Feathers and Arrows 3rd Birthday Party



To celebrate our one and only special little guy, we had a fun, relaxed backyard party with a new twist on an old theme.

This is an example of how to have a themed party without being so literal. I wanted to style a party that was in line with current trends but with a kid twist, so I chose a boy fairytale mashup, including Peter Pan, Robin Hood and The Big Bad Wolf  (represented both by Little Red Riding Hood and The ‘3’ Little Pigs.) It definitely has kid elements, but with a sophisticated style to please all ages. Since my son LOVES movies so much, I decided to add a backyard movie element to the mix. We showed Peter Pan. Since blankets were part of that spin, a picnic was the perfect way to go for the meal.


Some favorite details include:

  • Nail/string art letter ‘B’
  • 4 signs along walkway saying ‘second star’, ‘to the right’, ‘to grandmother’s house’ and ‘to Sherwood forest’
  • custom picnic baskets for each family
  • 3 Little Pigs in a Blanket mini bar
  • buffet cards and fun signage
  • beautiful custom desserts
  • leather tied drink bottles with birch straws
  • cheese box ‘drums’
  • robin hood hats
  • peter pan skirt bunting
  • tents with blankets and crates for picnic-ing
  • market lights
  • ‘popcorn on the plank’
  • painted wood target for guests to sign
  • message in a bottle invites (not shown)


The experience began for guests when they received a message in a bottle invite.  All the printed materials, by Paula at Frog Prince Paperie, had a cool modern vibe. The design was the perfect inspiration for many of the party details. It was exactly the style I was going for and Paula nailed it! My guests said it was the best invite they’d ever received. The color palette was black, white, gray, emerald green and gold with design elements focusing on feathers, arrows and targets.


ENTRANCE: Guests were greeted by a giant green balloon and rickety signs up the walkway, made by LGTPS (Let’s Get This Party Started). There were 4 signs, reading ‘second star’, ‘to the right’, ‘to grandmother’s house’, and ‘to Sherwood forest’, representing all 3 of the characters in the mashup. The wreath had a fun sign saying ‘once upon a time’ to lend to the fairytale feel. benjamins-bday-6 benjamins-bday-10 benjamins-bday-7 benjamins-bday-8 benjamins-bday-9 benjamins-bday-12 benjamins-bday-13 benjamins-bday-14

DESSERT TABLE: While I had the vision for this party and executed and styled it, it was the team of vendors who made all the items I dreamed of come to life. The backdrop for the dessert table was a gold fringe arrow by The Flair Exchange. I wanted something very fresh, modern, bold and simple. The ‘drums’ on the table were cheese boxes, rented from Wish Vintage Rentals. I wrapped them with leather twine and added some beads, ribbon and feathers to make them look like a drum. The drink bottles filled with lemonade were made to look like the front of Robin Hood or Peter Pan’s shirt with the criss-cross leather ties. The birch straws were an exciting new twist on the stripey straws! I told Nikki at Tikkido that I wanted a bunting that looked like Pan’s skirt and sent her a photo of something I cut out as an example. When hers arrived in the mail I was blown away. She took my vision to the next level and created something more beautiful than I ever could have. It was perfect!   The food at my parties is always a challenge because the birthday boy has a severe peanut allergy, so it’s imperative that the food is as safe as can be for him. Most everything was safe for him to eat. The crocodile and clock cookies were made by Nut Free Sweets and it was my first time working with them. Great experience! The chocolate covered Oreos by Love & Sugar Kisses were the biggest hit and Maria went above and beyond to make sure these were safe for my son.  The faux bois detail on those was amazing! The beautiful fondant toppers were by Edible Details and the gorgeous cake was by Dream Cakes. And that chocolate cake with Oreo buttercream was probably the best I’ve ever had. My mom and I made the cupcakes and ‘birch logs’ (using peanut safe chocolate) and the chocolate coins were from Vermont Nut Free.

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3 LITTLE PIGS IN A BLANKET MINI BAR: This was the last idea (and one of my favorite details) I had, just a few days before the party. I put a bunch of different dipping sauces out and the platters of pigs in a blanket sat on ‘wood’, ‘straw’ and ‘bricks’ (each representing a little pigs house). I also spray painted 3 pigs gold to add a little more sophistication and keep them in the color palette. benjamins-bday-36 benjamins-bday-32 benjamins-bday-3 benjamins-bday-23 benjamins-bday-24

PICNIC: A friend of mine recently had a party with picnic baskets and I loved the idea, so I decided to do something similar. Each family had their own basket with a custom tag by Frog Prince Paperie. All the food items had beautiful printables to identify and coordinate each item. There were French baguettes with jam, hummus, brie (wrapped in parchment with a gold sprayed sword), pasta salad, pirates booty, water, bags with cutlery, plates and cloth napkins in each basket. The best part was, each family got to take their basket (and leftovers) home with them, eliminating a lot of party cleanup! There were tents (by LGTPS), blankets, pillows and crates (for tables) for the guests to dine on. It created just the casual, relaxed atmosphere and environment I was going for. Guests ‘camped out’, sharing blankets and watched the movie later in the evening from their own little spot. There was also a concession area with popcorn and movie candy. benjamins-bday-20 CRAFTS: There were 2 craft areas: One table had all the supplies needed for the kids to make arrows…sticks, dowels, feathers, felt triangles, washi tape, glue and scissors. The other craft (not shown) was giant black paper for each child to trace their ‘shadow’ and cut out.

