They say that kids grow up too fast… and that couldn’t be further from the truth! When my son turned one, I felt like I hadn’t even fully recovered from the newborn stage, yet here we were–already a year in! To celebrate my son’s first birthday, we threw a small party in the backyard of my parents’ house. I wanted to create a beautiful outdoor backdrop for his first cake smash photos (which he actually didn’t even participate in.. go figure). I searched for days for unique birthday themes, but I opted to go with the typical “Wild One” first birthday theme because my son loved animals, and he was a pretty wild kid, tbh.
I created the photo backdrop by using a pipe and base kit. (This might not be the best investment for everyone, but I knew that I would probably use it every year.) I set up a fake hedge wall, using zip ties to attach the hedge panels together and to the pipe. The day before the party, my best friend and I blew up all the balloons and create the arch. (The kit also came with some tropical leaves, but I honestly just ran out of time to attach those before the party started.) Most of the balloons lasted until morning, with the exception of a few. We made sure to keep some extra balloons available for replacements.
The “Wild One” sign was created on my laser cutter and painted gold. For decorations, I created a wooden “Dylan’s Safari” directional sign, I set up inflatable jungle animals (these were way cheaper than giant stuffed animals and worked just as well), and I ordered a Jeep prop for photos. For my son, I set up a table and high chair with a cute wood cake stand, a safari-themed smash cake, and a DIY cake topper (which I made by gluing paper flags to a string and tying it to two paper straws).
SHOP THE PRODUCTS!
Pipe & Base Set: Backdrop Support Kit
Faux Hedge Wall: Faux Hedge Panels
Balloon Arch: Jungle Balloon Arch
Balloon Pump: Electric Balloon Pump
Wild One Sign: DIY (laser-cut wood with gold spray paint)
Safari Sign: DIY (stained wood with white vinyl letters)
Jeep Photo Prop: Etsy
Inflatable Animals: Set of (3) Inflatable Animals
White Table: IKEA MELLTORP Table
Ribbon Banner: Wild One Banner
Wood Cake Stand: Wood Plank Stand
Cake: Incredible Cake Art
Clear Cupcake Stand: Acrylic Cupcake Stand
Animal Cupcake Wrappers: Safari Cupcake Wrappers
Marquee Number 1: White Marquee Number
Light Box: Light Box
High Chair: High Chair
Cake Stand: Acrylic Cake Pop Stand
Cake Topper: DIY (striped paper straws with paper flags on string)