I decided to go with a circus/carnival theme, with the colors red, turquoise and yellow.
Luckily, I had help with the food. Julie, from It's Sew Stinkin' Cute, took Friday off of work and came over bright and early to help. We had fun making all of the goodies. Chocolate covered pretzels, dipped marshmallows, layered jello, shortbread cookies from scratch. It was a smorgasbord of sugary goodness. I also made crackers and star shaped cheese, and star shaped pastry puffs on sausages, but those aren't as colorful and fancy. I love how we stuck with the color theme. I'll have to do a tutorial on the pretzels soon, they were super easy (or at least, they looked easy, since Julie did those), and I've heard of places selling them for $1 a piece. We made 30 of them for under $7.
I made three centerpieces that were super easy to make. I went onto Google, typed in (animal name) clip art, found a shape I liked, and printed it out. I then cut it out, traced it onto cardstock, and cut that out. The saddle and the base were found on the Silhouette store, which cost me 99 cents (under their circus elephant cut out), I just resized it to each animal. Once it was assembled, I backed it all with black cardstock. The stars I got for 20 cents a piece (4th of July decorations at Hobby Lobby) and the blue star weight I found at Party City for a dollar. So each centerpiece cost me about $2 a piece.
I was really impressed with the smash cake. I got it from a local lady named Elizabeth who runs Poppy Locks. I sent her some pics of cakes that I liked, and she took those ideas and created this masterpiece. I loved it. Did I mention that the inside was marbled with different colors? How awesome is that? The simple pennant across the top was made at the last minute. I just cut out triangles out of left over invites, glued them on a string, and glued the ends to straws. The wall banner was simple to make. I printed out letters in a circus font, cut them out, cut out carstock in a triangle shape, punched out circles, and glued it all together. The party favors were drink tumblers that I bought at Party City for $1 a piece. We didn't have an age group that we stuck to when we invited kids. All of our friends kids were welcome, so I needed a favor that was good for a one year old, up to a ten year old.
We also did a photo booth. Luckily, my husband is a graphic designer and designed the background based on a few examples I sent to him. Julie (thank you!) play paparazzi with her awesome camera. It really took the stress off of me, being able to just enjoy the party and not stress about taking pics. I made the props out of cardstock and kebab skewers. I just went to google, typed in the different shapes I wanted, found a pic that I liked, printed out the pic in the size I wanted, and cut it out and used it as a stencil on the cardstock. The fake suckers were purchased at Party City for 50 cents a piece, and the clown noses were $2.
Did you see Ava's dress? My mom and I made her a ringmaster dress! I bought the pattern when it was on sale at Hancock Fabrics for $1. The fabric cost me about $4 at Hobby Lobby. I already had the gold buttons and the gold trim, so her dress cost me about $5. For her smash cake, I found a shirt on clearance at Kohls for $2 (and I had a 30% off coupon). It said "Cutest Birthday Girl Ever". I knew that she would get messy, and I didn't want to worry about staining anything.
Thank you for letting me share! Hopefully you enjoyed our birthday party on a budget as much as we did!
And one final recap?