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Our Little Cutie Pie: Clara’s First Birthday

DIY Tissue Garland
I don’t know how it’s possible, but our little girl turned one last week. I still remember announcing her birth to all of you. Our first year with Clara was magical and filled with moments I will treasure forever. In other ways, though, the year was very long and very difficult. Through it all, Clara has been the light in the dark places. She is our world, and we were elated to celebrate her big day in a big way.

I struggled with deciding on a theme for her party, and I bounced several ideas off some of my best friends. When the pie theme popped into my head, I knew I had to run with it. It seemed fitting for Clara, who we frequently refer to as “Cutie Pie.” The color scheme was easy. I had seen a coral and mint wedding on Pinterest, and I knew those colors were perfect for the vintage-y pie theme. Back in early January, I had no idea those two colors would be everywhere a couple months later. I kind of want to use them all over the house now.

Food Table
The dishes we used were a mixture of vintage Pyrex and a few new dishes to match the color scheme. I’m so happy with how they came together!

For the food, I wanted a menu that could be made largely in advance. I’m not sure it could have been done any other way, especially considering the exorbitant amount of pie dough I made leading up to the party. We broke it up, making party food each night after dinner, but still ended up doing quite a bit the night before (after my momentary “do we have enough food” freakout). This was the biggest party we’ve ever hosted (we had over 40 people at our house!) but thankfully had plenty of food to go around.

Ham and Cheese Hand Pies These hand pies were super popular with kids and adults. They’re like Hot Pockets but way, way better.

Our menu for the party included:
Frito Pie
Jalapeño Goat Cheese Whoopie Pies
Pizza Dip and tortilla chips
Ham and Cheese Hand Pies

Key Lime Pie Dip with fruit and graham crackers
Mini Chocolate Pies
Mini Peanut Butter Pies
Banana Cream Pie Cupcakes and Smash Cake

Beer, white wine sangria, and Trader Joe’s French Berry Lemonade soda
Nutella Pie Pops (favors)

Mason Jars I love mason jars as drinking glasses, and I used jute twine and craft paper tags to make these party-worthy. The mint paper straws tied the jars into the party colors.

Painted Frames Eric and I painted these frames (from Michael’s) and used them to display Clara’s monthly pictures. Since our bar was being used for drinks, we lined the frames up on our desk. We also put Clara’s baby book out so that people could flip through it if they wanted.

Nutella Pie Pops I absolutely love the idea of edible favors, and these Nutella Pie Pops were a huge hit. I made the paper hearts using my Silhouette and tied them on using baker’s twine. The paper was leftover from making the cupcake stand. The pail was a clearance find at Target after Valentine’s Day. I know it’s not coral, but it was too cute to pass up. Stamped Wooden Forks These stamped forks were one of my favorite DIY touches. I found the stamp and ink at Michael’s. It’s hard to capture on camera, but these looked seriously cute in person. This was definitely the easiest DIY of all the party projects.

Invitation I made the invitations and food labels myself in Photoshop and had them printed locally. I was really proud of how they came out. Pie Smash Cake Sadly, I didn’t get a great picture of Clara’s cake (this is a phone picture with an Instagram filter). I made it to look like a pie, and I was mostly happy with how it came out. This cake was my inspiration. I used Wilton Buttercup Yellow gel coloring to achieve the pie dough color I wanted for the fondant. Once Clara smashed the cake, we peeled back the fondant so she could dig right into the cake and frosting.

Eating cake
Clara looked adorable the entire time, and I’m beyond thrilled with how her dress came out. I’m so glad I decided to make it for her. The felt bow headband was also made by me.

Though the day started on the rough side since Clara didn’t nap at all before the party, things went surprisingly well (thanks to a few extra helping hands). Clara ate her cake like a champ (no surprise there), and we had a fabulous time. Our time spent with Clara has been the most wonderful time, and we’re excited to watch her grow and change over the next year.

Many of the recipes from the party will be posted in the coming weeks. If you want to see my inspiration for the party, you can check out the pinboard I created for Clara’s party.

