Maybe you’re celebrating a graduation this summer or perhaps an engagement. Or if you’re like me, a birthday party for one of your children. (Our little girl is turning one!) Whatever the occasion, it’s sometimes nice to put a little forethought and effort into a special event. While “theme” parties can sometimes fall into garish territory, there is a way to do it tastefully and elegantly. For my daughter’s first birthday, I decided to focus on the theme of butterflies.
The idea came to me one night as I was rocking her to sleep. Above her crib she has a butterfly mobile and it struck me that this was a great theme for a first birthday. The metaphor of emergence and transition is actually well suited to many events and might work just as well for a wedding or a baby shower.
Butterfly Paper, Drinking Straws, Orange Butterfly Cut-Outs, Butterfly Washi Tape, Butterfly Gift Tags, The Paper Place; Linen Napkins, Williams-Sonoma; Cutlery, Vintage; Plate, Queen’s; Paint Colours, Benjamin Moore (Creamy Orange, Soft Pumpkin, Stratton Blue, Harrisburg Green).
Inspired by vintage specimen drawings of butterflies, I opted for a palette in shades of soft mint, steely blue and creamy tangerine. Since I hope to host the party outside, I also added in lots of garden party elements like ferns and ivies. I stayed away from any florals so that the butterflies could take central stage. Store bought butterfly cutouts are easy to apply to straws, hang from mobiles or decorate a table cloth with. I even saw them applied to paper lanterns. Luckily butterflies are one of those images that are readily available in a variety of forms; invitations, wrapping paper, washi tape, plates, and glassware are all relatively easy to find decorated with a butterfly image. Even if you are pressed for time it doesn’t take a lot of effort to gather a few butterfly themed things to make your party look great. Depending on the age of your party-goers you could add in events like butterfly face painting or designing gossamer wings to wear at the party. Of course, the whole thing should conclude with a cake decorated with butterflies. While I’m sure my one year old will have little or no memory of her first birthday, I hope when she looks back on the photos years from now she will smile with happiness.