This Nature-Inspired Birthday Party is SO creative and down to earth! Pun intended. ;) Our talented contributor – Jen of Jen CYK Photography – captured all the wonderful “organic” moments in this amazing party, as dreamed up by Deanna of Deanna Moore Design. From trail map invitations (filled with drawings made by the birthday girl!) to clever nature inspired activities like make-your-own trail mix and plant-your-own mini garden stations, this party is a nature lover’s dream come true. P.S. There’s tons of lovely inspiration here for bird themed baby showers and bridal showers too!
PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:
– Adorable bird’s nest Birthday Girl wreath decoration with posterized portrait
– Plant-your-own mini garden station with cute garden sticks
– Creative bird house cake made out of rice krispies & sunflower seeds + a waffle cone roof
– Party favor “Heart Tree” crafted from an old tree with found bark, moss & vines
– Edible terrariums with chocolate “dirt”, Rice Krispies treat “rocks”, coconut “moss” & more!
PARTY DETAILS, as told by Deanna…
The guest of honor, Vivian, is in love with everything in nature. That love was the inspiration for her nature-themed 5th birthday party. I chose to go with a modern green, organic, recycled approach and added a hand-crafted feel to the decor.
I used a lot of earthy tones and made sure to include a lot of natural elements – bark, leaves, sticks, moss, wood – I used mushrooms throughout the event in different ways to add some pops of color. There were mushroom cookies in edible terrariums, strawberry “caps” on white sticks, crocheted mushrooms, and even a mushroom-like pattern on the dessert plates, all of which brightened the natural color scheme.
During the entire party-planning process, I looked to my amazing daughter and her love of nature for inspiration and made an effort to have her participate as much as possible in party preparations.
I created trail map-inspired invitations and packaged each with a “Wildlife Field Guide” full of illustrations drawn by the birthday girl herself. The party guests were able to complete their individual field guides with drawings inspired by their own unique habitats.
I love encouraging guests to use invitations for something more than just a written reminder of the party info. I included a map on the back of the pocket-sized guide so the guests could find their way to our home easily as well as bring their nature drawings with them on the day of the party.
I created a ton of printable items for this event to tie in with the invitations; including: signs on bamboo sticks and paper butterflies I cut out, each one actual size. Most of the decorations evolved out of trying to make use of things that were laying around the house – pieces of wood from the garage, a forgotten old potted tree on the side of the house, old tea tins. I also used a lot of brown-bag craft paper, wooden elements, and natural materials found in our own backyard and on our day-to-day travels. Some of the decor pieces were very sentimental and gave the party a very personal touch.
The bird nest photo display wreaths were made by my mother for Vivian’s baby shower (revamped for the event), photos taken by Jen Cyk Photography. And Vivian’s paper butterfly collection was a perfect addition to the decor. Portraits of Vivian were created by me from favorite pictures & printed on craft paper. Flowery “V” and fake grass inside an ornate frame.
Crocheted mushrooms and felt moss centerpieces made of old ribbon & crocheted circles glued on to chopsticks & stuck into felt-covered foam. Homemade red & white polka dot felt table runner to mimic the look of a red mushroom top.
Dried flower and seed pod arrangements in bark-wrapped tea tins. (Collecting bark and arranging the dried flowers was something my daughter enjoyed helping with!) Terrariums and large mason jars to display Vivi’s nature collection – seeds, seed pods, dried leaves, acorns, branches and more.
“Love tree” created from an old dead tree & made into a heart shape, covered in bark and moss with some branches added by wrapping vines around wire. I used this tree to display the bird house party favors.
– Create-your-own trail mix station: all the food items were displayed in wooden bowls, paper bags, and other fun nature-themed serving pieces I had around the house. Each item was given a fun name: “gathered nuts” (cashews, almonds, and peanuts), “fairy fruit jewels” (dried fruit mix), “sun-dried grapes,” “bird eggs” (white jordan almonds), “gnome granola,” “magic mushrooms” (chocolate mushroom cookies), “twigs” (pretzel sticks and broken pretzel rods), “wildflower seeds” (sunflower seeds), “banana chips,” “peanut butter branches” (pb pretzel nuggets). There were small paper garden seed pots on the table to use as cups for the trail mix. In addition, each child was able to take some home in small personalized & custom-labeled brown bags.
– Lunch: Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches packaged in paper bags with a custom label. Banh mi- delicious Vietnamese sandwiches, along with “Log Rolls” (egg rolls), spring rolls, and “Jasmine Lime Nectar” (jasmine tea with limeade and mint) all by Veck’s Saigon Street Food
– Desserts: Muffins from Katella Deli & Bakery: we opted for muffins as a healthier alternative to cupcakes. One of Vivi’s favorite treats is zucchini bread so we offered that along with banana bread, carrot cake, honey bran muffins topped with custom labeled birch wood forks.
The desserts continued with “gnome-made oatmeal cookies” by Grandma Doris, maple leaf cookies, and ”sweet dew drops” (vanilla meringues). Strawberries on white sticks to look like mushrooms and edible terrariums made of: chocolate chip dirt, Rice Krispies treat rocks, coconut & graham cracker moss, and some sugar flowers, leaves, and red mushroom cookies. Rice Krispies treat bird house cake with edible bird seed walls and waffle cone roof.
– Create-Your-Own Trail Mix
– Plant-Your-Own Mini Garden
– Shell-filled sandbox station
– Nature Activity Book full of activities including the following: Textures in Nature: animal skin rubbing plate activity, Animal Tracks: animal footprint stamping activity, and Guess what is different about the photos of Vivi?
– Backyard Scavenger Hunt encouraging guests to find a list of things in Vivian’s backyard including spider webs, edible plants, etc.
In addition to their trail mix goodie bags, mini gardens, and activity books, the guests were also given the following:
– Bird whistles wrapped in bird house-shaped favor bags I created using tea sacs, faux bois paper scraps, twigs, and twine and adorned with custom-made bird whistle directions.
– Wild Bird Seed Hobo bags: bamboo sticks with a paper bag full of wild bird seed attached at one end. Each one included a custom-made label as well as names & addresses of Vivian’s favorite nature spots and places to feed wild birds!
– Bird seed favor sacs for the grown-up nature lovers were out for the taking. Wild bird seed was packaged in a tea sac with a custom label.
– Event, printables, bird house cake, edible terrariums, decor: Deanna Moore Design
– Photography: Jen Cyk Photography
– Catering: Veck’s Saigon Street Food
– Dessert muffins: Katella Deli & Bakery
– Party Rentals (umbrellas, children’s tables & chairs): Coast Party Rentals