Swan Party for Ayla’s 1st Birthday

I cannot believe it’s already been 10 days since this little gal’s Swan Party for her first birthday! I’ve gathered up all the information for you, links and where to shop with as much detail as possible, as this at-home children’s party theme is so adorable. We like to refer to it as Ayla’s Swan-derful First Birthday! I mean, honestly, it doesn’t really get more whimsical than swans, feathers and stars!

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We hacked this IKEA children’s table and chair set, by simply painting it white, using a pretty floral napkin as a table cloth and DIY’d our own little ribbon-tied chair cushions from pink buffalo check duck cloth from Hobby Lobby tied with ribbons and featuring covered buttons. We did the same with some batting and polyfill for this pretty little vintage wicker rocking chair. We made a seat cushion and pillow in a nice cotton fabric. I love how it brings a much more custom design to children’s furniture. And the DIY is so simple, you really don’t even need a pattern! It added to the day’s decor so nicely and has been a staple little set-up in our home for the girls to use. Win, win!

SWAN PARTY FOR AYLA’S 1ST BIRTHDAY

We kept to a nice theme of gold, pink, peach, and white for Ayla’s Swan Party. We used many elements that we saved from Everley’s Ice-Cream Party a few months before, which we were able to tuck away until Ayla’s day, which saved money and prep time too – like this shredded Dollar Tree tablecloth backdrop. See it here from Everley’s party. So easy to customize. We just cut up 2-3 colored tablecloths and used tape to stick them together at the top, then punched some holes in the tape, and hung it with command hooks. Worked like a charm, as we were able to re-use but use a different “topper” with paper flowers instead of a balloon garland like last time.

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We did yet another DIY, again for Everley’s party initially, but ended up changing it out and making it new. We made this awesome kid’s market stand out of an IKEA planter and some wood. I have yet to create a full DIY tutorial yet, but we did follow fairly closely using A Darling Daydream’s tutorial on her site. I will update this link here once it’s live and ready to go! Here are some of the materials we used, to change it from an ice-cream cart, to a little patisserie stand for Ayla’s party…

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Instead of a cake smash as such, we decided to make a fudge brownie cake for Ayla’s birthday celebrations! This meant it was super dense and easy to “cookie-cutter” out some brownie circles and stack them on top of one another to create the illusion of a mini naked cake! Add in a candle and voila! It was also cute enough to not have to add frosting or anything even more sugar-filled. So it worked quite well! Her “big” cake was topped with glitter dotted tulle picks, which tied in so beautifully with the Swan Party theme as well. Even the “one” cake topper, was one that was saved from Everley’s first birthday! I tell you, keep your party stuff, you never know if you can re-use it again for the next kid!

We lined the sill behind her highchair with feather boas from the Dollar Tree to create the feel of floating feathers (very swan-like), among the balloon stands and star garlands. We hung a little “one” garland behind her as the perfect little backdrop for her cake photos. Although it was her birthday, and these photos make it seem as though she was always smiling, she was actually extremely cranky. Little did we know at the time, she was having a reaction to milk and had a lactose allergy! Poor thing was unwell and very cranky most of her day. Thankful that we know now and she’s back to her usual happy self.

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The gifts for her first birthday were purposeful. For Everley we did up the playhouse, so for Ayla we wanted to do something equally as special. We got her the usual wooden toys and stackers, a xylophone, and a puzzle block set, but we also found this Olli Ella picnic basket, which was perfect for her to store her little tidbits and the perfect size for her to carry around herself. We also fell in love with this pretty pale pink rattan doll bassinet (which I’ll admit was a little bit of an investment piece, but well worth it in my mind). I made a little mattress and blanket set for it, as her favorite thing to play with right now is dolls. She loves to cuddle them and put them to bed! Haha. These things alongside the adapted patisserie stand we’re just enough to give her some new things to play with, and some great new additions for both the girls to enjoy in the playroom for years to come. We added a little bakery set and some felt swan and butterfly cookies!

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As mentioned earlier, this photo booth backdrop was a nice little piece of decor as well as a great way to capture some pretty family photos together. We used some swan masks as props (find them here), some glitter party crowns (found here), and the foil swan balloon (found in-store on sale, but also found here) as great little distractions for nice candid “happy” photos with the girls. The paper flowers were very simple to scrunch up and make look nice and fluffy for along the top of the backdrop (paper flower set found here). It was a simple and very effective set-up that worked a treat and added nicely to the Swan Party theme for the day!

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After Ayla finished up her midday nap, we headed downstairs for Part 2 of the party… in the playroom. She hadn’t seen this part of the house yet, so it was like a whole other party full of new things to play with and have fun in. We had lots of leftover balloons from parties past and decided to whip them up into a nice big garland to add some spark and interest to the atmosphere downstairs. The playhouse was done up as a flower market for Everley’s first birthday (which seems like a life-time ago), and we are planning to give it a re-vamp soon. But recently added these cute butterfly accents in the doorknocker (found here) and handle (found here).

We had fun dressing up downstairs and making sure there was a little tea party set-up (Ayla’s favorite game to play). She spent most of her time sitting down at the table pretending to drink tea. We hung some foil “Happy Birthday” balloons (found in store at Walmart, similar here) from the gold star garlands (found here) we had and brightened up a blank wall quite easily. We also used balloon glue dots to stick these giant balloons to the ceiling and used some feather boas from the Dollar Tree as balloon tails, which I quite loved the look of.

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Ever since I found a little wicker rocking chair (similar here and here), I have been on the lookout for other sweet little wicker finds on Facebook Marketplace. We recently found this adorable tiny doll-sized wicker vanity and stool set (found exact one on Ebay here for under $25, and here on Etsy for under $30!), and I sourced some little white wicker doll chairs so the girls can play hairdressers and stylists with their Miniland dolls (similar style doll chairs set here, here and here). It went down such a treat, that I’ve since stumbled upon a little vintage wicker stroller and many other little special pieces, that I’ll slowly start putting away for special occasions. I love having treasured finds like this that are hard to come by or are not simply sold in a store. They tell a story and I become very attached to pieces like this in my home. I hope the girls do too.

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Overall, the whimsical Swan Party came together beautifully. Although Ayla was not herself and was quite upset from adjusting to her new milk diet, but she did have moments of pure joy and happiness which is exactly what we’d hoped for her special day! We loved how it all turned out and had a blast creating memories for this little cutie’s first birthday.

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Brooke-Lyn is wearing a star tulle tiered midi dress with puff sleeves (c/o SheIn, sold out now, similar here and here and another blue one here, also black version here) and her gold floral pearl stud earrings (also from SheIn, and ONLY $2!).

Everley wears a pretty white star tulle dress (from Nordstrom, now sold out, also found here in stock, and a similar version here). She wears a star-studded tulle capelet as well (from Amazon) and little gold bow shoes (from GAP Factory).

Ayla is wearing a pink tulle star adorned dress (from GAP). She also wears a white star covered tulle cape (from Amazon) perfect for her Swan Party theme, and an adorable hand-made felt flower headband (which was a gift from a lovely friend, found on Etsy from HomeHeartFelts store).

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