday festivities with a family vacation at the beach.  We rented a beautiful beach house overlooking the bay, and I set off on my creative way.

First was the theme.  I wanted something cute and summery, but not overly girly.  I figured there would be plenty of years when she would demand a pink princess party.  We decided on an adorable goldfish theme with a light blue and orange color scheme.  I even found the most perfect little outfit for her, and actually matched a lot of the party elements around that.  I went straight to one of my favorite craft sites,, and scoured for party invites.  I am heavily a do-it-yourself mama, but working a full-time job with a young infant didn’t allow me as much creativity time as I would have liked.  I found the most darling design from KindlyReply.  I worked with her to tweak the color and design, and voila – our customized invite!  I purchased the design from her, printed them on cardstock myself, and used a corner punch to round the corners.  I also hand glittered each one for a shimmery bubble effect.

Next came the food, room decorations and favors.  I knew we would be traveling for vacation, and anything I needed for the party would have to be boxed up and transported too.  We were already traveling with the kitchen sink for the baby, and to add party supplies was pretty stressful. I decided to keep the favors simple and sweet, little bags of Swedish fish and Goldfish cracker treats.  I lined the bottom of each bag with turquoise crinkly paper to look like water.  I also used the design from the invitation and created my own favor tag stickers for each bag.

I brought fun beach items for the sign-in table.  A goldfish bucket and shovel, a photo sign-in book of baby’s first year, a framed invitation, and bordered them with some bright orange cups.  I also bought turquoise tablecloths and a fishing net  as the finishing touch.

I planned out a menu and created beach/ocean themed names for the dishes.  Then, created goldfish signs and tags for each plate.  Here is a sample of some of the fun food displays, with my master centerpiece – a handcarved shark watermelon!  This was the biggest hit of all.

Finally, no birthday party is complete without the cake.  I’ve seen Cake Boss, and others’ parties with fancy custom cakes that reach into the $200-$300 range.  I wanted something beautiful and special for baby, but felt it was ludicrous to spend that much money on a cake.  I decided to buy a plain white sheet cake from Costco ($17.99), and decorate it myself.  With the help of a few items from fellow crafter Ally&Aidan, I cut and glued various felt decorations together to make an intricate ocean scene.  I used two bbq skewers, cut letters from cardboard and then hand glittered them.  I strung it together, and voila, her cake banner.  Throw on some etsy sugar bubbles from CrumbyArt, goldfish cookies from KimbosCookies, and some blue sugar sprinkles… baby’s first birthday cake was born.  I was pretty proud of the final result, and the cake was a hit.  Check out the before and after shots.  It almost hurt to cut it, but dive in we did, and it was a glorious success!  I changed baby into her darling party dress complete with tiara, and we celebrated the best first birthday I could ever imagine.

Afterwards, everyone suited up and followed the signs down to the beach for some more summer fun in the sun.

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