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Playful “Row Your Boat” First Birthday Party

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diy cardboard boat first birthday photo booth

All aboard the S.S. Scarlett (a.k.a. crafted cardboard photo booth ship!) for a playful “Row Your Boat” Inspired First Birthday Party with a mix of homemade decorations (made by mommy, Terra & best friend Janice of Bellwether Events) and professional elements like the adorable sail boat topped cake by Charm City Cakes!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • Cute DIY life saver “door wreath” made from yellow & white yarn
  • “Gone Fishing” orange slice sailboats swimming in seas of blue jello!
  • Bunting banner food labels, party decor & fondant cake decorations
  • Felt polka dot party hat for the birthday girl!
  • Hand crafted anchor for the S.S. Scarlett ship “photo booth”

sail boat cake

fishing fruit cups

row your boat first birthday invitation

bunting banner food labels

first birthday party snack table ideas

felt birthday hat

fabric diy anchor

PARTY DETAILS, as told by Janice

Terra and I have been friends since high school. When her daughter was born last year, I must admit that I immediately started planning all of her future birthday parties in my head. When Scarlett was about nine months old, I started hassling Terra about Scarlett’s first birthday party. We tossed around a few ideas for themes, most of which surrounded one of Scarlett’s three favorite songs: Itsy Bitsy Spider, Patty Cake, and Row Row Row Your Boat. We settled on RRRYB and wanted to play up the “merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream” portion of the song – as life is truly but a dream for any baby turning one!

We also knew we wanted to use a fun, but girly color palette, and avoid the normal nautical palette of navy, red and white. After starting the Pinterest board and scouring Etsy, Terra brought Monica from Lemonade Design Studio on board to collaborate with. Terra is a graphic designer by trade and she wanted to work with Monica to create the invitation and numerous other paper decor items. I made the yellow and white yarn life ring for the front door.

We took Scarlett to Charm City Cakes for her first (but surely not last) cake tasting and design consultation. We set our husbands to work on the cardboard boat “photo booth.” Unfortunately DC’s summer heat kept very many from taking a ride in the boat, but Scarlett hopped in for a quick birthday spin! We had theme appropriate snacks like Swedish fish, classic gold fish and salt water taffy. While Charm City Cakes provided a delicious smash cake especially for Scarlett, she did not give us a smash, but kept true to her character and daintily picked at the little cake. The marble and chocolate chip muffin flavors of the two-tier cake were a huge hit with the guests. Terra created the mini coloring books given as favors to the younger party guests.

Vendor Credit


  1. Chris October 16, 2012 at 4:55 am

    Where is the bunting garland from ?

  2. Janice Carnevale October 16, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    Hi Chris! The bunting was designed by Lemonade Design Studio, and put together by the mom Terra.

  3. Brit Tucker Stewart October 16, 2012 at 8:30 am

    What a cute party idea!

  4. monicachitwood October 16, 2012 at 11:42 am

    SO honored to be a part of this amazing party! After designing that little sailboat graphic, invitation, water bottle labels, buntings and other printable items… it’s really exciting to get a little peek into that special day to see how everything came together! Thank you!! Monica {Lemonade Design Studio} https://www.etsy.com/shop/LemonadeDesignStudio

  5. Erin Cogan December 15, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    I LOVE this! my daughter's name is Saylor Grace, her first birthday is in July. using this theme! perfect for my Saylor girl :)

  6. Lauren June 9, 2013 at 5:58 am

    Who deigned the topper on the cake?

  7. […] is seriously cute. AND approachable! Janice Carnevale of Bellwether Events is at it again for baby Scarlett; she brought a simple theme to life in such a fun way for this Bubbles & Brunch 2nd Birthday […]

  8. […] 10. ‘Row Your Boat’ Cake made by Charm City Cakes, found on Hostess with the Mostess […]

  9. […] a nossa admiração. Foto: Sweetapolita Foto: Pinterest Foto: Sweet Tooth Foto: Hostess with the Mostess Foto: Wild Shot Foto: Sweet Tooth Foto: Pinterest Foto: Nice Party Foto: […]

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