Hosting a Shower on a Budget

Hosting a Shower on a Budget - eventstocelebrate.net

Whether you’re hosting a shower for an expectant mother or bride-to-be, the cost can add up. Here are my best tips and tricks for hosting a shower on a budget and still wow-ing the guests and guest of honor. 

#1 RULE FOR HOSTING A SHOWER ON A BUDGET- Don’t do it alone!

Seriously. Gone are the days of it being required to be the maid of honor who throws the shower. Showers for brides or babies can be hosted by the sister, mother, friend or a combination of all of them. I recommend having at least three people host the shower in order to split not only the costs, but the responsibilities of the shower.

How do I like to split things up? Invitations & Decorations by one (or a group) person, Food done by another person (or group) and Games or Activities done by another person (or group). 

Let’s talk about how to be frugal in each of these areas:

 

Hosting a Shower on a Budget: Invitations & Decorations

1- Look for free printable decorations. This should always be the first thing you do!! Google “Free Printable Baby/Bridal Shower” and you will get tons of results. One of my favorite sources is here. I’ve used them several times. All you do is download the package to your computer and either print at home or send to a copy/print center (highly recommended). Need something customized? Most of the time you can get the creator of the free printables to do a little customization for just a few dollars (like, less than $5)! 

I used these free Little Man printables at the last shower I helped with and it saved so much time and money! 

Little Man Mustache Baby Shower Decorations - events to CELEBRATE!

2- Don’t mail invitations to every guest on the list. Just as outdated as the rule that the shower has to be thrown by a certain person, is the idea that a mailed invitation is the only classy way to do an invite. Now through social media and email you can contact tons of people without spending a dime! Create an event on Facebook, or send a digital invitation through email. You can still design a cute invite, just don’t have it printed – upload it and send it instead! Now, you’ll most likely have to still use snail-mail for great-aunt Beth, but the amount you’ll save from not mailing to everyone goes a long way in your budget!

3 – Incorporate your gift into the decor. I created a onesie garland for the last shower I hosted and at the end I gave the expectant mother the onesies as a gift. You can do this with all kinds of things, get creative!

Baby Shower Onsie Garland

 

 

Hosting a Shower on a Budget: Food

1- Don’t have the shower during a meal time. Instead, plan for a brunch shower from 10 – 11:30 or an afternoon dessert shower from 1:00 – 3:00. By not having to serve an entire or specific meal, your options are wide open and your savings just went up! 

2- Serve one item as a bar. I’ve mentioned this before in other posts, but the more options you offer, the more food people will eat. If you pick one item and serve it as a build-your-own-bar, then guests will make one and most likely not come back for seconds. Some of my favorite dessert bars are: ice cream sundae, fruit pizzas, fruit & yogurt parfaits or Crepes/Waffles. Some of my favorite savory bars are: Nachos, Bruschetta Bar (slices of toasted bread with 3-4 bruchetta topping options), Baked Potato Bar, Pasta Bar, and Salad Bar. For more ideas, read this.

Ice Cream Sundae Bar Toppings

3- Don’t buy Dinner Plates. The size of the plates and cups you offer will also help manage the portion size guests take. Purchase appetizer plates and smaller glasses. Chances are high they will get settled in their spot and not want to keep getting up for more. 

 

Hosting a Shower on a Budget: Games & Activities

1- Three is the magic number! Don’t plan more games or activities than three. I like to do one that can be done at the guests liesure, while they mingle and chat. Another that is useful or helpful to the guest of honor (creating the pages of their sign-in book, or making cute hair bows for their new baby), and the last is just something fun. 

I’ve got some really fun, and totally not lame ideas here, here and here. 

photo 2

2- Use Free Printables! Just like in decorations, there are tons of free shower game printables for bingo, candy bar games, guess the stats, etc. Use them – they are FREE!!

3- Incorporate the favor into one of the games. Rather than spending double to provide a prize for one of the games and a favor for the event – combine the two and give something sweet and special to all of the guests for part of one of the activities. 

So there you have it, my opinions on how you can host a totally awesome shower without spending a ton of money. What are your best practices for keeping to a budget when hosting a shower?

