Easy White Elephant Gift Ideas

There are already a lot of White Elephant gift ideas on Pinterest, but I felt like a lot of them cost a lot of money. If I know something is most likely going in the trash after the party, I don’t want to spend a lot of money on it. So I rummaged around my house and came up with, what I think are Easy White Elephant gift ideas for my family party this weekend. 

Easy White Elephant Gift Ideas

My husband works in the nursery at our church on Sunday’s and it can kind of be a germ pool and a place of lots of tears (sometimes his, sometimes the kids – I kid, I kid). So I thought it would be fun to put together a Nursery Workers Survival kit for those working with the kids at church. 

White Elephant gift ideas - Events To Celebrate

You’ve got your essentials – hand sanitizer, a kids medical mask (for those that get dropped off with a terrible cough), snacks and a game (5 little ducks). 

Then, for those who are looking for a bit of romance, I did a redneck Recipe For Romance Kit

White Elephant gift idea - eventstocelebrate.net

It includes a Boys 2 Men cassette tape, tea candles and a can of beans (for the bubble bath) all packaged in a Victoria’s Secret bag. 

Last year my niece, Alix was the lucky recipient of my “Diarrhea of Anne Frank”. It was a mixture of flour, cocoa powder, water, pureed spinach and nuts in a mason jar. Yuck!

White Elephant Gift Idea - eventstocelebrate.net

Elf Inspired Neighbor Gift

Last week for my birthday my family gave me a real-deal cotton candy machine! For a party girl, it’s pretty much a dream come true. I almost burst into tears when I opened it – seriously. That night I laid in bed awake at 2 am thinking of all the fun ways I am going to incorporate it into every festivity and celebration from now on. I’m starting with our Christmas neighbor gifts this year. I decided cotton candy would make the perfect gift. I’m sure we’ll get fudge, cookies, etc. but not cotton candy. That’s why I LOVE the idea – it’s unique, I’ve never seen it done. 

I was inspired by one of my all time favorite movies (for any time of the year): ELF with Will Farrell. As soon as I thought of the Cotton Candy as a gift, the line from the movie, “cotton headed ninny muggins” came and I knew I had a winner. Here is the gift tag I came up with that I will print and attach to some fluffy, sugary, childhood-memory-inducing cotton candy. 

Unique Neighbor Gift: COTTON CANDY

Cotton Headed Ninny Muggins

I’ve also got the FREE PRINTABLE for you in case you want to do this for your own neighbors.  Just open this PDF and print: Cotton Headed Ninny Muggins

Easy Neighbor Gift: CANDY CANES

Now, I realize that most people don’t have a cotton candy machine, but this same gift tag works great for a box of CANDY CANES too!  

Cotton Headed Ninny Muggins

So, if you’re going that route, use this FREE PRINTABLE: Cotton Headed Ninny Muggins – CANDY CANES


Rules for use:
– My free printables are for personal use only.
– They may not be modified, sold or used for profit in any way.
– If you feature them or repost them, please give Events to Celebrate proper credit with a link back to this post.

Halloween Door Decoration

It’s officially my favorite month! I look forward to October all year long! I put up all of my indoor Halloween/Fall decorations yesterday and today I made Frank for our front door. It’s about as simple as it gets. I used plastic table covers from the Dollar Store and spray adhesive (the same can that I’ve had a few years) – that’s it! I’d say that is $3.00 well spent. 

Halloween Door:

Halloween Door


- I measure the door and cut the green table cloth about 2″ wider and longer so it will wrap around the sides of the door once finished.

- I cut and glue the pieces to the green table cloth while it was on my floor, rather than once its on the door. I suppose you could do it either way, but I just didn’t want to get spray glue all over my door casing.

- I use clear packing tape to secure the finished piece to the door. I cut notches for the door handle and hardware.  

I’m just 2 weeks away from my due date on my sweet baby boy and the next order of business is to figure out a name for this little guy. Maybe we’ll just name him Frank. :)

Check out these Halloween Doors from last year for more fun and easy ideas!

Halloween Crafts and Games for Kids

Halloween Crafts and Games for kids

Each year I host a family Halloween party. Rather than taking on the entire party on my own, I have each sibling/family bring one activity or craft for the kids to do. I take care of the food and decorations and then only have to come up with one activity – knowing that there will be LOTS coming to entertain the kids. This has worked really well! I shared a few of the fun things we’ve done at past parties in this post, and wanted to share those we did at our party last year!

Halloween Crafts and Games for Kids

Halloween Party Activity for Kids - Decorate Cupcakes

Decorating Halloween Cupcakes:

After lunch we let each of the kids pick a cupcake to frost and decorate with lots of candy. We included sprinkles, candy corn, gummy candy and more! 

