Monday, May 21, 2018

Will’s 1st Bday // DIY Projects!

So, as it turns out, I’m still a bit crafty. Who knew! I used to create all sorts of stuff and I did it often. I made scrapbooks with stickers, colorful paper and actual photos, but gave up on that when I realized it was impossible to finish Gracie’s baby book (which still isn’t finished, btw). I wanted to be a photog and used a fancy camera to take pictures of my favorite things and people, but then the iPhone came along and the creative outlet of photography faded away shortly after. I did endless arts and crafts with Gracie when she was a baby, making so many special things for her keepsake box. Then, for all sorts of reasons, we crafted less and less, the older she became. I think this was the result of simply being a tired working mom, navigating through the heartache of infertility and all that comes along with it. I guess I just kinda lost my spark.

Well, I'm happy to say that my spark is back! Since the birth of our sweet boy and my return from maternity leave, my position at work has completely changed and my new role, while still in the Human Resources Department, is much more fulfilling then it was before. My hours are more flexible and I have much more autonomy, which has given me time to get back into the things I used to love, one of which has been blogging, obviously. ;) Our marathon journey through infertility is a thing of the past; the hair I lost while TTC has grown back and my anxiety is almost completely gone. That last part has had the greatest impact on my “spark” which had long been burned out. I actually want to make things again. I want to create and plan fun projects with Gracie. I even started sewing again! All of this brings us to the here and now – our beautiful boys 1st birthday DIY projects!

If you’ve followed my blog since Grace was born, you likely remember how completely overboard we went for her circus themed first birthday party! I started ordering things and making stuff 3-4 months before her actual birthday and channeled my inner Martha Stewart like never before. It was so important to me that I make the same effort for Will’s 1st birthday Monster Bash and by some miracle, I think we pulled it off!

I started my first DIY project for his bash about a month before the party and managed to get nearly everything I wanted made in time, with the exception of his Wish Box. I have all the supplies I need to make the wish box and I tried talking myself into staying up until 2am the night before the party to get it done, but there was just no way that was happening. I WILL MAKE IT though, eventually! I must!

Here’s the super cute stuff I created, with Gracie's help, for our little man’s 1st ever birthday party!

A cardboard ONE // for Will’s party and pictures

When we had Gracie’s first birthday pictures taken back in 2012, we had a few shots taken of her with wooden letters spelling the word, “one” and they turned out so stinkin’ cute! I wanted to make these for our dude too, but I didn’t want them to be exactly the same as the Bean’s, so we ended up going with cardboard instead of wood and decorated them to match his monster theme. Gracie helped with the entire project and had so much fun making these for her little bro!

In Will's year one photo shoot, his "ONE" photographed beautifully with all the bright colors and considering this was the easiest DIY project of them all, I'm so glad we did it! 

One Year of Pictures // Birthday Banner

This project was my favorite of all of Gracie's first bday crafts and was my favorite for Will's too! All you need to make a picture birthday banner is pre-cut banner paper + colorful sting + a glue stick, tape and pictures. I made a small triangular outline to trace and cut Will's pictures into triangles and then laid them out in the order I wanted them to appear on the banner before gluing.

Because we went with a colorful monster theme, I wanted the banners to be really colorful too, so I selected several different patterns and colors of banner paper. Once each triangle was finished and on the string, I placed a small piece of tap on the back to hold it in place and ta-da! I was all done! This was the project that we received the most compliments on at the party and because I made 3 different banners, there were lots of photos to go around. We made sure to include pictures of Will with all our family and friends that we are closest too and I think it really meant a lot to them that they were included! 

Cake Smash // Highchair Banner

This project took the longest to make and cost the most, but was so worth the time and money put into it because I think it turned out great! I love the idea of decorating your little one's highchair for their first birthday because it's all about that year one cake smash! I tried finding all the funky and colorful ribbon I could and wanted his banner to have lots of different textured ribbons, which as you can see below, I was able to find. :)

I was planning to just include a number 1 on the banner, but then I came up with the "W1ll idea", replacing the i in Will with a #1 and just had to do that! I found the cloth blue banner pieces at Michael's Craft Store and picked the ribbon up at several different craft shops. There's all sorts of different ways you can make this type of banner, but I went with the easiest - just tying the ribbon individually to the string his name was on. Why make things more difficult than they need to be, right?!

I did run into issues when it came time to attach the banner to Will's highchair, but it wasn't anything a little glue gun couldn't fix! Ha! Yes, I sure did secure my son's heavy banner to his highchair using a shit-ton of hot glue and yes, I did have to take a razor to the highchair afterwords to get all the glue off... Totally worth it though, because - look!

Will’s Monthly Photo // Picture Display

For our dude's monthly photo display, I searched every corner of New Mexico and the interwebs to find a 12-month collage frame that had 12 horizontal pictures. Now, this may seem like a no biggie kind of thing to find, but don't be fooled, because 99.8% of 12-month collage frames have vertical or circular picture holes - not horizontal. Thankfully I found one a week before his party and just painted it the yellow color that I wanted it to be (rather than the brown it was when I purchased it). It turned out so dang cute and after using it as a party decoration, it now hangs over his crib. 

Monster Eyes // DIY Picture Frames

This cute little project was so easy and quick to do! I can't take credit for the idea as I found it while searching images online and loved it, but I did change it up a bit. The image I found online used a bright green frame and included a ton of googly eyes. I wanted something less busy, since the frames were going on Will's Popcorn Bar and it was already going to be a crowded and colorful table of stuff. All I used was a few plastic, clear frames, which were super cheap (2 5x7's and 1 8x10) + a glue gun/glue sticks and googly eyes. The final result was fun and so cute! We ended up displaying an 8x10 picture from our recent session of the family and then a 5x7 from Will's birthday pictures and a 5x7 of his custom made birthday invitation. 

I'm dying to share pictures of his Popcorn Bar and everything else from his party... If I could just get the dang pictures off my phone already! Coming soon, I promise! #slacker

The last 2 little things I wanted to share are the super sweet and adorable t-shirt Gracie's uncle Chris made her to wear to the party that read: I am the little monsters BIG SISTER Gracie! I ordered it in her size, however when it arrived it was HUGE! Thankfully uncle C is super creative and with nothing more than a pair of scissors, he cut it down 2 size and made it so much more fun to wear! Gracie was so excited and just loved it! This is a picture of it when he was half-way finished. He fringed the sleeves too! Ekkkk!

And last but not least, this is a book we had customized for Will's main party table for guests to sign and while I didn't actually make this one, I still wanted to share because I adore it! 

I'm so happy with how all our little projects turned out and I'm even happier that I actually really, really wanted to make them for our sweet boy! Here's hoping this craftiness sticks around this time. I have a feeling it will! :) 

First birthday post - coming soon!


  1. Wow, what an amazing job you have done! I definitely lost my spark after Fox's first birthday too and now planning any party is stressful for me, but I'm too OCD to let myself slack. Not sure how I will handle crafting for two birthdays a year soon...eeks!
    And how fun that Gracie is able to help you now...growing up so fast! (Sorry...I'm sure you don't want to hear that...LOL)

    1. I'm not sure how I missed this, but thanks! I'm excited to be back to my crafty self! I missed it!


Thanks so much for keeping up with our little family! We love reading your comments and will get back to you as soon as we can.

K+G+g+w ♥

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