Posts in the ‘Party On A Budget’ Category
Alice M's Ni Hao Kai-Lan 2nd Birthday proves you don't have to spend a lot of money to throw an adorable party.
In my continuing series, Party on a Budget, here are Alice's 5 tips on how she saved money throwing her fabulous party...
I spent a lot of time online searching other people's blogs, seeing what I could make myself vs. paying someone else to do it. For instance I would do a google image search for "Kai Lan birthday blog" and it pulled up any Kai-Lan party that someone blogged about and posted pictures of. A huge time saver and generated a lot of ideas on how I wanted Lila's party to look.
Figure out what you have to have at the party to make it a success in your mind, then try and do it on a set budget.
The silver trays this krispy treat sushi is on are from the $1 store. I bought all my red plates, utensils, cups and napkins for $9 at Christmas Tree or $1 store. Aqua utensils I found at Target for $2.
Homemade sprinkler cost $15 in supplies at HomeDepot and we have used it all summer! It's awesome! Got the idea from Family Fun Magazine. We modified their Kid Car Wash idea.
Shop around. I scooped up bargains at Christmas Tree Shop and Dollar Tree and other frugal shopping places. Some craigslist scores as well! Plus I waited for the 40 or 50% off coupons to come out, never paying full price for items such as ribbon or glue or paper. Michael's honors competitors coupons and AC Moore has them on their website every week. Grocery store sales too are a huge saver!
These fortune cookies and chopsticks were donated from the local chinese food place.
The Jibbitz for Crocs I got off of ebay for 99 cents! Cost me more to ship them. $3 total. The coloring books I made myself.
Make it yourself or pay another Mom to make it for you. I often times use Etsy which is a lot of SAHMs or WAHMs. They don't charge nearly what a graphic designer or other online resource would. If you are not crafty this is the way to go. For the Carnival party coming up I did use Etsy for some signage, but for Kai-Lan party I made the banner myself using PowerPoint and printed myself. You can also print at Kinkos for short $$.
The invitation I copied from an invitation website with the help of a friend who has Photoshop and printed myself at Kinkos for only $15 including the envelopes!
These fortune cookie crayons were from Etsy and were probably the most expensive thing I splurged on. I had to have them though! $25.
The cake I made was estimated at $130-250 from a few local bake shops. What?!?! This is a HUGE cost saver here! I use boxed cake mix and doctor it up a bit so that it is a sturdier cake. Usually I just use homemade buttercream but this time I dared making marshmallow fondant and it was easier than I thought and not that much more $$.
Here are some videos I used to decorate the cake.
How to make it:
Plan ahead. Organize how long it is going to take you to get everything done and do some work each day/week depending on how far ahead you start to get ready. It's the last minute trip to the store for things you forgot that will cost you. Because you are out of time and not thinking about cost at that point.
Ask your friends. I borrowed a lot of stuff. Tables, coolers, chairs, tents, tablecloths.... The big $ stuff. Enough of your neighbors have this stuff that if you ask far enough in advance you can save your money for the fun stuff like your tablescape!
Then yesterday, I'm browsing through the photos saying lots of "oohs" and "ahhs" (which I honestly do -- out loud -- when I see parties I love), and all of a sudden my eyes stumble upon the number "$100" next to the budget. What?! No way. Definitely a typo.
I emailed Pamela, and guess what... no typo. She really threw this party for $100.
Well, of course I had to learn her secrets. So here are Pamela's top 5 money saving tips for throwing a kickass party...
HOMEMADE PARTY FAVORS - I made the play dough, water color paints, and crayons myself using inexpensive containers I found on clearance. (You're kidding me?!)
HOMEMADE DESSERTS - I made my own cupcakes (including the chocolate artist palette toppers) and cakepops with ingredients we already had on hand. Even if you use box mixes it is still less then having a bakery make these items for you.
VENUE -Having the party at a local park or at home saves a ton of money! You don't have to rent out an art studio to have a successful art party.
DECORATIONS -I was able to save money by creating my own decorations such as the printable labels and favor boxes. While I offer both finished and printable versions of Party Shapes in my shop, I suggest the printable version to save money.
Purchase one file and you can print as many labels as you need, blow them up and make larger circles for banners or signs. They work great not only for cupcake toppers, but also napkin rings, tags and favor embellishments. You can make a $9 printable file go a long way!
ACTIVITIES - Find inexpensive activities like foam shape kits for large groups. I purchased a finger puppet kit meant for a classroom of kids on sale for only $5.
You can also use everyday items you have at home to create activities, like making paper plate artist pallets or paper bag puppets. The least expensive activity was simply being at the park and being able to play at the playground. Our friends were well entertained for more then 2 hours.
And I'm very impressed that you made your own art supply favors. Brilliant idea!
I'm always impressed by people who can throw amazing parties on the tiniest of budgets. I was a fan of Melissa N's Baseball BBQ when I first saw it, but then when I read she put it together for $100, I had to know more.