Uno First Birthday Party

My creative friend Ember did an adorable Uno themed birthday party for her adorable son. I’ve never seen this before and thought the idea was GENIUS! 

Uno First Birthday Party

Here are a few ways she incorporated the card game into the decorations:

Uno First Birthday Party Banner - eventstocelebrate.net

This Uno birthday party banner is super simple to make, but completely adorable! She just used a sewing machine to sew the cards together – see, I told you it was easy to make!

Uno First Birthday Party Cupcakes - eventstocelebrate.net

The vibrant colors of frosting on these homemade cupcakes were perfectly complimented by the Uno playing cards in each one. 

Uno First Birthday Party Hat - eventstocelebrate.net

It doesn’t get any cuter than a sweet little one diving into a birthday dessert! With his specific allergies, he still got to enjoy a sweet treat on his big day! He looks like KING OF THE DAY with the Uno crown she made by sewing more Uno cards together into a ring. 

If you’ve got a first birthday to celebrate in your family, these are simple, inexpensive but will elevate the birthday from just generic cake and ice cream to something everyone will remember!

Having a hard time finding the Uno Card Game? Look no further – you can purchase them here. 

Do you have a party you want featured on Events To Celebrate?! See the ABOUT tab at the top for details! 

Easter Banner

I got a new Cricut machine this week and I’ve had so much fun playing with it! My first project is an Easter Banner and I used my Cricut to cut out a bunny stencil and the fabric pennant shapes. I love that I was able to size the bunny stencil exactly how I wanted it – especially since I could not find a bunny rabbit stencil at any of my local craft stores. 

Easter Bunny Banner - Events To Celebrate

Easter Banner Supplies:

Easter Burap Banner Supplies - Events To Celebrate

- 6 Burlap (or any type of fabric you like) pennants – mine measure about 6″ x 9″
- Bunny Rabbit Stencils – I used cardstock for mine – you could also purchase a Rabbit Stencil on Amazon
- Foam Paint Brushes & paper plates
- Pastel Pom Poms
- Acrylic Craft Paint
- Ribbon, Buttons, Glue Gun

Easter Bunny Stencil - Events To Celebrate

Using the foam paint brushes I carefully painted one bunny on each pennant. Then after they were mostly dry I used a hot glue gun to add a pom pom tail to each one. I attached them with a glue gun to a white ric rac ribbon and added a few pastel buttons. 

IMG_0785 IMG_0784I love the finished banner! It took me about 1 hour to make and since the only thing I had to purchase was $2.50 in paint and $1.00 for pom poms it was a really affordable decoration!

Easter Burlap Banner - Events to Celebrate

My daughter also got in on the fun. With the cut out bunnies from the stencils I made she made her own little banner for her bedroom door! :) 

IMG_0781 Kids Easter Craft - Events To Celebrate

 

HAPPY EASTER!

Inexpensive Centerpieces

Whether you’re decorating for a baptism luncheon, church activity, ladies lunch or any other event with lots of people, chances are you’re on a budget. I was asked by my sister to brainstorm some inexpensive centerpieces for her and thought I’d share the list I sent her with you. She was doing centerpiecesfor a large family lunch being held after a baptism and wanted something cute, but that wouldn’t break the bank either. Many of them double as favors for guests to take home, or have uses after the party is over!

Inexpensive DIY Centerpieces - Events To Celebrate

20 Inexpensive Centerpieces:

1 – House plants, potted flowers or a small pine tree (during the holidays) placed in a cute pot or wrapped in coordinating paper and tied with a ribbon are simple, and have a purpose after the event

2 – A cowboy boot filled with wheat or daisies

3 – A balloon bouquet – not helium filled

4 – A solid color gift bag filled with tissue paper and a few balloons on white plastic sticks coming out of it

5 – Place a large Tissue Paper Pom Pom in the center with confetti scattered around

6 – A vase filled with Tissue Paper Flowers (like these I made for Mother’s Day

Tissue Paper Flower - Mother's Day Gift

6 – A cylindar vase filled with wrapped candies, fruit or ornaments

7 – Serve the desserts on the table – a cake stand piled high with donuts or cupcakes looks cute and tastes great!

