I was contacted by Balloon Time, the portable helium tank company to compete in a Party on a Dime challenge. The designers were asked to style a complete REAL party for $100 (not a photo shoot party). The winner will win $5,000 for their favorite charity. Of course, this is right up my alley!! Plus if I win my favorite charity would win $5,000! I picked Operation Shower as my charity. I have been volunteering with this charity for a few years now. Being a retired Marine, this charity is near and dear to my heart.
As I started thinking what I was going to do, I realized that as a party planner I have way more “party” props/items than the average person. I don’t think it’s fair if I used all my already owned party stuff and called it a true $100 party! So I challenged myself to only use items I either created or items easily found in the average household.
At first I was going to do a Frozen theme because I found some amazing silver sequin fabric at the Goodwill. That was a lucky find and I seriously doubt that you will be able to find the same 4 yards of fabric for only $3! So had to be more realistic. I went with a farm theme. It’s a classic theme that is so easy to pull off. Plus I bet you have all you need right at home or easily borrowed or inexpensively bought. To have a budget party it’s important to shop your home to find items that you can use.
The tablescape was affordable and super easy that won’t take a craft genius to recreate. I made homemade chili and corn dogs for lunch. This was my first time making homemade corn dogs and I could not believe how easy and yummy they were. I will never buy the frozen premade corn dogs ever again! These tasted like the corn dogs you get from the fair! So yummy!! I will make again this week so I can post the recipe!
I used a white table cloth as my base linen for table. I always like to layer linens for contrast and texture. I bought red and blue bandanas from The Dollar Tree. There was a red and a blue bandana in each pack. I layered red bandanas and a burlap runner I already owned over the white table cloth. (If you don’t have a white table cloth you can use a white sheet and burlap is very inexpensive to purchase.) I made a chalkboard charger. I bought pizza pans from The Dollar Tree and used spray paint chalkboard. I got the chalk from Dollar Tree as well.
I put the chili in small mason jars. I love mason jars because you can use them over and over again. The fabric on top of the jar is actually a shirt I had in the donation pile-free!
I didn’t have any cow print paper so I wrapped the juice boxes in white card stock and used a black sharpie to add the cow spots. Pie tins came from The Dollar Tree with 3 tins in a pack.
My chili recipe called for beans and canned tomatoes so I recycled the cans for my centerpieces. I used scrap fabric and the donation pile shirt again and glued them on the cans. The cost of centerpieces was only my flowers.
I created the chair backs using cardboard that I spray paint chalk board on. It makes it easier if you use a primer first. Then tore strips from the donation pile shirt.
The sweets table consisted of store bought mini cupcakes, a fruit cake, and kettle corn popcorn. A custom cake can cost you over $100 by itself. Why not try a healthy alternative but still make it super cute. This barn fruit cake consisted of watermelon, cantaloupe, blueberries and jicama. You can cut the watermelon and stack into “cake” tiers. Use shaped cookie cutters for the farm animals.
I just love how the fruit cake barn with farm animals turned out!
I used my BalloonTime helium tank to fill the balloons but you could blow them up with just plain air from your lungs. I got the blue balloons from The Dollar Tree and used my handy dandy Sharpie to write SWEET. I found the frame off the side of the road and stapled chicken wire to it. I spray painted clothes pins from the Dollar Tree red to attach the balloons and photos of my “Sweet”ie.
In that same donation pile sitting in my garage, there were a pair of my daughter’s too small cowboy boots. A coat of red spray paint and yee-haw those babies look great!
The chalkboard charger I made using The Dollar Tree pizza tins and chalkboard spray paint were a hit. It’s funny how the simplest things can be so fun.
Then the kiddos painted wooden birdhouses. I got the birdhouses for 97 cents at Walmart and already had the paints.
That chalkboard charger also came in handy with my messy creative daughter.
For favors, I put candy in a balloon, filled it with my Balloon Time helium tank and drew a cow face using markers. I got the white balloons from The Dollar Tree.
That’s it! The total cost spent was $84 for all the food, decor, sweet table, activity and favors. You don’t have to break the bank to have a great party that kids will have fun and remember. I still have TONS of helium left in my Balloon Time tank so I already have more ideas how to use balloons for Madison’s Halloween party this year! Thank you Balloon Time for giving me the opportunity to have such a fun day and the chance to win money for Operation Shower to help more deserving military families.
To learn more about Operation Shower please click here.
To vote for my party to win click here. (You can vote once a day up until September 30th).
*Disclosure~I received a gift card and helium tank to create this party on a budget. If my party wins the charity of my choice will receive $5,000. Even though I am not being directly compensated for this post. I am under consideration to win a competition. All opinions are 100% my own.