frugal birthday ideas
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  1. #1

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    Default frugal birthday ideas

    Hello All! I am not sure if I am posting this in the right place, but here goes. As I am new to this I have many questions. But the most important one I have is this. My Sons 8th birthday is in a few weeks. We have already invited the usual 10 adults plus about 10 kids (which about half usually show up). My son wants the Pokemon theme and I have the tablecloth and candle things from $ store. He wants a Poke ice cream cake (to the tune of $31.00) and we usually have many munchies, drinks and order lots of pizza. I don't have a ton of money this month as property taxes are due also. PLEASE if you have any ideas on how to do all this on a budget, plus a few games and/or treat bags, it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much!

  2. #2

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    When my kids were little one of the craft shops rented specialty Wilton cake pans.

    I made My Little Pony cakes for dd and Transformers for ds.

    It was simple to decorate. You bake the cakes in the shape pans, and then use a star icing tip to pipe coloured stars to fill in the cake.

    Like using coloured dots to colour in a picture.

    Another thing is to make a slab cake, ice it, and then use colour icing to make a picture by "drawing" the lines with a narrow tip that makes a thin string of icing.

    Fill in like colouring a picture using the star tip.

    OK that works best if you invest in a tiny set of Wilton paste food colouring which lasts a lifetime. You only dip a toothpick in to take out enough to colour an entire bowl of icing.

    And the colours are rich and strong.

    I threw mine away after the kids got older. it's the sort of thing you use when they are the party age and it's great to have some on hand.

    I wasn't into doing cakes for showers and weddings or I'd have kept the paste colours.

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    oh and use plain strong ziplock freezer bags, cut the corner and insert the icing tip for a cheap disposable icing bag.

    Icing is simple and cheap to make.

    Start with some butter or margerine, beat till fluffy and start adding icing sugar and a touch of vanilla as per the recipe on the icing sugar bag.

    You don't need a mix, this is just as simple and very very cheap.

    You can borrow some icing tips from a friend if you know anyone who has one, or just buy some from a store like Michaels or Walmart.

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  5. #4

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    Rather than treat bags, I like to do a craft for the child to take home with them. It also fills time as an activity. We went to a boy's party last summer. His mom had picked up foam visors and pre-stickied foam bugs. All the kids decorated their visors with bugs. The girls used ladybugs & butterflies; the boys used spiders and beetles.

    If you haven't already made out the invites, I suggest dropping the pizza and scheduling the party at a time that could never be construed as meal time, such as 2-4pm. That would save a lot of money. You could still have a few munchies (mostly for the adults - the kids will be busy tearing around) and the cake. If your ds has his heart set on pizza, make a homemade one for the family for dinner that evening.

    I would also use plain white paper plates & napkins. You've already got the table cloth, candles & cake that are in the theme; that's enough. OTOH, you could use your regular dishes, not paper plates, but that's a lot of dishes to wash, and I don't know if your regular stuff is too nice to trust to a handful of 8 yo boys. You could also use disposable for the kids and regular for the adults.

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    Registered User SewCrafty's Avatar
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    Originally posted by canadian gardener

    Another thing is to make a slab cake, ice it, and then use colour icing to make a picture by "drawing" the lines with a narrow tip that makes a thin string of icing.

    Fill in like colouring a picture using the star tip.

    This is how I made all my nieces and nephews birthday cakes years ago. Just baked a 13x9 cake, I ripped a page out of a coloring book of the character they wanted. Lay it on top of the cake wherever you want and use a toothpick to poke holes through the outline of the design or character. Then just fill in as Margery said using a star tip and use the coloring book as a guide. They came out great. Back then I did Smurf's and sports and instruments that I remember. LOL

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    thank you all so much, such wonderful ideas! I looked at Michaels website and they do not have poke pans, so I will do SewCrafty's idea of the 9' by 13' pan and poke the toothpick through. Margery, I will use your recipe for the frosting, I just hope I can do a good enough job of decorating. Also, I like the craft idea in leiu of party bags. Much less expensive and will fill the time. Thank you ladies.

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    I did a Pekemon Party for ds years ago......

    Tape a Pokemon card to each kids back when they come in. The can ask the other kids questions to try and guess which pokemon they are.

    Print a poster of a Pokemon with it's mouth wide open and fix it to the front of a paper towel or TP box from the store. Cut out the mouth and improvise some bean bags for the kids to toss in it's mouth. Maybe you could lay the poster flat and they could toss Pokemon cards onto it.

    We always do Birthday T-shirts where I print an iron on to go with the party theme, then let the guests decorate it with permanent markers.

    The kids could take turn acting out different Pokemon for the others to guess.

    They could make pokemon masks from paper plates and construction paper......

