I’ve gotten to where when we have a party, I just hate it when my daughter comes home with a bunch of junk. You don’t need to spend a ton of money…..especially if you are having a large party…..just don’t spend your money on things that are going to end up in the trash the next day! Even if it’s a few dollars, get party gifts that the kids will at least keep around for a while. My daughter recently went to a swim party where the girls received an EOS lip balm. It doesn’t really follow the theme but their girls all LOVE them right now. So, as a result, they will keep up with it and use the lip balm and when they do they’ll think of the birthday girl every time!
For my daughter’s Spa Themed Birthday party, we only were able to invite a few girls as I had to transport them in my car to the party location. Because there were only a few girls we were able to splurge a little on the party gifts…..well spurge a lot. I found these super cool beach towels on Nordstrom’s Website and had them monogrammed with the girl’s initials. I also found the flip flops online. (When your daughter’s birthday is in December it’s tough to find beach towels and flip flops anywhere but online!!!) What I like about this gift is that they girls were able to use them at the party and it’s something they would keep and use other times!
Put some thought into this. Don’t just run around the day before the party trying to gather up what you can find in town as you will most likely settle for sub-par party favors!
If you’ve looked at many posts on this blog, you should see a theme. Whenever possible, I try and give party gifts that can be used and won’t end up in the trash 5 minutes after they get home. I figure even if we were to purchase a bag full of goodies that I would spend a certain amount. So, I just take that as a budget and go and find something more meaningful.
I’ve done several tshirt type party favors but nothing like this. We have this great TShirt store in Knoxville that I believe will be expanding soon. It’s call the Tee Spot and their web address is theteespot.com. You can either go into the store or create your own tshirt yourself online. It doesn’t matter how many you get. You pay for it and go. Generally they are ready in days. It’s great!
I went over budget on this one a bit but we were only inviting 2 other boys and they were my son’s best friends so I went for it. Because of the design being a circle, that also posed me a problem with designing it on my computer myself. No problem, I went into the store off Cedar Bluff and they designed the shirt for me with my direction. I warn you. If you get overwhelmed by decisions, this might be tough. You select, font, size of image, where it should be, what color, what type of shirt, what color, size…….. Lots of questions and small decisions that have to be made.
I selected to add an “H” in the middle of the circle. It’s my son’s first initial. It also happened to be either the first name or last name initial of the other boys invited when was perfect!
I encourage you to think outside the box when selecting party favors. Not only is it more meaningful but the kids will remember the party for much longer than just the day afterwards!
Halloween Birthday Party Crown
There are so many ideas that come with having a Halloween party. Whether you are planning just a children’s Halloween Party or Birthday Party with a Halloween theme, it will be hard to narrow what you want to do! I had that problem at least with this party for my daughter’s birthday which happened to be in December! Instead of fighting it, I incorporated as many ideas as I could muster.
Halloween Party Crown Favors
Kids love to wear crowns. At least at the younger ages. It’s a simple form of dress up and all kids love to dress up. Many gown ups still like to dress up. I decided to offer two types of crowns for the kids to wear. Or actually a hat and a crown. I found this cool spooky scrapbook paper on sale and decided to make several simple style hats out of that paper. Then my son wanted a crown, so I took bulletin board border and cut it in half along a jagged line to make crowns. Here is how I made them.
Crown How To:
1. Cut from bulletin board border. (See below a template I created for my crowns.)
2. Spray inside with glow in the dark paint.
3. Wind up and paperclip them ready for the party.
4. At party have mom help with measuring kids heads and stapling them the proper size. (This is one of those hats that if you don’t get the right size, they won’t stay on very well.)
5. Have scissors ready to cut excess.
Halloween Birthday Party Hats
Hat How to:
1. Use my template provided below and cut out hats.
2. Tape, glue or staple them closed.
3. Notice there is a slight curve cut on the bottom edge on either side of the hat (template).
4. Slip light weight elastic through the slit and tie off. Repeat for the other end of the elastic.
What you’ll need:
Light Weight Elastic
Bulletin Board Border in festive motif
Heavy craft paper with theme colors or design
Krylon Glowz – Glow in the dark paint
Birthday Party Hat Template
Halloween Crown Template
Halloween Trick or Treat Bag
Because I knew that we were going trick or treating during my daughter’s birthday party, I wanted to have some special treat bags for them to carry. I didn’t want just plastic or paper bags…..although now that I’m thinking about it…..it would be just as fun for the kids to decorate paper sacks to use as their treat bags. And less work for you. But who wants less work? Ha! I seem to make things more complicated that they can be…..says my husband. It’s simply that I like things to be just so.
So! We wanted treat bags for the party. After looking online, I couldn’t find at the time a plain treat bag that I liked or that was the right size. Thus, I made them. A bunch of them.
Halloween Trick or Treat Bag Supplies
Supplies you’ll need are shown here. The bag…..if you can find it, certainly purchase them. Or make them and I explain how I made mine below. Having a smattering of randomly size and shape pieces pre-cut was helpful as all the kids had to do was to apply the faces to the bags with a fabric glue that I had poured out in a plate for all to share.
I turned this into a project to give the kids something to do as all the kids were arriving. This party was in our home and our living room turned into party central. And we had a tent. First stop was the living room where the kids made their own party bags. I had 3 tables set out with chairs and disposable table cloths that could be whipped up and thrown away for phase two of the party.
