So this isn't something new that I did. This was my daughter's 2nd birthday party that was back in April. I felt that the state of the economy and how tight every one's belt is now, that it shouldn't hold us back from throwing a very fun and cheap party! Now I got most of my ideas for the decor from Familyfun.com, more specifically this link. But some of the things were a little too advanced for all the 2 year old's that were going to be there so I made some little twists.
For the invitations I just used some Green card stock paper and cut them into Palm Leaves (helped to set the mood:)
Then for the favors I made "backpacks" out of 2 paper bags, some cardboard and some jute twine. I decorated the outsides with foam letters and shapes:
Inside I had made "binoculars" out of toilet paper rolls, saran wrap and construction paper with a twine strap, stickers, fruit snacks, little animals that I found at Michaels in a tube for $6 and split them up, and these fun animal hats that were at Michaels. Now these were the most expensive things that the kids got as they were $6 a piece as well (luckily my mom purchased those which helped a lot, but I was planning on making paper masks, but these were a big hit!)
Then at the end of the party we gave the kids these (which my mother-in-law and sister-in-law made). This way the kids weren't hopped up on cake and cupcakes:
Now for the decorations, I called my former employer and asked if I could borrow their "Jungle" for the weekend. We picked up all their bushes and trees Friday late afternoon and brought them back on Monday morning.
We also made vines out of 2 rolls of craft paper ($1.50 per roll). You just cut out strips and crunch and twist them. I wanted lots of them, but after a while your hands start to burn a little, so brace yourself for that. And finally we cut out big leaves from poster paper.
Now the cake was probably my favorite thing to make. I am not a cake decorator by any means, but this cake was so easy to make and turned out so great! Here is the link for all the directions. I just took a cheap cake mix and some cheap frosting and made the cake in a square pan. The scene on the top is made of Milk Duds, Runts, Tootsie Rolls, Laffy Taffy, and a Cow Tail.
You roll the monkeys out of the Tootsie Rolls and form the bodies, legs, faces... everything out of the Tootsie Rolls. The leaves on the trees were supposed to be Green Fruit Roll Ups, but we could not find it for the life of us!!! So we had to improvise and I used the Laffy Taffy.
This was so easy and so fun to make! All in all this party cost under $100 including all the decorations and the favors for 8 kids. Most of the stuff was free like the paper bags (thank you Fred Meyer in Coeur d'Alene), toilet paper rolls, and tress. Everything else was as cheap as we could possibly get it and I'm sure you could do it for less, especially if you didn't have those animal hats.
And yes, I even enjoyed myself at the party too: