Remember my cousin? You know, Care, the one who throws her kids' the most memorable parties? Well, todays she's giving away her secrets to throwing a great party without spending a ton. Here are her tips:
::Make your own decorations. I save large cardboard boxes, cut the flat part out and paint them, I paint our glass storm door with tempra paints (it washes right off), I use lots of streamers and balloons which make things festive and are cheap. I also made the goodie bags out of lunch bags decorated (with red, yellow and green circles for a stop light or painted with animal prints etc.)
::Shop for themed items at Oriental Trading Company online-but not right away! I put the items I like into my shopping cart, but I don’t buy them immediately. This gives me time to look for things in stores around me. It also caused the company to send me emails asking me if I want to finish my order and telling me of their newest deals. By not completing my order right away I was able to get free shipping and a free gift – Hawaiian shirt gift bags, that I used for goodie bags at the Hawaiian surf party.
::Make most of the food. For the goodie bags I even try to make many of the treats. I love making rice crispy treats because you can do almost anything with them. I cut them in circles and decorated them to look like a lion face and used them in the goodie bags for the safari party. I cut them into rectangles and used red, yellow and green round gummies to make a stoplight for the policeman party (just like the pizza stop lights that were just pizza rectangles with cucumber, pepperoni and cheese circles) I always make the cake. I love Martha Stewart’s butter cream frosting recipe! I always use it!
::Plan games and activities using toys and things already around the house.
::Save on personalized Thank-you's. I always take a picture with the birthday boy and each of his guests. I then print the picture with a fun boarder (for free on Costco’s web site). Sometimes I can find a boarder that goes with the theme, otherwise I use a colored one that says “Thank you” – I then stick the picture on a blank card and I have a personal thank you card for 13 cents a piece and the kids love getting the picture as a reminder of the party!
I always make my own invitations. The surf board ones looked just like the cake and were just cardstock cut out with colored strips of paper glued on. The wording was printed out to fit on the back and the whole invitation was sized to fit in a regular long envelope.
::Check your local resources. I got lots of policeman gear, the hats, badges, stickers etc. from our local police station for FREE!
Our town fire company gives free tours of the firehouse and fire truck for the fireman party – as long as there is no emergency at the scheduled time!
If you missed yesterdays post, make sure to check out Birthday Parties:: Making them Memorable.
If you're just visiting, stick around for Summer School Art next week-tutorials & giveaways will be there!
More ideas from bloggerville:
Party Planning Mom-blog entirely about planning creative parties on a budget.
Living Locurto has some great original party themes.
Just a Girl threw her son an Indian Jones party and in a later post shows us how her daughter celebrated with a Cheetah party.
See more Works For Me Wednesdays at We Are That Family
See more Frugal Fridays at Life as Mom
See more Kid Friendly Fridays at I Blame My Mother