Zoey’s 1st Birthday: (faux) Chalkboard First Birthday Sign

by ilene on November 6, 2013 · 6 comments

in decor, party, stationary, tutorial, zoey's 1st birthday

Zoey’s first birthday party was this past weekend!  We had so much fun celebrating our little spunky Zozobean.    She is so lucky to have so many friends and family who love her so much.  Planning her birthday party was like planning a small wedding because we had to think of caterers, entertainment, photography and decor for over a hundred guests.  Not surprisingly, the guest of honor conked out and had to leave halfway through her own party, I think she was having so much fun!  Next year, we will celebrate in a much smaller scale, but we figured she only turns one once and we wanted to celebrate with all the people who have supported us this past year.

I didn’t actually make that many DIY elements for her party but I did make this large fake chalkboard poster with some fun facts about the birthday girl:

It seems like chalkboard writing is all the rage right now.  This was an easy way to fake it, especially if you have really bad handwriting like I do.  And it was actually a really simple, fast project. I followed the instructions from this tutorial.  I downloaded a chalkboard background, then downloaded a bunch of fun handwriting fonts from dafont.com.   I designed the sign in Illustrator and had the whole thing printed  24″x36″ at Staples.  The trick is to ask it to be printed in “engineering print”.  Engineering print means it can be printed large scale and in black/white for super cheap.  The printing was only $3!  I then mounted it to two pieces of foam core and then created a stand for it to stand up on its own.

The happy birthday girl with her poster:

You  can’t really tell by the above picture, but Zoey is walking now!   She started taking steps at 11 months and now she is cruising everywhere! She is pretty steady on her feet and no longer crawls.   It’s crazy how in just a week or so, she went from only taking a few steps to walking from room to room!  It’s kind of trippy seeing this little pint-sized person walk on her own.  Walking is the big news around here.  Other big milestones this past month include:

  • 17.5 lbs and 28.5 inches tall
  • Survived 16 days without Jeff, the longest Jeff has been away from Zoey since her birth.  Zoey was fine but I barely made it through those weeks. He was gone so long that he missed her walking!
  • If you ask her how old she is, she will lift up her index finger and proudly say “one”!
  • Loves to point!  She points at everything, including which direction she want you to go and is really bossy about it.  She will start grunting if you don’t follow her lead!  She can point to apples, flowers, balloons and fish when asked.
  • Loves black beans.  In fact, she won’t eat anything else but black beans now. Straight out of a can. For breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Silly girl lives up to her nickname as the “zozobean”
  • New words she can say include: “mum mum” (cracker”), “hwa” (“flower” in chinese), “one”, “woof woof”
  • Starting to wean after making it to 1 year of breastfeeding (Hallelujah! This is a proud mommy moment for me because nursing her this long might be one of the hardest things I have ever done, considering she never took a bottle and was feeding every 2 hours for the first 6 months of her life. I’m seeing the light at the end of the tunnel!)
  • Completed her 14th  and 15th flight!
  • Loves going down slides by herself
  • Gives huge hugs where she falls into you and wraps her tiny arms around your neck – the best feeling ever
  • Enjoyed her first taste of sugar (frosting from a birthday cupcake!)





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1 Andrea November 6, 2013 at 10:35 am

OMG! So much fun following your blog. The pic of Zoey standing really shows some personality. So So so very happy for you and your lovely family. I LOVE the chalkboard stuff. I did a little poster for my niece and her newborn baby boy in a subway poster style but thinking of redoing it chalkboard style. May have to send both… lol He was only born in September. I’m a Great Aunt now! I thought that was for ancient ladies with bright pink lipstick and over the age of 60. But no, I am the youngest of 5 myself so my older siblings (huge age gap) have all the kiddos that are now getting married and having babies. 🙂

2 Caroline @ chocolate & carrots November 6, 2013 at 3:09 pm

What a great poster! 😀 Zoey is precious! Happy 1st Birthday!

3 Rena November 13, 2013 at 10:24 am

I really love this sign Ilene! Happy Birthday Zoey!

4 Angela January 10, 2014 at 1:19 pm

Would love to know how you created the stand for it to stand up on its own? I recently made one and trying to think of the best way to display it. Was going to buy one of the plastic display stands but wasn’t sure if that would work. Thank you

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