Posts in the ‘Party On A Budget’ Category
Hello everyone – It’s summertime here in NY and we are gearing up for some nice warm weather. Today I am sharing some tips and tricks, on a budget of course, to throwing your own backyard beach party!
When our son turned seven, he wanted a Beach Party. My first thought was how am I going to turn our backyard into a beach theme? Well, if you know me, you know my first thought is BUDGET!
Now this party was more (money) that I original wanted to spend, however, there are a ton of “budget” friendly ideas that you can easily duplicate at home.
Centerpiece – I used a recycled large plastic pretzel container, filled it with water, and added blue food coloring. I slapped on a pair of dollar store goggles (you might already have some) and I added a hat from the dollar store. This made a big impact and all were talking about it!
Cake Stands -- Again, off to the dollar store. I bought 6 of the beach themed sand sifters and hot glued them to a tin can that I had put colored duct tape on (but any craft paper would do). These were so cute in displaying our beach themed cookies.
Beach Balls -- One of the biggest bangs for the buck, hanging beach balls over the goodie bag table caught everyone’s eye. It was so easy and affordable.
Sandwiches – Using the Pepperidge Farm goldfish bread you can put tuna or chicken salad on them. I did some with PB&J too.
Corn Dogs – When I think of the boardwalk or the beach, I go to corndogs in my head. I bought mine in the frozen section, heated them up, and stuck them dog side up in a cute display that I made with wrapping paper and a cardboard box. They were snatched up in 10 mins flat!
Snack Shack -- If you ask any of the children at the party what they loved the most, most would say “shoveling” their own snacks. Again, using new dollar store buckets with shovels,I put snacks in them, tipped them and the kids were able to help themselves at their leisure! The Snack Shack was just for them. I found sea creature cups in the store for them to fill up.
Keeping the kids entertained is so important at a party. It let’s the parents relax a little, too! Besides the obvious of a using sprinklers and kiddie pools, I had a few games planned for the kids that cost next to nothing.
Fill the Bucket -- Using recycled milk jugs (I saved from a few weeks prior), and a dollar store sponge, each team had to soak the sponge in the bucket with water and squeeze out the water into the milk jug. Once the jug was filled, that team was our winner!
Water Balloon Toss – You can get the parents into this one too!
Sandcastle Building –- if you already have a sandbox – this one is a no brainer!
Photo Booth -- Now this one I got real creative with, but it did not cost me a lot of money! I wanted to create a “beach’ for the pictures of everyone (and I mean everyone got into the photos).
Using a backdrop I found at a craft website, and a few play yard bags of sand , the beach was born!
I had a basket of props for everyone to pick from. They had a great time with this!
It’s not that hard to pull this party together and celebrate with friends! I hope you found some beachy ideas and until next time friends... hang ten!
Thank you, Melissa, loving the beach photo booth you made with real sand! To learn more about Melissa, visit her at My Party Passion.
Spring has sprung Y’all! It’s Me, Melissa – the Party on a Budget go-to-gal. With Spring comes more mini parties! Today, it’s all about bugs... Ladybugs!
As with most of my Mini Parties on a Budget, it all starts with one item that gives me inspiration – usually from the dollar store. No exception here. This little plastic box with dots on it was the inspiration for this Mini Party.
The other party supplies that I gathered, all came from my crafting closet or the recycle bin (still keeping it earthy here at My Party Passion)!
The Setting: Our front yard. The grass finally showed us its true beauty with lush green colors. The girls each had a “ladybug” rug to sit on – old rugs from IKEA that I put black paper dots on.
In front of them were two picnic themed table runners and homemade place mats (see HERE for a tutorial on how to make these from old gift bags).
Each girl had their initial on a board (made from pizza boxes) that I made to go with the theme. I used old wrapping paper to cover them (bought after Christmas sale 2 years ago at a craft store) and tore crepe paper to create their initials. I cut out some ladybugs to scatter throughout the party – using my Silhouette SD Machine.
The “sweets” table was a fun to create using my white and red IKEA frames ($1 per frame – they paid for themselves long ago) and cutting out backgrounds from scrap paper. I made it simple and affordable. I had filled the plastic dotted boxes with a strawberry Special K bar and some strawberries for the girls. They also feasted on a chocolate fudge mini cake with whipped topping and strawberries. A few spotted balloons and a picnic basket finished this off.
