Subscribe in a reader

Monday, December 30, 2013

Thrifty Uno First Birthday Party Theme

My son's first birthday party happened over a year before I started blogging, but I pinned the theme on Pinterest, and it has been re-pinned many times! Since there was so much interest, I thought I would explain what we did. This was an inexpensive theme, so it definitely fits into the thrifty category. Full disclosure: my husband is a very-talented graphic designer, so I didn't have to purchase design time for a banner or invitations, but the theme relied mainly on projects anyone can do.

Uno means "one" in Spanish and I just loved that, so I thought this would be a fun theme. I just pulled colors from the card game, which are primary colors—red, green, yellow, blue, black.

It's the simple things that pull a theme together, like the tableware. I chose these colors:

As for other small touches, I filled a clear cup with colored m&ms (pulling out the brown ones) as a fun decoration that you can see in the below picture, and used plastic platters from the dollar store. The table cloths were cheap, as they were just solid colors. I bought a pack of mini Uno cards from Party City and used them to scatter on the table like confetti, and as cupcake toppers. I also bought big primary-colored bottles of bubbles and placed them on tables. These were only 3 for a dollar—very cheap decorations!

For easy wall decor, I printed out a picture of my son for each month of his first year (my husband added the month on the picture), and hung up 2 long black streamers. I taped the pictures to the streamers. Fun!

My husband created and printed this beautiful banner out. Each letter was printed on standard paper and we punched 2 holes in the top and threaded a black ribbon through it.

Another easy banner was made by taping extra pictures we had to blue streamer and hanging it over a doorway.

The decoration that got the most attention, though, was definitely the cupcake stand. My husband built this, as this is not my strong-suit. I do not have a step by step guide to this, but he built 3 boxes. I believe they are 24"X24", 18"X18", and 12" by 12". He left the bottoms open so they can nest inside each other. The materials he used were inexpensive foam board, an exacto knife, and tape. I have also seen tutorials showing these done by finding 3 random cardboard boxes that look good when stacked and just wrapping them up. We taped full-size Uno cards around each board, and topped them with a sheet of primary-colored tissue paper, just laid on top. I baked the cupcakes and used primary-colored liners. My son's name starts with an "M" so I used colored m&m's to press onto each cupcake. I made cupcake toppers by sandwiching two mini uno cards to the top of a toothpick with glue. I bought a primary-colored individual cake and I pressed mini uno cards around it. My husband cut a one-shape out of leftover foam board for me and I glued a skewer to the back of it. I glued mini uno cards to the foam one-shape and it became a perfect topper for the individual cake.

And here it is:

The topper has since been reused to create a Yo Gabba Gabba stand and is still going strong.  Since it nests together, it is easy to store in a closet. This was a great investment!

I shouldn't leave out the way we started the theme, with these gorgeous invitations that my husband designed. They were printed at Walgreens as simple 4x6 photos, so cost a mere 8 cents each. You can find etsy sellers to design this for you and send you the image to have printed or send me an email or message and it's likely my husband would be glad to work something up for you.

This theme did not cost us much at all and it was very simple. If you've got a first birthday party to plan in your future, this one is a lot of fun! 

And here's a pic of the now 2-year-old birthday boy. Time flies!


  1. Where can I get these invites?! I looked on Etsy and I can't find them :/

  2. Where did you get the onesie? That is adorable!

  3. I see you said your husband created the bay banner, do you still happen to have them saved somewhere? Or how else can I go about creating it. What about the invitation?? What about a piƱata?

  4. I have always liked the UNO theme. I just had mine in one of the NYC venues. I got this idea from such a post only. Anyways, I really liked this one too. A lot of efforts have been put here to arrange the party. The cake and cupcakes look delicious.