Well as you can probably tell from all of the birthday posts lately and over on Instagram, our Baby Boy turned one a few days ago. I swear Sunday morning I woke up and felt as if I had been hit in the head with a baseball bat. I was so exhausted by the end of Saturday night and am so grateful our man slept amazing. But seriously, I was dragging so bad Sunday. I just wanted to nap and drink all the coffee. But here I am, fully recovered and the house is back in order.
I like to be prepared for just about everything, so when it came to planning a party during tax season I had to rely on one of my favorite tactics – the checklist. I created a to-do list and checklist to help me plan our son’s DIY gone fishing birthday party. I wanted to make it memorable without going broke. So we created a lot of the decorations ourselves and made most of the food for the big day. I even made his smash cake. It probably wasn’t the prettiest cake around, but it served its purpose!
A few months ago I talked about how I was starting to plan for his party. But in reality I started planning the first week of January. I put together a very detailed to do list that encompassed everything from the big stuff (like mail invitations) to the small stuff (like buy ice). I didn’t want to forget anything. I also figured if I had a to-do list then I could rope in a few extra hands to help me put it all together.
Now that the party has come and gone, and we’ve barely survived it. I think it’s time to share my trusty checklist with you. I wanted to put together something that work great for the everyday planner and for the last minute planners.
I also had it broken up by what needed to be bought so we weren’t shelling out a huge chunk of money right before the party. I wanted to space it out so it was around paydays and times of the month where our bills were a bit lighter.
Here’s what we wanted from his first birthday party:
We wanted to have it at our house
We wanted it to be on a Saturday afternoon so it would be easier for out of town guests
We wanted activities for kids to play
We wanted family and friends there to celebrate with us
We wanted it on a budget
I think we more than met our goals! I started planning weeks ago for this party. I am such a planner and a list maker that I created a checklist to go off of. I wanted to share my DIY party checklist with you so you can use it for your next party. It really helped me stay on track and not get overwhelmed. Plus, we were able to split up the stuff we needed to buy so it wasn’t one big chunk at one time.
I kept the checklist with me at my office until about a week before the party. Then I stuck it in my purse so I could keep it with me. I’m sharing how I created my own decorations later this week, so check back. You can download your DIY birthday party checklist here.
For the kids’ activities I decided to keep it simple. We purchased a kiddie pool for $8 at Wal-Mart and filled it with fishing toys. I found this amazing magnetic fish toy on Amazon that was filled with 50 pieces (I added a picture below). It came with nets, a basket, two fishing poles and tons of objects for the kids to fish for. There was even a blow up pool that came with it, but we opted for the kiddie pool. It was about $25 and it kept all of the kids occupied. We may have had a few take a dive, but no one was hurt and they had a blast!
For food, we kept it simple. J grilled hamburgers and hot dogs. I had my office tax season party for clients the day before so I was gifted pulled pork, cowboy baked beans (the kind with hamburger meat, bacon and peppers in it… yum!) and a veggie tray which saved us some serious money. The hot dogs, burger and buns cost about $10 thanks to things being on sale.
I also added a few snack items like chips and dips (which were gifted to J so we didn’t have to buy them), candies that I bought on sale and a fruit tray. I had the fruit tray made by my local bakery and it cost $40… what?!?! Let’s just say I learned my lesson of asking about price…
I should have asked how much it was going to cost because I could have saved over half of it by making it myself.
I also had the bakery make cookies for the party. I ordered 2 dozen iced cookies and 2 dozen chocolate chip cookies. Both of them were a huge hit!
I say overall the food cost less than $100 and decorations cost about $50. The only other item I purchased was matching t-shirts for us to wear. I got them on Etsy for about $40, but after I ordered them I found a local girl who could have made them a lot cheaper. I guess I should have done a little more research on Facebook and asked around before ordering. I really like them though and the quality is great, plus they came in record time. So it was a win for sure!
The total cost of our party was about $200. We have more than enough food left for about 3 other meals, which will save us more money. Plus it was so great to have all of our family and friends (well the ones that were able to make it since it was Easter weekend, it was a bit difficult for everyone) at our home to celebrate our little man reeling in the big ONE!