Friday, January 28, 2011

Planning An Inexpensive Tinker Bell Party

We have never had a big budget for birthday parties; however, I don't let that stop me from making a special party for my Birthday Girl. This year, Ella's party theme is Tinker Bell. Here are just a few ways that we cut costs but still are planning to create a fun memory for her:

Create our own invitations. I like to make invitations, cards and the like so I usually have a stock of plain white cardstock and invitation envelopes at my house. Then, when I need an invite or card, I just design one on the computer and use the internet to search for appropriate graphics. Personally, I love having creative control over the invite, and it is worth it to me to take the time to make them on my own. Because I already have the supplies at home, it is also very cheap for me to do. I figured it out once to cost about $0.15 each to make them. However, if you need to buy all the supplies and don't plan on using the extras for another purpose, it makes more financial sense just to buy the pre-made kind.

Mix and match paper goods. I can still remember my 5th Birthday Party. One of the things that excited me the most was that my mom had purchased decorated "Super Heroes" plates. So, it was no surprise to me that Ella wanted Tinker Bell paper goods. Personally, I don't like my party table looking like a Disney Animator threw up all over it...and buying all the "coordinated" items is not the most cost effective way to go. It seems as is if most "designer" party supplies cost about $3 per package of 8 items. If you've got more than 8 guests (like we do), then you have to buy multiples and that adds up very quickly. This year Ella and I compromised -- we purchased just the Tinker Bell napkins and then chose pink and yellow cups, plates and tablecloths. We got what we needed at just a fraction of the cost.

Search online for decorations. I hit the jackpot with this theme. Disney has a HUGE amount of free "fairy" stuff online at I made a cool Birthday Banner using the First Flight Garland pdf and some wall decorations by cutting out the flowers from this Arrival Day PDF.

Search online for craft ideas. Disney also has some great craft ideas as well. We're going to make Rosetta Frames that will practically be free. We collected the needed twigs from a local park and used some cheap green yarn.

Make our own pinata. A storebought pinata usually costs at least $15 but you can usually make them for practically free using household supplies. Check out how I made our Acorn Pinata for the Tinker Bell party.

Make our own cake. My girls love to peruse the "cake book" at the grocery store. But, I just can justify spending $25-40 on a storebought cake when I can make my own for less than $5. With the right tools and imagination, I can make a cool enough one to please my girls. Lucie loved her Princess Cake this year, and Ella has loved her Fancy Nancy Explorer Extraordinaire Cake and Castle Cake in past years. If you need inspiration, check out Fishmama's cake ebooks - Pretty.Cool.Cakes. and More Cool Cakes. I'm going to use these cool pans to create a Tinker Bell house that looks similar to this Fairy House Ornament craft.

UPDATE 1/31/11: The party was a huge success! Check out exactly how we celebrated Ella's 6th Birthday in Pixie Hollow.
For other money-saving ideas, be sure to check out Frugal Friday at Life As Mom.

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