Published on January 18, 2017
Sheriff Callie’s Wild West was my daughter’s favorite Disney Jr. show up until she was around 13 months old. Choosing it as the theme for her first birthday party was a no-brainer. Executing the theme was an entirely different story. We had to rely to DIYs for two reasons. First, it wasn’t really the most popular Disney character compared with Sofia the First, Mickey Mouse or the sisters Elsa and Anna of Frozen. Because of this, looking for suppliers was quite an arduous task. When you live in Manila, Divisoria is surely your first stop for party needs. Sa laki ng Divisoria, puro si Elsa at Sofia lang ang laman! When I ask vendors, “Ate, meron po kayong Sheriff Callie,” I usually get wrinkled foreheads and confused eyes as replies! When I searched Google for some ideas, I remember finding only one Filipino kid who had a Sheriff Callie-inspired birthday party in the last five years. Either my daughter has a unique taste or my Google keywords were not that helpful. Second, and probably the more important thing, getting an event stylist is too damn pricey! The cheapest quote I got was PHP30K! The stylists told me that I need to pay a customization fee because they needed to do everything from scratch. Why? Again, because Sheriff Callie is not a popular choice among kids for birthday parties! I was so tempted to change the theme. I thought of settling with Sofia the First, but I realized that it would be Zayne’s birthday party and not mine. (When it’s time for Sofia the First, I drop whatever I’m doing to catch an episode I still haven’t seen, while Zayne will drop watching TV to run around the house or go up and down the couch! Hahaha!)
I had this birthday party envisioned in my head – big hall, food served by a caterer, venue is styled by a professional event stylist, elaborate dessert stations, and the list goes on. But I didn’t want to spend that much for a one-day event especially since my daughter would probably not remember a thing about it. I talked to my husband about my dilemma. I told him that I already started checking out Pinterest for some pegs for Zayne’s birthday party. I just needed his conviction that he would help me with the execution. He said YES right away! I was initially doubtful that he would not be able to keep his promises. But by the end of this post, you’ll realize that Boyet will do anything for his unica hija! Hahaha!
For someone like me who is not gifted with a single artistic gene, Pinterest became my best friend. And of course, hats off to my husband who was so patient with my keen eyes for details. We really wanted to transform the entire venue into Nice and Friendly Corners, but time was not on our side. I wasn’t really that keen into throwing a party for Zayne because I would rather spend the money on traveling. But we later on settled with going to Bacolod (instead of booking an international flight) and throwing a simpler party. By the time we’ve finally decided how “simple” we really wanted it (minus all the bonggacious ideas on my head), our daughter’s birthday was only a couple of months away! Hahaha! Good thing I married my college classmate. Sanay magpuyat for cramming! We literally spent countless of nights for these DIYs!
We wanted to have an elegant backdrop, but the venue was quite small. We settled with printing a tarpaulin. Boyet got some free images from the Internet, and he used his very limited Photoshop skills to edit the backdrop. The tarpaulin printing cost us PHP600. We weren’t really happy with the outcome. E kaso, college fund ni Zayne ang nakasalalay kaya gorabels na lang! Hahaha!
We also decided to make some standees. We were initially planning to have the images printed on tarp, cut and paste them on Styrofoam. But because tarp printing is expensive, we decided to print the images on bond paper instead. We scaled the images on Excel. My husband had to print, cut and piece the images together like a puzzle on a Styrofoam. Once done, he traced the Styrofoam to make it look like the actual characters from Sheriff Callie’s Wild West. Tedious, right?! But it’s cheaper! :p
Again, the size of the venue was a major consideration. We were supposed to scatter the standees on the floor, but we ended up putting them on top of a table. The entire setup served as the candy buffet station. Zayne’s ninangs, Aubrey, Erlie and Joie, lovingly helped me with the setup! Aubrey just asked me to print and cut some free printable images she got online. I bought some pots from a local gardening shop. I got the fence and pink bike from a store in Divisoria. Aubrey and Erlie got the pails and candies from Landmark. We lined everything with parchment paper and used barbecue sticks to make the cutouts stand. And of course, Joie made the birthday cake! The candy buffet was a big hit not only to kids but the kids-at-heart, too! Hihi!
Instead of buying ready-made bags out from the store, I decided to make it a bit personalized. I asked Mama to buy some brown bags from the local market, and I printed an image on each bag. If I remember it correctly, the 100 pieces of brown bags only cost around PHP40.
I also got the idea of making a table centerpiece from Pinterest. I searched some free printable images of Sheriff Callie’s Wild West characters online. I printed the Sheriff Zayne logo that was used for the candy bags. I cut some star badges with the number 1 printed at the center. I put some scrap Styrofoam on a pot and pierced the barbecue stick which has the cutout image taped on it. I placed three sticks with images on each pot and topped it with crepe paper to hide the Styrofoam.
The manager of Shakey’s volunteered to take care of the balloon setup. It cost us PHP2K. It already included the balloons for the ceiling, tables, pillars for the candy buffet and the arc at the entrance. I asked my husband to create something to welcome the guests. I also got the idea from Pinterest. When we told our guests that we made it, nobody believed us! Guys, Computer Engineering graduate kaming mag-asawa. Hindi lang halata pero mataas ang grades namin sa Engineering Graphics! Hahaha! Anyway, the welcome standee perfectly complemented the balloon arc!
I know that the setup for our baby’s first birthday party was modest, simpler than what I initially had in mind and way cheaper than what professional stylists come up with. But my husband and I enjoyed doing the DIYs. Up until today, we still can’t erase Zayne’s reaction from our minds when she first saw the decorations that we tediously made for her birthday. (She kept on exclaiming WOW while clapping her hands!) And she was definitely mesmerized when she saw everything else put together on her big day. Now, that is priceless! :)