8 – Giant homemade party cone hats that have fun and crafty decorations (glitter, pom poms, tassels)

9 – Spray paint or wrap in scrapbook paper empty tin cans in different colors and put three on a table with white flowers in each one or make paper pinwheels to adhere to bamboo skewers and fill each container with a few pin wheels

10 – Grow wheat grass in tinfoil containers and wrap the base in streamers to hid the tin foil (like these I made for a Butterfly Themed Birthday Party)

Butterfly Themed Party - growing wheat grass - eventstocelebrate.net

11 – Purchase candlesticks from a thrift store and spray paint them a solid color. Add a small tissue paper pom pom to the top. Put two on each table.

12 – Add Mod Podge to the bottom half of a clear glass canning jar and roll it in glitter or dip in craft paint

13 – Make a small double or triple layer cake for each table and add a pennant banner on sticks for a cake topper

14 – Wrap empty boxes in wrapping paper and top with lots of cute ribbon (like these from this Jungle Party)

Jungle Birthday Party Centerpiece

15 – Thin tree branches (like willow tree) spray painted and displayed in a cylinder vase

16 – Candy display – a bouquet of suckers, candy sticks or a bamboo skewer of treats all displayed in a vase (you could do something like these Mustache Suckers I made for this shower)

Sucker Bouquet Centerpiece

17 – Paper bag or tin can luminaries (make sure your venue allows open flames)

18 – String photos, Chinese lanterns, upside down balloons (put a marble in each one to help weigh it down) , 3D Snowflakes or tissue paper pom poms and hang them from the ceiling in a small cluster in the center of each table. I like to hang mine with fishing line and use a glue dot to adhere the string to a thumb tack that is pushed into the ceiling. (like these balloons from a Barney Themed party or the photos from my In-Laws 60th Birthday Celebration)

Balloon chandelier

Bold Birthday Decorations

 19 – Grow your own herbs in small terracotta pots and display a few on each table. (Like these featured in Good Housekeeping)

1ghk-outdoor-centerpiece-herb-pots-xln

20 – Stack a few books on each table and add a teacup or two on saucers at the top of the stack. Add a single large bloom flower (like a peony) to each teacup. 

Here are a few other ideas that are specific to weddings, but would also work really great!

Tinkerbell & Periwinkle Birthday Party

Are your girls as in love with the Tinkerbell movies as mine is? When they introduced Periwinkle as Tinkerbell’s winter fairy sister, we instantly had to start pretend playing like it was snowing all the time and our wings were frozen. :)

My friend Ember did this adorable Tinkerbell and Periwinkle birthday party for her daughter and I’m so happy she is sharing her creative ideas with us! Let’s take a look:

Tinkerbell & Periwinkle Birthday Party

Tinkerbell & Periwinkle Birthday Party

 

Tinkerbell & Periwinkle Birthday Party Decorations:

- Using her Cricut machine, she cut out lots of small cardstock snowflakes and sewed them together into a garland. Draping that from the ceiling made it feel like a winter wonderland!

- Pastel blues and purple tissue papers were used to make Tissue Paper Pom Poms to hang from the ceiling

- Glittered snowflake ornaments were scattered on the food table (here’s where you can purchase Glitter Snowflake Christmas Ornaments)
 

Tinkerbell & Periwinkle Cupcakes

Tinkerbell & Periwinkle Birthday Party Treats:

- Don’t these blue frosted cupcakes look delicious?! They are accented with a white chocolate snowflake. (Here’s where you can get the Snowflake Chocolate Mold

Tinkerbell & Periwinkle Birthday Party Favors

Tinkerbell & Periwinkle Birthday Party Details

Tinkerbell & Periwinkle Birthday Party Favors: 

- Each girl took home a goodie bag filled with stickers, a pen and some candies (here are tons of Tinkerbell Party Favors

- They also got a Tinkerbell Water Bottle – watch for these at your Dollar Store or the dollar spot at Target. I’ve seen them at both. Another option to save money is to purchase plain water bottles and just add a Tinkerbell & Periwinkle Sticker. 

Tinkerbell & Periwinkle Birthday Party Actvities

Tinkerbell & Periwinkle Birthday Party Activities:

- Each party guest got a sugar cone to frost and decorate with candy – their own winter wonderland tree! 

