Don’t go insane. It’s a party. No panic allowed.

Ok, I just saw on yahoo’s omg column someone throwing a $100,000 birthday party.  And America is in a financial crisis?  If a crisis is only being able to spend $100,000 on a party, we’ve got more than a crisis going on, we’re insane.

So I am going to give some quick tips on keeping it cheap!

1. Color/Decoration.  See my archived blog entries on color.  This has big visual impact.  Take your theme and find stuff that is already that color, or paint things you already have so they fit into the scheme.


  • Buckets for containers
  • Baskets you may already have
  • Flower pots
  • Ribbon
  • Fabric (cut up some old tshirts, tie die them, and hang them as banners, sew together for a table runner, rip them up and use them as ribbon to tie backs)
  • Coffee mugs
  • plates & platters
  • Use mirrors/mirror tiles for quick duplication of color
  • candles
  • Photographs (print some out 8×10 size.  Hang a string and just fasten the photos to the string with clothespins…I used this and it was a huge hit.  I of, course had pictures of the party goers, and allowed them to take these home as favors.)
  • Pop Bottles
  • Candy
  • streamers (big impact little money, take the time to use this old party standby especially with kids, but adults love them too
  • balloons (a couple bunches of three or 5 can make a bigger impact.  I like to do 2 table length and one floor length.

2. Invites:

Parody a song or poem, or nursery rhyme and include the details of your party within thatReally play up the theme.  For example: If your doing a Fouth of July party & you’re hand delivering the invites, consider wrapping a sparker box with cute scrapbook paper and tying with ribbon, or attach a pinwheel to the top.  Tuck a slip of paper with the details inside or make a quick tag from cardstock (with time, place etc) and attach to the ribbon.  Cheap and easy party invite…love that.  This also communicates that you care about the event.  Flyers don’t do that people.  Flyers communicate, well, if you want to come that’s fine, but I really don’t want to put too much work into this and could really care less.

3. Food

Freash is best.  I know it is tempting to go out and buy premade because it’s easier.  But cooking from scratch can be easy and will definitely taste better.  Take 5 minutes to write down a menu and the ingredients that go with each dish.  Then plan them into your grocery list/budget each week.  The things you can make ahead and freeze do so in advance.  A day, or even a week would be better before the party, get out the table you plan to house the grub, and make little labels as to where you will put each item.  This will give you that little bit of extra time to be creative and imagine what it will look like, what will go where and to dress it up a bit.  Don’t forget about your serviceware, beverages and ice.   

4. Music

Take 10 minutes and compile a quick list of your favorite lively fun music, then make your cd. Or let your dj (aka your brother) know.


I’ve shared a few, look in my party games category.  Mostly people just love to talk and hang out.  So don’t sweat this too much.   Give them something to talk about.  hand out some lone ranger masks for everyone to wear.  Set up a temporary tattoo stand.  Rent a photo booth for a bigger event, of if you have a polaroid, make one yourself with a shower curtain and assign a photographer.

These are just some quick pointers.  Stop panicking. It will be ok. It’s a party.  Please lighten up and have fun.  You’ve got one life.  Live it and enjoy it.  It really doesn’t take $100,000 to do that.



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