    You can make an ice cream cake with ice cream bars.........

    At Gracie's party we made mini pizzas with canned biscuits. HUGE hit!

    Treat bags, the kids love those don't they? Plain brown bags work just as good as the fancy ones. I've got a Nobbies nearby, and that helped a lot. I always got generic things and after a few years I had a wonderful stash of little prize/goodie bag things; stickers, little yo yos, little bouncy balls. Maybe they have some packs of stuff at the Dollar Store that you can break up.

    Have fum!

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    Moderator aka AmyBob AmyBoz's Avatar
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    I'm reading this thread with great interest, as Julia's party is this weekend. Thanks for the great ideas!

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    Registered User chewawalove's Avatar
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    What I did for some of my DK's cakes (years ago) was to bake a 13x9 cake and frost it plain. In some cases we did some decorative icing, but the decor of the cake was small figures of whatever the theme was.

    A couple of examples--

    Peanut Farmer cake-(peanuts are a big $ crop here)-cake w/ white frosting. In one area vanilla wafer and chocolate cookie crumbs crushed together became dirt in the field, I just spread it in a rectangle and made a few "rows" with the handle of a plastic spoon. Added a small toy metal tractor and "peanut wagon".
    The "peanuts" were larger crumbs of vanilla wafers.

    The dinosaur cake--Again 13x9 cake frosted in white with a little decorative icing. Then added a small pool of water-which was a piece of blue plastic wrap cut into kind of a jelly bean shape. Frosting around the edge of the water, covered with the same "dirt" as above. I think I added some kind of candy for rocks, but I can't remember. Added a couple of sprigs of silk greenery for bushes & trees, and added a couple of large dark gumballs or something for dinosaur eggs. Last touch was a few plastic dinosaurs.

    I have in some cases, bought a plain frosted cake from the bakery, but you have to make sure that they know that you want a plain cake. or just what you want added. The plain cakes weren't nearly as costly as the decorated ones.

    It's been a while since I've done a fun cake, the dk's are teenagers. I think I'll start working on an idea for the church valentine dinner. Our youth feed the seniors the Saturday before Valentine's. If I do one I'll try to post photos.

    Sorry this was so-o-o long.

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    Registered User schellie69's Avatar
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    I guess I am a strange person I have not had birthday partys for my kids I let them pick what they want for supper and their dessert, Then I make it and we have a party after dinner I then either give them the gifts or they have the choice of which adult they want to take them shopping for their gift with x amount of money that way they get some one on one time with the adult and also. All my kids are summer babies so sometimes hard to plan a party during the summer I also watch for mark downs threw the year and make a fun bag or we make name place cards and sometimes we make other crafts depends on whats in the craft box at the time. They also get out of their evening chores for that day such as dishes ect. And if they want they can help mom fix the dinner or just sit and chat all my kids love this. they love having the one on one time more then a party. Sometimes if I have had the chace to put the money back we might even go out to the place of their choice with in reason. but lately money has been to tight for that so the homemade dinner they still love. yougest ds had corn dogs fries and cheesecake for his last birthday he loved it.

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    Registered User missymomof3's Avatar
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    I started baking a cake myself and letting the kids decorate them themselves a couple of years ago and it has become a tradition in my family. I buy sprinkles, candies and decorations and they have a blast! Also my son's birthday is in July so we have it at a local park. No games are needed. The kids get to spend the time playing at the playground! The park I use has very long tables so it works out great.

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    I found some ideas when I googled "pokeman birthday party", so you could do that for party ideas. I read that instead of a cake, decorate cupcakes to look like Poke-balls (those red & white balls they live in), make a Pikachu pinata from paper grocery bags, etc.

    I schedule our parties for 1:30 - 3:30, so I just serve munchies that I've gotten super-cheap and stockpiled. I would definitely skip the pizza, or make your own. You can always get munchies & soda at the dollar store or Walmart, to keep prices down. If you still need any decorations, have your DS pick his favorite Pokemon Character, and then use those colors for your theme. For example, my DD's favorite is Pikachu, so I'd go with yellow plates & color theme. I usually get 1-2 items in the actual theme, then compliment with solid color items, which can be used for later parties.

    You can also download coloring pages for free, and have the kids color them, then tape them to the wall in the room where most of the party will be. You can also skip the treat bags. I read somewhere that the treat is getting invited to the party, so why do you need to give out more? LOL

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    Registered User missymomof3's Avatar
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    Oh, by the way, you can buy just the decorations that Kroger uses for their cakes. I bought Lord of the Rings once and got them for $7

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    Registered User celina's Avatar
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    http://www.birthdaypartyideas.com/ht...mon_party.html

    here is a list of a ton of people who did pokemon parties and what they did...this site is awesome....for any theme

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