I believe I've already shared with you all that my husband is very frugal, right? Combine that with my love of decorating and you have a wonderful mix...or a huge battle! ;) I love party planning as well, and I knew when I started planning Blake's 2nd birthday party that I was going to have to find some budget-friendly ideas. So, I thought I'd share some practical tips on how to reduce the amont of money spent on decorating for a birthday party. :)
I knew I wanted to do a cars theme since Blake is obsessed with cars, so I started browsing for invitations and party packages. I found the invitation on the left on Etsy.com. It was a digital printable file for $15. Then, on top of that, printable party collections range anywhere from $30-$50. So, my tight-wad wheels start turning, and I search Etsy for transportation-themed digital scapbooking paper. Lo and behold, I find a set of twelve papers and bonus clip art for $6 from Goodness and Fun: http://www.etsy.com/shop/goodnessandfun.
I then designed Blake's birthday party invitation on Microsoft Publisher. It's not exactly the same, but it's close enough for me! :) The invitation became the inspiration for the rest of the party decor.
Here's Blake in front of his dessert buffet (which he thoroughly enjoyed!)
The backdrop is a cheap presentation board from Walmart covered in colored computer paper with lines of black Gorilla tape. I already had the board from a baby shower I decorated, my mom had the paper, so all I had to buy was the $3 tape. :) Cheap and easy!
The plates ($1 for 20) and the napkins ($.50 for 20) were all from Walmart.
I designed the racetrack initial on Publisher, printed it, and hot glued little cars to it. I then framed it in a white frame I already had.
The candy, cookies, and cupcakes were from Walmart and Dollar Tree. The only thing I actually baked were the traffic light sugar cookies, which cost all of $6 total. I just used frozen Pillsbury sugar cookie dough and Betty Crocker cookie icing. The orange cones were also form Dollar Tree. The sucker stands are upside down buckets from the dollar section at Target. The suckers came from Oriental Trading ($6 for 12). The tablecloth was $1 from Walmart and I added sticky yellow post-it notes down the center. The cake came from Rachel's Cakes, http://www.facebook.com/#!/rachels.cakes1. Her cakes are always delicious! :) One way I saved money on the cake was by going with buttercream icing instead of fondant for the layers. This actually cut the cost of the cake in half. The topper came from Blake's toy box (I cleaned it off, of course.) ;)
I used the same digital scrapbooking paper to design the cupcake toppers, jar labels, and favor labels on Publisher. This truck also came from the toy box, and the bubbles are from Dollar Tree.
We also had some inexpensive activities for the kids and adults outside such as a little pool, sprinkler, slip and slide, bubbles, and corn hole. Most importantly, Blake and all of our guests had a great time, and that's what really matters! :)