Time Flies Airplane Birthday Party

I had the idea for a Time Flies airplane party for Walker’s first birthday before he was even born. I love a good party theme and really appreciate the personalization and creativity of coming up with something unique for whoever the party is for.

My husband has taken flying lessons and is an aspiring pilot, so I had added some subtle airplane decor to our son’s room as an ode to him. I found these beautiful prints and these small planes, which I decided I would use for his monthly milestone pictures.

The idea of an airplane birthday party and this theme of “Time Flies” for Walker’s first year was born!

Chalkboard reading "Walk Air Flight #001" on front porch
Father, mother, daughter, and son standing in front of blue backdrop posing for photo
Mom wearing white dress holding little boy in front of blue backdrop

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Time Flies airplane birthday party invitation that looks like a plane ticket with picture of little boy wearing pilot cap.

Invitations

I make all of my own party invitations, Christmas cards, and other similar paper goods using Canva. It is super user-friendly and there are lots of great templates, which can provide an amazing starting point.

This invite started out by finding a ticket template and then pulling it apart to create my own design. I love the way it turned out! It’s by far my favorite invite I’ve made. If you’ve never tried making your own invites before, I highly suggest it. It’s a fantastic way to save money, too.

Total cost: $0

High chair set for first birthday party with blue and white banner hanging and picture of airplane on the front

Diy Decor

DIY party decor is another great money saving idea for any party. If you’re a crafty or creative person, it can also be really fun. The decor for this airplane party was fairly simple and would be very easy to recreate or customize for any party theme. In addition to a couple diy projects, I also printed my own signage for things like food, drinks, the bathroom (“lavatory”), and party favors.

High chair banners are so fun for a first birthday and make those cake smash moments even more adorable. I made one for my daughter’s first birthday and wanted to try a new technique this time. It was similar to the diy photo backdrop I made for the party as well.

High Chair Banner

  • Use plastic tablecloths from the $1 store
  • Cut into short strips using paper cutter
  • Tie onto a piece of twine
  • Attach to high chair using small command hooks (already had)
  • Airplane banner made with my Silhouette Cameo and cardstock

Total cost: $3

High chair set for first birthday party with blue and white banner hanging and picture of airplane on the front
High chair set for first birthday party with blue and white banner hanging and picture of airplane on the front boy eating cake

Fringe Backdrop

I think a fun backdrop is always great for a party. It’s an easy way to decorate or even cover up a space you don’t want seen. It also makes for a perfect photo op.

  • Use plastic tablecloths from the $1 store
  • Cut into long strips using my paper cutter
  • Attached twine across a wall using command hooks (already had)
  • Tie strips onto twine and completely fill in
  • I added cardstock paper airplanes to the top for fun

Total cost: $4

Blue, white and silver metallic backdrop made from plastic tablecloths for first birthday
Blue, white and silver metallic backdrop made from plastic tablecloths for first birthday

Airplane Themed Refreshments

One of the most fun parts of our Time Flies party was coming up with airplane themed “inflight” snacks and drinks to serve. We decided on classic airplane snacks and then came up with a clever diy “bar” for the adults to mix their own drinks using mini alcohol bottles.

Inflight Snacks

  • Wings
  • Chocolate chip cookies
  • Biscoff cookies
  • Fruit and veggie trays
  • Popcorn
  • Pretzels
  • Chip bags

Total cost: ~ $118

Inflight snack bar set up with pretzels, cookies, wings, and other foods for party
Inflight snack bar set up with pretzels, cookies, wings, and other foods for party

Drink Cart

  • Juice boxes
  • Mini soda cans, ginger ale, tonic waters
  • Mini alcohol bottles

Total cost: ~ $50

Drink cart set up for airplane themed party with mini soda cans, lime wedges, juice boxes, and small alcohol bottles
Drink cart set up for airplane themed party with mini soda cans, lime wedges, juice boxes, and small alcohol bottles
Drink cart set up for airplane themed party with mini soda cans, lime wedges, juice boxes, and small alcohol bottles

Grocery Store Cakes

If you live near a Whole Foods and haven’t tried their vanilla cake, take this as your sign to do so. It is my go to for every party I host and it is always a hit. I order it completely plain aka no decoration or piping. That way, I can add my own personalized cake topper or something fun on top.

For this particular party, I ordered a quarter sheet cake and it cost $23.99. I found Walker’s smash cake at our local grocery store for $5 and scraped off the sprinkles and existing icing decor to create something more simple.

Both the cake toppers were easy diys using items I already had. Twine, skewers, cardstock, my Silhouette Cameo, and super glue.

Total cost: $29

White sheet cake topped with blue sprinkles and a blue airplane
Small white smash cake with #1 cake topper that has a plane and clouds on it
"Time Flies with Walker" sign next to sheet cake and smash cake for first birthday

Photo Display Pallet

Since this whole party sort of circled around the theme of the monthly milestone pictures I took of our son during his first year, I really wanted to display those. I made a similar photo display for my daughter’s first birthday using a wooden pallet. It took almost no time at all but was large and a great decor piece to show off those monthly photos.

I scored a pallet for free off Facebook marketplace and gave it a little love with some paint I already owned. After printing his monthly photos, I just attached using a hot glue gun.

Such a simple and neat way to see how much your baby changes in that first year of life.

Total cost: $5 (to print photos)

Wooden pallet that reads "time flies" with monthly photos of baby's first year glued to it
Suitcase full of blue and red foam airplanes and mini tubs of cotton candy for airplane party favors

Airplane Party Favors

Aside from the drink cart, which was fun and clever, I was most excited about the party favors. In the past, I’ve gotten small, cheap little things to giveaway in little goodie bags. It’s fine but truthfully, as a parent, you know that most of that stuff is going to end up in the trash.

For Walker’s party, I really wanted to be thoughtful in the party favors we gave out. I thought about something that would be clever and go along with our airplane theme, but also an item that could be used and enjoyed, perhaps outside, as we welcome in spring.

I found these foam airplane gliders and after ordering a set to make sure they actually worked, we were sold. Adding tiny tubs of cotton candy “clouds” and displaying them all in a suitcase was the finishing touch to the perfect airplane party favors.

Total cost: $52, which came out to about $4 a kid. Super reasonable especially considering what it was.

Suitcase full of blue and red foam airplanes and mini tubs of cotton candy for airplane party favors
Suitcase full of blue and red foam airplanes and mini tubs of cotton candy for airplane party favors

Our time flies birthday party went off without any delays 😉 or hiccups. The weather was perfect, kids played outside in the bounce house as parents talked and visited. The details were both simple but thoughtful – my sweet spot.

Happy 1st Birthday to our sweet, Walker. Time surely did fly with you!

Chalkboard reading "Walk Air Flight #001" on front porch

More Party Planning Tips

Choosing a Party Theme

Throw the Best Oh Twodles Birthday Party

Hosting a “Virtual” Favorite Things Party

Personalized Cake Topper for Any Occasion

Birthday Party Ideas

Birthday in a Box

Boy & Girl First Birthday Gift Guides

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