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Nature-Inspired Monkey & Banana First Birthday Party

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monkey birthday party food table and cookies displayed under a custom bunting

Alejandra from The Marshmallow Studio is totally bananas over her adorable “little monkey” Keiran – so what better way to celebrate the milestone first birthday than with an adorable Monkey inspired celebration, right?!

Monkey Birthday Party Highlights:

  • Even though this is a first birthday party, Alejandra utilized earth tones and stylish, nature-inspired elements that would definitely appeal to the adult guests as well – including monstera leaves, kraft paper, rattan, & unfinished wood.
  • Guess what else was probably appealing to guests of all ages? The SWEETS! From ridiculously cute banana shaped cake pops and monkey/banana themed fondant toppers to monkey marshmallow pops created by Alejandra herself, these are some seriously cute treats.
  • I’m also loving the super cute mini pineapple jello cups, which look especially stylish with their mini acrylic spoons!

monkey birthday party dessert table

monkey birthday party popcorn and jello in yellow

monkey birthday party food table and silverware

monkey birthday party letter decoration and 2-tier cake

monkey birthday party mom and cake pops

monkey birthday party favors and cake pops

monkey birthday party bananas and a pinata

monkey birthday party adorable cookies

monkey birthday party favors

monkey birthday party utensil display

monkey birthday party sweets and water bottle labels

monkey birthday party napkins and balloons

monkey birthday party bunting

monkey birthday party menu and cake

PARTY DETAILS, as told by Alejandra

From the moment my son Keiran first looked at me with his big brown eyes we’ve called him our little monkey. When it was time to decide the theme for his 1st birthday party, it was an obvious choice. Although I wanted a sweet monkey party, I didn‟t want it to be fantasy jungle or cartoonish monkey. I opted for very nature-inspired elements, with lots of browns and greens, bananas, and rustic decorations which were captured beautifully by the lense of Iliana from Iliana Morton Photography.

Paper Goods & Decorations

After browsing the net for invitation ideas we came across a fun DIY banana invitation idea from Fowl Single File, they were perfect and easy to make. Next, I purchased a monkey graphic design on Etsy from Print Candee and had my husband design a few signs, water bottle wrappers and stickers. I purchased yellow, brown and green scrapbook paper from Michael’s and made two mini banners, a door sign, favor tags, and a very long pennant banner to decorate the whole side of our fence. I also wanted to have a full-size festive “Happy Birthday‟ banner so I called a real pro for that and had Nancy from A to Zebra Celebrations design one. Her banner was fabulous and went perfect with the theme.

To cover the tables, I purchased various fabrics from JoAnn and made table cloths and a runner. For the table centerpieces, I placed an artificial plant wrapped in kraft paper and tied with yute next to a framed sign and a decorative wicker ball, all on top of an artificial tropical leaf.

Appetizer Station

Aside from the Hawaiian BBQ catering we served, I thought it would be fun to have a table filled with refreshing appetizers where guests could enjoy a variety of small bites ranging from exotic fruits and fresh veggies to salty pretzels and popcorn. Next to this table, I used a small bakers rack to hold all the eating essentials and to display my special touches such as the wood letter “K” I painted and a little stuffed monkey. To hold the rolled utensils in the napkin in place, I tied them up with a brown chenille stems and curved the hanging left over piece to look like a monkey’s tail.

Favors & Candy Station

Since not all of our guests had children, I wanted to have favors/treats for them to take home with them too. I love using unexpected furniture pieces as part of the décor so I used our sofa table and just styled half it with favor bags for the kids and the other half with sugary sweets from Candy.com for the adults. I personalized the whirly pops with royal icing.

The kids bags were filled with fun toys, activities, crafts kits and candy. Each bag had a personalized tag I made using scrapbook paper and a felt sticker monkey. We also had a cute monkey piñata filled with candy. Kids simply go nuts when they get to crack open a piñata and the candy starts falling. It’s definitely one of my favorite Mexican traditions.

Sweets Table

More than foodies, we are “sweeties”. We love desserts, so I knew the desserts table had to be the main attraction filled with choices and yummy treats for everyone. For the backdrop, I twisted two long pieces of kraft paper and intertwined them together then tied the ends with yute. I then stapled it to the wall and glued artificial leafs with Glue Dots. Then I just hung yute from side to side to create a jungle vine look. These three materials were also used on the table along with baskets, ribbon and bamboo placemats.

For the spread, I started by making monkey marshmallow pops which I styled in foam-filled rectangle basket. I used a smaller similar basket to display the fun Chiquita banana cake pops made by Kris from KCreative Cake Pops. I glued little banana candies on top of chocolate- covered marshmallows nestled inside yellow mini cupcake liners. I made individual pineapple jello mini cups which were super fun to eat with the mini spoons.

For perfect sugar cookies I had Sandy’s Sugar Cookies make monkey faces and Hayley Cakes & Cookies do peeled bananas and leafs. They were beyond adorable. I turned regular yellow meringue cookies into unique ones by adding dots of colored royal icing. I also had to have coconut macaroons. Finally, I had my mom bake and decorate the cutest cake ever. She topped it off with a 4″ custom monkey and other fondant decorations made by the talented and amazing Brittany from Edible Details.

The party was an absolute blast! Guests, both big and little, enjoyed visiting the various stations and awing over the desserts table. Doing a lot of creative details myself and integrating items I already had into the party allowed me to stay within budget. I had almost as much fun planning and styling this party for my little monkey as he did eating cake!

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  1. Betty April 13, 2012 at 10:21 am

    Sooo cute! I’m preparing for baby boy #3 and always looking for fresh new ideas! Love this site! Thanks!

  2. Alejandra Morin {The Marshmallow Studio} April 13, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    Oh my goodness, what a wonderful surprise to see Keiran’s party on HWTM :) Thank you soo Jenn much for featuring our party. I truly enjoyed playing the hostess and styling. Hats off to you party pros!!

  3. rociomadero July 2, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    Thanks for thats new ideas. I love it!!!

  4. aracelivega August 16, 2012 at 9:55 am

    SOOOO ADORABLE!! I was wondering where you purchased the clear squared cups for the Jello?

  5. Janett Foran October 22, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    I was wondering where you found the large leaves you used as placemats under the treats as well as in the backdrop. I can’t seem to find anything like that anywhere.

  6. Yana Deneka March 24, 2013 at 11:34 pm

    Hi. I would love to know where you got the square cups for jello? Thank you.

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