Ideas for a frugal art birthday party - Mothering Forums

Thread Tools
#1 of 14 Old 01-31-2013, 06:24 PM - Thread Starter
wildmonkeys's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Metro DC
Posts: 1,628
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)

I need your help creative moms. DS is turning 6 in February and wants to have an art party.  I have been looking at some beautiful blogs as far as food and decorations. 


Does anybody have ideas for inexpensive art projects to do with the kiddos?

wildmonkeys is offline  
Sponsored Links
#2 of 14 Old 01-31-2013, 09:30 PM
katelove's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 4,925
Mentioned: 24 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 223 Post(s)
Our local newspaper used to sell end rolls of newspaper (unprinted) for $1.50. If your local paper does the same or if you can get big sheets of paper from somewhere you can do a few things

- trace around each child and let them decorate their outline with paint, felt pens/crayons etc and/or glued on bits of fabric or paper, maybe some glitter.

- stick a big long strip to the fence or a wall and get them to make a mural

If you can't get paper big enough then maybe collages. Give each child a piece of cardboard to decorate with things they find outside - leaves, grass, flowers etc. You could cut up cereal boxes for the cardboard and then you'd just need to provide the glue.

You could make papier mâché balls with strips of newspaper and colours paper and glue on a balloon. They wouldn't dry by the end of the party but they could take them home in a plastic bag with instructions to burst the balloon in a few days.

Mother of two spectacular girls, born mid-2010 and late 2012  mdcblog5.gif

katelove is online now  
#3 of 14 Old 01-31-2013, 10:24 PM
JunebugsMom's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 1,073
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

My children are constantly asking for art and craft projects, but I find they spend the most time and have the most fun with open-ended projects where you just give them a bunch of supplies.  You could just go to the dollar store and get construction paper, glue, watercolors, pipe cleaners, and glitter.  or you could even do a "recycled art" party where you give them glue and newspaper and toilet paper rolls and magazines, etc.  Lanterns made from glass jars, tissue paper, and glue are pretty and inexpensive (google martinmas lanterns for tutorials).

JunebugsMom is offline  
#4 of 14 Old 02-01-2013, 07:49 AM
LoveOurBabies's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 639
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)

6 is such a special birthday! I find that's when the babyness starts to disappear a little *sniff*


Incorporate the art into games/activities.. E.g. Make/decorate your own tail for pin the tail on the donkey, make your own lolly favor baskets (and fill them up at the end of the party once the pinata has been smashed), guess how many crayons/art supplies in a tub - whoever gets the closest guess wins the tub of crayons/art supplies..


Just some ideas off the top of my head :)

LoveOurBabies is offline  
#5 of 14 Old 02-01-2013, 02:42 PM
LeighPF's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 933
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)

I love painting on different materials too, like tin foil or rocks.

Also if you are buying new paint, check out the glitter paint (I got mine at Discount School Supplies). Really fun.


Check out the blog for lots of open ended art ideas.

Mama to J (Jan '09), E (May '11), and C (August, '13)

Professional Cloth Diaper at Diaper Lab in Boston (ask me about laundry)
LeighPF is offline  
#6 of 14 Old 02-01-2013, 05:32 PM
Polliwog's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 4,058
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 35 Post(s)
DD is also having an art party for her 6th birthday (in two weeks.) We're going to do a crazy cake and some pretty cool decorations. And using food coloring which I never do.

I love the idea of providing a lot of recycled materials and letting the kids create. I've got a bunch of leftover canvases (8x10) that we're going to use but I'd like to have a second activity.

It's such a fun party theme
Polliwog is offline  
#7 of 14 Old 02-05-2013, 05:01 PM
goldfishkate's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Midwest
Posts: 135
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

You can also do homemade playdough, half and half cornstarch and water, or half and half liquid fabric starch and elmers school glue for ooey gooey play. Water colors are good because it doesn't get all over your house like tempra paint.


My dd birthday is coming up and I sewed little purses and tote bags. The kids will decorate with puffy paint and glitter. The cost in materials is about $3 per child (10 kids). Last year I bought a bunch of solid color easter buckets, paint pens and stickers (all on sale at hobby lobby). The kids decorated their bucket then we had an Easter egg hunt in the yard. It was a hit.  


When my son turned 6 we did marshmellow shooters. It's not art but very easy and cheap. You just have to cut up a bunch of PVC pipe. There are many turtorials online. The best part is that the shooter doubles as the party favor. I believe the cost was under $3/child. Everyone had a blast from the youngest to adult. We're actually going to do it again for his 8th birthday this year with his school friends.    

Kate~ Mama to two.
goldfishkate is offline  
#8 of 14 Old 02-05-2013, 07:45 PM
caiesmommy's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 2,887
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

If you know the names of the kids coming you could get their initial on a wooden letter and have them paint/glue ect ect and then they get to take them home with them as their favor. I've seen letters at dollar stores ect.


You can also get small canvas from the dollar store and have them paint their own pictures/glue feathers/sparkles on them


Clay pots and give seeds for them to take home(get ready for spring!)


Canvas bag painting? You can sometimes get packs of canvas bags for cheap.


