Are you looking for ideas for your shabby chic themed party? I planned a shabby chic party on a tight budget for my daughter’s first birthday, and I have plenty of shabby chic party ideas to share with you, plus tips for working with a tight budget!
I DIYed this whole party, so I’ll go through the juicy details of the party with you, and then give you my best thrifty tips for a shabby chic party on a tight budget.
Shabby Chic Decorations: Pink, Aqua and Owls
For the color scheme I knew from the start it would be pastel pink and aqua blue. I also loved the idea of owls for a first birthday party so I had to include them in there too 😉
I created flower poms from tissue paper and paper medallions from scrapbook paper for the table backdrop.
I borrowed my mom’s lace tablecloth and crochet doilies to add some delicate vintage patterns to the table.
I used an old window frame converted to a mirror from my daughter’s nursery, and I stuck grey and white patterned shelf/drawer liner over the mirror. The window was the perfect backdrop for my baby’s monthly photos, which I converted to black and white and printed as Polaroids to write the months on the front. I hung them from jute twine and wood clothespins.
I placed pink and white silk flowers in a variety of holders, from a white vase to a glass aqua vase to candle-holders and even a little white teapot.
I also added white candlesticks in glass holders, and a couple picture frames with my baby girl in aqua and pink.
As another personal touch I added a large wood letter B embellished with paper doilies, ribbon, blue flowers and buttons.
Next to the table on my buffet and hutch I hung a paper doily name banner, and a photo display of my favorite photos from my baby’s first year.
For the birthday girl’s highchair, I created scrap fabric bunting, with a wood letter “one” banner, and a matching birthday hat from scrapbook paper and scrap fabric. The highchair is a vintage wood chair I picked up for the party and birthday photo session, and then sold afterward.
Shabby Chic Party Food: DIY Deliciousness
The cake was also the “smash cake” for my baby girl, so I didn’t want to use any food coloring and I wanted the icing to be soft. I frosted it in a “shabby” style (ahem messy) around the sides and then put icing rosettes over the top. It’s off-white because I used brown vanilla, and I think the color is perfectly shabby chic!
I made cupcakes for the guests, which had pretty floral liners and pink icing rosettes on top. On a few cupcakes for the kids, I used owl cupcake liners and made them look like cute little owls with white icing, white sandwich cookies (like vanilla Oreos) and little blue candies (I used M&Ms).
Another little treat was the white chocolate dipped marshmallows, topped with shredded coconut and blue pearl sprinkles. These are really easy to make, very pretty and so yummy!
Shabby Chic Party Favors: Not Baby Food
For the party favors I handed out baby food jars full of yogurt-covered raisins. I painted the lids with white craft paint and wrapped the jars with pink crepe paper and jute twine. It was a great use for all those baby food jars!
Tips for a Shabby Chic Party on a Tight Budget
Whether you’re DIYing the entire party or just looking to keep the costs down, there’s a few things you can do to get the shabby chic style with a tight budget.
I think the best shabby chic parties have a lovely pairing of dainty and feminine with aged and rustic, and use a variety of patterns, textures and unexpected items to create a unique collection. Here’s how to achieve the look for less:
Look around your home for items you can use, re-purpose or re-finish to use for your shabby chic decor. Teapots, teacups and saucers, vases, candle holders, jars, baskets, frames, clocks, fabric… you might have a few things that would work perfectly.
Ask your friends and family if you may borrow items for your party. If you don’t know what they have specifically, mention what you are searching for, in case they might have it tucked away in a cupboard or attic.
You don’t have it, your friends and family don’t have it, but your party must have it. Search thrift stores and secondhand sources for vintage and shabby chic items so you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg at an antique store.
I bought some scrap fabric from a thrift store and a vintage highchair on a moving sale off Craigslist. I also bought some supplies from the craft store and the dollar store for creating some party decorations, but overall I spent very little by using what I already had and borrowing a few things.
I also gave my treasures double duty by re-using some party decorations afterwards. I hung the wood B in my daughter’s room with her window frame, and I added all of the photo prints to her baby album. The silk flowers, clothespins and even the twine were saved for future use. I think that’s one of the great aspects of this kind of party theme — you can be resourceful and create less waste so it’s very “green”.
What’s the “must-have” item for your shabby chic party? Share with a comment below!