My hubby gave me a smaller budget than I'm used to for my daughter's 1st birthday party, so I was 'forced' to make all my own decorations. Normally I would buy all sorts of cute banners and decor from someone on Etsy for WAY to much money (but very convenient), but I recently got a Cricut paper cutter and I have stacks of random scrapbook paper so I thought I could try to make everything myself. My theme was The Very Hungry Caterpillar, which I felt would be easy because I could just cut out a bunch of circles. And it was super easy.
I made quite a few banners, and all but one of them were made using just the basic Cricut Cartridge that comes the Cricut paper cutter, so I didn't even have to buy any special cartridges for the banners.
The first banner I made was a Happy Birthday Banner.
The Happy Birthday Banner was just 3 separate banner; 1st banner read "Happy", 2nd banner read "Birthday", and the 3rd one had my daughter's name. I made sure to position the caterpillar head facing opposite directions on alternating banners.
Then I made a I am 1 Banner (this was for my little one's first birthday!)
I originally planned to put this banner around the tabletop of the highchair, but then you couldn't read it all so we placed it on the wall behind the highchair. The banner looked cute underneath my Caterpillar Balloon guy too.
I also made a Very Hungry Caterpillar "Floormat" that I placed under the highchair
This cute guy was under the highchair to help catch some of the falling smash cake.
My favorite thing was the Year of Pictures Banner of my daughter:
(Left hand corner in the below pic, on the wall)
I placed a picture of my daughter, one for each month of her life so far (and then a couple extra irresistible photos too). And of course the caterpillar head at the beginning.
And I made a FUN FOOD BANNER with all different food cut-outs (all items of food the caterpillar eats in the book). I made this banner using a couple other cartridges (Preserves Cartridge and Sweet Treats cartridge) and I used a lot of things I had already cut out for my centerpieces, but they had a mistake or couldn't be used for some reason. (Check out my Very Hungry Caterpillar Centerpieces here: http://berriesofwisdom.blogspot.com/2014/06/the-very-hungry-caterpillar-party.html )
For a majority of the banners, I just cut out a lot of circles. The circles for my Year of Photos Banner were a little larger (I think I cut the outer circle 7 inches), but all the rest were cut to 5 1/2 inch circles, mainly so that I could cut 4 circles out of each 12x12 sheet of scrapbook paper and not waste too much excess paper. The inner circle was cut a little bit smaller, and the red circles for the head were cut the same size as the outer circles. And for the Year of Photos Banner, I printed 4x6 photo prints, And I cut them into 4 inch circles to place in the center of each circle.
Then I made the cute faces. I cut out 3 inch ovals (yellow), for the outer eyes. Then slightly smaller ovals (green) for the center of the eye and for the noses. For the antenna, I just cut them out with good old scissors since I didn't need too many and I didn't have a Cricut cartridge for the shape I wanted. I stuck butterfly stickers (from an Eric Carle set of stickers) for the spacing on the "I AM 1" banner and on the tail circles of the Happy Birthday banners. I pieced the circles together with present wrapping ribbon from the dollar store (except the Year of Photos Banner, I just taped each individual part on the wall).
I made sure to cut out a face for the Balloon Caterpillar
and a face for my paper plate caterpillar too while I was at it.
Directions for this paper plate caterpillar are here:
He was super easy and very inexpensive too!
I cut out 11 1/2 inch circles for the caterpillar floormat, glued them together to fit through the legs of the highchair, and made another cute face and antenna.
I also used the same stickers and squares of colored scrapbook paper and toothpicks to make these cupcake toppers.