“She’s a Gem” Themed 1st Birthday!

It’s Thursday already, friends! I typically try to post on Wednesdays and Fridays, but with the whirlwind of Jade’s 1st birthday and party this past weekend, all my focus has been on her, her party, and editing all the hundreds of photos I took! No, don’t worry, I’m not sharing all theย hundreds of photos with you. Only a select handful. And, of course, maybe oneย of Jade in her pretty party dress and crown thrown in there, too. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Main pic collageMy sweet precious Jade turned one year old this last Monday, November 3rd. I STILL can’t believe my baby is 1!! On her birthday, I shared 5 Things I’ve Learned My 1st “Mom-Year,” which was fun to finally get all my thoughts out on “paper.”ย ย I know there will be many more things I’ll learn this next year and chapter of Motherhood, and I’ll be sure to share them again one year from now!

SONY DSCThis past Sunday, we threw Jade’s 1st birthday party. It was a BLAST!!! We loved seeing her so excited to eat her cake and open presents. She may have been more interested in the tissue paper and bows than her actual new toys, but she’s coming around now. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Jade’s name means “precious gem/jewel;” thus, our “She’s a Gem” theme was born. It was perfectly fitting! For colors, I wanted to use a “jade” green. Since her birthstone is Topaz, I used yellow as well and lots of gold (of course!). I also threw in some emerald green too, just because I liked the look of them all together.

For our invites, David and I made them in Photoshop and had them printed so we could personalize them how we wanted.

SONY DSCMy sister and brother-in-law are photographers, so I had them take a seriously cute photo for the invitation! (They also did her cake smash photos! If you want to see more, you can visit their photography blog, LoveBugPhotography!)

SONY DSCThis wall was by far my favorite part of the party decor. I wanted to display her monthly photos I’ve taken, but wasn’t sure how to display them.

SONY DSCI had this large stick out behind our house that I’ve been keeping, thinking I’d figure out something to do with it. I thought painting it gold and hanging the pictures from it might look neat, so I gave it a shot! I love the outcome; totally a unique way to show off her pictures! I also found these gem printouts here, and we changed the colors on them so they’d match her color scheme. We also enlarged them, and they worked perfectly hanging next to the pictures!

SONY DSCI knew I wanted a tassel garland, but I didn’t realize how much work it is! Totally worth it though. I also found these gold geometrical beads on clearance at Joann’s for $.99, and put one between each tassel. They were the perfect touch!

SONY DSCI found these gorgeous spider mums in similar theme colors, and added some sparkly gold washi tape to the mason jars to pretty them up a tad.

SONY DSCThis little chalkboard was perfect to write “she’s a gem” on, and I added a few gems to glam it up some more.

SONY DSCI found this glittery gold “J” at Joann’s too, and used some pretty Jade ribbon and a gem to attach it to a frame I already had.

SONY DSCI made a cute “Eat cake” banner for over her high chair for the much anticipated cake smash. I also added some pom pom trim I found to the tray, to make it a little bit cuter.



Cake eatingOkay, had to throw a cake-eating action shot in there! ๐Ÿ™‚

SONY DSCI had lots of baby pictures of Jade’sย year set out for people to see. I made more work for myself than I probably needed to, but for the banner, I just drew and used a green Sharpie to color in the letters. I need myself one of those fancy cutting machines soon!

SONY DSCThese were round honeycomb tissue balls that I found at Target. I cut them to look more like gems. The gold one was white, and I used my handy dandy gold metallic spray paint to give it more life! I also used these as props in Jade’s cake smash photo shoot.

SONY DSC(A window is not the best place to put a table for pictures!)

SONY DSCLike the “ONE” banner, I also just free-handed this one. Apparently I like to think I have unlimited time on my hands. ๐Ÿ˜‰

SONY DSCI LOVED these hanging 3D gems I made to hang in the window! I got the tutorial and printout here. They can also be mini pinatas, but I decided just to use pretty “gemstone” colored paper instead of using tissue paper. Also time consuming; but SO cute!

SONY DSCI had seen a lot of 1st birthday “About me” type of chalkboards on Etsy you can have printed, but I already had this huge chalkboard I made Jade that I wanted to incorporate. It’s already the right color! So, I bought a chalk pen and made one myself. I love how it displays everything about her in one place.


SONY DSCMy mother-in-law is an amazing cupcake baker, and made these beautiful and delicious cupcakes! I also made these pretty gold cake plates, which you can get the tutorial for here. Don’t they look pretty holding the cupcakes?

SONY DSCSeriously the BEST cupcakes ever. I used the same template for the gems as I did for the photo wall, but just made them a lot smaller to be cupcake toppers.

SONY DSCI thought it’d be fun to make her a little crown headband, and it turned out WAY adorable!! Don’t mind the cake all over it, of course she remembered it was on her head during her cake smash. I now know to take a picture of it BEFORE she wears it!

