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Jett's Airplane 1st Birthday Party & Dol Janchi!

We all know your child's 1st birthday is such a huge milestone. In Korean cultures it is HUGE! They rent out huge reception halls and invites hundreds of people to the child's "dol-janchi" aka "1st birthday party event." So when I began planning Jett's party I knew it needed to be very memorable. Your child only turns 1 once. I know I know.....I had people tell me numerous times that he won't remember the  party so why make a big deal. Does it really matter if they don't remember it? He will love it at the present time and that's really what matters. Also, I wanted Jett to know and see in pictures in the future that his 1st birthday was not just not any ole birthday. He celebrated a great milestone and honored his Korean customs for a 1st birthday.

A little back story.......Many people think the reason why we named our son, Jett, was because we are jet plane enthusiast. Incorrect. The name originated from Jett's Grammy, Jeanette. We shorten her name to Jett. We loved the name....oh so cool. So I thought when planning Jett's party even though we didn't name him for our love of aviation (<------ sarcasm) what perfect theme for his 1st birthday party would be an "airplane" theme. Tee Hee. Fabulouso!!

So my researched began late fall of 2011 of ideas for the airplane themed party. Oh so many ideas, but I didn't want to break the bank doing it. Most "Dol-Janchi's" are very elaborate with a big set up of elaborate fruit & candy art surrounding a head table. I didn't want to go that extreme with it because I really want to stick to the airplane theme. So I decided like the wedding to take on quite a bit of DIY to save on $$ and so it is more personal/custom. Then a huge break through happen during my research... I discovered PINTEREST (my board for Jett's party)!! Gosh my research was getting pretty intense once I discovered this incredible site. I wanted to do so much, but I am only 1 person.

Location Location Location
First things first was we had to find a location for the party. Our home was out of the question we were doing major renovations and our guest list was becoming crazy long so I didn't want to do it at anyone's home either. What a hassle! All the cleaning afterwards...ugh I couldn't imagine! So I was on the hunt for an affordable location. I wanted to find a location that would fit our airplane them so I googled the local private airport, Hook's Airport, near our home and I hit the jackpot (well the event planning jackpot) they had a restaurant, Aviator's Grill, that their decor was old school comic book theme. The best part was they were SUPER affordable. It was beyond what I was looking for. Just PERFECT!

I booked the awesome location in November..... yes for a February birthday. Everyone thought I was crazy booking so early. First of all I had reasons: 1) I am a major planner 2) the busiest time of the year for the company I work for is right around Jett's birthday so I knew I needed to start early with planning and 3) I had to work little by little within those months because we were renovating & all the holidays were going on. Once January hit I knew I had no time. So I had to start in November for my sanity. Alright enough for my little vent of booking so least I didn't book 11 months early. ha!

Invitations & Decor
I started my DIY projects very early on as I mentioned for my sanity. I found a great etsy seller who created the graphics for Jett's party. The colors and the graphics matched perfectly to the theme. I had her change a couple of things to fit our big boy's party.

The Boarding Pass invitation! Printed on 100lb matte card stock that I bought at Walmart for only $5. Such a steal! 3 were printed on the page and I cut them out individually. I then placed them in "Airmail" envelopes that purchased on Amazon. I addressed them: Passengers: Name & Address

(I discovered after I made all the changes with the etsy seller that the flight number was spelled wrong so I went in to Microsoft Publisher and change it...totally oops moment when I proof this).

In the package that I purchased from the etsy seller it had a ton of stuff (cupcake toppers, party hats, thank you cards, signs, luggage tags, graphic paper, large circles, bubble wraps, banners, mini high chair banner etc). Some of them I had to tweak through Microsoft Publisher to get it the way I wanted it. It all turned out great!

Enough of my jibber jabber I will let the photos speak for themselves of everything we did to prepare for our child's 1st birthday!

Marshmallow pops. I made these the night prior.
Inflight Snacks

Favor Bags: Candy, Gliders, Push Cake Pops

Candy Airplane: Rubber band, lifesavers, sweet tarts, laffy taffy or mini jolly rancher packet

Printed on construction paper airplane paper designs on where to fold
Activities found online
My ecstatic Birthday Boy!!

