Let Love Grow: A 1st Birthday Party

Birthday party favors: DIY signs + plant

The Theme: Let Love Grow

Planning events with an intentional design and an attention to detail is one of my favorite things to do. Knowing that my baby gets overwhelmed by big groups, I knew his 1st birthday party needed to be really simple and low key. So while I only invited a few people (literally!), I still wanted to make it extra special. Plus, I got to be creative and that’s good for my mind!

Let’s get to the details. If this looks like a theme that would suit you or your kiddos, I’ve included links and resources to help ya out!

Activity & Favor: Succulent Bar

Succulent Bar: Birthday Party Favors, DIY

It’s fun for all ages & is a nice memento for guests to take home as a favor. Here is the step-by-step guide for prepping the Succulent Bar:

  • Download each of the printables below and print in color

  • Cut out each sign around the gray border & cut kabob sticks to be about 5 inches tall (don’t measure-just guess!)

  • Use double-stick tape or any kind of glue to attach sign to kabob stick

  • Thrift, creatively acquire, or buy small pots. I used these and these from Amazon and though they were smaller than I hoped for, they turned out so cute and were manageable even for 2 year olds!

  • Find a watering can you already own. (Mine was a silver drinking pitcher, but you could also use a mason jar, or really any drinking glass. It doesn’t need to be big because the pots are so small.)

  • Purchase or propagate succulents or terrarium plants for the small pots

  • Display with tiered plates, or whatever you have on hand. I used a 3 tiered serving platter; anything will work. Be creative!

Food & Desserts

I’ve been really into grazing boards lately, and because it’s all very fresh and mostly “grown” food (the theme that keeps on going!), I created a fun grazing board.

Grazing board dinner option for birthday party

At first, I didn’t know if it’d be age-appropriate for some of the younger guests, including the baby of honor. But it ended up working out because some of the kids were excited to try foods they’d never had before! The peppers were not a hit, but everything else was cleaned off the tray. There are so many grazing board ideas on Pinterest, but it’s also fun to be creative and add foods your guests will love!

Instead of a smash cake or cupcakes, I opted for sugar cookies. Making cutesy sugary cookies is one of my hobbies. The cute little flowers are from Hobby Lobby, but otherwise I just used this recipe for sugar cookies, which has been my go-to for years now. I can’t even remember where it’s from because I’ve been using it so long!

Gifts & Guest Book

Guest book for birthday party

We asked quests not to bring gifts because our little guy has lots of toys already, but we did want to remember who attended his birthday party. This book is one of my favorites and one I read to parents at Back-to-School Night (I’m a teacher, too!), and it is perfectly on theme of “Let Love Grow.” Each guest signed a page and optionally wrote a short note.

For a gift from us, we did get the baby a few small presents. Because I wasn’t sure exactly what to get him and I love staying on theme, we decided to get him a lawnmower (he’s a recent walker and loves all things with wheels!) and a farmer baby doll.

That’s it! I’d like to say I kept it simple, but it was probably a little more involved than necessary. Like I said, I get real enjoyment out of planning events like this, so it was as much for my fun as the babys! That said, it would be much easier for you because I did a lot of the legwork: created signs & posters, researched pots & designed a succulent bar, and even linked toys that were on theme.

I would be so honored if you decide to use this theme for a party you host, but I have one request. Will you share it with me?! I would absolutely love to see your creative modifications! You can tag me on Instagram or Facebook, @thecaseforsimple, or share it here in the comments.

Happy Party Planning,



This post contains affiliate links for products I use & love. The opinions are all mine!