- They played Pin the Snowflake on the Snowman

- Each girl was given a paper plate with a bit of frosting and they “Ice Skated” on the frosting. My daughter would really love this!

- They made bead bracelets using lots of pastel/winter color beads – so fun!

Do you have a party you want featured on Events To Celebrate?! See the ABOUT tab at the top for details! 

Tea Party Birthday!

Tea Party Birthday - Events To Celebrate

My dear friend Rochelle has the most creative ideas for her children’s birthday parties! I am over the moon in love with this Tea Party Birthday she hosted for her daughter. I know plenty of little girls that would love to get dressed up and have a proper little tea party complete with adorable finger foods and sweet treats!

Tea Party Birthday Invitations:  

To play a bit on Alice in Wonderland she did such a cute DIY Tea Party Invitation! I’m a firm believer in making sure the invites help the guests know what kind of party it’s going to be. 

Tea Party Birthday - Events To Celebrate

Tea Party Birthday Decorations:

A floral tablecloth topped with a vase of beautiful flowers decorated the table. Large paper doilies were used as place settings and small ones were used to make a darling garland on the wall. Each chair back was tied with a bow in sparkly tulle. Cute!

Tea Party Birthday - Events To Celebrate

Tea Party Food:

What’s a tea party birthday without little finger foods? Instead of tea, the girls enjoyed cocoa and lemonade. Rochelle shopped around to various thrift stores to find tea cups and saucers for the party (I LOVE the idea of a mismatched table of teacups!) If you can’t find them at your thrift shops – Amazon has these adorable plastic Tea Party Cups with Straw and Top (what mom isn’t grateful for a lid on a drink for the little ones?).

Tea Party

Aren’t the “Eat Me” and “Drink Me” picks totally adorable?! She made them herself and glued them around toothpicks. 

The birthday girl’s favorite foods were on the menu: noodles, rolls, Parmesan crusted chicken and broccoli – all served bite size. She served some with appetizer forks like these: Mini Appetizer Forks

Tea Party Food 

For dessert she served chocolate dipped strawberries, chocolate covered brownies, chocolate cake pops and homemade resees peanut butter cups. All bite size. :)

Tea Party Strawberries Tea Party Desserts

Tea Party Birthday Activities:

Each guest was invited to wear a hat and dress up if they wanted to. The games were “Queen of Heart Says” (rather than Simon Says) and Hide the Key (played like Hot & Cold).

Tea Party Guests

Completely adorable right?! If you have a party you would like to have featured on Events To Celebrate, please see the ABOUT tab for more information! I’d love to work together with you to share your creative ideas!

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Army Birthday Party

Army Birthday Party Ideas - Events To Celebrate

My friend Amy always does a fantastic job with themed party and I’m so excited to share one of her latest today. This Army Birthday Party for her son Carter is totally awesome, and she only spent $52.00 (minus the cake) which is a party for a BARGAIN! She got inventive and I love all the details. Let’s take a look at them:

Army Birthday Party Favors:

For the favors she purchased some holiday tins at the dollar store and spray painted them, wrapped them in camo duct tape and scuffed them up a bit. Here’s where you can get some Scotch Duct Tape – Camo.

To fill them she headed to the local recruiting station and asked for any free stickers or things they would let her have. They hooked her up! They gave her stickers, pens and a little football for EACH child’s favor box! Then she went to a specialty supply store called Uncle Sams where she found the REAL army patches and used shotgun shells for $1.00 each! 

Army Birthday Party Favors Army Birthday Party Favor Tags

Army Birthday Party Cake:

Isn’t that cake fantastic? She had our neighbor make it. I’ve just discovered that this neighbor does cakes, and I’m stoked about it! Now my cakes don’t have to look awful at parties I host! This camouflage cake adds the perfect centerpiece. 

She wrapped more camouflage duct tape around water bottles. 

Army Birthday Party Cake

Army Birthday Party Decorations: 

Using various shades of green fabric, she draped some across the ceiling, and more on the table accenting with lots of rope and twine. 

