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REAL PARTIES: Monkey Business

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Monkey Birthday Party

We’re going bananas over this monkey themed first birthday that Shawna Pardo, coordinator and owner of Trio Events, threw in honor of her son’s first birthday!

Shawna wanted to put a “swinging spin” on the usual jungle-themed children’s party. With a little help from some gorillas, orangutans and spider monkeys, Shawna turned her backyard into a wonderland full of primate fun. Here are all the party details, as told by Shawna herself…

Monkey Birthday Party

I’m all about atmosphere and dress up when it comes to designing children’s special events. I wanted to have a backdrop that transported guests to the treetops. I began by cutting out the shape of tree trunks from plywood and hand painted them to look lifelike but playful. The trunks were then attached with screws to the blue painted background. Once attached, I painted the grass blowing in the wind.

To give the tree murals a more life-like, three dimensional appearance, live tree branches were then attached with brackets to the ends of the painted branches. The plush swinging spider monkeys found this tree to be a perfect “hang out” spot for the party!

Monkey Birthday Party

The beautiful cupcake tower in the center was custom created by the amazing Julie Desmueles from Blue Cupcake.  The unique tower added the perfect bit of spunk to my table décor.

No monkey event could ever be complete without some swinging monkeys…

Monkey Birthday Party

Monkey Birthday Party

I used the same hanging spider monkey’s I used in the murals, to hang in the real trees in our backyard. The plush monkey’s long arms and Velcro hands made hanging them a breeze.  We conveniently have banana and plantain trees in our yard, and hung our new friends to add to the ambiance.

I wanted each table to be greeted by their own special primate friend. I bought brown woven baskets from Target in the seasonal summer section. The plush monkeys were all purchased from either Target or at my local toy store.

Monkey Birthday Party

The turf grass that each monkey sits atop in the baskets were bought at The monkey printed fabric overlay was purchased at my local fabric store. I used pinking sheers to cut the edges instead of having to sew them all with a finished edge. This works great when you are pressed for time and actually makes a really great little detail.

No children’s party is complete without a personalized table just their size!  This table is fun and inviting for all the little monkeys…

Monkey Birthday Party

The tablecloth and runner I custom made with fabric I bought downtown in the garment district when I couldn’t find the exact brown stripes I wanted at my local fabric store.  The plush monkeys were found at my local toy store and I used the same tissue turf inside the baskets from

Monkey Birthday Party

Monkey Birthday Party

The melamine monkey plates I found at Target much to my surprise after I had no luck at my local children’s boutiques or online searches. The plates were another perfect take home item for our guests. I used the same stickers I used on the invites on white cups that were personalized with each child’s name. The palm trees were actually mini-pinatas I bought at Party City.

I wanted to kids to be able to run around with their masks on and play a bit of dress up. These boy and girl monkey faces did the trick for my pint sized guests…

Monkey Birthday Party

Monkey Birthday Party

The favor pails came in sets of a dozen with all the foam parts that I put together as you see in the photo above. (Masks and pail party favor kits purchased at

At every party I host or coordinate, there always has to be a craft or activity table. It’s always theme related and original. This party was no exception with it’s “Build A Monkey” station.

Monkey Birthday Party

I purchased the unstuffed monkey kits and blank T-shirts at The white T-shirts were not decorated initially so I scanned in a sticker of a banana and printed them out on iron-on sheets. I have used iron-on sheets many times to personalize t-shirts or bags for parties. I recommend buying Avery iron-on transfers at your local office or craft supply store.

Once the children stuffed and dressed their chimps, I used a permanent brown fabric marker to write the name given to each new monkey. Each monkey came with a carry home tree box and birth certificate.

This handmade invitation was pretty simple to construct. Once I chose my theme I began looking for 3-D stickers.

Monkey Birthday Party

I found the above monkey stickers at my local craft store. The raffia edge is simply cut raffia attached to hot glue. The green, brown and yellow card stock I merely cut to the preferred size and attached in layers with a glue stick.

Monkey Birthday Party

This party was soo much fun to coordinate and design. All of our guests had a wild time and were so excited to make and take home their own new monkey friend.  My guests are still talking about this event, which is really all I could ask for.”

Thanks for sharing all of this the fabulous inspiration, Shawna!

Be sure to visit Shawna’s website – – to check out more of her work!

Vendor Credit
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POSTED BY:jenn s.JENNIFER SBRANTI is the Founder and Creative Director of Hostess with the Mostess®, a hip and modern party planning resource.

73 responses to “REAL PARTIES: Monkey Business”

  1. Kimberly B. says:

    Oh wow….that is hands down the BEST Monkey party I’ve seen online….I’ve searched long hours up until 3:00 am sometimes for something like this! Thank you Thank you!!!

  2. modern eve says:

    i love every little detail!

  3. Mara says:

    this is so cute!!

  4. Shena Hays says:

    I LOVE this! I will have to share this with my friends…sooo cute.

