Tip for a Themed Party on a Budget

In years past, I’ve been super excited to plan and throw some fun themed parties. If you’ve been here for a little while, then you may have seen one or two of them. Some of my favorites are Gav’s construction, Ro’s 2nd trip around the sun, and Ro’s Wonka party. This year was a little different.

If I’m being completely honest, I was done with throwing large parties with tons of kids about a year before I stopped. This year was the year we decided on just family and friends who are like family. But darn it if I can’t quit my themes. This year Gav requested a Spongebob birthday. *insert cringing* I knew this day would come. The day when I would get to pick a unique theme and it was be super commercial and the creative in me would cry. I always dreaded this because I felt it would limit the creativity. Turns out, it made me rely MORE on my creativity and I added a challenge for myself. Let’s see how little I can do this for and still feel like I’ve been creative AND make my kid happy. The last one being the most important, of course!

Tip for a Themed Party on a Budget

Buy mainly generic with a few “commercialized” must have pieces. – What I mean by this is skip the character themed plates, cups, table cloth, etc. Figure out what you can do with out, what you can skip all together, and what’s a must have piece. For Gav’s Spongebob party, I went with a general color scheme for the paper products/utensils and “splurged” on a package of character balloons and a center piece.

Tip for a Themed Party on a Budget
Tip for a Themed Party on a Budget

Figure out where you want to spend and where you can cut out. – Is the cake something you can tackle or do you want something fab and crazy awesome? Are you all about the balloons and want to have bundles everywhere or can you do with a few. Choose what’s important to your kiddo and you and budget more for those things. For me, I love having a number balloon and bundles. That took up the majority of the budget, besides the food.

Tip for a Themed Party on a Budget

Skip the favor bags. – Since we had a very small number of kids, I didn’t feel like favor bags were a necessity. But, having things for the kids that were coming WAS important. So I made sure to incorporate things they could take home, play with at the party, etc. Plus, if you’re a parent and you’ve taken a favor bag home, how much of it do you still have in your house. Most of it is in the trash by right now, right? For this party it was bubbles, tattoos, and coloring pages.

Tip for a Themed Party on a Budget
Tip for a Themed Party on a Budget
Tip for a Themed Party on a Budget

Learn to make graphics or find free printables. – All of my tags were made on my computer. They are made of Google images and a free font I downloaded. My favorite place to get random fonts is DaFont. All I did was type in Spongebob to the search and three different one came up.

Pinterest is another great place to find free printable for almost any theme. Find coloring pages with a simple Google search and most of them are free. If they’re not, find a different one.

Need a simple template to start your tags? Here’s the one I made!

Tip for a Themed Party on a Budget

Figure out what you can DIY. – Can you bake a cake? From a box? Do it! Naked cakes are great and super simple. I made one for Ro’s first birthday. Does your little one have toys that fit the theme? Wash them off and you’ve got cake toppers! Gavin doesn’t care for traditional cake and we went with a cookie cake this year. Three tubes of cookie dough and large pizza pan equaled a homemade cookie cake that saved us $20+ dollars. Last year it was a doughnut cake. Super simple tower of doughnuts with cupcake picks for decoration. The cake doesn’t have to be crazy! (Unless that’s your splurge item.)

Making banners is super simple. Card stock, twine, and hot glue are the only things you need to make a banner that can cost you pennies. It cost me nothing because I already had it! Use what you have!

The jellyfish cost $5 to make. The paper lanterns and streamers are from Walmart. A little hot glue and some painted spots turned them from plain decorations to themed ones!

Tip for a Themed Party on a Budget
Tip for a Themed Party on a Budget

Outsource. – Where you feel comfortable, ask someone to bring something. I asked my dad to pick up water bottles. That was one thing off my plate. (And it should be mentioned that he took his task and knocked it out of the park. He found Spongebob ones!) A wanted to have something fun for the grownups, since that was the majority of the guests, and I asked my in-laws to bring mimosa supplies. Simple things like that just to take something off your plate, to save yourself a few dollars, if you can and if others can.

Tip for a Themed Party on a Budget
Tip for a Themed Party on a Budget
Tip for a Themed Party on a Budget
Tip for a Themed Party on a Budget

Gav loved his party and had a great time. He didn’t miss having a ton of kids around, he got to open his awesome presents, and was surrounded with love.

What are your plans for your next party?!