Monday, January 12, 2015

Planning A Party For A One Year Old

I can't wait for P's first birthday party on Saturday! I have spent months preparing and planning for this party. I wanted to go a bit big for her first birthday party because, well--It's the first one. Also, I feel that it is a celebration for J and I as well. And by J--I mostly mean me. One year ago--I did all of the work pushing that girl out. I should be able to celebrate that in a big way.

Planning a big party for a baby that is not going to remember it can be daunting--especially when you are trying to keep it from becoming ridiculously expensive. Here are some tips that I think have helped me.

1. Have it at your own home if you are able
If you don't have to rent a place to have it--then you have cut out a huge expense. For us--we did not want to have it at home for several reasons. We opted for a neighborhood clubhouse, instead.

2. Plan months ahead
I started planning P's birthday when she was about 7 months old. I did this for several reason, but mostly because I wanted to spread the cost of the party out over several months. I think that this is a great way to keep it from feeling like a shot in the wallet. I tried to spread out the cost as much as possible. BUT a lot of it still piles up to the end. Food and such.

3. Pick a theme and stick to it
I knew immediately that I was going to do an owl theme for P's party. Not because she likes them, but because I do, and because owls are all over her nursery and it was what she was for Halloween. It just made sense to me. Once I had that nailed down. I kept my eye out for owl decoration.

4. Make as much of the decorations yourself as you can
I really wanted to have cute food labels and invitations. I had an idea in my head and I couldn't really find anything that matched my vision. I have always been fairly crafty and good with technology--so I took to the internet via Google and figured out how to make my vision come to life. I used Picmonkey to make a chevron and polka dot background and I used that same background for a lot of the decor. More about this in a later post. I was able to do her invitations for about $10. I used GIMP to make her Birthday Chalkboard print and had it printed at Wal-Mart for $5. Talk about awesome!

5. Get your family involved
Some people would feel uncomfortable with this one, but I am not. I asked my Mom, Cousin, and MIL to help out with bringing food for the party. This just helps to spread out the burden of the cost of food. I also will be borrowing a cupcake tree and drink canisters from my God-mother.

6. Use what you have around the house
Another reason I chose owls is that I already had a lot of owl decorations that I knew I could take to the party and reuse. P's room is full of stuff that we will be packing up and taking with us on Saturday. I made a lot of signs that needed to go into frames. Instead of buying new frames for them--I just placed them in frames we already had around the house. After the party I will just place the original pictures back in them.

7. Find a good Etsy shop for the things you can't make
I was very fortunate to find an Etsy shop owner to collaborate with on P's party. I reached out to her and we made a deal for several items. I think you can get really good deals if you are willing to establish a relationship with the seller. I also wanted someone local so I could meet up and not have to pay shipping costs. That keeps prices down.

Overall planning P's party was a lot of work--but I had so much fun with the whole process. I can't wait to share the finished product with all of you.

Happy Monday!

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