Bonjour y'all - welcome to part 2 of the little one's Small World themed 1st birthday!
In case you missed the first post with details about the food & cake you can read about that here. But today's post is all about the decor! Since I was pressed for time to get super crafty, all of the decorations can be pulled off with a tiny budget, both in time and dollars!
I knew that I wanted to stick with a boldly colored small world theme, rather than the pale version. I love both versions but I thought it would be easier to decorate with rainbow colors rather than pale pinks & purples. Plus I've never been a fan of pink. There's that too.
I went with a premade invitation from Etsy from Hello Darling Design Co. In less than 72 hours, I had a final pdf version in my little hands and headed off to Kinkos to print & cut invitations. I tossed them in envelopes from Michael's and voila. Without further ado, the party was scheduled & had a great image to help focus my decorating & theme.
Normally my crafty-self would prefer to make all the decorations from scratch, but just prior to the party we were on vacation and trying to pull off some major room overhauls. Needless to say, my decorating time budget was severely trimmed down. Thankfully though, I came up with a number of easy to implement decorations and props to pull it together on a budget.
Balloons - I chose a variety of bold rainbow colors from Party City to match the invitation & hung them on the back of baby girl's chair to make a nice accent in the pictures of her digging into her cake. I also picked up multi-colored utensils and plates while I was there to complement all the bright colors.
Banner & Pinwheels - I picked these up at Party City, though you could easily DIY these with the tutorials you can find on Pinterest.
Globe & Small World themed books & toys - Baby girl has two Small World themed board books that she absolutely loves which is part of the reason I settled on this theme. Furry Friends (Touch & Feel) & Guess Who added to the tablescape, along with a 'Small World' themed bath toy I found during our last trip to Disney World.
Printed graphics - I found a faux map of the ride here & a version of a vintage poster advertising the ride (find it here) & printed them and just added them to the decorations on the table. Certainly nothing fancy.
Paper Balloons - I found a kit for these super cute and colorful balloon "stickers" that reminded me of one of my favorite scenes from the ride. A little Elmer's glue attaches the paper portion to the removable vinyl sticker which can easily be moved from one location to another. The little ones loved these since they were 3D & kept trying to pull them off the column they were coloring. I moved them higher & higher, so I know they will still stick in more than one place. I used a 50% off Michael's coupon on the kit which served as a nice accent.
Goodbye signs - One of my favorite parts of the ride is all of the signs saying "good-bye" in every language that are posted at the end. It's my personal goal to read each one before the boat pulls up to the dock to unload. I'm weird. I know. It's ok. I downloaded a small world themed font (find it here) and typed up a bunch of them, leaving space around them to cut them out in various shapes. I then taped them to rainbow colored paper I found in a card stock pad I picked up at Target that had a similar color scheme but with cool patterns. I posted them all over the door, because you should be reading them as you leave, am I right? Super easy, but unique craft.
Coloring sheets - We had a few kiddos at the party of coloring age, so I wanted to have something to entertain them during any lulls. (Since it was mostly adults, I didn't plan any real activities but this really worked!) I found a cute coloring page (you can download it free from here) that fit the theme and involved no prep for me other than finding crayons!
Small World Doll Puppets - Seriously. How cute are these?!?!? Start with this coloring page. My mom blew up each of the dolls on her home scanner/printer to a size that just felt right. How's that for technical. Then I broke out my colored pencils for a little stress therapy (which was totally productive in this situation) and went to town. The books I mentioned earlier in the post have the same characters on this sheet, so I used them to guide my color choices. It's all in the details folks. Then I laminated the front of each doll to make them a bit more durable in kid hands, cut them out, then taped them to large popsicle sticks. A few may now be headless or had the hands ripped off, but they survived the party and more in the hands of a one-year old. Little victories. But I won't even pretend like I didn't quickly pull out my favorites & hide them away in hopes they will survive safely until she's a bit older and will treasure their cuteness like I do.
Soundtrack - I hooked up my phone to our kitchen radio & ran a playlist of Disney World ride music in the background. Because well, what else would be fitting? It's from this CD set I bought years ago at WDW.
Trash Can - Do what? Serisouly though. This random find at Party City will revolutionize every party I throw from here to eternity. This trash can is colorful, pops up (it comes folded flat), can hold a ton of trash, and I don't have to direct everyone to the trash can or spend precious party time bagging up trash and collecting paper plates. You've been there. Don't do it again. Trust me - this is so worth the money!
For good measure, baby girl & I wore matching Small World shirts that were a limited time from the Disney Store. It ever you should match your child why not on her birthday before she can be embarrassed by me!
I would love to see other ideas or pictures of your party if you decide to go with a 'it's a small world' theme. Whether its a 1st birthday or 90th, it's a totally doable theme for any kid or kid at heart!
Amazon links are affiliate links to help you source the items I used easily. The rest are just plain old links.