Birthday on a budget

My darling littlest coconut turned one last week. I’m not sure how that happened, or even why the days have gone by so very quickly, but there he is, a chubby, sticky, happy little One Year Old.

First birthday

My baby, my little tiny human, is leveling up.

We had a small celebration with cousins, and we were so lucky that some out of town family was able to be here to join our fun.

Unfortunately, the party was around the same time as Thanksgiving, and let’s be honest, funds are not unlimited.


I spent less than $7 on this party. Since we had a huge turkey dinner the day before (with the same people), we decided to have a simple party with chocolate chip cookies, cake, sweet tea, and Kool-aid (I’m a Southern girl, what can I say, haha).

I only needed to buy a few items for the party – cake mix ($1.48), icing ($1.25), table cloth ($1) and balloons (2 packs at $1 each).

Total cost (before tax): $5.73


After scouring Pinterest, craft magazines and Party, I knew that I wanted a star theme with a birthday banner, a centerpiece, cupcake toppers, high chair swag, and a cute birthday sign.

There was no cost for the decorations, outside of the balloons, because I raided my craft stash.

I’m one of those crazy people who loves craft supplies. I will buy something because it’s pretty, or on sale, or there, then stash it away.

The stash in question this time was paper. I have too much paper (but I will never admit that, ever again!)

To keep it simple, and to not overwhelm me, I chose a basic primary color scheme and since Teeny Coconut loves red, it was an easy choice!

The biggest project was the birthday banner, which created a fun, whimsical effect when hung.


The banner took a bit longer than anticipated, and Mr. Coconuts questioned my sanity (he pointed out I could’ve bought one for a buck at the Dollar Tree. And you could. But this one has style. It has spunk. It was made by me!)

It was simple, though. Here’s my process – using my cricut (or any cutter, or even your hands!) I cut out stars. Lots of stars. 30 each of red, green, blue, and orange. My stars were 1 3/4″ high. I also cut out the phrase, “Happy Birthday” in Don Juan font with each letter 7″ high and 3″ wide.

Next I stacked up the stars in the order I wanted them on the banner – orange, blue, red, green; then I pulled out my sewing machine, chose a coordinating thread color and off I went.


Super simple. Just sew the stars, leaving a tiny bit of thread in between. Mine aren’t perfect, but the overall effect was so cool. Once I had about 15-20 stars (I lost count) I started adding in the letters. I patterned a star in between in each letter. After I finished the letters, I just sewed all the stars. I figured after the banner was completed, I could hang it up and cut off what I needed in order to make the banner the perfect size.

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I used the banner bits as further birthday decor and as the high chair swag.


The centerpiece is another star project. I already had the red mason jar and thought it would be a perfect addition. I then used bamboo kebab skewers to attach stars in various shapes. The “1” is Birthday Bash font from Cricut Design Space.


The picks are really easy to assemble. Cut out two of the image you want on the stick, and using a good quality glue stick, liberally apply glue to both sides, place the skewer on the wrong side of one image then layer with the top portion, lining up the image. Press the edges down firmly. Let dry over night and ta-daaaaa! (I’m sure this could be the same process you would use to make photo booth props.)

Same process for the cupcake toppers and smash cake decorations, but with toothpicks. So cute.


My favorite part, however, is the framed saying. Oh, how I love that. I already have it hanging up in his room, with plans to drape stars around it on the wall.


I found the inspiration on Pinterest, and whipped it up using my cricut, vinyl, paper, free fonts, glitter and glue (I already had the frame in my craft closet).

I had a brilliant idea, too! I didn’t want to hang it because I wanted it displayed on the table, so I used my recipe book holder to keep it sturdy and prominent on the table. Brilliant!


The star theme really worked out. It was so easy to incorporate stars and primary colors and it didn’t cost me over $7 for everything…and I love it.

It was definitely a day to remember.