Offbeat first birthday on a budget

When did first birthday parties evolve into such massive, expensive, complicated, Pinterest affairs? If you’re searching for a first birthday theme that’s a little offbeat, won’t break the bank, or become a craft nightmare, you’ve come to the right blog.

Try sea monsters. They make the cutest horrors for adventurous little boys and girls.  It’s nice variation on the usual pirate and mermaid ocean themes. Run with it as far as you like, although I tend to think less is more with a themed party.  All it takes is a tiny bit of craftiness (or help from someone a tiny bit crafty) and determination.  Here’s nine ideas to get you on your way:


1. You’d be surprised how a cheap package of self stick googly eyes can transform everything you stick them to into monsters. Add them to drink cups and clear glass serving containers for a dash of whimsy. Put them on toothpicks in oversized ham and cheese croissants for awesome monster crab sandwiches.

2. These marshmallow octopus cupcakes are the cutest.Cupcakes are great for kid parties since they don’t necessarily require utensils. Regardless of whether you make or buy them, they’re always a hit. No time or inclination for making the fancy cupcakes? Slap a gummy octopus candy on top instead and call it a day.

3. I love the yellow submarine photo prop. It’s easy make with a little imagination, craft paint, and some cardboard.  Make a Loch Ness Nessie for bonus points.

4. Everyone knows hungry sharks are dangerous sharks. Keep your sea monster happy with this cute feed the shark  toss game. If you can cut a triangular shape and a large hole, you’re in business. Supply a variety of items to toss into the shark (bean bags, balls of socks, or Octonaut toys are fun).

5. Make floaty bubble strands. Get regular size latex balloons (clear, pastel pearly blue and white) filled with helium at the dollar store and attach a weight to each of them. At home, tie smaller balloons in varying sizes and similar colors to the main helium balloon to look like a bubble column. Bonus points if you flank your front door with a couple to welcome your guests to your underwater bash.

6. Seaweed. Twist green crepe paper and fix both ends to the wall vertically near the floor. Voila! you’ve got sea kelp. Could that be any easier?

7. sea monster punch: both tasty and terrifying, my favorite combo. Acquire blue fruit punch and large gummy tentacles and you’re in business. Update, I can’t actually find this candy to purchase anymore. It looks like you could make your own out of modeling clay fairly easily.


8. If you’re feeling brave, release the Kraken (cocktails) on the adults at your party. This dark, spiced rum also tastes pretty good with ginger ale.

9. There’s no earthly reason you need to send your guests home with giant swag bags of goodies. Place these little squishy puffer ball favors in a basket by the door with an adopt a sea monster sign. They’re adorkable, fun, and best of all, inexpensive.

Bonus monster: Bioluminescent pet. Though not strictly a sea monster, this creature bears a striking resemblance to Nessie. It would make very a cool science gift for a curious kid (or spouse).

Well, there you have it, a weird themed kids party on the cheap.  Have other ideas? Tell me about them in the comments.

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