Very Hungry Caterpillar 1st Birthday Party Overview

connerbdaybanner For my son’s 1st birthday I wanted a fun theme and something that would be memorable for years to come. Plus there will only be a limited number of years that I get to choose what his “theme” for his birthday will be. If my husband had any say it would be Denver Broncos every year. My favorite childhood book is by far The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. Since I am on summer break I had a little “extra” time, between 2 kids the extra time is nap/rest time and after they go to bed at night, to make something crafty for his party.

We debated where to have his party and ultimately decided that since we were getting a cabin at a local campground for Father’s Day anyways we would just have it there so we didn’t have to splurge and have it somewhere else (our house is just too small for a lot of people).

I will go over a quick overview in this post and then post more details about everything in their own posts. For the banner I used my Cricut and the Plantin SchoolBook cartridge for the circles, letters, apple, everything! I then used colored brads to link each body section to each other and that way I could manipulate it how I wanted. Then I used a thin red ribbon to connect the top to the bottom and extra off the ends to hang it up. When I made it we still didn’t have a definite location for the party and in reality there was nowhere to tie it down to so I ended up just using tape to keep it all up.


Each month for the first year I took monthly pictures of my son with stickers that I bought through Pickysticky.  I then used the same method with my Cricut to make a monthly picture caterpillar. Yes, I realize I forgot the antennae but by the time I realized that it was too late.


In keeping with the theme the first thing I made were his invitations of course! The recipients of these invitations LOVED them. Read more about how I made these here.


Guestbook- I decided on making a fingerprint guestbook that I put in a document frame and hung in his bedroom. Check out the details here!


For party favors guests made butterfly treat bags. I kind of felt like it was Christmas in June because the majority of the candy I got was red/green to go with the color scheme. Check out the favor bags here!


For the party food we used the foods that the caterpillar ate through in the story. I found the cutest labels online and made stands for them. Check out more details here!



We had two children activities for our younger guests to do while at the party. One activity was Egg Carton Caterpillars and the second activity was Coffee Filter Butterflies. Read about them here!


I searched all over for the perfect cake to fit my theme. NOWHERE has The Very Hungry Caterpillar. So I had to resort to DIY on the cake, which I was kind of afraid to attempt. But I think it turned out pretty darn cute! Check out the details here!

I had a BLAST putting this party together and the guests definitely noticed all my details. I think the majority of people said I know you’re a teacher because….


Very Hungry Caterpillar 1st Birthday Invites


After deciding on the Very Hungry Caterpillar them for my son’s 1st birthday party the first thing on my to-do list was to create invitations. So naturally I turn to Pinterest to get my creative juices going! There I found my outline and invitation that I just HAD to have, so cute!  I found this idea on Catch My Party. I used most of the same wording but also added some of my own. Cardstock from Hobby Lobby, created circles with Cricut and the wording in a word document. I connected the segments of the caterpillar with green brads that I also found at Hobby Lobby. I was unable to find just green ones so I had to use my 40% coupon of a collection of 6 colors. Yeah I chose an off week that didn’t have the Spare Parts collection on sale for 50% off but I had to make them ASAP. I think I made 22 invitations, a Happy Birthday Banner and his 12 month timeline caterpillars using these green brads and I still have extras left over so there is definitely a lot in that little container.


Inside the cover of the invitation says: We can hardly believe a year has past. Our little caterpillar has grown up so fast! Come join us for some food and fun, Conner is turning ONE!!!!


Second body part says: Day of week, date, time Inch on over to place. I put in parenthesis specific location information since we were having it at a cabin we were renting for the weekend.



The third segment says: A table of eatable caterpillar goodies will be on display. Water and Juice will be provided. (feel free to bring any other beverage of choice and a lawn chair!)

On the fourth circle, which I didn’t include in the pictures it says: RSVP to Mommy and Daddy by date and phone number. We can’t wait to play!

Very Hungry Caterpillar butterfly treat favors


Instead of making favor bags for my son’s 1st birthday with a bunch of cheap plastic toys for the kids I decided to let our guests create their own favor bags. I got this idea this past school year from one of my young students. We completed a butterfly unit in kindergarten and his birthday so happened to fall during this unit. For birthday treats he brought “butterfly treat bags.” He had plastic baggies, clothespins, pipe cleaners and candy. When planning Conner’s 1st birthday I remembered this and thought it would be a good idea to do that way anyone could have a favor bag and put things that they would actually eat inside them. Candy I included were green and red Frootis, M&M’s, skittles, green and red gummy worms, Hugs/Kisses/Cookies and Cream candies and green and red Sixlets.


Guests chose various candies to add to their bag and then divided the bag down the middle and clipped it with the clothespin. They could then use a marker to draw eyes and a mouth on the clothespin if they wanted. There were also pipe cleaners that they could wrap around the top of the clothespin as an antennae.






Very Hungry Caterpillar Birthday Guestbook


When looking through Pinterest to see about different guestbook options the one I kept coming across was writing a message to the birthday boy/girl in the actual The Very Hungry Caterpillar book for them to have as a keepsake.  While I do like this idea I wanted something different. I don’t know how I thought of this but I came up with a fingerprint caterpillar guestbook. I had Conner put his fingerprint in red as the caterpillars head and then each guest used one of the two shades of green stamp pads to stamp their fingerprint and use a fine tip sharpie marker to write their name. I had the guests write their names first and then do their fingerprint. After it was completed I bought a document frame and framed it to hang in Conner’s bedroom.


Above is the caterpillar I created in Word to use for this.


This was the sign I posted for the guestbook so that guests would know what to do. It says the following:

Please sign Conner’s Caterpillar Guestbook!

1. Please write your name inside a circle with the marker. 2. Add your “print” by using the green stamp pad and placing your fingerprint over your name (wipes are provided for your fingers)

Conner will be able to see everyone who helped him celebrate his 1st birthday!

UPDATED: Here is the editable document Conner guestbook caterpillar sign

Here is the finished guestbook (besides one space where my grandpa forgot to stamp his finger and another that is a baby):


Very Hungry Caterpillar Birthday Party Food Display


Sorry that the picture isn’t the best but the sun was shining right down on it and I wanted to get a picture before everyone started digging in. We went through The Very Hungry Caterpillar book and bought the things the caterpillar ate throughout the week for our party food. Instead of sausage we used hot dogs and hamburgers, but no one cared (except me probably). I found the silverware container (The Very Hungry Caterpillar container) in the dollar spot at Target a couple years ago. Since I’m a teacher and I love Eric Carle I had no clue that I would be using it for my son’s first birthday party in a few years.


I found these cute food labels from Polkadots and Puppies for free and I believe there is a blank one as well to write your own. That is how I created the labels for the activities and guest book. After I printed the labels I mounted them to green cardstock and used a glue dot to attach them to a popsicle stick. I then went to Dollar Tree and picked up some floral craft foam and Hobby Lobby for some polka dotted scrapbook paper. I covered the floral foam with the scrapbook paper and then just stuck the popsicle stick down into the foam.

Very Hungry Caterpillar Children’s activities


Since I really got into the theme of The Very Hungry Caterpillar for my son’s 1st birthday I decided to have a couple children’s activities. Even though we were at a campground with many other things to do some of the kids did sit down for awhile to do some crafts. The materials for these activities were really cheap, I had a lot of it laying around already. In the spring we did a butterfly unit with the Kindergarteners so naturally we did a few craftivities with them and these two are no exception! So when thinking about easy ideas that kids can manage to do on their own these two activities came to mind. The first children’s activity was coffee filter butterflies.

For the coffee filter butterflies the supplies you will need are: coffee filters, markers, clothespins, spray bottle and paper towels if you want to lay them down on something while they dry. Have your children color the coffee filter any way they want. When they are done coloring them you can do one of two things: Option 1. bunch it up in the center and attach it to the clothespin and then spray with water and let dry or Option 2: Spray coffee filter with water before putting it on clothespin. Let it dry and then attach to clothespin. I did option 1 and it worked perfectly in my opinion but when we did it in school some did option 1 and some did option 2, they all turned out great so whatever works best for you. I just wrote out the directions for option 1 and put it up so that people would know what to do on these free downloadable labels from Polkadots and Puppies. I believe there is a blank one at the end that I used to create the labels for the activities.

Here are the finished butterflies from work (I may have gotten too caught up on the day to remember to take any pictures of completed butterflies at the party):


The other children’s activity that we had at Conner’s 1st birthday was called Caterpillar Egg Carton Painting. We also did this activity in our kindergarten classrooms this last year during our butterfly unit. Materials you will need include:I  few egg cartons (I knew there weren’t going to be too many young kids) and cut them into sections that consisted of 3 body part areas), paint (red and green), googly eyes, glue, bowls and paint brushes and children’s aprons.

Have kids paint the caterpillar body and let it dry. After it is dry glue the eyes on. It is really simple. In our classrooms we actually had the kids put the caterpillars in their cocoons using construction paper and color butterfly wings which we attached. The students came to school to see that their caterpillar had changed into a beautiful butterfly.

Here is a picture of my 3 year old before she started painting. As soon as I set it out that’s all she wanted to do was paint. I did not get a end result picture and will have to check to see if I got one at work. What can I say a 1 year old’s birthday party is a fairly busy place!!!


Very Hungry Caterpillar Cake


For my son’s 1st birthday the theme was based on the children’s book The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. I am not a baker by any means so naturally I went out to the local bakeries in search of the perfect cake and smash cake to fit my theme. What did I find? Absolutely NOTHING! So where do I turn when I need an idea? That’s right again, Pinterest! I stumbled upon this website with the idea for the cake.  This website gave me the inspiration for Conner’s cake.  I used a 6″ round cake pan for the head, which also doubled as Conner’s smash cake. Then I drew the eyes and nose on with icing tubes. For the cupcakes I made chocolate and vanilla. It is hard to see in this picture but the chocolate cupcakes had a little lighter shade of green for the frosting than the vanilla cupcakes. Since Eric Carle uses varying shades of colors I thought different shades of green for the frosting would be great. For the backboard that the cake is on I also got the idea from the above website since all the materials I would need were easily accessible. I found an unused cardboard box that use to house a large object and then I went to my work and got some white butcher paper to cover the cardboard. Before I glued the paper to the cardboard I drew circles in colored pencil over the entire piece of butcher paper to go with the circle theme that keeps presenting itself in the book. After all the circles were drawn and colored in I attached the butcher paper to the cardboard box using craft glue and probably a few glue dots. Then I busted out the Cricut to make the lettering for the board. Now since I didn’t have the cupcakes made I just laid out the cupcake liners, by the way I found the bright lime green ones at Hobby Lobby, in the shape of the caterpillar so I would know where to place the letters.

Here’s a picture of my little man digging into his cake!


1st Birthday Party Girl- Overall set up and decor

Wow I need to update and get to blogging things. This was the set up for my daughter’s 1st birthday (she just turned 3 in April this year). Anyways it was a brown and pink circles theme. I made the banner using cardstock from Hobby Lobby. I made the pom poms using tissue paper (I googled how to make tissue paper pom poms, can’t remember the exact website since it’s been so long).  Sorry there is not a better picture. The pictures under the banner are pictures from each month of her first year.