Birthday Party Favor Ideas You Should Steal
Looking for creative birthday party favors that totally rock? These goodie bag ideas will make you look like a creative super-mom, and won’t break the bank.
Looking for creative birthday party favors that totally rock? These goodie bag ideas will make you look like a creative super-mom, and won’t break the bank.
I love exchanging “favorite things” with my girlfriends, and I love the idea of passing those things along here on the blog. I’ve tried all of these products personally, and my recommendations are not sponsored by any of the brands represented.
Here are just a few items I’ve been loving lately – I hope you find some new favorites!
Wet Brush I love this brush for my own hair, but I bought a second one when I realized it was the ONE way I could brush my daughter’s hair without tears. I even got the travel size! I wash and condition her hair in the bathtub in the evening, and then brush through it with this while it’s still wet. The next morning her hair is still mostly tangle-free, and I’m able to brush through it again easily. If she has any bad tangles when it’s dry, I’ll actually wet the brush or the area of hair to get the tangle out.
PopSugar Must Have Box I just love opening presents, and with this service it’s like getting the most amazing box of gifts from my BFF who knows me SO well each month. Seriously, this is a little luxury subscription that has introduced me to so many fabulous things in the past. I’ve shared this with many friends who have subscribed and feel the same way! When you sign up here, you can use one of the following referral codes to get $10 off! ABX17YZ or B213YMZ. (PS The upcoming October box includes Mindy Kaling’s newest book, “Why Not Me?“!)
Here’s a look at one of the recent boxes I loved, valued at more than $100.
Comfy statement clothes I have been loving ILY Couture lately because they have the cutest tees and sweatshirts in the coziest materials. I have this sweatshirt and this tee. See? I even can pull it off after a salon makeover by my daughter.
Gap 1969 Denim Sateen Jogger These are the most comfortable pants I own. I think I’ve been complimented on them every time I’ve worn them (and hurry, they’re on sale now!).
Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar Kit This one might seem a little random, but I love these Advent Calendars because they not only work great as a gift, but they also work great for inexpensive Star Wars party favors that are a HUGE hit each year (check them out here, along with more Star Wars favor ideas!). That’s just $1.66 for each favor that your party guests will actually use! Hurry though – these always sell out way before December!
Quick Pouch Lego Storage Bag Speaking of Legos, I love this storage solution. True story: my mother actually made this exact thing for my brother in the 70’s and we still use it for Dub to this day. For those who aren’t so lucky to get such an heirloom, there is this inexpensive, durable solution. I also bought a mini version for Dub to take on-the-go when we travel.
Roomba 880 Okay, so I definitely consider this a luxury item, but now that we live in a home with dark wood floors and three messy children, I don’t want to know a life without this little machine. We set it to run automatically overnight while we’re sleeping, and in the morning, our floors look great! That’s no small feat in our home, so we feel it’s been worth the price. Something to note for this vacuum though, when placed on a rug with bold black/white stripes/shapes as in this image, the vacuum gets confused. It uses variations in color like this to detect ledges and doesn’t work as effectively. If you have lots of rugs like this in your home. the Roomba isn’t going to perform as well for you.
Photo Triggers As a photography hobbiest, I’ve started realizing how few images I have with me in the shot. I want to remember myself as part of the family memories in this stage of life, so I’ve tried to get in the photo more. That means triggers. I have two:
So now, I’m getting more images like this. How else would I capture painting my baby’s piggies for the first time?
Expo Disc Speaking of photography, this thing has changed my photos for the better, and I wish I hadn’t waited so long to get it. I used to struggle with getting a good custom white balance I could trust, which lead to more time consuming post processing. With this, all I do is get my settings, place the Expo Disc over my lens and take a photo of the light source, then, remove the Disc, set my custom white balance as usual, and go! This company has lots of great video tutorials on the product to make it even easier. I highly recommend it!
Command Picture Hanging Strips Since moving to our new home, these babies have been a life saver. My husband hates hanging photos and leveling them. I “have trouble visualizing” which leads to more picture hanging…and holes in the wall. That’s not good for a marriage, folks. So, I buy these in the large packs and hang photos at my every whim. The best part is that If I don’t get it quite right, I just lift it off the wall and reposition it, as long as it still fits on the strip on the wall. If not, I just take them off the wall and start over again. Easy breezy. I’ve never had any trouble with these, but I use the strips that hold up to 16 lbs., just in case.
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Looking for last-minute Halloween Costumes? Look no further than this inspiration for shopping your kids’ closets for these super cute looks!
Star Wars Jedi Luke Skywalker: All it takes is a Karate uniform top, a bathrobe or bed sheet (or you can buy a Jedi cape inexpensively here), some khakis and a pair of boots – and a blue light saber, of course. Here is how I envisioned the costume:
And here’s how it looked on Dub.
