One part of keeping a home involves the acknowledgment and preparation of special celebrations such as birthdays, anniversaries, job milestones, school success, etc. Today’s 144 Plan to Happy Homemaking is all about that–taking joy in life’s little celebrations–even on a budget.
Today is Peanut’s birthday. It is hard to believe she is turning 5! My little preemie is definitely growing up. This past Saturday we held Peanut’s first friends birthday party. Up until this point we have kept birthdays low key with a family gathering or a special trip to the zoo. But this year we opted for something different. Peanut invited friends from her church to participate in the special day. It was a blast and something we will definitely consider doing again.
Although the word “princess” tends to scream “expensive”, creating a princess party does not have to be that way. In fact, we found it to be quite the opposite. That said, here are 8 ways to create a fun and memorable princess party on a budget as we found out from Peanut’s party on Saturday.
9 Ways to Create a Princess Party on a Budget
- Keep the guest list small. This year we told Peanut she could invite up to 5 friends (the number of her age) to a special birthday party. She chose four. And they all came. It was just right as it meant we could do special things like a craft or game without much chaos or expense.
- Decorate with Christmas lights. There is something about Christmas lights that just makes the room look more royal and special. We opted to use two strands of white rope lights to make a runway for the girls to walk down as they entered the party room. They loved it!
- Decorate with helium balloons. They can also double as party favors and there is nothing else like a balloon to get you in a festive mood.
- Use the REAL china. I know what you may be thinking right now–“but they might break something?!” Okay, so when was the last time you even USED the really china? Would you really miss it if something DID break? Now, if you answer with a resounding yes you may want to think twice about this one, but by using the real china we were able to save on paper goods and the girls took extra special care knowing that they were truly being princesses for the day. And for the record, nothing broke either.
- Have the party in the afternoon instead of around a meal. Meals automatically cost more. We opted instead to host an afternoon tea which fit the princess theme perfectly. Herbal hot tea (the girls preferred licorice spice tea over other fruity flavors), sugar, cream, cupcakes, cheese chunks, and apple slices were all that was on the menu, and it was plenty as most of the girls didn’t even finish that. Oh, and we also had some Princess Punch for those that did not like tea (two 2-liters of Ginger Ale + 1 container raspberry sherbet), but only because it was leftover from a baby shower the previous week. Evenso, would you believe the girls all opted to have the tea over the punch?
- Get creative with a craft from the dollar store. Not only does this give the little princesses something to do while at the party, but it also serves as a party favor to remember the day by. We chose to take a picture of the girls dressed up in their princess attire, let them paste it to a cardboard frame from the dollar store and decorate it with princess stickers and glitter glue.
- Paint fingernails. When the little princesses first arrived they had the opportunity to paint their toenails with nail polish we ALREADY HAD. They loved it! And they got to do it themselves which they thought was extra special.
- Play dress-up. Chances are if you have a princess in the house you probably already have a few princess outfits lying around. We had several thanks to a grandma who used to work at a second hand shop. As a result, the girls could opt to “change” in the “royal dressing room” should they like to try on different dresses or did not arrive in costume. Yes, even this mama got out her wedding dress to join in the dress-up celebration (I knew there was a reason I was holding on to it in my closet all these years).
- Play fun princess games. The girls really enjoyed acting out the story of Sleeping Beauty but you could always check out one of these fun princess games for more ideas. These games require few props and create lots of fun.
The result for us? We spent less than $50 on the party and the girls had a blast. We even let them play outside on the play set in the backyard for a bit and the girls even found this fun as they never get to just “play” together. So just remember the next time you are planning a party it does not mean it has to be a budget breaker. Use what you have and make it work to your advantage. They will love it!