Girls Tea Party On A Budget

(The little girl with Reagan in the picture is my friend Shannon's (who helps so much with PPP) daughter Faith . . . we figure they'll both be in therapy for years one day together thanks to their penny-pinchin' mommas, but they're awfully cute now!) 😉




Last weekend, my sweet Reagan turned six (yikes!) and we had the most fun getting ready for her party. I counted it up, and as of tomorrow when I throw my oldest's 13th birthday party, I'll have hosted a whopping 29 birthday parties for these crazy kiddos.  But I'm thinking this tea party was my favorite!


I would love to tell you that I was completely organized and had planned things for months, but I literally sent invitations out via evite on Tuesday and hosted her party on Saturday. (I know, I know . . . I should have had my act together sooner!) I made a good list two days before the party after checking out several fun ideas on Pinterest, and set to work. Here's what we did to get ready . . .



First these are the things I purchased:

  • 5 glass canisters for goodie bag gifts ~ $5 at the Dollar Tree
  • 1 bag pink “grass” ~ $1 at the Dollar Tree
  • 2 dozen Gigi's Mini Cupcakes ~ Free thanks to Groupon (they were $14.99 but I had some free credit that I used)
  • 2 rolls wide ribbon ~ $4 on 50% off sale at Hobby Lobby
  • 4 sheets scrapbook paper ~ $1 50% off sale at Hobby Lobby
  • napkins and table cloth ~ $2 at the Dollar Tree
  • 10 yards pink tulle to dress up chairs ~ $7.62, $1.27 per yard at Hobby Lobby, used 40% off coupon (2 yards per chair)
  • 5 cellophane bags ~ $2.50 (I was at our local cake store and think I could have found them cheaper, but wanted to grab them when I found them so I didn't have to hunt them down!)
  • styrofoam door hangers and stickers to decorate and keep the girls busy for a few minutes ~ $3
  • 1 princess crown cookie cutter to make cheese sandwiches ~ $1.99 at the cake store
  • 1 bag Hershey Kisses for gift bags ~ $1.99 (clearanced Easter candy at Publix)
  • 1 loaf bread for cheese sandwiches ~ $1.20 (BOGO Nature's Valley at Publix)
  • 2 lb. grapes ~ $3.39 (on sale $1.69 at Publix)
  • 1 bag goldfish ~ $1.29 (BOGO at Publix)
  • 1 box Rice Krispies Treats ~ $1.54 (BOGO at Publix)
  • 1 jar apple juice for “tea” $1.49 (BOGO at Publix)
  • 2 rose bouquets (on sale $3.49 at Publix ~ I also added a few daisies that I had leftover from Easter brunch that survived the week)
  • three plates ~ $20 (the “tiered” cake stand was actually three plates that were on clearance at Hobby Lobby from Easter sale – these were a splurge but I fell in love with them and will use them for Easter and other birthday parties!)
  • Martha Stewart Crafts Pom Poms, Pink, 2 Sizes (these were so cute, but I undoubtedly could have made them for less than $1. . . I'll do a tutorial on how to make them in another Friday Fluff Up project ~ all you need is tissue and some florist wire!)
  • Total Spent: $79.99 ~ which includes the plates that I'll re-use (I wish I hadn't spent the $14 on those Pom Poms but they were really cute, and now I know how to make them!)


Here's what we already had at home:

  • silver teapot
  • picture frames with Reagan in them to “fluff” up the buffet
  • my Cricut cutter to make name tags and “Tea Time” sign ~ I'll also use the sign in her scrapbook
  • our regular everyday dishes and silverware (saved me from buying plastic and paper plates) 
  • ribbon from our Easter decorations to hang the Tea Time sign with


(These were $1 canisters at the Dollar Tree filled with clearanced Hershey Kisses from Easter and then I used my Cricut with vellum that I already had to “monogram” them. So simple!)


And very quickly, here are a few tips on how to frugally plan a party:


1.  Use what you have on hand. When I was at the Dollar Tree looking at cups and plates to use for the party, I really wasn't all that excited about anything they had. I knew though that purchasing super cute plates at Hobby Lobby would quickly add up though, but it finally dawned on me that these girls were big enough to use our every day dishes, and the table looked so much prettier than it would have with paper products!


2.  Make a very detailed list of what you need before shopping. Every time I walk into a store I'm tempted to buy something “extra”. So on Thursday, I looked over the Publix ad to see what items I could use for the party that were on sale, and made an exact list of what I would need, eliminating multiple trips to the store.


3.  Purchase Holiday candy when its on clearance if you know you have a party coming up. I was able to stock up on everything for the girls “goodie” bags for next to nothing because Easter had just passed, and those pastel colored kisses were perfect!


4.  Remember that presentation goes a long way. I spent under $2 on the girl's party gifts, but by cutely wrapping them they looked way more expensive and fun than they really were! Also, remember that it's not your job to give a huge gift to each child who attends your child's party, so just something special to remember the occasion is perfect. (I know some people don't do goodie bags at all, but my kids do always love getting something tiny at a party, and I love making them!)


