Decorations:Say you are having a Dora or Bob the Builder party, buying all the theme plates, cups, and napkins can really add up. Instead, just buy the napkins and use coordinating solid colors for the plates and cups. Balloons go a long way when decorating! Buy a pack of latex balloons at the dollar store and then take the balloons to the supermarket to have them fill them- considerably cheaper. Also consider renting a helium tank. Skip the party store for partyware unless there is something “specifc” you are looking for. Party stores can be expensive!! Instead, try the Dollar Tree or Wal-Mart. Their packs of solid plates, cutlery, cups, and even plastic tablecloths are $1.
For her daughter’s circus party, my friend Leigh-Ann and I crafted a fabulous circus tent in her living room by using long rolls of primary colored plastic tablecloths. Each color was tied to a hoop that had been suspended from the ceiling in the middle of the room. The rolls of color were then pulled and tacked to the walls to make a “circus tent” effect. I wish I had a picture, but I don't :(
Use resources you find at home. We had a Barnyard Bash for my son’s 1st birthday. My neighbors had just gotten a new washer and dryer so I asked if I could use the boxes. I painted them with red latex paint red and duct-taped them together to make a barn that the kids could play in. I then brought our rocking horse to the yard and threw out some hay to make a barnyard.
Send them home with a bang: Memorable FavorsConsider a thoughtful favor gift instead of 10 tiny “cheap” toys that the parents will throw away.
Examples: Swim party- $1.99 towels from Target and sew on a cute ribbon or put their names on it – use resources you have!
Music or Gymboree party- $1.50 plastic tambourines from the party store with each child’s name with paint pens. The children can use the tambourines during the party to dance and sing, and then take them home after the party.
Make and take favors are great! Pick an activity such as decorating a foam picture frame or canvas bag for the kids to craft then they can take home and use. At our parties we bring a photo printer and take a quick picture of all the kids together and then print them off so the kids can take them home in their frame. Oriental trading has lots of themed crafts that cost as low as 34 cents a piece to make. The craft doubles as their party favor! There are always sales for free shipping on orientaltrading.com.
Grocery stores like Kroger will put their candy bars on sale 3 for $1. Get candy bar with a top wrapper that comes off (Hershey’s, Mr. Goodbar) and re-do the wrapper with the child’s party information and a “thank you for coming” note. You can find some fabulous wrappers that won't break your budget from Etsy seller, D