DIY or Do-It- Yourself is a trend these days. The attitude of buying everything is slowly being
scrapped out. Instead, people have discovered the beauty of making use of the resources at hand and
recreating it into something more advanced and eye-pleasing. Birthday parties are one of the most
common grounds where people are able to explore their creativity by doing DIY decorations or set-ups.
It is not only a way to express yourself, but, most importantly, a way to save money from hiring party
organizers and decorators.
Last August 13, we celebrated the 1 st birthday of my son. It was a double celebration since we
also celebrated his baptism at the same time. Since I wanted to spend more on food, I decided to do the decoration myself. I prepared for 2 long months – from the balloons, which I still ordered online, to the table set-up and backdrop, which I all bought from Daiso, and even the photobooth – everything was DIY.
The theme was based on the famous Disney character, Mickey Mouse. Thanks to Pinterest that I have an idea on what to make. You can check my Pinterest board for mickey themed birthday party here.
I made 2 balloon pillars which I placed beside the center table, 1 on each side. The balloons were shaped exactly like how Mickey Mouse looks like. I saw this from a Youtube Tutorial, it was actually pretty simple but pumping them all by hand is quite tiring.
Practice makes perfect LOL!
Then the letter standees that read, O N E, are pre-made and bought from DAISO. I just outlined them on a colored paper then cut and paste them on the standees.I also printed a cupcake toppers with Ethan and mickey`s head in a photo paper. Why photo paper? because they are sturdy than a regular paper, just make sure that you cut them out very slowly.
The personalized giveaways are made of black cardboard, then I just glued it on the plastic cup`s lid.
Game prizes are actually sent by my mom from the Philippines; Mickey Mouse scissors, Mickey Mouse figure that I glued on a Minnie Mouse pencil, some candies and put them all on a brown bag with of course Mickey`s head. I also had a tarpaulin printed as backdrop, which was a collage of my son’s pictures from his first month to present.
The other side of the venue was where I place individual foil balloons of my son’s name, E T H A N. Event halls such as the one we used are available on every community/district. I was very lucky to have reserved a place for free. Since the event hall in our community doesn’t charge users, you just have to clean the place after using and provide a box of tissues.
I also placed a DIY photobooth that the guests enjoyed a lot, before and after the party. To make
it more unique, I only used an iPad for the photobooth. I did a research on the program as well and created my own photo layout. It was really a big hit! Guests can bring the photos because I also provided an on the spot printing.
The games that I looked for, are games that are not commonly used during parties. I mean, newspaper dance, trip to Jerusalem , etc are fun but I wanted it to be unique that the guests, particularly kids, would enjoy. If you want games that are unique and fun, try searching “minute to win it games” and there are tons of them.
here are the games that my guests played:
* Find the hidden mickey ( these are actually birthday invitations that I made, mickey`s head with a pouch. I just hid them under the chairs and tables.)
* Longest happy birthday ( kids will say happy birthday and whoever have the longest time will be the winner)
* Sip that nips ( transfer nips to a cup for only 60 sec and whoever get a large number of nips will be the winner)
*Elephant March ( anyone can participate but in our case, I only called for the dads! they`ll wear a stocking on their heads with a ball dangling on it)
* Face that cookie (a cookie is placed on their forehead and make it “run” or fall down to their mouth)
For the food, I was able to spend 4-5man yen, excluding the cake and cupcakes which was
sponsored by my sister and my son’s grandmother. Since my only expense for the decoration was 1-
2man yen, I was able to save at least 1man yen because it would have cost me 3-4man yen if I hired an
organizer and decorator.
I was so fortunate to have people willing to give their full support such as my sister, my son’s
grandmother, and my friend, Glaiza, who hosted the party for free. The guests, who are mostly my
friends, also helped in cleaning the event hall after the party.
The only downside of going DIY especially in parties in having no one to help you in preparing for
the things you need such as the materials for decoration. Just like what happened to me, the baptismal
rites happened in the morning and the party was at 2 o’ clock in the afternoon. I only had 2 hours to do the set-up and I had nobody to help me (except for the 2 ninangs who arrived at 1.30 PM) that was why I wasn’t able to really achieve the decoration that I was planning to do. The time was not enough since the guests were already starting to arrive and it was not proper anymore to keep on decorating.
Although it was exhausting, it was still worth it in the end because my son obviously, totally enjoyed the party. He looked extremely happy seeing the guests play and sing for him.
DIYs are undeniably tiring but I tell you, it’s worth it. To see your ideas come to existence
through the work of your hands erases all the feeling of exhaustion. If you are planning to do a DIY
decoration and party set-up on your next event, I suggest that you ask someone to help you with it
especially if you have time constraint. Also make sure to prepare all the things needed ahead of time – probably a month or two before the party. Goodluck!