Affordable Children Birthday Party Decorations
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Affordable Children Birthday Party Decorations

How do I put on a birthday party for my child without going into debt?

When a child's birthday comes around each year, parents usually want to make that day special.  Some have lavish, expensive parties inviting tons of friends.  Others have a simple family event with no big fuss in an effort to cut down on expense.  From the cake to the wrapping paper to the decorations or party gift bags for guests, there are some affordable ways to cut costs on party decorations so you and your child can celebrate in style without excessive costs.

The cake is typically the center of a birthday gathering but can also be one of the most expensive items purchased to make the party memorable.  You can cut your cake expense dramatically by either making it entirely yourself or purchasing a cake that only has the base frosting.  If it is not a custom order, most grocery stores carry cakes that are ready to be custom designed that you can pick up for a fraction of the cost.  If you choose not to make your own, which saves quite a bit more money, you can pick up one of these basic frosted cakes and add simple figurines that go with your party theme.  If your birthday girl likes princesses, purchase a simple plastic tiara and place it on top of the cake.  If your birthday boy likes race cars, purchase a medium-sized plastic toy truck and place it on the top.  Something this simple can turn a basic affordable cake into a delightful centerpiece that goes along with the party theme.  Toy giveaways that come inside fast food meals can work wonders on dressing up a simple cake as can some little plastic-type toys your child may already own.

Wrapping paper can be another expense that goes into a party and then is thrown out to recycle or trash when the party is done.  A lot of money can be saved by using simple, creative wrapping ideas.  If you have small items, consider wrapping them up inside a basket or a tote that can be reused.  For a little girl, you could hide a gift inside a cute little purse or be creative with a baby blanket.  For a little boy, you could tuck something inside a reusable duffel bag decorated with the party theme.  Be creative.  Of course, you can always cut out portions of the comic section of the newspaper or decorate a paper grocery bag.  Some really creative things can be done with a simple brown bag such as folding over the top, using a hole punch to punch to holes next to each other and tie shut with ribbon.  You could give a wallet as a gift and fill it with gift cards or birthday money.  Tie a simple bow around the wallet and you're done.

Similar creativity can be used for making a card.  Cards can be quite expensive and are read, then at best, tucked away for a keepsake.  Simply take a piece of card stock paper or construction paper, cut out a comic strip or a picture of the party theme or of the birthday girl or boy and glue it down on the paper, fold it over.  It's as simple as that.  If you want to pretty it up, use some craft scissors to get a wavy edge or put a couple hole punches in the top crease and tie a small bow.  It's amazing what can be done with some simple paper.  Chances are the birthday girl or boy will cherish the thought and effort behind this kind of card even more than a store-bought one you paid a few dollars to get.

Decorations are another expense that basically gets used once then thrown out or tucked away for keepsakes.  So, why not just buy some inexpensive paper plates, napkins and balloons of a solid color instead of trying to get everything to have the theme of the party pictured.  Even guest party bags can be a simple solid color, even a plain brown lunch bag dressed up.  Add some stickers that go along with the party theme to the bags, plates and balloons and it's amazing how cute this affordable touch can be.

Of course, you can spend as much on what goes in the guest gift bags as anything.  With recalls and worry of lead, etc. with cheap little giveaway toys, you'll want to be careful what you fill the bags with.  You'll also want to consider peanut and other allergies if you're including toys.  So, it's most cost effective to buy in bulk and then split it up to insert inside each bag.  For instance, a large sheet of stickers can be cut so that each party guests receives a decent amount of stickers on their own piece of the sheet, carefully cut.  Little pencils or crayons with little tablets of paper can be fun.  You can even add party-themed stickers to the note pads and personalize pencils or crayons with a printer and some plain paper.  Print off a list of each child's name and wrap it around their individual crayon or pencil.  Buy a box of individually-wrapped microwave popcorn and slip one pack inside each child's gift bag.  Small bags of fruit snacks is usually fairly non-allergenic and quite often go on sale allowing you to purchase two boxes full of individually wrapped packets, then add one packet for each guests bag.

Use your imagination, visit your child's toy box for ideas and have fun.  The important part of the party is honoring the birthday boy or girl and providing some happy memories for any guests that may be a part of the celebration.  You don't have to spend a fortune to do this.  In fact, when you use your creativity your guests will be amazed.  So, don't be surprised if you're asked to help out with one of their child's parties in the future.

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