DIYing an ‘Out of this World’ 1st Birthday
For our son’s first birthday we decided on going with an ‘Out of this World’ space theme. While not a new idea by any means, it seemed like a fun theme to plan around (and this will probably be the last birthday where we get to pick the theme!). I enjoy DIYing as much as I can. Some elements for the party were purchased, but a lot of the goodies and decor were put together with love! If you are looking for so inspiration or ideas how to throw an outer space party, read on.
Outer Space Party Invites
I customized a free template from Canva.com for the invitation. Canva is my favorite free design tool. You can start from scratch or use one of the thousands of free templates on their site. Once I had the design I liked, I downloaded it as a JPEG and uploaded it onto Costco’s photo center to have them printed at the fraction of the cost compared to anywhere else.
The balloon arch I saw on Amazon kind of started it all for me. Once I saw it, I knew I wanted the party to be outer space themed. With the help of my sister and best friend, we blew up over 100 balloons and had the arch assembled in about 1 hour. The mylar balloons that were included, I took to Safeway’s floral department to be filled with helium.
Balloon Arch: https://amzn.to/3vsbtMv
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Growing up, my mom would always make us homemade banners for our birthday parties. Our grandpa owned his own butcher shop and would supply the long strips of paper that my mom would then paint. When my grandpa shut down his shop, my dad took some of the items, including the roll of butcher paper. 10 years later, and there is still paper on that roll so I could create my son’s birthday banner from the same paper!
My mom was a preschool teacher and has lots of craft supplies on hand. We were able to round up paint, star glitter, wooden stars, glue, and black spray paint to create the banner.
Outer Space Party Outfits
I love matching outfits. Cheesy? Maybe, but they do make for some cute pictures! I found the space themed shirts on Amazon.
- Outer Space Party Mom Shirt: https://amzn.to/3fWKC4k
- Outer Space Party Dad shirt: https://amzn.to/3vMio31
- Outer Space Party 1 year old shirt: https://amzn.to/3pdEusQ
Jake’s space pants and sweatshirt I had found on Amazon, but they don’t seem to exist any longer.
Outer Space Party Treats
Sugar cookies decorated in royal icing are one of my favorite things to eat and to make. They are incredibly time-consuming but make such a pretty party favor. I baked my cookies about a week before the party and then froze them until I was ready to decorate them. And after consulting a friend who is a master at decorating these cookies, she told me that I could freeze the frosted cookies to preserve freshness, but also had them decorated in advance. It was so nice to bake and decorate these when I had the time and just pull them out of the freezer on the day of the party.
I used Sally’s Baking Addiction recipe for the cookies themselves: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/best-sugar-cookies/ I have been baking my whole life and my sister had just told me about her recipe in particular. What I LOVED about her recipe and had never done before was that she tells you to roll out the dough into a sheet, then chill that sheet of rolled dough BEFORE cutting out your cookies. While this does add time to the process, it made the cookies cut so nicely and never lose their shaped when trying to transfer them to the cookie sheet. I saw a HUGE difference in the consistency of the cookies as they baked.
The royal icing is key to decorating detailed cookies because it smooths out so nicely and sets up to be pretty hard. Here is the recipe I used: https://blog.wilton.com/how-to-make-royal-icing-with-meringue-powder/
I have used egg whites in the past to make the royal icing when I didn’t have meringue powder, but have found that they take nearly 24 hours to set up completely and the frosting can be inconsistent. Meringue powder makes your frosting set up in minutes vs hours.
To make astronaut cookies, I simply used a gingerbread man shaped cookie cutter and decorated it to look like an astronaut. I think the key that pulled the whole astronaut cookie design together, was the metallic edible luster pen I used on the gray parts of the cookie.
The star cookies were super simple to decorate, but the pop of color helped the astronaut look even better in the goodie bags.
I used some toothpicks shoved halfway into the cookies to secure as cake toppers on the smash cake.
Some of the key tools you will need to make the sugar cookies are linked below:
- Gingerbread man cookie cutter: https://amzn.to/2SSJCGx
- Star cookie cutter https://amzn.to/2RkVAso
- Metallic edible luster pens: https://amzn.to/3vXnfPf
- Meringue powder: https://amzn.to/3g7zqC4
- Starter piping kit: https://amzn.to/2SLNEAG
- Black food dye: https://amzn.to/3wWtClT
- Yellow food dye: https://amzn.to/2RX4AnW
- Treat bags: https://amzn.to/3g6AvtN
The smash cake I wanted to look like a moon. This was super easy, quick, and fun to make. I used a box cake since my son was the only one eating this and whipped up a simple buttercream frosting (You can find that recipe here: https://www.katieandkristen.com/in-the-kitchen/how-to-make-the-best-butter-cream-frosting-and-chocolate-ganache-recipes/). I used an oven-safe bowl to bake the cake in. Once the cake was cooled, I used a small cookie scoop to carve out ‘craters’ into the cake. Then, I frosted it in gray and added my cookie cake toppers that I had previously made. That was it! Simple and effective.
For the guests to eat, my mom helped me out and made the cupcakes. We are all about a yummy scratch-made cake but are also huge fans of The Cake Doctor. Her Sour Cream Chocolate cake is foolproof and delish. My mom made a chocolate buttercream that we added more black food dye to and teal vanilla buttercream, using a piping bag to swirl the two frostings together, I made a simple swirl design on the cupcakes. My sister and best friend then took candies that I had purchased in the bulk section at our local Winco and decorated each cupcake to look like a galaxy. We had so much fun with each one. The types of candies we used were: Lemon Heads, Skittles, gumdrops, star sprinkles, glitter sprinkles, Sixlets, and Twizzlers to act as ‘rings’ around the planets. All of these perfect for outer space party cupcakes!
I love the handmade elements to this outer space party, because it shows the thought and love put in for the person you love whose party it is. I know my son isn’t going to remember his first birthday party, but he can see pictures!