First Birthday Party: The DIY Projects

I decided that I wanted to go all out for Hunter's first birthday party. Although he will never remember it, I wanted the photo memories to reflect that it was a day to remember. Also, let's face it, first birthday parties are mostly for the parents, and Isaiah will argue that this party was for me. And maybe it was. 

It was farm-themed, and we had planned to have it at a local living history farm. That morning, we got rained out and moved the party to my sister and brother-in-law's lovely home. (Thanks, guys!!)

Well, as much as I wanted to go all out, we had to keep the party budget within reason -- enter DIY projects and the dollar store!

Piñatas (and Favors)
I got the idea to make mini piñata favors for the kids from Oh Happy Day, though mine were more like little baskets. I filled them with Bug Bites fairly traded organic chocolates and Old MacDonald farm stickers from Waddlin' Onion Designs, tied with kitchen twine. Party favors for the adults were small brown paper envelopes (Michael's) with fairly traded organic dark chocolate minis, sealed with personalized stickers from Pear Tree Greetings. For the babies, I bought animal board books from the dollar store and tied them with kitchen twine. To make the large number one piñata, I followed this tutorial from Oh Happy Day, except I fringed streamers (Party City .89/roll) instead of regular crepe paper. (By the way if you're looking for crepe paper in San Diego, Paper Tales carries a very small selection as well as Pigment.) The paper on my piñata didn't turn out as full as Jordan's, but it worked for me. We filled it with Made in USA and organic candy from Natural Candy Store. Total cost for mini piñatas and "full-size" piñata: $4 plus TIME

Paper Buntings
For the "Happy Birthday, Hunter!" bunting, I bought different sheets of scrapbooking paper from Paper Tales and cut them into 5-inch flags. I taped kitchen twine to the back to string the flags together. For the letters, I used classroom bulletin board letters left over from my teaching days. The photos of Hunter from birth to eleven months I mounted on pre-cut scrapbooking paper I had from my scrapbooking days, perfect for 4X6 photos. Again, I taped kitchen twine to the back to "string" them together. Total cost: $4

Oh, cakes. They can be so expensive. Luckily, my mom is a hobby baker. I gave her this recipe from Rubies and Radishes for Hunter's baby-friendly (i.e. grain-free and refined sugar-free) smash cake. Because it didn't really "smash" like other cakes do, I had to stick my hand in there for him. For the guests, my mom made delicious vanilla and chocolate "pull-apart" cupcakes arranged in the shape of a tractor. I highly recommend taking a stab at homemade cupcakes, as they are much more inexpensive than a custom layer cake. Total cost to me: FREE! (Thanks, Momma!!!)

Party Hat
I made Hunter's hat following this tutorial. Total cost (including felt glue and Stiffen Stuff spray, which are products I can use on future projects, though I wish I had gone with the pricier Fabri-Tac since the cheaper stuff I got didn't work all that well...): approximately $10

Leftover cake on his actual birthday. Reused dollar store candles. Oh yeah.


  1. Mandy, I thought it was a fantastic birthday party. You did a great job and all the food was healthy, pretty to look at and delicious.

    1. thanks, Momma, but I have to give a lot of credit to you too!

  2. Amanda, this is AMAZING!! You are so awesome, I cannot believe all these fantastic idea. That party must have been absolutely fantastic!!

    I especially love the bunting of Hunter's monthly photos, and OMG that tractor made of cupcake is just beyond cool. You are the coolest mom EVER and I bow to thee :-)

    1. Aww, thanks, Elisa! I had a lot of fun planning the party, but it was a lot of work, so I think future parties will be a little more low-key ;)


Thanks for stopping by. Words cannot express how much I appreciate your comments!

Copyright © Amanda Freerksen 2008-. All rights reserved. Powered by Blogger.
Maira G.