Thursday, September 9, 2010

Birthday Party Details: Not Breaking the Bank

I am so about to dish all my party planning secrets in the name of blogging.
Oh, the things you never thought you'd do.

Here are a few tips that I think every party-planning mom can benefit from:


1. HAVE A PLAN

I found the inspiration for Libby's cake party when I saw these at Michael's months ago...in the dollar bin!




That's right, bloggers, I found the placemats, invitations, and napkins for one dollar per pack. While I've never been much of a fan of write-in invitations, these were just too cute to pass up, and I made them my own by adding some extra specials to the envelopes. By thinking ahead and having a plan, I was able to save myself some serious dinero.

2. DON'T BE AFRAID TO DO IT YOURSELF

See all these pretties???






I made them. Granted, I suppose the fact that I have a Silhouette gives me an unfair advantage.
However, there are so many people out there who have Silhouettes or Cricuts that I'm sure if you search hard enough, you'll find that you probably know at least SOMEONE with access to one of these machines. A few years ago, before these were all the rage, I even used the diecut machine at my school to make goodies for one of Lib's party. I've also seen patterns for the pinwheels online. 
Had I not done these myself at home and had instead bought all of this on Etsy, I could have easily spent $100. Instead, I spent less than $5 on all of the vinyl work, and about $5 on the cupcake toppers for paper, sucker sticks, and the flower stickers I put in the center of some of them.
That's a deal, folks.

I also made these....



...for less than a dollar each, using some tissue paper and lightweight wire.

And of course, there's the cupcake tower, which cost me less than $10 total, including the cupcakes.




#3. USE WHAT YOU HAVE


Before shopping, look around your home. What do you already have that you can use? For example, these flowers were sent to me last week by Rebecca. They were a perfect centerpiece for the cake decorating supply table.




And see these serving pieces? They were wedding gifts.
Using what you have is a great way to save money and allow you to spend more in areas where it's really needed.


#4. KEEP IT SIMPLE

In order to avoid having to serve a meal to our guests, we held our party from 9:30-11 in the morning. I figured the kids would be up anyway, so why not have it early and then allow moms to take the little ones and shift right into nap time? Since I assumed everyone had eaten breakfast not too long before arriving, I kept my food options very simple. Seriously, I think one of the biggest wastes at a party is when people over-spend and over-plan in terms of food. First, unless you're inviting everyone you've ever met, you probably don't need nearly as much as you might think you do.
I prefer the 'keep it simple' method, which seems to be my life motto as a mom.

For Lib's party, I served cupcakes, Oreo Yum-Yums,
and strawberry kabobs, and considering we had food to spare,
I'd say it was plenty.




#5. CUT COSTS WHERE YOU CAN

I believe the key to throwing a great party on a budget is to know where to splurge and where to cut costs.
My splurge was on the cake boxes. While they weren't expensive at all, the shipping was a killer.
 However, considering I got seventeen cake boxes, plus two boxes for the cupcake tower, plus the cardboard circles I put the cakes on all for around $30 total, I'd say that wasn't too bad, especially considering that including cake boxes so that each girl could take her cake home doubled as favors,
I'd call that money well spent.

However, I cut the costs by buying everything that I could at the dollar store.
 Oh, dollar store, we are so friends.
 I was able to get these super cute cups there...


...which I used here...



...as well as the plates, table cloths, additional napkins,
 and majority of the treats we used to decorate our cakes.

I also MAJORLY cut the costs by making the cakes...all seventeen of them...at home.
 I spent $12 to buy two six inch cake pans,
rather than who knows how much to have a baker mix the cake mix and eggs for me.



I also bought the icing at Wally-World and then dressed it up
by spooning it into little cups and serving it like this:



I gave each girl approximately one half of a standard carton of icing,
and there was plenty of icing to spare when all was said and done.


So my friends, if the intimidation factor and the fear of breaking the bank
has stopped you from throwing the party to top all parties,
fear no more.
Celebrating your little one's life is so worth a little sweat,
a little time,
and a little pre-planning.



15 comments:

  1. You could have borrowed the cake pans from ME! I had 4 left over from making cakes a few years ago!!! cMd

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  2. Looks like a wonderful party! I love the strawberry marshmellow idea! New follower from the hop!
    Lolo
    www.crazyaboutmybaybah.com

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  3. Great tips!! Parties do seem overwhelming at times.

    I am stopping by from New Friend Friday!!

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  4. Wow! I love it!
    How creative! You made so many things!
    I am sure everyone loved it!
    Thank you for sharing~
    Leticia

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  5. Following you now from New Friend Friday! Please follow my blog of inspiring messages, all original work of mine.

    http://inspiredbyron.blogspot.com/

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  6. I am a new follower from one of the friday blog hops. This is such a great post .. my daughters first birthday party is in two weeks... and you gave me some great ideas!!! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

    xoxoxo
    Lauren
    http://22yroldhousewife.blogspot.com/

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  7. I can't wait to be able to throw Caroline a party like this one! How fun! Any suggestions for a 1st birthday?? Seriously. :-)

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  10. ADORABLE!!!! And love the tips. Thank you SO much for linking up to my pity party. ;)
    xo,
    Mique

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  11. So many great tips in one post! I think I want some of those strawberry kabobs for myself!

    I saw you at New Friend Friday and will be following you!

    ~ www.billiemonster.com ~

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  12. Found you at New Friend Friday! I love your party planning ideas! I see lots of beautiful, quirky, cute parties and I feel like I could just never do that. See you around!

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  13. How much fun for the kids to decorate their own special cakes. I use a lot of the same tricks to celebrate my girls birthdays and to add one more trick: I had my girls so close that I only have to do one party a year :)

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  14. You have a great blog!! I am really enjoying looking around. Thanks for sharing!! I am now a new follower!! Nicole @ colieskitchen.com BTW I found you on a blog hop!

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  15. Wow, what great ideas, you have inspired me. I love your blog, I found it through the Trendy Treehouse link up party. Feel free to stop by mine anytime!

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