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From 2011-2016, we had an inspiration blog featuring nurseries, baby showers, parties, and portraits that were submitted to us by photographers, designers, and parents. We no longer accept submissions or post new blog content, but we have left the archive here for those who have saved this content, or for new readers looking for inspiration.

Bright and Happy Balloon Themed Birthday Party

It's impossible not to smile when you see this balloon themed birthday party for one-year-old Hudson! You will adore the bright, happy palette of cherry red, tangerine, pool blue and minty aqua, combined with the oodles of balloons reflected in every detail. Hudson's mom, Courtney Toney of Joyful Joyful Designs, designed this party to be simple, but fun. The invitation Courtney handmade captured the feeling perfectly with patterned balloons on strings popping off of the card. Courtney found so many creative ways to incorporate the balloon idea throughout the party:

Balloon-shaped Food
The lunch spread included balloon shaped sandwiches, balloon kabobs (grapes on a skewer), cherry tomato balloons (stuck onto pretzel sticks) and cheese balloons (circles of cheese stuck onto skewers).

Floating Desserts
The dessert table featured a homemade mini cake for Hudson complete with a mini balloon topper and lots of balloon-shaped treats, like rice krispies treats, cookies, popcorn balls, white chocolate dipped jumbo marshmallows -- all on sticks so they float in air! As an extra touch, Courtney placed the balloons into painted boxes with styrofoam at the base, and then filled them with cotton balls to resemble clouds.

In lieu of a guestbook, guests wrote their career predictions for Hudson's future on little balloon-shaped cut-outs to be saved in his baby book.

Balloon Favors
For favors, Courtney painted clothespins and let each kid choose a balloon or two to take home with them. "I love repurposing decor as favors!"

See all of the beautiful photos by Jackie Wonders below, along with many more sweet details and tips from Courtney!

Read on for more party details from Courtney Toney of Joyful Joyful Designs:

A special high chair for the birthday boy
"A really special detail to me is the high chair he ate his cake it. It was actually my childhood high chair- I did not even know that my parents still had it! My mom dug it out of the garage and had it painted to match the party. So sweet!"

Kid's Activity Table:
"I always like to have a couple activities for the younger kids, so I cut a bunch of balloons out of paper and the kiddos decorated them with glitter, stickers and markers and then chose a fun ribbon to tie on. We had the party next to a park, so we also had some balls/lawn games available to play. For the little guys, I put a ton of balloons and bean bags inside of a play pen and let them go to town. Hudson loved it!"

DIY Balloon Centerpieces
"My major DIY project was making balloon centerpieces out of fabric, papier-mâché style."

Useful tips!
"One big lesson I learned is that you can never have too much helium for a balloon party. We thought we had enough and ran out really early on when setting up for the party. My sweet husband had to run out just before the party started to get more.

"Also, a heads up, mini balloons will not float for long- even when filled with helium. We learned this the hard way- ha! The mini balloons were so cute flying above the tables while tied down to little bean bags I made, however, within 10 minutes they were all down on the table."


See more photos in the full gallery

vendors & sources

Event Design, Invitation, Decor, Banners, Party Hat, Mini Banner Stands:
Tables, linens and kids table and chairs:
Fearfully & Wonderfully Made Print (from Hudson's nursery):