Halloween Party Activity - Tie Dye Shirts - Events To Celebrate

Halloween T-shirt Tie Dye:

Each child brought a plain white t-shirt and we had them tie dye their shirts. We did it outside and everyone wore aprons and gloves to keep things tidy and they loved it. We used a Tie-Dye Kit and it came with all the supplies we needed. After the dye was added, we stuck them in a zip top plastic bag for each kid to take home so they could finish drying. Then, once they were washed, they were ready to wear!

Halloween Treasure Hunt - Events To Celebrate

Halloween Treasure Hunt:

We sent the kids all around the yard on a spooky treasure hunt. There were enough clues for each child to have a turn finding one and at the end they got cute tin buckets (found in the dollar bin at Target) filled with fun Halloween favors: stickers, pencils, spider rings, a straw, glow in the dark skeletons, etc.

Halloween Treasure Hunt - Events To Celebrate 1 Halloween Party Activitiy - Cupcake Walk - Events To Celebrate

Halloween Cupcake Walk:

We actually gave them donuts, but the idea is the same. We had frightful music playing as the kids circled the numbers and when the music stopped a number was pulled from a bag. The child standing next to that number got to come pick a donut. 

Halloween Party Activities - Donuts on a String - Events To Celebrate

Doughnuts on a String:

This was my favorite activity to watch, the little kids were hilarious. We suspended glazed donuts from strings and they had a contest to see who could eat their doughnut off the string the fastest. They didn’t have to eat the entire thing, just get it to fall off the string. It was so much fun to watch!

Halloween Party Activity - Bobbing for Apples - Events To Celebrate


Bobbing for Apples:

I was really surprised how much the kids loved this.  They each took several turns! Luckily, since we are all family, we didn’t care about the water getting each others spit in it. :) But they did so well, pulling those little apple stems out of the water – plus, they were apples picked fresh from the orchard so they were totally delicious!

Whether you are planning a family, neighborhood, preschool or church group Halloween party, these activities will entertain the kids for sure! 

See this post about all the fun food and DIY Decorations we had at the party!

Easy Halloween Party Decorations

Halloween is my favorite holiday. This year I will have a two week old newborn, which I am ecstatic about, but I know it is going to limit my ability to participate in all the festivities of the best holiday of the year. I host a Halloween party for my husbands family each year, but this year I’ve let them know that someone else is going to have to play party host. Thinking of holding my sweet new baby and getting in as much snuggle time as possible makes it all feel worth it. I really can’t wait to have a newborn, they are magical (albeit exhausting). 

Last year I created some really easy and inexpensive decorations for our party that I want to share with you:

Easy Halloween Party Decorations:

Halloween Party Decorations - Events To Celebrate

Halloween Party Backdrop: 

I went to a local party supply store where they sell the colorful butcher paper by the yard. I purchased a few yards of each color and made pinwheels by cutting strips and folding them accordion style and then stapling them together, pinching them and hot gluing them in the center. Then I arranged them how I wanted them and hot glued them at the connection points so they would all hang together. On the back I added a large length of yarn so I could hang it from some nails on my wall (where I normally have a large painting hanging). 

Halloween Party Backdrop - Events To Celebrate

To add a fun sparkly element, I used Elmer’s School Glue to draw a spider web on wax paper and then coated them in glitter and let them dry. Then all I had to do was shake the glitter off and carefully peel the web from the paper. They were pretty delicate, but they added the perfect touch! A few plastic spider rings (with the ring part cut off) finished the look.

Halloween Glitter Spider Webs - Events To Celebrate

Halloween Party Food:

Halloween Party Food - Cauldron of Sodas - Events To Celebrate

This large black tin “cauldron” was the perfect vessel to hold lots of ice cold sodas!

Halloween Party Food - Events To Celebrate

To please the masses, I kept lunch pretty simple. We did Papa Murphy’s pizza, chips, veggies and dip, fruit and cream cups and a slushy Witch’s Brew. 

Halloween Frankenstein Cups - Events To Celebrate

It took just a few minutes to create these Mummy Cups and everyone LOVED them! I took white crepe paper and wrapped it around each cup and glued two Wiggle Eyes to each cup. 

Halloween Party Food - Candy Corn Fruit Cups - Events To Celebrate

I tried to make Candy Corn Fruit Cups, but learned that using real whipped cream instead of the stablized stuff from a can or tub just made a melty mess. They were still delicious though. :) I used pineapple tidbits as the bottom layer then mandarin oranges and topped it with a large dollop (that deflated) of whipped cream and added two candy eyes. 

