When my daughter turned one, I was determined not to go overboard on her birthday party. How much is a one-year-old going to remember anyway?
But she is my first child and I wanted something fun for her first birthday. Since our daughter had fallen in love with Snoopy, a Peanuts party seemed appropriate.
I gave myself $100 to decorate and feed people. My husband didn’t believe I could keep it to $100 – and he was right. But I didn’t go too crazy. Here’s how I threw an affordable Peanuts bash:
I made all of the decorations. Peanuts art is bright and colorful so you don’t need a lot for it to look fun. There is also a lot of free Snoopy art online that you can print. The fun part about the decorations is that we took many items home to decorate her room afterward.
Cartoon strip garland: I simply took Sunday Peanut strips and photocopied them. I cut the strips out and made garland in the style of the construction paper rings every kid makes for Christmas. It took a lot of time but I would work on it while I watched TV at night. The cost was paper, ink and tape.
Poster board Snoopys and Woodstocks: I sketched out six large Snoopys on white poster board and a handful of Woodstocks on yellow. Cost: $7.
Picture wall: I took a picture from each month of my baby’s life and posted it on a wall for guests to view. Cost: Paper and ink.
Tissue Paper Pom Poms: Cost: $1 for a packet of colored tissue paper from the Dollar Store.
Cardboard Snoopy Dog House: I had Gary build a Snoopy dog house out of cardboard boxes we had laying around. He used some black Gorilla tape to make the name and outline the edges.
Snoopy toys: Of course we used all five of my daughter’s Snoopys to decorate as well.
Balloons: We used red balloons and white balloons with dog prints on them that we found at Hobby Lobby. Cost: $5.
Name garland: I printed out the Peanuts characters and attached them to the letters in her name. I hung them from some twine we had. Cost: Paper and ink.
Most of the people coming to the party were going to be teens or adults, so we needed entertainment for all ages.
Peanuts quiz: We found random facts about the Peanuts gang online and made up questions such as how many siblings does Snoopy have? Can you name them?
Make your own Peanuts cartoon: I took a Peanuts strip and erased the words in the text balloons. We then let people create their own Peanuts strip. Cost: Paper and ink.
Peanuts on TV: We connected our computer to the television and had Peanuts playing from YouTube throughout the party. This was entertainment for young kids and adults. Cost: Free.
Most of the money was spent on food. I kept the menu to homemade fingers foods to keep costs down.
Main dish: I made three types of pinwheels (tortillas with some kind of meat, seasoning and cream cheese rolled up and sliced an inch thick). I also made four quiche because eggs and homemade pie crusts are cheap. Cost: $50 to feed 30 people.
Cupcakes with Peanuts toppers: I printed out Peanuts characters, cut them out and glued them to construction paper. I then glued that to toothpicks. The plates that the cupcakes were set on were from our wedding. Cost: Paper, ink, $1.50 for toothpicks, $3 for cake mix on sale, $4 for frosting).
Puppy Chow: There is a recipe using Chex cereal, melted chocolate, peanut butter and powdered sugar actually called Puppy Chow. We served this up in new red plastic dog dishes from the Dollar Store. Puppy Chow: $8. Dishes: $4
Dog Bone Sugar Cookies: I made white and red sugar cookies in the shape of dog bones. If you look online you can find Peanuts cookie cutters but at the time they were going for $25-$30 and I just couldn’t bring myself to buy them. They’re cheaper now:
I found the dog bone cookie cutter at Walmart for $1.50. I made over 200 of these cookies and I’m not sure why. We only had 30 people coming to the party so I had dog bone cookies in my freezer for two months after the party: Cost: $10
Peanuts: Of course I needed to provide a bowl of actual peanuts (and it was okay since I didn’t know anyone with severe peanut allergies). Cost: $5
As for her Belle (one of Snoopy sisters) dress, I splurged and bought this new at Target for $18. Normally, I never buy new clothes for my daughter since she has been given so many. But this was a special occasion and it was perfect.
By the time you add a ream of paper ($5) and figure in the cost of colored ink ($35 I think is a fair prorated cost), I got close to $150.