How Much Does Hiring a Party Planner Cost?

We would like to share our tips and tricks on how we put together this fabulous look for less. But first, I have a multiple-choice question; How much do you think a party planner would charge to create a look like this?

The answer is $100 or more, and that doesn’t include inviting food favors or entertainment. We are going to share with you our tips and tricks and also, we will share our entire cost for the party that includes everything from beginning to end. 

First, start with our inspiration. We went to one of our customers and the only detail she gave us was that she wanted a sleepover and she wanted donuts. With such limited input, we began to shop for inspiration. After finding these cups the idea of a sweet dream’s birthday party was born. Because it’s a sleepover and we’re going to have a ton of sweets during this party that we have the inspiration for. 

Sending Out Your Kids Birthday Party Invitations

Let’s start with the invitation; we wanted the invitation to mimic a bed since it was a sleepover and also, we wanted the bedding to be sweet treats and have a blanket that had donuts on it. To make the mock bed, we used an empty box that used to have binder clips in it and we just painted it blue with some paint. If you don’t have an empty box, you can always go to your local convenience store and pick up these gift boxes, and they come three in a pack and use that as your box for the bedding. But we want it to have a clear top so you can see right through it, then just take some of your local convenience store ribbon and a hole punch and put the name on it. 

When you open the present, you just pull on the pillow and pull out the actual invitation and all the details for the party. In the background, we put in some donuts and it just says ‘’Sweet dreams, you’re invited to raise a 15th birthday sleepover’’ and at the end, we just say ‘’Do not Fall Asleep.’’ That was the invite, and instead of making 20 of these invites, we just made one invite and the customer took a picture of the invitation and actually texted it to all of her friends. She did not want to go to school and pass out the invitations for fear that someone would be upset that they weren’t invited or anything like that and she didn’t want to go through the expense of having to use a part of her budget to mail them to her friends. The price of this invitation cost $3. That was basically having to buy the minimum amount of both of these types of fabric, everything else we had at home. After all, we have to deal with decor. 

Balloon Engineers

Decorating Your Party on a Budget

Here is our tip when decorating for a party on a budget; You want to choose one area to decorate well and make it a wow factor, instead of trying to spread the decor out all over the place and everything ends up looking whoa. We chose to use the basement for our wow factor to decorate for this party. Our first stop for cheap decor is your local convenience store, let us share with you our local convenience store DIY we made for this party. The space that we were decorating was twelve feet long, eight feet high, and four feet wide. Therefore, we needed to get some pretty large decorations for the cheap. Here’s what we did; What do you think you get if you take your local convenience store blue and some of your local convenience store foam board? 

You get these beautiful hanging food signs. We made one that says “drink” and the other one says “eat.” Here’s what we did in order to make these signs; we spray painted the hula hoop gold then we cut out the foam board into the shape of the hula hoop. We painted the foam board with pink craft paint then we blew up on the projector then we kind of traced that out and filled it in with some black craft paint. 

One thing that we always do is recycle things and use them over and over. So, we used a hot glue gun to glue this recycled flower here but we made sure the hot glue was strategically placed. When we pull this off it can actually be used in other arrangements. Always try to reuse things and repurpose things that you already have. Whenever we’re making something, we think about how we can take it apart so that we can just build it onto the craft stack or craft stash. Then that way with future events we don’t have to repurchase anything. 

Total spent was: $2 per sign, $1 for the hula hoop, and $1 for the foam board. Everything else, we had a key goal spray paint on deck as well as all the flowers we had. The next big DIY project for this space was actually our focal point and that was our donut wall. This donut wall is about four and a half feet tall by three feet wide. The total cost of this DIY project was $50. The frame out of frame that was a really large frame, it was taken out of a master bedroom and brought that down to the basement. 

All of these little wooden pieces we purchased three dolls and the downs were 60 cents apiece. That came out to be almost $2, and we strategically placed and glued all the dolls on to accommodate all 48 donuts. In total $36 went into the actual donuts, then $2 went to the Dow, and $1 went to the foam board. 

Then the backing on this frame is an underlayment floor, and that cost $10 from Home Depot; We painted that pink with some craft paint we already had. Remember to shop your home and use things that you have pulled down decorations off your walls or anything like that to help give your decor and nice sophisticated feel. Other inexpensive and free DIY decor items that we did were these popcorn boxes. This is a local convenience store item if you can look inside you see those plastic popcorn containers that come in a pack. We spray painted them a baby pink and gold and then added the popcorn on the top. What’s so great about these is that you can use them over and over when the kids come, they just pull out the package of popcorn and eat directly out of the package, so that way you get to keep the containers and you can just reuse them. 

