Quinn turned One! I still can’t believe it. Our sweet boy was born October 16th, 11 days before his due date of the 27th. Halloween is my absolute favorite and I was dreaming about his first birthday party since we found out his due date.
Invitations always take me the longest to choose.
It was the same way for our wedding. I was able to make easy decisions with what I wanted with the rest of the details but I find there are just too many invitation options out there! I knew I wanted something with cute Halloween elements and After endless scrolling I landed on the cutest design on Vista Print. I hand wrote out and drew little designs on all the envelopes for a personalized element.
The best part of a Halloween themed birthday party is I can start decorating earlier in the month for Halloween and the decorations will carry over to the party. We have two antique butlers in our living room were I love to change out the decor each season. I love using elements like cob webs to have the decor climb vertically to the gallery wall.
You’ll see throughout my posts the seemingly endless amount of brass candlesticks. I chose from our collection of a few hundred about 20 to spray paint black to place around as Halloween decor. I absolutely LOVE how haunting spanish moss can be, i scored a bag on Amazon and scattered it throughout all the decorations.
Welcome to Quinn’s Pumpkin Patch!
I knew along with the Halloween fun I wanted to set up a small pumpkin patch in our backyard for the kids to play in. We had a large galvanized bin in the backyard that we used for ashes from our smoker that had rusted out on the inside. I decided to take that and use acrylic paints to make a “Pumpkin Patch” bin. My wonderful MIL picked up two large hay bales from a local lot near her and a smaller one which I used to pull apart to scatter hay on the ground. I picked up some large pumpkins from TJs for $3.99 a piece and some Pumpkin Pie sized ones for $0.99 each. My MIL got a few medium sized ones from the lot near her, so we had varying sizes in the pumpkin patch.
I may or may not have sat up the night before blowing up 100 balloons for this balloon arch.
The back of our house is white and pretty plain. Since it would be the backdrop of our party, I thought a balloon arch would be a nice way to decorate a large amount of space for a reasonable price. I bought the kit for $14.99 on Amazon.
For Quinn’s first birthday sign, this large gold frame has been used now time and time again. My husband and I found the frame before our wedding at a salvage yard in Philadelphia where they told us it was saved from a torn down museum basement. I used it for a Welcome sign at our wedding, for a good friends Bridal Shower, and weekly bump pictures while i was pregnant. It felt fitting to create a sign all about Q for the party.
We had about 20 people and always cook everything ourselves. The roast pork we shredded and had rolls out with broccoli rabe and provolone – a Philly special.
The Chicken Marsala we made a day ahead, along with the Macaroni and Cheese and Caesar Salad dressing. My MIL made the roasted vegetables a day ahead as well! Cooking so much ahead of time and reheating day of made for seamless service!
I started the birthday tablescape with a black lace spider web runner I found at hobby lobby for under $5! Then, the best pumpkin i’ve ever found – the large fantasy pumpking I scored at TJs in August- this was one of those pumpkins I wish could last forever! It also makes an appearance in my Thanksgiving post!
My friends dad had been cutting down trees in their yard and cut me a bunch of wood disk pieces that I sanded down and sprayed with clear finish and used to vary heights across the table. The plan for the dining room table was to have all the appetizers spread across. I have a two tiered wood server from Pier 1, adding height is great for adding more space for food.
Down the table I scattered more black spray painted candlesticks, twine pumpkins, fresh pumpkins, orange twinkle lights, skeleton hands (dollar store find!), wooden turned tea light holders. Appetizers included a cheese plate on a Ouija wooden cheese board from homegoods, Spooky 7 layer taco dip, PB & Nutella tea sandwiches, haunted crudite, and pumpkin pie dip. Outside we had scattered various chips and kid friendly snacks!
