I was so excited for my son’s first birthday that I started thinking about themes and decorations back in December when he was six months old (yes, I’m really that extra). I had it all figured out. I was going to go with a “You Are My SONshine” theme. Everything was going to be yellow and we would have tons of suns everywhere.
Fast forward to about two months before his birthday. Not only are we in the midst of a global pandemic, I also decided to suddenly change the theme! The decision to change the theme actually shook me more than the pandemic. (I’m a homebody anyway, so I’m not too displaced by having to stay at home.) But changing the theme?? This late in the game?? Heck no! I’m a strategic planner (read: anxiety filled worry wart) and this was totally out of the norm for me.
To be honest, I was never completely settled on the SONshine theme. I thought that it was cute, and that I could make it look really nice. But, there always seemed to be something kind of “eh” about it. I just never really loved it. But, since I already had everything sorted out, I wasn’t going to change it. The decision to make the change came from me asking my fiancé if he liked it for the 27,458th time. He finally said “not really”. Hearing that was the shock that I needed to come up with another idea. And it came to me so quickly that I knew it was the way to go.
Bubbles!! Atlas had discovered a love for bubbles. He got so excited when I would blow bubbles for him. Watching them and trying to pop them. I could blow bubbles while I pumped to keep him occupied. We used them to practice motor skills and hand eye coordination. They were easily becoming a big part of our daily routine and I knew that it would be the perfect first birthday party theme for him.
Okay, perfect theme conceptualized. Now, how the heck do I actually make it happen? Of course, I searched Pinterest, hoping to find the perfect bubble party theme posts so that I could plug and play for our own celebration. No luck. There were posts with a lot of games and activities for older children at bubble parties, but not much as far as themes and decorations that I could use for a first birthday party. I was on my own. So I sketched out my thoughts, ordered some stuff on amazon, and made it all come together. And guess what? It was sooooo perfect! I loved it so much that the decorations are still up right now (3 weeks later). Not ashamed.
Bubble Themed Balloon Arch
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This was the showstopper. If you want to make a big impact for a small price, do a balloon arch. Any party. Any theme. Just change up the colors and thank me later.
- Clear Balloons
- Light Blue Balloons
- Balloon Decorating Strip
- Balloon Pump (optional if you don’t mind sore cheeks)
- Balloon tying tool (again optional, but a lifesaver)
- Clear thumb tacks
- Blow up your balloons to varying sizes
- Pull through the holes on the balloon decorating strip. I used one blue balloon in between 5-6 clear ones.
- Repeat until you have the desired length
It’s really that easy! I would never pay someone to make me one of these. I watched a couple of episodes of RuPaul’s Drag Race while I worked on this, and before I knew it, it was done.
Note: Bubbles are iridescent, so you can use any colors that you want in this balloon arch. Transparent pink, green, purple, or blue would look great!
To hang the arch, I taped some of the extra balloon decorating strip in a few spots, and used it as string. Then I just used clear push pins to tack it to the wall. I tacked it on both ends and in the middle to give it a wave formation.
Bubbles Hanging from the Ceiling
These bubbles are so cute and I knew that they would be perfect for the party. They came as two, eight foot strips. To get a full, cascading look, I cut them into eight pieces of varying lengths.
- Cut the two strips in half
- Cut the four pieces again 60/40 for a staggered look – be sure to leave long enough strings to hang them from the ceiling
- Flip strands upside down as needed to further customize the look
- Wrap string around the sharp metal part of the thumb tack and press into ceiling – repeat for the remaining strands
Putting it All Together
Once I created these two feature pieces, the only thing left to do was decorate the table. I used this bubble tablecloth, which really completed the look. I put all of his gifts on one side of the table, and then his cake, cupcakes, and a few decorative pieces on the other side. And of course, we bought a bubble blower to top it all off. I LOVE how everything turned out!
I even used some of the extra balloons as part of his cake smash backdrop. Blog post coming soon!