Jett's Dol-Jabi Event
At a "dol-janchi" the most popular custom/event that takes place is the "dol-jabi" (translation: first grab). It's where the child is placed in front of a table of objects that each symbolize something such as string (long life), pencil (scholar), brushes (artist), rice (never go hungry), etc. The child is then urged to pick up an object from the table. It is believed the one selected will foretell the child's future. With today's culture some parents put more relevant items to our time period ex: stethoscope (doctor), gavel (lawyer), golf ball (athlete)

So for Jett's Dol-Jabi we had these items for him: Soccer Ball (athlete), Pencil (scholar), Microphone (entertainer), Thread (long life), Aggie Ring (Texas A&M graduate...just like mommy and daddy), Money (wealth).

Just for fun so everyone can participate in the event. I created in microsoft publisher raffle tickets. Guest would guess what item Jett would select. They would tear off the smaller number & put it in the jar marked the item they thought he would pick. They would win a prize ($25 Target gift card) from the raffle. 

Jett was dressed in his 1st hanbok. The traditional Korean attire. I was very nervous he would tear his clothes off and soon and I put them on him, but he actually like it. How cute is he in his little outfit? We got alot of ohhh's & awwww's at the party.

Here is figuring out what to reach for.........what shall I choose???
He reached for the ring first then pulled back and chose the soccer ball!!! Yay our little athlete.
Then he got a second try and went back towards the Aggie Ring and finally picked it up. So we have an Aggie Athlete! WHOOP!

Let's Fly A Plane!
After all the events & activities indoors. One of the onsite flight schools, American Flyers, was very kind enough to give our entire birthday group a mini tour of their facility & hangar. They had a plane that they let all the kids get in and they had a blast taking turns being pilots. The rest of the party they ran around the hangar having an awesome time.
I can't see over this thing!

 What a successful birthday!! This post would be super long (as if it wasn't long already) if I posted every thing I DIYed. If you have any questions about what I did for the party please comment and I will answer them!

Location: Aviator's Grill
Sandwiches: Aviator's Grill Catering
Bake goods: Mix It Up (push cake pops, cupcakes, & smash cake)
Cotton Candy: Flossie's
Paper Decor: Etsy seller, LaPetitepartyshoppe 
Airmail Envelopes: buy here
Airplane Personalized Bib: Spoiled Rotten Too
Birthday Hat: Etsy seller, Daintycouture
Favor Bags: Hobby Lobby
Favors: Gliders ( buy here), Push Cake Pops (Mix It Up)
Mini Luggage: buy here
Red/Blue Containers, Mini Airplanes: Target
Cloud Balloons & Airplane Napkins:
Cloud Fabric for High Chair: Hobby Lobby


  1. I am so in love with this! That comic book wall has to be my favorite. *Note: Check out this awesome restaurant sometime in my life.* I have always loved the idea of the korean teachers explained just how big and awesome it can be. Looks like you all pulled it off! Congratulations on the 1st birthday, and congratulations on a successful party!


  2. English...Thank you! I really didn't want to go super over the top of a Korean style dol-janchi, but still have our son experience a little bit of his culture. BTW love your name. It is going into my list of names I love!

  3. I am having my son's Airplane themed 2nd birthday party next month, so it was a joy running across your blog! Can you please tell me where you found the little suitcases, I searched Amazon and have came up empty!! Thanks Again

  4. @Meant4more. Thank you for reading. I did get them on Amazon, but if they don't sell them there anymore. I know sold them. Good Luck with the party. Airplane parties are fun!!

  5. Do you have a contact person for the Aviator Grill and the American Flyers? Were they affordable ? Love your party theme. If you have any left over decor that you want to sell, I am in the Spring area as well.

  6. @Rebekah T. I don't have it with me anymore, but they are very nice. if you just call them. I put $100 down for the deposit. I think the rental was $300 that was renting the whole place and drinks. I did order sandwiches from them and they were yummy. I brought other baked good and snacks. Unfortunately after the party I sold all my left over stuff. Good Luck with everything. It is a fun theme to plan.


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