little deer first birthday party

mint and green deer party by craftiness is not optional


Our “deer” little Ava is turning one! Yikesabee. I cannot believe it. Literally. We love our little girl so, so much. She has been the sweetest, most agreeable baby yet…and loves to snuggle, EAT (she is our chubby baby and I LOVE it), play with her sisters, and climb all over us when we lay on the ground. hahahahaha. SOBSOB my baby is growing up! *sniff* But anyways, moving on from my obvious denial….I chose a deer theme for her party-I hadn’t seen many deer parties and it just seemed cute and fun and perfect for a sweet first birthday. Mint, gold, and white were the colors. I pretty much hit up all the craft stores nearby and tossed anything gold and glittery in the cart. Just kidding. But only barely.  (by the way, this post contains affiliate links. Just a heads up!)


Let’s start with the main attraction-the sweets table!


I loaded it up with all things sweet, gold,  and green.


I hung up a backdrop of these paper fans on our fence, and layered over the top, some gold glittered letters that I hand cut out. Happy Birthday “DEER” Ava…har har har! I hope I’m not the only one who thinks that’s funny….chirp chirp chirp…yeh. So on the top I grabbed an awesome wooden cutout deer head from Michaels and glittered it up and added a tissue paper bow. Cause it’s a girly deer party, yo!


I had to make me some more of these tassels! I have a good collection of pastels now, after my sister’s bridal shower. 🙂 Layered some gold metallic fabric I bought over my new white tablecloths.


the big birthday cake was decorated using a dollop and smoosh technique. Very technical. haha. not. There are probably tutorials all over pinterest though. 🙂 I added a tiny deer on top, also from Michaels.


COOKIES! you know me and my cookies. Gotta have ’em. It’s not a CINO party without them! I used this cookie cutter, only chopped their poor little heads off and flipped them around, pre-baking. It was a tense few minutes in the kitchen Operating Room , but they all survived.


I also cut out some A cookies, decorated them with mint frosting and white polka dots, and then cut out some simple circles and frosted them with plain white…made ombre chic with some fun gold food spray! I got the idea here!


I made some vanilla cupcakes, then popped them in these cute mint striped cups and added some frosting and fondant toppers with some gold fondant deers on top-made with this cool mold.


I also ordered some awesome lollipops with edible glitter inside! ahh! too cool. Green apple flavor, in case you were wondering. these were a HIT with the kids. Of course. I could serve a table full of lollipops and hear nary a complaint.


I nabbed these awesome vintage gold deers (got a pair) on Etsy and displayed them on the table. This one is named Snooty McDeer.


I grabbed these pecan pie tarts from Walmart of all places and they were a big hit. I tried one…really good!


I got some of those white fudge covered oreos and drizzled some mint colored white chocolate over the top. Easy and also gone really fast, mostly thanks to my Dad.


Made some DELISH (really it was my fave) pistachio fudge. Made some gold glitter washi tape flags and stuck them in, because ……gold glittered flags. hello. it’s AWEsome.


 I made these easy peasy no bake mini cheesecakes and piped it into these tiny jars, because tiny jarred desserts are all the rage and I love raging cool desserts.


Rock candy pops! Literally, sugar on a stick.


I found these chocolate honey mints at Trader Joe’s and bought them for the color of the wrapper basically. I didn’t get to try one so I don’t know how they taste, but aren’t they stinking cute with Ava deer on them? Yes, I worked some magic and made my daughter digitally sprout antlers. and I love it.


What’s this? More antlers? Ohhh yes. I made a bunting with this ridiculous image on it and backed it in some wood grain fabric Kristin was nice enough to send me after I forced her to look at all the things I had stockpiled for Ava’s party while she was here last month. 


I loaded up a bulletin board with cute pics of the Ava meister, washi taped on (haha jk…I had to masking tape them on because the washi tape didn’t stick well enough to keep the pics on. A+ for effort though,  right?)


The favors are my favoritest of favors ever. You might know by now that I am obsessed with Little Golden Books…so when I saw they had a Bambi version that was all cute and vintage looking, I knew that had to be it. I also grabbed some adorable deer hand puppets, and then wrapped them together…I did family favors this time, since the book and puppet together was pricey for just one kid.


I also saw these antler headband thingys at Hobby Lobby and since they were on sale, I grabbed some…the kids loved them!



I bought some gold gable boxes (from this shop) for guests to take home leftover goodies-I did that for my sister’s shower, and it was a huge success. Bonus for me: no leftover cake calling to me from the fridge. It’s a great excuse to go even more overboard on the desserts…lol.

“it’s like part of the favor! Of course I should buy more candy!”-My mind.

and of course, the insanity continues with the cray cray antler sticker for the front…HAHAHA that’s gotta be my new screensaver for awhile…


Balloons! and a chalkboard!


Glittered wooden forks! (with glitter tape, not actual loose glitter) Mint Straws! and fancy shmancy gold plates.


and a giant A balloon! Gosh I love this thing. I wanted to take pics of it with Ava, but alas that didn’t happen. 🙁


It did with Sadie though! She was my awesome helper all throughout the day. Such a helpful age, when she’s in the right mood or there’s candy involved.


