Birthday Parties on a Budget
Throwing a fabulous birthday party doesn’t have to break the bank. A little creativity, thoughtful planning, bargain hunting, and a healthy dose of fun can help create a memorable celebration for less. From crafting your own invitations to party games that double duty as decorations and favors, planning a birthday party to get the most bang for the buck has never been easier. Get started using these party ideas, or use them to inspire your own. Happy planning!
Birthday Party Invitations
One of the easiest and most inexpensive ways to create your own birthday party invitations is to take advantage of the many free birthday printables on the web. Once a design has been chosen, simply print, cut and paste onto some colorful cardstock and add the pertinent information on the back, or inside if you have chosen a fold over design.
For added effect and a touch of pizzazz, make the invitations three dimensional with a couple of easy extra steps. Cut out the portion of the design you wish to stand out, and glue a paper clip to the back of those pieces. Back the rest of the invitation with a colored cardstock as instructed above, and then use a hot glue gun to affix the paper clips back in place or anywhere else desired. Leave the paper clips flat for an understated effect or play with bending some out slightly to add more whimsy.
Though paper invitations are nice, don’t overlook technology. An electronic or online invitation is another free way to invite guests to a birthday party. Use a photo editing program to create a background, birthday graphics, text, and even a photo of your birthday boy or girl. If a photo editing program is not available, most word processing programs have the ability to insert photos and graphics and would work just as well. Then just e-mail your invite to guests, and prepare for birthday party fun!
Party Decoration Ideas
When decorating on a budget, balloons are a very cost effective way of adding color and a festive feel. Even without helium, simple latex balloons can be hung by ribbons from the ceiling, tied together in bouquets in corners or entryways, or attached to sticks to be stuck in flowerpots for a fun filled centerpiece. Even if there is little else available to decorate with, lots of balloons pack a visual punch and nothing else shouts “birthday party!” than a hearty dose of balloons.
Ever seen those party scene setters at the local party supply store? It’s easy to create your own simple scene or backdrop using butcher paper. Butcher paper comes in a variety of colors and can be purchased in any length needed usually for only a few dollars from an educational supply store either locally or online. With this paper and a little creativity, the birthday ideas are endless.
Use different color papers to cut and paste different elements, or use a solid background color or two and paint in the details. For example, a beach scene could be created by layering a half strip of blue paper “waves” on top of a sand toned sheet. A farm setting could start with green paper hills atop a blue background for a great grass and sky effect.
Get the kids in on the action and let the background double as a party game. Set up a decoration station by attaching the paper scene along the back of a fence or any other convenient area and allow party goers to get artistic. Set up supplies of your choosing, such as markers, crayons, fingerpaints, paper shapes, felt cutouts, cotton balls, the possibilities are endless. This party idea lets everyone make their mark, and lends a fun and personalized stylish scene to the birthday party decor.
Birthday Ideas for Favors and Games
Organized party games are a staple at most birthday parties, and are a wonderful way of getting the guests engaged and to make sure everyone is included in the fun. Traditional staples such as pin the tail on the donkey can be created at home using leftover paper from the party scene backgrounds, simple cut outs or props. This type of game can also be easily adapted to any theme, such as pin the hat on the pirate, trunk on the elephant, bananas on the monkey, and so on. Scavenger hunts and relay races are also a source of great fun and are easily adaptable for any age group or theme.
To prevent lulls between organized party games, it is also a good idea to have a few activity stations available that children can access and enjoy on their own. Using the backdrop scene decoration station previously mentioned is one idea. Have a treasure hunt or dinosaur dig in a sand box or smaller plastic tubs filled with sand, or simply a coloring station set up with crayons and a stack of coloring sheets related to the party theme. Another idea for birthday party fun is to set up a craft table or two that can double as an activity and a take home party favor for the guests.
If a tea party theme is used, for example, guests could decorate their own plastic tea cups (available in the picnic aisle of the local grocer, or club discount store) with stickers or plastic gems. Mask making using half paper plates and art supplies is also fun and inexpensive. Another budget friendly birthday party idea is to use a cupcake decorating station as an alternative to purchasing a store bought cake. This doubles as a fun party game, and guests will love decorating their own sweet birthday treats.
Tons of Birthday Fun for Less
Its easy to throw a fun and festive birthday party while keeping costs low when you consider these easy party ideas. From personalizing free birthday printables or using e-vites, to using decorations that double as party games, or party games that double as birthday party favors there are lots of ways to have a great time on a dime. Shop smart, get crafty, and use some thoughtful planning to create a fun, yet inexpensive birthday party event to be remembered.