7 Ways to Make the 1st Birthday Party Cost Effective

Throwing the bash of the season for your one-year-old? You don’t need to burn a hole in your pocket. Here are some creative ideas to have a gala birthday party without breaking the bank

By Sharon  • 9 min read

7 Ways to Make the 1st Birthday Party Cost Effective

Every child’s first birthday is a once in a lifetime milestone that all parents will treasure for a long time and strive to make it memorable. But in the hassle of monthly commitments, setting aside a chunk of money each month to host a lavish birthday bash for the baby is not practical for every new parent.

Once a frugal friend of mine decided to follow simple Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Youtube videos and managed to host a phenomenal celebration for her daughter. It was one of the most creative and low budget parties that I had been to in recent times. Adding colour to some of the creative ideas taken from her, let me share some simple tricks to host an impressive and cost-effective birthday party for your baby. These ideas will enable you to throw an absolutely fun birthday bash without spending huge money.

1. Birthday invitation card 

Make an eco-friendly e-birthday video invite using your smartphone. Dress up your baby doll well and choose a dazzling background. You and your spouse, along with the little one will make a pretty picture on the screen. Wave out and make a warm invite for your friends and loved ones. Share the video with everyone you intend to invite.

2. Birthday cake 

Bake a simple vanilla cake at home. There are hundreds of fool-proof recipes online to make your own, yummy vanilla sponge cake. There are also recipes that would help you make a mouth-watering confectionery using the basic pressure cooker at home. Make sure you mix some extra cake batter and pour the extra mix into cupcake moulds, to add to the bites that you serve at the party.

3. Birthday decorations 

Once the cake is baked, make the frosting as colourful as possible to excite the kids attending the party. Garnishing even a simple white frosting with colourful M&Ms and skittles can put a smile on a kid’s face. Drizzle the entire cake with chocolate flavoured or multi-coloured sprinklers. You can also decorate the cake with fondant shapes cut with moulds. If you have the skill and the time, try a themed cake or one shaped like an animal or car.

4. Birthday party food 

Plan your birthday party between 4-6 pm so that simple snacks that you can make at home will serve well. Oreo popsicles with condensed milk or nutella dips is a creative snack that children would love. Kids would never say no to easy potato wedges made at home, so this is a great choice to make a sumptuous snack for kids. Flavoured popcorn and mini muffins are other great options. There are a number of such no-brainer recipes online for you to play with.

5. DIY Decorations

When it comes to decorations, choose a theme that your child is fascinated about. Stick to the theme while choosing the fabric for the decorations, colour of the balloons, flowers and so on. Simple pastel crayons, glitter, glue, chart paper and whatever stationery you have at home can really come handy. Buy plain hand towels and serve in simple home cutlery to minimise the cost.

6. Birthday party games 

Include interesting but uncomplicated games which need minimal props such as Pictionary, musical chairs, balloon breakers, London statue, Pin the Tail, Who pinched the nose, Simon says and so on. Instead of an event planner get help from a friend or an enthusiastic aunt or uncle, who is extremely good at tackling kids, to host the games and master the entire ceremony.

7. Return gifts 

Now the only thing left is the swag bag for the children to take away. Streamlining the simple low cost goody bag is quite easy. Buy trinkets that are commonly sold in bulk and divide them equally to distribute among the children you’ve planned to invite. You can either buy those colourful take away cloth bags in dozens or make paper bags on your own using bright-coloured gift wrappers. Add these divided goodies into the bags. Your gift can be a simple yo-yo or pencils, erasers, colour pencils or fidget spinners depending on the crowd you are inviting. Seal the mouth of the bag with satin bows or rubber bands, to make it look attractive for the child.

The most important thing when you plan an exciting party like this, is to start your planning process well ahead of time. Last minute rush will make you settle for expensive choices. The wisest thing is to look for stuff all through the year and stock up party things that go on sale. Such effortless and thoughtful initiatives will make you immensely proud of hosting a super-fun birthday bash for your baby at rock bottom price.

Budget for a birthday party for 30 people (15 adults and 15 children)

  • Homemade birthday cake (2 Kgs): Rs 800
  • Additional decorations for the cake: Rs 500
  • Homemade party food: Rs 2000
  • Return gifts: Rs 700
  • Homemade decorations: Rs 500
  • Miscellaneous costs: Rs 500
  • Total spent: Rs 5,050

Some DIY ideas for the perfect birthday

Make a songs playlist

1.Make a list of songs that kids will enjoy interspersed with Dora songs.

2.Download or write them on a CD.

Play at the party and watch the children dance.

Make themed buntings - construction motif

1.Decide on what theme you want to go with. It could be construction, or a cartoon, train/car theme.

2.Get a sturdy thread on which to hang the buntings

3.Using yellow paper cut out adequate number of triangular shapes of the same size. On some of the triangles, make stripes using black marker to represent the construction motif.

4.Make tiny slits on two sides of the wider end so the thread can go in. You could also use washi tape to stick them together

5.Place them one after the other at regular intervals.

Make masks for the children - here’s a cow mask

1. Take white chart paper and cut out an long oval shape for the cow’s face. Then cut horns and ears shapes.

2. From light pink chart paper, cut a smaller horizontal oval for the nose.

3.With a black marker pen, draw large spots over the face. Draw large eyes and cut holes at the centre.

4. On the pink piece, draw two holes for the nose and a mouth. 

Also read: Fun party themes for your child's 1st birthday party

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