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


Cheri Peoples SAYS:

sooo cute

Reply June 22, 2009 at 6:20 am

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:)

Reply June 24, 2009 at 11:46 am

Montanna SAYS:

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

Reply June 24, 2009 at 12:21 pm

grandpa SAYS:

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

Reply June 24, 2009 at 4:20 pm

Shawna -Trio Events SAYS:

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

Reply June 24, 2009 at 6:56 pm

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!

Reply June 24, 2009 at 9:48 pm

Tori {Thoughtfully Simple} SAYS:

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

Reply June 25, 2009 at 7:21 am

denise nering SAYS:

Absolutly without a doubt the best monkey party pix ever!

Reply July 6, 2009 at 3:56 am

nicole SAYS:

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

Reply July 12, 2009 at 4:01 pm

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!!!

Reply July 21, 2009 at 1:20 pm

Tonya -Soap Cafe SAYS:

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

Reply July 22, 2009 at 4:24 pm

jinette SAYS:

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

Reply August 18, 2009 at 10:12 am


This is an ADORABLE bday party with the monkey theme! I just got a stainless reusable Monkey water bottle because I love monkeys…photo (http://www.brightandbold.com/20ozblqmobo.html)

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!

Reply August 21, 2009 at 9:09 am

Erika SAYS:

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


Reply September 1, 2009 at 11:11 am

Shawna -Trio Events SAYS:

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.

Reply September 1, 2009 at 1:31 pm

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