 Halloween Witches Brew - Events To Celebrate 

The Witches Brew was simple and delicious. It was lime sherbet and sprite in a punch bowl. It was green and frothy and sweet. 

Halloween Party Ceiling Decor - Events To Celebrate

 Around the light fixtures in the kitchen and family room I added balloons and hanging cardstock bats that were cut using my Silhouette Cutting Machine (if you are a frequent crafter, this is a must-have-machine!). But, if you prefer, you can just purchase some Bat Cut-Outs for a few dollars.  

Halloween Party Decoration - Events To Celebrate

To flank the sides of the food table I used crepe paper streamers to fill the wall – super simple and super inexpensive!

The table decorations were simple since we use them for crafting – I set out my Spider Web Placemats, on table plastic table cloths that were $1 each at WalMart, bowls of candy and had a plastic cauldron with balloons as a centerpiece.

See, you really can make easy and inexpensive Halloween Party Decorations to elevate your holiday festivities!! Happy Halloween!

Here is where you can find all the fun Halloween Kids Crafts and Party Activities we did at the party!

Jake and the Neverland Pirates Party Food

I love trying to come up with themed food for parties. I kept this food really simple since I was trying to appeal to 3 and 4 year olds, but I’ll include other things I thought of that you can use as well. 

Jake and the Neverland Pirates Party Food - Events To Celebrate

Keeping with the characters from the show, I did a food item based around each of them.


Here are SCULLY’S CRACKERS and CUBBY’S CHEESE MAPS. I just used a sharpie pen to draw the map details on each string cheese.  

Jake and the Neverland Pirates - Scullys Crackers and Cubbys Cheese Maps

I ordered these Plastic Sword Picks to make JAKE’S FRUIT SWORDS, and just added a small bite of cantaloupe, apple and a grape to each one.

Jake and the Neverland Pirates Fruit Swords

 IZZY’S FIZZY SEA WATER is some sprite with a small amount of blue food coloring added. 

Jake and the Neverland Pirates - Izzys Fizzy Sea Water

For dessert we let the kids pick out a YO HO HO (Hostess Ho Ho’s) or AHOY THAR MATEYS (Chips Ahoy cookies) to go along with their cupcake. 

Jake and the Neverland Pirates Desserts

Are you dying at how cute these JAKE AND THE NEVERLAND PIRATES CUPCAKE WRAPS are? I know, right?! They are just a few dollars from Laura at Party Games Plus. They came as a printable set, then I just cut them out and added them to the cupcakes! It really made a box of cake mix and a jar of frosting look incredible! 

Jake and the Neverland Pirates Cupcakes

See? Simple but fun and themed! 

Jake and the Neverland Pirates Party Food

 Other food items I came up with that would be fun to use:
ARRRG-tichoke Dip: Artichoke Dip
Canon Balls: Whoppers/Grapes/Gumballs
Catch of the Day: Goldfish crackers/gummy fish
Pirates Brew: Bottled Root beer
Peg Legs: Pretzel sticks or Corn Dogs
Bones: Candy Shaped Bones
Pirate Ships: Hot Dogs (with a sail added)

For the details on the DECORATIONS – click here.

For details on all the fun GAMES AND CRAFTS  we did – click here.

Jake and the Neverland Pirates Party Activities

For my daughters Jake and the Neverland Pirates themed 3rd Birthday party it was a lot of fun thinking of the activities she and her guests could do. She kept saying she wanted to be Izzy and so I knew all the girls would too!

Jake and the Neverland Pirates Party Activities - Events To Celebrate


DRESS LIKE A MATEY: Each guest got to wear a bandanna, waist sash (for holding their swords), name tag, some Mini Bubbles in a pink organza gift bag that we called Pixie Dust and a Pink Eye Patch . For the name tags I printed their first name on a gold dabloon and then they got to pick out of a bag the other part (the landlubber, the scalawag, the treasure hunter, etc.). For the bandanna’s I cut 22″ squares of pink chevron print cotton fabric into triangles. 

Pirate Party Dress Ups

COLOR A PICTURE: While we waited for guests to arrive, the girls were invited to color a free printable coloring page of Jake, Izzy and Cubby. 

Jake and the Neverland Pirates Coloring Page

JAKE’S SWORD: On the show Izzy always has pixie dust and Jake always has his sword. I purchased these plastic Pirate Sword and Adhesive Back Jewels and let the girls make their swords pretty. The jewels were perfect because they came on a clear plastic backing sheet and were easy for the girls to peel off. 

