I only realized 4 years ago, when my firstborn was about to turn one, that a child’s first birthday celebration, called “dohl” in Korean, is a growing tradition that requires some serious, hardcore planning. I thought the days of matching color schemes, sending out invitations, and researching photographers were over after coordinating my wedding! Now here I was, literally breaking my back to build the DIY dohl tower set and hand-wrapping each of the 70+ favors for our cherished guests.
While on a quest to find perfect party favors that are inexpensive yet practical, I settled on 14 fl oz bottles of hand soap. In Korean society, bubbles symbolize prosperity and good fortune. The more bubbles, the more blessings!
During what seemed like an
endless search, I came across several ideas that I thought to be unique and adorable, and wanted to share some insight with anybody looking to plan their child’s dohl.
COOKIES!! Who doesn’t love baked goods?? Request to have them personalized at your local bake shop. Hanbok shaped cookies add a unique flair to your event.
Left: Lila’s Dol Celebration at HWTM. Source: http://blog.hwtm.com/2010/02/real-parties-lilas-dol-celebration/
Right: Spools and Such Bakery (Parkville, MO) Source: http://www.spoolsandsuch.com/#!birthdays/chr
COIN PURSES are a pretty way to showcase a part of Korea’s culture. “복 주머니” is an ornamental lucky pouch that is associated with something special and valuable. Fill them with chocolate or confetti, add a personalized favor tag, and you’re good to go!
Chopsticks in silk sleeves that match your color theme is an elegant way to say thanks to your guests. They are a staple in every Asian household, so it would surely be appreciated. The chopsticks shown below feature personalized custom engraved messages which makes your event that much more memorable to your guests. These go for $2.69 ~ $3.59 per set (at the time of this writing) depending on the bulk quantity ordered. If this is slightly out of your price range, cheaper alternatives can surely be found with a bit of Google search.
Can be purchased at Bestgiftsforwedding.com http://www.bestgiftsforwedding.com/product/personalized-engraved-natural-bamboo-chopsticks-with-silk-pouch/
These delicious looking STRAWBERRY REUSABLE BAGS are compact, eco-friendly and are tucked away into a strawberry shape when not in use. A very practical favor that both adults and kids will find to be cool for everyday use.
Can be purchased at: http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Random-color-per-pack-of-5pcs-environmental-protection-bags-folding-shopping-bag-cute-strawberry-shopping-bag/32577671035.html
Left example: Bag stored away
Right example: Bag unfolded
Towel favors are a favorite with many guests. They’re not only great for weddings, but an excellent choice for Doljanchi (Korean First Birthday) as well. A very beary towel will delight friends of your little birthday child, and cake towels always make a savory sight.
Left: Waxwizard.net Can be purchased at http://waxwizard.net/favors30c.html
Right: Photo courtesy of Esther Kim
GIFT CARDS / LOTTERY TICKETS
Gift Cards or Lottery Tickets can be creatively placed into DIY folded paper Hanbok as done by this blogger. You can even try to match the color to your little one’s hanbok.
Everyone’s favorite Korean Ricecake can be wrapped and put in a box for all to enjoy at home. If you plan on getting Doljanchi Dduk Cake, you can even have it cut to pieces and hand them out to your guests as a part of the favors.
Photo Source: Yedang, http://www.yedangusa.com
White candles represent purity and peace. They make for a very practical household item for everyone. Personalize the top to match your party theme.
Can be purchased at http://www.beau-coup.com/birthday/personalized-birthday-travel-candle-tin.htm
MACARONS & OTHER EDIBLES
Anything edible wrapped in a box with a pretty bow is pleasing to the eye! Woo your guests with these delicacies that will surely remind them of the sweet party.
Left: French Macarons at Whipped Bakeshop: https://whippedbakeshop.com/french-macarons
Right: Ferrero Rocher neatly packed into a DIY box. Tutorial (in German): https://stempelwiese.de/2697/tutorial-ferrero-rocher-schick-verpackt
GOLD PLATED BOOKMARKS
These elegant bookmarks are plated with 24k gold. Individually wrap them in clear cellophane for all guests to admire.
These above recommendations were some of the choices I had considered for my child’s Doljanchi.
Did you go with any of these as favor items? Perhaps, you used something different that worked out great? We would love to hear about your personal experiences!