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First Birthday Party Prep! A Cheap Photo Display

Make a cheap party decoration with this giant #1 photo prop tutorial! Perfect decoration for a baby's first birthday, and cheap too.

Check out my gigantic number 1! I’m super excited with how it turned out. I’ve been working really hard to rejuvenate my creative spirit post-baby and this feels like the first thing I’ve been thrilled about that was actually my own idea, not something off Pinterest! I spent some time browsing ideas on how to display pictures at a birthday party but didn’t want to spend much money.

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How to make a cheap first birthday party decoration from cardboard & photo prints! Easy, fast, and cheap. Swoodsonsays.com

It’s not anything super fancy, but I love it! We had some spare cardboard from a table we bought, but you could easily get some from a local appliance shop. My husband just did simple straight lines and used a craft knife to cut it out.

I used  photo splits* to attach the pictures; they let me reposition as I adjusted the layout but stick well enough to hold everything up. I’m 5’2 to give it some scale, and it’s covered in approximately 90 photos.

I started by edging around in alternating landscape and portrait photos and then just filled in at random.

First Birthday Party Prep! A Cheap Photo Display Swoodson Says

Simple fins and duct tape made it sturdy!

First Birthday Party Prep! A Cheap Photo Display Swoodson Says

All in all, a $4 project since we had the cardboard and duct tape on hand, and the photos were free thanks to a Target deal a few weeks ago. I can’t wait to put it up at the party!

Make a cheap party decoration with this giant #1 photo prop tutorial! Perfect decoration for a baby's first birthday, and cheap too.

[If you’re looking for other first birthday ideas, check out my free printable baby birthday mad lib!]


This Post Has 27 Comments
  1. This is probably really dumb, but I’m a complete perfectionists when it comes to my projects. do you by any chance have dimensions for this project, or at least a close estimate? It would be greatly appreciated!!
    Also, I’m hoping maybe creative minds can think alike, I am planning to have my daughter’s first birthday outdoors, any suggestions on how to weigh it down so it won’t blow away with the wind?

    1. Aw I am sorry, I do not have dimensions from when I made it and it was recycled shortly thereafter.. if it helps, I’m about 5’2? As for weighing it down… hmmm. I would probably make a few discreet slits towards the bottom, and on the back brace, and then put some balloon weights connected by string/ribbon through them. Does that make sense? Or even ribbon tied to rocks. If you had something like that on each side and the back brace, I think it would stay up barring any huge winds.

  2. i really like your post but I’m more interested in the gate that you have around your fireplace. Where did you get it and what brand is it? I’ve been looking everywhere for one like that!

  3. Hi, I really love this diy, but what intrigued me the most was your adorable tunic! Could you tell me where yours is from, I’ve been searching for one just like it.

  4. It is always fun to see projects like this. My second thought is… this is your first baby. If it was your 3 or 4th child you would not have gotten this done.

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