Here's what that princess really looks like most of the time. Can you tell she was a wee bit tired of me taking pictures? 😉

5.  Shop the Dollar Tree and Target's Dollar Bins (I think Michael's has some great Dollar Bins too.) I cannot begin to tell you how many great items I've purchased at the Dollar Tree for my kids parties, including paper products, game ideas, and goodie bag ideas, so definitely check them out with an open mind about what you can use!


6.  Plan simple fun.  The girls colored pictures when they all got here and made styrofoam door hangers that I'd picked up at the Dollar Tree ~ they easily spent thirty minutes working on that. Then they had “tea”, played dress up, and danced to music (watching five little girls dance was a hoot!)  Before their parents got here, we played the beach ball game that I'd made for my older daughter's party and they had so much fun . . . keep it simple and don't feel like every minute has to be a huge event.


7.  A party at home is really okay. I think we've only had one birthday party for all of my children that wasn't at home, and while it's usually easier to have it hosted somewhere else, you can save a bundle by having parties at home. They do take a bit more time to plan (and especially if you work, your time has value too!), however if you need to stick to a budget, don't feel like you have to take your child and all their friends somewhere to have a party. (It's sometimes hard to be the one who has all the parties at home, but usually my kids are pretty happy with them and the kids always seem to have fun!)


 What other suggestions do you have for hosting birthday parties in your home? I'd love to hear them . . . leave a comment and let me know what you think!


I'd love for you to join me over on Pinterest (I love that place!)  If you have a blog and have done a little fluffing in your home, I’d love to see it, so leave your link in the comments section. Also, if there’s a craft you’ve seen on a website that you’re hoping to make, feel free to share that link as well (I’m always looking for new ideas!)




See previous Friday Fluff Up projects and ideas . . . and Happy Fluffing!


This post is linked up to Follow Our Thrift at I Am That Lady. Thanks for the opportunity to link up!

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  1. As I read this and look through the pictures, I am brought to tears. Happy tears and sad tears…. It reminds me of the tea party I planned and gave my daughter at 2 at my mother’s home in her back yard. (It was a day that I announced another pregnancy as well…. I lost that baby and I lost my mother in December. I also lost all those photos and such in a tornado that took our home 2 years ago). I feel like I have lost the last two years cleaning a mess, preparing another home, and caring for my mother (Which was the most wonderful honor ever… I LOVE HER!!!) and now wrapping up with the “business” of the insurance company (tornado) and mother’s “stuff”. My daughter will turn 8 in May and I believe I will squeeze in a tea party for her. I loved seeing all those smiles and beautiful colors. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Bless your heart Angela ~ I’m so sorry! I think a tea party for her birthday would be perfect, and bet it will be just beautiful. My heart hurts for you, but I know your sweet girl will love every minute of it.

  3. I love this. Too bad I don’t have a girl. Lol. I was wondering if you have any ideas for a boys 13th bday party.

    • My sons birthday is today and he turned 13 too, so I’ll post the ideas we came up for that one next Friday! Definitely not as cute, but he’s pretty excited 🙂

  4. Your tea party photos are beautiful!! Check out this website – This is a co-worker of mine that creates printables for parties that you download and print yourself. Look at the cute stickers you can print to put on the bottom of the Hershey’s kisses with quotes on them. Also, if you email her, she can personalize a party for you. Very affordable. She can do any holiday but I believe the photos will show Easter and Christmas.

  5. thank you so much for sharing all the pictures and ideas and “how to” You’re an inspiration to all of us. Our family also always (with the exception of 3 parties) have home parties. They’re the BEST!! You made me stop and think – my son is 16 and daughter, 13. We’ve had 26 home parties! Can’t wait to see what you did for your son’s 13th.

  6. Lisa Gonzalez says

    I would have never thought of buying a groupon ahead if time for cupcakes!! Thanks!

  7. Everything look beautiful,I was thinking about this for my five year old I know its gonna be handful , I have four girls and now everyone wants a tea party.

  8. I am doing a tea party theme for my daughter’s 6th birthday party next month. Thanks for the ideas!

  9. One thing I always do when I host a sleepover is let the girls have a screaming contest. It loosens them up and gets them over some shyness and ready for fun.

  10. So you actually did not serve tea right? Thank you so much for these ideas and for embracing the traditional birthday at home.

  11. Thank you so much for this great ideA. It’s only a week before my three year birthday and I had no idea what I would do. Her birthday is great after the holidays so I could not put much effort as I should have in planning her birthday. After hosting Thanksgiving and Christmas I was burnt out. Thanks again for your amazing details in planning your tea party.

  12. Great – and FUN ideas! What’s the point of great if it isn’t fun for the birthday girl? She will have such wonderful memories. Thanks!


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