Craft simple, yet colorful, first birthday centerpieces.

How to Create First Birthday Centerpieces

by Anne Goetz

Your baby's first birthday party can be stressful enough without worrying about the logistics and expense of the centerpieces. Use simple techniques and inexpensive supplies such as gift bags, tulle scraps, balloons, picture frames and torn tissue paper to create edible, colorful or souvenir-worthy party decor that sets the tone for a memorable party. You might even give your centerpiece a dual responsibility by serving it up later as the birthday cake.

Turn a first birthday cake into an edible centerpiece by using a specialty cake pan that resembles a huge cupcake. Bake the cake according to the package directions and use a large piping bag and pastry tip to frost it with a 1/2-inch diameter bead of frosting in a spiral design. Add sprinkles. Gently place a purchased candle shaped like the number 1 at the top. Push wooden skewers into the bottoms of assorted cake balls, bon bons or other soft candy, and poke them into the giant cupcake in a festive array.

Display a giant number 1 to mark your baby's milestone. Purchase a large papier mache number and use torn tissue paper and decoupage medium to decorate it. Allow your creation to dry thoroughly and then seal it with several coats of spray varnish. Wire or glue your large number one to the front of a thin, cylindrical vase filled with fresh flowers and birthday picks.

Take a picture of baby as she nears her first birthday, and blow it up into an 8-inch by 10-inch print. Add a colorful mat and frame. Use hot glue and embellishments to decorate the frame -- pastel or primary-colored buttons, tiny pompoms and a larger ceramic or plastic version of the number 1. Stand your creation up in the center of the birthday girl's table, and scatter confetti and colorful candies around it.

Wire colorful pieces of tulle onto wooden skewers and poke the ends into a piece of floral foam. Set the foam down inside a pretty gift box, gift bag or basket so the tulle explodes out the top. Tie three staggered balloons to a weight and nestle the weight down inside the container. Glue or tape a number 1 emblem to a skewer, and stick the bottom into the foam in the exact middle of the centerpiece. Scatter confetti around your balloon and tulle creation.

Items you will need

  • Giant cupcake baking pan
  • Cake mix and ingredients
  • Frosting
  • Sprinkles
  • Large piping bag
  • Pastry tip
  • Wooden skewers
  • Assorted confections
  • Paper mache number one form
  • Tissue paper
  • Decoupage medium
  • Spray varnish
  • Thin, cylindrical vase
  • Fresh flowers
  • Birthday picks
  • Framed photo of baby
  • Hot-glue gun
  • Hot-glue sticks
  • Embellishments
  • Confetti
  • 28-gauge craft wire
  • Tulle scraps
  • Floral foam
  • Gift bag
  • Balloons
  • Balloon weight


  • Incorporate mementos and souvenirs from baby's first year into your centerpiece -- favorite toys, photos and more.


  • Keep baby and her friends away from any age-inappropriate decorations.

About the Author

Anne Goetz shares her parenting and career experience with North American Parent, Hagerstown Magazine,, and a variety of other online and print publications. A mother of two with a degree in communications and a long history in management, Goetz spends her spare time hiking, camping and blogging. She is the author of the site, An Unedited Life: The Ultimate Blog for Freelance Writers.

Photo Credits

  • Images