The birthday girl woke up from her nap just in time for the party, happy and snuggly, so she spent some time making the rounds with aunts and uncles who soaked up the baby snuggles. Her crown is from this shop-I looove it and want to wear it myself. srsly. I made her shirt using the Birch Fabric Elk Grove knit-and it’s a new pattern coming soon!


Of course, I had to make a sparkly gold and mint Bapron for her cake debut!


which was very traumatic.


we brought over her cake and she FREAKED out.


It might have been the lit candle? hmmm.

(which I glittered up because I just couldn’t stop, folks. GLITTER ALL THE THINGS!)


Once the candle was out and she had some cake, she was a peach again. But AGAIN no messy cake baby pics. All my kids are delicate cake eaters. sad face. I wanted some messy pics!


Ava with her Great Grandpa-she said her first word directed towards him the other week-Bampa! So exciting. Speaking of excitement, after the party while we were all playing with her toys, she took her first real steps!


 We are so blessed with this sweet little baby in our family. She is a joy! (stay nice, kid. None of this  tantrum or whiny stuff, ya hear?)


  1. Happy Birthday Ava…Everything looks so beautiful and yummy !!!

  2. Wauw, you are my party-idol! when is your party planning book coming out? 😉
    Happy birthday to Ava! you have a wonderful family

  3. This party turned out BEAUTIFUL! I love every detail and could easily see this theme turned in to a beautiful larger event. Stunning job! I like a lot of your details more than a lot of weddings I’ve looked at (and I spend my days researching weddings. haha). I am in love with all the details and just want to keep looking and looking and looking! This is definitely one of the best first birthdays that I’ve seen!

  4. waauw x 1000!!

  5. What a wonderful Birthday party for a little princess! You are great party organizer!

  6. Oh my! I can hardly stand the oozing adorableness (autocorrect…that is totally a word!)

  7. Wow – everything looked amazing – what a huge effort you went to…simply stunning – you’re a creative genius.
    Can’t believe she is one already either – time flies far too quickly.

  8. How do you do it Jess??? So gorgeous. And Ava is so cute. It’s pretty unbelievable each birthday that rolls around.. but the first especially! I bet every kid (and adult) who knows you LOVES being invited to your gorgeous parties! I absolutely love deer. And little golden books – we have a sizeable collection….including a vintage Bambi!! :))

  9. you are the party master – i always get so inspired!
    and what a cutie pie

  10. wonderful job!

  11. Beautiful party. Love the favors and the bulletin board the best I think. ALl the treats are awesome too! The details are endless!!! Love your personality Jess! So happy for your family and what a wonderful day you all had with deer Ava 🙂

  12. WOW! What an amazing party! The bunting. The glitter. All of it is just so fun! And I love that your top is matching too! 🙂

  13. Your parties are epic! Happy birthday to Ava, what a cutie. And good luck with that no tantrums or whining thing.

  14. This is the cutest party I’ve seen in a long time! Love the mint and gold too!

  15. Happy birthday to Ava and what a beautiful party! Did you find pre made bias tape for the bunting and the bapron or did you cut your own?

  16. I was crushing on you so bad seeing all this in my IG feed, but seeing it all at once is even more amazing! Lucky I’m in Australia or I’d be crashing the next one 😉

  17. SUCH a cute party! I was so excited to see how it all came together, and of course it turned out amazingly! You rock. Loooove the theme/color scheme and love all the little touches you collected over time. So fun. And happy birthday to Ava!!!

    • thanks girl! thanks for that fabric again. I don’t want to get rid of that bunting, but really what am I going to do with it now? Hang it in my craft room for awhile? lol!

  18. Stunning! Happy birthday Ava!

  19. Ok. So I’ve been drooling over all of your instagram pictures, but when it is all put together, WOW! Like, major wow. Someone said it earlier, but you could totally do a party planning book! We all bow to your greatness.

  20. AMazing… I would love a timeline of your food prep!

    • Sure! I start prepping about a week beforehand. I bake the layers for the large cake usually a few weeks in advance and freeze them. Cookies I baked on Wednesday, and decorated Thursday. I made the fudge on Tuesday I think and wrapped it well in the fridge..tasted great! Baked the cupcakes Friday, and assembled the cake and frosted the cupcakes Saturday, and assembled the cheesecakes that morning as well. I think that’s about it! hope it helped!

  21. This is my new favorite of your parties. Seriously, so so beautiful!

  22. All that mint and gold and glitter—–every girls’ dream party! So fun! ANd she is a doll!

  23. All you need to say now is; And a good time was had by all! So fun… the just don’t stay little forever do they?
    Each of our kids did the messy cake pic’s. Our first 1 year old, our son; we took outside on my folks deck, He
    played patty cake with the frosting… what a mess! But, the dog loved it! She spent the rest of the afternoon licking
    up all the cool whip frosting.
    It’s a good thing you send home the sweets… I got a sugar high just reading all the sweet goodness you had there!
    LoL… congrats
    p.s. I was celebrating too… it was my birthday on the 9th.

  24. Everything looks absolutely gorgeous! And the birthday girl as always so so sweet. I love the take home box idea I’m going to have to do that for all my parties. And that pistachio fudge sounds so good I think I need the recipe!

  25. Ok, when you said you did a deer themed party I was very skeptical, but this is fabulous! So creative. And I’m loving all the glitter. I’ve got to keep that in mind for my daughter’s first birthday next summer. My first two are boys so no glitter there!

  26. I love everything about this party. The hashtag on Instagram is great eye candy.
    But how did I miss Sadie’s shirt? I love it with the balloons on there. I’m sure you posted a tute, but I missed it somehow. So cute.
    Oh and I can’t forget that bapron. Perfect.

  27. This is so cute I can hardly stand it. I love the Ava-with-antlers you used everywhere, but my favorite thing is the cookies. Those polka-dot ‘A’s and the deer! (In spite of the sordid head-chopping they went through. ;-))

  28. Wow, what an amazing birthday! So many gorgeous ideas and simply delectable edibles. So very cute!
    Thank you for you quilting suggestions and encouragement!

  29. Someday I am going to make the trek all the way out to California just to attend one of your kids’ birthday parties.

  30. Awesome party theme! And what a cutie!

  31. This is a little out of control gorgeous! I now want to do this for MY birthday party next month, lol. Amazing. Truly.

  32. So so beautiful! I would LOVE a party like this 🙂

  33. I am in LOVE!!!! How did you keep the sugar cookies from “growing” when they bake and what frosting did you use( type, color)?? My little lady is 1 in January and I think I need these!!! Thanks!

  34. Elizabeth H says

    I hate to ask but how did you get that perfect brown color ?

  35. I am in the middle of planning a deer party for my son…I am blown away by all your handmade details! I usually just have to focus on the food or the decor but you did it all! How do you bake all that goodness and still have time to craft? I am astounded by you!

  36. This might be a dumb question but what do you use to make the edible glitter stck to your candle!? 🙂 and do you sale that adorable deer shirt on your website?!

    • it’s not edible glitter-just regular glitter, and only on the front of the candle. I used mod podge to glue it on, and don’t worry, it never burned long enough to reach the glitter or glue! no fumes-plus we were outside. 🙂 I only sell patterns, sorry!

  37. Adorable party!! Where did you get the tape for the silverware? Did you just buy wood silverware then apply the tape and cut around?

  38. Do you have a tutorial for the large glitter candle?

    • Nope, but it’s easy-I applied some glue with a foam brush to only the front of the candle, sprinkled on glitter, and let it dry.

  39. Ok thanks! Where did you get the big number 1 candle?

  40. Darling party!! Going to take a few ideas of yours for my daughters 1st in Oct! Wondering what you made the little bunting out of around her high chair. Is it paper? Also how did you make the letter for Happy Birthday above the dessert table? I have a feeling you are going to say a Cricket!!

  41. LOVE LOVE LOVE! I, like you, am a party enthusiast- I LIVE for the little details of a party and you totally nailed it. Well done!!

  42. I’m planning a mint green and gold baby shower and would love your pistachio fudge recipe.
    Thank you!

  43. hello I was on Pinterest and I saw the beautiful party you made for your daughter
    I wish I could take some ideas
    I’m Mexican and my daughter just have a baby well it’s his first year and we want to celebrate for him in the way Americans do it
    So I’m looking for things I can do in 23 days lol
    And one of the things is the big candle .
    Would you be so kind and tell me where I can buy one so I can paint it as well?

  44. I love everything about this!!! I have been looking everywhere for a large number one candle. Do you happen to remember who sold them on Amazon? My daughter is one in June and ever since I seen this in Pinterest I have been looking.

  45. Great & amazing job! I would love to make the fawn cookies for my baby shower. Would you mind sharing your recipe and how you decorated them? I’d really appreciate it!!

  46. Hey, I was wondering where you got the gold sparkly fabric? I have looked at walmart, michaels and hobby lobby and I can’t seem to find anything that looks like that! VERY cute party! If I didn’t have so much for a different theme I’d be doing this! <3 it!

  47. would you mind sharing how you made the deer cookies? i really appreciate your insight!

  48. Hi! Birthday party look amzing! I am planning to do bday party soon and came out with a question. Which food color did you mix with white chocolate when you dizzled top of oreos? I couldnt find the color of mint food oil. Please let me know. It will help me alot. Thanks!

  49. Beautiful party. How did you get the pinkish Grey color for the fawn cookies?

  50. Ashley Smith says

    LOVE this party! Who made the banner with your baby and the antlers coming out? It’s so cute!!!

  51. I did 🙂

  52. Ashley Smith says

    I love it! How did you make your baby have the antlers coming out? I want to make something similar or have someone make this for me! I think its such a cute idea.

  53. I made it in Illustrator 🙂


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