Hosting My Daughter’s 5th Birthday Party!

I’ve always admired designers, wedding planners, event planners, interior designers. .  people who can basically take an idea/theme (or come up with one of their own) and bring it to life in a beautiful way.  .  .  after my 2nd daughter was about to turn one, I started researching ideas, themes, vendors I might hire to help me plan her FIRST birthday. If you know anyone who is (traditional) Korean, you know the FIRST birthday is very significant and is usually celebrated in a BIG way. “Korean birthday celebrations or the Dol is one of the important of Korean culture. When a person reaches an important age in his or her life, Koreans have unique celebrations to mark these milestones. Dol has two meanings in Korean. The most common meaning is a child’s first birthday or Doljanchi.” (Wikipedia yo!)

Big way meaning almost like a second wedding reception. Back in the old days, because a lot of Koreans were poor, didn’t have access to a lot of medicine- many children would become sick and did not make it to their first birthday and when they did, it was a wonderful, very significant thing. Now, I think the first birthday represents more of a celebration and success of getting through the first year. .  anyway, it’s a great celebration with family, friends and food! OH and there’s a head table with fruit, rice cakes, flowers and all sorts of stuff. It’s mainly there for the photos and guests so you want it to look nice.

So, I was researching ideas and came across Amy Atlas’ site (which I think my friend Mary had mentioned on her blog) and I was inspired by these photos. These tables are SO ELABORATE, CUTE & BEAUTIFUL:

I love the small, beautiful details. .  the color themes, the beautiful desserts, the “happy birthday” flag, the vibrant assortment of candy and the cute labels on all of the candy jars. .  I love it all.

So, flash forward to my first daughter’s 5th birthday- I decided this would be the year that I host my daughter’s birthday party. . .  at our house. I would channel my inner “Amy Atlas” and become my own party planner/decorator/events coordinator/party hostess extraordinaire! HA! DOUBLE HA! One thing about myself, I always like to THINK BIG and try to do too much so I usually have to stop myself, be sensible and realistic and do what I can. . .  and COME ON, WE’RE TALKING ABOUT 5 AND 6 YEAR OLDS. Hell, they’d be happy with a balloon and a lollipop for all they care.

So, after all of that, this post is just sharing ideas, giving tips and hoping this inspires a little! 🙂


  1. Remember, the party is for your KID, not YOU
  2. Keep the age of your child and the guests in mind
  3. It’s your child’s party, serve food that he/she likes
  4. Have activities the children will enjoy
  5. Have cool party favors for your guests
  6. FEED THE PARENTS; if your child is young, the mom or dad (or both) is taking the time to bring their kid to your kid’s party. FEED THEM. Food makes people happy. 🙂
  7. Be flexible; you might not get to everything and something will go wrong, some kid will start crying and you WILL forget to buy something (for me, it was the CANDLES. Thank God my neighbor is awesome, a mom and had some.)
  8. Make sure you have toilet paper and a clean towel in your guest bathroom (not completely related to the party but just a big pet peeve of mine) 🙂


  1. Don’t spend too much money on decorations
  2. Just hit up PARTY CITY and that should do it
  3. OK, so I didn’t listen to #1 and I went to what can I say? They had super cute stuff that I did not find at Party City
  4. If you are going to make pom poms: BUY THEM AT PARTY CITY. I spent $14 on a set of 3 pom poms and got pretty much the same thing (but BIGGER pom poms) from Party City.

Pom poms from Party City

Super cute cupcake holders I purchased from Shop Sweet Lulu. They also had cute ones at Party City and Michaels.

ShopSweetLulu does have super cute straws that I couldn’t find at Party City. I liked the ones she had online more.

So CUTE, that I had to order more paper straws for my next party!

Paper Party flags! All you do is string a long piece of string through them and you have a super cute party flag! (you can remove the flags and re-use again)

Party flag in progress (enlisted the help from my hubs).

Hanging the party flag!

Final set-up; minus the balloons which hadn’t arrived yet

  1. Try to be creative
  2. Make sure you have activities for girls & boys
  3. If you can’t think of anything creative, buy a pinata. The kids get to whack something and they get candy. They LOVE them.
  4. If you’re against hitting a papier-mâché animal, look online. There are a TON of cool ideas for parties.
  5. Hit up Michaels for ideas and shopping.
  6. My daughter was turning 5 and loves arts & crafts and jewelry so we had each guest decorate his/her own canvas tote bag (which was part of their party favor) and they also made flower rings out of felt, buttons & pipe cleaners.
  7. Flower rings:
  8. Canvas tote bag idea:
  9. Again, be flexible. I had planned for the kids to make necklaces but brought out the water balloons instead and had an impromptu water balloon toss that was a HIT!

P decorating her tote bag; before the party to show as the sample

Painted bags at the party- the kids loved it and did a great job!

The flower ring. .


All in all, it was a great party, the kids had fun and my daughter enjoyed herself so I was a happy momma. If you have to throw a party in the near future, I hope this post has inspired you to do something special too!


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