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pink white red dessert table

For her daughter’s first birthday (and Korean Dol) Grace Kim crafted up a beautiful Balloon Inspired Celebration full of thoughtful details and sweet, handmade touches! I especially love all the creative ways she incorporated kraft paper textures – from the polka dot table runner and paper mache party hats to the totally unique dessert table backdrop – giving this party a look that’s lovely and chic, but also totally approachable. Nice work, mom! ;)

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • Yarn letters + hand-painted paper mache party hats with yarn pom toppers
  • Personalized temporary tattoos, including a custom illustration of the birthday girl!
  • Inflatable balloon party invitation + giant 36″ balloons flanking the dessert table
  • DIY polka dot kraft paper table runner + laser-cut wood smash cake topper
  • Floral tube dessert table backdrop + simple-chic cake topped with fresh flowers

balloon themed birthday invitations and signs

pink smash cake and wooden 1 topper

hot air balloon birthday sign

pine white flower dessert table

pretty pink and white table

pink roses and white baby's breath

custom temporary tattoos

white naked layer cake

diy paper mache birthday hats with pom tops

pink and white macarons

pink and white flower centerpiece

korean dol celebrations - pink white chalkboard

DIY card holder

korean dol first birthday - pink white red

balloon party favor bags and balloons


PARTY DETAILS as told by Grace

The main concept of the party was a red balloon. I wanted it to symbolize how big Erin was getting and how, as a parent, I wanted her to dream big and soar as high as possible in life. I didn’t want to use bold/loud colors and I also didn’t want the party to look too extravagant, so I went with a more simple, classic look and added in hints of pink. I wanted to make sure to stay on budget, so I did most of the work myself. Doing most of the work made the party more personal and unique. I won’t lie though, it was time-consuming and a little stressful too. But I would not have changed a thing and I’m so happy it all turned out the way it did.

Korean first birthdays usually have a very extravagant head table setup. I opted for a more simple one. I did, however, add the rice cakes and red apples to represent prosperity and good luck, which are Korean beliefs. We had the doljabi, which is a Korean ritual where the child is given the task of choosing between a handful of symbolic objects in front of him/her. It is believed that the item the baby picks up symbolically foretells his or her own future or would influence his or her fate. For example: money means he/she will be wealthy and a book means he/she will become a scholar. Erin chose money first, and the book was her second pick.

I’d really like to highlight the tattoos at the party. I had a cartoon portrait of Erin’s face made by etsy-jodyluxe, and purchased some tattoo paper online. I created some other designs that I thought guests would like and had them printed on the tattoo paper (the adhesive sheet for the tattoo paper is very tricky to apply, be careful!). It was so great to see the guests having fun with these tattoos; some even put the the tattoos on their faces! This was a great way to send guests home with a little reminder of Erin and it didn’t cost much at all.

But my favorite part from the party had to be the cake smash. My husband and I were expecting Erin to get super messy, but instead, Erin ate the cake in the daintiest way. She gently took bite after bite and she didn’t even use her hands! It was adorable. I could tell she wanted to eat more of the cake because she got really upset when we took it away.

DIY Projects

Party Hats
You’ll need paper mache cones, yarn, paint, and stickers/washi tape. I purchased paper mache cones (3X7 inches) online. I headed over to Joann’s and purchased the yarn and white paint there. These party hats are fairly easy to make. However, it is time consuming.

I started off by making the pom poms first. Those took the longest to make. Then I painted the cones. I used circle stickers and washi tape for helping with the designs. The washi tape works great because it comes off surfaces easily. After letting the paint dry, i used a hot glue gun to attach the pom poms on top of the cones.

The final step was to punch holes on each side (i used a belt hole maker, but you can use a hole punch as well) and tied on the elastic cord.

Kraft Table Runner
I bought a roll of kraft paper and used white paint and the eraser end of a pencil to apply little white dots. This was super easy and simple to do.

Flower Backdrop
I bought foam boards and taped them together. Then i wrapped them with kraft paper. I knew I wanted to incorporate fresh flowers so I bought some spray roses and filled floral tubes with water and taped them on the backdrop. It turned out much better than I was expecting.


Vendor Credit
  • Hair/Makeup: Eugenia Chung at e2beauty
  • Photographer: Erin J .Saldana
  • Cakes: Sweet and Saucy
  • Cupcakes: Teresa Kwon at joyfulspoon
  • Macaroons: Jennifer Chung (friend)
  • Venue: Saladang Song, Pasadena, CA
  • Cartoon Portrait Tatoo: Jordyluxe
  • Balloon artist: Dave Bigelow at Balloon Artistry
  • Korean Dress- Mother/Daughter (Hanbok): Kimmehee
  • Mothers Dress: Mango
  • Daughter’s Dress: Zara kids
  • Everything Else: DIY-ed by Grace!