We put on a cupcake themed party for my daughter Samantha on her first birthday. It was cute, frugal, fun, and very easy. My kind of party! 🙂 I did some looking online for ideas and inspiration, but it was difficult to find things that fit my limited skill level, free time, and budget. So here’s what I did in case it inspires someone else!
We kept the guest list pretty short. Just a few family members and friends with enough kids around Sami and Jaron’s age to make it fun. I found a cute cupcake-themed outfit at an outlet store for her to wear. They are pretty common, so you should be able to find one by shopping around or looking online. All I did for decorating was to place a few bunches of pink and white balloons around. Since the party was in the afternoon, I provided some simple snacks and drinks: veggies and dip, crackers and cheese, peanut butter and jelly as well as cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches cut into triangles, milk, water, and coffee.
OK, I realize all that sounds incredibly UNinspiring. But trust me, making things simple and easy should be a welcome blessing for any mom! I’ve learned to let go (at least to some extent) of my desire for my ideal event. Instead, I take my ideas and scale them back significantly until they are easily manageable but still fun.
The cupcakes were the most fun! I normally like to do “from scratch” baking, but in my quest for simple, I spent a few more bucks and used boxed white cake mix and store-bought tubs of chocolate as well as vanilla frosting. I did also splurge on a pink frosting you can spray to look more fancy. Not the healthiest, but we are talking about cupcakes for a birthday party, after all. I made about four boxes worth of the cupcakes, but three would have been fine too.
I left half the cupcakes bare for the kids to decorate on their own at the party, decorated the other half beforehand for the rest of us to eat. I found this great site where a lady provided cute cupcake topper printouts for free. I printed them out on card stock, punched them out with a 2-inch scalloped hole punch, and secured one on each side of a lollipop stick using double-sided tape.
I wanted to make a giant cupcake for Samantha to dig in to. There are some cake moulds just for that purpose, but they were all SO expensive. The craft store has a Wilton one for $35. Funny thing is I just noticed one on sale today at Bed Bath and Beyond for $20. But I decided to just bake a slightly bigger cupcake using one of my glass ramekins and it ended up being perfect! Just added a big candle on top. I see ramekins at Goodwill all the time, so I’m sure you can get one for little money.
Some of the cupcake topper designs that printed were suitable to punch out and use for the invitations and thank you cards as well. I bought a value pack of blank cards and envelopes from the craft store along with some glitter glue. Then I had some girlfriends over to help me assemble them (and eat my failed, but still edible, attempt at making fudge). We printed the text on the cards and then added the punch-outs to the front and glittered them up. Very cute! Let me know if you’d like me to email you the files for the invite and thank you card text so you can just modify it and print it out on standard blank cards.
The invitations said “Our little cupcake is turning one!” and had standard info on it, including a suggestion to bring a mess-friendly t-shirt and/or change of clothes for the kids and their cupcake decorating activity. The thank you cards said “Thank you for celebrating our little cupcake with us! You made Samantha’s birthday that much sweeter.” Plus a space for adding a personal note.
As an aside, I also had this brilliant idea of buying individual cupcake boxes for the kids to fill with an extra cupcake they decorated to take home. That seemed better than favor bags. But nobody used any of them! How sad. If you want to try it anyway, the craft store should have some.
That’s it! Easy and fairly frugal. Here are some other resources:
BTW – if any of you that see me on a regular basis want the extra supplies I have from this party, you’re welcome to them! You can even borrow the hole puncher. 🙂 I have punched-out pieces, assembled toppers, cupcake boxes, etc.