31 May

Macy’s {Colorful} Birthday Parade – Part 3

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 decorationsHere 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 istockphoto.com 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



pink birthday parade party printables collection

blue birthday parade party printables collection

Leave a Comment


Brenda SAYS:

Such a great party. I love all the colors!!
I’d like to print the birthday boy sign, but is there a way to change it from saying “First Birthday” and add our own age instead?


Reply July 1, 2011 at 1:08 am

madeleine SAYS:

This party is absolutely amazing! I am searching high and low and racking my brain trying to figure out where I can either purchase these adorable flag banner signs I am seeing all over the website or how to make them. Can you please tell me? I know they are custom but I don’t know what materials are being used and if the letters are printed or if they are stickers. Is this something I need a special software for on my computer or I would need to hire a custom print designer? Could you please fill me in? I would really appreciate it! I”m new to the business and trying to get started. Thank you!

Reply July 9, 2011 at 7:04 am

hina pasha SAYS:

My goodness! I can’t tell you how super impressed I am! everything that you’ve created is so beautiful, so perfect:) my baby is turning one in september, and I’m going a bit mad trying to decide what sort of a party to have!
Your work is inspirational! Though I don’t know if I’ll be able to use/copy;) any of your ideas, I HAD to tell you how wonderful it all looks!
Bravo Mom!!!

Reply July 15, 2011 at 12:38 am

jenn s. SAYS:

Wow – thank you Hina! What a sweet comment to wake up to this morning! :)

July 15, 2011 at 6:19 am

meagan SAYS:

hi! im doing a similar theme for my sons birthday at the end of the week, and i’d love to have the water bottle sleeve downloadable! i don’t think i could make that from photoshop from scratch, and i REALLY like it!! maybe you have that one too? please and thank you!!

Reply July 17, 2011 at 4:13 pm

jenn s. SAYS:

Hi Meagan –

I posted the water bottle labels today! You can get them here {as well as a few other things}: http://blog.hwtm.com/2011/07/new-free-birthday-parade-printables/

Good luck with the party! :)

July 20, 2011 at 8:43 pm


Thank you for this great post! I love the idea and I’m thoroughly impressed with your creativity! I would like to print off the birthday banner letters. I tried and it didn’t fit to my 81/2 by 11 paper. What is the trick? Thanks so much for your help!

Reply July 23, 2011 at 8:12 pm

jenn s. SAYS:

Hi Amy –
The banner letters are actually set up to be printed on 11.x17 (Tabloid sized) paper – so you’ll need to have the file printed at a place like FedexOffice (Kinkos), Staples, etc. I printed mine out at Kinkos and the colors came out great. Saves your home printer’s ink supply too :)

July 25, 2011 at 4:43 pm

Tatiana SAYS:

I absolutely love your design. I was wondering if you could provide us with the banner for “MACY’S” I was able to get the letters from the birthday parade download that i need for my daughter BUT… I need the *S for the ___’s birthday parade. Thanks so much!

Reply July 26, 2011 at 10:29 am

jenn s. SAYS:

Hi Tatiana –
I just updated the Download Links section above to include that page with the ‘S – or you can also click here to download it. Sorry it took me a few days to get to it – good luck with the party! :)


August 3, 2011 at 5:16 am

Tatiana SAYS:

Thank you so much!

August 8, 2011 at 3:09 pm

Rachel SAYS:

Just wondering what the fonts were that you used? I’ve snagged a few of the free printables (THANKS!) and want to make a coordinated sign with my little one’s name. Thanks!!!

Reply August 3, 2011 at 5:57 pm

jenn s. SAYS:

The main font is Hoedown: http://www.dafont.com/hoedown-ds.font and then I also used Rosewood on some of the other designs :)

August 3, 2011 at 7:02 pm

Yeza SAYS:

I love all the decorating desings !, I will use it for my daugter’s birthday. But I can’t find the CUPCAKES labels, they are wonderful!!!

Reply August 10, 2011 at 2:00 am

jenn s. SAYS:

Hi Yeza –
You can download the cupcake toppers here: http://www.sbrantidesign.com/hwtm/BirthdayParade_HWTM_CupcakeToppers.pdf Good luck with the party! :)

August 15, 2011 at 8:31 am

Chrissy SAYS:

I Love this. I have been looking for printables for my lil girls 8th Birthday party. I wanted the colors to be pink, red and teal. This will work out wonderful. Where did you get the printable signs printed so large. My printer only does up to 8*10. Geat job and thanks so much!

Reply August 10, 2011 at 11:11 am

jenn s. SAYS:

Hi Chrissy –
You’ll need to take the file to a print shop that has 11×17 (Tabloid) paper. I usually use Fedex Office’s online printing system and then just pick the prints up when they’re ready, but you can also walk into a Fedex Office or use Staples, local print shops, etc :)

August 10, 2011 at 1:13 pm

Leanna SAYS:

First you are amazing and oh so talented!! Second.. when you print to Fedex.. do you get this on card stock or what? And last.. how did you make those yarn poms??

Reply September 6, 2011 at 10:58 am

jenn s. SAYS:

Thanks, Leanna! I usually ask for for the 80# or 100# laser paper (matte finish/not glossy) from Fedex unless I’m printing something like a napkin ring that needs to be really flexible.

You can find a great tutorial on yarn poms here: http://honestlywtf.com/diy/diy-pom-poms/

Hope that helps! :)

September 6, 2011 at 3:03 pm

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!

Reply September 26, 2011 at 7:47 am

amandadarcy SAYS:

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

Reply September 26, 2011 at 7:57 am

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

Reply November 15, 2011 at 2:12 pm

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!!!

Reply November 25, 2011 at 8:18 pm

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!

November 25, 2011 at 8:24 pm

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! ;)

November 30, 2011 at 11:28 pm

jenn s. SAYS:

You can download the banner here: http://blog.hwtm.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/MaceysBanner.pdf

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!

November 30, 2011 at 11:37 pm

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.

Reply January 5, 2012 at 9:17 am

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

January 12, 2012 at 4:30 pm

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