Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Very Hungry Caterpillar First Birthday Party

I'll get back to my living room redecorating later this week.  Until then, here's my son's first birthday party.

We kept it pretty simple and only spent about $40 on the decorations and paper goods.

The party was a couple months ago and it was such a sweet time to celebrate with family.  We even had my husband's parents, sister and our niece drive up all the way from Louisiana to be with our little guy on his special day.

We had had the date for the party all lined up since November, but I hadn't planned a single thing until the party was about 3 weeks away.  A girl I work with, whose son turned one about six weeks before mine, told me about their Very Hungry Caterpillar party and the idea just stuck in my head.  When the party was two and a half weeks away I decided I should start looking for some invitations.  At first I looked at Etsy.  I was planning on doing the whole print your own thing.  I soon realized that most Etsy vendors required payment by PayPal (confession:  I've never bought anything from Etsy :-/).  I didn't want to go through the hassle of setting up a PayPal account so I decided I was going to attempt to make my own invitations, thank-yous, cupcake toppers and banner all by myself.

When I created these birthday invitations it first time I'd never used our Adobe Creative Suite to do anything.  It took me a while to figure stuff out, but with a little frustration and trial and error this is what I came up with:
It's nothing spectacular, but for my first try and only the cost of printing ($10 @ Sam's!), it did the job.

The rest of the party stuff was really easy.  Having the fancy schmancy software is nice, but the cupcake toppers, favor tags, food cards and banner, could have all been done with PowerPoint or Publisher since it was just printed from our inkjet printer.

cupcake toppers


favor tag
I ended up mixing store-bought decorations in with my home-made ones.  I bought plates, napkins and plastic table cloths from good ol' Target.

I didn't get a picture of the plates and napkins at the party, but I snapped a picture of them on my last trip to Target.

Here's the run down of our party paper-ware and decorations:
1.  Package of card stock:  $4.99
2.  Pack of colorful tissue paper for pom-poms$4.99
3.  Invitations: 25 5x7's @ $.38 from Sam's:  about $10
4.  Lollipop sticks:  $2.50
5.  Plastic table cloths: 2 @ $3:  $6
6.  Paper plates:  4 packs @ $1.60:  $6.40
7.  Napkins:  2 packs @ $2:  $4

Party supplies and decorations for under $40!

But wait, there's more!  The painting on the gift table was a freebie!  My talented mother-in-law painted this for James, and it's something we'll use for many years to come.....

....aaaaaand here's the super cute cake-on-the-face shot.


Kim @ keller-creative said...

Wow that's adorable! Great job with the invites and cupcake toppers. What an adorable theme.

At The Picket Fence said...

Aaron! This is so adorable, creative and frugal. Great job! It caught my eye the second I saw it in our blog roll...the bright, cheerful colors! Your invitations turned out wonderful and you coordinated everything so well. The last picture of James with the frosting is the best! Great birthday party!


Aaron said...

Thanks ladies! I'm pretty proud of my cheap birthday party.

Lisa said...

I have always wanted to calculate how much I spend on birthday decorations but deep down I am scared at what I might find out :). I am going to do it next time!

Kristin Shyla said...

I want to be a kid again to attend one of these parties! So colorful! I really felt like I was in the book!

Anonymous said...

Hi! I am planning a party like this for my twin 2 year old boys. Every time I walk into Target I hope to find Hungry Caterpillar party supplies...but it never happens. Can you tell me what part of the country you are in? So I can get a better idea of where to find them.


Aaron said...


I'm in the Southeast, but the last time I was at Target the decorations were on clearance. I think they're discontinuing the line. When I was looking for party stuff I saw supplies for sale online, but they weren't as inexpensive as the supplies at Target.


This is what's available through an Eric Carle shop. It's the same stuff that was at Target it's just more expensive.

Hope that helps a bit!

nancyluck said...

This is beautiful! How did you make the tissue paper pom poms?

Anonymous said...

Love it! Where did you get the graphics you used for all your adorable decorations?

Aaron said...

I put a link to the pom pom tutorial where I listed the prices for my supplies.

I used graphics that I found when I did a Google search, and I just saved them and placed them in my document.

Jennifer said...

Hi! Im doing this theme for my son's 1st birthday and was wondering how you made the cookies thick enough to fit on the lollipop sticks? was there a certain recipe you used or trick to it? THANKS!!

Aaron said...


You're supposed to bake the cookies with the stick. You just press the stick into the back of the cookie dough and add a little strip of dough to cover the stick. Then when they bake it all fuses together and it's strong and thick enough to stay put.

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