Sunday, April 10, 2011

Tate is One: Setting the Scene

We hosted Tate's first birthday party yesterday.  In keeping with the tone we set with the invitation, it was pirate-themed.  I had a lot of fun setting the scene.  In the beginning, I didn't really know what I wanted.  But I did know what I didn't want- red, white and black.  Although the red-white-black, skull-and-crossbone tone is very traditionally pirate, it didn't feel particularly fresh or youthful to me (in fact, it can be kind of dark, I think).  So I knew I wanted to brighten up the traditional pirate party experience.

I think the feel really started to come together when Mom and I visited a bunch of local antique shops. Our first major score was completely unexpected and totally, absolutely perfect. Believe it or not, we stumbled across this cannon ammunition box. Seriously. Who knew that cannon ammunition boxes even still existed?

We had some old fence planks in the garage, so in addition to the "Ahoy matey" welcome sign we hung outside, we also hung this one above the food table:
Tablecloths are always a challenge for me- I don't have any, and they are super expensive. So we decided to cover most of the tables with sand (we bought play sand for $3.50 per bag at Home Depot).  It was cheap and super easy and the kids absolutely loved it (but I warn you your entire house will be covered in a fine layer of dust).  Sprinkling the sand with vintage maps, coconuts, jewels, pearls, and seashells finished off the tablescapes.

For the craft table, we covered it in cheap burlap from Joanne's, and made a runner of sand studded with the arts and craft supplies.
We used vintage maps as the place settings, which we hand-sewed to the burlap with a huge needle, so they wouldn't slide around and become troublesome.  Each place setting also had a schedule (more on that tomorrow), an eyepatch, and a napkin stamped with an "x".
Last but not least, we had a wall of pictures.  This was about Tate's first year of life, after all.
 Stay tuned.  More details to come tomorrow!


  1. how adorable -- what a great party idea! p.s. tate is so cute!

  2. Wow! These pictures are amazing--I can't wait to see the rest!

  3. Thanks Sobrina. We think he's pretty cute too! Brigid- I appreciate your comments. Photography is my cryptonite!

  4. When I was a kid, I always had this dream of getting to walk through the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland. (Who am I kidding--that's still my dream.) Your pictures make me feel like I'm doing that. Excellent detail work. Walt Disney couldn't have done it better.