Wednesday, March 21, 2012

1st Birthday on a Budget Part 1

I realize that this post is more than 3 months overdue but hey a lot has transpired. We moved, Husband got a new job, I got a new job, Bear had a birthday, and we're expecting again. So there is a little slack to be cut.

So the Bear turned 1 a few months ago and did so on a very tight budget. Like most young families, we don't have an abundance of funds and that didn't miraculously change when the Bear's 1st birthday rolled around. We had to really think about what we wanted to do and how much we wanted to spend.

I started mapping this out and discovered that it was way to long for one post so I'll break it down into two. Part 1: Planning/Prep and Part 2: Party

So here are the guide so to speak of how I kept my son's birthday from start to finish for under $100.

Step 1: The Theme/Decor (Free)
I started planning my son's party while I was still pregnant. Call me crazy but doing so saved me some serious dollars when it came to the party. How so you may ask?
I saved the decorations from the baby showers!
We did an Arkansas Razorback themed nursery and so two of my showers were also Razorback themed. I saved napkins, streamers, wall hangings, stickers, plates, etc. Yes they took up a little closet space and yes my husband tried to throw things away a few times, but I hung on to it all! I also borrowed some decorations from the Bear's nursery and set out his baby book, photo albums, etc.

I didn't have to buy a single decoration and the space looked great.
Cute baby stuff

Banner from one of my showers

Pictures of the Bear over the last year

Step 2: The Invite List (Free) and Invitations ($11)

I know the tendency of 1st timers is to go overboard with the first birthday. Hey, I was in the same boat. If I could have, I would have gone all out and probably tried to get Tyler Wilson himself to come to the Bear's party (wouldn't that have been awesome)! But, again, reality set in.
Rather than inviting everyone we knew with kids, people from church, and every family member we could find, we kept it to our immediate family and a few close friends with kids.
I made the invites using a combo of stuff I already had and a few simple purchases
  • Wrapping paper from a shower
  • Brown scrapbook paper
  • "You're Invited" rubber stamp ($6 from Hobby Lobby)
  • 12 pk. of red envelopes ($3 from Hobby Lobby)
  • 12 printed pics of the Bear ($2 from Wal-Mart)
Here's the finished product. Not bad, eh? (The blackouts were obviously not on the actual invite, just personal stuff blocked for this post.)

Step 3: Super Cute Outfit for the Birthday Boy
Just like every mom I wanted by Bear to have a cute out fit to wear. Something that had a "1" or "Birthday Boy" or something similar on it. Truth be told I couldn't find exactly what I was looking for so I just made it myself. I am not a master seamstress so I assure you anyone can do this. I took a white onesie we already had and some material that was left over from covering a footstool in the nursery.
I cut out a one and zig-zag stitched around the edge. Done!

That's it for now. Still to come are The Food/Cake, The Favors, and The Presents.

I'm glad to be back in the blogging world after my brief hiatus.

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