Dollar store has sun catcher kits for 1.25 and it has 6 catchers in it

mommy daddy son daughter = our family
caiesmommy is offline  
#9 of 14 Old 02-24-2013, 09:05 AM
Bonhomie's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Drauct
Posts: 7
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

My Daughter is turning 6 in the fall and she wants to have a gingerbread party. We have a bakery that we can buy inexpensive undecorated gingerbread boys/girls.We could even try to make our own and save more money.  We will have frosting for each child and bowls of candy to decorate the gingerbread.  Each child will have their own gingerbread to take home as a favor.(and possibly a small bag of the extra candy)  We went to a Minnie Mouse birthday recently where they had pin the bow on Minnie game.  We are going to make a pin a gum drop on the gingerbread for the kids to play. 

Bonhomie is offline  
#10 of 14 Old 02-24-2013, 01:42 PM - Thread Starter
wildmonkeys's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Metro DC
Posts: 1,628
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)

Thanks for the great ideas! I used several of them!


I basically did streamers, plates, cups, hats (and even food - strawberries, baby carrots, green grapes, blueberries) with a primary color theme.


I did incorporate the art theme into the games - I cut a large paint palette shape out of poster board.  I them cut circles out of construction paper to make paint blobs, but I had orange missing and cut orange circles for each of the kids to "pin the paint on the palette".


I had the kids start by decorating the party room windows with window markers.  Using dollar store crayons and markers and foam stickers - the kids decorated their own goody bags.


We did shaving cream art where I filled baking pans with shaving cream and put food coloring on the top and then dragged a butter knife through it to mix it and then the kids laid pieces I cut out of posterboard on it to make prints.  My one splurge was a pack of with 10 streched canvas pieces ($20 at Michaels, but $12 after the coupon)  Unfortunately the watercolors that I bought at the dollar store did not work, but I just brought the shaving cream slop in and they used it to paint.


I made the cake and ds decorated it himself with icing writers - it was very Jackson Pollocky and he was sooo proud of it.


onestly, this is the best party I have ever done for any of my kids.  I had several more activities ready to go that we didn't even have time to do and the kids stayed late finishing their paintings. They were so busy and happy.  Between the food (I fed them dinner because I had it from 4:30 - 6:30 on Friday), the art supplies, and the decorations - I probably spent a total of $75 and our art supplies are completely refreshed.  It was really special too which was extra important to me because he is my youngest and 6 sort of feels like the end of the little kid parties in many ways :(


I think the gingerbread party sounds fun! I bet you can order paper chef hats online really inexpensively or cooking aprons...

wildmonkeys is offline  
#11 of 14 Old 03-06-2013, 06:18 PM
KayleeZoo's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 5,334
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

wildmonkeys, it sounds like you threw an awesome party!! :)

Half-marathon running Mommy to 3 spunky girls and 1 sweet boy. Spending my days and nights where my kids need me most- at home with them!!

KayleeZoo is offline  
#12 of 14 Old 03-07-2013, 09:56 AM
ILoveMyBabyBird's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,486
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I am at a loss to save money on parties. The thing is most the people invited are not kids but adults. I have a big extended family and we do family parties until 10. This year is the first year I will have 2 kids having 2 parties and no one to have it with (we would normally do double parties with cousins).


Dd's party is going to be okay,  I have decided I will have it in my home and not some other place, I plan to make the food (a meal is served in addition to cake/ice cream) The season will be good as far as people being able to go outside, but ds's bday is in july and people DO NOT go outside in the heat, so the duplex will be too cramped to have the party at. I don't know what I will do for ds's party. I have thought about having it a pizza place which may cost 400$, but I don't have many other options, my home is too small for 50 adults. I can't not have the party, that is not an option. So these parties weigh heavy on my heart. But I know I will be able to scrimp and save to have them, I need to get creative on Ds's party, luckily I have many months to plan.

supermod.gif semi crunchy single student super mama to DS 7wave.gif and DD 3shy.gif. Falling in stillheart.gif with single super dad superhero.gif to DD5kissy.gif and DD2energy.gif 
ILoveMyBabyBird is offline  
#13 of 14 Old 03-07-2013, 12:53 PM
Polliwog's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 4,058
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 35 Post(s)
DS's birthday is in July and we almost always has his parties at a park. We either do it in a shady spot or I reserve a covered pavilion.
Polliwog is offline  
#14 of 14 Old 03-10-2013, 04:11 AM
LaughingHyena's Avatar
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 2,609
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)

Have you thought about doing an open house type thing over a few hours.That way you would (hopefully anyway) not have everyone at once. Personally I'd try and avoid a meal time so you can just have some snacks out, and offer soft drinks, tea, coffee etc.


I know a few people who have done this and it's worked out OK, usually they specify what time the cake will be cut so there is usually a busy time, but otherwise it works out.

LaughingHyena is offline  


User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off

Online Users: 8,922

14 members and 8,908 guests
Amol888 , bannerd , Emywatson , foursea03 , hillymum , IsaFrench , jamesmorrow , Janeen0225 , katelove , MarieGoAround , mumto1 , OliviaLiam , RollerCoasterMama , zebra15
Most users ever online was 449,755, 06-25-2014 at 12:21 PM.