Sunday, May 27, 2012

A First Birthday Tea Party - The decorations

My daughter turned 1 at the end of March. I am one of those people that loves to throw a party. I love to cook the food, plan the decorations and make as much as possible myself. I had been planning what kind of party I would have from the moment Abigail was born. My love of all things party has only been exasperated by the discovery of Pinterest!

I knew that I wanted a very girly theme. I decided on an afternoon tea party. This would be a good way to work around the little lady's nap time, as well as keeping it casual and simple. I figured that all the food could be made ahead of time so that I would not spend the whole party prepping and serving food. I wanted something that allowed me to enjoy the day with family, friends, and of course, the Birthday Girl.

Having a tea party would also mean I was able to put my collection of tea cups and crystal ware to good use. I didn't want to spend a lot of money on decorations. I wanted to be able to use what I had as much as possible.

For invitations I had grand plans to design and print my own invites.  I did design them, however my laptop 'died' before I was able to get them printed. By the time I reordered Adobe Photoshop and redesigned them I was running out of time to get them printed and sent out. Instead I ended up making an event page on Facebook. We were lucky that everyone except great grandparents had Facebook accounts, and used them often. While this is not what I had planned, it worked well. I made the event page graphic the invite I had designed and had all the information on the event page. It actually was a very efficient way to get the information for the party out, and also keep track of who was coming. I kept it private so only those invited could see the event. Even better was the cost involved $0!

I kept the decoration fairly simple. I had my Mum make me a bunch of tissue paper pom poms that I had been coveting on Pinterest. Each pom pom used a packet of $1 tissue paper. All up I think we spent about $15 on tissue paper to make the pom poms. I also hung paper lanterns that I had left over from another party a few years ago. The 'backdrop' for the food table was an old lace curtain that I had kept from when we moved into our home. I was also lucky enough to have white plastic tablecloths with a lace design leftover from my baby shower.

We hired some white plastic chairs so we had enough seating scattered around our (small) backyard. This cost about $30 to hire, but it was worth it knowing that we had enough seating for people if they wished to sit down. We also set up our playpen with toys for the babies, and kids tables with games for the older kids.

I made party bags for all the kids at the party. I found cheap white 'popcorn cups' at a local discount shop. They were $2 for 8. I also had purchased the number 1 cards from there ($2). I had planned on using them in a banner, but found they looked really good on the front of the party bags.

I had different items for the babies and for the older kids. For the older kids I had a balloon, a container of bubbles ($3 for 6) , a little pot of playdough ($3 for 8). I also added in a decorated sugar cookie. For the babies I had a balloon, a sugar cookies (for Mum) and a pop up book ($2).  All up I only spent about $3 per party bag. The older kids really loved playing with their bubbles through the day. I liked being able to give something useful to the kids and the babies.

I also had the obligatory photograph timeline celebrating my Daughter's first year. I used left over white boxes and attached photos to the front. I then put a glass into each with some water and put a flower into each. It was really simple but added a nice personal touch. The photos I printed myself on the home printer.

When everything was set it it looked really lovely. Everyone commented on how pretty it all looked when they entered.

Using what you already have and checking local discount stores can help you achieve a great looking party for very little cost. Do you have any cost saving decoration tips?

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