If you’re planning a “You Are My Sunshine” birthday party or a sunshine party for a summer gathering, these cheerful ideas – plus a free printable thank-you note – will set you up for success!
Even on the rainiest of spring days, looking back at photos from my daughter’s first birthday makes me smile. My mom sang “You Are My Sunshine” to her a lot when she was a baby, so we chose a sunshine party theme for her birthday.
I’m a bit of a stress case when it comes to hosting, and this particular party will forever be known to my son as “That time Mommy threw butter on the floor because she was mad.”
So why did I throw butter on the floor?
Well, like most moms trying to host the perfect first birthday party, I went to Pinterest to look for cake ideas. Although I work full time with two kids and was incredibly sleep-deprived, I thought it was an excellent idea to bake a rainbow cake from scratch.
Unless you are a baking expert, take my advice and do not bake from scratch while sleep deprived. I forgot to grease the pans, ruined the cake and had to start over. Cue the hissy fit and resulting tossed butter.
Simple Sunshine Party Ideas
I want your sunshine party to be a shining success (pun intended), so here are several simple ideas – from an easy cake to a free printable thank-you note – that will help you host a great party.
You’ll learn how to:
- Make a sunshine party cake (it’s cute and easy!)
- Create a DIY sunshine party table setting for cheap
- Make a keepsake centerpiece for the table
- Find an adorable sunshine party banner
- Get a printable thank-you note
- Shop for your party supplies
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How to Make an Easy Sunshine Party Cake
Thankfully, store-bought rainbow cake mix came to the rescue, and it probably tasted better, anyway.
To make this simple sunshine cake, you will need:
- Cake mix (rainbow mix for extra credit)
- White frosting
- Yellow food coloring
- Candy corns
- Black and pink icing in a tube
Scoop out the white frosting into a large bowl, and add a little yellow food coloring. With a mixer, whip the frosting until it’s fluffy and yellow. Then, frost your cake and add the decorations. I’m not an artist by any stretch of the imagination, but the cake is still cute!
How to Make Quick DIY Sunshine Party Place Settings
To make these easy, cheap, and disposable place settings, all you need is:
- Cardstock printed with a cute geometric pattern, or plain yellow cardstock
- Yellow paper plates
- Die-cut suns and clouds (I ordered mine from Hello Sunshine Paper Co. on Etsy)
Cardstock makes for a cheap placemat, and the napkin rings are so easy to make! Cut strips of cardstock and wrap them around your napkin and utensils, then secure with tape. Attach the die-cut suns and clouds to the paper ring with a little double-sided tape.
How to Create a Keepsake Sunshine Party Centerpiece
Sure, you can decorate the table with flowers or a throw-away paper centerpiece, but why not try something memorable, instead? This framed “You Are My Sunshine” print from Grass Green Design made a cute centerpiece and still hangs on my daughter’s wall three years later.
Where to Buy a Cheerful Sunshine Party Banner
The final touch was an adorable, personalized sunshine party banner by Ciao Bambino Designs to decorate my parents’ mantel.
Free Printable Sunshine Party Thank-You Notes
It’s easy to say “Thanks!” with these printable sunshine party thank-you notes! The cards and lots of other printable art and stationery are available exclusively to newsletter subscribers in The No Pressure Life Library. Sign up now, then check your inbox for an email with the library’s link and password.
Everything You Need for a “You Are My Sunshine” Party!
The thing about first birthdays is that they are really more for the parents than the child.
Thankfully, Etsy and Amazon make it easy to get everything you need for the party (so you don’t spend hours cutting little paper suns!). Here are lots of great products to get you started. Just click on an image to shop.
The biggest lesson I learned: Don’t bake from scratch while under pressure, or butter may end up on the other side of the kitchen. 😉
Check out these other ideas!
- 3 Last-Minute Thanksgiving Centerpieces for the Overwhelmed Hostess
- 8 DIY Art Caddy Ideas That Will Organize Your Creative Mess
- How to Organize Legos Without Losing Your Mind
- How to Transform Broken Crayons Into Perfect Party Favors
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