  5. OMG.. this is so cute! I love this party… i need to find someone to let me plan their son’s party….. girls like monkeys right???

  6. So so cute. I was going to start listing things I like, but it would take too long. I just love it all!

  7. Joy says:

    This is so adorable!!

  8. colleen slanina says:

    phenomal party ….,, very creative, but way over the top for a 1st or 2nd, maybe even 3rd BD….the party was for the mom (parents and friends) to ooh and ahh over…..very clever, beatifully done …save it for the later years when the children can appreciate it more………….

  9. All your details are amazing! And, of course, the monkey project was just darn cute. Thanks for the great inspiration and pictures.

  10. Mel says:

    AMAZING!! I love all of the detials. Thanks for the inspiration!

  11. Dawn says:

    This is adorable, I love it!

  12. You are amazing! You have a gift to great a joyful ambiance and a wonderful whimsical day. Your gift is a blessing… and you are using it to empower others. Thank you! This is so great!

  13. [email protected] At Home says:

    Such cute details. I especially love the invitations and all the monkeys in the trees.

  14. Too cute! Love the swinging spider monkeys :)

  15. amydeanne says:

    oh i wish i would have seen this last month we had a monkey theme, but not this good! lol well done!

  16. Kristy says:

    Masterpiece of Monkeys! Amazing detail…The fabric choices were perfect.. Love the place settings and the personalized cups..Of course the hanging monkey are adorable..I am madly in love with the gorilla monkey in the basket of turf grass-too cute…Perfect party:)

  17. Montanna says:

    I’ve been searching everywhere for ideas for my sons 1st birthday Monkey bash! Thank you for posting his! Great ideas!!

  18. grandpa says:

    the monkeys were cute , but my grandson is is the real monkey

  19. Thanks Everyone for the compliments and feedback. I had a great time putting the theme together-the kids had an absolute blast.

  20. glamslam says:

    What a great party! Is there any better way to celebrate a 1st birthday? No matter what the age this is a party where the child will look back and say “WOW, Mom, you did all of this for me!?” So unique and creative. Just perfect!

  21. Great party! I think the swinging monkeys are my favorite detail!

  22. denise nering says:

    Absolutly without a doubt the best monkey party pix ever!

  23. nicole says:

    I also did a Monkey party for birthday party.Please take a look!
    CEO strawberry Fields

  24. Tania says:

    Thank you for posting this. I am planning a monkey theme birthday party for my daughter’s second birthday and I am totally inspired. Great ideas to add to my own. Very cute!!!

  25. I am doing a monkey party for my daughters 1’s in Aug and these are great ideas!

  26. jinette says:

    loved the birthday banner. could you tell me how you did it and where you got the supplies?

  27. Mae says:

    This is an ADORABLE bday party with the monkey theme! I just got a stainless reusable Monkey water bottle because I love monkeys…photo )

    This party takes the cake (or banana, in this case!). I’ll have to tell my hubby that even tho’ I’m in my 40s, he could adapt these ideas for my next bday… thanks for the super creativity!

  28. Erika says:

    Can you please tell me which craft store you found the 3d stickers?


  29. Hi Erika,
    Actually those stickers were a seasonal item from Target that are no longer available. Target currently has monkey stickers in their craft section but they are not the same ones.

  30. jinette says:

    what about the birthday banner? i loved it. how can i do something similar?

  31. The Birthday banner consists of basically just traced circles. I printed out all the letters on colored cardstock and traced around them with a coffee can. The monkey faces are just different shaped circles cut out and placed together as you see. The mouth of the monkey is a small punched circle that I cut in half. The eyes were made using a hole punch. String all the letter circle shapes together through holes punched in each one by using one long ribbon. It’s time consuming but super easy.

  32. Kendra says:

    Wow I love those plates. Would you want to sale them by chance? Not finding them at my Target.

  33. Kendra,
    Sorry the plates are not for sale. Target has some monkey melamine plates for sale at They are not the same but you may find they work for you.

  34. Erika says:

    Thanks for getting back to me. I did find some at Target… but they look pretty small compared to the ones you used. Can you tell me approx. how big your stickers were?

  35. Trish says:

    Thanks for the inspiration! I’m even more excited to plan my little monkey’s 1st birthday! I’m in Canada, any chance you can give the name on the bottom of the plates to see if I can find them? I’m only looking to find 6….any chance you may sell to this Canadian???

  36. Trish, the plates are from Target’s home collection, but they are from last year and no longer available. They do have new version you can find on Search, monkey plates. I
    hope this helps.

  37. Trish says:

    Thanks…I was also wondering about your menu! How did you carry out the theme with that? Looking for some additional ideas!

  38. samantha says:

    OOH i Love monkey themes! that sO CUTE, i try lOOKIN girly monkey birthday themes, my daughter love monkey! i would can add monkey with skirt… for my daugther’s 2nd birthday..

  39. kim says:

    Would you mind helping me find those foam monkey favor pails on I have been searching with no luck!!