July 27th, 2011

So, I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do for my kids’ annual birthday party this year! They have birthdays 2 weeks apart, so we will probably do them combined until they reach school age. For a while, I have been saving awesome images, tutorials and sites of things I liked for parties on my google reader and Pinterest.com. (Pinterest is new and I completely LOVE it! You just “pin” photos from sites that you like and they are linked to the site they are posted on)

After looking at all the items I liked, I decided on a Vintage-y type party! There was a very cute site who had kind-of re-done a party idea from someone else and I really liked both of them. I used the theme name “Growing up in a flash“. (they used “one year old in a flash”- and she had seen the blog that did it first- in another way) Since my kids were turning 2 & 4 it didn’t really make sense to use that, I had to change it up! I will get more into the decor later on. For now- here’s some of the photos I saved from random blogs that I really liked and used as inspiration:

This was one of the images I liked that is from a blog I follow, click here for her blog:

This girl Sarah from the  www.fortheloveofblogtherapy.com/ is awesome- she has the greatest, most creative blogposts about parties and cheap and thrifty party decorations, not to mention lots of posts about her thrifty and cute outfits! I love her blog and have been following it for a while. Here’s the exact post I got this photo from:

This is another post from the same blog above, click here for the blog post:

I LOVED this when I saw it and knew that I needed to try and re-create it! So, I got some tan panels from goodwill and used fabric and paper I already had for the ties, pinwheels and fans for it. Pix are below where I show my party pix! Here’s the original site where the photo was:

This is an awesome craft idea that I happened to see before the party- and decided to do a few to sit on the table at the party, to also use later in my house as a nic-nack. Click here for the original post:

I have a cricut and I don’t have very many cartridges because they are kinda pricey. The biggest reason I decided to buy it was because I heard you could buy software that would let you cut files and this means I could use my own designs that I have designed. (and also buy files instead of cartridges that are expensive and take up space) Anyway- I bought this kit first, because I liked it and second, there was a pinwheel in the kit and I used it to see how to make them. I cut the first few out and then just used what I cut out as a pattern. Click here for the kit:

These svg cuts are from the same site as the ones above. Click here for the kit:

This is also from the same blog I mentioned above, it was the original one who did the party “one year old in a flash“.
This was so cool- I really just got the idea of making a hot air balloon cake from this site- but they also have some great other vintage looking ideas and things. (and p.s. I love the this whole table set up- so cute!)  Click here to see the post:

Ok, now for the good stuff! Here is all of the decorations and things that I ended up making for the party:

This photo was taken by my friend Jessica Nelson- here’s her photography site: She took the photos in our “photo booth” at the party! (all the pix throughout this post that look good are hers and the rest are mine haha) This was the main table where I was going to put the food out and the cake, but we had a lot of small tiny people who could just reach the table so I was afraid that we were going to have accidents. I left the food up on the bar area. I will talk about the decor below.

For this party- I really wanted to try to spend the least amount of money as possible, and have anything I could be made from recycled materials. I think I succeeded in doing this, in fact I will outline each dollar I spent and total it below.

I decided to hang up a lot of our favorite photos of the kids that were taken over the past year, since their last party- which I hung up on some ribbon ric-rac. I couldn’t find my photo clips, so I just used barrette clips and hung it up on my blinds. Thanks to my hubby Matt for printing all the pix for me to hang as I was doing other stuff. I spent about $1 on this barrettes and clips probably, minus the ink- not sure about that part. But the awesome part is that most of the decor I did for this party will serve a dual purpose- it will be used for something else or just used in another part of my house after the party is over! I haven’t decided yet but I love these hanging photos and think I might just move them off of the blinds to somewhere else fun in the house and keep switching them out w/ the recent photos I print, after just printing extras of some.

Total spent on the stuff pictured: $1

I used some plastic strawberry holders that I had saved in the garage- I had like 16 of them so it was perfect because that’s about how many kids we had over. I put some cute wrapping paper that I used within a lot of the other decorations and just cut out a square to put on top of the container so the sticker was covered up. Then I added some vinyl lettering to the top of the box to say the kids’ name and filled it with goodies! Unfortunately I didn’t get a photo of these before they left out the door so I will have to post it later!

Total spent on the stuff for this photo: about $1, plus the favors for inside the 16 boxes: $10

For the main sign, I did some vinyl lettering onto some wrapping paper, words saying “Growing up in a flash” and also an old fashioned camera. I hung it on our main living room wall above the couch.

Total spent on the stuff pictured: about $2

I bought 2 wooden arrow signs from the dollar store, painted over them & put vinyl lettering on them that said “photo booth”. (and another little old fashioned camera) I had a photo booth in my daughters room set up and my friend took the photos. (Jessica does photography- here is her blog)

Total spent on the stuff pictured: $2

The photo booth was pretty much copied from the photo above in my photo reference. I bought the curtain panels at Goodwill for $7 on half off day (I still thought it was a bit pricey but cheaper than fabric) and washed, ironed them and made some ties out of fabric I already had. I then hung up more fabric at the top that coordinated with the fabric on the ties- I put it up above the curtains- across the top. Then my mom and I made some pinwheels and rosettes that coordinated and hammered it all to the wall for the photo shoot. It seriously turned out so fun and cute- even though it was a lot of work.

