I mentioned in a recent post, found here, how my daughter was turning four and I wished to turn back the clocks now that I’ve had four years to learn about mothering. I’ve also had four years of party planning experience now! I may complain (only ever so slightly) about the stress and time it takes, but I secretly enjoy it. I love crafting and decorating on a budget (the budget being spend as little as you possibly can, ha!). I’ve bought supplies at the Dollar Tree before, I buy items throughout the year on clearance, and I reuse what I can from year to year. This year’s budget saving party ideas included downloading images found online to use in our decorating. Scroll to the end of this post to find a cute, printable ‘Welcome’ poster I created to share with you all for free!
(note: my daughter set the table for her party…hence all the random plates scattered on the table, haha!)
Right now, one of my daughter’s favorite shows is Doc Mcstuffins, a cute little girl that doctors her stuffed animals who come to life once parents are out of sight. I really only spent about $20 on decorations for the party (a $15 ‘bouquet’ of Doc Mcstuffin balloons, and a $5 set of Doc McStuffin vinyl wall clings (5 vinyls came in the package!). The rest of the decorations I made either with minimal investment ($5-$10?) or had left over from other parties. I splurged on a couple more party supplies to complete the theme- little medicine cups for raisins/jelly beans ($3), and syringes intended for jello shots- but I filled them with yogurt ($11, and worth every penny. So. Much. Fun!). I also bought plain pink plates and Doc McStuffins cups, all of which were add-on items from Amazon for $2 a package. One hour of shopping on Amazon and $50 dollars later, boom, I was halfway done party planning!
I made the doctor’s coat invitations from card stock I had on hand, and added cheap doctor and “You’re Invited” stickers I bought at Hobby Lobby for half off. And I admit…those cute little pink buttons were in my daughter’s Christmas stocking, for her to make crafts. I basically stole them from her. But I consoled myself with the thought that they went for a good cause! Inside the card, I handwrote the party details such as date/time/location.
The party was at four, since little one needed to get a nap in, so I felt like we should provide some eats for everyone….I made a large batch of my daughter’s favorite crockpot Hot Pepper Jelly Appetizer Meatballs. Super easy (when you use a package of frozen meatballs!) and so good! I also made:
- ‘stuffwiches’ for the kids (just pbj’s named after the Stuffy character on the show)
- band-aids (wafer cookies with a candy heart ‘glued’ on with frosting)
- cut up cheese
- applesauce pouches and cups because, after all, “An applesauce a Day keeps the doctor away!”
- Hershey ‘kisses for your boo-boos’
- frozen mozzarella sticks
- yogurt ‘shots’
- a healthy chickpea salad
- and delicious black bean salsa with chips! Our favorite!
I made tags for all the food items with glitter paper (1/2 off at Hobby Lobby, where else? Can you tell I’m a fan??) and plain pink card stock from my stash. I was able to use the glitter paper for several other crafts as well! (One I might share in a future post!)
We usually invite a good number of children to our parties. Add in siblings and parents, and we have a full house! I always feel that, because of this, an activity is a good thing to keep kids occupied (translate: calm and quiet! Haha!). I opted for free printable coloring and activity pages from the Disney Jr. site and other bloggers I came across (and unfortunately, I did not save the links! 🙁 ) Our room full of girls had fun coloring while the mommas ate and chatted.
I made a ‘Pin the nose on Chilly’ game and was pretty proud of myself, as I am not artistic in the least!! I mean, just check out this masterpiece-how can you not be impressed?! 😉 I made it out of a 49 cent poster board from a local bargain store and used card stock to cut out the hat and noses. I used pencil to sketch out Chilly, relying on a coloring page I’d printed out, then went over the pencil lines with Sharpie markers. We rolled a piece of tape onto the back of each carrot when the time came to play the game. (My mom stepped in and helped with this. Good to have a volunteer!)
While searching Pinterest, I saw an adorable centerpiece for sale on Etsy, using tulle and what looked like dowel rods. Wouldn’t you know I had BOTH those items leftover from my recent bow making frenzy? Check out my DIY tulle hair bows tutorial and my How to curl ribbon post to learn how to make your own cheap, yet adorable, hair bows! I used those leftover bow making items, plus a few other things to make my own inexpensive centerpiece.
Look at my cute four year old posing with the centerpiece:
The vase was probably 50 cents at a yard sale- I use it occasionally in my home decorating because I’m in love with that shade of blue. I made tulle pom poms (very similar to making tulle bows, as demonstrated in an earlier post. Just wrap tulle around your hand, tie in the middle, cut the edges, and fluff), then wriggled them onto the dowel rods we used to curl ribbon in my recent diy post, here, AND I used the curly ribbon to boot! I traced and cut a number ‘4’ out of cardboard, then glued pink sparkle cardstock onto it. To make the pom pom dowels stand up, I held them in the vase and filled it with a collection of vintage white buttons (from a yard sale). At best, the whole thing cost me a dollar, and it was all repurposed. Plus, it can all be repurposed again!
In addition to using tulle pom poms in a centerpiece, I made a garland with them! I made the pom poms, then strung them onto embroidery thread with a needle. That part was a little difficult- I think if I’d tied the center of my pom poms not so tight , this would have been easier. It turned out cute, though, and two weeks later, it’s still hanging on my mantle. 🙂 I can’t bring myself to take it down; it’s so cheery!
I also gathered up all of our doctor kits and doc toys, arranging them on the train table so the kids could play with them. I counted this as a part of the decorations, along with some free images I printed and hung on the wall. 🙂
I also created a Doc themed ‘Welcome’ sign for the front door, because I couldn’t find one ANYWHERE! So I want to share the image I created with you, to save you a little time and energy for your own doc party!
If you’re planning your own doc party soon, I hope you’ll be inspired by this post! Feel free to steal some of my ideas (most of which I stole from Pinterest and other bloggers. 😉 )! Leave me a comment if you have any questions!