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FAVORS: The ‘bags of gold’ hung from a birch log with a sign at the exit which read ‘THE END”. They were filled with a pirate eye patch, pirate tattoos, fairy stickers, chocolate gold coins, crocodile soap, rice krispy treats and fairy fruit snacks.

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PARTY HATS: Another great detail, made by Nikki at Tikkido, were the adorable Robin Hood hats. The kids loved them.

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GUEST BOOK(S): There was a wood painted target on the tree for guests to sign, made by LGTPS and ‘happy thoughts’ for guests to write and put in a jar for the birthday boy.

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Happy Birthday, sweet Benjamin. You are SO loved!

To see the full gallery, click here.
2nd birthday party:  Guess How Much I Love Two
1st birthday party: Vintage Red Wagon


Event Design and Styling: One Stone Events
Photography: Emma Grace Pet Photography
Printables: Frog Prince Paperie
Robin Hood hats and Peter Pan bunting: Tikkido
Tents, wooden target, ‘plank’ bench, arrow signs: Let’s Get This Party Started
Fringe arrow backdrop: The Flair Exchange
Quilts, crates, pillows, cheese boxes: Wish Vintage Rentals
Movie screen/projector: J Thor Productions
Cake: Dream Cakes
Crocodile and clock cookies: Nut Free Sweets
Fondant cupcake toppers: Edible Details
Chocolate covered Oreos: Love & Sugar Kisses
Nut safe chocolate: Vermont Nut Free
‘Bag ‘o gold’ muslin favor bags: Crafty Clementines
Crocodile soap favors: Meela Soap
Felt fire: Not Just a Hat Rack
Kids arrow t-shirt: Feather4Arrow
Ladies feather t-shirt: Marty May
Birch straws: Anthropologie
Green balloon, pint containers, chevron bags, plastic drink bottles: The TomKat Studio Shop

So, who wants to see a party?
Vintage Red Wagon 1st Birthday

dessert table

My passion for what I call ’boutique parties’ all began late 2010 when I started planning my son’s 1st birthday party. I was an event designer for big events but suddenly discovered a whole new world out there. One that spoke to me. One that said ‘all those little details that you love so much, that make a difference, they matter. And other people appreciate them too.’ I found my niche. I was so excited. I knew I landed in the place I wanted to be as a designer. I still do big events, but the small details are my greatest passion. So, here’s the first party that started it all, Benjamin’s Vintage Red Wagon 1st birthday. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the great Amy Atlas, who started the revolution of desserts tables as an art form. I’ll never forget how inspired I was by her work or how excited I felt when she featured this party. Scroll down for details below.

wreath and hats

I wanted to create a party that had a classic feel and was just good ‘ole simple fun. And since I love to evoke a sense of nostalgia at my parties, this theme was perfect; reminiscent of childhood days. Benjamin is so special to us, so of course we wanted to give him an extraordinary  party to create memories for years to come. It was a wonderful celebration of his first year of life and for us, making it through that first year as parents! We finally got to have the backyard party we’ve been wanting to throw since we moved in.

The color palette was red, aqua, yellow and kraft! I used a lot of kraft paper, burlap and jute for the natural and more vintage feel, combined with the vibrant colors that gave the party it’s retro look.

Some of my favorite details are the welcome wreath on the front door, which was so simple to make, the apothecary jar with the mini wagon and mini bunting inside, the ‘wagon’ cupcake wrappers, the perfect wagon wheel pasta salad, the official radio flyer licenses in the goodie bags and the use of my late grandmother’s items throughout the party (old platters, bright yellow dutch ovens and pot, etc.). Those things really personalized the party for me, beyond the trends you see at most parties. Designing this party was so much fun and executing it was certainly a labor of love, but so worth it in the end. Everyone had fun, the kids had a great time and while I was busy being everywhere at once during the party, the look on Benjamin’s face every moment I saw him during those few hours was worth every 3am craft project!

I’d love to hear from you. Did you have a red wagon growing up? What’s your favorite childhood memory?


Event design|Styling- Elissa Stone, One Stone Events

Photographer and Printables: Darci Woodiwiss Photography

Cookies: The Cookie Jar