Saturday, November 9, 2013

How to plan an inexpensive party that still looks adorable!

I thought tonight I would share how I planned and executed a really cute and inexpensive party for my 4 year old little boy. This party doesn't have to just be for kids though, it would be super fun to do as a one on one or group date, for a family reunion or friend party!
I have struggled for ideas for fun birthday parties since there are less options for things to do in the winter weather. I was first inspired by this idea of doing an "at home drive in movie" on Pinterest, but with a little creativity, my husband and I were able to switch things up a little from the original posts I had seen. He suggested that it would be fun to have the kids color their own car instead of us doing all the work before hand. GENIUS!
Here are a few steps of how I put together the party, on a dime. I was able to borrow a few things, and use a lot of what I already had at home to make the decorations. Forcing yourself to get a little creative with things you already have can really stretch a buck. Plus we can even say we are going green by reusing what we have one more time... ok maybe it's a stretch but it's a start!
Here's a step by step guide to a party on a dime. Hope you enjoy!
THE INVITATION(as seen above)
I designed for free on and then the prints were ordered through Costco for only 13 cents/invite.
The cars are made from cardboard boxes purchased from Home Depot for $1.30/box. We painted them with 1 layer of cheap white paint we had in our basement. I bought black paper plates from the dollar store (24 plates per package) and  with 2 packages I had enough for 10 cars and some leftover. Total cost, $2. Next, I hot glued them on for tires. I chose to use Vinyl lettering to add the children's names to the top of the car. I printed it myself so it was inexpensive, but to save on cost you could just paint or write the name in marker, and color two yellow head lights on.

For the simple table setting, I used plates and cake holders to stack and add height to my table and to make it a bit more visually pleasing.
The balloons were about 99 cents a piece, and using gold blue and red added a more "circus-y, vintage-y" kind of feel. I had a tablecloth that I purchased from a spool of clearance fabric at Joanne's a few years ago. It's neutral brown color matches just about anything I do. If you have never looked at Joanne's section of tablecloth fabric, check it out!
The popcorn machine was a total hit, and it was no added cost because I borrowed it from a family member. A similar one can be found HERE at
I made the banner last summer for my 4th of July using scrapbook paper and gluing it onto twine. It happened to match so I thought it would add some extra color and help add height to my table décor.

Did you know that instead of buying labels you can just make your own cute ones in Microsoft word? UM YES PLEASE!
Its so easy Ill be making a post to share this secret very soon.
I made my own label, printed it and glued it to some old scrapbook paper I had in storage.

For the popcorn cups I did the same thing, and then just glued them to a clear cup so you can see the pretty golden popcorn inside.

I covered the original label for the licorice and changed it to "old fashioned licorice" to add more to the vintage feel. Adding it on top of a cake stand made it extra special!

I thought it would be fun to just do a simple but creative cupcake for the party. After learning how easy it is to create a popcorn look-a-like cupcake, I knew this was the perfect compliment to my table.
To save money on the cake, bake your own made from scratch cupcakes, and homemade buttercream frosting. Frost the cupcakes once they are cooled, and immediately add your faux popcorn topping.
These are so dang easy you will laugh. All you have to do is take some mini marshmallows, cut them twice with kitchen sheers, and then brush a little bit of yellow food coloring (I used gel) on the tops. Let the gel dry for about 20-30 minutes before using so it doesn't get all over your fingers.

I bought these cute little cupcake covers at the same party store I purchased the balloons. They were only $2.39 for 12.
I made little baggies filled with "movie treats" for the kids using dollar store candies.
Then I filled other baggies full of stickers and crayons also purchased from the dollar store. Total cost for 100 crayons, candy for 10 kids, and 200 stickers... $11.00.
I found that putting them In individual packages for the boys and the girls helped the decorating process go very smoothly with no chaos! Just what a mommy needs :)

The kids got to watch Monsters University, eat popcorn, treats and decorate a car. Then we opened gifts and enjoyed cupcakes. Overall I think it was a hit, and I loved hearing the kids giggle and have a fun time together.
Benson even got to wear shorts... in November. :)

Happy 4th Birthday Benson, you are so loved!
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