It has been a busy week of party planning.....so many ideas so little time. Between fabulous party blogs and Pinterest I can spend hours lost in a creative coma. My only problem is my inspiration and my budget usually don't align. I love getting ideas from Kara's party ideas and other sites like hers, however I have to remind myself that these parties are usually professionally designed and have a budget that's out of this world......so when I wake up from my creative coma and drift back into reality that's where the frugal party planning begins.
Here are some tips I used to throw my son's first birthday party on a very frugal budget.The best tip is start planning early that way you can spread out your purchases and take advantages of sales and coupons to make your purchases. Around party planning time the Hobby Lobby folks know me by name, I think I am in there once a week with my coupon in hand (on my phone of course)
I like choosing colors for a party and going from there. That way you can save by reusing supplies from previous events. By using one unifying color you can even utilize items for both sexes. I usually use green a lot for both my son and my daughter. That way I am not purchasing new items for each party.
The first was I like to save some money is by designing my own invitations...if you aren't a designer no worries stop by my shop Magic By Marcy for some custom invitations that you can print at home or at your favorite photo site ( most of them run specials monthly on prints) My favorite place to print is www.mpix.com they have great shipping rates, print on cardstock and include envelopes (25 for $19)
The best way to make a visual impact is to incorporate your invitation into your actual party. Food tags, favor tags, cupcake toppers, water bottle labels & candy wrappers ( just to name a few). Printing these on cardstock at home is a great money saver.
The party favors were my favorite part they were so deceptively easy and definitely didn't break the bank. I took Nila wafers ( 1 box was plenty) and used royal icing (made from scratch... meringue powder, powdered sugar, food coloring and water) to ice the cookies before placing them in plastic favor bags and stapling a favor bag tag on the top.
Decor and more.....
My next money saving tip is to keep the decor simple. I used fabric scraps to make a wreath, a table runner and table squares for the tables. If you have pinking shears you don't even need to know how to sew. No sew iron on hemming tape is another way to avoid the sewing machine.
To make this wreath simply cut fabric (4 to 5 different types) into 1 1/2 X 4 inch strips, then tie around a styrofoam wreath. I added a cardboard 1 that I painted with some craft paint.
I love using tissue paper pom poms for decor, they are bright and visual and very easy to make...and for 99 cents a piece who can beat that! I like using one whole pack of tissue paper for a pom pom.
I also love using things from around the house, simple mason jars and some flowers from the yard make gorgeous simple centerpieces for any occasion.
For the cake....remember to utilize local talent. You can often find people right in your area that make cakes for half the price of a fancy bakery or local grocery store. My last and most important tip...Keep the food simple. 3 or 4 options are best that way you don't have a lot of food that goes to waste. I like to pick foods I can use the next day for a meal if we have leftovers. My favorite party leftover recipe is Texas Caviar (at the party) / Southwest Chicken (next day)
Texas Caviar: 1 can black beans, 2 cans sweet corn, 1/2 a sweet onion finely chopped, freshly chopped cilantro, a dash of red wine vinegar, a dash of lime juice and a sprinkle of kosher salt
Southwest Chicken: Marinate your chicken breast in lime juice and your favorite seasonings. Cook chicken and set aside. Cook 1 package of yellow rice add chicken on top cover generously with your left over texas caviar and then sprinkle with mexican shredded cheese. Bake at 350 for 10 - 15 minutes or until cheese is melted.
I hope that you are inspired to create a one of a kind party that will leave your guests talking and some money left in the bank. Everyone knows that Amanda and I love a good party if you need ideas or want to hire us to create your next one of a kind occasion contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
To view the entire party go here
Invitations and Party Printables can be found at:Magic By Marcy
Kaitlyn's Dress made by: HootyCutie Designs
Party Hat Created by: Julia at Bows and Holders on ETSY
Cake By: Marilyn Gingrich