11 Apr

Macy’s {Colorful} Birthday Parade – Part 1

Colorful Birthday Parade Kids Party

After many years of designing stationery & party themes for the kids of others… I am thrilled to be able to share the very first party I was able to create for my OWN {darling} kid!

Our daughter, Macy, turned one in March — and my husband came up with the genius idea of playing on her name and the idea of the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade for the theme — so we switched Thanksgiving to BIRTHDAY and came up with “Macy’s First Annual Birthday Parade.” This worked out very well for me too — because I adore circus/carnival themes and anything candy-related, so a parade theme allowed me to work in those kinds of elements quite nicely!

Colorful Birthday Parade Kids Party

There are lots {and LOTS!} of details and pictures to share, so I’m going to break this recap up into at least 2 parts… starting right now with the outdoor treats/decor display set up on our backyard BBQ. Read on for lots more pics, followed by creative details. Cotton candy signs, photo signs, silhouette animals, custom invitations, custom tent cards & all of the printables are available on Hostess Ink + an alternate Blue VersionHere goes…

Colorful Birthday Parade Kids Party

Colorful Birthday Parade Kids Party

Colorful Birthday Parade Kids Party

Colorful Birthday Parade Kids Party

Colorful Birthday Parade Kids Party

Colorful Birthday Parade Kids Party

Colorful Birthday Parade Kids Party

Colorful Birthday Parade Kids Party

Colorful Birthday Parade Kids Party

Colorful Birthday Parade Kids Party

Colorful Birthday Parade Kids Party

Colorful Birthday Parade Kids Party

Colorful Birthday Parade Kids Party


Click below to shop for custom & printed birthday parade collections (with 2 color ways!)

pink birthday parade party printables collection

blue birthday parade party printables collection


PARTY DETAILS for the outdoor treats & arrangements:

The main sweets table {with the cupcakes & smash cake} was indoors, so this one this was kind of more about the decor/atmosphere and really just gave me an excuse to go crazy with the paper graphics & create lots of fun little elements like gumball-bedecked picture frames and a paper animal parade!

My background is in graphic design, and it’s still the part of party styling that I love the most. I think I could just keep designing more and more paper elements and embellishments if I had unlimited time and I honestly and truly LOVE doing it… which is probably why I was up til 4am the night before this party adding more and more stuff until my husband came in and reminded me what a loon I was being and that I probably needed to go to bed at some point in time. Oh, yes…sleep…that thing that always gets in the way! *wink*


Anyways, here’s a list of the main elements pictured above:

“Animal Parade” Backdrop.
…featuring colorful paper animals donning the same colors and patterns as the rest of the party. I attached these to wooden dowels {wrapped with ribbon for a candy stripe look} and added little “1” flags to them as well. To stand the animals up, the dowels were stuck into 4 floral foam bricks covered in wrapping paper. Yarn poms added a playful touch =)

Lollipop display.
This was inspired by one of the displays in the fabulous UP themed birthday party sent in by a reader.  I cut a small piece from a large styrofoam sheet for the base, covered it with wrapping paper, and embellished the edge with gumballs and a band of the multi stripe paper. Also made a little “Macy’s” banner to display overhead.

Sweet Stuff and Cotton Candy Signs.
These were one of my favorite elements! I designed these in Photoshop, printed them on tabloid size paper and cut them out by hand. To display, ribbon-wrapped dowels were attached to either side of the sign and inserted into rectangular vases filled with floral foam. The foam was covered with gumballs or pink yarn poms (to play on the idea of cotton candy). Like these signs? Good news! Click here to buy the full collection with all 4 party signs!

Candy Frames.
I am pretty much obsessed with the double-sided Tolsby frames from IKEA. (Please make these forever, IKEA!) They’re only 99 cents and have such a modern, versatile vibe. I added pixie stix and gumballs to the edges here… but you could seriously go crazy making “candy frames” at this price!

Popcorn Tray.
Each guest received a cute bag of flavored popcorn from Just Pop In as part of their favor. The bright colors & packaging were so cute that these doubled as party decor! I displayed some of them on a white tray lined with the multi stripe paper and embellished with ribbon & an extra water bottle label.

Sugar Cookies.
I’ve been making a specific sugar cookie recipe since the 4th grade, and I still get at least 5 requests for the recipe from friends every Christmas – especially since Facebook materialized! (First discovered the recipe in the cookbook my 4th grade class put together for a fundraising effort!) I’ll do a separate post with the recipe soon.