So here are Melissa's top 5 tips for how she saved money throwing her Baseball BBQ...
One can of chalkboard paint has gotten me through 5 parties so far! I use them for signs and all sorts of decor! The scoreboard for the baseball party is being reused for a 7th birthday party... just using some chalkboard paint to cover the last sign. (I use chalkboard markers on the boards and they tend to not all come off that easily, so I like to repaint them.)
The green "turf" on the table was used at our Easter Egg Hunt and made a great covering for the baseball party also! Cost was $8 and so far I have recycled it through two parties!
4. BUY ON CLEARANCE - Rummage through the clearance bins and dollar bins at Target, Party City, Walmart and more. I always buy anything in primary colors because they can always be altered with paint and other crafty items.
The striped table clothes that you see on the tables and on the main baseball table were purchased at Target on sale, and I am reusing them for 3 more up coming parties! Big savings there!
5. RESEARCH way a head of time - I always use the Internet for research beforehand and using FREE printable (making sure to give credit back to the original blog or website).
Thinking outside the box, and being creative with food also, the s'more pops were a big hit and easy and very economical to make!
Thank you, Melissa, for these helpful money-saving ideas! My two biggest takeaways from this post are... Reuse anything and everything, and chalkboard paint is your friend. :)
Take a look at all the fabulous parties Melissa has added to our site. She is definitely an entertaining expert!
This is a new feature I'm starting where I find a gorgeous party on our site done on a tight budget, and I ask the Catch My Party member how she pulled it off.
First the beautiful party...
Now really, Shelley, how did you do it?
My party cost a little over $100. Mostly because I used cake plates, dishes etc. that I already had around the house.
I used a gauzy flower ribbon and glue-dotted it to one of my cake plates to give it a vintage feel.
I designed paper hats and used crepe paper for the pom poms on top.
I created a banner and printed it out on heavy card stock and used brads to hold it together then glue dotted it to the wall.
I bought water bottles and made the labels match the rest of my theme with the birthday girl's name.
The cupcake bunting was also made on the computer and was super easy as it was just plain pink with the letters "Happy birthday Emily." I used pink string and 2 paper straws to hold it together. Again, more glue dots!!!! Love the glue dots!
The frame is what actually inspired the design of this party. I found it at TJ Max for $9 and decided right there that I was going to have an ice cream social with the main event printed inside. All the printables for the toppings and the cake stand are by Eat, Drink, Chic by Amy Moss and can be downloaded FREE here.
I used anything I could that was around the house. I had an earring holder that was shaped like a body and I printed up a sign for the top of it and hung the favor bags from the necklace hooks.
The favor bags were made of pink tulle and I printed up the free download from Eat, Drink, Chic and just adjusted it to fit the kids names.
The kids table was set for 3 girls. The 3 boys had a separate table in blue with the blue hats and chocolate mustache suckers which my daughter made by picking up a mold at the craft store for $2. I can't believe how easy it was and she is only 9!
The tiny dishes that held the toppings were purchased also at the craft store for $1.99 each and had pink polkadots so I was pretty happy. The pink bowls were purchased at the dollar store as were the napkins. The ice cream paper bowls came with lids and wooden spoons, also $1.99 for 6 at Michaels craft store.
I bought the food mostly at World Market which is an import store. We served lemon wafers, mini macaroons, vanilla wafer straws, cherries, nuts, cone wafers, tons of assorted sprinkles, whipped cream, chocolate, caramel and strawberry sauces.
The cupcakes were a great find at the local grocery store and were 2.99 a piece and we ordered 9 since there were only 6 people. There was chocolate truffle, cream cheese strawberry and strawberry chocolate.
The cotton candy cookies and strawberry mini cupcakes were from Target for a respectable $10. I think I spent the most on the paper straws than I did anything else! They were $15 for 50.
Here is my total breakdown:
- Crepe paper ...$2.00
- Brads for banner ...$2.50
- Water bottles...$6.00
- Glue dots...$5.00
- Pink frame... $9.00
- Favor bags ...$3.00
- Mini pink flower lip gloss for favor bags...$4.50 for 3
- Chocolate mustache mold with chocolate chips for melting...$6.00
- Grocery store items...$60.00 which included all the ice cream etc. with the toppings
- Paper ice cream bowls...$2.00
- Pink bowls ...$3.00
- Imported wafers...$25.00
The best part was that I didn't spend a month planning this party. It was thrown together in 2 days thanks to the pink vintage frame which sparked the idea as well as the free downloads which saved me from creating my own.
To finish the post, I ask each member what their top 5 money saving tips are...
Oh, I guess my 5 things would be:
- Own a computer for printing up labels, banners, hats, etc.
- Shop at the thrift stores and dollar stores.
- Use items around the house and embellish them to fit your party theme.
- Glue dots work for everything... and I mean everything.
- Presentation. Make it pretty. My table only had 3 cake stands, 5 small dishes and a frame. Not a lot all by itself. Pretty them up and you have yourself a party!