Tilly is One: A Camping Theme Birthday Party

We celebrated Tilly’s first birthday with a camp theme, which is kind of odd since we aren’t really campers (but hope to be, soon!). But, we live in Flagstaff and she loves the outdoors, so it seemed like a good fit.

I started thinking about planning this party months ago because I knew it would creep up on me very quickly with the holidays back-to-back. I knew I wanted to incorporate her silhouette as the main design element and flannel/plaid is a no-brainer for the winter, so that’s the general theme I went with throughout.

I designed her invitations and printed them at my pro print lab on matte paper. I used the font Homestead and that became one of the main fonts used on the paper products. I love love love how they turned out.
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Because I used the buffalo check pattern, Tilly obviously needed a buffalo check dress to wear. I found this one at Old Navy in the fall and scooped it up. I love her in red.

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My mom made her this amazing teepee at the very last minute (a couple of days before her party) after watching a YouTube video about it. She is a talented seamstress that can just look at something and somehow make it without needing a pattern. I know Tilly will love playing in this.


The camping theme was originally based around these plastic kids cups we found at Target on clearance months before her birthday. I saw them and thought they would be a really fun and practical favor that we could send the kids home with, so we picked up a bunch of those. I also wanted to do s’mores — because what is camping without s’mores? — and then wrap them all up in hobo bindle bags I saw on Pinterest. Sigh, Pinterest. But these were SUPER easy to make. My mom and I bought a few yards of fabric at Joann, and then tied the diagonal corners together around a stick I cut from my front yard.


I made the cupcake tags using the font and silhouette elements and put them on a buffalo check background, then used a 2″ hole punch to punch them out. Taped them to toothpicks, purchased pre-made cupcakes from the store, and bam — cute cupcakes.


This was the main table, but at the time I photographed it, it wasn’t completely finished. But I knew if I didn’t take photos before guests arrived, then no photos would have been taken.


I made the water bottle labels, then filtered and bottled the lake water. Just kidding.


I did not make the cakes. I am most definitely not a baker! I found a local baker and asked her to make me a couple log cakes. One for Tilly and one for my mama… they share a birthday :)

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My mom runs a lot of Disney races, so instead of getting a crown with her age on it (21), I decided to go with a medal topper. Tilly’s cake was s’mores flavored, and my mom’s cake was mocha espresso.


We did two tabletop activities. The first one was the Monthly Tilly game, where our guests had to guess how many months old Tilly was in each of the pictures I took over the past year. The best score was 8/12 (the 12th month was a freebie) by my sister-in-law. Brandon only got seven correct!


The second activity was Tilly’s time capsule, where we asked guests to write a letter to Tilly predicting what she might be when she grows up, and anything else they wanted her to know or share with her. We are putting these away and will give them to her to read when she turns 18 (in the year 2033 … whoa). I guess I forgot to snap a photo of this, oops. For our friends and family that weren’t able to celebrate with us in person, we also have an email address set up for her where you are welcome to write her a letter. We will share this account with her when she gets older. Please email me if you want the address.


I was looking for a way to display pictures of her first year of life, but wasn’t sure what to do. I decided to make photo garlands by printing a million photos and using my 2″ hole puncher to cut out photos and string them together. They turned out super cute and we hung them on our stairs and above the main table. This was fun to include many of our guests in.

For centerpieces, I picked up some wooden number ones from Michael’s, along with glitter foam (hello, awesome), and covered the number in it. Then I went in my yard to gather some pinecones and pine needles and went to town with a glue gun.


And then the photo booth. I found this birch tree backdrop on Amazon. It was perfect and looked very real. I was going to order fake beards and axes as props, but decided I didn’t want to spend a ton of money for things I wouldn’t use again, so I found these printable props on Etsy for $6. I printed them out on card stock paper, bought some dowels from Michael’s, and boom, fun props for everyone. You can see photos on my Instagram.


We asked all of our guests to wear plaid.


And there you have it. Our Tilly babe’s first birthday party is in the books.