Monday, March 9, 2009

Inexpensive Decorating Ideas for a Garden Themed Birthday Party

I guess it was no surprise to anyone that I chose a garden theme for Addie's first birthday party. Her nursery and playroom are both decorated in my three favorite girlie things: flowers, butterflies and polka dots :-) So when I started planning her party, I had some very specific ideas in mind. I wanted to find some paper or fabric butterflies to hang around the house, I wanted some sort of garden themed party favor and I wanted to have cupcakes instead of one large cake. All this seemed simple enough right? Well it was...if I was willing to pay an arm and a leg to get some of these things. For example, I found beautiful fabric and paper butterflies at both Land of Nod and Pottery Barn kids but they ran about $39 for 3. WAY too much for my party budget. Also, I wanted to find cupcake stands that could hold at least 24 cupcakes each. Unfortunately, most only held 12 and if they did hold more, the were running around $20 apiece. And considering I needed at least 3 or 4...those were also a little out of my price range. So I started looking for inspiration online and I found a ton of great ideas. For starters, I found a butterfly template at www.familyfun.com and decided to cut butterflies out of scrapbook paper. Look how cute the butterflies look on the wall...


I actually hung swarms of butterflies all over my house to keep the theme flowing. It was such a nice touch. And since I had so much scrapbook paper left over, I decided to look for other ways to use it. While on a shopping trip to Wal-Mart, I came across an awesome Martha Stewart find: The Cardboard Cupcake Tree. It comes in just plain white, but after gluing some fun scrapbook paper to each base, the cupcake tree looked like it was made for my party! I used them on my buffet and as a centerpiece on my dining room table.


I have always loved the wire cupcake trees and wasn't sure I wanted to compromise. But I have to be honest...after seeing these all put together...I think they are just fabulous and SO much more cost effective, especially if you need more than one. And speaking of cost effective, if you have the means to bake your own cupcakes, I HIGHLY recommend doing them yourself. I got all the ingredients for 80 cupcakes for under $10 and I got all the sprinkles from the dollar bin at Target (my favorite hot spot). All you need is a helper like my Grams and you are all set!



After the butterflies and cupcake stands were done, I noticed I had a ton of small pieces of scrapbook paper left and thanks to some inspiration from Hostess with the Mostess, I bought a 24 pack of bubbles and covered them in paper. I also used a Martha Stewart butterfly hole punch to add a nice little touch to the tops of the containers. I thought bubbles would be a fun "older kiddie" party favor, along with a flower sucker. I found these at twinklecandy.com but I have also seen them on amazon.com for a pretty good bulk price.


And since bubbles and suckers are not appropriate for the babies, I decided they needed their own favor. My cousin Kris took a picture of her daughter in a flower headband for Easter last year and I thought it was adorable. I was also shocked to find out it was from the Target dollar bin!!! I prayed they would have them again this year and they did!! Woohoo! So I bought enough for all the babies. I actually saw another blog where a mom had her daughter's picture taken in the headband and she used that picture on the garden party invitations. It was super cute. Wish I would have thought of that sooner :-)


And speaking of pictures, my buffet table wouldn't be complete without pictures of the birthday girl so I grabbed these two frames from her bedroom. They fit so perfectly on the table and the best part is that I already had them! I can't tell you how many people told me that having a baby picture and a first birthday picture side by side was a great idea. It is amazing to see how much she has grown!


And last but not least, two of my other fabulous finds. The tissue paper flower balls were another Martha Stewart craft item. I got a package of 9 from Micheal's for $19.99 (although I had a 50% off coupon) but I did see packs of 5 at Wal-Mart for $9.97. These were such a great substitute for balloons because they won't deflate and if I break them down and store them, I can use them for future birthday parties. And speaking of future parties, I also found this embroidered "Happy Birthday" flag banner from Pottery Barn Kids on clearance for $7. I LOVE this banner because I can hang it every year. 


So here are some of the grand totals in case you want to have a Garden Themed party of your own. All of these things (minus the birthday banner) could even be used for a shower or wedding!

Scrapbook Paper (for butterflies, cupcake trees & bubble wraps)....$10
Martha Stewart Cardboard Cupcake Trees (for 3).......................$21
Martha Stewart Tissue Paper Flower Balls (for 9).......................$10
Twinkle Candy Flower Suckers (for 24)........................................$12
Bubbles (pk of 24 from Wal-Mart)...............................................$3
Target Flower Headbands (for 10)...............................................$10
Pottery Barn Kids Birthday Banner.... ..........................................$7
Ingredients for cupcakes (for 80)................................................$11

Grand Total........................................................................$84!!!

$90 was actually the price quote of a local baker just to do my cupcakes!!! And I basically did the whole party (minus the food and drinks) for under that!!! It pays to look online for cheap ideas. Do any of you have some awesome frugal entertaining ideas or websites you look at? I would love to add them to my list :-)



5 comments:

  1. Great job Jen! I wouldn't have expected anything less from you! I just wish we could have came. :( Give Addie birthday squeezes from us and let's talk about when we can visit eachother next. I miss you!

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  2. wow! You wanna help plan our future parties? I am the worst with party planning. No favors,No games,just family,food, and gifts! Of course Grandma makes the cake. You did a great job! I am frugle but I don't think I could have pulled that off for under 100 bucks!

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  3. That is great!
    You are so creative!

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  5. Love your ideas. I did a similar party on a budget of $100 for my daughters birthday check out my blog at http://celebratingeveryday.blogspot.com/

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