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Macy’s {Colorful} Birthday Parade – Part 3

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Colorful & Modern First Birthday Parade

Here we go with PART 3 of my daughter Macy’s “First Birthday Parade”… I realize this last part of the recap is quite spread out from PART 1 and PART 2, but with the way things have been this year, at this point I’m actually just happy to get this up before she turns TWO! Especially since she will have a brand new little sibling to attend the party by the time the next birthday arrives. =)

This theme was chosen as a play on the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade… we just swapped out “Thanksgiving” for “Birthday”! You’ll find a recap of the indoor sweets table (pictured above), rainbow smash cake, food/drinks, activities, and a few more indoor decorations… Here goes:

Colorful & Modern First Birthday Parade

Colorful & Modern First Birthday Parade

My original vision for this table was to turn the dessert table into an entire street parade scene, complete with a “street” looking tablecloth (with the yellow dividers), a balloon backdrop, and marching animals holding treats. I got as far as renting a charcoal gray cloth for the table and made a few “buildings” for the backdrop, but wasn’t able to go all out with the “street parade table” like the vision I’d worked up in my head.

The clock was tick tick ticking away and I ran out of time…my imagination and Father Time just cannot ever seem to get on the same page! But I’m still happy with it and am fully aware that Macy didn’t know the difference of course. It’s more about the fact that I thought it would be so FUN to go all out with that vision. Next time… =)

Colorful & Modern First Birthday Parade

The treats were simple and colorful… animal cookies, candy dots that we stapled into bracelets around the kids’ wrists, pixi sticks, meringue drop cookies, and homemade cupcakes.

Colorful & Modern First Birthday Parade

The “buildings” that we did make were constructed from old shoe boxes wrapped in solid gift wrap from Target. I found a photograph of a window frame from and printed out a bunch of blank windows to glue to the “buildings”. I also printed a few more window frames out with images of Macy inserted into them so that it would look like she was “peeking out” from some of the building windows.

Colorful & Modern First Birthday Parade

A “MACY’S” banner was added to one of the larger buildings to play on the store name… and the connection with the birthday party theme and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. =)

Colorful & Modern First Birthday Parade

We made the cupcakes ourselves, using store bought mixes and Wilton’s concentrated gel Icing Colors to get the frosting nice and bright! Wondering about that cool silver cupcake tower? Another great Costco find!

I designed some themed toppers for the cupcakes, and we used the paper patterns that were incorporated throughout the party to make coordinating “cupcake wrappers”, which were wrapped around the standard white wrappers to dress them up.

Colorful & Modern First Birthday Parade

I designed some individual letters to spell out “MACY’S BIRTHDAY PARADE” above the dessert table and across the fireplace mantle. For the dessert table I strung each word across it’s own ribbon (2 holes punched in each letter), and for the fireplace mantle the letters were each hung individually (one hole was punched at the top for the ribbon to slide through so they’d lay flat). Here’s how the fireplace turned out:

Colorful & Modern First Birthday Parade

Colorful & Modern First Birthday Parade

You can buy the Circus Birthday Parade Printables (in pink or blue!) with included “Birthday Parade” Letters. If you want to recreate this party at home you can purchase a separate “Happy Birthday” Banner + Custom Name Add On!

Colorful & Modern First Birthday Parade

This party was a mix of both kids and adults. We had bubbles, glittered plastic sunglasses, mustache stickers, and face painting for the kids  ($80 for 1.5 hours of face painting and the kids were seriously ECSTATIC about it… that was fun to watch!). We also had Carnival photo props on sticks by Paper and Cake for both the kids AND the adults to enjoy!

Colorful & Modern First Birthday Parade

Colorful & Modern First Birthday Parade

Each kid took a custom-wrapped bottle of bubbles home with them as part of their party favor.

Colorful & Modern First Birthday Parade

The food & drinks were simple and “parade friendly”…hot dogs, kettle chips, individual servings of potato salad (pre-set with colorful forks!), my mother in law’s famous Cabbage Salad (with crunchy Ramen noodles and sesame-peanut dressing), and fruit salad.

