I loved how Nathan's birthday party turned out. Once I settled on an art theme for Nathan, I started pinning "painting" birthday party ideas off of Pinterest. I loved everything I saw, of course, but knew there was no way I was going to spend the kind of money some people do on throwing specialized parties. So, the next question comes up: How do you take these same ideas and save money, while keeping the party still exceptionally fun for all attendees? Well, that kind of challenge is right up my alley, and I will show you how I did it.
I don't want our honored friends and family to think for a second that I love them or cherish them less, because I chose not to spend big bucks (that I never seem to have around anyways) on an event they were invited to. While the tendency is for all of us to equate "the more I spend, the more I love," experience and truth tell me that "where my treasure is, there my heart is also" (Matthew 6:21). So, it's just smarter to throw a just-as-fun-party for less money, because the people coming and who you are throwing the party for are the real treasure.
Exit soapbox now, and on to the party details....
The majority of my inspiration came from my Pinboard HERE. I really love all the rainbow, painting themed items found on Petite Party Studio. These people are really amazing. Fortunately, though, I have amazing friends who are just as talented in that arena! I have an incredible friend, Johanna, who does all of my computer graphic design work on my patterns. Trust me...I have NEEDED her expertise! She has made the Princess Anna pattern come together and look so amazing! Also, her and her husband, David, have just launched several free items on their website, such as a free downloadable Bible Study on the Armor of God and Faith Builders, a lego-themed Bible study for young boys. And there's also David's amazing Book, Nephilim the Remnants!
But, more on all that soon!
Another inspiration photo from Petite Party Studio...
I took their ideas and ran with it....
I made my own invitations (without the watermarks...Nathan was helping me).
I cut a palette design from plain folded notecards. I quickly drew paint marks with oil pastels (markers or crayons would work too). I mailed a few, but gave most out by hand to save on stamps. You could save even more by replacing a paper invite with a digital one: create a birthday "event" on Facebook, or send out a free custom made one on punchbowl.com.
I liked the paper chains above, but instead bought one multi-colored tissue paper pack at Dollar Tree and made my own DECORATIONS:
I folded the tissue paper in half two times, lengthways, then fan folded it and taped strips of it to the wall. The "Happy Birthday" is cut from free paint chip cards from the hardware store, and threaded onto a ribbon. It was my third year reusing this easy decoration!
I made a simple, stacked confetti dot cake from a store bought mix for $1. I used chocolate icing between the layers, and on the sides. The top is butter cream frosting with red sprinkles and two real paintbrushes (you can buy a pack of 8 brushes for just $1 at Dollar Tree).
The palette cookies I made from scratch just like the ones from my inspiration picture above. I used my Aunt's recipe (follows) and made them round. Once cooled, I iced them with butter cream frosting, leftover from the cake. M&Ms made the paint dots. I just stuck the cookies onto the side of the cake after icing it. And they stayed on just fine. I toped the cake with 3 sparkler candles from Dollar Tree as well.
My Aunt Peggy's Sugar Cookie Recipe:
2/3 cup butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
**creme these 3 together with a mixer.
Then add in:
4 teaspoons milk (skim, whole, 2%, etc...)
2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Mix well. Form into a large ball with hands. Cover dough. Chill in fridge for a minimum of one hour.
Rollout dough to 1/4"-1/2". Use a cookie cutter or glass cup to cut out rounds. Place on greased baking sheet, silicone mat, or stoneware pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 6-8 minutes. Let fully cool before icing.
While I loved the idea of each child getting to paint their own canvas propped up on a mini-easel, it just wasn't practical money wise. Instead, I used the paint tote and mason jars filled with brushes for my art-table centerpiece. I printed off free pictures from online onto card stock for the kids to paint, and drew "faux palettes" onto styrofoam plates with a sharpie marker. They all had a blast, and even got to take home their masterpieces! Nathan's friends ranged from 1-8 years old, and this activity was fun for all!!!
I used Crayola kids paint ($5 for a box of paints at Walmart) because these paints are extremely washable!! I just love them!! Or, you could always just make your own paint!
For the food I kept my kid menu pretty simple:
Peanut butter and Jelly triangles
Red and green jello cups (2 packs, homemade, divided into individual cups)
Candy coated pretzel rods (I used candy melts and coated them in a double boiler on the stove)
vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate wafers
fruit salad (made from fresh fruit and home preserved fruit I had canned)
I made homemade rise krispy treats (cut into rectangles, dipped in chocolate and added a colored popsicle stick (a whole pack at Dollar Tree for $1)
Bags of various flavored potato chips
various juices and water. Crayola sells small flavored waters (8 for just $2.50).
For the adults I made (and my husband made it really delicious) chili and cornbread.
I typically shop at Aldi's grocery store, where I got most of the food above for the best value.
For the treat bags, I used a pack of brown lunch bags from Dollar Tree ($1). I used the Crayola kids paint (above) to paint a vertical stripe down the front of each bag. I bought the individual paint sets from Dollar Tree as well to go inside, as well as the mini candies I included. I individually wrapped a homemade palette cookie (see above), giving each kid one to take home. I punched a hole in the top of each bag and tied on with twine a free printable paintbrush pattern I found online. I hand-colored them and added each kid's name. I really enjoyed how they turned out.
And one last thing I created: a CANDY BAR!!!!:
This was one of the best parts of the party, I think. I bought a variety of candy packs at Dollar Tree (and Walmart) and put them each into individual mason jars that I had. I am an avid garden canner, so I had these empty ones in my pantry, but you can typically purchase 10 mason jars for $12 at any large retail store.
It was such a fun party and we really treasured everyone who came! We hope you all had as much fun with us as well! So, have fun saving a ton of money on your next birthday party!
Nathan is sporting his homemade Waldorf birthday crown (first year I actually got him to wear it)! See how to make your own crown HERE and another one I made HERE.
...And see even more of our fun painting party festivities HERE!