Sock Hop – I love this look for a brother and sister! The boy look is super easy, of course. For the girls, I paired a pink tutu pettiskirt with a cardigan, scarf and some black Mary Janes. Either cut out your own “poodle’ or grab a really inexpensive one online. Add some cute glasses for a final touch!
Here’s how it looked on my little one (Yeah…that was before her hair was done, but the only happy look I got. Toddlers!):
Baby Jazzerciser: This goes down as my favorite costume yet and it’s super easy. Just pair a baby onesie with a bright cut-up onesie, legings or tights, some baby legwarmers or Baby Legs (or cut up some old socks) and use a knit baby headband for, well, the headband. I actually cut the elastic tops off of some baby socks for the little baby wristbands! My mother sewed an adorable boom box to complete the look. You can get something similar here or here.
Here’s how my little one rocked it:
Baby Kitty Cat: This one can’t get any easier. Combine a black baby onesie with black leggings or tights, and maybe a cute matching fur vest or black tutu pettiskirt, and you’ve got yourself a kitty cat! Add the finishing touches of a black nose and whiskers using eyeliner, and don’t forget the kitty ears! You can currently buy kitty ears headbands at the Target Dollar Spot, online here, or you can make them on your own. Use a thin feather boa from the dress up pile, and cut it up to make “fur” wrist cuffs and use as the tail.
Pink Poodle: Similar to the black cat costume above, this costume starts with a pink leotard and tutu. I completed the look with a DIY Poodle Headband and faux fur cuffs.
I’ve been working on Dub’s bathroom from some time now. My vision keeps changing as I find little treasures here and there, and it’s becoming kind of an eclectic hodgepodge instead of a well thought-out theme. I guess that’s about perfect for a boy’s space, right?
I’d started out planning to use this artwork I designed (check out the free printables), but then remembered the vintage Star Wars metal art I’d picked up at Hobby Lobby awhile ago and thought it would be fun to frame it for this space. I bought custom mats and framed them with Ikea Ribba frames.
I wasn’t sure what to put above the towel rack, but when I was out thrifting and found this Wax & Polish sign, I just had to have it!
I love the crisp clean lines of the gray walls and white frames against the rustic barn wood vinyl floors and vintage finds.
Now I’m on the hunt for cabinet hardware. I’d really had my heart set on using these utility pulls from the hardware store. I just love this look. Unfortunately, they are just a little wide for the cabinet trim so I need to find a new option.
Which pulls do you think would be the right option for this space?
2. Or these more modern and streamlined pulls?
Let me know what you think in the comments below!
In addition to the fabulous blogs listed on the sidebar, this post was linked up at Remodelaholic.
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DIY open-air terrarium (or at our home, Yoda’s home on planet Dagobah).
I’ve always been obsessed with terrariums, but was too intimidated to try my own. After I came upon some free supplies, I decided it was time to try my own open air terrarium as a special project with Dub.
First, here is what you need for an open air terrarium:
First, make sure your vessel and rocks are clean. Then, I placed the large decorative stones around the edge and filled the middle with the gravel for drainage.
Cover the rocks with moss which acts as a filter.
Next, cover the moss with as much soil as your plants need to build roots. We covered our soil with moss because we liked the way it looked, but this is optional.
When you’re done arranging your plants, give it some water to set the soil and roots in place and continue watering just a bit each week, being careful not to over-water, which promotes rot.
Overall, this ended up being incredibly inexpensive for me since we sourced everything for free except the plants and soil. This was a fun project to do with Dub. He was stoked about this project and excited to put the terrarium in his room!
My final post in the Star Wars birthday party series is to share the custom invitations and thank you cards I designed.
Each year, I’ve been lucky that my children have chosen Halloween costumes that match their birthday party themes for the following year. Dub chose to be Darth Vader, so I used his Halloween costume for the front of the invitation. I created a simple background in PhotoShop, and used the free Star Jedi font.
I used the same background on the back, added the party details, and created a Darth Vader silhouette.
During the birthday party, I made sure to get one shot of all of the kids in the photo booth, wearing their jedi robes and using photo booth props. I used this image for a custom thank you postcard. On the back, I created a simple template that Dub could fill in himself. I love the idea of the postcard because it helps him learn the proper etiquette of showing thankfulness. Sincere, personal, and to the point! And, it’s a little less expensive to mail 🙂
Finally, just to prove how much I utilize those Halloween photos, I also used it for Dub’s Valentine’s card. I wonder if he’ll be sick of Darth Vader by this Halloween?
Growing up, we didn’t really “do” favor bags. I suppose that’s why I’m really into them when planning parties for my kids. Presents for everyone, just for attending?! I wish grown-up parties would adopt this practice!
