The 1st year of life is a huge accomplishment. Not only for the child but for the parents as well. Everyone survived and hopefully thrived most of the 365 days. And that is something to seriously throw a party for!
So, when we celebrated our daughter Eden’s 1st birthday this past weekend we did it BIG… in hungry caterpillar fashion! She LOVES that book so we made a day of celebrating her with our family and friends while chowing down on everything that caterpillar ate. And yes…I mean EVERYTHING. We had it all from the fruit, the chocolate cake, the sausage, to the ice cream cones and more. Check out the photos below to see how I did it on a budget of $180!
Most of the food and decorations I made myself along with help from my sisters. I shopped around a little bit at Wal-Mart, Aldi, and Giant Food Store for supplies. I know it seems like a lot but I’m all about time management. All the printing I completed weeks in advance. Then, I distributed my time spent on decorations and food over the week prior to the party. I even managed to schedule some time to visit the pool too!
Here is how we partied…
On the menu we had:
- Deviled eggs [aka the egg on the leaf]
- Brownies [aka the chocolate cake]
- Funfetti cake cones with buttercream icing [aka the ice cream cone – I followed the box directions and made mine like THIS with BUTTERCREAM ICING]
- A meat tray including pickles, cheese, and buns [purchased from Giant Food Store for $60 – served 30+ people]
- Tootsie pops
- Mini cherry pies [with THIS recipe]
- Vienna sausages in BBQ sauce
- Cupcakes [made these with the left over batter from “smash cake” recipe below]
- Strawberry spinach salad [aka the nice green leaf – with THIS recipe]
- **Even though they weren’t part of the story we also had a veggie tray and two different kinds of potato chips on our menu. And to drink we offered water, lemonade, and iced tea**
Total cost to make the food: $133.29
The food ate up the biggest chunk of our budget; however, if you are having a smaller party you could definitely get away with making just a few of the items the caterpillar ate. We were serving 28 people so we went for it all.
Photo credit: Leigh G Photography
THE “SMASH CAKE”
No first birthday party would be complete without a “smash cake”! So I made an eatable “girly” hungry caterpillar using THIS healthy cake recipe, which included some of Eden’s favorites: banana and yogurt. To make the caterpillar’s head I used 2- 3″ pyrex dishes and for the body I used the left over batter and made a few cupcakes. The only alteration I made to the recipe was adding 1/4 cup powdered sugar to the icing. It just needed a little extra sweetness.
Total cost to make the cake and cupcakes (however, some of these ingredients you may already have at home): $13.72
As you can see she enjoyed the smashing part the most. It wasn’t until the day after her party that she actually wanted to eat the cake.
This was the most fun part of planning for me!
- The book itself, duh
- Printed pages from the story [Some you find HERE and some I created myself here: ONE SUNDAY MORNING, LITTLE EGG/ NICE GREEN LEAF, JUNK FOOD]
- White plastic tablecloths – I hot-glued small circles cut from construction paper to the edges
- Caterpillars made from balloons
- Caterpillars made from paper plates
- A “happy birthday” banner – made from circles cut out of construction paper and hot-glued to yarn
- An “I am one!” banner – made from paper plates
- A “gifts” banner – made from circles cut out of construction paper and hot-glued to yarn
- A butterfly balloon [purchased from Party City for $10.00]
Total cost to make the decorations (not including what I had on hand- printer paper and construction paper): $16.79
Because I knew there were going to be kids at the party, I also offered a few fun activities including:
- Hungry caterpillar food toss – made from poster board taped to a corn hole board – the object of the game was to throw plastic fruit and veggies into his mouth
- Hungry caterpillar coloring pages [you can find HERE]
Total cost to make (not including corn hole board itself): $8.90
To thank everyone for coming we handed out “caterpillar food” favors. I made little caterpillars and leaves to tie around the goody bags for added cuteness. You can find the sign I made HERE.
The “caterpillar food” included:
Total cost to make: $9.17
To say we had fun would be an understatement. From the yummy food to all the creative decorations, this party turned out to be a blast! The best part of all was seeing Eden’s face light up throughout the day as she spent time with each of our sweet friends and family who attended. Because after all… that is really all that matters to having a successful party, right?!
Until next time…