Baby C is 1! What an exciting time it was to celebrate with friends and family. But, oh man, what an exhausting month December was. Between Christmas and Birthday party planning, I think my husband, baby, and I were ready for a relaxing and non-eventful January. Now that everyone is rested up and recovered from December I wanted to take some time to share Baby C’s party details, DIY ideas, and budget break down.
First off, what do you do for a baby’s first birthday? I had no idea. I had never thrown one before. I decided to go with a floating birthday party all decked out in traditional party decor but with a Lilly Pulitzer twist.
Why a floating party? I decided on a floating party to give everyone freedom to come and go as they pleased. The constant change up in the party guests made for a fun time. I also decided on a floating party for budget reasons. We had invited about 50 people by the time it was all said and done. 50 people! A floating party allows snacks instead of a whole meal. Snack foods such as donuts, popcorn, fruit, veggies, pimento cheese dip, crackers, cupcakes, and punch are acceptable forms of “nutrition”. Grazing food if you will. Plus, they are all budget friendly and quite tasty.
Why traditional decor with a Lilly Pulitzer twist? I decided on traditional, old school decor for simplicity and budget reasons but wanted to spice it up. Plain wasn’t what I wanted for Baby C’s first birthday. Happy, colorful, and girly were my brainstorm ideas. What encapsulates those ideas better than Lilly??? Still, Lilly can be very pricey so I was hesitant. After a bit of looking around, I was able to find some free Lilly Pulitzer binder cover downloads for free in various well known Lilly patterns from this website. Free! That decided it for me. A trendy, chic, happy, girly yet age appropriate birthday party on a budget? Yes please!
I used the free printouts to make DIY invitations, banners, letter “C” cutouts, a number “1”, and framed pictures. Here are a few pictures of the Lilly details I was able to add…for FREE!
Lots of fun using the paper designs everywhere I could think of. The letters are cut out of foam and the Lilly design modge podged on. The number 1 is a painted wood cut out with a Lilly design modge podged onto the front. Easy and simple yet such a fun detail. The banner was so easy. I just cut out a bunch of triangles and glued them onto ribbon. The picture “mattes” are simply cut out out to frame the picture inside. That simple. And, let’s not forget these Lilly additions were free!
Let me take you on a tour of all the stations we had at Baby C’s party. Because it was floating I wanted to have different stations to keep our guests entertained and moving around mingling. After some brainstorming, I came up with 5 stations that would help keep our guests flowing and entertained.
Our first station was the coloring station.
At this station guests young and old were invited to color a picture for themselves, Baby C, and/or someone they loved. This station was by far the most popular amongst the little ones. The coloring station included construction paper, crayons, polka dot can to hold the crayons, stamps, ink pads, stickers, bubble gum, a Lilly memory board filled with pictures of Baby C over the past year, an engineer print of one of my favorite pics of Baby C, farmed picture of Baby C, and a photo album to hold all of the pictures made for baby C. I simply covered my coffee table with a plastic table cloth and arranged all the supplies on the table. Most everything was purchased at the Dollar Tree except for the following: Stamps are from Target’s $3 section, Bubble gum was on sale at Target ($2), polka dot can is from Target’s $1 section, ink pads are from a local art store ($1 each), picture album from same art store ($1), engineer print is from Staples ($3), memory board from ebay ($11). This station also included a DIY Lilly banner made for less than $1. Total for this station was $29. The memory board was a birthday gift for Baby C that I wanted to display since it matched the decor, the stamps and ink pads were already purchased for myself (I use them a ton!), and the polka dot can was from Baby C’s room. Total I spent just for decor not already owned and not a birthday gift for Baby C…$12.
Next was the sign in station.
At this station I used a foam board from dollar tree and modge podged one of my favorite pics of Baby C onto the center. I also purchased some trendy pens in complimenting colors from Target’s $1 section. I had everyone write a note of well wishes or a prayer for Baby C. This way she has not just a documentation of who was at her first birthday but also a heart felt note from each guest. Total cost for this station was $3 (+ modge podge I already had).
Next was the gift station.
A Lilly Pulitzer banner and letter “C” above a bench already in our living room made the perfect gift station. To save a little money, I cut the letter “C” out of Dollar Tree foam board and modge podged one of the FREE Lilly Pulitzer binder covers onto it. Viola. Total Cost for the gift station was $2.
Next was the picture station.
You all, this was so fun. Whenever there was a lull in the party, I would just send the guests over to the picture station to make some fun memories. Easy. All I did was use a plastic table cloth, taped it to the ceiling in a bare corner, and taped tissue cut outs onto the plastic table cloth for decor. I added some fun props and boom, picture station complete! Table cloth, tissue paper cut outs, and props are all from the Dollar Tree. Total cost was $9.
The picture station also doubled as the background for Baby C’s cake eating. She didn’t really eat any cake but I loved the cute background and pictures we got anyways.
After taking pictures, the guests ended their party journey at the food station.
I wanted this area to be bright, fun, and inviting so everyone would naturally gather here. Above the table were paper lanterns and streamers. On the table was a white table cloth covered by a pink one. For decor I used framed pictures of Baby C with those free Lilly print outs framing each picture, a Lilly number “1” modged podged with another free Lilly print out, a DIY Lilly banner, and a Happy Birthday banner. After this picture was taken I also added pink letters spelling out Baby C’s name to back of the table. In all the excitement I forgot to snap a picture of the completed table. My apologies. Lilly banner was a DIY, the Happy Birthday banner was a sale find at Target ($2), Paper Lanterns were also a Target sale find (under $1 each), straws, again, were a Target sale find ($2 a pack), the number is from wal mart ($1.49), frames (I spray painted them), streamers, cups, napkins, plates, silverware, and tablecloths were all Dollar Tree buys, and serving platters were all already items I had. Decorations and eating and drinking items, total, cost me $32.
Food: I purchased one bag of mini, powdered sugar donuts ($2), one box of popcorn bags ($3), cupcake supplies (I made my own from this website) ($10), punch (one 2 liter of lemon lime soda, one pint of pineapple sorbet, one can pineapple chunks) ($5), water (free). The remaining food (pimento cheese, cheese ball, crackers, fruit, and veggies) were all brought by family. So food cost me $15 with the remainder items being brought by family.
Total cost of the party for 50 people would be $90. For me, since I had some of the supplies already and some “supplies” doubled as gifts, it was $73 total for a party serving 50 people.
What do you think? As always, please share with us any budget friendly ideas and fun themes you have for your own DIY party. Check back soon for some fun Valentine’s Day decor ideas to spice up your home on a budget.
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