Last year I did a Carnival Theme for E.'s birthday, and it turned out great. However, it was way too expensive. We were in the middle of building our house, so we had to find an alternative party spot(which cost $), and I had to bring all the props for the games, and we had prizes for the games...I won't disclose the amount spent...just know that it will never happen again;o) Anyway, the hubs was all over me about keeping the expenses down this time, so I made it my personal goal to keep things cheap...I think I did a good job on the budget this time, but it's a lot easier to plan a girl's party than it is a boy's:o)
Here are a few things that kept things cheap...
1. Shopping at the Dollar Tree for anything that I possibly could. I got all the paper products there. They had butterfly themed plates and napkins. They were really cute, thankfully. I got a lot of the party favors and decorations there. I found these cute felt butterflies. I got those right as they were putting out Easter decor. I got the wooden cut out butterflies there as well. Paper lanterns, too.There are sooo many things I got there...I just can't remember them all:o)
2. Hitting Hobby Lobby whenever the right sales hit. The floral section was always 50% off, so that helped keep the cost down on the center pieces. I also got the cute flowers that were hanging around the banner from there. There were 3 to a pack for $9.99. Got those beauties when they were 30% off. I will be using them again...I just can't decide if I want them to go in S.R.'s room or not??
3. Making as much as possible. I made the birthday outfit, the banner(scrapbook paper from H.L., ribbon, and glitter), the bug wings, center pieces(had the pots on hand), the party favor buckets, her smash cake, and the food.
4. Planning way ahead of time. I have been planning this party since January. That way I could spread out the cost, and find more cute stuff...I said I did it cheaper, but it seems even cheaper if you buy a little at a time:o) The hubs hates that logic, but it works just fine for me:o)
This party ran so smoothly. There were 10 children in attendance...You would think that there would be utter chaos, but it was a really enjoyable experience. When the kids arrived, they got their butterfly/bug wings(depending on gender) and their butterfly hairbows/crowns(depending on gender). (I didn't make the hairbows, a friend of a friend did and she totoally ROCKS! I can't make a cute hair bow to save my life:o))After that they sat down at those sweet little tables that a wonderful friend let me borrow and they started on their craft. My mother hooked me up with the wooden lady bug and frog magnets. Those came from Joann's and I am totally jealous that we don't have one here! They came with little markers in the packs, so that was really nice. After everyone had finished coloring in their magnets, we herded all the little ones upstairs to the bonus room for story time. My sister read the Very Hungry Caterpillar and another butterfly book to them. While they were upstairs, we got the tables cleaned off and set for cupcakes. They came back downstairs and we sang Happy Birthday to S.R. She did so good and blew out her candle all by her little self, and didn't spit anywhere...I have to say I was impressed:o) She dug into her cake and we handed out cupcakes to rest of the kids. They were decorated like these from Martha's website. I also had ice cream for them. This was a first for me. I scooped ice cream in butterfly shaped silicon cupcake liners. It was the perfect amount of ice cream for those little guys. They ate it right up. After cake and ice cream, we went outside for a little butterfly hunt. I cut up dozens of butterflies out of felt in different shapes, sizes and colors. I had some help scattering them out in the back yard, and set the little ones loose with butterfly nets from the $ Tree. They had so much fun and they were so cute running around grabbing the butterflies. I couldn't have asked for a better day and a better bunch of kids. It was a great day!