Colorful & Modern First Birthday Parade

Water bottles and juice boxes were dressed up with bottle wraps for the kids. Adults enjoyed colorful bottles of IZZE natural sodas, regular sodas, beer, and Petite Petit Wine by Michael David Winery, which not only tastes great, but has an adorable elephant/circus themed label that coordinated way too perfectly with the theme!

Colorful & Modern First Birthday Parade

Colorful & Modern First Birthday Parade

We used a small 6″ cake pan to make the smash cake, colored the batter in various colors to make it RAINBOW style, and kept the icing white to really make the batter colors pop once you cut into the cake. I love how it turned out… Macy was a little timid with it at first… but that changed pretty quickly once she got a taste!

Colorful & Modern First Birthday Parade

Colorful & Modern First Birthday Parade



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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.

75 responses to “Macy’s {Colorful} Birthday Parade – Part 3”

  1. Emsmom says:

    LOVE this party theme! We’re doing a Bavarian spin on the animal parade since the aqua quasi-reminded me of the Bavarian flag (it’s more royal blue, but parades and carnivals are so common in Germany, where I lived for 3 years). We’re doing bratwurst in brotchen (crusty rolls) with sauerkraut and apfelrotkohl (apple red cabbage), soft, warm pretzels hung on a mug tree that I painted white and wrapped with blue ribbon, and plum cake(pflaumenkuchen) for food. We’re serving hefeweizen beer, multicolored Jones soda, and perhaps even warm gluhwein if it’s chilly. We’re giving jars of plum jam (with hand-sewn felted plums on the labels) as favors. Our German neighbors had this massive plum tree that my dad & I used to pick plums from and make plum jam to give to our neighborhood in Lower Franconia. It’s so exciting to incorporate all of my favorite traditions into such a beautifully designed party theme. My daughter’s first birthday is going to be a hit. THanks for all the printables!

  2. amandadarcy says:

    what program did you use to do all these designs and the napkin holders… its great!

  3. talia says:

    I LOVE THIS PARTY!!!! LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT IT* Was wondering what the invitation looked like? I bet it was super cute just like the entire party :) Maybe I missed the invite in one of the three posts :( Either way I LOVE THE PARTY JENN<3

  4. Shelley says:

    I abosolutely LOVE this theme! My daughters name is Macey! Could you send me the letters for ur daughter Macy? Saw the birthday banner so I will get the E that way, but I could use the Macy u made for ur daughter! Can’t wait to do this for her 1st birthday! How long did it take you to collect all of the items? Where did u find your white boxes and what boxes did you use for the New York buildings? =) Thank u soo much!!!

    • Shelley Sue says:

      Have you downloaded the invitation! can’y wait to see it! What size pom pom maker did u use? =) Thank u for all of ur help!

    • jenn s. says:

      Hi Shelley –
      I used the 2.5″ Pom Maker by Clover. I never got around to the invitation! I actually have to recreate it in high res since I only sent it out digitally so the original version is just web resolution – It’s one of those things that keeps getting pushed aside and somehow months & months have gone by and I have no idea where they went! It will get done…….. eventually! ;)

    • jenn s. says:

      You can download the banner here:

      We actually made the building boxes from old shoe boxes I’d saved (sometimes 2 were pieced together to make them taller) – but you can also open/flatten larger cardboard boxes then cut and fold them into tall building shapes. Then just cover them with wrapping paper :)

      Honestly not 100% sure how long it took to collect all the items – but I really put most of the party together in the 2 days before! The poms did take the longest though because there were sooo many of them – we probably made over 100 – so that was a lot of hours. I recommend enlisting the help of a friend if you want to make a ton of them!

  5. Patricia says:

    Hi Jen
    AWESOME details and thank you very much for access to the banners and labels. I am planning on doing a circus/carnival theme for my son Aiden, and I wanted to know if and how can one go about changing some of the colors (from pink to blue) from the banners and labels?
    Thank you so much and again, WOW.