Total spent on the stuff pictured: $7, although everything else did cost me- I already had them.

The above photo are my kiddos, here are some of the other kiddos/families that were there:



I made a sign for the kitchen that said Happy birthday in vinyl and put it on brown wallpaper and cut out around each letter. I then tied them together with some pipe cleaners & curled up the edges of each side and hung each word on top of each other. I then hung a rosette above the sign and put 2 larger pictures to each side.

Total spent on the sign & rosette above it: about $1

For the front room and the kitchen I made some of the tissue paper pom poms. They were so super easy & I love how the colors coordinated with all the decor. The only thing that wasn’t easy about them was hanging them up on the ceiling- I had to have my hubby do it!

Total spent on all the pom poms: $4 (about $1 each pom pom)


I also made some hanging pennants out of some of the same fabric that I made the curtain top and ties out of. I did some that were triangles and some that were kind-of a half circle. It turned out so perfect and just really added to the look of the party. I hung one of the half circle ones on a main kitchen wall, right below a HUGE rosette that I made. I actually like it so much I am thinking of at least leaving the rosette up on the wall. It goes very well with our curtains and wall colors.

Total spent on all my pennants- $0 (I already had the fabric and I traded for it so I paid nothing for it, I also made another rosette for above one of the pennants- and I actually love it there and might just leave it!)


I found some old bottles at a Goodwill store also on half off day, did some puff paint designs on them & then spray painted them in different colors to display on the tables. I also found while thrifting, a dual frame with a flower area inbetween the frame parts. I added some vinyl that said the ages my kids were turning on them, I displayed this on the main table in the kitchen as well.

Total spent on the 3 painted bottles pictured: $3 (plus the paint)

I found some old party hats for like .20 and covered them with the same wrapping paper I had been using throughout the rest of the party. I then added some strings to them after taking the old, ugly ones off. Click here for my tutorial for this project.

Total spent on the party hats and paper to cover them: $1


We did a pool party with some small inflatable pools and the kids had a blast! I really wanted to do more with the outdoor decor but didn’t end up having time to do much out there but a tablecloth. If I had my way- I would have made a bunch of hanging paper mache balls & a bunch of white lights- but this party was from 10-2 so it wouldn’t have mattered about the lights. Anyway there’s only so much time in the day and I did everything practically myself so I ran out of time!

Total spend on the inflatable pool: $50 (and we can use it in our backyard for the kids for the rest of the summer, which is pretty much until like October here)

The cake I worked my butt off on and might I say I was pretty darn proud of myself when I saw the finished project! I did an entire blog post dedicated to just the cake so for that click here.

Total spent on the cake supplies: $82 (I borrowed a bunch of stuff from my friend Jessica so I didn’t have to buy it this time)
Here are the costs, broken down by supply:
$30 – subscription to my cake school website (I highly recommend this site- it’s awesome and helped me tons on this cake! Obviously this is a yearly fee so I wouldn’t have this fee on every cake that I would make)
$20 – fondant (this could have been probably $10-15 but I started off buying the pre-colored fondant. Next time I would just buy the white because it comes in a bigger quantity and is cheaper. It’s not that hard to color your own, and the pre-colored fondant comes in a really small amount)
$12 – figures for the top of the cake (this could also be cheaper because the ones I bought came each in a 2 pack, if I could have found figures somewhere else or at least just as a single it would be less)
$5 – for the supplies to make rice crispies
$1 – wooden dowels
$4 – candles for the cake
$10 – for the 2 cake mixes, sour cream and pudding for the cake
$4 – for the cake boards

The food I had catered from my friend who owns a catering business, if you are in the Phoenix area look her up- her food is great! And she even was awesome enough to carve my kiddos names out of watermelon so that the display was very unique and special, thanks Joan of Ketchup n the kitchen!


Total of all the decorations: $32
Total of the cake decorations: $82
Total for the pool/entertainment: $50

Total party cost: $164 (still a little more than I would want to spend, but I learned several ways to save next time, including on the cake and other items so it’s not a total loss and the memories are priceless!)

Here are a few favorite photos from the party:


I think that the kids had a blast and I think it went pretty well! I am going to add some tutorials a little later to this post on how to make all of these items so keep looking out for them!

As always- thanks for reading!



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2 Responses to “My kids vintage photo style birthday party”

  1. Love your vintage idea! Glad I could also be of some inspiration for your party. It looks like you all had a great time! 🙂

    • clevermama says:

      Thanks! Glad ur reading! Haha it’s nice to get comments here and there so I feel like I’m not just writing for nothing ya know?