After all, do you really think your Little will be disappointed with anything at all involving their birthday?
Okay, maybe [especially if you're dealing with an illogical toddler].
Things can hit the fan quickly when your toddler decides THEY DIDN'T WANT THE MICKEY MOUSE DECORATIONS EVEN THOUGH THEY WATCH MICKEY MOUSE 45 TIMES A DAY AND CALL YOU TOODLES INSTEAD OF MOM.
Which brings me to my first tip:
1. Let them pick the theme
I picked my daughter's first two themes because she didn't really know what a birthday was, let alone what Disney character she liked best.
For her one-year party I stuck to colors:
|Fun & easy to decorate on a budget!|
If your kids aren't old enough to decide and you still want to do a theme, trust me: keep it simple. I loved the colors theme because I could get generic colored tableware, table cloths and streamers and it wouldn't cost me a fortune.
It seems like ALL of the trademarked party goodies should be trimmed in 14k gold for the price they want us to pay for them.
Since this is the case no matter where you buy, I suggest:
2. Buy some trademarked & stick to generic for everything else
Choose a couple of colors that match, say, the Buzz Lightyear plates and napkins you found and decorate the other stuff with those. You don't have to buy all Buzz plates, napkins, cups, streamers, party favors, table cloths, toilet paper, paper towels, dish soap, etc.
You'll quickly find yourself dipping into your kids' college fund and they will probably tell you later they think that was a pretty stupid idea, mom [though I would enjoy some Buzz Lightyear toilet paper, not gonna lie].
For my daughter's second birthday, I chose Dinosaurs because she was, and still is, obsessed with all things dinosaurs. I got a few dino decorations on Amazon and stuck with generic colors for the rest.
3. Party favors? I say "nay".
Guys, I get it. You want all the kids to have a good time and love your party. But does that really mean we have to send them home with a bag filled with $50 worth of stuff? No. My kid plays with cardboard. She ate dirt last week. Doesn't take much to entertain her.
I get a couple of things to make them feel extra special and call it a day.
For her 2nd birthday I got dinosaur masks and dino tattoos for everyone who attended.
|Yes, that is my husband.|
Yes he chose his forehead for the location of his tattoo.
Bonus Tip: Goodie bags for the adults? Beer. Just..lots of beer.
My family [both sides] is the not at all fussy when it comes to food. Everyone's usually happy with easy goodies so we don't over-do it.
Crock pot meat for sandwiches, lunch meat, chips, dips, etc. As always, sticking to my "simplicity" motto.
|Crockpot dips, crockpot pulled pork sandwiches, chips - easy peasy|
|Taco fixings for [nephew] Max's 3-year "Planes" party|
|[Nephew] Maverik's 1-year "Lumberjack" party...all things manly|
|Maverik's "Blaze" waffle pajama party|
My sister is the real party planner in our family. She even does those cute food tags with clever puns on them. For my nephew's 2nd birthday, he wanted a "Blaze waffle pajama party". I shit you not. It was amazing. Best party ever. We all wore sweatpants/pajamas, ate waffles and genuinely had a fantastic time.
She's also clever with the food:
|These cupcakes. Seriously. Where does she come up with this stuff?!|
Now for the cakes...
Cakes are expensive [you guys probably think I'm poor. I'm not, I swear. I'm just cheap.] and I really don't like cake that much anyway. My sister & I are fans of going the alternative route. Ice cream cake or cupcakes.
|Addi's 2-year Dinosaur Ice cream cake - We had the dinosaurs already so I just stuck 'em on there and called it decor.|
|Maverik's 1-year tiny birthday cake|
|Addi's 1-year over-sized cupcake|
|Max's 2-year Buzz Lightyear cupcakes|
|Maverik's 2-year Blaze cake|
Any way you do it, kids tend to like sugar so I don't think you can really go wrong.
My sis and I complement each other well because where she likes to do fun things with decorating and the food, I love to DIY. It's just my thing. Cooking not so much.
The main reason I like to DIY decorations is because - you guessed it - it's cheaper! And I enjoy crafting like the true dork I am.
|DIY Poms - These things are a pain in the ass to make, but totally cute!|
Search Pinterest to find thousands of tutorials to make these.
|My sister's centerpiece creation for Mav's "Lumberjack" party. All from the great outdoors!|
|Tutu I made out of ribbons & scrap fabric [my mom bought her the adorable "1" owl shirt]|
|Shirt I made with acrylic paint & white shirt from Old navy|
I also make their invitations every year because I love doing it. My sister sends out e-vites via e-mail which I think are just as good. I simply enjoy making mine!
6. Reduce, reuse, recycle!
Reuse whatever you can from year to year to make it memorable [and cheap! haha]!
You might have noticed the "Happy Birthday Adelaide!" sign in a few of the pictures. I made that for her first birthday out of more scrapbook paper I had lying around [you can tell how often I use scrapbook paper for actual scrapbooking]. I plan to use it for every birthday as long as it lasts.
As always, stay awesome bloggers.
I also use like to use streamers to create a cute photo backdrop. I plan on doing that for as many as birthdays they let me! :)
I made this balloon wreath for my sister's "She's about to pop!" baby shower back in 2012 [yikes, times flies]. The center part was removable so she can replace it with any little message she wants. I made one for Addi's first birthday as well and plan on using it for each of the kid's parties!
I hope some of these ideas help with planning your littles' next birthday party! If you are working on something a little bigger, check out this event management system by Eventbrite. I've been chatting with a gal over there and she seems super cool!