Milestone birthdays deserve an extra special celebration. When it’s time to celebrate your little one’s first year of life, unique, adorable, and beautiful decor is a must!
You can throw a memorable first birthday party without spending on expensive decor and party accessories. These simple, charming, and eye-catching items are easy and cheap to either make or purchase, so everyone — mom and dad included — can enjoy the big day stress-free.
Keep reading to find 17 first birthday party ideas that will make your little one’s big day extra special.
Find the perfect first birthday outfit for your mini me at Baby Gap! From dressed up and dapper to cute and comfortable, you can save 40% on each one and get free 2-3 day shipping! (Exp. 9/21)
1. Mini Triangle Pennant Banner
A simple but sweet fabric banner adds a pop of color and turns any room into a party room. You can use any fabrics you like to match your décor or your child’s favorite colors. This one is cute enough to keep up even once the party is over!
Is your little one still singing “Let It Go” from Frozen? Make their birthday extra special with our DIY Frozen Birthday ideas and free printables!
• Fabric for the banner triangles
• One package of extra wide double fold bias tape (I used this)
• Sewing machine & thread to match your fabrics (especially to match your bias tape)
• Rotary cutter, ruler, & mat (you could also use scissors, a ruler, and a fabric pencil to mark and cut the triangles but a rotary mat makes it much easier)
• Sewing pins
• Iron & ironing board
Directions (see my step-by-step photo guide here)
1. First, cut 32 triangles from your fabric for a total of 16 finished triangles. You can cut more or less depending on the desired length of your banner. This one is about 100 inches long.
2. To cut the triangles, cut a 5-inch wide strip of fabric. Lay the fabric horizontally on your cutting mat, making sure the bottom edge lines up straight with the measuring lines on the mat. Lay the ruler so it forms the first side of the triangle, slanting from the bottom corner of the fabric strip to 2 1/2 inches in.
3. Cut the second side of the triangle starting 1/2 inch in from the top tip and again measuring 2 1/2 inches across. This will leave you with a triangle that has a 1/2-inch flat top, a base of 5 1/2 inches, and a height of 5 inches.
4. Once you have cut all your triangles, decide how you’d like to pair them up. Since the banner is double sided, you could match colors/patterns, or mix them up for a different look on each side. You could even use entirely different fabrics to create two banners in one.
5. With right sides facing, sew two triangles together along the sides using a 1/4-inch seam allowance and leaving the bottom base open.
6. Trim excess fabric off at the tip of the triangle and turn right-side out, gently pushing out the triangle tip. Iron.
7. Continue until you’ve created all of the triangles.
8. Insert the triangles into the fold of the bias, making sure they lie in it as deeply as possible. Leave about 3/4 inch between each triangle, pinning them in place. Using matching thread, sew along the edge of the bias opening, securing the triangles as you go. Leave about 4 inches of bias at each end for securing the banner.
9. To hang the banner, tie the ends onto a wall fixture, or use tape or even small nails.
10. Party time!
2. Ball Pit
3. Mini Gift & Favor Bags, $5 for a set of 4
Keep it classy by sending little ones home with these gold-spotted favor bags; they’re both elegant and adorable. Fill them with baby-friendly candy, other snacks, or little trinkets and toys.
4. “One” Photo Collage
Order prints of your favorite Instagram photos and arrange them in the shape of the number one on a wall. You can build your own collage, or order a custom one from Shutterfly starting at just under $4.
Source: Best Friends for Frosting
5. Chalkboard Sign
Celebrate your one year old with a DIY chalkboard featuring all their stats and favorite things. All you need is a simple chalkboard panel and colorful chalk. (Want to learn a super simple trick for perfect chalkboard lettering? Check out this quick and easy lettering tutorial!)
Source: Littlebitslane on Etsy
6. Jumbo Confetti, starting at $4.62
What’s a party without something to toss in the air? This jumbo confetti is kid-friendly and can be made to order in custom color requests to match your party decor.
Source: The Chickabug Blog
7. High Chair Ribbon Skirt
Jazz up their birthday throne with this simple ribbon skirt, made by sewing together an assortment of different ribbons of various lengths. It can be easily adapted to the colors and theme of your party, and will ensure your little one feels like a star on their big day.
8. “One” Cake Pan, $10.29
A one-shaped cake is a fun way to celebrate this milestone. Instead of struggling to cut out the number from a sheet cake, use this handy pan for a perfectly shaped numerical dessert.
Source: Chic Mother and Baby
9. Animal Party Hats
Party hats don’t have to mean pom-poms! These adorable animal hats can be worn by all babies in attendance, and they’re easy to make with the printable template and tutorial. Plus, they’re perfect for animal-themed party or for any type of toddler fun.
Source: ToppedWithGlitter on Etsy
10. One Cake Topper
This elegant cake topper says it all. The subtle glitter adds a touch of glam to your little one’s big day.
Source: OandD on Etsy
11. Invitations, starting at $16
These fun and simple invitations work for any gender and theme. These are available in several colors, and you can cut costs by requesting a printable format and printing them out at home.
Source: Hint Mama
12. Bubble Station
What one-year-old doesn’t love bubbles? For inexpensive entertainment that’s sure to be a crowd pleaser, set up a station with a variety of bubble blowing gear. You can even create your own bubble solution and make wands with pipe cleaners!
Source: LPpapercreations on Etsy
13. Pinwheel Cupcake Toppers
Combine two of their favorite things, pinwheels and cupcakes, to make party food they can play with. These can be made to order in colors of your choosing, or you can make your own using this tutorial from Alyssa & Carla.
14. Rainbow Party Plates, $2 for 8
You can’t go wrong with color at a baby’s birthday party. These bright and cheerful plates will put all attendees in the party mood, and have the option of matching napkins, paper cups, and straws.
Source: Anna Gonda Photography
15. Photo Booth
Create a photo booth area for parents to snap memorable pictures of their own little ones. A basket can easily be turned into an adorable hot air balloon.
Source: LovePrettyDetails on Etsy
16. Tassel Balloon, $25
Amid the usual bunches of balloons, add one or two that really stand out. Tassels add a charming detail to this golden number one.
Source: Liz on Call
17. Paper Lantern & Fan Backdrop
18. Mason Jar Party Favors
Animal crackers, chocolates, and even goldfish become an extra special treat when tucked into these adorable mason jars. Use fabrics in colors or patterns that match your party theme.diy / 17 First Birthday Party Ideas for Moms On a Budget