Goodies: Of course what would a party be without a little “take away goody." This time I found little mani/pedi kits in the shape of ladybugs at our local dollar store. These worked perfectly. Putting them into a little see-through bag with a personalized clip on them finished them off.
After the girls were done eating, they wanted their pictures taken with their “initial signs." For this, we went out back to our only flowering bush (at the time).
All in all the girls had fun and it cost me less than $10 for the entire party.
It’s almost Memorial Day – are you celebrating with a party? Until next time – Party On Friends!
Thank you, Melissa, what an adorable way to enjoy the nice weather! To learn more about Melissa, visit her at My Party Passion.
To start, I wanted to have something round on the table to signify the Earth and the recycling cycle so I used my grape vine wreath for that. I added a little ceramic bird to represent the animals. Using a plastic green table cloth left over from our St. Patrick’s Day party was a no-brainer.DIY on Catch My Party) and my Silhouette machine, we were able to put together this fun Earthy banner. Woodland Party last year and I thought how perfect to recreate them for this party. I used a brown lunch bag, a stamp and some jute twine. It was so easy and pairing it up with a twig pencil was perfect!
Here are some great resources for you to help celebrate Earth Day in your home:
Free Earth Day printables on Catch My Party - an earth-friendly party sign, party circles, and an "Earth Day Rocks" banner.Ideas for How To Throw A Mini Planting Party:
Plant Protectors Club – FREE From the EPA They have downloadable products and fun products you can order on line for FREE!
We LOVE this resource and pull it out often in our home school!
Arbor Foundation – you can order 10 trees FREE when you join for $ 10 (6 month membership). They will arrive to your home in the season in which they can be planted. This is a GREAT way to teach the children about our Earth and planting! Invite 10 friends over and these would make excellent take aways at $ 1 a piece!
Thanks for stopping by. I hope you found some great ideas and resources for celebrating our Earth! Until next time – Party On Friends!
Thank you, Melissa, what a way to have fun and teach our children to be mindful of the earth! To learn more about Melissa, visit her at My Party Passion.
Happy almost spring, y’all! It’s me, Melissa – the Party on a Budget go-to-gal. As I told you at the beginning of the year, I am cutting my budget even more (woot woot) and bringing you a ton of parties on a tight budget, some you won’t even believe, like today's Mini Planting Party to get you in the mood for spring!
Each year, in our home school, we gather our supplies and start our seedlings early in March even though we won’t be ready for planting outside for about 4 weeks. Today was a sunny day in New York, and that made it the PERFECT day to start our “Sspring planting”! (Of course I had to make a little party out of it... hehehe!)
- Scrap pieces of brown craft paper (Dollar Store) or you can use brown paper grocery bags
- Paper towel rolls (cut up) or peat pots
- Wooden sticks
- Washi Tape for decorating (of course)!
I gathered up all my planting supplies before I called the girls to the deck to help get this party started! We like to save all our “containers” that food came in to use for crafting and today was the perfect opportunity to recycle and reuse!
The girls were allowed to use the Washi tape to decorate their trays that the seeds would be planted in. Then I had the girls put some planting soil (or dirt) into the paper towel tube pieces (I used 1 roll and cut into 7 pieces). Then they put in the seeds into each piece.
While that was happening, I was writing the type of seed that went into each tube piece and used it for the plant marker (before the girls moved them on me).
We continued this until we were out of supplies. Look what we accomplished!
Then it was time for a snack. Of course I had to serve "Planters" peanuts and juice!
And for decor I used a bunting banner I had for another party, paper tissue pom flower (Party On Designs), and some fresh flowers I pulled from a bouquet in my home.
We will put these in the sun during the day but bring them in at night as it still gets below freezing here in NY for about another 4 weeks. You can plant them with the paper towel tubes attached as they are biodegradable.
I am ready for Spring and all the fun that goes along with it! I hope this party proves that it does not take a lot of money to celebrate anything!
Thank you, Melissa, this party makes me want to play in my garden! To learn more about Melissa, visit her at My Party Passion.
Happy New Year Y’all! It’s Me, Melissa – the Party on a Budget go-to-gal. This year I am cutting my budget even more (woot woot!) and bringing you a ton of parties on an even tighter budget.
I want to share with you a new trend in parties – the Mini Party. It’s not the birthday party, the anniversary party, or the baby shower, but any small occasion worthy of a celebration - maybe even for no other reason than your child scored an A+ in school or your youngest is out of diapers!
