Friday, May 11, 2012

Guest Post / Trading Blogs Day

Hi! I am Pam from Pams Party and Practical Tips.   I am Trading Blogs with Pamela today in a fun blog swap hosted by Serendipity and Spice.   When Pamela and I found out we  would be trading partners it was actually kind of  funny.  We were paired up randomly,  but we already knew each other.  We also share the same first name, and have similar types of blogs.    It was meant to be.

 Since I have a blog that is based on planning parties and practical tips, I thought I would share some of my best budget party planning tips.

When throwing a party on a budget, planning ahead can really save a lot of money.  Once you pick a theme, the best place to start is the dollar store.   They have many party supplies at the fraction of the cost of the party store.  Last year I threw a  "big number" birthday for a friend using only supplies from the dollar store and items I made. I  was way under my given budget.

You can make great goody bags buying items at the dollar store and on clearance.  For my daughter's beach party I bought the bag, flip flops and frisbee for $1 each, the visors for .67 (JoAnns), and the bubbles for only .33.  The girls left with a full reusable  bag of  useful items that were only a total of $4.

Some of the items did double duty.  We decorated the flip flops as our craft, wore our visors while playing in the sun, and used the frisbees as paper plate holders.

Another fun thing for  me is to make as much as I can using items I already have at home.  I make my own pinatas,

party props,

and decorations whenever possible.

Another personal touch is making your own invitations.  If you prefer not to make your own, there are many free printables online, and several nice choices at the dollar store.

 At our parties we always play some sort of pin the tail game.  I make the game out of poster board according to the party theme. This is always a lot of fun. 

I plan my menu as early as I can, so I can start shopping for what I need with coupons.  Food doesn't have to be expensive to be fun.   We often have simple foods like personal pizzas, chips and juice boxes.  You can give them different names to match your theme.    

A big trend right now is the dessert table.  The dollar store has a large variety of candy, candy jars, and display bowls. I made the cupcake stand by gluing together a few dollar store platters and candlesticks.  

Don't compare your budget  party to the fancy, stylized parties online. They are beautiful to look at, but most kids don't care about  fancy.    I know from the almost 30 parties that I have given over the years, kid don't really  pay attention to  all the  details.  They overlook imperfections, so do not stress if things are not perfect.  As long as they have a fun afternoon with their friends, they don't mind if you spent only $50 instead of $500.    

Some of my other must have party tips 

When opening presents, sit the birthday child in a  high seat, and have the others sit on the floor where everyone can see.  

Draw names when giving presents to the birthday child.  This eliminates crying and hurt feelings. 

Have the present-giver pose with the birthday child when opening gifts, and take a photo.  Not only will you have a memento to give away  later, you will have a record of who gave what.  

My biggest tip of all..  Enjoy the Party! 

If you want to see more of these parties and many others, you can find them on my party theme link. 

Thank you so much Pamela for trading blogs with me. It was a lot of fun, and I would love to do it again sometime soon.


  1. Kids really don't look at that stuff. They like the stuff that looks fun and they can play with and this look like tons of fun.

  2. Wow! Very creative and cost effecient ideas!! I really wish I could get myself to make my own pinatas..that is impressive.

    1. Making pinatas is actually pretty easy, and so much cheaper than buying. They have a tutorial on I have made the sun pinata in the pinatas with pizzazz link for a luau and it turn out really cute. I might try to make some for my daughters theme this year, but not sure what to do for a woodland party.

  3. Looks like a fun party! Great budget ideas. I would never think to shop at JoAnns. Might need to check it out.

  4. Great ideas! I love that you used the flip flops as a craft and them in the goodie bag to take home. Great way to use something in two ways. I also LOVE the plates and candlesticks to make a cupcake tower-I can't wait to try that one!

  5. What awesome ideas!! We always decorate our parties... all our kids get together to help out with the theme, let alone putting it all together. My daughter's friends, who all are five-ish LOVE to put up the decorations and the end result. It is always so much fun going to a themed party and seeing it all decorated. Kids love all the added decorations and color everywhere! So Festive!! Always adds to the celebration! Peace and love...

  6. Special thanks to Pam for her wonderful guest post, I love all the party planning info.

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