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  • Ever Deane

Book Themed First Birthday Party

I knew I wanted to pick a theme that was simple and sweet but not over-done and so I thought, "what does Callum really enjoy?" The answers were- dogs, food, hadadas (the most obnoxious bird in the whole world) water and bikes. Oliver had a puppy party for his first birthday so I didn't want to repeat that, there would obviously be food at the party, it's not summer yet so not having a water party and Oliver might have a bike party for his 4th soon so those were all out. The next thing that Callum loves is books. We leave two or three out at a time in the lounge and he often sits and pages through them by himself. He loves "reading" and so I thought it would be a very cute idea to have a book themed party.

I decided to go with white and gold with black elements and then the color of the books and food. I looked up some ideas on Pinterest and used the ideas to make up my own decor. I am so excited with how it turned out and I hope to give away the decor I made to someone else in my town who might want to use it. All that work isn't going to waste!

I just want to add that my almost one year old will not remember his party at all, but it was a celebration for us as a family and I love decorating, but you do not need to do any of this to prove anything! I just need an outlet for my creativity since I am not teaching anymore.

Chapter One Backdrop

This was so fun to make - I cut out some pages of a book I bough at a second hand bookstore. I got the letters printed at Postnet and cut them out leaving a little white boarder so they would stand out. I put the letters on the book pages with prestick just to see if I liked it but it gave it a 3D look so I ended up leaving it instead of glueing them on, but either works!

I got a 20meter piece of gold ribbon which was way too much, but I thought I was going to do many more columns of gold on either side but I decided not to. I used prestick again to stick all the pages on to the gold ribbon. I thought I couldn't get prestick in the states but I just looked on amazon and it's called Blu Tack (affiliate link) and I can't believe I went 8 years without it. Boo hoo.


I loved the white and gold combo, the only thing I would have done differently would have been to do white ribbon instead of the shiny gold but hubby kindly went to do the balloons so I could do the cake and that kind of thing is not his forte. Still looks fine - just the different color gold does something to my perfectionist personality which is probably a good thing.

I think the balloons really frame the backdrop and make a lovely addition.

Book Banner

I went a little overboard here and printed my boy's favorite book titles and then added some book pages and stapled them together so it really looked like little books. Then I put some ribbon (the shop didn't have string) on the front of the table and hung the books with simple wooden pegs. I really liked the way it added some color to the more plain backdrop.

Birthday Cake Stand and Topper

This was my favorite to put together and I think it looks so gorgeous. I used skewers and string to do the little line and printed book covers to fold over the string (like table place cards) and I used glue to stick them together. I then bought one big square cake stand to put the books on and glued book pages to it and then used one small 20cm round cake stand to put the cake on. It was made up of two vanilla layers with lemon icing in between and on top. I used this recipe and it turned out very delicious. So moist even though I'm using a new oven and still getting used to how hot it is. I was so worried it was going to be dry and burned because the outside was cooking so fast but the middle was still gooey, but it tuned out perfect thank goodness.

I bought four books from a second hand bookstore and used three of them for the cake stand and the other one for cutting out all the book pages for the decor. I am so pleased with how it tuned out. Callum didn't actually eat any of this cake as the sugar content was too high in my opinion. I made him a healthy-ish no-recipe cupcake using an egg, dash of oil, dash of maple syrup, pinch of salt, dash of baking powder, flour, vanilla essence and a mashed banana. I used cream cheese with a dash of the lemon icing and he didn't know the difference!

Soft Play Rental

I rented some softplay equipment for the little ones as Callum is very big into climbing everything at the moment and it was such a hit! Even the bigger kids enjoyed making obstacle courses and the ball pit and slide! I highly recommend renting softly equipment for a little ones birthday. The lady we used dropped it off on Friday morning and picked it up Monday lunch time so we could a lot of use out of it the whole weekend. Feel free to reach out to me if you are in the Hilton, PMB area for her contact.


We kept it very simple as I knew making the cake fresh on the day was going to take up most of my time. My dad bought some fresh donuts from Krispy Kreme, my sister in law brought a vegetable platter from Spar I think, I made some spinach and feta pinwheels, did my first cheese board and had some chips and chocolates as well. Thank you to my sister in law for these lovely photos!

So all in all it was a lovely celebration of our sweetest little bundle of peace and joy. He is such a delight to our family and I am so amazed by his level of chill every day. We can't imagine our family without him and look forward to celebrating more and more birthdays together and making lots of fun memories as a family of four.

We have done a puppy party, sports theme, baseball and now a book party. What themes have you loved for your kids so far?

I think going to Midmar Dam and having a party with the speed boat and renting tubes and that banana float was my favorite birthday growing up! That and my bike party.

Make sure to check out Ever Deane on Pinterest and Instagram.

Have a lovely day!

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Hi, I'm Kendra

I am a qualified Montessori teacher and yoga teacher up to my ears in diapers, toy cars and the best kisses a mama can handle. I am passionate about connecting with moms and supporting each other on this journey of motherhood. I share family-friendly recipes, my pregnancy, postpartum and parenting journey, Montessori inspiration, and products we loveI am a South African living in the US with my hubby and two boys.

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