Tag Archives: decor

Party on a Budget Tip #3: Use What You Have

Party on a Budget Tip #2: Edible Decor (and free printable)

I had very good intentions of getting this post out earlier, but this household has been hit with the nasty stomach virus, and I’ve been busy doing other not-so-pleasant activities!

Back to the more pleasant subject of party planning!  Did you know that one of the best ways to save money when planning a themed party, is with your food? Why? Food has to figure into your budget one way or the other, right? Well, here is a little secret:  You might be able to fudge on some of your other decor, if you make your food part of the theme, thereby saving money!

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Edible decor has another advantage:  It gets consumed so you don’t have to figure out what to do with it after the party is over. Here’s another secret: I think this is why I enjoy cake decorating so much–I can be crafty, without having to figure out where I’m going to put it after I’ve made it!

Now, before you get overwhelmed, let me clarify.  If cooking and baking is not your thing, ordering pizza is not a wrong choice, or worthy of inducing guilt.  You can still have an epic party!  Your child would rather have a relaxed, fun mom at his  pizza party, than a frazzled Martha Stewart who is barking orders at his perfectly themed and executed party-of-the-century.  I know, because I’ve been both.

However, edible decor, does not necessarily have to be super fancy or even time-consuming, if you use a little imagination.

Edible decor CAN be simple.  Take the picture of the above veggie platter.  I always serve veggies at my parties, so I chose what veggies to serve and HOW to serve them in keeping with my Ninjago theme.  That “snake” is one of the bad guys.  Meet Pythor.  I spent no more money than I would have, but added a great decor element to the theme that my birthday boy loved!

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Here is another great simple example:  Sandwiches cut with a bat cookie cutter to match the Batman theme.  It added no cost to the party, and maybe 5 extra prep minutes, and they got gobbled up.

 

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The menu itself might be chosen based on the theme.  This Kung Fu Panda party menu featured mini egg rolls, “dumplings” (pepperoni & cheese rolls), chow mein noodles served with chopsticks, and “sushi” made with rice krispie treats and gummy candies.

 

 

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This isn’t a great picture to illustrate my point, but sometimes I fall down on the photography job at parties!  Another easy way to use your food as decor, is to choose your food based on it’s color.  Here is party where I chose to do pizza, rather than making a lot of food, so I kept the rest of the food color-coordinated.  I only served orange and yellow food to go with this Nerf theme.  I had lemonade and orangeade (and Pepsi, but hey, black was one of the colors too!), yellow plain chips and orange Cheetos, and yellow peppers and orange carrots as veggies.  Simple, but it still tied into my theme (remember tip #1 about colors?)

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Sometimes, all you need are printed signs with pithy names for your food. And if you are as unimaginative as I am in the name/title/labeling department, well, that is what Pinterest is for!  In our Star Wars theme, we had “Yoda Soda,” “Hutt Dogs,” “Vader Veggies,” and so forth. In fact, if you would like a ***FREE PRINTABLE*** of my Star Wars food labels, subscribe to my blog, and then let me know in the comments section that you would like me to send it to you.

And last, but not least, is using the cake to further your theme, but that is probably a post for another day, since that is a hobby of mine . . . this post is long enough!

I leave you with a few more pics of ways to incorporate your food into the theme.  How have you used your food to build on your party theme?

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No cute way to serve your drinks? No problem. Just slap on a cute themed label in this Pixar “Planes” theme.
Car "tires" for a Pixar "Cars" theme
Car “tires” for a Pixar “Cars” theme
Lego guys heads made with marshmallows, and m&m and yellow candy melt.
Lego mini figure heads made with marshmallows, an m&m and yellow candy melt.
Captain America Shield Fruit Pizza.
Captain America Shield Fruit Pizza.