Host a Birthday Party on a Budget

Fabulous venues, gourmet cakes, photo booths - children’s parties are getting crazy these days.  As much as I wanted to throw an over the top party to commemorate one year of keeping my daughter alive (kudos, me), I didn’t want to drop lots of dollars on a event that would likely only leave my one-year-old lady overstimulated and overwhelmed. With a strict budget in mind, I threw a small, yet memorable, celebration to commemorate her transition from a fraction to a solid number.

  1. Select a creative theme that compliments your current decor. Mother Nature had an interesting sense of humor when she sent us a foot of snow on April 1st, so my husband and I opted for a cheerful “Spring Fiesta” theme to add a festive feel to our home.  Our living room has soft tan and gray decor with yellow accents, so I knew that bright colored banners, garlands, and balloons would complement, not clash, with our current decor.  
  2. Review your current party inventory. After selecting a theme, I reviewed my current inventory and created a purposeful shopping list for my decorations.  For example, I already owned a rainbow of brightly colored Fiestaware dishes, so no additional platters or dish displays would need to be purchased.  
  3. Beg or borrow needed items.  One thing that we did not have and desperately needed to host at our home was additional seating.  We didn’t want to purchase items only to have to store them after the event, so I asked my mother-in-law to borrow her set for the day, and she agreed.  Dollars saved!
  4. Craft creatively. Creating unique decorations has become infinitely easier with a host of easy do-it-yourself ideas on Pinterest.  Check out my Pinterest board here. After purchasing some multicolored tissue paper and fishing line, which cost me less than ten dollars, I was able to create some rainbow-colored paper flowers, hanging pom poms, and garlands to hang our home.  
  5. Time matters.  We decided to host our party directly after lunch, so we could serve light refreshments and finger foods, instead of an entire meal.  Veggie platters, fruit platters, chips and dip, finger rolls, and of course, birthday cupcakes or cake are ideal offerings for a low-key party.  
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