She purchased a Camo Pennant Banner to hang from the ceiling as well. 

The American Flag was a must to display at the party. 

She printed an Army advertisement off the internet and framed it and flanked it with some “medals” she her boys had from participating in various activities. 

Army Birthday Party Decor

Army Birthday Party Activities:

Now, this is what I love most about the party! These boys are just too cute and I can just picture how much fun they had with the creative activities she planned for them.

They had a Tug-O-War and other relay races. 

Army Birthday Party Activities - Tug-o-war

They played Wounded Soldier and through giggles, dressed each others “wounds” in toilet paper. 

They also had a push up contest – hilarious!!

Army Birthday Party Activities - Dress the wound

 

Army Birthday Party Invitations:

Army Invitation Free Printable - eventstocelebrate.net Army Birthday Party Invitation Free Printable

Here are some FREE PRINTABLE Army Birthday Party Invitations I designed that would work perfectly with this party! Simply open the link and print at home or send to your local print shop (recommended). 

Minnie Mouse Birthday Party

Meeska, Mooska, Minnie Mouse!

Minnie Mouse Birthday Party - eventstocelebrate.net

One of my best friends from high school recently threw this amazing Minnie Mouse Birthday Party for her two year old daughter. The creativity is outstanding and the details are as darling as they get for this little lady’s special day. I love the mix of store purchased elements with the DIY touches – it makes it feel doable, but custom at the same time! Win-win!

Let’s look at the fun details:

Minnie Mouse Birthday Party Invitations:

Minnie Mouse Invitation

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it every time. If you’re having a themed party, that theme has got to begin with the invitations. Let your guests get excited for the fun they’ll have with a cute themed invite! These were made with an electronic paper cutter (a Cricut or Silhouette machine) and she added a grossgrain ribbon for a pop of 3D that makes it all Minnie Mouse!

Minnie Mouse Birthday Party Decorations:

Minnie Mouse Wreath

This wreath is the perfect thing to let your guests know they’ve arrived at the right place. It would also make a darling room decoration after the party!

Minnie Mouse Party Decorations

- Paper pinwheels added a punch of color to the party space – you can find Paper Pinwheels
in a variety of colors and sizes on Amazon.

- Little tables for little guests were covered in a simple Red Plastic Table covers accented with a cardstock cutout of Minnie Mouse. 

Minnie Mouse Party Food Display

- Hanging over the food display are red Tissue Paper Pom Poms and black Paper Lanterns that are accented with cardstock ears (one of my favorite details!).

- Three handmade garlands hang below the ceiling treatment including cardstock circles sewn together, “Happy Birthday” cardstock Mickey Mouse silhouettes, and a Minnie Mouse bow garland. So perfect!

Minnie Mouse Birthday Party Food Display:

One of my favorite elements of a themed party is naming the food and they did such a fantastic job! 

- Goofy Grapes
- Minnie’s Carrots
- Toodles Noodles
- Chip’s Chips (from Chip and Dale)
- Donald’s Dip
- Hot Diggity Dogs
- Pluto’s Punch
- Clubhouse Cotton Candy
- Pete’s Pops
Minnie Mouse Food Names

Minnie Mouse Party Food Minnie Mouse Drinks Minnie Mouse Treats Minnie Mouse Party Treats Minnie Mouse Birthday Treats

 

Minnie Mouse Birthday Party Cake: 

Minnie Mouse Birthday Cake

What two year old girl wouldn’t be over the moon for this cake?! It’s simply incredible. The Minnie Mouse border on the bottom with those impossibly small bows are my favorite detail!

Minnie Mouse Birthday Party Favors:

Minnie Mouse Party Hats

 I’m in love with these DIY Minnie Mouse and Mickey Mouse party hats! Can you imagine the excitement of the kids when they walk in and see these?! The sign above them says “We’ve got ears, say cheers!” just like they do on the show! 

I love the decor, food and fun details of this Minnie Mouse themed birthday party, but these next two pictures are my favorite of the entire party. The look on the face of this birthday girl is PRICELESS! 

_DSC9352 _DSC9377

 Happiest Birthday Wishes to you Jacqueline! I hope your day ended with the Hot Dog Dance! So long for now!

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