DIY Party Planning

DIY Party Planning

One really fun thing we do as a family is throw a party.  If we can throw together a fun party and not have to spend a lot, that’s an added bonus.  Cheap is my middle name…no not really, but when it comes to having a party I try to do a lot of the work myself, instead of spending a lot to get my theme across.  Theme’s are fun to have, even for adults. If you can incorporate a theme, you will surprised by the compliments you get.

tropicalWe had a Hawaiian themed party and when everyone arrived they all received a lei to wear throughout the party.  Coconut cups for drinks, tropical decor from a local dollar store, and Hawaiian invitations on clearance. The rest is your imagination.coconut

If you have the number of kids we have, birthday parties have to be planned on a budget, especially when two of our girls have birthdays two days apart.  One of my daughters wanted a Spongebob themed party, so my oldest daughter and I got a little creative when planning her sisters birthday. First we made a list.  All of my kids and I sat together and we listed all the things that they could think of when they thought of Spongebob: Mr Crabs, Spongebob, crabby patties, Squidward, Bikini Bottom, and the list went on.

If only we could find a way to make a crabby patty.  Then it dawned on me:  cupcakesbrownie can be used as the burger part of the patty (using a round cookie cutter to cut out after baked), green colored coconut for the lettuce, red colored glaze for the ketchup, (homemade) yellow colored fondant cut into squares for the cheese, and a yellow cupcake for the bun… and we couldn’t forget the sesame seeds on top.  We started to get excited. More ideas were rolling.

Planning parties are so much fun for us.  I really feel, when we’re all involved, it’s a great family experience and everyone gets to see how all the planning turns into a party, and then the fun ‘after party’ stories.

I think we went a little overboard for this party, but so much of it was created from cardboard we saved.  We also incorporated our traditional rock painting  table that my kids really enjoy doing.  Hence, “rock bottom”, another Spongebob pun.


I was fortunate enough to have some tropical party supplies left over from a previous party.  pineappleAlso found pineapple drink cups at our local dollar store (Spongebob lives in a pineapple); for keepsakes for the kids and their friends.  Added some beach balls to the pool and label the pool the “Goo Lagoon”.

My daughter, since she was 15, would make her own fondant and create different kinds of cupcake and cake toppings for different occasions.  panda

She would just make a cupcake as usual, frost, and with the fondant she would create a cute edible cupcake topper.  My middle daughter loves panda’s, so my oldest daughter created the cutest panda cupcakes.  They were a hit!

fondant rollerIf you have ever played with play dough, shaping the fondant is very similar (to roll out fondant, click on the picture of the fondant roller).  A fondant roller is easy to use and is great for rolling out fondant, pie dough, and pizza dough.

It’s also great for creating and decorating your own specialty cakes.  My daughter made this one for her 16th birthday:


The best party my kids and I planned was for my husband and my 20th anniversary, vow renewal ceremony, and after party.  My husband had gone away on several business trips for work, so it gave my kids and I a lot of time to plan and surprise him with our ideas when he returned home.  The first thing I really wanted to do was incorporate my 2 middle kids and their trumpet playing abilities. So, I found a song that I really liked (one that I actually sang in chorus, back in junior high), that I told them I would like them to play for when their dad and I walked down the ‘aisle’ (which was our backyard).  arborWe have an arbor outback that my husband built for me years ago, and I thought that would be the perfect spot to have our ceremony.

My mother helped me with a lot of the crafting; flower arrangements, boutonnieres, corsages, and party decor.  For the ceremony, my oldest daughter and my mother in law did a reading, and my youngest (8, at the time) did a reading of many different Dr Seuss quotes; that fit the occasion.  Our very best friend had been ordained and performed our ceremony. My daughters boyfriend (who sings), sang a song as the ceremony came to an end.

cupcakesThe after party… was a wonderful toast by a dear friend, tasty appetizers, drinks we put together, delicious homemade pizzas on the grill, and super tasty decorative cupcakes that my oldest daughter made.

Everyone took on an important roll.

Always consider the possibilities when planning a party.  Start by deciding on a theme, make a list of activities and ideas associated with the theme.  There are so many ideas on the internet to help in your quest for a fabulous party.  It’s even fun to include friends and family in a craft night, in preparation for the party; bringing together everyone’s artistic abilities.

Save.  Save.  Save.  Jars, cardboard/boxes, rocks, wood, etc…

You never know what you can use these items for:

We Still DoA wooden sign for a special occasion.




A prop for pictures.boat




A costume for HalloweenSpongebob…and then used again for a birthday costume for serving specialty baked treats.


There are so many ideas out there.  Try your next DIY party planning idea soon.

Please make sure to comment on some party ideas you have tried or plan on trying in the near future.  We just purchased a projector, so our next party is going to be a night at the movies.  Which will include our popcorn machine, snacks, drinks, fun movie trivia, and movie signs made from cardboard.  That’s all the ideas I have for now.  Party planning is always a “work in progress”.

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