Photographs: Jessica Wilcox of Modern Moments Custom Design † Written: Staff, Southern Guide to Life
For most parents, their child’s first birthday is a big deal and they want it to be a special memory. But when Jessica Wilcox’s son, Emerson, turned a year old she aimed a little higher than ‘special,’ creating a vintage-inspired designer birthday spectacular that anyone would love.
Every great party starts with the invitations. They set the stage for what guests will expect at your swaray and they provide a lasting memento of a special event. For Emerson’s 1st birthday, Jessica started off with vintage inspired photographs taken by Courtney Jade of Courtney Jade Photography. The photos were turned into a one of kind invitations.
There are many things that turned this party from average kids birthday into a designer quality event, but the most important element is color selection! While the colors are basic – red, white, blue and a touch of brown – their hue is anything but boring. Creamy whites, vintage reds, teal/aqua blues and chocolate browns make this party feel fresh and new, playing beautifully against the vintage inspired theme.
We’ve all heard about the importance of lifts and levels on a tablescape. Jessica takes this principle to a whole new level by incorporating vintage style suitcases in her selected colors from Retro Bird. The selection of polka dotted red instead of a solid color choice was pure brilliance. Stacking them added height to the symmetrical design of her desert buffet. The white sign frames were a lovely and inexpensive touch at only $0.99 from Ikea.
The Milk and Cookies design of the desert table is taken to a new level with these unique and deliciously colorful cookies. Note that even the cookies match the over all color scheme.
She also used vintage suitcases to add extra height. If you keep an eye open, you can find them inexpensively at yard sales and thrift stores.
If you don’t have a tiered stand, use a regular cake stand and place a slightly smaller one on top for the same effect.
The small cookies were placed in white trays that both framed the colorful cookies and kept little hands from making a mess.
Jessica screen printed muslin bags with the name of each child invited. A perfect take home goodie bag! If you don’t have a screen printer, stenciling the names would work nicely. This is a great idea to add to your idea box.
Styling a party and styling a room share many of the same principles. Chief among these principles is the necessity to repeat colors, themes and ideas throughout the overall design. Jessica accomplished this down to repeating the cookie theme in the party favors she created for the kids. After purchasing glassine bags from Garnish, she made Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies and sewed them inside the bags using matching red thread in a zig-zag pattern.
She also purchased the adorable wooden forks from Garnish as well.
Books make a wonderful and inexpensive way to add lift and height to a table. Here, Jessica uses hardback books in the same color scheme as her design.
Organic Chocolate Milk was served in small, vintage-inspired glass bottles. They look like old fashioned mini milk bottles and are perfect for little hands. The retro red and white stripped straws add a whimsical touch and an extra pop of color.
Large condiment holders or sturdy cupcake liners make an excellent container for nibble-sized portions of treats. Continuing the polka dot element, Jessica uses these cups to hold just the right amount of Chex Mix.
She made mini cupcake stands from simple elements found at the local craft store. Read more about her project at Modern Moments Design.
Jessica chose a white stand and matching compote with a open detail at the edge. This detail allowed her to weave ribbon in her parties signature colors for that special designer touch.
There are so many creative elements of this party that it was hard for our editors to pick a favorite. Certainly, one of their favorites is the polka dotted gable boxes to house of all the yummy party favors and the old fashioned library card tags clipped on with miniature clothes pins. This ensured that every child would know which box was theirs.
Just like the signs, the food labels, the glassine bags, the screen printed bags, the water labels, the cupcake stands, and the invitations, Jessica created the library cards herself.
This drawer-caddy does double duty, serving as a candy drawer and a place to put screen printed burlap bags for the kids.
When it comes to serving containers – think outside the box. This drawer-caddy makes a great way to serve Old Fashioned Cherry Heads. Add a handled scoop – like you would see in an old fashioned candy store – and allow guests to serve themselves.
Even the water bottles got special treatment with labels Jessica designed.
Photographs by: Jessica Wilcox courtesy of Modern Moments Custom Designs.