Throwing a Football Themed First Birthday Party

I can still remember talking to Lisa on the phone before Ben’s first birthday. She was super stressed and telling me everything she was doing for the party and all of the money she was spending on it and I said, “you are crazy, he is never going to remember this” (Sorry, Lisa!).

Fast forward 3 years and now I’m the crazy one. I guess I can add spending a lot of time and money on a first birthday to my Things I Said I’d Never Do blog! Since I did spend the time and money to make it the best first birthday I could for Ryan, I figured I’d share some of the ideas with you guys in case you decide to do the same theme.

A little disclaimer…I am not a very crafty person. While I was making the chocolate football molds for the cupcakes (which I thought would be a super easy task) I sent Lisa a text that said, “if I ever say I’m going to do something creative again, please slap me!” So keep in mind that I did most of this myself and I tried my best!

Theme: Detroit Lions

Since Ryan was born in October and fall is my favorite season I wanted to do something that celebrated that. Football is an obvious fall activity and my husband is a die-hard Lions fan so I figured that would be the perfect theme! I also thought that football decorations would be easy to either make or buy. I started by buying Ryan a personalized Detroit Lion onesie to wear for the party.




I wanted the invitation to look like a ticket to a Lion’s game so I looked at a picture of a ticket and made the invitation using Microsoft Word. I took a picture of Ryan wearing the Lion’s onesie and I luckily had a picture of him in a different Lion’s onesie from when he was a newborn. If you want the template to make your own football ticket invitation, email us and I will send it along!

IMG_6968 (2)


I didn’t really want to go crazy with decorations so I kept it pretty simple. I bought a few football decorations from Party City and made sure all of the supplies were Honolulu Blue. I also printed out all of Ryan’s monthly pictures and arranged them on the wall in chronological order. It was really fun to see how much he grew throughout the year and I kept the football theme by titling it, “Ryan’s Rookie Year”. I also decorated the high chair with Detroit Lion footballs and a ONE banner. Again, I made all of these using Microsoft Word and then laminated them so that they looked a little more professional.




Party Favors

We had several kiddos coming to the party and I wanted to give them something they could actually use as a party favor. So I found football cups at Oriental Trading and used a metallic paint pen to write their names on the back. These were perfect because it gave them something to use as a cup while at the party and they could also take it home and use it again and again.



This was probably the hardest decision to make for the party. I wanted to stay with the football theme but I also didn’t want to break the bank. We eventually decided to cater the party (in hopes of taking a little stress off of us during it), and ordered fried chicken, potatoes, and coleslaw. I also made a football shaped cheese ball, and had veggies and fruit for appetizers. For a little more decoration I used letter boards to make a “Concession” and “Beverage” sign in hopes of it looking like the concession stand at a football stadium.






I decided to make all of the dessert myself which I definitely wouldn’t suggest. I love baking, but like I said before I am not very crafty. So things that seemed simple (football molds, mini-cupcakes, piping bags) did not end up being so simple. But in the end it turned out semi-cute and people seemed to enjoy them. I made mini-cupcakes (half with chocolate footballs and half with sprinkles), chocolate chip cookies, and a mini-football cake for Ryan (with healthy ingredients–yes, I am apparently that mom).




Overall, the party turned out great and Ryan really seemed to enjoy it. He obviously won’t remember it but we took lots of great pictures for him to look at when he’s older.

I hope some of these ideas help you when planning your football themed birthday party (either with what to do, or what NOT to do!)

If you want any of the templates (invitation, high chair banner, 12 month picture banner) please email me at and I will send them to you.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s