Tag Archives: budget friendly party ideas

Lalaloopsy Party for a sweet little girl

Lalaloopsy Party for a sweet little girl

The day of the party (post) is finally here!  After a lot of thought, and a bit of prep, the Lalaloopsy and Hello Kitty Cute-as-a-Button birthday party actually came together.  Here are some photos of some very budget-friendly DIY ideas for decorations, food and activities at a sweet little girl’s party.  It was supposed to be a sewing party, but no sewing was actually done by anyone!!  Buttons were the big inspiration for this party. Buttons and a crazy brightly-colored curly-haired doll….paper button decor at a Lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com - Page 022A button paper punch from Martha Stewart supplied a whole bunch of cute buttons for party decor, as confetti scattered on the table, and as wall decorations and even ended up on the juice cups!   {The table runners (in turquoise and in yellow) were part of Ikea’s summer line.}  Here’s the Lalaloopsy doll that also inspired the party and the party color scheme.  Her name is Marina Anchors, with her little pet whale and dressed in a cute sailor suit.  I found a perfect turquoise metal bicycle for her.  Her friends Hello Kitty and Pink Sock monkey took a ride with her.

I did a photoshoot of Marina and her friends and made up a digital invitation.  If you would like a copy to use for your little girl’s party, just let me know!!  They can be emailed or printed out as 4×6 photos.  lalaloopsy party invite by dennasideas.com - Page 075

For place-mats at the table, I made up my own Lalaloopsy coloring page using some images I found online.  Did you notice that her eyes are black buttons?  And the sock monkey has button eyes, of course.  I know a lot of people think that the button eyes are a bit creepy, but they fit so nicely into the cute as a button party idea….
Lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com - Page 024There are lots of sewing party and cute-as-a-button party ideas online (Pinterest) that I found.  You can look at my Lalaloopsy and Cute as a Button party idea board here.  I loved the idea of using embroidery hoops as wall decorations at the party.  I decided to use scrapbook paper and wrapping paper in the hoops.  It was a little tricky squeezing the paper in some of the hoops, but it did work out.  On one pink page, I printed out the title “Tasya is turning Sew Seven” (the Sew Seven title was an idea from the Sweet Designs blog, and a few other sewing party ideas).Lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com l - Page 007
Here’s some wrapping paper with a doily….Lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com - Page 026And a few paper buttons were added on some of the hoops and on the wall.  Hmmm, how to arrange these hoops on the wall….should I set them out on the table and arrange them….?  It was easier than that….
Lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com - Page 025Using sticky tak, everything was strategically arranged on the wall to cover up every mark and ding possible!!  I just followed the places I wanted to hide…..right above my old sewing machine.  That’s why there are buttons scattered randomly around.  Pretty clever if you ask me…..that’s how I work, my motto long being Necessity is the Mother of Invention.Lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com l - Page 005I pulled *all* my sewing stuff (a very small collection, as I am not a sower, but just terribly fascinated with it all).Lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com l - Page 006Lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com - Page 018Add a little baker’s twine to the machine!!  It’s in the party colors, too.  I had seen a lovely banner to make on the Raising Up Rubies blog, and I really really wanted to make one, but at the last minute (as with a lot of things) ran out of time, so my daughter made a few for a small scalloped edge below the sewing machine and it looked very cute.  Made from paper doilies and cupcake wrappers.  Click on the blog link for a tutorial!Lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com - Page 023The morning of the party, I decided to do a little craft with the b-day girl’s photo…..on a canvas on an easel.  I was so pleased with the way it turned out!  It was super easy, too. I’ll try and get a post done of this little DIY craft…Lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com - Page 014

There were a few other photos displayed….Lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com - Page 020

Along with some vintage handkerchiefs that belonged to my grandmother.  They seemed to go with the sewing theme…Lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com - Page 027

Another awesome decorating idea, which was super easy, super budget-friendly and super fast was this paper plate button banner.  My older daughter and her friend whipped it up for me very last minute (like, guests were already inside the house!!)  Paper plates + punched paper circles + glue stick + hole punch + ribbon= party banner!!!Lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com - Page 019One of my favorite ideas was another last minute brain wave, when I brought down my vintage sewing basket and realized that the inside lining was perfect party yellow!!  I decided to line the top tray with yellow cardstock and set the mini cupcakes right into the sewing basket!sewing basket on dessert table at a Lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com I have already posted about how to make button cookies here, and they made it to the party, too.  The day before the party, they were sent to my daughter’s class packaged in little bags that said “I’m Sew Blessed to have you as my friend!”  They make perfect party favors, too (but I didn’t actually get enough made for party favors…)button cookie favors for a Lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com I put the buttons in a jar…for the sewing machine dessert table….they were my favorite dessert at the party!Lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com - Page 011Then there was a cute sewing button cake.  Here’s a step by step how to for decorating the cake.  It was very quick and easy…even the little doily banner.  It seemed like a good idea at the time to use a cake mix…..bleh!denna's ideas: how to make a Lalaloopsy Sewing party cake with sprinklesSo here’s how the display turned out:Lalaloopsy party dessert table  by dennasideas.com Lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com Lalaloopsy party table by dennasideas.com Lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com

