DIY Children’s Parties
Inspiration for children’s parties that won’t break the bank
Got a children’s birthday party coming up? Maybe the party is for your own child or perhaps a friend is struggling with ideas for an upcoming birthday – let us help you out. Children’s birthday parties often become a competition between parents, which can lead to some serious cash being spent. Trust us, you don’t need to spend a huge amount to create a magical birthday for your little one. If you have the time (and the patience) why not throw the party yourself?
Before talking all things decorative, let’s talk about venue. Venues can be a huge expense, which with some thought, could be eliminated or substantially reduced:
- Size: you don’t want to be spending extra on a large venue if you don’t need it. There’s also nothing worse than a party venue looking empty. Be realistic with how many people you think will attend before committing your cash.
- Home: can you hold the party in your own home? If so, fantastic. Is the weather on your side? If it’s looking like it will be dry, why not hold the party in your garden.
- Local schools: lots of local schools hire out their spaces over the weekend and tend to be competitively priced.
- Village hall: again, these are usually well priced and include tables, chairs, plates, cups and cutlery – all of which could be useful.
So, you’ve got your venue sorted. It’s now time to consider whether or not to theme the party. Whether for a child or adult, we find that themes help tie events together and also keep you on track when searching for items to style the venue – very important for a DIY party. When a client asks us to base an event around a particular theme, we search until we find that one particular decorative piece we know the client will love. This then gives us a base for the rest of the party. When thinking of a theme, it is important to consider what the birthday girl or boy is most likely to enjoy; it may not be your idea of the perfect party, but it will definitely put a smile on their face.
In the hope of inspiring you, we’ve chosen a couple of children’s party themes which we think are easy to execute, involve minimal cost and are a little outside the norm (there are always extra brownie points for imaginative themes). We haven’t covered all the details, just a few of the core elements to get you started. If we have successfully inspired you and you’d like to discuss either of these themes in more detail, we’d love to hear from you.
Theme: under the sea
Invitations: we’ve fallen in love with these invitations by Bloomberry Designs on Etsy. The illustrations are fun and beautiful, the card can be personalised and electronic delivery means you can print as many as you want without worrying about additional cost. The description states it is a ‘boys’ invitation, but we believe these would work perfectly for girls too.
Balloons: we came across this lovely ‘under the sea’ balloon banner which would make a great statement piece. To save on the cost of helium, why not use an old net to affix a number of latex balloons to the wall of your venue? A mixture of light blue, navy and teal tones to emulate the sea would look great while tying in with the colours from the invite. If you are wanting to spend a little more on balloons, you can get some lovely fish shaped foil balloons.
Cake: the cake is always the centrepiece, so unless you are extremely skilled when it comes to baking (we are sadly not), it may be worth spending some of the budget here. If you are going to approach a local cake maker, review their previous work to see if they have done anything similar, this will give a good steer on what you can expect to pay. There are loads of cake ideas online, so spend some time finding a style and give this to your baker to emulate – it’s much easier to show them what you want than to try and describe it. Another way of getting around spending lots on the cake would be to bake cupcakes yourself (with a little bit of help from any willing or unwilling volunteers) and ice them in under the sea themed colours – the blues and greens we’ve already incorporated throughout the rest of the event. These rice paper cake toppers would make a fantastic addition to some homemade cupcakes and a great party activity: take the baked cupcakes, readymade icing and cake toppers for the children to decorate their own cupcake.
Entertainment: the party goers are fed and watered but how to keep them occupied for another hour until their parents arrive? We love this ‘under the sea’ inspired playdough activity by Clare. If your house is anything like ours, you’re bound to have an abundance of rocks and shells as well as some plastic sea creatures that can be used to imprint the playdough. You might like to run a competition with a prize for the most imaginative creation. We also love the idea of colouring in seashells and using the cut-outs to decorate one’s party outfit. Simply download the shell shapes here, print and cut out ready for the kids to colour.
Party bags: what’s a kid’s party without a little sugar rush on the way out? With some blue jelly beans and fish shaped sweets, sandwich bags and string, you can give each party goer their own edible aquarium to take home.
Theme: teddy bears picnic
Invitations: these invites are completely gorgeous and come in three colour options. The seller has great reviews, however depending on how many children you want to invite, this could become a little pricey. However, we did find these invites on the Party Delights website which are free to download and print – got to love a freebie.
Bunting: when you think teddy bears picnic, gingham bunting springs to mind. We came across this lovely multi-coloured gingham bunting, which you could hang in the trees/along the garden fence or use to decorate the blankets – placing it down the middle of the blankets with the picnic food dotted either side would look great.
Picnic baskets: although not necessary, a lovely touch. Some of the cheapest we could find are around £12 on eBay, but it is always worth a visit to your local charity shop – so often we find some absolute gems. Be sure to ask friends and family too.
Plates/napkins: you really could use any you wanted. Check around the house for any leftovers from previous parties you’ve hosted. If you have no luck there, how about these. We particularly like the idea of going gingham (as this will tie in nicely with the bunting), plus you have a choice of colours. Wanting some new plates? We have a couple of options. These bear face shaped plates are sure to be a hit with the children but could stack up to be a little expensive. If they aren’t for you, then these plates are beyond sweet too (plus they have a lower price tag).
Teddy bears: a teddy bears picnic wouldn’t be complete without some furry companions. Ask each child to bring a teddy to the party and supplement this with some of your own – I’m sure you’ll find a load you have collected over time. Following the picnic, it’s time to play hide and seek. Grab an adult volunteer to help you hide the teddies around the garden and whoever finds the most gets a prize. On entry to the party, why not give each child a pair of bear ears to wear? A nice touch to your teddy bear theme and would make for some adorable pictures. Easy enough to make your own or if budget allows, buy ready-made.
Used some of our ideas to create your own DIY children’s party? We’d love to see. Send us an email or if you are proudly posting the photographs on social media, use the hashtag #inspiredbyOligra.
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