So here's my first Mini Party... Are you read for some football? The playoffs….the Superbowl….First and Ten! Is your family a “football family”? Mine is!
My personal challenge was to have a little Football Party for our children while the game was on, but not spoil their dinners. For this party, my budget was $ 10 and I could only shop at the grocery store – no special stops here. Let’s see how I did….
Food (salty): Microwave Popcorn – 1 bag yielded 3 mini brown bags of popcorn (box of 3 store brand bags was $ 1.00 – only needed 1 bag)
Drinks: Juice Boxes – package of 6 (only needed 3) was $ 2.50
Food (sweet): Green M&M’s and Green Hershey Kisses – I bought a few bags of Christmas M&M’s and Christmas Kisses and took out the GREEN ones for this Football celebration. Each entire bag was $ 2.00 each – used maybe 1/10 of each bag.
Décor: Green Tablecloth, straws, candy cups, and mini bags (used to cover the juice boxes also). The tablecloth was new and cost $ 1.00. The other items I already had. I could have used cupcake papers for the sweets but did not have any in green. I cut some scrap material and made some straw flags for the juice box straws. Also, you could change this party up by adding colors of your favorite teams.
Other things I could have added: Balloons, streamers, cookies while still not adding a lot to my budget.
By my calculations, I am way under on my $10 budget! SCORE! This party was only for 3 children. But considering there were 3 more juice boxes and 2 more entire bags of microwave popcorn and so many sweets left, it would have been the same price for 6!
I hope I was able to show you that it does not take a lot of money to celebrate! GO TEAM!
Happy Holidays y’all! It’s Melissa again from My Party Passion. It’s December and I am in my glory with Christmas music, baking, and party planning.
Today, I am wrapping up for you my 5 Easy Breezy Inexpensive Party Tips from 2012!
Goodie Tubes: Since you are probably throwing out your paper towel and toilet paper rolls (or saving them for crafting like I do), why not reuse them to “house” treats for the little one?
Wrap the cardboard in comics from your newspaper, leftover wrapping paper, or tissue paper, and inside, stuff them with chocolate kisses, little pack of M&M’s, tootsie rolls, novelty rings, stickers, crayons, and tattoos.
BONUS: Look for after Christmas Hershey Kisses on clearance. You can use the red ones for Valentine’s Day, green ones for football season, and silver ones for New Years. Always think ahead!
Photobooth: Who doesn’t love a fun photobooth? You don’t need to be a professional photographer or own a high end camera for the kids to have fun with photobooths. And Catch My Party has some great free printable photo booth props.
Suggestions for backdrops: Plastic tablecloth, poster board, sheet, or a shower curtain.
Suggestions for props: picture frame, sunglasses, hats, and headbands.
Table Covers: Not just for tables anymore! I have used these plastic table clothes for so many other things for a party, from chair covers, to bunting, to faux curtains (see picture below). Dollar Tree usually has a good selection.
BONUS: Using brown craft paper from your craft store or dollar store can double for a table covering and act as a place for the kids to color while waiting for the party to start! Easy to throw away also!
Tissue Paper: Oh the places we can go with this one... making paper flowers, covering tin cans for a vase effect, wrapping a present. I usually stock up after the holiday sales on red (think Valentine’s Day), green (think football parties and St. Patrick’s Day) and white (I use for MANY parties).
Crepe Paper: This used to be for just draping back and forth for that birthday party you were throwing. Now it’s used to make everything from pom poms, to backdrops, to wrapping presents.
I hope this year has brought you great joy and I look forward to what 2013 will bring! See ya next year…until then Party On Friends! Happy Holidays!
Thank you, Melissa, for all your inspiration this year. We can't wait to see what great tips you have for us next year! To learn more about Melissa, visit her at My Party Passion and find her on Facebook or Twitter.
Happy Holidays to you all out there. Getting ready for Thanksgiving I assume? This Party Gal celebrated early this year with our BFF’s who came into town (during our power outage from Sandy, no less).
One of my fondest memories as a child during the holidays was the “kids' table." WE ALWAYS had to sit at a fold out card table. My cousins, sister, and I would gather round that table to partake in the feast. As an adult and a mom of 4, I now understand the reason behind it! LOL
Today I wanted to share with you some ideas that are SUPER easy for your Thanksgiving Kids' Table.
Table Setting – Let’s start with this. Keeping the children busy while their plates are prepared is KEY. Otherwise they get up and go back to playing and you are spending another 10 mins getting them back to the table!
