We All Live In A Yellow Submarine – Alister’s First Birthday

It’s hard to believe that it has been a year since we welcomed our bundle of joy into our lives. It is true what they say that there is nothing more exhausting and rewarding than having a baby.

Alister - New Born
Of course, no one ever told me that part of the deal was singing Yellow Submarine at least once per day for an entire year.  But can you blame us?  The moment we sang it to him, he started smiling.  And from that moment on, whenever he was fussy or resisted to eat, all we had to do was belt out the first line of the song and he was back to his happy self.  Alister has picked up quite the dancing moves over the year as well, and when we chime in with lyrics from his favorite song, he stops what he is doing and starts swaying along with surprising rhythm.  It was only fitting that his first birthday celebration focus on his favorite song.

After scouring all things Yellow Submarine, Yellow Party, and First Birthday on Pinterest, I narrowed my projects down to a few reasonable tasks.  From here on out, they are appropriately referred to as my naptime projects, because each project was started and finished or at least substantially complete during a weekend nap.  So much for “sleep when the baby sleeps.”


My first project allowed me to recycle the giant box that carried Alister’s new big-boy car seat.  The added bonus was that  I was able to take advantage of a beautiful Spring day.  Inspired by Yellow Submarine photo-shoot props, I was determined to make one of my own.  Sure it was not an exact replica of the album artwork, but with the bold colors and obvious Submarine shape, who would know?

For starters, I sketched a very loose outline of a Yellow Submarine photo I saw online on the backside of the expanded box, making a point of maximizing the cardboard area.  Next, I got out my heavy duty scissors, which I’m pretty sure are supposed to cut metal, and started cutting out the holes I traced from a serving plate.

Sketch and cut

Three holes later and the hard work was done.  Cut the peep holes

Next, I started filling in the lines with similar colors.  It may not have been a perfect match, but once I added the yellow, it really started to resemble the Yellow Submarine I had in mind.

Paint and paint.

I considered cutting around the outside of the submarine, but Justin convinced me to paint the background blue.  Not only was this a lot easier than cutting through thick cardboard, but it really helped making the submarine pop.  Also, it allowed me to use some leftover blue paint we had from remodeling our bedroom, so I felt like I was recycling the paint instead of tossing it.  How appropriate given Earth Day was just around the corner.

Finishing touches

If I were to do this over, I would have moved the holes a little higher on the cardboard.  I did not think that through and when all was said and done, I wasn’t quite sure how people would pop their head through without lying on the ground.  Fortunately, I had blue tissue paper at home, so I draped it over a card table and propped the cut out on top of it.  The little ones could just pop behind there while we took their photos.Say cheese!

Unfortunately, I do not have Alister’s photo to share right now, but I will post that at another time.


What I lack in Alister Yellow Submarine photos, I make up for in the flag banner.  This was my personal highlight of the decorations for obvious reasons.  What do I love more than one photo of Alister?  Twelve photos.

 I do not even remember how I stumbled upon this blog post, but I am so happy I did.  It was exactly what I was looking for to showcase Alister’s monthly onesie photos while decorating with a yellow banner.  I printed out 4×6 copies of Alister’s monthly photos onto regular computer paper and followed the directions and the template for measuring and cutting out flags.  Once the flags were cut, I  measured one of the photos onto the center of the flag and cut around it.  Then, as recommended in the post, I used the photo to trace the shape for all other photos.   I did the same with the yellow and white diagonal striped card stock, which I used in between each of the photos.

Cut and paste

Once the cutting was complete, I simply used a glue stick to attach all the pieces.  Then I punched holes in the corners of each flag and wove a yellow ribbon to attach them.  It was a perfect decoration to hang in our living room where most guests would congregate.

12 mos of Alister

Here is another close up shot of the banner.
A close-up


 In the hustle and bustle of looking up all things first birthday party, I must have stumbled upon this post about DIY party hats.  Not only does it share a few ideas for decorating hats, but it provides you with a printable template for tracing and cutting your own hats.  I traced the template onto pale yellow cardstock (with the exception of one bright yellow piece for Alister).  Then I simply connected the pieces, forming a cone shape, and taped the interior to prevent it from flying open.  Next came the fun part.  I had a few leftover tissue paper balls after making large ones to hang from the ceiling.  I attached the balls  to resemble yellow flowers for some of the hats.  For the others, I got out my new hole punch toys and went to work cutting and pasting.

Cut and decorate

It was another great accent to the corner of the room for the little kids who attended.  I hadn’t thought about this at the time, but the kids (or the parents of the kids) ended up writing their names on the circle attachment to the front of the hats.  So it ended up doubling as name tags for the little ones.  Also, to make it a little more enjoyable for them, I hid a bottle of bubbles under each hat.  Who doesn’t love bubbles?Put on your party hats!

Here is Alister in his one-of-a-kind, made-by-mommy birthday hat ready to try his first bite of cake!The Birthday Boy


In no particular order, here is a look at some of the other decorations we had scattered around the house.

