Thursday, April 17, 2008

Sports-Themed Birthday Party on a Budget

My friend Jamie Lyn is one talented mom, and she definitely knows how to throw a fantastic themed birthday party for her little guy, all while being thrifty. For her son's second birthday, she used her son's love of sports as her starting piece. Here are some of her pictures with the explanations in her own words. She writes:

At his second [birthday], Will was seriously into balls of any kind. This is when I first discovered that having a spring baby worked to my advantage in party planning. I found a TON of inexpensive sports stuff in the Easter goodies section at Walmart, and some of the paper goods came from the dollar spot at Target. (I think they were actually meant for March Madness, but they were perfect for me!)

The goody bags were little Easter basketball baskets; the football rattle (above) was for my friend's baby because she was too small for a goody bag.

I love these goody bags and think they would also make great prizes for a March Madness party. I'm sure Target/Walmart might have something similar next year.

Holiday Target Tip: Shop for holiday items a year in advance. The lowest markdown on holiday-themed items is always on the seventh day after the holiday. Also, markdowns on Kids' Clothing items and stationery usually happen on Mondays. (HT to Wisebread for the Target Shopping Article.)

Below is a picture of her piece d'resistance: a basketball-shaped cake using her son's name as the logo! I could see the nams-as-logo idea working well with a tennis ball or golf ball, too.

Here is her explanation. You've got to love those Wilton cake pans!
A friend of mine suggested making the basketball read "William" instead of "Wilson." Only a handful of people picked up on that, but it was really cute.

The Wilton cake pan came with instructions for making the round cake into all sorts of balls, so I took my basketball pattern from that, but had to freehand the "William" logo from a picture of a Wilson basketball I found online. I got the pan at Michael's for around $10, but they have them at Hobby Lobby for the same price, and the HL website has 40% off coupons regularly. I figure I can use the same pan for other things later...a Christmas ornament, Cinderalla's coach, a pumpkin, you get the idea.

Just so you know, Jamie Lyn actually made TWO basketball cakes, because she divides up her celebrations into two parties -- one for family, and one for friends. Now that she has two kids with birthdays close together, she still throws two parties but integrates both themes in each. In our next installment, we'll see how she combined a Scooby Doo theme for her son with flowers for her daughter!

I love seeing this kind of creativity on a budget! Often, I think it is the restraint of having to do it ourselves or find the best deals that actually brings out our imagination at its best. I hope this inspires some of you in your efforts to create a cost-effective birthday for your kids. If you have some pictures of your frugal party ideas that you would like to share, but you don't have a blog, e-mail me and I'll include them in future posts. Thanks again to Jamie Lyn for letting me show off her handiwork here on the blog.

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