I wanted to do something fun for these Star Wars birthday favors, with at least a few items that would get used beyond the ride home from the party. But, of course, I didn’t want to spend a lot of money.
To create the actual bag, I used inexpensive white paper bags from the grocery store. I searched for the keywords “storm trooper silhouette” and found an image I like. I downloaded this free Star Jedi font and added the words “You’re a trooper” to the 5.5″x10.5″ template I created in PhotoShop. Read to the end of this post for the free printable!
I printed the image directly on the bags. To do this, you need to go into your printer settings and create a custom paper size and paper texture. I used a small piece of painter tape to secure the base flap to the bag so it wouldn’t jam in the printer. It took some trial and error before I felt like they were printing a clean image, without a lot of extra printer ink. I was going for inexpensive though, so despite a few rough printouts, these captured the look I was going for.
Here are the bag contents:
Knowing all the boys are really into Legos at this age, I really wanted to include some. I explored a lot of avenues, but almost everything was going to be a budget buster. I’ve heard of some creative moms creating their own little sets using the Pick a Brick section at the Lego store, but at $14.99/bucket, it was going to be a little more than I wanted to pay, and I wasn’t even sure if I could really build a believable spaceship.
I found my solution on ebay and Amazon: there are tons of people looking to unload Star Wars Advent Calendar kits or individual toys. I was able to score a lot of 11 for $1/each including shipping. Even better, each little kit came with building instructions – far better than what I would have been able to do myself using Pick a Brick. For those of you who have messaged me about being unable to find these deals on ebay, you can still find them here for less than $2 per favor!
I created my own hangtag using the same Star Wars font with a message from Yoda, “Do or do not, there is no try” along with a thank you message.
In addition to the goodie bags, we had a Jedi Training academy. We gave each little guest a Jedi vest made with an unused bed sheet we didn’t need and clothesline rope.
We also created the pool noodle lightsabers that are all the rage on Pinterest. We cut pool noodles in half using a serrated bread knife and decorated the ends with black and silver duct tape. Each little guest was given one to defeat some balloon storm troopers and then take home.These were the biggest hit of the party (literally, there was one bloody nose incident!).
No party is complete without a little craft, so we also had a Build A Droid work station that they seemed to enjoy. But not quite as much as the pool noodle light sabers, of course.
I had a lot of fun creating a fun party all the kids would enjoy. Planning a Star Wars party for someone special? I’m sharing the free printable Storm Trooper Favor Bag Design to my subscribers!
UPDATE: Due to so many requests, I’m making the Storm Trooper Party Favor Bags available as a free printable: Download Storm Trooper Favor Bags Template
Are you planning to use them for your upcoming party? Please take a moment to tell me about it, below!
When Dub predictably requested a Star Wars theme for his 6th birthday, I’ll admit I was a little excited. I’d already been brimming with fun ideas for his party, but when he insisted on his first “friends” party, I was stumped. Our home just isn’t big enough for entertaining larger crowds, and I didn’t really want to do a Chuck E Cheese type of party. So, we decided to hold it at his dad’s industrial garage. I’ll share the details of this party in a series of posts. This post will focus on the Boba Fett Buffet. First, I started with the settings. I bought inexpensive tablecloths from the Dollar Store and I bought a starry sky backdrop that I used behind the buffet and for a photo booth.
I downloaded a light saber paper craft from starwars.com (the handle for Yoda’s light saber) and used it to roll up the plastic tableware in red and blue napkins. I got the kids involved here, assembling the proper tableware and rolling it up, and I finished it off with the handle.
Next, I designed some creative table tents in PhotoShop to label the food: Yoda Soda, Death Star Salad, Hunger Destroyer, Vader Veggies, DroidDrink, and more. For the Droid Drink, I bought the mini water bottles from Costco. I used this free download to wrap each bottle with an R2D2 label.
Since my husband’s business is a limousine company, we decided to leave in their limo party bus and play Star Wars on the sound system. On the outside, we set up a little table with popcorn in festive containers to create a movie theater experience, which the kids loved. The bus has a music synchronized laser show that really added a little something to the Star Wars experience.
While I admit, leaving the bus in the garage was mostly practical and was helpful for setting the theme, I didn’t have high hopes that among all the activities that 15 6 year old boys would sit down and watch a movie. I was so wrong! They loved this feature and spent a surprising amount of time watching the movie. Finally, the creme de la creme: the R2D2 cake. A very talented friend (who just opened her own restaurant!) made this for us, and it was as delicious as it was spectacular to look at. The kids waited for me to cut it up, as they all had very specific parts of R2D2 that they wanted to eat.
That concludes the food portion of our Star Wars birthday party. Stay tuned for more on our photo booth and Jedi Training activitites! Looking for more Star Wars birthday party ideas? Find my Pinterest inspiration board here.