19 Jun

REAL PARTIES: Monkey Business

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 www.partypartnershop.com. 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.

The Children’s Table:
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 www.partypartnershop.com.

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.

Activities and Favors:
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 www.orientaltrading.com.)

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 www.adollysworld.com. 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.

The Invitations:
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 – www.trioeventskids.com – to check out more of her work!

{Photo Credit: All photos by Maya Whitman}

Leave a Comment


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!!!

Reply June 19, 2009 at 10:59 am

modern eve SAYS:

i love every little detail!

Reply June 19, 2009 at 11:08 am

Mara SAYS:

this is so cute!!

Reply June 19, 2009 at 11:47 am

Shena Hays SAYS:

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

Reply June 19, 2009 at 1:32 pm

Suzanne B (Crunchy green Mom) SAYS:

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???

Reply June 19, 2009 at 1:36 pm

Rebecca is Thrilled by the Thought SAYS:

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

Reply June 19, 2009 at 1:55 pm


This is so adorable!!

Reply June 19, 2009 at 3:03 pm

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………….

Reply June 19, 2009 at 4:50 pm


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

Reply June 19, 2009 at 9:18 pm

Dawn SAYS:

This is adorable, I love it!

Reply June 19, 2009 at 9:34 pm

Sugar and Spice Event Design SAYS:

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!

Reply June 19, 2009 at 9:48 pm

[email protected] At Home SAYS:

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


Reply June 20, 2009 at 9:14 am

Tommy Bahama Bedding SAYS:

Too cute! Love the swinging spider monkeys :)

Reply June 21, 2009 at 5:09 pm

amydeanne SAYS:

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

Reply June 22, 2009 at 5:56 am

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