When Life Hands You Lemons…

Celebrate! Happy lemon graphics in yellow and pink paired with polka dots, plaids, and stripes make this first birthday one sunny celebration. Graphic designer Kimberly McDowell, of The Event Essentials, shows just how sweet a party can be when you make lemonade.

Styling by The Event Essentials
Photography by Siegel Thurston Photography.


“Right after the birth of my daughter, Maddie, we bought a new house that has a huge lemon tree in the backyard,” Kimberly says.  “The one color she would keep gravitating to was yellow.  With her birthday being in the spring, it seemed fitting to do bright cheerful shades of lemon yellow and pink. And so her lemonade theme was born.”



Kimberly wanted to evoke an outdoor picnic feeling, so she began by purchasing Mason jars for the lemonade stand. Using photographs she shot of Maddie playing, Kimberly decorated round metal tags for the jars.



“I also used cohesive elements to make stickers and labels for the sandwich bags,” Kimberly says. “Then everything else just carried out the theme through the invitations, flowers, linens, napkins, and plates.”



Party supply stores can be a great ‘go-to’ for items, but don’t limit shopping to pre-fab décor. “I actually purchased a lot of the stuff at Ikea; it was a great source for bright colors and the clear vases for the food,” Kimberly says. “The rest of the elements were purchased from a crafts store and a dollar store.” 



“I handmade most of the pieces using satin ribbon, fabric flowers, and cute buttons,” Kimberly says.  “I used scrapbook paper to create water bottle labels and matching napkin rings. Glue dots and a glue gun came in really handy.”


Kimberly’s favorite surprise element? Cupcake shooters. “I like to add one element to every event that is the next up-and-coming trend. Something that no one has seen yet, and will make them say, ‘Wow! That's a really cool idea!’"