Party on a Budget Tip #1: Theme & Colors

Recently, I have had a few people contact me to ask me about party ideas and tips.  If you are friends with me on Facebook, you know that throwing birthday parties for my boys with full-on themes is a hobby of mine.  I LOVE to plan parties–from the basic theme to the cake, to the theme-related games!

However, I also have a budget to adhere to, so I have come up with a few go-to ideas and hacks that help keep me (somewhat) in check when I go shopping for everything I “need” to throw a party that will be “epic” (at least in my boys’ minds, and that is who matters)!

Over the next few weeks, I will be posting several tips, so if you want to make sure you don’t miss out on any of the tips, please subscribe to my blog in the sidebar!

This first tip, is pretty basic, and if you have done a few parties of your own, you might roll your eyes when you read it.  But for those of you who haven’t done parties, and feel a little overwhelmed at the thought of planning it, here is the FIRST basic step you need to take:

Tip #1:  Pick your THEME and your COLORS

So many themes and only one birthday per year per child!  But, at some point, in order to plan a party, you have to know WHAT the party is going to be about.  How do you pick your theme?


Look at your child’s favorite toy, TV show, activity, etc.  One of my boys was (and is) very attached to his “blankie.”  It started with his “Woobie” which was one of those soft blankets with a stuffed animal attached to it.  So for his first birthday, I made him cake with a fondant “blanket” and a bear head that was draped over his cake. If I could locate that picture, I would post it!

For another one of my children, I made a “3” cake, which he loved!10940582_10152980034865053_2731498027540527244_n

One of my children was born on 8/8/08, so he is tentatively planning on having an “8” birthday party them when he turns 8 this year!  That may change, but it’s a fun concept!

Does your child like Superheroes, Sophia the First, Mickey & Minnie Mouse, Dr. Seuss, dinosaurs, Legos, baseball, swimming, a certain type of doll, ballet, gymnastics . . .? Any of those make for a great party theme!


After picking your theme, you need to pick your COLORS.  Think 2-3 colors with maybe a 4th one thrown in for an accent.

Last year, I did a Chima theme.  When I googled “Chima,” the colors for my theme were pretty obvious, so I went with light blue and yellow.  Can you see 1782099_10152962829605053_301082132037931937_nhow the colors are repeated over and over in the background, the tablecloths, the paper goods, the cake, the drink, and even some of the food? Even the party favors were blue and yellow “chi balls” (gumballs).

If you are doing a theme based on a TV character, your color choices may be made for you–Mickey Mouse is red, black & white, Sophia the First is going to revolve around purple, etc.  But sometimes you can have a theme that doesn’t automatically lead you to your colors–Legos, Cowboys, etc.  Then you have a couple of options–go to the store and see what is available in that theme, and let the paper-goods, streamers, banners, etc., decide your colors.  Or just pick your child’s favorite color and work around that!

Does that mean you can never depart from those 2-3 colors?  Absolutely not!  You can’t do EVERYTHING in those 2-3 colors.  BUT, when someone walks away from your party, and they are describing it, you want to hear those 2-3 colors come into the description.

In the picture below, I had a double-birthday party–Royals and Star Wars.  Can you see, how at a glance, you can tell the difference between the two themes because of how the colors set them apart from each other?


Colors are a good way to narrow down your options and simplify the planning.  They are also a budget-friendly way to pull your theme together.

9 thoughts on “Party on a Budget Tip #1: Theme & Colors

  1. Oh Hanna, you are so creative! I wish I had known all this when my son was young. I will be following this and maybe can pass along idea to our daughter-in-law for the grandsons. Thank you!

    1. Thanks! But in all fairness to you, Pinterest didn’t exist yet! The sharing of ideas, has definitely helped me get better at this, which is why I want to share my ideas with others!

      1. I am working on a double birthday party right now. One year old girl and five year old boy. Should be interesting.
        I always love looking at your party pics.

        1. Candy, let me know what you do! It’s not easy to do a double! Mine wasn’t initially supposed to be a double, so the themes were not related in any way. If I knew they were going to be together from the beginning, I would have tried to do some sort of “combination” theme.

          1. I am not really trying to put the themes together this time. Doing super heroes for Micaiah and hearts for Noelle. They will overlap a little with color- red and blue mainly for super heroes and red and pink hearts for the girl side.

        2. I am not really trying to put the themes together this time. Doing super heroes for Micaiah and hearts for Noelle. They will overlap a little with color- red and blue mainly for super heroes and red and pink hearts for the girl side.

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