So I recommend using a roll of brown craft paper to use as their table covering. Put out some markers or crayons. (I pulled out NEW crayons that I had saved from my Back to School purchases – isn’t everything more fun with NEW sharp crayons?) Now they can draw and play tic tac toe until their plates arrive. Cost $ 1.00 for roll of craft paper at the dollar store. Makes for EZ clean up also!
BONUS TIP: Target Dollar Spot also had paper place mats with activities on them set of 4 for $ 1.00
Snacks – Now you might be wondering snacks? Um they are going to eat in a minute…
Well, if they are anything like my children, eating keeps them busy and out of my kitchen while I am preparing food! I am not talking a full blown buffet of snacks, but just some popcorn, trail mix, or carrots with dip in the middle of their table to share. Just enough to get them through until the meal arrives. I used little individual snack cups that I purchased at Target. I put popcorn in them – reminds me of the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving movie. They gobbled that up and ate everything on their plates!
A Favor/Treat – This year I made two “treats” for the kids to take home with them. One was SO easy your kids can help with it. Using toilet paper rolls or paper towel rolls, I put some tootsie rolls inside of them and wrapped them up with some dollar store paper and some jute around the ends. They looked SO cute on the table and the kids had fun ripping them open to get to their prize inside.
The other item was candy corn tubes. I took plastic tubes and filled them with a gum ball at each end with candy corn sandwiched in the middle. They took these with them. Added a pop of color to the table and yummy later!
As an added bonus, the children each received their own Mayflower Place Card Boats. These name place cards doubled as a snack boat with some fishy crackers and a few candy corns hidden inside. I used my Silhouette SD machine to cut them out, put them together with glue stick and then added the sticker (using WORD and AVERY Stickers). I added the cute blue fringe at the bottom for the "ocean" effect. The fringe can be found at Party On Designs.
Crafts – The last piece to the Kids' Table puzzle is a craft for AFTER dinner. After you have cleaned up but BEFORE dessert I like to have a simple craft for them. (Our kids seem to think that dessert is followed within seconds of clearing their plate.) This year I had purchased fall magnets for them to color and take home with them. This activity kept them busy while I cleared the adult table and prepared desserts.
Well there you have it – my Kiddie Table for Thanksgiving on a budget. I hope you walked away with something you can incorporate into your holiday! Until December – Party on Friends!
BOO! Did I scare ya? LOL Getting ready for your Halloween Bash? Maybe it’s a monster theme? Maybe you are traditional and love the pumpkins? Whatever your theme – KNOW that quality entertaining does not have to “break the bank”! With Target dollar spot areas… dollar stores… and your creative mind you can certainly entertain on a tight budget!
Last year at our Annual Newell Family Halloween Bash I got real creative and used my Silhouette SD Machine for some SIMPLE décor! Using Dollar Store frames and black paint were my biggest expense! Check it out…
BONUS TIP – Big bang for the buck….most grocery stores, dollar stores and even pharmacies sell the cute PEEPS (ghosts and other shapes) – put them on a stick, put out some hot chocolate and watch the kids dip and drink! Swirling them into the cocoa makes them creamy! Fun to eat and won’t break the bank!
Have a great Halloween and don’t forget to stick to the budget! Until November…Party On Friends!
It’s fall! Oh how I love fall... the crisp air, the warm bonfires, the jeans and sweaters! I think fall might be the EASIEST season to style a party on a budget! There are so many outside elements that can be used for hosting the perfect fall gathering and most cost pennies!
Easy Fall Centerpiece: Clip a few branches from a crab apple tree to use in your centerpiece or use a different leave you have in your yard.
Displaying them into a tin can with a cute burlap scrap bow on it is a perfect centerpiece for your fall or harvest gathering. Cost is pennies! (Cute Harvest printable was from Living Locurto last year.)
Bonus Tip: Another easy tip using your empty soup cans – cover them with a scrap piece of seasonal themed paper and use for a utensil holder!
Easy Elegant Harvest Wreath: Wreaths are a MUST for fall and winter. But changing them with each season, holiday, or event, can be expensive! Looking for an inexpensive harvest wreath than can take you from late September until early December. This wreath I made would be PERFECT for your displaying! I used a Styrofoam wreath, some moss (hot glued to the wreath) and a pumpkin pick tied with a burlap scrap bow. The cost was $3 and you can use it for months (and years to come).
