Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Garden Party Budget

If it isn't already obvious, I love parties.

All year long, I scour blogs and pinterest for party ideas that inspire me.  My pinterest board, Let's Celebrate! has almost 600 pins {and if you go peek at it, you can probably guess what my latest party pinning trend is}.

About 2 months before Grace's birthday, Grace and I look through my Let's Celebrate board.  She picks out things she likes and then I start brainstorming.

When you pick your theme early, you have more time to search for deals.  For example, Grace's 5th birthday was a bunny themed party.  By deciding on a theme early, I was able to hit post-Easter sales and score some unbelievable deals to use for her party.

As soon as I know the theme, my eyes are peeled for deals.  Though I do look for party supplies at post-holiday sales from stores like Target, I prefer the thrill of the hunt and searching for the unexpected at Goodwill...

or at flea markets.

For Grace's Garden themed party, I found over 30 yards of vintage fabric from a local flea market for $12. The vintage fabrics were used as table clothes, backdrops for pictures, decorations on the snack table and for the gardening aprons each guest got to take home.  That's what I call stretching a dollar!

And, when I am lucky enough, I will even find things on the side of the road that prove useful...and even better are free!

This planter stand, abandoned at the side of the road, I quickly rescued and transformed into a farmer's market stand.  For how much...FREE!

The same was true for a large window we found roadside.  For the past 2 years, it's served as a backdrop for a our snack table.

Though it involved more labor and repurposing, we also used an abandoned pallet and turned it into a garden stand, including a no dirt garden.

I invested $20 in tissue paper and countless hours making tissue paper flower.  The $20 tissue paper supply allowed me to make 14 party hats, about 20 large tissue paper flower and 15 small tissue paper flowers.

I also like to shop my own house and my own supplies to fill in for decorations.  My vintage hankie collection was pulled out and used as a table runner.

By shopping early, using things I already had on hand, making my own decorations and party favors and hosting the party at my own house, I was able to throw a one of a kind party on a budget.

I started with a budget was $150.   I justified that as my maximum budget since most facilities that host a party charge about that {and often that limits the number of kids you can have and does not include party favors}.

Want to see how I did?  This is where I reveal exactly how far I can stretch a dollar.

The tent, tables and chairs where borrowed from my in-laws. Admittedly, a huge savings.  Our cost...nothing besides for the manual labor of setting up and taking down.

Every party needs food, right?  I spent about $30 on food including a watermelon cake, dirt cups, popcorn and goldfish {including paper plates, napkins and cups}.  We served water and juice boxes for drinks.

As detailed above, $20 was spent on tissue paper.

Party hats cost $5.49 {.49 cents for a set of hats from Goodwill and a second set had to be purchased full price for $5...lesson here, when you see party supplies at Goodwill for a fraction of the cost, buy them!}.

Again, as detailed above, vintage fabrics $12 {for table clothes, aprons and decorations}.

Fake flowers and mason jars to fill the flower shoppe $20.

Party games, $10.

Party favors $5 {not including vintage aprons as itemized already above}.  From the dollar store, 5 seeds packets for $1.  I needed $3 worth of seeds.  Flower pots, from the dollar store, sold in sets of 12, 2 sets needed.  Flower ring pops, pilfered from an Easter egg hunt and reused for the party!

Card stock and yarn to make bees $2.50 {yarn was bought at Goodwill for .49 cents}

A necessary indulgence, fresh flowers, which I was able to appreciate not only at the party but nearly a week following the party as well.  $30.

And, for fun, let's throw in my thrifted dress, found at Goodwill, for $7.50.

For the grand total of $142.49, I frugally threw Grace a garden themed 6th birthday.

You can see more details from Grace's garden themed birthday party here.


  1. You are good at sticking to a budget, I must be more strict with myself! Although I do try to reuse decor from previous parties, just redo them a bit. Your dress is such a pretty colour, very summery. Well done on such an amazing party! Off to check out your Pinterest board xx

  2. WOW! You created a wonderful party and stuck to your budget. I'm amazed! I love seeing your party ideas and how you put it all together.

  3. You did an amazing job on that budget and yes anywhere that hosts a party is at least $10-15 per child. Not only that Grace has a yard full of wonderful memories. Btw yummy mummy, the dress looks beautiful on you.

  4. $150 and you stayed under budget. That's mad party throwing skills! I need you to plan my daughters future wedding! I think you could make a business out of party planning, seriously.

    1. Thanks Amy! I am sure that your sweet girl will not be as concerned with budget as you might be, when the time comes for her to get married. Knowing you, you'll probably make her dress :)

  5. Good job! I don't even set a budget for my kids' parties. I love your yellow dress!!!!!!!!!

  6. Well done!
    I like how you stick to your plans. :-)

  7. Wow you are impressive!! You did an awesome job sticking to your budget. And everything looked exceptional!

    1. Thanks Maysem. If ever I have a big enough budget, I'll be splurging your your beautifully decorated desserts for sure!

  8. WOW! The party looks like a million bucks! My big 3-0 is right around the corner. Wanna come plan my party ;)

  9. I always blow the budget on birthdays. boo. definitely taking a lesson from you for the next one. This looks like it was so much fun!

  10. You are amazing Amy! I love your parties and the fact that you always manage to do it frugal-y is just the icing on the cake :)


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