DIY Birthday Party :: Paper Airplane Theme

So back in March, I told you I would share all about the fun ideas Nancy (my DIL) and I came up with for my grandson Jason’s first birthday party. Well I figured DIY month is the PERFECT month to do that!

Paper Airplane theme 1st birthday

First, we started with a theme and colors. Nancy thought it would be fun to have a paper airplane theme with red, white, and blue so she took to Pinterest to get a few ideas and ended up coming up with a few original ideas of her own too. So for the cake, she really wanted Jason to have his own cake to dig into but small cupcakes for everyone else since there would be other kids there and cupcakes are generally easier to grab and eat. We contacted Jane from Jane’s Wedding Cakes who has done other treats for parties we’ve had including the sock monkey cake pops. Nancy told her some of the ideas she had like a cupcake stand and cupcakes with frosting that looked like clouds and for the cake to have scrolling that looked like it was part of a plane’s path through the sky. Jane pulled it out for us beautifully as always!

airplane cake

She did 4 dozen cupcakes, 4 dozen cookies (some in the shape of the number “1″ and some in the shape of airplanes!) a cupcake stand, and the topper cake for Jason, all for a little over $100!!!

j number 1 cookie

We were amazed that we could get so much for so little! AND she let us keep the cupcake stand!

airplane birthday party

So then Nancy bought some fun blue, red and white striped or polka dot patterned scrapbook paper (that she got at Michael’s on sale AND with a coupon…just fyi, they have coupons all the time and their mobile app is the easiest way to get them and use them!) She cut out small rectangles to make tiny paper airplanes. She then hot-glued the airplanes to some wooden sticks as cupcake toppers. Nancy made way too many tiny paper airplanes but instead of throwing them away, she used the remaining as confetti for the table.

For the cake topper, she used floral wire and bent it in such a way as to match the scrolling on the cake and attached a bigger paper airplane to the end of the wire with hot glue. This made it look as if the plane was literally flying through the sky and the cake itself was part of the sky! Amazing!

I found a #1 candle at Party City that went with our theme so when it came time to sing “Happy Birthday”, we just removed the airplane topper and replaced it with the candle.

Inspired by Pinterest, Nancy then took twine, hot glue, and larger paper airplanes from the same scrapbook paper from Michael’s to make paper airplane garland! How cute are these garlands?! We hung them up above Jason’s high chair, on the window and above the food tables.
airplane party
We also got 3 huge 36″ round white helium balloons (also from Party City) and attached paper airplanes to the the ribbons on the them with staples to make it look like airplanes flying through clouds.

airplane party


Lastly, we re-used a lot of the decorations that we had left over from other events like birthday parties and the sock monkey themed baby shower such as the red and white polka dot napkins, the red trays for food (which was simply barbecue and your typical sides like beans and veggies), red and white striped straws, red and white polka dot balloons, white balloons, and blue and white polka dot balloons. We didn’t have to buy any of those because they were all from other parties! What do you know?! Hoarding pays off this time around! ;-)

first birthday

Lastly we’d like to give a thank you and give a shout out to Ashley of Beloved Vine Photography for many of our lovely pictures!

And after all was said and done, Jason seemed to love his party, especially his cake! He’s growing up so fast! It was such a joy to celebrate his first year with our family.

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  1. Aww! Happy Birthday, little guy! What a cute theme- so fun! :)

  2. What a sweet party – love the airplanes. And what a cutie pie with his cake!

  3. NancyCheney says:

    Thanks ladies! We had so much fun putting it together. He’s my pride and joy! :-)


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