Save money with DIY decorations that make your babe’s first birthday party look spectacular. Yes, they’re quick to make. And no, you don’t need to be super crafty. Read on for ideas on how to perk up your party with cupcake garlands, light-up signs, baby pics and more.

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photo: The Brimblecom Blog

Fly, Baby, Fly

Remember how to fold paper airplanes? This simple craft becomes whimsical decor for a birthday party. Allie of The Brimblecom Blog swept us off our feet with her fleet of paper airplanes on the wall.

Topsy Turvy Garland

Cupcake holders make an amazing garland. First, collect leftovers from your cupboards and friends. Then make Rachel Hollis's vibrant garland—it takes a little patience and time to string everything together, but the results are kooky-fabulous in the most Alice-in-Wonderland of ways.

A Bouncy Entrance to Fun

Who needs helium? String balloons upside down with colored streamers of your choice just above those little outstretched hands to really get tots jumping. High-fives to Saar Manche for remastering these two common props with originality.

Tassels in the Air

If your high chair, table or countertop needs a little pizzaz, Callie Manion has solved your problem. Elevate that furniture to festive status with a shiny line of tassels embellishments. 

photo: Lavender's Blue Designs

Feed Them Fun Facts

Fun facts on your food table signs take them to the next level. Lavender's Blue Designs shows us how. Whether you choose interesting info from around the world about babies and birthday parties or funny memories about your special babe, it's a great way to keep your guests engaged and give them something to talk about. 

Show 'Em Your Mug

When it's your child's birthday, everybody is there to see them, so there is no better theme than their own cute face. Ice Cream Off Paper Plates featured Owen's expressive face everywhere, from mantel garlands to cake toppers. 

Always Your #1

Finally, a way to show off all those photos you took of your beloved babe. Add visual joy by using your fave photos (or all of them!) to build a gigantic number uno. 

photo: Natalie Spencer

Fold Up Fun

Ellia had a radiant birthday filled with neon colors and cool geometric shapes. The wall of triangle origami by Darling & Daisy really caught our eye. Turn any empty wall into a psychedelic cavern by folding square sheets of paper diagonally in half. Then fold the edges about 1 centimeter in, allowing you to stick it on the wall and let it pop! Check out more of this 3D display at 100 Layer Cake.

photo: You Are My Fave

Showstopping Lights

All you need is one showstopper to wow the crowd, and everything else will fall into place. The mom-crafter from You Are My Fave lit up the room with a glowing marquee sign that elevated even the most simple decorations without going over the top. The tutorial from Oh Happy Day requires a bit of work and wiring, so opt for making the number 1 or the just first letter of your child's name.

photo: Love & Lion

Reach for the Sky Decor

No helium for floating decorations? No problem! Hang your baubles from your chandelier or fan for ceiling-to-floor flair. Leah of Love & Lion spraypainted these plastic animals with bright colors and hung them from her lights for a colorful, creative effect.

photo: Allyson Wiley

Center of Attention

Your superstar deserves all the attention he or she can get on the big day. Show off candid photos as centerpieces at your guests’ tables. A Little Savvy Event propped up their photos with a colorful clothespin for this birthday social. 

Streaming Pink Throne

The seat of honor is a very important spot indeed. Crafting mama Courtney of Joyful Joyful Designs gave her one-year-old the spotlight with this stunningly decorated high chair. Fun fact: This was actually Mom’s childhood high chair (refurbished) before Hudson sat in it!

—Christal Yuen

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