Wow, our baby's first birthday party has come and gone, and I'm still in awe of so many things: the generosity of our family and friends, how fun yet exhausting it was preparing and setting everything up, and the simple fact that we were celebrating Morgan's FIRST birthday!
As I mentioned in my previous post, this party was a major DIY undertaking due to me wanting to be both frugal and creative. The creative part really came through, but the frugality didn't come true as much as I would have liked. In this post, I will show you the end result of all the planning, decorating, and cooking involved in making this such a special day. I also want to share the financial breakdown and where I believe I did very well as well as where I could have been more money-conscious.
But first, the pretty stuff!
These were the first bits of decorations that our guests saw as they walked in. The chalkboard hanging on the front door was from that fun, inexpensive section at the front of Target and cost $3. I already had the markers to write on it, but you can find them just about anywhere.
The table in the foyer was decked out with:
*I will discuss the stats sheet in more detail in a separate post as it turned out to be a great DIY alternative to pricier options and was completely personalized!
Like the crazy party-throwing momma I was that day, I only managed to stop and take a picture of the tables' centerpiece before things got hectic, but every table had:
Total: $26.00 for all 3 tables
Next was one of the bigger projects I took on that stemmed from many similar creations I saw on Pinterest. I had been diligent in taking monthly pictures, so now I wanted to showcase them to our guests. In my head, the pictures would hang perfectly on banner flags by clothes pins that were numbered 1-12 to reflect her age in the picture. In reality, the numbered clothes pins were to heavy and caused the pictures and flags to flip over. The pictures had to be placed on a whole different line of string and held with tiny clothes pins I thankfully already had from a previous DIY project so that they hung just right. The end result was truly adorable and well worth not having paid someone else to create it for me.
Here's the breakdown of what this display cost me:
I obviously splurged on more expensive flowers and probably could have DIYed the '1' placards, but as far as the banner goes, I feel like I ended up with an equally cute but much cheaper version of kinds I saw on sites such as Etsy. And I get to reuse all of the materials for something in my classroom, a future child's room, or whatever!
Were you wondering when the birthday girl was going to make an appearance in this post? Well, here she is! And with her on her high chair is the DIY ribbon skirt I made especially for this occasion. This is honestly one of the best pictures I got of it (crazy party-throwing momma, remember?), but I will explain how I made this piece and show a few more images of it in Part 2 of A DIY First Birthday Party (coming soon)! To continue with the financial aspect of this whole party, though, I will share the breakdown of the materials used:
The last piece of this party-puzzle was all the delicious food my mom and I prepared. I got a little ambitious and decided if I was going to spend the money to feed 40+ people then I wanted it to be as homemade as possible. We had an array of appetizers that combined to be a pretty varied and delicious meal. We used the following recipes:
We also served a variety of crackers, cheese, veggies, and fruits. And my favorite part of all the food was, of course, the cupcakes! I went with simple vanilla cupcakes with white frosting and was able to get 60 for $30 from our local HEB. We received lots of compliments on the food in general, but the cupcakes were definitely the most gushed over by our guests.
Total spent on food: $300
We had a few miscellaneous expenses as well:
So after totaling the decorations, Morgan's outfit, the food, and the miscellaneous items, we came out spending about $522. In my head, I was thinking it would be around $300 total, but I severely underestimated the cost of food and all the decorations. The good news is that a lot of what we bought is re-useable and will serve another purpose in the future. We also had plenty of scrumptious leftovers from the food that we munched on the rest of the week, so that was money well-spent.
Our little house was packed with presents, food, and some amazing family and friends. So even though the budget was stretched, our hearts were absolutely full celebrating our daughter's first wonderful year of life.
Stay tuned for A DIY Birthday Party - Part 2 where I share how I made the high chair ribbon skirt and a totally personalized stats sheet for our daughter's first birthday party! (coming soon!)