{recession friendly} birthday party


This sweet little soul turned four yesterday.  He’s our youngest.  Oh, I have so many feelings about him getting older.  Today I’ll spare you a mushy gushy mommy post and instead share the creative side of his birthday.


We had a party with his friends from school.  I wanted some stylish yet boyish aspects to his party, but needed to keep it budget friendly.  Hi, recession. Truth be known, I think it’s far more fun finding clever ways to create style without spending a lot.

My inspiration for his whole party was this cool font.  I made the invitations using it and loved the way they turned out.  The font is free and you can download it right here.

Picture 5

It also inspired me to make little tags to go on the party favor containers.


So about these tags. To save some bucks, I used supplies that I already had.  Yep, I’m a paper junkie. All I used were brown paper bookmarks, twine, a hole puncher, a little imagination, and my printer.

How to make:

1.  print out your names in the font of your choice
2.  cut them down to size
3.  tape them with double sided tape to stick on.  I think a better idea is printing them on adhesive paper then cutting down to size
4.  punch your holes at the end of bookmark and cut the twine
5.  tie with a bow

What I like is that once you’ve opened your gift box, you can save the tag as a bookmark or label for your child.


Back to the party favors.  Let me first tell you that I’m totally obsessed with party favors.  When hosting, I like for kids to leave our party happy with a little container of goodies.  And it’s hard to find favors that are both budget friendly and playworthy.  Candy is not an option.  It would be cruel to the moms to load up their kids on cake and send them home with a bag of candy.  Oui?  Plus, the idea of trinkets in a cute container seems very retro to me.  Love that.

Each box varied, but had three surprises from these little items I picked-up:

– individual party play dohs from target
– soft soccer, baseball and footballs from target [right here]
– crayons from the dollar tree that actually looked very anthro-ish
– glam dress-up rings and bracelets from wal-mart [for the girls]
– pig flashlights from michael’s
– adorable small stuffed animals from IKEA for only 49 cents each [right here]


I started getting pretty excited when I saw the boxes coming together.  Obviously I need more excitement in my life. Chinese to-go boxes from Michael’s gave it just the look I was hoping for.


A patient friend helped me organize and stuff our little gift containers.  Thanks, Kim!


They turned out pretty cute.


We covered the tables in paper and I quickly scribbled faux placemats on with a marker.  Thanks Laura, for the idea!

Before the happy party goers arrived.




Polka dot cake by Publix.  Holla’ to Tom in the bakery department, he rocks. Anyone who can listen to the creative rantings of a crazy mom and still make the cake turn out beautiful is a baking genius.


The sparkler candle adds drama and is from Sea + Jae.  You can get them right here.  I now use them on all of the offspring’s’ birthday cakes and absolutely love them!!!

unny, it looks like some of the kids are missing from the group shot above.  I guess they bolted during the singing part?


Or maybe they were on the jumpy thing we had outside…it’s fair to say that the bounce house with slide was a much bigger hit than any aesthetics I attempted to add to our simple party.  Ahhhhhh, kids.  It’s refreshing how easy they are to please!


Now we have a very happy four year old…who slept very well that night.

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  1. Kris Connell says:

    Love it! We have one turning 4 next month, so all great ideas…and I just bought the “4” sparkler at ABC Home last night!
    Also love the font…ones like that are among my favorite. I’ve been looking for something like that for my blog title…I may try downloading that one.

  2. Roberta says:

    OMG Seleta he is such a cutie…he should be a model for Polo or Ralph Lauren…seriously! Great party and very creative decorating. Boy they grow up so darn fast…have a wonderful holiday next week, fondly, Roberta

  3. Bonnie says:

    Oh Seleta, you brought back such lovely memories of the parties I did for my boys when they were little. I agree with you about wonderful favors. Love the “scribbled” placemats. Your four year old is adorable.

  4. Joanne says:

    Yo! When I saw the word Birthday in your post I thought it was going to be a dedication to me since my bday is 11/20!!! Happy bday to your littlest one though. I won’t take it personally ;) Greetings from Kenya! I’ve been in Africa since last Friday 11/13. We took 4 days and hopped over to Seychelles and are back in Nairobi now. I will have to fill you in when I get home. This is a strange and crazy place. We’re going on a safari in Samburu game reserve Monday. Can’t wait. Love you! Jo

  5. kathy says:

    What a great party thrower you are!!!! Everything is age appropriate, and not over the top, but perfect!
    More pics. for his photo album!

  6. Kara Hebert says:

    Thank you so much, Seleta, for taking the time to share your ideas with us. I know doing posts like these are time consuming, but we so appreciate it! Budget friendly, creative ideas are the best!!!

  7. DrDrama says:

    I love these pictures! I am planning on doing a Mad Hatter tea party for my 3 year old next year and you have given me some great ideas!

  8. Paige says:

    Looks like so much fun! Happy Birthday to your little man. Have a great weekend!

  9. Kwana says:

    It looks like such a beautiful party and I love the invites. Happy 4th to you little sweetie.

  10. Andrea says:

    Happy Day for your “baby”! I’m admiring your party ideas and looking at the wood paneling on the wall. That’s what I want for my laundry room! It drives me crazy that I get distracted by people’s fixin’s. Love the party room with all the kids chairs. I miss little furniture! Beautiful boy..going to be a heartbreaker!

  11. wanderluster says:

    Such cute ideas! And such a cute birthday boy!

  12. Geli says:

    aawww that boy is a small carbon copy of your husband.
    Seems like everyone had a good time and plenty of time to combat
    the sugar rush!

  13. Our 4 yr old birthday party is in 3 weeks, I am fully borrowing some of your ideas. GREAT post from the mom who is behind on the bday party ideas!

  14. Darling ideas!!! Great post.

  15. Amanda says:

    What a cute party! Love the favors, the faux placemats, and the cake!

  16. What a fun party and what a cutie you have, very inventive, creative!!

  17. The Lil Bee says:

    I’ve got some time before I have one of these kiddo parties, but this looks like something I could actually replicate! Your markered-in placemats are adorable and I really love those crayons. Nicely done, mama!
    PS His blue eyes are beautiful!

  18. Jacquelyn says:

    I know he loved it! Everything looked lovely….and fun!

  19. Kathy says:

    Loved your party favor ideas . . . it looked like something out of Cookie or Real Simple! Your cake was precious, too . . . it looks your 4-year-old and my 4-and-1/2-year-old have the same name (if I read the cursive correctly).
    Thanks for the inspiration!

  20. Christine says:

    Wow! What a great party! I must ask. Please please tell me where you got that long kid size table?? I have been looking for something like that forever!

  21. Heather M says:

    Great post! All mom with young kids appreciate new fresh ideas! :) YOU ROCK! I’m dying to know where you got that long super cute table with the darling chairs?!! That would be very useful! :)
    Oh and where did the girl font & cute squigglys come from?

  • Simply Me

    SeletaI‘m Seleta, a city girl living the beach life with my family. A former TV personality turned designer, I love to share the sparkly side of life. Read more here.
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