    • jenn s. says:

      Hi Patricia –
      So glad you like the designs! I wish I had a really easy answer for you, but you really need a program like photoshop in order to alter any of the colors as well as a little graphic design experience – or access to a friend that owns photoshop and is a graphic designer :) The pdfs can be opened in photoshop and the colors can be altered that way… In a perfect world if I could find the extra time I’d make several different color options available myself, but unfortunately I haven’t been able find that “extra time” yet :0

  6. sc_8866f756b0cd40ada6d717cb529be4d6 says:

    Hi Jenn, I made 1/2 a batch of your sugar cookies and the dough came out really sticky, is this the right consistency or am I doing something wrong?? Also the tops of them were puffy and splitting! My son wanted to cut shapes from these for fun and the dough is too sticky to do that! I was just planning on doing them round for Macey’s party!! Also what did you do for your cupcakes and the icing recipe for those? I am experimenting before making them for her actual party as I don’t generally do a ton of baking! I do have a convection oven, so does this make a difference on the temp and how they turn out? Thank you soooo much for all of your help!!!! (=

    • jenn s. says:

      Hi Shelley –
      Hmmm – the dough shouldn’t be overly sticky like you mentioned. I’d try adding a little more flour if that’s the case again – and also try using butter at room temperature instead of completely melted butter for the dough,and chill the dough for a few hours before baking. I always chill the dough for a couple hours if I’m going to cut shapes, and sometimes even if I’m just doing round cookies – so that should definitely help! Then, make sure to generously flour the surface that you’re going to roll the chilled dough out on – and flour the rolling pin too. The convection oven could also be making a difference as far as the “splitting” goes as well but I’m not sure what the temperature adjustment should be for a convection oven – so that might take a little research help from google :) Hope the next batch works for you – and good luck with the party! :)

  7. Becki D. says:

    You did such a gorgeous job with this party! Wow! And thank you so much for sharing all your printable photoshop work – you are awesome!

  8. heatherparisoe says:

    We are doing a much smaller version of this party on Sunday for my Lyla’s 1st Birthday! I am so excited and happy to have found this idea. Thank you so so much for posting and for all the info and printables! You have a true talent!

  9. Stephanie says:

    Hi! Thanks so much for sharing. I’m planning my son’s 4th birthday party and its going to be a superhero party with a street table and buildings similar to yours. Do you remember what “window frame” you chose from I want to make sure it will work and I loved what you did! Thanks!

  10. Holli says:

    Love the party, super cute. But, where did you get your amazing boots?

    • jenn s. says:

      Hi Holli – I think you’re referring to the boots on my friend Leslie :)

      Here’s what she says, “Interestingly enough I bought them at Macy’s! They are Madden Girl boots from Winter 2011.” ;)

  11. Patrice D. says:

    Jenn, I am using part of this fabulous collection for my daughter’s upcoming birthday (I used other parts of it last year too!) I was wondering, did I miss the “drink” sign as a free printable? You are incredibly talented…LOVE your work!

    • jenn s. says:

      Hi Patrice –
      I’m so sorry for just now seeing your comment! For some reason a lot of legitimate messages have been getting caught in the spam catcher and I haven’t checked it in a while. Anyways, I realized you might have already had the party by now, but just in case, here’s a link to download the drink sign.

      And thank you so much for the sweet message! :)


  12. Brittany says:

    Your decorations are to die for! You ar esooo talented! I am using your free printables for my daughter’s 1st birthday! Thank you so much for being so kind and giving these to us less creatively minded. You are awesome. I was wondering… Do you have the printables still handy that you used for the silverware and the cupcake toppers? I’d love to incorporate those as well. Thanks so much!!!!

  13. Tamra says:

    Do you have a free printable for the adorable cupcake picks?

  14. nikki says:

    My daughter is named Macy, so I can’t tell you how happy this birthday party theme makes me!!! Thank you SO much for creating! LOVE THIS :)