5 Tips for a Beautiful & Budget Friendly Party

Writer: Mariah Leeson with Giggles Galore our Party Expert
 I love throwing parties for my kids birthday’s, holiday’s, special occasions and just because.  However, parties can get expensive and quickly out of hand if you don’t have a plan and a budget. Today I am going to share some of my favorite tips for planning a fun, budget friendly party everyone will love!

One of my all time favorite parties I’ve hosted is my twin’s Vintage Dick and Jane 3rd birthday.  Using that party and the following tips I’ll show you how easy it is to throw a party for less than $150!

“Shop” your house or borrow items. When planning your party look around your house and find inspiration and decorations from items you already own.  Or consider asking family or friends to borrow treasured items to help pull the theme together.

  • The inspiration for this party came from an old copy of the Dick and Jane book my mother owned.  That led to a hunt for vintage games, toys and books from that era.  I called up my grandmother and asked if she had anything that I could use for decorations…she sent me two boxes full of goodies!
  • I used pieces of furniture from around my house to create focal points and I displayed old toys, that I pulled off the twin’s shelves.

Keep it simple. You don’t have to buy extravagant decorations or have a huge spread of food to throw a great party. For this party the decorations were simple, but the impact of a few key items created the perfect atmosphere for the party.

  • I used old newspaper and made fans to hang from the trees and liven up the outdoor space.
  • I kept the food very simple by making individual lunches of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, chips and an orange.  To turn the simple lunch into something special I made wax paper bags for the chips an added custom stickers to bags.  I wrapped the boxes with scraps of fabric and tied a tag with each child’s name on it for that extra personal touch. I was able to stretch my budget farther by keeping the food simple.

Tip 3

Dress up store-bought items. You can make simple and cheap store-bought items look like a million bucks if you take the time to dress them up.

  • I bought plain cupcakes from the store and dressed them up with pretty rosette toppers (which I made.) The cupcakes were part of the party games, so I also dressed up small white boxes with fabric and scrapbook paper for easy transport.
  • By adding a scrap of fabric and a straw to glass bottles full of pink lemonade I had a pretty drink that coordinated perfectly.

Tip 4

Make It. Can’t find what you want?  Don’t like the price tag?  With a few supplies and a little time you can make party supplies, favors and decorations that match your theme perfectly.

  • I made party hats, cupcake toppers, and party decorations with a few pieces of scrapbook paper.
  • I couldn’t find the perfect party favor so I decided to make one that would also double as decorations. I used some of the fabric I bought to make drawstring fabric bags that held candy and small trinkets. And to display them I made a fun backdrop I can use over and over again.

Tip 5

Make an investment. Invest in items you can use over and over again or in things that you can’t do yourself.

  • I spent the most money on fabric for this party.  But I was able to make lots of items including a matching dress and tie for twin’s to wear to their party.  And the fabric that didn’t get cut and sewn can be reused for backdrops, table cloths and even new Spring outfits for my girls!
  • While I’m a DIY girl who loves to create things, I can’t ever make the invitations look as good as the ones you can buy! I usually invest in custom printables and have been lucky to work with some amazing vendors. I try to keep this cost under $30, but they really help make things look extra special.

Party Expense Break Down
Here is how I spent my budget on the Vintage Dick and Jane party. This party was planned for 18 kids.
Food – $30
Scrapbook Paper for paper cones, paper rosettes, and party hats – $5
Fabric used for treat bags, backdrop, lunch boxes, cupcake boxes and outfits – $40
Invitation, favor tags on lunch boxes and party signs – $30
White Boxes – $15
Wood for Backdrop frame – $5
Wooden Cash Register – $15
Total – $140

About Mariah Leeson- Mariah is the multi-tasking mom of three sweet and rambunctious kids, Aubrey (5) and twins Parker and Piper (3).  She has been married for 9 years to Justin, her super supportive husband who often gets roped into lending a helping hand.  They live happily in Allen, Texas where their house can be a little chaotic at time with lots of creative projects, but there are always Giggles Galore!

For more pictures and DIY tips from this party come visit me here.  And don’t forget to follow me on Facebook for fun crafts, budget friendly parties and lots of Giggles Galore!

