The idea for a Jungle party to celebrate James's 1st birthday was born almost before he was. We had decided that we would decorate that years Christmas Tree in a Safari theme and of course tried killing two birds with one stone. It ended up being the cutest 1st b-day of any of the kids. (Julia's was a Suzy Zoo Duck theme and Jacksons was a Construction Truck party) So the plans to decorate this party were months in the making. Chad and I would pick up ideas here and there and bought items along the way.
Now bear with me, my camera had the wrong settings on that day and I was so busy that I wasn't checking my images in the screen so some of these shots are not exposure perfect or even focused for that matter.
Goodie Bags are always fun and these were super quick to make, brown bags and wood animals from Michael's and paper and name stickers from my home stash. A little bit of brown ink smudges and we were ready to go. Outdoor decor was probably what we spent the most money on. We purchased about $60 in real trees and covered the bases with burlap purchased from home depot. I am proud to say no trees were harmed in the making of this party. Every single plant and tree purchased has survived and remain in our backyard. The tiger made its way from Julia's room to the backyard for the day.
Tiger tails, quick and easy to make and I didn't even use a sewing machine. (good thing since I don't know how to use one). Material was purchased at Joann's, check the sale rack. Attached with a safety pin that you couldn't even see once the kids shirts went down. Safari hats were purchased from local party supply store.
Indoor centerpieces were made using Vases (I had previously), green "fake" plants and a few floral picks from Michael's. I added banana's for effect and cut up burlap in various spots. I also had plastic snakes hanging from various areas and peeking out of boxes. The cake was purchased from a local baker using the generic jungle theme they had. We added our own animals. The cake holder was covered in zebra print material that was also used as a overlay on the table linens.
Just a few more shots of decor. I would have to say that the hanging decor was an after thought at 1:00am the morning of the party. I should have just let it go because if you aren't going to do something right, then don't do it at all. I should have tripled the amount of hanging burlap and vines but I was running low and just wanted to use what I had left. So if anyone plans on doing this don't half arse it like me and actually cover the ceiling. Not shown is the entrance to the party which was triangle burlap's similar to above and lots of vines hanging down with snakes in the vines. Very cool effect. I chose to not add in fog or misters like some Safari parties because.... well I wasn't going to use that stuff for Christmas and remember we are trying to do double duty here. Side note: almost everything used here was re-purposed for Halloween and Christmas.
And finally the whole reason we did this! This is his mess cake, no way was I dealing with green and blue dye on my baby. Now most of these ideas came from my head and hours of me discussing options, colors and types of foliage with Chad. He did veto the live snakes and the paper mache boulder in the shape of pride rock. I did get some ideas from the good ole google search, the expedition boxes I found somewhere online, the using of your kids stuffed animals in the decor as well. Now this is a bit much for a kids party in general but since it was geared to adults as well (Jungle Juice anyone) we wanted to make it a bit nicer.
We did have a firepit that started at night and once we lite the tiki torches the whole place looked very cool. We also had the spa available for the kids only (thank gosh since the Jungle Juice was gone by then) and that added major ambiance later in the evening. Oh and the games we provided were, safari scavenger, we just made up the locations, and pin the tail on the giraffe, lion pinata and ... I think that was it. We served steak and fruit kabobs, rice and salad. It was a great time and I am sure one that James will never remember because he was only one.