Food Decor and Food Items

We also have to think about food décor and how we’re going to present or display our food items. Choosing the right materials to display even the most basic foods beautifully will up the ante of your party. We always collected little brass candlesticks over the years. Little brass candlesticks from the Goodwill can run me anywhere from 77 cents to $1. In this case, we pulled out my various candlesticks with different heights and just made risers, like cake stands and it looked elegant. When you stagger the different heights of an everyday plate or dish you can see that the metal stands are underneath there. These candlesticks are not permanently affixed to the plate, we can remove them and use them as regular plates. We will talk about some hacks on how we put things together and repurpose them in another post.

For the drink station, what do you want to do when you’re using your items from around your home? You don’t want to mess them up. Because you’re going to put them back; they’re going to be a double duty. Since these are already being used, we took the wrapper off, and we didn’t want the drinks to mess this up or get wet or get condensation on them. We took these little appetizer plates that we had leftover from another event, we did turn them upside down and sat the cold drinks on top of those. This one is still in the clear plastic because we haven’t opened it yet. That provided a waterproof surface area for us to put our glasses. Since this was a kid’s party, we opted to use the little plastic wine and champagne glasses that you pick up from your local convenience store; these come six in a pack for $1. We used four packs of these, and we used these to make a little fake champagne toast. We also filled this little vintage brass beverage tub with a few sparkling ciders for them to do their toast. For the eating station, we took this three-tiered mirror stand. 

To be quite honest, we ran out of time while we were trying to get the donut wall put up. We did not get to put in all of the different toppings and things like that for the Ice Cream Sunday station. Since the ice cream was going to come later in the night, we figured we’ll do it later that night. But if you were to do something like this, you would get little different bowls of various types and sizes that will fit into your theme and put your different toppings in it.  You can see that these bowls say, ‘life is sweet,’ and that fits right in with our sweet dreams party theme. Then we picked up the little sundae bowls from your local convenience store; they come with four in a pack. You could put your ice cream in there, we always keep these little squeeze bottles on deck. These come from Walmart and are about 98 cents apiece. These are going to be used for the caramel syrup and the hot chocolate. 

For example, when it comes down to the candy that the kids like to eat, they want KitKats, Milk Duds, and Starburst. When you look at all this stuff in totality, you wouldn’t dare put things that didn’t match coordinating a table because it would completely mess up the entire field. Here is our tip: We don’t want to put anything on the table that the kids are not going to use or eat. We don’t have money to waste. Everything needs to be functional, pretty unused. What we do is; buy the candies that they’re going to like, this is what you do to make things look nice. You still get what you want, the kids have what they want, you get the look that you want. You take some wrapping paper, this is your local convenience store pink wrapping paper, and then you wrap up the candy and now it’s coordinating and it’s the good candy that they want. Take some Starbursts these are the favorites it’s only the red colors because those are the most popular colors that kids want to eat. They want the red colors and the pink. Take these and put them in trays, vessels with lids, and here we have just a little hobnail dish, take vessels that have tops, put the candy inside, so it’s covered up, and then the entire flow can still flow, and these kids will actually eat the candy. 

Kitkats will totally destroy our decor but that’s what the kids want to eat. There is a way to hide them; Put it in a little sack, a little pouch, and put that on the table. Now you have accomplished your goal. Another thing, these candies can all be picked up from your local convenience store. But that way you can save on the candy because those specialty candies cost quite a bit. These are just $1 apiece and you buy no more than 20 bucks worth of candy. 

Kids Party Entertainment

Now we’re going to focus on entertainment. We entertained our guests with Kleenex tissue boxes. You can say, what on earth is going to do with Kleenex tissue boxes? We will tell you; We’ve taken some tissue boxes and spray painted them gold. Then we punched two holes on them then stuck some rope through the holes. Then we took some more your local convenience store roses that had been punched a hole, stuck a little flower there to kind of make it cute as part of our decor, and then we took some golf balls, which came from your local convenience store that came in packs of 10, filled the box with the golf balls and had to tie the string around their waist on their bones and torque out all the balls, they had to shake all the balls out by torque. You don’t need to make one box for each guest. We had five different rounds for the guests to play with prizes for each one of the rounds. If you’re thinking about doing different types of activities, sometimes you don’t need to make one for every single guest, you can break it up either into teams, or break it up into cycles. For our favors, the guests could have a bag and they were able to package up some donuts and take them with them the next day. But we did have prizes throughout the night for the different activities or games that they played. This is what’s leftover once the party’s been long gone.