Jack’s First Birthday! Time Flies…For The Win

I LOVE a good theme party. I enjoy finding the perfect pieces and thinking through unique ways to incorporate the theme in unexpected ways. Our wedding was probably the biggest test of my party planning skills. We had complete control over the venue and everything that went into creating the experience. (The benefit of getting married on your family farm.) I really enjoyed that opportunity and making these special memories for my family is a way of expressing how much I love them.

Now, on to Jack’s party theme- Time Flies/Aviation Theme.

I love setting the tone with a good invitation and some vintage stamps. Here was what we selected from Tangerine Paper Shoppe for the invitation.  The quality was great and we were able to get the invites printed at a great price! If you select “Rack Cards” from Vistaprint the size is almost exact and the quality and price are much better than other print services. I think we got 50, 80lb cards with 1 side glossy for around $15.00 with a special and coupon. I added on some stickers just to jazz up the back of the envelope.

I get all of my stamps from The Stamp King in Chicago, if you’re not in Chicago, he’ll ship the stamps to you if you know what you want. I bought an old US stamp book like THIS one. This lists all of the stamps ever printed so you can see what will work for you and them you just tell him the quantity and print numbers. So easy!


Pinterest was a huge source of inspiration for me- check out Jack’s page to see where I got many of the ideas. The main decor item was a huge balloon sculpture cloud. I used the tutorial from The House That Lars Built found HERE.

Here are all the materials that I used:

I wish that I had saved more “during” photos so you could see it all coming together, but I posted a lot on Instastories and forgot to save them to my highlights. The House That Lars Built video tutorial will give you most of the details you need to make the arch- I followed the instructions almost exactly. Here are some thing I learned and a few things I would do differently next time.

  • A low temp glue gun will change you life!
  • Use the packing tape to cover any sharp edges on the chicken wire before you hang it
  • Don’t worry about being exact with the chicken wire structure, you have flexibility when pacing the balloons
  • Leave yourself enough time for this project- it is a process
  • If you are using all white balloons, you may want to spray paint the wire white. I wish I had done this because I had to use a lot more balloons to make sure you couldn’t see the wire.
  • Have a partner with a laser pointer at ground level to help you find the gaps.
  • Use high quality balloons. I wish I had used more expensive balloons, I did’t have any issues, but I could have built it a day or two earlier if the balloons didn’t leak air.
  • A two sided arch is ambitious for a first attempt! Try to do one sided until you get the hang of it.
  • If you have something that matches the theme to place among the balloons, it adds a great element. I used little airplanes.

Despite the time it took, it was a show stopper and I loved the end result. It was hung in our entry and could be seen through the dormer above our front door. Hearing the oohs and aahs from people walking up to the door made the project totally worth it! Placing the airplanes in the balloons offered another element and I’m so glad I did it. I’m not sure I’ll be doing it again anytime soon, but this is something I’ll keep in my back pocket for future parties.

Here are some of the before pictures…it was a long night!

Some pics of the party!


Birthday Boy and Granny!
Biscotto Cookies! These were amazing!


Other decorations:

I got much of the decor from Hobby Lobby (plane frame, plane garland, runway sign, blue/white bakers twine, airplane cake toppers, washi tape).

For every party, I do a photo booth area with an Instax Camera and props. I also put a notebook on the photo table for people to write little notes next to the photos. I add all of the birthday cards after the party and it’s a keepsake for the boys.


The small foam airplanes were from Amazon- I purchased 50 and they were a big hit with the kids. I painted some of them to match the colors of the party!

I used cloud paper and airplane decals as table cloths.


Both of my boys wore old timey aviation hats, at least for a few pictures. 

I used eco-friendly disposable plates that looked like vintage airplane food trays to stay with the theme!

These “cupcake spoons” were actually too small for any eating purpose- but they were prefect for stirring adult drinks! Speaking of adult drinks- we put mini liquor bottles next to the lemonade for the adults. It was a cute touch!

Let me know if you have any questions!

For The Win,

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