I’m back – with more birthday party inspiration! My big girl is turned 6 years old which means she got to have her first friends party – and has had her heart set on a pool party for, like, ever. She seems to have inherited the party planning gene, dictating #allthethings that had to happen for her party. Her favorite colors are bold and bright, so the theme morphed into a Malibu Barbie inspired vibe.
Here are six budget-saving areas I used to design a custom birthday bash on a budget of around $50:
Set the Tone with an Eye-Catching Tablescape
My favorite tip for creating a custom look is creating an eye-catching tablescape that guests will see when they enter the party.
This whole tablescape was set using inexpensive supplies that, when layered, created a big impact.
I purchased several plastic tablecloths that I cut into scallops and layered for an ombre effect, and finished the look with a few draped leis and netting. Total cost: $7
This year I tried hard to shop the kids’ closets for Halloween, but I still wanted them to feel extra special. What kid doesn’t want to dress up and transform into someone completely different on Halloween (and any other day, for that matter)?
This year I was able to create Eve’s Garden Butterfly Fairy costume for just $3, using items in her closet and three Dollar Store accessories!
From her closet and dress up bin, we assembled this from a tutu, a little lace tank, a flower accessory and her floral halo/crown. Then, I picked up a pair of fairy / butterfly wings and some paper butterflies from the Dollar Store. Not shown here: I picked up a butterfly wand glow stick from the Dollar Store for her to carry for fun and safety while trick-or-treating. Don’t have everything you see here? Shop the look:
What could be better than a tutu birthday party for your little ballerina’s two year-old birthday?
For baby ‘Belle’s party, I wanted to do something that conveyed her love of dancing and tutus and looked special, but that was simple and inexpensive to put together.
First, for my $3 backdrop, I took 3 white plastic tablecloths from the dollar store for my backdrop. I simple folded them in half length wise, then began rolling them up toward the fold. Once the cloth was rolled approximately 10″ from the fold, I began cutting the rolled tablecloth in strips approximately 3″ apart. Easy!
I finished it off with the vintage bunting we re-use for the girls’ parties each year. I love how this small investment adds something special to every party we have for them.
Next, I layered the table with two tablecloths, sandwiched with some tulle. I had planned to make this an inexpensive “tutu tablecloth” but it didn’t quite turn out that way! No problem though – I still love the effect of the pink tulle as the focal point of the table. To finish it off, I placed the tablecloth over the top and bustled it at the center to better highlight the tulle.
Finally, I placed a trifle bowl upside down and I placed her own baby tutu around the bowl. Then, I just placed the cake on top.
So, I was a little disappointed in the finished result from my local Target bakery.However, I really can’t complain for such an inexpensive cake…and really it looks so cute when it’s all propped out with this gold “2” candle and bunting.
We served ballerina punch, pink Jelly Bellys and dipped marshmallows for a birthday-worthy sugar buzz.
I hope you like ‘Belle’s tutu party fit for a two year-old ballerina. Thanks for stopping by!
This year, Dub wanted his party to be all about Minecraft. I didn’t want our home to look like it threw up Minecraft-licensed decor, so I went with something that we all could get excited about. We weren’t having a big celebration at home either, so I wanted to keep this simple and fairly inexpensive.
First: the centerpiece du jour: his Minecraft cake. Kind of a boring concept, but this is a representation of THE pixelated cake featured on the video game. I was more than happy to outsource this portion of the party and Dub was in love with how it turned out. It was exactly what he wanted!
Next, I created the theme using a brown dollar store tablecloth and some tissue paper “grass.” Super inexpensive for one package to cover this table, and the kids were fascinated by this!
I created a simple and inexpensive tissue paper bunting that added some visual interest in the party theme color (tutorial here).
Finally, I like to decorate with party favors, because it’s the decoration that cleans itself up as the guests leave.
I bought some green lunch bag sized paper bags and cut felt into the shape of a Creeper face. Really, this would have been so much easier with black construction paper and my Silhouette SD, but black felt was what I had on hand so that’s what I used.
I absolutely love the look of these tinsel tassel banners for party decor. Even better? They’re super easy and inexpensive to make.
