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Life’s Cowgirl Theme Birthday Party on a Budget!

My oldest just turned 3 and she had a fascination with Jessie, from Toy Story, and she requested a Jessie and Bullseye themed party.  I thought, “Not a problem” until I found out that to just limit the party swag to just those two characters was going to be tricky if I was to buy anything commercially and stay on a resonable budget.

I took matters into my own hands and started doing my homework and managed to be able to throw a cute and on budget themed birthday party that looked like a good amount of money was thrown at it.

For invitations, I had a friend that is a graphic artist design me a custom invite that looked like a movie stub that I could sent the file to Costco Photo and have two invitations printed out on a 4×6 photo.  I then found a plain primary colors note card with envelope set at Target for $3 and I printed out directions and other important information on those that the invitation could not support.

Made to be able to print on a 4x6 photo then cut into two invites


For decorations, I found a Cricut cartridge on Ebay that had all the Toy Story characters that I could manipulate for my benefit to make my own decorations (I bought it for $23 band new in the box and sold it one month later via Ebay for $26).  I made cupcake toppers, banners, and accents to table settings.



I went to a local feed store (which was a fun side-trip with the kids since they had a few farm critter residence that were fun to meet) and found out that I could rent out bails of hay for $6 that I used for seating and ambience.  I added banners and bandana material to spruce it up. 

On advise from a friend, I decided to put my effort on decorations this event and buy pre-made cupcakes.  Albertson’s has a wonderful chocolate cupcake that was topped with delectable fudge icing and mini chocolate chips.  I purchased 36 cupcakes for about $20 dollars.

I raided the Michael’s dollar bin and lucked out on finding markers and crayons that were Toy Story themed.  I did the same at Target’s dollar bin and found the tin buckets for the goodie bags and place settings.  

I found bandanas and cowboy hats at Oriental Trading Company and sheriff pins on Ebay for the goodie bags. 

I order my mylar balloons off of Amazon and had them filled while I was picking up regular balloons for only $1.  The total savings I had on the mylar balloons was $6 a balloon.

For eating areas, I opted not to rent table and chairs sand I borrowed a couple of kiddie picnic tables from friends and covered them with butcher paper and a bandana material  table runners and secured with raffia to add a more “rustic” feel.  I found the material at a fabric store on sale and used my pinking sheers to make the table runners.  I went the no-sew approach.  I added the mini tins filled with the markers and crayons that I enhanced with sheriff stars to each place setting.  This was a built in craft idea for the kids.  Now they could color on the table using the butcher paper.

I did have a jolly jump that I got for $64 for 10  hour period.

As far as food, it was  a party that served lunch so we stuck with dogs and burgers and the typical side dishes of chips, veggie platter and potato salad. 

For thank you notes, I recycled the banners I made for the party by simply adding a back to them and tieing together with ribbon.  When I was at Costco picking up my invitations, I asked for a pack of their envelopes and used those to mail them in.  I got a lot of feedback that everyone loved the thank-you notes!

It was a bit time-consuming, but at the end of the day I saved close to $300.00 by cutting these corners and getting creative.  I had an attendance of around 35 which included about 13 kids. I only spent $350.00 and that also included food and beverages (I did offer sparkling wine and beer to the adults).


About apieceoflifespie

I am a stay at home domestic engineer that has a love for my family, food, writing, crafting, photography and most of all a clean and orderly house. I feel I was born in the wrong era in many things and the only thing I would change if I was a "Donna Reed or June Cleaver" kind of mom is that I would still get to wear my sweats and Crocs while washing the windows.

7 responses »

  1. Very cute. You gave me some great ideas.

  2. Reblogged this on A Piece of Life's Pie and commented:

    Today is my two year blog anniversary! I can’t believe how good this blog has been to me. I have met some amazing fellow crafters that I think may be life long friends through this blog and it has given this very social girl that is now home raising two small children an outlet of creativity and social contact with ladies that share my same interests. I have been honored to grow this little ol’ blog of nothing into something that is part of my everyday life that has given back to me already so much. Today I am reposting my very first blog post ever as a crafting blogger… Thank you all for sweet encouragement and support I have had over the past two years!

  3. Fabulous party prep and love all the details – such great ideas:-) TFS

  4. Very nice! I LOVE all the details. I think it’s all great and it didn’t look like you watched a single penny!! The décor and (and treats) look really good and accompany the theme nicely!

  5. Pingback: Flower Power! | A Piece of Life's Pie

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