Blue Elephant on Parade.
This cute little guy is leftover from another party I did… he was a $6 purchase at HomeGoods that was spray painted blue. I dressed him up for this particular occasion with a little felt overlay and a paper flag tied to his trunk. For the stand, I painted a 6″ wood round (these are about 50 cents at Michaels), trimmed the edge with paper (which made the wood look way thicker than it actually was!) – and hot glued gumballs to the top. I used glue dots to secure the elephant to the wood and the wood to a white candlestick holder that’s part of my regular home decor.

Horse & Bicycle Bear arrangements.
Similar in style to the “animal parade”, these individual graphics were attached to wooden dowels and inserted into either a small vase filled with foam or a wrapping paper covered {and embellished} floral foam brick.


Stay tuned for Part 2… which will cover the kids table, indoor decor, food, drinks, and activities! So sorry for the delay on this, as I originally had hoped to post it a few weeks ago, but there were some family matters that ended up pulling me away for a few days, so I’m still playing catch up with everything else! Soon, though! =)

– Styling & Graphic Design – Jenn Sbranti / HWTM
– Printables: Hostess Ink
– Photos: Sonny Sbranti / HWTM
– Printing: FedEx Office (thank God for 24 hours!)
– Popcorn Favors: Just Pop In {Cherry, Orange, and Vanilla flavors}
– Yarn Poms (DIY by me and Amber)
– Gumballs & Pixie Stix – Target

Leave a Comment


Kim @ The Celebration Shoppe SAYS:

Love how bright the color palette is and all the fab DIY! Great job Jenn!

Reply April 11, 2011 at 5:36 pm

Heidi SAYS:

Absolutely amazing party! You thought of every possible detail. The frames decorated with the gumballs and pixy stix is genius. I’ll be picking up bunches of those frames on my next trip to Ikea!

Reply April 11, 2011 at 6:52 pm

Maureen Anders SAYS:

Jenn,… of course I am DYING over how cute this is – I LOVE bright colors and this seriously just makes me smile.
The candy decor on the frames – genius! Now if only I could figure out a way to do something cute like that for the boy parties I plan each year for my kiddos…. ;-)
GREAT job! The graphics are seriously top notch!

Reply April 11, 2011 at 7:32 pm

Julie SAYS:

Great job Jenn! I swear we are all keeping IKEA in business just by buying the Tolsby frame so many times…but how can we resist that price?! Love the play on words for Macy’s ‘parade’.

Reply April 11, 2011 at 8:27 pm


Oh Jenn!!! This is just too cute! I’m loving all the details trimmed in candy (so clever!), all the yarn pom poms everywhere (so cute!), and all the bright colors you used (so perfect for your theme!). It definitely shows how much love and thoughts went into planning such a special party. I’d say “Macy’s 1st Annual Birthday Parade” was a smash hit and I can’t wait for Part 2! Thanks for sharing, it’s party perfection!!!

Reply April 11, 2011 at 9:49 pm

Bird SAYS:

Jen sooooooo inspired!! LOVE the cut outs!!

Macy’s a lucky little girl! :)

Reply April 12, 2011 at 3:50 am

MonogrammedEverything.com! SAYS:

Love the bright colors!!

Reply April 12, 2011 at 9:04 am

Kandice SAYS:

Jenn, I absolutely LOVE this event design! For the Sweet Stuff and Cotton Candy signs, did you cut them out yourself or did you have a special die-cut for them?

Reply April 12, 2011 at 1:19 pm

Iris {Sweet Metel Moments} SAYS:

Wow, what a charming party! Love all of the colors and designs. Can’t believe you hand cut those big signs, they look perfect.

Reply April 14, 2011 at 12:51 pm

Kelly McLeskey-Dolata SAYS:

Your sugar cookie recipe is amazing! I think I was one of those people that asked for it again! :) Can’t wait for you to re-post it! :) :)
The party is sooooooo cute! XO

Reply April 15, 2011 at 9:23 pm


Love, love, love it!!! When’s part II coming?

Reply April 18, 2011 at 7:43 pm

katrina SAYS:

love the printables… so cute!

Reply April 20, 2011 at 12:07 pm

Sandra SAYS:

OMG! Such a beautiful birthday party!

Reply April 20, 2011 at 5:47 pm

My Enchanted- Ronda Harder SAYS:

I just love the bright colors!!! The gumball trays and the suckers are so simple but well executed. The pom poms are great. I put a tutu around a birthday cake and around trays to give texture and the pom poms remind me of that.

Reply April 20, 2011 at 6:07 pm

Heidi SAYS:

hi, love this party. did you ever put up part 2? if so, could you send me the link? love your work! so talented!

Reply April 23, 2011 at 5:56 pm

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