Sunday, February 13, 2011

Another Birthday on a Budget

Not quite two months ago, I posted here about my middle son's birthday party. I am a firm believer that you can have a fun birthday party for a child without taking a second mortgage on your house to do it, and since my first post on budget friendly birthdays was such a hit I decided to do a follow up post for my oldest son's seventh birthday. Let me start by saying that I knew right off the bat that I was going to be spending more on this one simply because of the number of children coming. My middle son was quite content to invite his two best friends to his party, my oldest however, is a social butterfly and wanted to invite his entire class. We settled on inviting all the boys, and when all was said and done there were 10 boys invited to his party. 10 little boys, a Star Wars Theme, and about $30. Here's how I did it...

Starting off, the favor bags. I was lucky enough to find Star Wars coloring books in the dollar bin at Target. I bought 10 of them, and then bought 10 packs of 8 count Crayola crayons. Add to that a little candy and you have a great favor bag for under $2 per kid.
Obviously the coloring books didn't fit into the little cellophane bags I had, so I just kept those separate. I put the crayons, two suckers, and one roll of smarties into each bag and tied them shut with twine.
Next up, the cake. Only my oldest is the only child in the world who doesn't like cake. Seriously, he has never eaten any of his own birthday cake. Even on his first birthday he ate one bite and turned his head. Anyway, he likes cookies, and I was fortunate enough to have two sets of Star Wars cookie cutters from Williams Sonoma. My mother bought the set with the heads for my kids this past summer, and my oldest's BFF got him the set of ships for Christmas this past year. They come with a great recipe for a short bread type cookie, and so I made those instead of a cake. He also doesn't like frosting, so I just sprinkled them with sugar and baked them.
An assortment of cookies cooling...
Hard to see, but they are sprinkled with sugar. Darth Vadar never looked sweeter...
Now onto decorations. The great thing about kids' birthday parties is that you can easily use their own toys for decorations. Most of the time, the theme they choose is something that they already have a ton of anyway. This party was no exception. I gathered up the little figures and a couple of ships, added some red, black, and white stars that I punched out of card stock, and ended up with a cute centerpiece for the table! The best part? Other than it being a free way to decorate, the boys were only too happy to take off with the toys after cookies and ice cream were served, so I didn't even have to clean them up.
The favors all laid out and waiting for the kids at the end of the party.
I put all the cookies on a cake pedestal. (I also almost dumped all of them when I picked up the pedestal to pass them out, but I digress.) I got the ice cream at Rite Aid a couple of weeks ago when it was free, (yup, I stacked the coupons and they paid me a dollar to take 6 containers of Edy's off their hands) and got juice boxes for the kids to drink. I was also lucky in that I dug out a pack of Star Wars napkins that my mom got the kids last summer as well to go with the cookie cutters. (She never spoils them or anything.)
And voila! The table all set and ready for the kids to come enjoy the party! It didn't look like this for long, but the party was a hit and the kids all had a great time. We ended up with six boys in the end, a couple of them weren't able to come at the last minute. And with that, I am off to lay down on the sofa and crash. I plan on a night of television and leftover cookies. Maybe I'll even be recovered enough for my daughter's birthday party in August...

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  1. gotta love stacking those coupons - a personal favorite :) great ideas!

  2. Certainly looks as though a good time was had by all! Great job, as usual. Save me a cookie!