How To Make DIY First Birthday Decorations

How Incredibly Easily I Crafted My Daughter’s First Birthday Decorations

I had started planning my daughter’s first birthday from the day she was born. I was always inspired by people posting birthday photos of their children on Facebook groups and I wanted the same fantastic decorations, superb photography and colorful themes so I had decided to hire an event planner. However when the time came and I got quotations from some event planners in Karachi, they were way out of our budget. In addition, husband wasn’t keen on spending so much on decorations, his viewpoint was that the only thing people ever remember from any event is the food so we can compromise on the decorations but not the food so we decided to have the birthday at Al Habib Restaurant, Do Darya in Karachi ( with an awesome view of the sea) and for the decorations, I decided to do them myself. This blog post is to explain to all other mothers how they can do the same without breaking the bank.

I will take you through everything I made one by one
Photo Booth

My first requirement was a photo booth. Since I was planning a Fairy Princess themed birthday party, I decided to make a photo booth catering to the same theme. Now the first thing I did was some googling to find a Princess mirror photo. I came across thousands of photos on Google Images when I typed princess mirror. I liked this a photo similar to this and saved it.

Princess Mirror Photo

Now how to convert this into a photo booth? I wanted the middle part to be hollow for the face to go in. I basically wanted to convert this image into a poster sized stencil which I could then put on cardboard to cut it into a mirror shape. So the first task was to convert this image into a bigger size. Just printing out this image on A4 wouldn’t have done the job.

That’s when the website Block Posters came in.

Block Poster

This is basically a website that can convert any photo into a poster in the dimensions you want. This website is basically for making posters but let me tell you how I used it for printing a big sized stencil for my photo booth.

I uploaded the mirror photo and got this

Block Poster 2

If you see the part highlighted in red, you can see that this website is giving me the dimensions of my poster. These dimensions can be changed by modifying the number of pages using the top most tab at the right. You should have an idea about the exact height and width of your photo booth to get this right. After selection all options as per your choice, click create my poster and Tada! you get these images on A4 papers.

Now all you have to do is print them on a printout.


Now the next requirement was for a cardboard. This was the hardest part as I needed a really sturdy cardboard. I used cardboard from leftover packaging of a refrigerator which my driver found from a refrigerator shop but mind you, this wasn’t an easy job. I don’t know why but shopkeepers weren’t keen on giving the cardboard to us even for money. I think they have got contracts from packaging companies which take these boxes to be recycled again. Anyways, this is just an assumption. I don’t know for sure. What you can do is save some sturdy cardboard from any packaging of any new products you buy.

Now lay down the cardboard on a flat surface. Put the stencils on top (better to tape the A4 papers so they don’t move) and now cut through using a paper cutter. Be very careful as you don’t want to go beyond the stencil. Use a very sharp cardboard cutter not the regular paper cutter. I used the one shaped like this. Make sure you use a cardboard cutter not a regular paper cutter. A regular paper cutter is not sharp enough. You can get this from a stationery shop.

Cardboard cutter

You will get a cardboard cutout. shaped like a princess mirror. Now use colored chart paper to cover the cardboard. I used a pink color. In addition, I decorated it gluing some beads and decorations and here are the results.


And here is a photo showing its usage


Photo props

The next thing I made was some photo props. This is the easiest thing to make. An event planner will charge you Rs. 100 for one photo props which is a joke because you can get one made in 10 Rupees or maybe even less than that. All you need is some glitter paper (easily available at any stationery shop), a paper cutter and some party sticks.

Here is a preview of glitter paper from this link. These are easily available at any stationery shop in Karachi.

Glitter Paper.jpg

Print photo props from this website Kensie Kate on plain A4 paper. Put the stencils on the glitter paper and cut using a paper cutter using a similar technique used for the photo booth. This time you don’t even need a very sharp paper cutter as glitter paper is very easy to cut through. Get some party sticks from a stationery shop. They are really really cheap. I got so many for just Rs.10. Attach the glitter paper photo props cutouts to the sticks using  transparent tape or glue. Use a lot of tape so that they don’t come out. In addition, keep a tape in your handbag when you go to the party in case something starts coming off. It’s good to have backups of everything at major events. When I got married, my husband and I made a song list to be played on mehndi, barat and valima. I copied them into a CD, put them in a USB for backup and had even the playlist on my cellphone so in case one media fails, there is another option available. The same thing goes for birthday decorations you are doing yourself. Keep glue and tapes handy.

Anyways here is a snapshot of the photo props I made and a photo of us using it

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Photo Lanterns

This is an idea I got while googling for birthday party decoration ideas. The idea was to stick baby photos on lanterns which were lit from inside. Since I couldn’t get any regular lanterns anywhere in Karachi. I decided to make my own.

I got a handful of plastic spice jars from Saeed Super Store. My driver got some LEDs from a Mehndi store. I sprayed glitter on the jars. And stuck the photos. This is how it turned out.


Balloon Decorations

I would suggest to get balloon decorations done from a professional. The thing is the main crux of any birthday party decoration is the balloon decoration and blowing up thousands of balloons is not feasible to do on your own. Our venue, Al Habib Restaurant, Do Darya restaurant had their own balloon decorator whom we hired for Rs. 3000. You can get balloon decorations done from any professional between Rs. 3000 and Rs. 5000. You can get any design made. I got a balloon arch made at the entrance. You can show them ant photo from the internet and they will quote you a price. Price depends upon the number of balloons used. You can even make a balloon arch and balloon decorations yourself. The internet is filled with DIYs for that as well and they looked not so difficult but I honestly didn’t have the time or energy to set up a venue of 100 people with balloons

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2 thoughts on “How Incredibly Easily I Crafted My Daughter’s First Birthday Decorations

  1. Event Planners take all the hassle and add customization to your events. They’ll make your big days memorable for you. Themed events are trendy and enable attendants to go home with sweet memories.


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