Paper straws and twine for favors- TalkingTwineandTrim on Etsy
Paper food trays – ThePinkPicker on Etsy
Baking cups – CakeWithLove on Etsy
Invitations and food tents/labels – Designed by me and printed locally at Print1
Felt balls for garland – AnnyMay and Handbehg Felts on Etsy
Coral cake stand and bowl – Threshold line at Target
Felt ball and tissue paper garlands – Made by me
Clara’s dress and bow – Made by me, fabric is Verona Rouge Stripe by Riley Blake

  • Tracey

    Clara is one lucky little lady to have such sweet and loving parents :) And what an amazing 1st birthday party, love all the little details!

  • evabakes

    Cute theme! Happy birthday, Clara!

  • Kim

    Courtney, I have been looking forward to this post since you first started sharing pictures of all of the cute party decorations. Looking forward to checking out some of the recipes – thanks for sharing with us!

  • Krystal R.

    What a beautiful and fun theme!! Happy Birthday Clara, your parents did an ahhh-mazing job on your party!! You really outdid yourself Courtney, everything came out wonderful! I hate how fast the first year has gone by, but I truly treasure these great milestones even more, too.

  • elly @ elly says opa

    Everything turned out so, so well, Courtney! Not that there was any doubt! I love all the personalized touches, the menu. Everything looked beautiful, especially Clara!

  • marcie @ flavor the moments

    This party is a pie lover’s dream! Everything looks wonderful, and I love how you made her little cake look like pie. Just adorable!

  • Courtney @ The Fig Tree

    What a fantastic party! You did an incredible job. Everything looked perfect. Happy birthday Clara!

  • Amy @ Sing For Your Supper

    What a fun party! You did an awesome job, Courtney! Happy birthday, sweet little Clara!!


    Everything looks so cute! Great job Court!

  • ErinsFoodFiles

    Happy Birthday Clara! What a cute & fun party!

  • Kelsey Morgan

    Happy birthday, sweet Clara. Courtney, this party is so adorable–just like your family!

  • Amy

    So cute! Happy Birthday, Clara! Where did you get that cute “stripey” fabric?

    • Courtney

      Thanks, Amy! I found the fabric on Etsy. It’s called Verona Rouge Stripe and is a Riley Blake fabric.

  • Isabelle Boucher

    I am such a slacker when it comes to party decor (I’m lucky if the napkins are even an appropriate colour), so I’ve got major envy over all this gorgeous, put-together, colour-palette-and-theme thing you’ve got going on. You are my party hero! :) Also, the pie theme is pure genius.
    Happy birthday to little Clara. I can’t believe how big she’s getting!

  • Kayla W

    Such a cute and different theme. Love it! Happy birthday, Clara!

  • Aimee Wimbush-Bourque

    Happy Birthday, Clara! Being one is so much fun. Love, your friend, Clara B.

  • kelly

    I absolutely love your color scape and the theme!! Clara is indeed a cutie-pie and so it fits her perfectly! Happy Happy Birthday, Miss Clara! I hope she enjoyed her special day! :)

  • AnnyMay

    Happy Birthday, Clara! Such a beautiful party decor! Very happy to see the garland! Thanks for the feedback! :)

  • Liz N.

    Love it all! You did such a great job! By the way, where did you get your gorgeous earrings and cute top?

    • Courtney

      Thanks so much! I found the earrings on Etsy (the shop was Eternal Eden Jewelry), and the top is from Ann Taylor Loft.

  • annieseats

    You did such an amazing job with this! I love it all. Happy birthday, sweet Clara!

  • Nicole

    So cute! What a fun idea for a birthday party!

  • The Food Hound

    Yay for first birthday parties!! We had a mostly DIY party for Emma, too, and it was so much fun. Love your colors! We did red and aqua since we did a joint party with a little friend (boy) who turned one the same week. I’m just recovering enough to want to do all that work next year, ha! It’s SO worth it, though! Love the pie theme!

  • Bethanne Gucwa

    What a cute idea. Where did you get your recipe for the pizza dip? Going to do frito pies for my sons “monster truck” party.