Mason jars with cupcake wrappers over the top and a blue paper button, for the very pink lemonade:mason jar drinks for kids at a Lalaloopsy or Sewing Party by denna's ideas.com

My Lalaloopsy girl was wearing a pink dress and eyelet pinafore that my mother sewed for me, oh, years ago!!  I used to wear it to school….without blue curly hair, though.Lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com - Page 035

Here’s where Hello Kitty makes her appearance at this party!!  She didn’t want to be left out.  Super cute plates from Target…
Lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com - Page 010Giant sized coloring pages, also from Target, were used to last-minutely add some wall decor…just right to cover up the annoying thermostat….Lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com - Page 013And here is where my big splurge comes in….I’m usually pretty good about DIYing my party stuff from dollar store supplies, but I found THESE.  These pink sparkly purses with big bows.  There were 6 of them and they were on sale!!!  So I guiltily bought them and saved them for the party…for the party favor bags.  In the end there were going to be more guests, so I went back to Claire’s and found some more matching little backpacks and purses.  They were pink and purple plaid.  I had not wanted to invite Purple to this Pink and Red and Yellow and Turquoise party, but she ended up sneaking in anyways.  She would have looked cute in the button cookies…oh well.  So the purses were tied onto the backs of the chairs…party bag purses at a Lalaloopsy & Hello Kitty party by dennasideas.com l - Page 002Filled with a few treats and candies…not too many as the purse was the big favor!!  (the colors in my photos are so wonky!!)Lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com - Page 016There were a few more last minute decorating ideas that actually happened…like this poster cloud that had to appear to hide a big decal on the wall….with pink sharpie stitches running around the edge and a doily and more paper buttons to disguise the nail sticking out….Lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com - Page 017My sister had given me this adorable fabric for Christmas, with little paper dolls on it!!  So last minute it was taped to the lampshade and pinned onto a pillow….(with safety pins of course!!)Lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com l - Page 003Hmmm, that other pillow….I guess I did actually sew it, about 10 years ago, with my Mom supervising me on her surger….!  I suppose I do occasionally sew things, with a lot of supervision, but in between projects, I actually forget how to sew.  And still can’t get my machine’s tension right!Lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com - Page 028There was also this cute flower arrangement on the table….like a cherry sundae made of flowers!  There’s a how-to right here under budget-friendly flower arrangementdenna's ideas: how to make a budget friendly ice cream Sundae flower arrangementLalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com

Lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com We had the table set with the coloring place-mats and crayons in mason jars so the girls could color right away as the first activity.crayons by dennasideas.com - Page 001 denna's ideas.com Lalaloopsy partyLalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com - Page 034

And then came lunch!!  The food was Lalaloopsy themed and you can see the recipes and how-tos here in my previous post.denna's ideas: pasta salad, party food for a Lalaloopsy party denna's ideas: pasta salad, party food for a Lalaloopsy or Hello Kitty  party denna's ideas: party sandwiches for a Hello kitty party or for a Lalaloopsy girly party

After lunch I wanted to play “Button, button who’s got the button?” but wasn’t sure exactly how it was played…so I invented my own version, with the girls hiding buttons in their fists, and the next one guessing and keeping the button if guessed right.  It worked!  Another game was the one where you get lengths of yarn, and must tell something about yourself while you are winding the yarn around your finger.  That worked to get the girls telling some things about themselves!  Oh yes, and a button craft!!  I had wanted to do a sewing craft, but it just didn’t work out.  So we made cards with a stamped mason jar and there were lots of buttons for the girls to choose from to fill their jar…lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com - Page 006lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com - Page 004lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com - Page 003I had some stamps with phrases, so the girls could choose to add Thank you or Happy Birthday or Happy Holidays.  Most of them chose Thank you.  The girls were quite creative with their cards, and decorated the envelopes, too.  After the party was over, I found my daughter’s card…Lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com - Page 012It says Thank You Mom for my Birthday, with adorable misspelling!!  How cute is that?  So wonderful to know that she was happy with her birthday party! 🙂Lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com - Page 033The girls had a laugh making “lalaloopsy eyes” heh, heh!Lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com - Page 032And trying on Hello Kitty glasses!!denna's ideas.com????? denna's ideas.com denna's ideas.comIt was a lot of fun!  Here are a few last ideas for a Lalaloopsy themed party.  One of the snacks could have been Froot Loops (loopsy, get it?)  I had found the perfect box. a Birthday Edition with hearts in with the loops….since that’s our birthday tradition, sugary cereal of their choice for the birthday child…Lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com - Page 015Lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com - Page 031And then there were some really cool spool of thread pops that I saw in several places on pinterest, made from marshmallows and fondant and candy melts, that I started working on…but I wasn’t pleased with them, the marshmallows were too weirdly-shaped for my liking, so I didn’t finish them….and we totally didn’t need any more sugar!!  (I never put the candy melt “thread” on the “spools”)lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com - Page 002 lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com - Page 001As you can probably tell, I do a lot of things last minute for my parties.  Not to mention that the whole house has to be tidied up before the party, too.  It all adds up to a lot of work!  I’m grateful for my family’s help!  My oldest daughter especially helped me get a lot of the last minute decorating done.  Seems like I don’t stop decorating ’till the 2nd or 3rd party guest arrives… Ah well, Lalaloopsy party has now come and gone, good thing I still have my little dolly around to brighten my days!
Lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com - Page 030