I loved every little detail of her party and how it all came together. I know that she could care less and didn’t even notice, but I will always have those pictures of everything to remember it by! Jim Gaffigan, a hilarious comedian, describes a 1st birthday party perfectly in one of his books: “Except for the photos, it really doesn’t matter if a baby is even at their first birthday party. They wouldn’t even notice if you didn’t throw them a party at all. You are the one that needs the party. The baby obviously has no friends yet, so the guest list is all your friends you haven’t seen for a year. And since your friends are the guests, they will obviously need good food, good drinks, and music, and suddenly you have the recipe for a raging bash and you take the pictures of your baby in front of the cake, put them to bed, and carry on like, well, like you don’t have a baby” (from Jim Gaffigan’s book Dad is Fat).ย 

So, it didn’t exactly happen like that, but he sure does have a point!

Opening gifts

I just love my sweet little girl! And, of course, I have to add in a few more of Jade’s cake smash photo shoot. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Edit_20 w logoPhotos by LoveBug Photographyย 

I have a whole year to start planning her second birthday! ๐Ÿ™‚ Have a great day, friends!

Have you hosted any birthday parties lately? What themes did you choose?

I link up at these fun parties!

(Want to see more fun kid party inspiration? Head on over here!)


39 thoughts on ““She’s a Gem” Themed 1st Birthday!

    1. Thank you, Amy!! That branch was totally a long shot, and when I told my hubs what I wanted to do with it, he was like, “uh…ok..?” Haha, guess he doesn’t share my visions! He loved how it turned out though, and so do I! The smash cake photos are totally my favorite, too. ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope you have an awesome weekend!!

  1. As I was browsing through facebook I saw this post, it caught my eye because as we speak I am working on a similar project for a Christmas decoration using a tree branch. How funny! Great minds think alike ๐Ÿ™‚ Jades birthday party turned out so cute! Love everything that you did!
    Tara @ Anything & Everything recently posted…Pin Worthy Wednesday #8My Profile

    1. Thank you Tara!! So fun! Great minds totally think alike. ๐Ÿ™‚ Can’t wait to see what you’re doing with your branch! I think I might need to hang onto mine too, and reuse it again for something else. I just wish I had more space! Hope you have an awesome rest of your Friday! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thanks Amanda! I’m SO happy with how it turned out! I think she had fun too, which is all that really matters. ๐Ÿ™‚ Just wait, you’ll be there soon enough!! Have a great weekend, friend! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thank you, Kendra!! It was SO fun to decorate for! I might still have all the decorations STILL up. I don’t want to take them down! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Hope you had a fab weekend, friend! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thank you, Amanda!! It was such a fun theme! It’s perfect for little girls. ๐Ÿ™‚ I so wish I could pick out the verses displayed, but it’s actually a widget. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks so much for visiting!!

    1. Thank you so much, Carrie!! It was SO fun to plan and decorate for! I kind of want to do this theme every year. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Hope you had a great weekend!

    1. Aw, thank you Meaghan! I so hope she looks back and likes it! I’m sure we all look at pictures of our 1st birthday or childhood and think, “uh, WHY did they do this/dress me in that?!” ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope you had a great weekend!

  2. Oh my gosh! I love this theme, but I’m a sucker for anything geometric… Those cupcake toppers and the honeycomb gems are to die for.

    We did a chalkboard for my kids’ first bday too and I love the photos as a keepsake/snapshot in time.

    Ps… I would have looked at a hundred photos of this party ๐Ÿ™‚
    Colleen Pastoor recently posted…DIY Floral Crowns and Leaf GarlandMy Profile

    1. Thank you, Colleen!! I love the chalkboard, such a fun way to capture them so we can remember 18 years from now! ๐Ÿ™‚ Ha, thank you, you might have been the only one who would want to see THAT many pictures then! Besides me, of course. Happy Tuesday!

    1. Oh thank you, Lindi!! It’s SO much fun planning for little one’s birthdays! I will go check out your daughter’s photos, I’m sure they are adorable! Thanks for visiting today! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thank you so much, Carrie! It was so much fun to create, and I’m so happy with how it all came together! ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope you’re having a great week!

    1. Thank you, Lara! It was SUCH a fun party to put together! I didn’t mind her doing a cake smash because I made the cake. Which means, it was boring and healthy. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks for visiting!!

    1. Thank you, friend! We are so thrilled with how it all came together! She’s totally our precious gem, so it just seemed all too fitting. ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope your week is going great! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. It seems like everyone does the same thing for birthday parties, so it was so cool to see that you came up with a unique and creative theme. Your daughter looks adorable, and the decorations are so cute! Thanks for sharing with Hump Day Happenings.
    Jenna @ A Savory Feast recently posted…Home Bar EssentialsMy Profile

    1. Thank you, Jenna!! I wanted something out of the box and meaningful, and I think I got what I was going for! Thanks for visiting, happy weekend! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I know this is over a year old but I just want to thank you so much because I am starting to plan my little one’s first birthday/naming ceremony and I came across this because her name is Jade. I love all of this and I am going to steal every single one of your ideas, so thank you so much!! Your baby is super cute, btw. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thank you, Teresa!! I’m so glad it’s helped you plan your daughter’s birthday, too! I was at a total loss until this idea, and it just fit perfectly. I love the name Jade. ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope the party is a smashing success!

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