Yesterday we celebrated our first baby turning one. It was bittersweet, emotional & exhausting but worth everything that was put into it.
For months I’ve been planning this big event. When it came time to choose a theme I looked around my own house for inspiration. I knew I wanted to make it special, I knew I wanted a theme but I also knew I didn’t want to spend and arm and a leg. Vintage/ chic is what I would call my interior style; the circus tent was a gift we received months ago & the popcorn machine has been in my family for a few years so it was pretty clear what theme I would end up going with.
Mom to Mom. Some advice I would give a new mommy planning a first birthday is-
- Plan in advance. This was the best advice I got from a mommy friend. Parties let alone birthday parties are EXPENSIVE. Buying everything the week of is going to put you in a hole for the next two months. Food alone is a few hundred so I recommend starting at least 3 months in advance. Start by picking a theme and then slowly every week start picking up things here and there. Make a list of all the last minute purchases so you know what to expect the weekend of such as- food, ice, drinks, flowers & balloons.
- See what you can borrow. You are not the first person to throw a birthday party. Talk to friends and family members and see if anyone has anything you can snag for the day. More than likely they will want whatever you borrow back to use for future parties but it’s totally worth asking. The gold tablecloths & garland you see in the photos is from a friends- daughters first birthday party last year. Jakob’s mom let me borrow her Dash banner, the lemonade dispenser & some drink buckets & my parents let me borrow their Farris Wheel frame, popcorn machine & plastic popcorn cups for floral vases.
- Check the Dollar Store first. If any of you are following me from my first blog then you know how dedicated I am to the dollar store. I bought the punching balloons, some solid garland & the utensils and plates from there. Also check any thrift stores and see what they got for potential décor. When you are done with it bring it back or sell it at your next garage sale.
- Price compare what’s worth DIYing verses what’s worth buying. Keep in mind that diying isn’t always the cheapest route. If you have something specific in mind you are hoping to have for the party; price check it first & then compare it to what it would cost to purchase all the supplies. The high chair garland would have cost me over 40 bucks on Etsy but to make I spent no more than 15 dollars and even had extra. Chalk boards are cheaper to make as well. A can of black board spray paint costs less than 7 bucks and then check out your local thrift store for some old frames/ art work to transform into chalkboards. They also add really nice touches to parties. Simple, cute & cheap.
- Designated picture area. Keep in mind at some point everyone is going to want pictures with the birthday boy/girl. 1 year olds are not easy to tame & this can turn into a disaster real fast. One thing I did without even knowing is combine the designated gift opening area with the smash cake area which turned into photo booth area. Having everything decorated in one spot really turned out convenient. Plus a toddler doesn’t mind having his picture taken when cake is in reach.
- Decorate the day before. I know this isn’t always possible if you are renting a room but getting to decorate the day before turned out to be such a stress reliever. Sure there were still things that needed to be taken care of in the morning. And I still needed to be up at the crack of dawn to get those things done but the stress was so much less than what it would have been had I not taken the opportunity to decorate the day before.
- Plan a back up outfit. My son & his father arrived later in the day and he hadn’t put on his suspenders and tie yet. Grandpa ended up treating the birthday boy with a strawberry Fig Newton before realizing that the white button up he was wearing was part of his birthday get up. Innocent mistake and not the end of the world but a spare shirt would have been nice. But you live & you learn 🙂
- Designated play area for the children. What costs less than a bouncy house for the day? A portable ball pit tent. Seriously this was the best thing I could have borrowed for the day. Jakes mom found it on Amazon for Dash to play in & it was the highlight for all the kids. Literally they didn’t get out of it. We even ended up leaving one of the ends out for Dash’s buddy who seemed pretty adamant about staying inside during gift time. I figured games would be better for future kids only parties. When you have adults involved it just ends up being an inconvenience so instead of going all out with games & activities for the kids, I set up a mini tattoo booth & the ball pit and let them go to town.
Yesterday meant the world to Jake and I to have all of our guests there in celebration of our cub. We are so proud of our little boy and want our friends and families to know that we couldn’t have survived this last year without you all. You have continuously supported & rooted for our little family. I can’t thank you enough. Dash might not remember this day but he will have pictures and memoirs to look back on. Thank you for making it so special for him.
Circus Tent – IKEA
Ball Pit – Amazon
Carnival Banner- Amazon
High Chair- Vintage
High Chair Garland– DIY (Joan Fabrics)
High Chair Garland Wooden 1 & Banner – Michaels
Felt & Photo Garland- DIY Michaels felt & yarn
Popcorn Machine – Amazon
Popcorn Bags – Amazon
Plastic Popcorn Cups – Dollar Store
Wooden Tell Signs – DIY Michaels
Gold Table Cloths – Amazon
Dash Wooden Banner- DIY Michaels wooden triangle banners & stickers
Farris Wheel Frame – Dollar Store (old)
Welcome Sign & Chalk Board– Repurposed Goodwill Frame
If I Ran The Circus by Dr Seuss– Amazon
Caramel Corn Candle – Target
Cotton Candy – Sams Club
Suit Case Cake Stand – Vintage
Animal Cake Toppers- Target Dollar Section
Lemonade Dispenser – Costco
Red Suspenders & Tie- Amazon
I hope you have enjoyed this post. Thank you for reading.