Come aboard our Yellow Submarine!

Front Door Sign

 A room with a view.  A very yellow view.  Also a look at my very first attempt at making tissue paper balls.  Not perfect, but not bad.


The cake table was full of yellow treats before we brought out the cake.  With Easter just a few weeks before his birthday, it was the perfect time of year to find yellow-colored treats in the store.  Yellow Peeps, Reeses Eggs, pretzel rods dipped in yellow melting chocolate leftover from the favors (more on that below), yellow M&Ms, Lemonheads.  And of course a lemon and daisy centerpiece.Yellow Table Decorations

The drink stand focused on yellow drinks as well.  From left to right:

  • Pineapple Sangria – recipe here – doubled the ingredients and used 3L of wine
  • Lemonade – good old fashioned Country Time mix with lots of lemon slices
  • Adult Lemonade – 3-4 parts lemonade, 1 part vodka, 1 part seltzer water
  • In the back are two bowls full of lemon slices and pineapples to accompany the drinks.

Yellow Drinks

We couldn’t let the guests go hungry, so keeping with the theme, we put up a Design Your Own Yellow Submarine (sandwich) Bar.  From left to right:

  • Turkey Meatballs – doubled the recipe seen here
  • Beef and Sausage Meatballs – doubled the recipe seen here
  • Italian Rolls
  • Turkey and Ham
  • Cheese, Tomatoes, Onions, and Lettuce
  • And unrelated to the design-your-own-submarine theme, but still keeping with yellow, there is my favorite corn salsa recipe, a simple onion dip, and another bowl of pineapple chunks.

Submarine Bar

Here is the birthday boy not too happy with his birthday hat that slid onto his face.  I didn’t bother too much with his high chair since there was a small window between lunch and the start of the party, but I managed to string some yellow balloons to the back and hang some crepe paper along with a little “ONE” sign from the tray.
Cake Time!

Once that hat came off, he was ready for anything.  And by “anything,” I mean staring down a tiny piece of cake until we forced him to smash his hands in it.  So much for a cake smash photo.  Justin just looked at him and said, “you are your Mother’s child” as he did not get a single speck of food on him.  
Hmmm, I only trust Cheerios.


Even if they had enough sugar to last the year, we couldn’t send the guests away empty handed.  Recommended by a pin I had previously seen when used as a cupcake topper, I purchased a Yellow Submarine ice cube tray from Amazon along with more than enough packages of Wilton yellow melting chocolate, hence the pretzel rods previously mentioned, and got to work.  After sixty seconds in the microwave at reduced power, I poured the melted chocolate into the ice cube tray to cool at room temperature for about twenty minutes.  With only nine molds in the tray, I finished this project over the course of the day.
Melt the chocolate

I placed three chocolates in a cellophane bag, tied it with a yellow ribbon and placed it in a white basket I filled with yellow grass I picked up after the Easter rush.Thanks for coming!

Once the last of the guests were gone, our little buddy finally relaxed and enjoyed a piece of cake.  With a spoon.Sneaking secondsWell, I think that about wraps up Alister’s First Birthday party!  We had a wonderful time celebrating his first year with our friends and family.  Here’s looking forward to another memorable year with this amazing addition to our lives.


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8 thoughts on “We All Live In A Yellow Submarine – Alister’s First Birthday

  1. 3hoosiers85 April 24, 2013 at 8:47 pm Reply

    This is sooooo great to see everything! I feel as though I have celebrated with you! And such cute pictures of Alister!!! Love you! See you soon!

    Mom & Dad xoxoxoxox

    • shortpocketsnumbertwo April 24, 2013 at 9:44 pm Reply

      Glad you liked it! Obviously it a was a wise move waiting until the next weekend to visit if you wanted to spend any one-on-one time. Looking forward to your visit!

  2. kpolon April 24, 2013 at 8:47 pm Reply

    Friend – you really outdid yourself! Everything looks absolutely adorable! So sorry I missed seeing it in person! Looks like it was an amazing party!!

    • shortpocketsnumbertwo April 24, 2013 at 9:43 pm Reply

      Thanks, friend! That means a lot coming from YOU! We missed you there, but not to worry, we have the Yellow Submarine prop ready for your photo the next time we see you at our house. You’ve been warned.

  3. Asli April 25, 2013 at 8:21 am Reply

    Emily, you are amazing! I feel very sorry for my daughters now seeing what wonders you are capable of! You inspired me for Beliz’s first birthday!

    • Emily April 25, 2013 at 10:06 am Reply

      Thank you, Asli! So sweet of you 🙂 All I do is cut and paste. Hope all is well with you and your lovely family!

  4. Jenny Franklin April 29, 2013 at 3:16 pm Reply

    Hello I have a question I would like to ask about Alister’s birthday party is there a way I can send you an email Emily?


    Here is my email: jennyfranklin.fbp@gmail.com

  5. […] I made a flag banner similar to the one I made for Alister’s First Birthday.  Only using craft paper card stock and maps from an atlas instead of photos of my son.  After […]

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