I had a circus theme for my son's first birthday. The circus clown cake was a white cake that I made from scratch from the Better Homes and Garden's cook book. Excellent recipe. The frosting was Wilton's recipe for buttercream. Also excellent.
I used 2 12-inch round pans to make the bottom layer, 2 9-inch round pans to make the middle layer and a cupcake for the top layer (clown). I placed a round 9-inch cardboard covered in tinfoil to divide the bottom layer from the middle layer. The hat on the clown is a sugar ice cream cone.
We also served hot dogs in red and yellow plastic baskets, chips, candied apples, cotton candy, popcorn that we put in old fashioned popcorn boxes, large lolly pops, peanuts, circus peanuts in little brown paper bags, ice cream, animal crackers in the old fashioned train box and cupcakes.
We had clown face painting, hula hoop contest and circus tattoos.
The party favors were in circus train boxes that I ordered off the Internet. For the babies, I had baby friendly party favors that were different than those over 3 years old. All of the items however had to do with clowns, elephants, lions, tigers, etc...
The invitations were ordered from Tiny Prints and they said: "Friends of the circus have gathered to say, Join us to celebrate a special day. Cotton candy, popcorn, dancing elephants and fun, We're having a celebration as Whit turns 1!"
For decorations, I had lots of red, yellow and blue balloons and streamers. Red, yellow and blue table cloths. A circus poster cut out where the kids could put their faces in and take pictures. All the napkins were red, yellow and blue. The plates were circus themed that I ordered off the Internet.