Dub really wanted a Minecraft-themed birthday party, but I didn’t want a licensed decor explosion, so I began thinking of ways to decorate with color. With lots of Pinterest inspiration, I decided I wanted to give this a try. However, I was surprised to find there aren’t a lot of tutorials out there so I am sharing a quick and dirty tutorial of my own.
I set to work on this particular banner with four colors of tissue paper, green, lime green, chevron and silver metallic (I linked to some examples because I initially had a hard time finding these).
1) First, I took a stack of 8 sheets of tissue in each color and cut them the short length of the pre-cut sheets (approximately 20″) and cut them about 8″ wide.
2) I then folded the stack of sheets in half and began cutting them in 1/4″ strips, stopping about 1″ from the fold. I used a rotary cutter and mat to make quick and more precise work of this, but regular scissors will do.
3) I then unfolded the papers and, taking 2 sheets at a time, began rolling them tightly at the center. Once each set of 2 was rolled at the center I began gently twisting the rolled portion. Once it was lightly twisted I folded it in half and began twisting the rolled portions together. When you’re done it will look something like this. Perfectly imperfect.
4) Thread the tassels through a string or ribbon. I made a single simple knot at each tassel to keep them in place.
All in all, this was a pretty quick and easy project that took me maybe 20 minutes total to complete. I also love that if you source your papers from the dollar store, you could complete three of these banners for just $4! (meaning, each banner is just over $1, with plenty of paper to spare for favors or gifts). I have a feeling various themed tinsel banners will be showing up at more parties around here!
Dub’s party is not for a few more weeks, so I’m letting it hang on our mantle for St. Patrick’s Day. How’s that for multi-purpose party decor?
Find my other Minecraft Birthday Party posts here:
For Eve’s Princess Birthday Party, I was going for a generic princess feel rather than a Disney princess kind of feel. As part of that, I wanted to create some custom party favors. I didn’t really find anything out there I loved for purchase, so I went about creating my own.
You already saw the Candy Button Crown favors I made for the party. Today, I’m sharing the hit of the party – Candy Necklace Cards. I’d seen a super cute concept online, but nothing princess themed. So, I went about creating these myself in PhotoShop, using hair and dress colors that somewhat inspired by Disney princesses, but with look that still felt sweet and unbranded.
My baby girl just turned one and because her birthday is exactly a week after Dub’s, I’ll admit I ran out of steam on the party planning. However, I wanted to do something special and celebrate as a family, and was able to put together a cute Bow Birthday theme really inexpensively.
To keep birthday party planning expenses manageable, we buy a few essentials that we reuse year after year.
My Special Day chair covers that we reuse for birthdays, first days of school, and any day we want to recognize and celebrate each child individually.
Additionally, we always save leftover party supplies such as napkins, plates and plastic cutlery and every few years we find we don’t have to buy these supplies at all because of that stash. That was the case for baby ‘Belle’s party.
For the cupcakes, I whipped up a batch of vanilla and chocolate cupcakes and frosted them in pink and white buttercream frosting. I wanted them to carry out the bow theme, but because I’m lacking in fondant skills I purchased these toppers. You can find similar fondant bows here and here.
We served homemade vanilla ice cream and a simple punch using 7-Up and raspberry sherbet.
With just two inexpensive plastic tablecloths from the dollar store, I made this impressive table centerpiece by using one tablecloth as usual, and using the other as a decorative sash by draping it across the front and simply pinching it in the middle. I actually unfolded some of the party napkins and fashioned a bow out of them – one napkin for each side of the bow, and two for the tails. Surprisingly beautiful, easy and inexpensive!
Next, I made bow napkin rings – I love how these turned out! I bought rectangle shaped napkins, but you could also do this by folding traditional napkins in half. Simply pinch them in the middle, place them on top of your cutlery and wrap a small band of paper around the bow, secured with tape.
As I mentioned earlier, I used leftover napkins to make the bow you see on the front of the table to carry the theme through.
I took a little photo shoot of baby ‘Belle sporting her birthday bow. I’d say the cupcakes were a hit!
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