Going Bananas! Sock Monkey First Birthday Party

So, Jax is officially not my “baby” anymore.  Toddler.  Even the word is such a mouthful.  It’s so funny to watch him drift back and forth between demanding independence (read: slamming a ball against the glass entertainment center, even when I show him how to properly use it with his basketball hoop) and still clinging to Babyhood (read: clutching my leg in unfamiliar places).

I wanted to throw him a First Birthday party that celebrated both these parts of him- something that fit a growing boy, but was still whimsical.  And I was also hoping it would serve as some shameless self-promotion for my burgeoning event planning and design business that I have started with a talented friend.

A party for my little Sock Monkey!

The invite:

I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on the invite, so we scouted an area near our house with a nice fence and did a mini photo shoot with some bananas and Jax’s Easter Basket from last year. I did the design work myself and I’m really happy with the way they came out!

Sock Monkey Invite-Front

Sock Monkey Invite-BACK

The Party:

As is my usual style, I took on WAY too many DIY projects, and was still up gluing and creating banners at 6am the night before the party!  I also didn’t anticipate how hard it was going to be to carry everything we needed for the party to the site at the Pond. All the decorations, food, tissue poms, mason jars, etc were pretty heavy and required a lot of trips. Thankfully, I had a lot of friends and family who were able to help carry items and set-up.

DIY Tissue Poms are actually really fun to make when you do it with a friend over a glass of wine.

Tissue Poms

To make the 12-month Birthday Banner, I blew up (to 5×7) one picture from each month of Jax’s life, affixed them to striped scrap book paper, and punched holes for the ribbon at the top. So simple, and such a nice personal touch.
12 Month Birthday Banner

I made the bunting from three different, coordinating fabrics- red polka dots, blue striped Dr. Suess fabric and a red sock monkey fabric. I have a new appreciation for people who quilt because cutting out all those triangles was painful! I also have to say that I don’t sew (gasp), so many thanks go to my great friend and business partner, Jessica, for bringing over her sewing machine and actually sewing these for me!

12 Month Birthday Banner

12 Month Birthday Banner

Unfortunately, I didn’t get any pictures of the food cards. But there were things like “Monkey Vines” in the candy bar and “Jungle Juice” as a refreshment.

Candy Bar

Candy Bar

I stamped little muslin bags with a sock monkey that could be filled with candy as a favor for the older kids and adults.

Stamped Muslin Bags

These rice crispy treats are a perfect example of one project that had to cut! I was going to wrap each on individually in wax paper and striped bakers twine, but just ran out of time. I left one there as a memento.

Rice Crispy Treats


I baked all the cupcakes and Smash Cake the night before (again, with help from Jessica- we had quite a baking/craft night!) and topped them with these adorable cupcake toppers from Apple Blossom Cupcakes.


This cake was a gift from Nil’s godmother and it matched so perfectly with what I had in mind. I couldn’t have gotten anything better from a cake shop!

Striped Cake

It is hard to tell how big this “cupcake” is from the pictures, but it was a perfect size for a smash cake. I used this oversized cupcake mold to make it.

Smash Cake! (Giant Cupcake)

Mason Jars and Stripes

I love, love, love the way Jax’s “I am One” sign came out (I designed it myself)! This is what it said: I am one. I have 7 teeth. I can say “uh-oh” and “da-da.” I like the beach and to eat any food that comes from mommy and daddy’s plate. I don’t like getting my diaper changed and loud cheering. I can walk (but mostly like a robot)!

"I am One" Sign

The guest book was a Melissa and Doug building block set that guests could sign or provide words of wisdom about growing up.

Building Block Guest Book

Building Block Guest Book

Guest Book: Building Blocks

What I loved most about this party, was that there was something for everyone. Babies had a blanketed area with age-appropriate toys, teens were throwing the football and playing soccer, and adults were mingling with the little ones.  I couldn’t have asked for a better fall day and a better location for Jax’s first Birthday!

Happy Babies

Birthday Boy

Soccer Time

Sock Monkey Part

Fun for everyone

Monkey Vines

Fun with Dad

Fun with Mom

Baby Monkey Zone

This Sock Monkey Flag was made by my mother and is truly special and one-of-a-kind. We now have it hanging in his room!

Sock Monkey Flag

Gift Table

The favors for all the babies and little kids were filled with banana-shaped cookies and topped with mini sock monkeys.

Sock Monkey Favors

Sock Monkey Favors

Sock Monkey Favors

I filled a shadow box with some early memories of Jax (including our first picture together and little booties made by his great grandmother) and placed it near the Guest Book area.

Memory Box

Didn’t get a good picture of the “Firsts Banner,” but it had a collection of pictures of Jax’s “firsts” laid out in the shape of a “1.”

Firsts Banner

As centerpieces and table decor, I made mini bunting to match the large bunting and attached it to the party invitation. It sat in a trio of mini poms that also matched the larger ones.

mini bunting centerpieces

Smash Cake time!

Smash Cake Time!

Smash Cake

Smash Cake

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8 thoughts on “Going Bananas! Sock Monkey First Birthday Party

  1. Sarah, this is just the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. Every detail is impressive and it looks like it was a great day. Jax is so lucky to have you & Nil 😉

  2. jezkajessica says:

    Great pictures to capture such a lovely, overwhelming day! Still can’t believe Jax has been here a year! Love him so much.

  3. Lindsay says:

    Where did you get the mini sock monkey for the favor?

  4. Dawn says:

    I am wanting to have a sock monkey theme for my son’s first birthday. Where did you find the mini sock monkey for the favors? 🙂

  5. Dawn says:

    I am sorry, I just saw that someone else asked where you purchased the sock monkey and you said Amazon. What did you search for? I tried to google search mini sock monkey and cannot find it.

    • Hi Dawn- This is what I got: “Ty Beanie Baby Socks Monkey.” I found it on Amazon, but the price is high right now. I think I paid around $4.50 each. I would try doing a Google Search for that term and see if you can find them somewhere else. Hope that helps!

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