DIY Your Baby's First Birthday Party


By Sheena Sy Gonzales The first birthday parties of today have taken on a whole new level. From hiring party stylists and acrobats to booking high-end food carts, it seems like parents need an entire production crew just to get their parties off the ground.

But there’s no reason to break the bank for a beautifully decorated first birthday party. Here are five tips on how you can successfully DIY your baby’s special celebration. Whether you’re a seasoned crafter or simply a momma on a budget, make it a party to remember for you and your guests (because let’s face it; your baby really won’t recall any of this!).


Tip #1: Get creative with your theme

Having a theme for your baby’s party is not only cute, it also makes everything look put-together. However, it can be daunting to choose the perfect theme with the thousands of choices available. Why not get creative and give a unique twist on the usual party themes?

Instead of a jungle party, you can host a chic golden safari themed brunch. Or if you’re looking at something Japanese themed, maybe you can have a sushi party. Whatever it is, give a new spin on old party themes. Having a unique theme will give you more opportunities to make party decors special and lend it a personal touch.

Tip #2: Stick to a color scheme

Choose a color palette of three to four colors and stick to it! This will make your party look neat and coordinated. Use this color scheme on your invitations, cakes and pastries, floral arrangements, and even on your giveaways. Your outfits don’t have to follow the color scheme. You can instead choose colors that will complement the party decor.

Tip #3: Use what you already have

Look around your house; what are the displays you can use? Do you have an Eiffel Tower display that you can use for your French garden-inspired party? Or maybe you have empty vases, decanters, or glass bowls that you can re-purpose for the event? Use what you already have at home so that there’s no need to spend. Another idea: Use your picture frames. Just put your baby’s pictures in them and display as centerpieces.

Tip #4 Get crafty!

You'll be surprised at what a small can of spray paint can do! If you have old plastic toys gathering dust in your storage, spray it in bright neon colors to give it a modern pop look. You can also try spray painting mason jars in pastel colors to use as flower vases. For your decor, try your hand at paper cutting or origami. Fold paper cranes or cut circles in different colors and tie them together in a string. Hang your creations around the venue. Check out websites online like Pinterest for inspiration!


Tip #5: It’s all in the details.

A lot of people worry about the big things like the cake and the stage but your guests will most likely remember the little details that capture their attention. Don’t take for granted the little things like the menu, the thank you cards, and even the labels for the food on your buffet spread. Take these as opportunities to incorporate your theme and color scheme.

Create quirky names for your food spread (maybe Yoda Soda and Lukey Cookies for a Star Wars themed bash?) or go as far as to make the food match your party (maybe rainbow pastries for a unicorn themed one?). You don’t need to spend a lot to make your baby’s first birthday party memorable. Remember that more than the décor and styling, what is truly important is to make the event a thanksgiving to God for the life of your precious little one, in the presence of family and great friends.

Sheena Sy Gonzales is an illustrator, designer, and travel writer, who styled her baby’s first birthday herself (link: She blogs about her life and travels at

Photos courtesy of Sheena Sy Gonzales