Boos and Booze
In our kitchen we have a small bar area that’s traveled across 3 apartments and now our home (Since the party, the bar has been replaced by a play kitchen for Q as it lost most of it’s use once Q started to reach everything on the shelves). I found little bottle labels from Target dollar area to add some fun to the bottles, the Boos and Booze banner was also found in the Target Dollar Area, my MIL brought the skeleton glasses, I found the “This could be Boos” cups at Homegoods, straws at Hobby Lobby, spider web from Target, and some large spiders from Michaels. This was a fun drink station that added some decor to our kitchen!
Trick or treat, smell my feet, please take something sweet to eat!
We set up a small candy station in the dining area with treat bags we got from hobby lobby, cauldrons from Target, and signs I made. I wanted to make sure the candy I chose to have in this open containers couldn’t be a possibly choking hazard to Q if anyone dropped anything and he saw it before I did!! I bought a black gauze sheet from JoAnn fabrics I used to drape on this table and some cob webs and black candlesticks to add some spook! I found the little chalkboard at Target a few years back and use it often for different parties!
Treat, no Tricks.
A birthday isn’t a party without some sweets station!
I love this rustic bar we found at Pottery Barn. While we don’t have a huge entertaining space, we added some bar stools and this table get used constantly when we host! I scored the monthly banner from Amazon, just to keep tying in the first birthday fun!
I chose to do some classic pumpkin sugar cookies that come cut- SO easy, made some gluten free brownies, picked up gluten free cupcakes from TJS, and made a spooky fruit plate complete with clementine pumpkins, banana ghosts, and vampire apple sunflower butter bites.
Spooky Tattoo Station & Photo Booth
Our playroom at the time didn’t have must furniture or toys so it was easy to clear a wall for a little photo booth area. I found the BOO balloons, hanging spiders, and black hanging fabric from Hobby Lobby. I purchased the black chalkboard flags which I also used for a “Happy First Birthday” sign in the dining room, and made the “Quinn” banner in here. I used tan and gold polka dot paper for the backdrop and got tombstones from the dollar store to hand across the bottom. I hung this up the day before the party and even kept it up through halloween! I found fun masks at Five Below and witch party hats at home goods and painted a vintage frame black to use as props.
Next to the photo wall I set up a Spooky Tattoo Station with tattoos I got at Hobby Lobby which was a HUGE hit for the kids and they all let covered ( sorry parents!!! )
Baby Halloween Party Haunted Graveyard
Yes, you read that right. I know it’s a first birthday party but common how FUN is a little graveyard. This idea was 100% my MIL, the design, and execution was all her. I absolutely LOVED how it came out and felt it totally pulled the front of the house into the whole Halloween theme.
She found everything at the dollar store, complete with a “Beware” sign, skeleton parts, and even made little flower vases to put by each gravestone.
Let him eat cake!
Like the invitations, the cake funny enough become one of the things I obsessed over.
Mainly, we’re not cake people. Seriously though – i could never eat a sweet and never care, at our wedding we had cheese wheels stacked up to resemble a cake and “cut the cheese”. Our families don’t even love cake and a few of us at the party have gluten intolerance so wouldn’t eat it either. Cakes to be honest are expensive and I had a vision of how I wanted it to look! Come a few days before the party I finally made the decision, we must have a cake. I went to a few super markets and chatted options and prices and landed on a smaller local store McCafferys as I got to talk to the pastry chef then and there and she totally got my vision and was able to do it in time! I absolutely love how it came out and it was totally budget friendly at $35!
Now, I imagined the “cake smash” and him devouring the cake, but I know our son- calm cool and detail oriented and that’s exactly how i’d describe his cake eating experience.
This kid took his time and enjoyed every second of his piece of cake. It was absolutely hilarious watching him eat it, i’ve never seen a baby savor a piece of cake like that!
All the kids showed up in their Halloween best – and even some of the parents, I mean it IS a costume party after all!
The kids picked their pumpkins, filled their treat bags, and just like that his amazing first birthday celebration was over.
I absolutely loved planning every detail of this party.
It was a day filled with so much happiness and love, we feel so lucky to raise Q around such great family and friends.
xX The Scott Cottage