Bonus Tip: I spray the wreath with hairspray before wrapping in tissue paper before storing it away – helps keep it together!
Keeping the Food Simple! Add a fun Pumpkin Cupcake to your party - made from 1 box of yellow cake mix and 1 can of pumpkin – mix and bake! That gets no easier or cheaper! EASY PEESEY! Top with your favorite cream cheese frosting – you have a wonderful (low cal) dessert for all to enjoy!
Decorate With Candy and Candles: We can all find a bag of candy corn at a dollar store or drug store (as long as you don’t eat it first) you can made a cute decoration for the table!
Add in a scented candle – very colorful and cute party décor!
Easy Seating: Throw a few hay bales down, old apple buckets turned over – or even some stumped logs – and you have the perfect fall themed seating for your guests!
I am looking forward to the fall and hope you are inspired to throw a fall or harvest gathering for your friends and family! Until next month... Party on friends!
Thank you, Melissa, for your creative tips and ideas. You continue to show that you don't have to spend a lot to throw a great party! To learn more about Melissa, visit her at My Party Passion and find her on Facebook or Twitter.
Melissa Newell from My Party Passion and our budget party contributor, threw her son the Ultimate Nerf Party. Not an easy theme to do, but Melissa found inspiration in unusual places. Read her whole story below:
I don’t know about you, but it’s easy breezy chicken peazey to find girl themes for birthdays, however, much more challenging to find a boy -- preteen no less -- theme.
This year for our son’s birthday party my inspiration was found in a strange place – the sporting goods store!
Back story: On one of our “date nights,” my husband and I decided to meander into a local sporting goods store in search of some additional camping gear (yup we go shopping on date nights – lol). No go on the gear, but total SCORE on the birthday party idea!
Walking down the isles..I spotted these targets…
Were they in my budget? Where they safe? Where they what I wanted? YES TO ALL THREE!
What boy doesn’t love NERF? What boy doesn’t love obstacle courses? So the Ultimate Nerf Party was born!
Nerf parties out there are few and far between. Nerf brings me back to my older son’s adolescence when the nerf colors were navy and yellow! I wanted to combine the newer colors of Nerf with the more traditional colors and came up what I think was a great combo! You can see it in this photo:
Oh the wheels were spinning now! What else could I use these babies for other than just putting them up onto a piece of foam core board?
AH…my son and his friends are not big fans (ok not even small fans) of Justin Beiber (I have no problem with the popstar). SO I thought what great way for the boys to take out their “feelings” on The Beib than to shoot him with Nerf Darts!
The other décor was easy. Take any old glass jar, fill with Nerf Darts = centerpiece.
Reuse some paper lanterns that I purchased at a local shop for $ .99 each!
A few balloons minus helium. (BONUS – I bought these great plastic balloon holders some time ago from Oriental Trading– reusable – blow up, insert into base and they stand up great. Cost saver on the helium and I reuse the plastic sticks time and time again).
Food – asked the son – "hot" was what he wanted – reply: dogs and French fries – Oh how I love him! One of the most inexpensive foods to buy for “the masses.”
Add in a popcorn bar for a snack (very inexpensive to do) BONUS TIP: I used cute popcorn boxes but brown paper lunch bags from your local dollar store or grocery store work just as well!)
(Big sigh here.) My original plans (plan A as I call it) was to use our backyard as a huge totally rad (do they say that anymore?) obstacle course. Mother Nature had a different plan.
In the 11th hour, I was challenged with hosting the party mostly inside with the hopes of a clearing patch in the rain and we could quickly get out. "Scale down" was my new motto. I had to basically take an entire party that was to cover over a ½ acre of backyard and fit it into my playroom/dining room. (laugh, go on, you've been there, done that, right?!)
Low and behold we had a few hours of clearing, sun and we took advantage of it! Hubby had set up party of the outdoor course that “could get wet”! Boys had a blast! BONUS: The “pool noodles” were purchased from the Dollar Tree – SOOO FUN and COST next to nothing!
I was so happy with how everything turned out, despite my Plan B! The boy was happy and all the boys had a “blast”! (pun intended) In fact, one of the boys said to me “Mrs Newell, this is the best weekend ever!” awe..thanks buddy!
I hope I have inspired you to be creative on a budget! Until next month – Party on friends!
Thank you, Melissa, for this great story. You prove that with a little ingenuity, anything can be a budget-friendly party theme! To learn more about Melissa, visit her at My Party Passion and find her on Facebook or Twitter.