Wild ONE Birthday Party – Decorations, Food, & More

Our little girl just turned 1 (how!??) and there was no doubt in my mind that “Wild ONE” was the perfect party theme for our little monkey. I did a lot of research ahead of time (aka searched Pinterest) and had a good idea of what I wanted the party to look like. The biggest thing for me was trying to keep things affordable. It was a relatively small party, mostly direct family and a few family friends so there really wasn’t any need to spend a ton of money. If you’re looking to throw a Wild ONE birthday party and you’re not sure where to start, here’s everything I used to throw our little girl’s party on a budget.

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As you can imagine, decorations ate up most of the budget for this party. I found most of the balloons and decorations on Amazon, although some of the smaller items were from Hobby Lobby.

Then, I found a woman in my area that was renting out the large stuffed animals that are quintessential to every Wild ONE birthday party. She also gave me two large tote bins filled with faux greenery and vases – all for only $45 for the day! These animals really make the party, so I’d definitely recommend checking Facebook Marketplace or Kijiji to see if anyone in your area is renting out these types of stuffed animals. Alternatively, you could always purchase these types of stuffed animals but they can be quite pricy when bought new. Again, Facebook Marketplace is probably the best place to start if you’re looking to stick to a budget!

Besides the animals and the faux greenery, I used one balloon arch kit; “wild one” gold letter balloons; animal print foil balloons; napkins, plates, plastic (gold-colored) cutlery; cardboard animals; plastic safari animals (from the dollar store!); cake stands; balloon bouquets; cupcake toppers; and of course a number 1 candle for the top of the cake. Since I already have a lot of large, tropical houseplants I also integrated those into the decor.

Here are the links to the decor items that I bought! The balloon bouquets were gifted to us from my parents and were purchased from our local party store, and I don’t have links for the stuffed animals either since those were rented locally. Otherwise, you can find most of the other items below.

TIP for Making Amazing Balloon Arches
The key to a professional-looking balloon arch is using multiple-sized balloons to really fill out the sillhouette. I would also HIGHLY recommend grabbing an electric or manual balloon pump so you don’t pass out trying to blow up 30+ balloons yourself.

Decoration Links


The party was from 2pm to 4pm so we opted to do buffet-style appetizers rather than a meal. I grabbed a veggie platter and fruit platter from our local grocery store, some pre-made pigs in a blanket that I popped into the oven, tortilla chips and homemade salsa/sour cream dip, cheese and cracker plate, egg-salad sandwiches, and some sushi platters. It was all a hit and we have lots left over. The food was super easy and effortless to put together and allowed people to snack a bit before we had the cake and cupcakes.


I made the cakes and cupcakes myself for the party to save some money. Normally I love baking and I always make the birthday cakes for the people in my family. However, because I was so focused on everything else for the party I left decorating the cake until literally an hour before the party started. Honestly, I was feeling a bit uninspired but with some icing, a candle, and an animal toy on top it turned out really cute! I used three 6-inch pans for the cake and then made six cupcakes with the extra batter.

Since I have a history of eating gluten-free and other guests in attendance were also gluten-free I chose to use a gluten-free recipe for the cake. This recipe was fantastic and nobody even noticed the lack of gluten! I topped the cake and cupcakes with a simple vanilla buttercream icing, and used this method to swirl the icing on the cupcakes.

The birthday girl got some healthy sugar-free muffins along with the other babies in attendance. The recipe is one that I made earlier this year for my niece’s 1st birthday – more on that coming soon!

Overall the party was a massive success. I had so much fun decorating, the kids all loved the decorations, and little Ada was so spoiled by all her family and friends. If you’re thinking of doing a Wild ONE birthday party too, I’d highly recommend it!