Tips for Throwing a Party on a Budget

One thing you should know about me is I love throwing parties for my kids birthday’s holiday’s, special occasions and just because.  However, parties can get expensive and quickly out of hand if you don’t have a plan and a budget. Today I am going to share some of my favorite tips for planning a fun, budget friendly party everyone will love!

One of my all time favorite parties I’ve hosted is my twin’s Vintage Dick and Jane 3rd birthday.  Using that party and the following tips I’ll show you how easy it is to throw a party for less than $150!

“Shop” your house or borrow items. When planning your party look around your house and find inspiration and decorations from items you already own.  Or consider asking family or friends to borrow treasured items to help pull the theme together.

  • The inspiration for this party came from an old copy of the Dick and Jane book my mother owned.  That led to a hunt for vintage games, toys and books from that era.  I called up my grandmother and asked if she had anything that I could use for decorations…she sent me two boxes full of goodies!
  • I used pieces of furniture from my around my house to create focal points and displayed old toys I pulled off the shelf’s in twin’s room. 

Keep it simple. You don’t have to buy extravagant decorations or have a huge spread of food to throw a great party. For this party the decorations were simple, but the impact of a few key items created the perfect atmosphere for the party.

  • I used old newspaper and made fans to hang from the trees and liven up the outdoor space.
  • I kept the food very simple by making individual lunches of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, chips and an orange.  To turn the simple lunch into something special I made wax paper bags for the chips an added custom stickers to bags.  I wrapped the boxes with scraps of fabric and tied a tag with each child’s name on it for that extra personal touch. I was able to stretch my budget farther by keeping the food simple.

TIP 3 

Dress up store bought items. You can make simple and cheap store bought items look like a million bucks if you take the time to dress them up.

  • I bought plain cupcakes from the store and dressed them up with pretty rosette toppers (which I made.) The cupcakes were part of the party games, so I also dressed up small white boxes with fabric and scrapbook paper for easy transport.
  • By adding a scrap of fabric and a straw to glass bottles full of pink lemonade I had a pretty drink that coordinated perfectly.
TIP 4 

Make It. Can’t find what you want?  Don’t like the price tag?  With a few supplies and a little time you can make party supplies, favors and decorations that match your theme perfectly.

  • I made party hats, cupcake toppers, and party decorations with a few pieces of scrapbook paper.
  • I couldn’t find the perfect party favor so I decided to make one that would also double as decorations. I used some of the fabric I bought to make drawstring fabric bags that held candy and small trinkets. And to display them I made a fun backdrop I can use over and over again.

Make an investment. Invest in items you can use over and over again or in things that you can’t do yourself.

  • I spent the most money on fabric for this party.  But I was able to make lots of items including a matching dress and tie for twin’s to wear to their party.  And the fabric that didn’t get cut and sewn can be reused for backdrops, table cloths and even new Spring outfits for my girls!
  • While I’m a DIY girl who loves to create things, I can’t ever make the invitations look as good as the ones you can buy! I usually invest in custom printables and have been lucky to work with some amazing vendors. I try to keep this cost under $30, but they really help make things look extra special.

Party Expense Break Down
Here is how I spent my budget on the Vintage Dick and Jane party. This party was planned for 18 kids.
Food – $30
Scrapbook Paper for paper cones, paper rosettes, and party hats – $5
Fabric used for treat bags, backdrop, lunch boxes, cupcake boxes and outfits – $40
Invitation, favor tags on lunch boxes and party signs – $30
White Boxes – $15
Wood for Backdrop frame – $5
Wooden Cash Register – $15
Total – $140

For more pictures and DIY tips from this party come visit me here.  And don’t forget to follow me on Facebook for fun crafts, budget friendly parties and lots of Giggles Galore!

Vendor Credits: 
Invitation and signs – Sweet Sobee Designs
Party Styling and photos - Giggles Galore
Photo of twins – Elayne Dunn Photography

I’m sharing these budget party tips at Bird’s Party Blog.

Mariah Leeson is the creative mind behind With a passion for celebrating, Mariah created Giggles Galore to inspire families to celebrate life’s little moments with creative, budget friendly ideas. She loves cooking, reading, crafting, hosting parties and most of all spending time giggling with her family.


Event Stylist, Consultant, and Blogger. Creating memorable occasions and making the ordinary EXTRAORDINARY one creative idea at a time!

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  1. I love this birthday party's vintage look. I am always impressed with the ideas you come up with. Just wondering what type of entertainment you have for the children and is that included in the price of your party?

  2. Great tips! Thanks for sharing! :)

  3. Great Posting……..
    Thanks for sharing about various kinds of Custom Stickers. I am always looking out for custom stickers

  4. Another fabulous party Mariah!! The backdrop and the way you covered the drinks bottles (with the fabric) is just ingenious!! :)

  5. Great tips and adorable party!

  6. Adrorable party, I love all the details!

  7. What a great party! I would love it if you came over to Cast Party Wednesday and shared your ideas with us! Thanks, I hope to see you there! —Sheryl—

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