budget-friendly flower arrangement for a sweet party

budget-friendly flower arrangement for a sweet party

Here’s a fast flower fix for a sweet little party!  Run to the dollar store…or even better, check your craft stash in the basement and raid your cupboards!!  I made this little flower arrangement for about $4 (CD).  If you happen to have some silk carnations and a fancy ice cream bowl, you are well on your way.  This arrangement would be super for an ice cream party (which I would like to do someday, so will save it for then!) but I will be using it at the sewing party because it is cute and the right colors!

I saw this idea with fresh flowers on Pinterest here in a candy-themed wedding.  It’s gorgeous in fresh flowers and cherries, but not in my budget for this party.  So this is my do-able dollar store version (which will last almost forever!!)

I already had the white roses (included in the cost) so I went with them instead of buying off-white carnations.  One branch of pink carnations was enough to work with.  With wire snips, cut down the pink carnations, until they just peek over the edge of the sundae bowl (or whatever it’s called!)  Play around with them and then take them out.  Quickly line the bowl with white tissue or packing paper…whatever is nearest, even paper towel would work!!  Stick back the pink carnations in a circle then add the white flowers on top, mounding them up a bit.

For the cherry I wound a bit of red yard around the end of a piece of the green wire stem that I snipped off the roses.  Then stuck it onto a heavier green wire piece from the carnation stems, then I rammed it into the top rose.  No glue nor nuttin’! Then grab some buttons.  I wanted the effect of sprinkles for this strawberry sundae, so I nestled colorful buttons into the white rose petals….also didn’t glue because I was in a hurry!!

This was a very quick arrangement.  The part that took the longest was arranging the pink and white flowers till they looked “just right” to me.  Seriously, I spent a lot of time on that.  So I did throw everything together, but then had to pat and push them around for quite a few minutes.  But all in all, it was a quick and easy craft.  And just right for a cute little party that’s comin’ up soon…. denna's ideas: how to make a budget friendly ice cream Sundae flower arrangement denna's ideas: how to make a budget friendly ice cream Sundae flower arrangement denna's ideas: how to make a budget friendly ice cream Sundae flower arrangement And here’s a glimpse of some more pink sweetness that I’m working on for the little sewing/lalaloopsy girly party…..denna's ideas: how to make a budget friendly ice cream Sundae flower arrangement

Back to School party table with no dessert….

Back to School party table with no dessert….

Calling all children back to school….oh wait, that’s mostly in North America, and I suppose that they are already all in school by this date.  In other countries kids are counting down the last few days till the end of school, lucky ducks!  It just seems to me like we’re still at that bright shiny newness of going back to school days.  Maybe that’s because I still have a big poster hanging in my living room and haven’t actually finished sending all the school supplies to school with my kids yet….

Oh well, I’m just living in/enjoying the moment I guess.  Sometimes it just takes me longer than it does others to transition into the next moment…. 🙂

I had been looking at photos of peoples’ back-to-school parties and wishing that I could make one, so I’ve been kinda planning it in my head….but we’ve been busy and out of town.  School supplies were bought before the day before the first day of school, really, they were.  But we were having our last trip of the summer, and we came home late, and I ran out of time.  But such is my obsessiveness that I just couldn’t let go of my party idea.

Even when one of my children said to me:  “Mom, we don’t need any more parties!!”  (Now how often do you hear a kid say that?  Must be only one of mine….)  But I wasn’t going to let that stop me.  On the first day of school, when most of them were out of the house, I started to rush about and throw things together.  I had purposely bought some very-on-sale school supplies earlier to use for this party table display.  Thinking ahead helps, so I can throw everything together last minute….that’s the way I work.

