Monday, October 5, 2015

Donut Birthday Party for Under $150

Anyone who knows pretty much anything about my oldest daughter knows that she LOVES donuts. She's crazy about them, really! So I don't think that anyone will be surprised to find out that when she recently turned 4 (how is that possible, by the way?!), we threw a donut birthday party! It was simple, fun, and I think it goes without saying--delicious.
In the past we have done mostly friend + family parties and invited many guests. This year, since my daughter is getting older and really starting to form good friendships, we did just a friend party. She told us everyone she wanted to invite and I whipped up some invitations on Canva and printed them at home for free! 
We were planning to have the party in our backyard, but of course, it poured rain the whole day before so our backyard was soaked and since it was a 9 a.m. party it didn't have time to dry out and was too cold. So the night before, we made the executive decision to clear all of the furniture out of our living room and set up tables in there. Nothing like last minute changes! The decor didn't all work out accordingly, since I had specific uses for it outside, but we did end up using most of it and figuring out a few different things. Not exactly what I had in mind, but it worked! 
Since we were having an early morning party (which, by the way, I got lots of feedback from parents that they loved this since they were able to come and do it first thing, but not have a party take up their whole Saturday...I wasn't sure if it would be a love or hate, but general consensus was love), we got pretty much everything ready the night before and all we really had to do in the morning was go pick up the donuts and set out the milk. 
On the menu was: 
Donuts, donuts and more donuts

White milk
Chocolate milk
Strawberry milk


Apples & bananas
It was pretty simple. The fruit was barely touched, but it was fine because our family ate it throughout the next week.  I had to throw in something healthy, so that we didn't just sugar up these kiddos and send them on their way. 
For the water, I just made up water bottle labels that went along with the theme, which was easy and free. For the milks, I bought 3 carafes from Wal-Mart for about $4 each and put the various milks in them with labels in front. The strawberry milk was the winner among the little ones.

 I bought 2 packs of mini milk bottles from Michael's, then did a sprinkle rim, which the kiddos loooooved! Huge hit! All you have to do is dip the bottle into frosting, then dip directly into sprinkles and shake off the excess. Took me about 2 minutes and the kids seriously thought it was the best thing ever! 

For the food, we just got a variety of donuts from 2 different places in town. 
I also picked up individual packs of mini donuts from Sam's Club to give out as party favors and had lots of extra, so we put those out on a tray as well. Actually, those got eaten a lot more than I thought they would! 
I bought 2 plastic cake stands from Party City for $3 each to put the donuts on. Will definitely use these again in the future! 

As far as seating, I rented kids tables and chairs from the local event place per Lyndsey's suggestion, which I intended to be cheap ($6 for a kid's table), but ended up being about $35 when all was said and done. It was a great idea but I probably wouldn't rent from this specific place again, because I paid $1.50 per chair and they were like the cheap-o Walmart chairs you can buy for a few dollars there, so I didn't feel like it was worth it, but the lady didn't describe accurately what I was getting over the phone. Over all, I needed to do this since I was seating so many little ones to eat and it worked out! 

For the decor, I kept this pretty simple. I had created a backdrop scheme for outside, but it didn't really end up working inside since we placed the food table in front of our sliding door. I had planned to drape some plastic table cloths and then use wrapping paper for a back drop along with these little poofs I got from Walmart, but we ended up just using one table cloth and the poofs. It worked and was fine, but wasn't what I had originally planned. I spread out sprinkles on the food table as just a little touch. 

Then in the living room, we used white plastic table cloths on the kid's tables, with a wrapping paper runner down the center. I already had the wrapping paper sitting in my basement that happened to be the exact colors of the party theme,so since we had to switch things up last minute, this worked well!
It felt weird to leave my normal decor on our big white shelf, but it looked too empty without anything, so I wrapped one of the things I usually have up there, put up a donut gift bag and as people arrived, we put gifts up there! It worked out perfectly! Until all of the kids were super confused why she couldn't open the wrapped wooden sign--they just didn't get that it wasn't an actual gift..I didn't think that through I guess! I also put a paper banner I found at Walmart up there, and it matched the theme perfectly! 

We printed off these little donuts, and made a donut trail from the street up to our door. I meant to make a sign that said "Donut you want to come in?" but didn't have time when we changed things up at the last second. 
For activities, I made a giant donut out of poster board (.50 at dollar tree) and paint, and then cut strips of construction paper, and we played pin the sprinkle on the donut. The kids thought this was a blast and most of them had never played pin the tail on the donkey, or any similar game before so it was fun for them.

 I had also taped a donut coloring sheet to each spot, so the kiddos colored those as they came in and while they ate. Eating was pretty much the biggest activity, that both kids and parents participated in and enjoyed. Outside, I was planning on blowing up our donut floatie and then playing donut toss, and having kids try to toss the bean bag into the center of the donut, but we didn't do it inside after all. Also, I don't think I mentioned that since it was a morning time breakfast party, we had the kids all come in the pajamas, which was super fun and cute! Everyone had fun seeing all of the pajamas since they don't usually see each other in jammies. 

For the favors, I gave each kiddo an individual pack of donuts with a little personalized label stuck on with washi tape that said "Thanks a 'hole' bunch". Easy and they all loved it! 

I made a little donut "cake" with just a few donuts stacked that she blew out candles with.

That was pretty much it! We were wrapped up by about 10:30 or 11. It was short and sweet (literally) and I think everyone had a great time! I know the birthday girl did and that's all that matters to me! 
It was important to me to keep it pretty cheap this year, and it all came together nicely, even with the larger table & chair rental cost. The best part is that so much of it I will be able to use again, like all of the serving and display stuff, milk bottles, etc. Here is a breakdown of cost + sources. 
Invitations: FREE
Carafes: $12.75 after tax 
Cake stands: $6.40 after tax
Table & Chair Rental: $34.20
Milk Bottles: $14.98
Tablecloths (dollar tree & walmart): around $5
Paper goods (plates, cups, napkins, etc.): $4 (P.S. Walmart recently set up a new 97 cent party section that is the best thing of my LIFE! One of our stores had an entire aisle dedicated to it with super CUTE stuff, and the other one just had a small section, but worth checking out! They had lots of decor stuff, plus all of the paper goods as well.) 
   -Wrapping paper for table runners: FREE, already had
   - Poof/"flutter balls": $1.97 each x 3 = $6.32 after tax 
   - Paper straws: $2.64 (similar)
   -Banner: $2.43 (Walmart in the party section)
    Party Favors: $5
Food: around $52 for 3 1/2 dozen donuts, mini donuts, 5 lbs apples, 6 lbs bananas, milk, chocolate milk, strawberry syrup, bottled water and we had LOTS of everything left over!

TOTAL: $145.72

I have never really added up how much I've spent on parties in the past (some we have done meals and others not, so that makes a big difference), but I think we did well on this one! It was quick and the kids had fun and everyone left full! The theme ended up being just perfect for my little donut loving 4 year old, and she was thrilled with the result! 
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