Rome wasn’t built in a day. With my son’s 1st Birthday I decided to get an early head start and began planning three months prior. Reminiscing on my own childhood, I thought back to how I had a Circus party for my 1st Birthday. With approximately 100 guest I figured a carnival/circus party would suit best. I originally booked to have an outdoor party at the park but a storm hit day of the event. After all the months of meticulous planning, crafty nights, and money spent, I was forced to move the party indoors. Finding a hall the night before, I was only given an hour to set up decorations and props on what was originally to take four hours! Did I mention guest decided to arrive early?! On a lighter note, I thought it would be helpful or perhaps inspiring to share some of my ideas that helped make Rome’s Circus a success. Correlating links can be found per post.
Carnival Invitation from Etsy
Invitations were mailed out in yellow envelopes that were stamped with a black mustache.
First Birthday Poster from Etsy
From Michael’s I purchased a 16×20 black frame and easel to display the poster with balloons tied at the top of the easel.
I purchased Giant Carnival Lollipops placed in Popcorn boxes as party favors. You can find the 12ct Giant Carnival Lollipops at Smart & Final for $10. I suggest placing the lollipops diagonally in the popcorn box so that they do not tilt over. Fill up each box with $1 goodies and or candy!
To personalize the Giant Carnival Lollipops I used these 3.33” Carnival Lollipop Stickers from Etsy wrapping a bow on each stick.
For the infants attending the party I handed out a Dumbo that I purchased from Kohl’s placing free printable favor tags that I then laminated. These free printable bottle water wrappers were perfect for both water bottles and to place on the bubbles I purchased at the Dollar Tree for the kids prizes.
Ikea Circus Tent used to place gifts.
For centerpieces I was inspired by an Etsy item and decided to make my own. I purchased the plastic animals from Dollar Tree and applied glue all over them. Using red fine glitter from Michaels I sprinkled until no glue was visible allowing 24hrs for the toy to dry. Once dry, I applied E600 glue on the feet and glued it on to boxes of my liking from the Dollar Tree. Cost $2 per centerpiece not including the cost of the glitter which was enough for about 9-10 animals.
From the dollar section at Target I was able to find the animal figures for only $3 each! Clown collars were made from pleated satin ribbon that could be found at JoAnns. The giraffe’s party hat was made from construction paper and a small pom pom. Cost approximately under $10 for both the elephant and giraffe.
These adorable animal carts were $1 each. Using animals that came in a pack of 6 for $1 I simply glued their feet with a hot glue gun. The pom poms came in a pack from the Dollar Tree as well! Cost under $2 for each.
After Christmas I was able to find these gum ball machines on sale for $3 at Smart & Final for prizes and decor.
My mother in law was kind enough to purchase the popcorn cart from Bed Bath & Beyond as well as the Cotton Candy Cart from Walmart which is no longer available but you can purchase similar here. The cotton candy bags were placed with clothes pins on a drying rack I bought at Target. The cotton candy floss sugar can be purchased at Smart & Final or Amazon.
I used the popcorn bags from the Dollar Tree to pass out popcorn.
Straws from Amazon.
Matching Duckies from Amazon.
Clown Noses from Amazon.
Ticket Booth from Amazon.
Concession Stand from Oriental Trading Company.
Red Velvet Glittered Cake Pops from @christelsweet_treats.
6ft Clown Ballon Sculpture from Air Lollipops.
Party hats were purchased from the Dollar Tree while the pom poms were hand made. Prize banner was made from poster board. By hole punching the corners of each individual banner piece the banner is held by add string at the ends to tie. For the letters just download a circus font, print, cut, and paste. Prizes were purchased from the Dollar Tree. I highly recommend purchasing gold fish as prizes as for 1) they’re inexpensive and 2) kids love fish! I do suggest buying some fish food so that the gold fish do not die on the way to their new home. This allows the prize winner’s parents some time to buy food! Fish bowls can be found at your local dollar store. Directional sign is from Amazon.
Rome’s Birthday Hat was made using a party hat, fabric, pom poms, yarn, and a glue gun! Our fondant cake was made from Mazzeti’s Bakery in Pacifica. Although the cake was melting I must say it was delicious and we received many compliments from our guest on both the taste and size!
Clown costume was handmade from Etsy.
Ringmaster Outfit: Top from Amazon. Bowtie American Apparel. Pants H&M (Old). Jacket DKNY.
To set up a photo booth I simply purchased a photo backdrop stand from Amazon. Fabric was bought at JoAnns and held by clamps also bought on Amazon. Face painter was hired from www.facepaintingbycynnamon.com . Snap away!
Comment if you have any further questions and good luck on your party endeavours!