Friday, October 3, 2014

Day 3: Themed Birthday Parties on a Dime

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I have always loved decorating and preparing a cake for my littles each birthday at their request. They seriously think and pick their theme all year long. It changes often for sure, but they eventually narrow it down to the exact theme they want a few weeks before their big day.

I know many don’t like to go all out because they fear the expense will kill their budget. And, to be quite honest, in most cases that is what happens. But, not in our home. I have loved to do these for our kids but I refuse to spend tons of money. So, how do I do it?

Here are a few of our themed party pictures and how I went about them. Excuse the horrible pictures: I didn’t have a nice camera back then!

angry bird cake

Angry Bird themed party was one of my favorites. I used old cans from canned goods and made towers for the kids to throw balls at as our game. The cake was just 2 9x13 cakes with chocolate frosting. I made our own fondant to make pigs and birds. The building structures were made with nutty bars and graham crackers. I just drew all over balloons to make them look like birds and pigs. This was one of my favorites and I spent about $10 only because I had all the baking stuff in my stock. (We will have a post on keeping your stock up soon)

cinderella cake

Chloe wanted a Cinderella cake where her doll was actually in the carriage. Good ole rice krispie treats helped us on this one. And, a few play horses from the girls toys worked great to pull the carriage. All her friends dressed up like princesses and we had a royal fun time. And, as you can see, perfection is not achieved, but my children love them and I enjoy “trying.”

Ducky birthday

Madelynn’s rubber ducky themed party was cheap and easy with cupcakes and fondant rubbery duckies everywhere. Bubbles was a big and cheap game filler for this special day.

 spy theme cake spy themed party

Andrew’s spy themed party was a hit. I just covered a rubber ball in black fondant and decorated it with random spy themed items from his play stash. Dollar Tree had a sale on spy themed fingerprinting sets for 50 cents each and detective badges.

  circus party (2) circus party (3)  circus cake

Our circus themed party was so much fun and I shopped my house for much of the decor. I found the striped sheet and threw it on the table to give it a circus feel. The polka dot pillow case came in handy under the circus tent themed cake. $1 package of colorful straws were extra fun in our jar glasses. A $3 piece of striped fabric cut into triangles with just printed circus font made for a fun cheap banner. I watched for corn dogs to go on B1G1 sale at Bilo and stocked up in preparation for this circus evening. (we will discuss some grocery shopping tips in a few weeks) I went to a place that rented the big trucks for cotton candy and stuff at fairs. They had popcorn bags and he gave me 30 for $1. We ran to Goodwill and picked out a bunch of little stuffed animals from the 49 cent bin and through them in the washer and gave them to each of our birthday guests.

zebra cake zebra party

The dress up trunk and Chloes zebra scrapbook papers came in handy for Ella’s 1 year old zebra party. Just stripped black fondant on white frosting covered cakes and tied a piece of cloth from my craft stash around the bases and glued on some jewels that I also found in my craft bin. The Dollar store has loads of fun table cloths and straws too!


Cupcake cakes can be so easy and fun. A butterfly themed party was fun and cheap! I grabbed headbands from my girls hair stuff, scrubbed them up and tied black pipe cleaners for antennas for each of the girls.

girl pirate theme cake 

When your daughter begs for a pirate themed party, what is one to do without going more boyish in decorations? Grab some blue frosting, graham cracker crumbs and your stash of colorful pearls from your cake decorating stash. I found Hershey nuggets on sale and made them look like mini treasure chests. Add a candy necklace  to the birthday girl’s and you have yourself a girly pirate themed party.

owl theme cake owl theme

Who do you suppose wanted owls? My eldest loves owls so I frosted a cake in blue frosting and stuck her stuffed owl on top of a piece of wax paper on top of the cake. Grab a bag of colorful feathers from Michaels or Hobby lobby with your weekly coupon and scatter everywhere. I pulled a grapevine wreath out of our Christmas decor and used that as the nest around the cake. I did splurge and get an owl piñata from Party City. It ended up being $7.99 with my coupon I had saved. I had gotten TONS of Christmas candy on 90% clearance and threw it in the freezer to fill the piñata. And, I got a little crafty and sewed stuffed owls for each of my birthday girls guests from the stash of colorful fabrics.

marine party marine cake

Marine themed party? Just use a bunch of army men, vehicles, and other play pieces.  Don’t forget to use fishing line, marshmallows, and army men hanging from the ceiling to look like parachuters!

Not all our birthdays are elaborate, but I do LOVE to make them special for my children. But, I do not spend hundreds or even $100 on any party. Set a goal and budget and set to work at being creative with what you have. Take advantage of creative cheap options you find on Pinterest, but don’t let that limit your own creativity! Often you can shop your house for much of the decor needed to make your child’s event extra special and not spend a cent!

Join us tomorrow for Fun tips to hosting Showers/parties in or away from home.