I love throwing parties, I love entertaining, I love scanning the room and seeing friends and family truly enjoying each others company. As a Stay-At-Home Momma of two young ones I love getting other Momma’s together. It’s a great time to catch up, vent about what stages our kids are hung up on that particular month and just let loose. Since moving to our house two and a half years ago we’ve had plenty of parties. We had a gender reveal gathering when we found out we were expecting our sweet boy, a housewarming/Meet Drew party, quite a few ladies nights to even a cookie swap hosting over 15 kiddo’s, and we can’t forget the birthday parties! So I’m offering 5 Tips and Ideas on Throwing a Great Party! If you are like me and you enjoy entertaining you’ve probably thought to yourself on numerous occasions……WHY did I plan this?? It’s a lot of work and then the day of the party comes and you feel like you never even sat and caught up with a friend you haven’t seen in months, you never kissed your grandmother good-bye and eat, nooooo you don’t get to eat! I think after the last two parties we’ve thrown I’ve finally mastered how to throw a party and actually enjoy it. Below is a collage from the bridal shower I through for my best friend this Summer, here are some easy and cheap ideas:
1. A rustic fram ($25) with a cork board backing ($5 for 2) pictures and poems about the happy couple. Corks ($4) with sewing needles stuck into them for the cork look. Blank Jenga blocks and markers for all the guests to give marriage advice to the couple and play a fun game together. 2. Rustic Flower Vase 8 oz mason jar painted from the inside (pour 1/4 cup of paint inside, cover and shake until coated, empty remainder of paint back into the can) tie with a piece of burlap ribbon ($5) I placed them on top of piece of log that was cut from my backyard. 3. Measuring spoons ordered on line but replaced with handmade thank you notes with the couples wedding date on them. 4. Another rustic frame with no back, strung with wire, pictures and poems are hung by small pink close pins ($2 a pack).
5 GREAT TIPS:
1. Dollar Store!
If you have a Dollar Tree or Dollar Store around of of any kind this is key. It’s a great yet cheap way to decorate in themes. Or if your anything like me and need to fill a piñata, but do not want it to be with loads of candy, this is your best bet! Go and get a bunch of kid toys, learning books, bubbles, and stickers. We did that for my son’s party this year and it was so fun watching the kids go at it. You can also find your paper goods here. If your serving appetizers or pizza there is no need to go to a party store and spend 4.99 on a package of plates when you can get them for a buck! Don’t forget your table cloths, you can even buy bags of chips, pretzels, crackers and soda there and place your balloon order on the way out the door.
2. Pinterest & Pictures!
It’s great for ideas! You don’t always have to make them yourself it’ll guide you to the website where you can order whatever it is most likely. You can simply type in “Boy themed ideas” and you’d be surprised on what you will find. You can search for appetizers and food ideas that won’t break the bank, and you can be as descriptive as “rustic bridal shower” ideas and you’ll be inspired by ideas! As for pictures, well when you are celebrating someone whether it be a birthday party or bridal shower you want to include pictures. Spread them out on a table where you are placing snacks and soda, spread them around a table where you want people to sign a book. Put together a frame and have people sign it. For my sons baptism we had a picture of him and a vase next to it with cut out circles for people to write a message on it so he can read them all when he gets older. There are tons of ideas! Below was a construction party theme for a birthday party. Don’t say “I can’t afford that” because trust me I cut corners anyway I can, like these cute construction hats came 10 in a package on amazon for like $5.
3. Ask for Help!
This is key. For the first few years my husband and I were together I realized every holiday we hosted and every party we threw he would sit back on the couch while I ran around like a mad woman. He always helped me when I asked, all I had to do was ask. Imagine that! Now here we are 7 years later and I don’t have to ask anymore. He empties the garbage before guests arrive and during. He orders the food if we are decide to have it catered (when I say catered I’m talking in big rich words when in reality I mean pizza!) He buys the ice the day of and fills up the coolers, he cuts the lawn and helps me set up tables. PUT THAT MAN TO USE ladies. Another way you can ask for help is by putting those grandmothers to work! No don’t ask them to set up tables ask them to take your kids for a few hours the day of so you can get your cleaning and setting up done. I even ask my mom to bring a few snack dishes too because I know she loves helping and that way I don’t have to depend on my guests to bring something.
4. Less is More!
I tend to go over board on decorations. As mentioned above, I’m a pinterest freak. I could spend hours on there. My son’s birthday was at the end of June and I started pinning come April on theme ideas. Soooo..don’t go crazy. Pick a few ideas and make them your own. Or you can hit “Order Here” on Etsy too, but I feel like I have a bit of a creative side. Here is a few perfect examples of how I stalked pinterest and saved myself some money. I loved the black board idea. I bought a few pieces of black board, it’s in the same section of a craft store as craft board would be. Then I bought chalk markers to give it a chalky look to label drinks and a few fun facts about about my son and his first year. I bought a bunch of buckets from the dollar store and filled baggies of ice placed them on the bottom and then topped them with fresh fruit. The kids loved using shovels to make their own fruit bowls. The pictures are of my son and his cousin together each month (they are 3 weeks apart) for the first year of their lives. Then the sign was an idea I found and my husband helped me put put it together. Just something fun because our party was a beach theme.
5. Order Out!
Yes I’m a foodie and yes I love making food but between getting the house cleaned and shopping done for drinks, snacks and balloons with two kids running around I just get more stressed out having to make food as well. Don’t get me wrong sometimes I do, I love having a good food bar on display. Some great ideas are meatball, nacho, or even a sandwich bar. I have an appetizer crockpot that has three different pots in it. It’s perfect to put different warm appetizers in it like different kinds of meatballs (I’ve done that one and it was a huge hit) or even nacho toppings. However, the last few parties I’ve thrown while my son was under the age of two we found it easier to have snacks laid out and then we order pizza! It’s a great way to be able to join your own party rather than worry about burning something in the oven or having to lay out a huge spread. We always close out with a nice ice cream sundae bar which is always a hit, even with the adults and I’m actually able to sit and talk with family and friends.
I’ll leave you with one last tip. I find it the right thing to do to send thank you cards when people give my children gifts (even if it is a few months later!) but I hate the idea of them reading the thank you and then throwing out the card. I make my own by making a collage of pictures from the party, adding a thank you and sending that so at least it can be hung on the refrigerator for a awhile. Here is one I sent after my son’s first birthday.
A cheap yet fun party can be pulled off! It’s one of my favorite things to do. I hope some of my tips can help you plan your next party!