Vendor Credits: 
Invitation and signs – Sweet Sobee Designs
Party Styling and photos – Giggles Galore
Photo of twins – Elayne Dunn Photography

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28 Responses to “5 Tips for a Beautiful & Budget Friendly Party”

  1. February 13, 2012 at 8:00 am #

    I love all these budget-friendly party ideas, the polka-dot theme and especially the paper rosette and the pop-corn cups! It looks yummy!!

  2. February 13, 2012 at 12:54 pm #

    Good tips! This is exactly how I do my parties. I think something people tend to overspend on is food. Especially candy and such. I’ve found that kids don’t actually want that much sugar and a few things done well can make a bigger impact than a whole bunch of store bought.

  3. February 13, 2012 at 1:38 pm #

    I featured this awesome post on my blog today!


    Melanie 🙂
    Reasons To Skip The Housework

  4. February 13, 2012 at 4:35 pm #

    Thanks for sharing!

  5. February 13, 2012 at 9:23 pm #

    This Dick and Jane party idea is so unique and cute!!! LOVE the little vintage invitations, too! I’ll have to remember this for in the future when I have some kiddos of my own!

  6. February 15, 2012 at 7:22 am #

    This is so cute! I love vintage stuff 🙂 Please stop over and share at Mix it up Monday:


    I hope to see you soon!

  7. February 15, 2012 at 11:50 am #

    Everything is PERFECT!! Want to organize my birthday… PLEASE?? 🙂

    Would you PRETTY PLEASE post this on my Linky Party please?

  8. February 15, 2012 at 4:38 pm #

    Adorable party & great tips. I linked to this post at the Parties & Entertaining forum at iVillage~ http://forums.ivillage.com/t5/Party-Talk-Tips/Tips-for-a-beautiful-amp-budget-friendly-party/m-p/118934189

  9. February 15, 2012 at 7:14 pm #

    Such cute ideas!

  10. February 16, 2012 at 10:21 am #

    So impressive! I would LOVE for you to share this awesome mommy solution in my Mommy Club link up! Or any other ideas. Stop over! http://www.crystalandcomp.com/2012/02/the-mommy-club-share-your-resources-and-solutions-31/


  11. February 16, 2012 at 12:13 pm #

    Adorable party decorations!

  12. February 17, 2012 at 7:50 am #

    I Love this! We just posted our 2nd Kitchen Fun and Crafty Friday Link Party today and would love for you to share this! http://kitchenfunwithmy3sons.blogspot.com/2012/02/kitchen-fun-and-crafty-friday-link_16.html

  13. February 17, 2012 at 12:54 pm #

    Cute party! Nicely put together.

  14. February 17, 2012 at 1:58 pm #

    I adore all of these ideas, especially the rosettes! Too adorable! I am hosting my first link party today, and would love for you to add this along with anything else you like!

    Jessica @ Mom 4 Real

  15. February 18, 2012 at 7:17 am #

    What a fun and creative birthday party decor! I will be keeping some of these ideas for our boys b-days coming up. Thank you for sharing this at my party!

  16. February 18, 2012 at 10:11 pm #

    Their party turned out so cute and you have such great tips!

  17. February 18, 2012 at 11:53 pm #

    These are such fantastic ideas. Loving the newspaper pinwheels in the trees!! Very creative! Thanks so much for linking this up with Mop It Up Mondays at i should be mopping the floor last week. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

  18. February 19, 2012 at 6:00 pm #

    What fabulous tips! This post will be featured tomorrow as one of the top view links from last weeks party! Thanks for sharing!

  19. February 19, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    What cute party ideas! So many wonderful ideas. xo, Sherry

  20. February 20, 2012 at 3:39 am #

    I have to say that the Coca-cola box really got my attention. What a fantastic prop! Really enjoyed your attention to detail. 🙂

  21. February 22, 2012 at 9:26 am #

    This party turned out so adorable! Thank you so much for sharing at Taking A Timeout Thursday!

  22. February 23, 2012 at 7:47 pm #

    Thank you for sharing at Fabulous Friday. I am featuring you tomorrow.

  23. February 23, 2012 at 8:50 pm #

    Totally love Sally, Dick and Jane!! Cute party ideas. Thanks for coming to our “Strut Your Stuff Saturday.” We loved having you and hope you’ll be back next Saturday! -The Sisters

  24. February 24, 2012 at 1:15 pm #

    Great ideas! Thanks for sharing! ♥


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