DIY: Donut Grow Up Birthday Theme (& Photos!)

I promised I’d share the details of Maggie’s birthday “party”, so here I go.

I had no idea what theme to do for M’s birthday because honestly, I wasn’t sure if anything was going to happen for her birthday. 2020 was such an unpredictable year, with changes happening every few weeks or months, and so as numbers started to climb up in the fall I pretty much decided not much would be going on in January.

I knew I wanted to take pictures of her though – it was her first birthday after all, and I wanted to have some proof that she did indeed turn 1 in the midst of a pandemic. Plus – I like taking pictures of her all of the time, and we had not had any special events the whole year to take her to so I was desperate for some cute photos of her in a dress.

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I decided on donuts months in advance – we (my husband and I) love donuts and Maggie had these adorable donut leggings when she was real tiny and for some reason it just felt right. Everyone was like: “well what about the cake smash?!” but Maggie had tried cake a few times over the past few months (my birthday, her papa’s, etc) so it wasn’t really this new and exciting thing for her. I wanted to do something different and my kid will eat pretty much anything, so I thought – why not something we will also enjoy (because neither of us are big cake people anyways unless it comes from DQ)?

And the donut theme was born. Despite knowing this, I was 1) on maternity leave, then 2) starting a new job, then 3) not getting paid till right before Christmas – so we were in a bit of a financial standstill until my pay came through + it was Christmas so I had a few last minute things to grab for Maggie’s Santa sack and yeah. I dropped the ball on getting organized for her birthday.

I would have preferred to get most of her things from small, local shops – however, because of my disorganized life as of late (I’m doing better now, thanks haha) I ended up having to order most of our stuff from Amazon. I did still manage to support one of my fave shops & a local store as well. Read below to see what I got for M’s birthday photoshoot:

Donut Decor

I got this in a set!

It was perfect for throwing together a party last minute – there was a ton of different balloons, two donut balloons, some donut streamers, a happy birthday banner (which I ripped and we had luckily got a second one from the Dollar store), the “Donut Grow Up” balloons, “Donut Grow Up” cake topper (did not use), little donut cupcake toppers (Maggie ate the paper from one and we didn’t use the others) and lots of ribbon!

Pretty much all the decor you would need to have a small birthday party or to set up a birthday photo shoot! And all for $26.99 CAD on Amazon!

The Sweetest Dress

I had *pictured* M in a tutu for her birthday, but I was having a hard time finding one that wasn’t rainbow coloured or just weird looking. I was so happy when I found this one on Amazon! It also comes in black, so it can work for different themes.

I thought about spending a bit more $$ on an Olivia Rose tutu, but I think I’ll save that till she is a bit bigger and maybe wants to use it for dress-up after or something too. This dress was pretty much the same price as the decorations at $26.49 CAD.

I felt like she looked like a bit of donut icing or something – so cute!

A Timeless Headpiece

One thing I could not bring myself to get on Amazon was a bow and/or headpiece for M. She has so many headbands and bows, but I wanted something a bit more special for her birthday.

I reached out to Petite Blush and got something shipped ASAP to us (about a week before her birthday). The Luxe Roses were absolutely beautiful and I was so happy M cooperated and kept it on her head for all her photos. It really added a nice soft touch to her whole look and I’m so thankful that they were able to accommodate my last minute ordering!

… and Yummy Donuts!

We picked up donuts from our favourite little shop in Mississauga, Daddy O Doughnuts! If you’re in the GTA, I highly recommend checking them out – you can order in advance during COVID by sending them an e-mail.

Our fave is the classic Homer Simpson pink donut or the Marge Simpson (blue). But they also have so many great flavours to try – if you can think of it, they probably have it!

Maggie thoroughly enjoyed her donut!

A few other things I used to set up for, take, and edit the photos:

  • A white sheet which I got from the dollar store (I’m sure most people have one in their linen closet though) – I hung that up on one of our walls and it was imperfect but still gave the photos a nice clean look
  • A tripod – but not necessary, I took most of the photos on my phone in my hand. With a baby, I find it easier to be prepared to snap a photo at any time.
  • A DSLR if you have one, just for some better quality photos – that being said, all the ones I’m sharing were taken on my cellphone in portrait mode (iPhone 11 Pro)!
  • Lightroom – to edit your photos! Also some good presets you like are nice to have, or you can play around with the edit tools on your own.

This is a super easy birthday theme and pretty much all the decor you could ever need is available in one package from Amazon for under 30$!! It wasn’t the birthday I had imagined 12 months ago, but it was perfect for us; Maggie had fun and the photos came out great!

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