Search This Blog

Monday, 26 August 2013

Candy birthday for under $5 per person

Today is my daughters second birthday, Happy Birthday Audrey!

That's one happy two year old!

Yesterday we hosted her birthday celebration. We have celebrations, not parties and the difference being that we have no gifts. If someone desires to bring a token to mark the occasion we accept non perishable food and hygiene items for our local Community Care program. But I digress, that is not what this post is about.  This post is about how to host a birthday for 31 people for $150 (just under $5 per person). I originally was not going to post about this because $150 felt like so much money and I didn't want to be dishonest to the spirit of my blog.  But after the festivities were over and That Guy and I sat down and recounted the day we realized there were 31 people here.  With 11 more I had expected but did not show. Suddenly $150 for invitations, cake, decor, favours, candy and activities for that many people sounded reasonable.

First I did up these invitations with the help of a friend. The scrapbook paper was on sale 4/$1  I bought eight sheets and used six for the invitations.  The lollipop sticks we had on hand because That Guy is a pastry chef so we routinely have items like that available. The tulle bow was made from the discarded mess of my DIY tutu dress FAIL.  Total running cost $2
Mine looked very similar, but were all handed out before I thought to
get a photo.  photo credit
I was more than a little excited to shop for this event, who doesn't love candy shopping?! Party Max has deal on candy: 15 pieces for $1.  This great price got me really excited! I bought gumballs, and taffy and chocolate coins at this low price while staying within a simple colour scheme of green yellow and pink. ( We decided to go with three colours because otherwise the colour factor could just too easily get out of control) We also bought rock candy, small swirl lollipops, streamers, scoops for the candy and clear bags for the guests to fill with candy as they were leaving. This managed to set us back a staggering $65! Total running cost $67

However, using my mad cheap gumballs, some sticks from the backyard, hot glue, ribbon and tissue paper I was able to make a cute and whimsical centerpiece for the candy table. Total cost there only $3 worth of gumballs- but that cost was part of our $65 at Party Max. This centerpiece was so easy to make and I am thrilled with how it turned out!

Candy table with paper bunting flags and gumball
Next was a trip to the dollar store.  There I bought toothbrushes for guest favours.  Since it was a two year olds birthday I did not see a need to give guest favours to adult guests.  Moreover, because we have a no gift policy I do not feel like I am "on the hook" to break the bank in this area. And toothbrushes were an adorable end to a candy themed day. At the dollar store I could get two individually packaged toothbrushes for $1. I bought enough only for children old enough to use them, meaning I bought 12. Toothbrush cost was $6.  Also at the dollarstore I bought six plastic table cloths (two in each of our colours), three packages of balloons, three candy jars and six giant swirly lollipops.  Dollar store total was $27.  Total running cost $94

Jar of toothbrush guest favours

Guest favors with tags
Leave it to me to stress out about not having having enough candy at a candy party. I stressed enough that That Guy finally agreed to a trip to the bulk foods store. There we bought jelly beans, three tubs of cotton candy, jujubes and candy sticks. Total cost here was $41.  Total running cost is $135.

Candy table the sequel because we had too much candy for one table

Finally we bought a watermelon and a case of water and a box of non brand name fruit o's from the grocery store coming in at $8. Total running cost $143. 
Now my shopping was done and all I had to do was pull the whole party together.

Let me tell you how great it is to have a husband like That Guy. He sat for three nights and made green yellow and pink paper chains.  Why paper chains? Super cute party decor and totally free when you already have tons of construction paper. We took the curtains off the curtain rod and hung the paper chains in front of the window instead. I totally love the effect, but I certainly couldn't have made all those paper chains on my own without That Guy.  Walter decided he also wanted to have a hand in party decorations and took paper strips left over from the chains and "decorated" the walls.

Custom decorated by 4 year old big brother Walter
I tried to make bunting flags out of some scrap fabrics I had.  I wanted to decorate the front of the candy table with it. I do not know exactly what I did wrong, but I promise you gentle readers, it was no good.  So I cheated.  I used some of my left over invitation paper, cut it into triangles and sewed it inside some on hand yellow bias tape. From a distance you can't even tell its paper.

The night before the celebration, after the kids were in bed, That Guy and I hung the six table cloths from the ceiling to our light fixture. It was magical.  We twisted streamers between the table cloths and hung balloons from the the center of the light fixture with on hand curling ribbon. I also used some balloon sticks IO had on hand (yeah, I'm the sort of girl who has balloon sticks on hand) I made up small balloon bouquets in mason jars and set them around the room.

I did buy three candy jars from the dollar store.  But for the most part I just borrowed canning jars from friends to fill with candy. I do not recommend buying a million candy jars for a single use occasion.
side view of candy table

We used six dollar store plastic table cloths and taped them to the ceiling
and our light fixture. 

before guests arrived

One more shot of the candy

I feel some of you have a burning question in your heart. "Where's the cake?!!" And since That Guy is a pastry chef its a very reasonable question.  Here is a photo of our "cake".
Why the quotations around "cake"? Well because it wasn't actually a cake at all! That, gentle readers, is a watermelon.  Not a watermelon flavored cake- a real watermelon. With butter cream icing and a number 2 candle. The how-to will be my next post. 

To keep the children entertained, I chose two simple activities that my two year old could participate in.  First I printed off many free sweet shoppe colouring pages and had a giant dish of crayons.  That might sound juvenile but everyone there seemed to love it- children and adults alike.  
Then the children made their own "candy necklaces".  I had taken my fruity o's cereal and separated them by colour into ice cream dishes. Then using a piece of twine the children strung their own necklaces (or bracelets depending on their attention span)

I host my events between 2-4 in the afternoon because that is the most cost effective time.  Everyone has eaten lunch and no one is expecting dinner. So I get away with finger foods (candy) and "cake".  And THAT is how I hosted a candy birthday for over 30 people for less than $5 per person. 

No comments:

Post a Comment