Just Can't Wait to be One: A Lion King 1st Birthday Party

When one of my best friends asked for some help with decorations for her son’s first birthday, I couldn’t resist helping! The theme was Lion King with the adorable tagline, “Will Just Couldn’t Wait to be One!” It didn’t seem like that long ago, we’d celebrated her baby shower and now her little guy was already one!!

Although I couldn’t make the party to help with setup, the goodies I put together plus some fun décor that she and her sister put together, it was an adorable event.

With the live action Lion King movie coming out this weekend, I have a feeling we’ll see more Lion King parties popping up again! Here are some easy ideas and free printables for you to download and use for your events!

Plus, this party is a great lesson in how you can work on putting together a themed party over time and only need to worry about a little setup the night before or the morning of the party. Many of these projects were done over a few weeks and were stored in a box leading up to the event!

Pride Lands Centerpieces

These DIY centerpieces capture the spirit of the Pride Lands and Simba’s time in the jungle!

What You Need

  • Circular Glass Vases

  • Colored Sand (Red, Yellow, White)

  • Faux Greenery

  • Wood Skewers

  • Lion King Characters

You can purchase all of the key supplies from Dollar Tree! I got the vases, red and white sand, greenery, and wood skewers in one trip there. I did decided to add some yellow sand and picked that up at Michaels using a 40% off coupon to keep it budget-friendly.

Create as many centerpieces as you’d like. I’d recommend at least three to sprinkle throughout the party and to showcase a few different characters.

Start by filling the vases with layers of sand. Remember doing sand art as kid? I loved it! You can use a funnel or just carefully pour in different layers, alternating colors. Sand art can be a fun activity for kids at a party as well. We recently set up a station for 4th of July. It keeps guests busy and doesn’t cost a lot!

DIY Lion King themed centerpieces with Dollar Tree supplies.

Next, start arranging your faux greenery. I purchased a mix of faux leafy greens and ferns from Dollar Tree. You can cut the stems a part to create the more mixed look. Stick the stems into the sand and continue filling until the arrangement looks full. I am getting more comfortable winging it with these kinds of arrangements and successfully used dollar store floral for a Mother’s Day centerpiece and a fall one, too!

DIY Lion King Centerpieces using glass vases, sand, and faux greenery.

Finally, cut out clipart of favorite Lion King characters (download free below) and tape or glue onto wooden skewers to add into the centerpieces. Cut down the wood sticks as necessary to achieve the height you like.

Circle of Life Guestbook

For a first birthday it’s a great idea to do something a little extra special! Consider purchasing a Lion King children’s book that can serve as a guestbook for friends and family to write special messages to the little one. This is a wonderful keepsake that you can share with your child over the years or save it to give them at a later milestone birthday.

Lion King guestbook idea and free coordinating printable

I’ve created a free downloadable “Circle of Life” sign that you can frame and set by the book.

Free Lion King Circle of Life guestbook printable sign

Free Lion King Printables

Speaking of free Lion King party printables, I also created a few other signs that you can use to decorate throughout the party. These PNG files can be printed in any size and used in or out of frames, but I’ve listed the recommended sizes on the download buttons. Make sure to select the print size you need before printing or ordering!

I Just Couldn't Wait to be ONE Lion King free printable sign

Lion King Inspired High-Chair Banner

What You Need

  • Fabric

  • Rotary Cutter or Scissors

  • Twine or Ribbon

First birthdays aren’t complete without a fun fabric high-chair banner. One of my other favorites was part of a “Oneder Woman” themed 1st birthday! These are super simple to make yourself. Select 3-5 different coordinating fabrics. To capture the Lion King vibe, I choose a green stripe, a yellow safari looking print, and a solid ivory color. I recommend getting ¼ - ½ a yard in each fabric depending on how many fabrics you decide on using.

Lion King inspired high chair banner in yellow, green, and ivory

Cut 12-15 inch strips depending on how long you’d like the banner to be and then loop knot them around ribbon or twine of your choosing. You can check out a more detailed tutorial on how to tie the knots by checking out my Valentine banner post. I use a rotary cutter and a cutting mat to get straighter cuts, but scissors will do the job, too!

DIY fabric banner for Lion King first birthday party

If you have any leftover fabric strips, make another banner and consider using it at a food station or drink station.

Lion King first birthday party ideas

Other Décor Options

The dollar store is also a great place to grab plastic safari animals, monkey stuffed animals, and leafy garland that can be hung around the house or party venue.

Party balloon and tropical garland on mantel

You can also do a lot with monstera or other tropical leaves. Take a look at this drink station my friend and her sister created! Make sure to serve some “Jungle Juice” and have options both adults and kids can enjoy.

Serve jungle juice at a Lion King themed birthday party
Lion King Jungle Juice free printable

Finally, animal print balloons are an easy addition and can be displayed in clusters throughout the house or venue.

Hakuna Matata – I hope you have no worries in your party planning!

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Shop this Party:

Because sometimes getting everything shipped to your door is easier! These curated items from Amazon are similar to the items used in this party! See the full collection in my Amazon store by clicking this link.

Pin for Later:

Lion King is always a fun time, especially when your little one "Just Can't Wait to be One!" Click here for budget-friendly Lion King themed party decoration ideas including a tutorial for DIY dollar store centerpieces. Download free party printables as well! #lionking #lionkingparty #1stbirthday #firstbirthday #diyparty #diypartydecorations #dollarstorediy