Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Made By Me Monday - a DIY Birthday Party

Charlie's first birthday is coming up, and we had a small party for her on Sunday with family and closest friends.  We were trying to keep the entire thing under $100, so that meant endless DIY projects for me.  (And some commissioning...thanks Meg for cupcaking, Dad for pizza and super glue provisions, Chie for Jordan Almonding).

I'll share party pictures later, but here are the decor shots (mostly taken after the fact, cause I was too busy leading up to the party to care about documentation.)

The theme was either "Birdie Birthday" or "Put a Bird on it", depending on whether or not you're a Portlandia fan :)

Here goes.  The front room.
I made endless amounts of paper pennants, using scrapbook paper I already had, relating to either birthdays or birds; yarn; and a paper cutter.  Simple, yes.  Time consuming, yes.  With the excess paper from the solid colored pennants I cut out little abstract bird shapes and perched them on every ledge I could find.  These items were through out every room , tying it all together. 

I put up a folding table and wrestled a giant disposable tablecloth onto it, strategically taping to keep the size under control.  This table held had table scatter (reusing the holes I punched out of the pennant garland paper); a rubber ducky; and a Jellybeans free download of two birds in a tree.  So far, I spent $3 for the table cloth.  Everything else I already had.
Streamers were placed here and there, since nothing says party like a little crepe paper, and bird toys that Charlie had were placed on every surface.
The entry way door and front window with pennants and bird. There was also streamers, a photo from Charlie's birth and 6 month photos, stuffed birds, and polka dot rubber duckys.


I hung paper lanterns leftover from a bridal shower from our chandelier, and to make it over the top, hung birdie stroller toys between them.
Chie had given me a book of beautiful postcards before Charlie was born, and I was able to find a bunch of bird ones to hang from our (overcrowded) bookcase.  I also added various pictures of Charlie, blocks spelling her name, and stacking blocks with bird images.  All stuff I already had, so our running total is still $3.
The table:

Here you can see the banner (held up by two birds, Disney style), artwork and duck.
I made some sugar cookies from a mix ($3, plus $2.50 for sprinkles - $5.50 total), but I forgot to take pictures before they started disappearing.  Most were birds, but I made "One" for a change of pace.
Chie brought me meringue cookies the week before and those were added to the mix, and Meghan made vegan cupcakes with strawberry jam frosting (yum).  I didn't want to introduce Charlie to new foods at her party, just in case, so vegan was a good route to go.  I made the cupcake toppers with a free download, though I did buy the circles, for about $5, bringing us up to $10.50.

Not pictured - we also served pizza and nachos, care of Papa, Mike's Hard Lemonade ($20), pretzel sticks ($2) with Jordan almonds (from Chie) on top (to look like eggs in a nest), pasta salad ($6), Caesar salad, ($10), lemonade and cucumber water ($4), plates and napkins ($7) bringing us to $59.50.
The family room:
 This room was done simply, with pennants and birdies on the fireplace and a banned I made for Tim's birthday over the window.  Little bird books and toys were here and there.

The kitchen and dining room:
I took these pictures the next day, so picture heaps of food, and pink polka dot table cloth and Settlers of Catan laid out of the table.

So, there were streamers that I already had, pink and green lanterns left over from a baby shower, the table cloth from the same baby shower, bunting and birds.

The high chair was in the living room for the party, but regardless:

It already had a bird on it, so I added tiny bunting to make it festive.

When everything was said and done, the entire party, including gifts, was at $100.  If you have questions on anything you see, let me know.  Also, sorry for the weird lay out, I haven't gotten used to the new blogger format yet.


  1. It was a fabulous party!! I didn't even think about the cost one bit... it was just beautiful and fun!! Fabulous job, my dear!!!!

  2. What a great party, and I am so, so, SO impressed at how it all came together for $100! :) So many people I know have over-the-top, crazy-expensive parties for their one-year-old, and I have to just shake my head because I don't get it. I love what you did and I hope that the party was as fantastic as everything looks in these pictures, Erin!