Sunday, March 27, 2011

naterpillar recap, part one

After all that planning and counting down and setting up, and all the to-do lists and nervous anticipation, the Naterpillar party was over in a flash. I don't think Natalie paid much notice to the decorations, so I'm going to share them with you all here instead.

(Thank-you, everyone, for taking the pictures that I'm using here!)

1. I am making Natalie her own "Very Hungry Naterpillar" scrapbook all about her first birthday party. I asked all of our guests to write messages to the birthday girl on notecards that I decorated with thumbprint caterpillars. The notes will be included in the book for miss Natalie to read when she's old enough to appreciate their kind words.

2. We used a small function room at a local church for the party, which was really just a plain white room for us to decorate as we liked. With the help of my parents, sister, and father-in-law, we filled the place with Naterpillar touches. The food, guest book, pictures of Natalie, and her baby book were on two long tables covered in Very Hungry Caterpillar tablecloths (thank-you, Target). The walls above the food were decorated to look like the polka-dots on the first page of the book.

3. The foods were all foods from the book, labeled with the day of the week that they corresponded with. I was so nervous about having enough food, which resulted in us having tons of leftovers to bring home.

4. We got Natalie a special keepsake felt party hat from Stell and Livi, and had a couple of party hat options for our guests. Traditional party hats and Eric Carle-themed birthday crowns were set out for people to choose from.

5. The kids' table was probably the most under-utilized aspect of the party. I really wanted to have some fun activities ready to go for our littlest guests, so I set out Naterpillar bubbles, coloring pages, flashcards, a puzzle, and stuffed toys. We also brought Natalie's new ball pit, her musical table, and lots of books to have around the room. In the end, only the ball pit was really necessary... but the table looked cute!

6. The cupcake table was one of my favorites--we had picked up some random pieces of a kiddie hammer and peg set, and used the strips of wood that have the holes in them to weave little gummy worms through to look like the hungry caterpillar. I shaped green- and red-frosted cupcakes into a caterpillar, and decorated the remaining cupcakes with Eric Carle toppers and used our new cupcake stand to show them off.

You can find the apple cupcake recipe I used here.

More pictures (of the Naterpillar! of our guests! of the aftermath!) to come in the next couple of days. In the meantime, I'm enjoying one last night with our remaining out-of-town party guests and sleeping in before going in for a half day of work tomorrow. Not a bad way to start the workweek.


  1. Wow. You put a ton of effort into the party. That's a great theme! I'm just starting the thinking process behind my boys 1st birthday! I'm checking out the cupcake recipe too!

  2. awesome hilary! all those little touches are brilliant.
    but i totally want cupcakes now.

  3. thanks guys! it was definitely a lot of work, but it felt really worth it when all was said and done.

    & the cupcakes? yummo. i did a 'trial run' the weekend before her birthday, and mike and i literally ate 16 cupcakes in less than 48 hours.

  4. This birthday theme is incredible! The decorations are perfection and love the scrapbook!


  5. thanks, k! the scrapbook is probably my favorite part, too. :) i still have a ton of work to do on it now that i have all the pictures from the party, though... the 1st birthday madness never ends! haha

  6. Oh my gosh, SO cute!! You did such a great job decorating!!!

  7. @ mason's mom: thanks! it was so fun to see all of mason's birthday pictures, it was like a mini-countdown to natalie's big day for me. :)

  8. Hilary you did a phenomenal job :) It looks like the party was 100% perfect.

  9. thanks, coll! i was so nervous leading up to it, i seriously almost threw up the day of the party. and then it was over. and it went great :)