Creating a Whimsical First Birthday on a Budget

Creating a Whimsical First Birthday on a Budget

My baby is turning one!!!

We all know that the first birthday is more for the photo ops and the parents than it is for the babies themselves.  So this is it, this is the one year that I get to do her birthday in a cute whimsical theme and not in some  cartoon character that she’ll be in love with one moment and over the next.

But how do I make a whimsical themed birthday on a budget?!

Well first its all about choosing the right theme! We chose the classic “Breakfast at Tiffanys,” but originally we were deciding between that and a theme I named “The Enchanted Forest,”

The first step for me was to make sure we had some first birthday pics to display at the party and to use on the invitations.  When you’re on a budget doing a photo shoot at home will be your cheapest option and can be made easier by draping a sheet for a back drop and being sure you have Photoshop available to do some quick edits after the fact.  If you don’t have Photoshop you can still do your own photo shoot but you want to make sure you have a fantastic camera and that the outfit and backdrop are perfect.

Next, I made the invitations for her party instead of buying them.  Yes, this took a couple hours and didn’t come out flawless, but it gave me the creative power to really tie the invitations into the theme of the party, while also saving us a lot of money.

Doing a birthday party in a theme like this is more about the small touches than it is about big obvious details.  For example, I addressed the envelopes in blue writing to “JANE DOE &CO” (obviously with their names and not Jane doe).


Above is the invitation I made from scratch, but if you don’t feel the desire to be as creative, there are tons of templates available for all sorts of themes online.  I just find it easier to make my own instead of fitting everything into someone else’s guidelines.

See what you can do from home, with no professional help, and by spending very little money?

Next step is the decor at the party.

In order to stay on budget some of it can be as simple as buying utensils and napkins in a color that matches your theme.  You don’t have to go overboard and buy tons of posters, or pictures, or huge special order balloons.  For us, we are buying all the table cloths, utensils, cups, etc (which are things we would need anyway) in Robin’s Egg Blue which is essentially Tiffany’s Blue, but cheaper because you aren’t paying for the name.

We will also be buying plain balloons in blue and white.

If we would have done the “Enchanted Forest” theme then we would have used green, brown, and pale pink for utensils, cups, etc.  We also would have incorporated the theme into the food by doing simple touches like brown ice cream cones (the pointy kind) with fruit, or smores as favors for the kids.

Paisley’s outfit is simple and black in keeping with the Tiffany’s theme.  She will wear a HUGE fluffy tutu.  Again, this is something that can be made at home for about a fourth of the cost of buying one.  We were lucky enough to have my sister in law make us one for free!  We will also add some pearls for that classic and elegant look appropriate for the theme.

If you go with an “Enchanted Forest” theme it would be cute to put a little flower tiara on your baby’s head and do a pale pink tutu.

The one thing I don’t mind spending the money on is the cake.  The cake really ties the whole party together and creates a wonderful discussion piece and focal point.  My suggestion is to find a local small cake maker or company because they generally do a fantastic job and don’t charge an arm and a leg.  We have a cake lady who also happens to be like a second mom to me, so we have that part covered.  I will post pics of the cake, but I don’t want to give too many details before the actual party.

We also plan on purchasing one of the giant cupcakes from Kroger bakery to be her smash cake.  That way we can control the color and type, but we don’t have to spend an arm and a leg since we are already getting a custom cake

The photos I took for her birthday will be hanging from clothesline attached by clothes pins to add just a little extra personal touch.

I will post more pictures once the party is over and everyone attending has had a chance to enjoy them 🙂


3 thoughts on “Creating a Whimsical First Birthday on a Budget

  1. I can’t wait to attend P first birthday! It’s going to be perfect! Since we will be on vacation the week before I think we should take some decorating projects with us!

    Liked by 1 person

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