Pirate Party Jeweled Swords Jake and the Neverland Pirates Jeweled Swords

PIN THE TAIL ON TICK-TOCK-CROC: This free printable pin the tail game saved the day! It was easy to put together and the girls loved it!

Jake and the Neverland Pirates Pin The Tail Game

CAPTAIN HOOKS HOOK: I gave each girl a black paper cup with a small X slit in the bottom and a 12″ piece of tin foil. We rolled up the tin foil and curved it and then stuck it through the X on the cup. They then held onto the tin foil inside the cup to wear it. It was simple enough for these little ones and they thought it was so fun!

Pirate Party Hooks Craft Jake and the Neverland Pirates Hooks

CUBBY’S TREASURE MAP: On the show, Cubby always has the treasure map, so we had to send these girls on a treasure hunt! I made a little treasure map using my Microsoft Publisher program just using clip art and let them each color one and roll it up. Then we set off to find hidden bags of gold dabloons and a treasure for each of them at the end!

Pirate Party Treasure Map Coloring Page Jake and the Neverland Pirates Treasure Hunt

 I filled each Treasure Chest Treat Boxes with an assortment of candy and plastic jewelry. The tag says “We ARRRGGG so glad you came!”

Pirate Party Treasure Hunt

TICK-TOCK-WHERE’S-THE-CROC?: I didn’t get a picture of this game, but all we did was hide a kitchen timer that had a bell set to 1-2 minutes. Then the girls had to find it before the bell rang! We played a few rounds and they had a great time searching behind couch pillows, under chairs, etc.!

DANCING WITH BUBBLES: Our last activity was to turn on the Bubble Machine and dance to the Jake and the Neverland Pirates music (found on the Disney Junior DJ Shuffle album). They danced and fought the bubbles with their swords until it was time to go!

Pirate Party Bubble Dance

 For the post all about the Jake and the Neverland Pirates Party Decorations, go here!

Here is a post all about the fun food ideas: go here!

Jake and the Neverland Pirates Party Decorations

I had so much fun doing the decorations for my daughters 3rd birthday. She loves Jake and the Neverland Pirates, so we had that as our theme. I turned to Amazon for most of the items because I love that I can shop from my computer and get free two day shipping with their Prime Membership. It saved me a lot of time and money. I’ll link to the items, just in case you are looking to duplicate these ideas. I’ll also link to any printables I used. 

Jake and the Neverland Pirates Party Invitations:

I printed the free invitations from here. I used themed wording on the invite to send the theme home. Then to elevate them I used my Silhouette Cameo paper cutting machine to cut the 3Dimensional boats. I used hot glue and a small square of floral foam to secure a bamboo skewer that I punched through the invites. Last, I added a small blue cardstock flag at the top. 

Jake and the Neverland Pirates Invitations

Jake and the Neverland Pirates Party Decorations:

- The Ship Mast: My sister boast an impressive collection of random items. When I was explaining to her how I was going to make a ship mast, she said, “I’ve got one! It will be perfect!” And it was! I believe it originally from Pottery Barn Kids and it really helped bring it all together! It mounted flush with the wall and I just used Command Mounting Strips to mount it to the wall.

Jake and the Neverland Pirates Party Decorations

- Character Banner: I printed the character images from this website and cut around them. After mounting them on coordinating cardstock I cut around them again and strung them together with some jute twine.  

Jake and the Neverland Pirates Character Banner

 - Fishing Net: I purchased just one Fish Netting from Amazon and cut it into multiple pieces to use throughout the party space. 

- Happy Birthday Banner: I purchased this Birthday Banner from Amazon and all the letters were connected. I just cut the connections and used packing tape to put them closer together on the ship mast.  

Pirate Party Decorations

 - Treasure Chests: I filled the bottom of some containers I have with grocery bags to bring up the bottom. Then after adding a sheet of gold tissue paper I filled it with gold foil wrapped candy: twix, rolos, snickers and chocolate gold coins (that were in the bulk section at my grocery store for $7 per lb). Last, I added a few necklaces to for some “jewels”.  

Jake and the Neverland Pirates Party Decor

Pirate Party Treasure Chest

 - Balloons & Streamers: I accented an archway in our home with some balloons and streamers. 

Pirate Birthday Party Decorations

 - Map Walkway: I used some red cardstock and some black streamers to create a map-like decoration for our walkway. It greeted the guests and added the perfect touch to welcome them to the party!

Pirate Party Map Decoration

For details on all the fun Jake and the Neverland Pirates Party Activities we did – go here!

For all the fun food ideas – go here!

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