I can’t believe it but today, my son turned two. Before having his second birthday celebration this past Saturday, my first thought was that his party would make for a good blog post here on cincysavers.com. True to my savings lifestyle, I kept the cost of the party low but still thought of all the little details.
I’ll walk you through some of the ways in which I cut costs, planned ahead and showcase a few of the easy DIY projects thought up along the way.
Back in October, I decided I wanted the theme of the party to revolve around sock monkeys. It’s probably one of the last times I’ll be able to choose the theme without an opinion from my son. The upside though, he really does loves monkeys so I felt like I couldn’t go wrong with this theme.
I enlisted a talented friend to design the invites and I finished them by sewing a little red stitch around the edge. They turned out really cute! [Designed by Posh Pixels]
Knowing the theme of the party ahead of time was beneficial because I already knew what the color scheme was, so if I happened to find something on clearance, I’d go ahead and pick it up.
For all the other things needed, I made a trip to the Dollar Store, where I was able to get a red fruit tray, metal wire basket for the silverware, two tubs for drinks, a platter for the sandwiches, clear plastic serving trays and some red & brown candy to go with the brown and red “sock monkey” theme.
The red plates, red cups and red silverware were all from Target. I purchased them 90% off during their after-Christmas sale.
Then luckily, Michael’s Arts & Crafts had a small section of sock monkey-themed things, so I picked up a stuffed sock monkey and some party favors for the kids during one of their really good Christmas sales. While I was there, I also picked up the striped photo box shown above for $1.50 and some scrapbook paper in different colors and textures to make pennants to hang throughout the house.
The pennants again were made out of various types of scrapbook paper, cut randomly into different sized triangles and then attached with eyelets and little brads. (Click here if you aren’t sure what either of these things are).
To save money on food, we just made our own sandwiches with an assortment of meats and cheeses. My mom cut up the fruit to put on the fruit tray and because I went shopping a few days beforehand, we were able to get some really good deals on things like the pops. At Meijer, they had a deal where if you purchased three 6-packs of assorted pops, you got FOUR free! Needless to say, we have a lot left over.My husband got creative and made fancy sock monkey water bottle labels, as you can see in the above picture.
I also decorated the DIY Chalkboard Frame I created last year. [You can find the tutorial for it here]
Next, the birthday sweets. My mom and I made all the cupcakes. The monkey cupcakes were made with little pieces of vanilla wafers and gel icing in a tube to draw the nose and mouth. The other cupcakes were iced and then we stuck little “2″ and sock monkey pictures on the top using cardstock glued to toothpicks.
I’m not a huge baker… okay..I’ll be honest. I’ve never baked a cake, but wanted something to go along with the cupcakes, so I picked up a cookie cake. The only problem was that I couldn’t find a plain one. So I found a sports-themed cookie cake, took the blue icing off and replaced it with red and drew a “2″ in the center using one of those cans of icing that come with the different fancy tip options.
I made the cupcake stand out of small terra cotta pots I already had and the top is made with Wilton cake boards. I found these at the grocery store– they typically come in a pack of ten for around $5.00. Using hot glue, I glued everything together and added some striped ribbon around the edges of the cake boards to give the cupcake stand a more finished look.
And one of the last DIY projects I’ll share, the “baby-face garland.” I saw something similar a long time ago and thought it was so cute. I took pictures of my son from over the past two years, printed them out in back and white and then used the left over scrapbook paper to make little birthday hats. He really liked them.
I couldn’t forget about the outfit. This black blazer and striped button up shirt were each $1.00 several weeks ago at Once Upon a Child when their clearance sale was taking place. You can’t beat those prices!
Phew, I am worn out! But I do hope that you found some inspiration here. Just because you are having a party doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of money to have a nice one. Planning ahead and picking out a theme early helps enable you to shop for the best deals–along with a few little inexpensive DIY projects and some creativity.