So I was finishing up the display, when I suddenly noticed, oh, there are no desserts on this table….dennas ideas_back to school party - Page 009I had a globe, books and even an old typewriter….dennas ideas_back to school party - Page 005 dennas ideas_back to school party - Page 006 dennas ideas_back to school party - Page 007dennas ideas_back to school party - Page 002Some fun erasers in a gumball machine (not edible)denna's ideas: back to school party: eraser gumball machine - Page 003

But no food.

I had run out of time to make these super-cute apple cookies that I had seen on the Living Locurto blog.  Or to dip oreos, or to bake a cake.  NOthing.

Oh well, I actually felt a little pleased.  My big beef with kids’ party tables is all the awful sugary things that kids are encouraged to eat.  (Though that doesn’t usually stop me from doing anything).  This table was decorated with school supplies, useful, shiny, new, needed, sugar-free, gluten-free school supplies.  I could feel good about that.  There was a “cake” of supplies….denna's ideas: back to school party ddenna's ideas: back to school party I had worked away at my decorating while my little buddy did some “painting homework” of his own,denna's ideas: back to school party and my other little friend looked on, denna's ideas: back to school party

But the kids were due home from school soon and I felt that they would appreciate some sort of a snack to take the edge off the day….so we went for easy snacks, with a twist…a twist of paper that is….denna's ideas: back to school party , popcorn conesdenna's ideas: back to school party , popcorn conesAnd there were some Oreo cookies in the pantry, but first I just had to try out something I’ve been thinking about for awhile…denna's ideas: back to school party , rainbow oreosRainbow oreos!!  I saw a photo of them on Pinterest, but was ticked off to see that the color was edited in.  So I figured I could just brush on some food coloring….it worked well enough.  Add some milk and chalkboards and wooden blocks:denna's ideas: back to school party cookies and milk denna's ideas: back to school party  cookies and milkPrint off a sign from Balancing Home, there are a lot of cool signs to choose from.
denna's ideas: back to school party signsOh, mustn’t forget the stash of Kex cookie biscuits from Ikea, they are always fun!!  At least, I always have fun spelling with them…..denna's ideas: back to school party cookie letters from IkeaJust stick that in there…..denna's ideas: back to school party snacksAnd finished, right before they all exploded through the door to fling their backpacks down!!denna's ideas: back to school party They were impressed with the oreos at least…..denna's ideas: back to school party snacksNot so super impressed with me when I continued the fun by giving them some questionnaires to fill out!!  I had printed out some really cute “how was your day” and “first day of school” questions and “how was your summer” type stuff.  You can find some here and here.  And maybe not so impressed when I told them the popcorn had no salt and butter (because that would ruin the photos with all the greasyness on the paper!)  So we didn’t acutally eat the popcorn, that was for photos.  But to make up for that, the next day I made it into popcorn marshmallow cake, for the second day of school treat!!  I sure enjoyed that snack, reminds me of Auntie Darla’s popcorn cake….

And lest you are too impressed with my party table, I must say that I was totally inspired by some awesome parties I found online (and “lifted” a few ideas).  Mostly by this Vintage Schoolhouse party by Kara’s Party Ideas.  If you would like to see my Pinterest inspiration board where I found a bunch of ideas, look here.  There are lots of fun printables and ideas, food, snacks, etc.  There is a gorgeous party on Catch My Party, here that I just loved!  So many ideas!  But I couldn’t squeeze them all in.  😦  Maybe next year.

(Hmmm, as a P.S. maybe I should mention that this is a budget-friendly “party”, just use the supplies that you already need to buy for your kids and add in a few extra pencils and crayons for crafting, like covering a tin can in new pencils and taping/rubber banding them on.  I already had chalkboards, and what I do a lot of the time is use black poster paper/board for chalkboards.  That’s what I did for the chalkboard in a frame: it’s a poster.  I don’t own chalkboard paint, but love the look!  I already had the black circle banner from another party, so just chalked ABCDs onto them.  The backdrop is an Ikea duvet cover that was on sale last year, yes I love those ABCs!  Most of the props were things I’ve had for years, like apple Christmas ornaments and white metal trees.  I just searched the house for fun things, like the Felix clock.  The little desk was my most exciting find of spring garage-sale-ing this year, oh yes, my only find, too!!  Anyways, I know I’m kind of a pack-rat and have lots of fun junk cluttering up my house, but really this is an improvised little party that you can make with chalk, paper, school supplies and some sweat and time!)

Oh, and by the way, a note about that “we don’t need any more parties”….  I had figured it came from someone wanting to go do other things instead of setting up a party, but apparently the reason was that I “get too tired and cranky” when I’m in party mode!!!!  How do you like that?  I told the truth:  “I’m going to be tired and cranky anyways, so you might as well enjoy getting some good snacks out of a party once in a while!!”  😉dennas ideas_back to school party - Page 001