Halloween Treat Bag Step 1
I’m sure there are 20 ways you could make this treat bag. This is only 1 way. I didn’t do a very good job of photographing each step. You’ll need to read the steps here and just use the images as overall reference. Felt was the easiest fabric to use as it holds it’s shape pretty well and you don’t have to sew under raw edges!!! For the handles I cut 2 strips 10″ long x 1″ wide for each bag. To give it a bit of a finished look, you can sew the two edges together longways leaving an 1″ or so on either end to connect to the bag. To me it make it look more like a “bag handle.”
Halloween Treat Bag Step 2
For the bag itself you’ll need (2) pieces of felt 10″ x 8″ wide and (2) pieces 10″ x 4″ wide. May I repeat that there are many ways of skinning this cat and this is just my own twisted way of making these. My biggest goal is that I wanted to be boxy and I wanted to top stitch the edges. OK. First step is to make a box of sorts. The two wider pieces of felt are the front and back. The two smaller pieces are the sides. Start seaming or top-stitching a front to the side and then that side to the back. Seam that back to the second side and then complete the box by seaming the other side to the front panel. Now you have made a “box that could stand up but has no bottom yet. I started using a fancy stitch but it was taking too long and ended up just doing a top stitching seam.
Making Halloween Trick or Treat Bags
Turn this “box” inside out and then fold the “box” flat matching the side seams. At this point the side panels will be folded in half and the front and back should be against each other. Seam across the bottom about 1/2″.
Now you’ll want to make your corners. With the “box” still inside out, pull the bottom corners out to seam. Look at the “step 1” photo above to see how the corner should be pulled out and seam a triangle and cut off extra. If this is confusing to anyone, let me know and I’ll try and explain better.
Turn right side out, attach the handles either by hand or seaming on your sewing machine. And you are done! Well, until the party. At the party, let the kids use the cut black felt pieces to use their imagination in creating their own pumpkin face!
Use this template for anything. We used it to make eye ball shirt favors for my daughters Halloween birthday party. You don’t need to paint it perfectly. But I would leave more of a seam allowance around the edge than shown here!
Directions for Project: Halloween Spooky Eye Ball Shirt
To See Template: Eye Ball Template
Halloween Birthday Party Shirt Favor
I have to admit that this is NOT an original idea. I saw it on someone else’s blog and I can’t find it again. Please let me know if this is your idea and I will give you credit! OK. Now that that is out of the way. This was such a fun favor to give the kids for my daughter’s Halloween Birthday Party. I made girl shirts and then boy shirts. The girls were orange and the boys were black.
It was a very easy shirt to make. I used an old T-Shirt of my husband’s the paint the eyes. At first, I was going to put two eye balls for folks to think they had eyes on their backs. But then thought it would be funnier to just use one. The original idea that I saw, they had put eye balls all over the shirt but that would have been just way too much work since I was making quite a large number of these.
Eye Ball Shirt Supplies
Make sure you use an inexpensive acrylic paint to insure that it doesn’t wash out when you wash the shirt. Another mistake I made was to not leave enough room around the eye ball to have a “seam allowance”. So, make sure when you cut the eyes out, you allow 1/2″ to 1″ to sew around. Steps: Paint they eyes, let them dry and cut out. Sew them face down on the inside of the shirts. Then go and cut out the front to make the eye ball show. You can play with it and make it look like the eye has a lazy eye or be wide open.
These T-Shirts were such great favors. The kids loved them and it was fun to see them being worn to school for months after the party.
I bought girl specific and boy specific t-shirts from target. But, you can get them anywhere.
One of dad’s old undershirts
Fabric Paint – Blue, Green and/or brown for color in eyes; black for pupil; white for shine in eye – Found at any craft store
Red Permanent Marker with fine tip for bloodshot eyes – Found at any craft store
Wide bristle paint brush
Below is a template I used to make the eyes uniform.
Eye Ball Template
This is a photo of part of the loot that was in the scavenger hunt that we had for my son’s party. The first thing the kids got was a bandanna that I made from black polka dotted fabric. Depending on the age of the kids, you may want to make yours bigger. I made mine 22″ square. And honestly, I went the quick route. I didn’t hem them or anything. Just cut the size and ripped the fabric. The little pirates looked so cut walking down the street all wearing their pirate bandanas. And years later, this is the one thing that my kids still play with.
In addition to the bandana, the kids searched for coins, tatoos, hats, jewels and other items. The long black thing in the photo above was an inexpensive telescope that I found. At the beginning of the hunt, we gave them all pirate backpacks that we ordered from Oriental Trading. You can see it in the background of the above photo.
The below photo was a take away bag that my kids received from another pirate party that they went to. I don’t know what it is about little, please excuse me, crap……they just love it. And the more the better. I try hard in this blog to give you favor ideas that are things your guests will just to home and throw away. But sometimes you just have to relent.
Pirate Loot Grab Bags
At party stores or even Oriental Trading you can get all kinds of inexpensive loot items. The jewels we got at the craft store and they were “crystals” or just rhinestones if you are an adult. You could even put rocks in there and call them pirate moon rocks. Kids imaginations are just wonderful.
Pirate Bandanas were made from fabric that you can find at any fabric or quilting store.
The “Crystals” were found at a local craft store. Most of the time are sold in little bags. These weren’t cheap so we didn’t have many of those.
Then for the backpacks, hats and such: www.OrientalTrading.com
Colorful Ribbons on Favor Bags
There are many ways to organize birthday party favors and their presentation. If you have several small items, putting them in a bag, box or some other container is necessary. It you have a larger item it may not be necessary to put it inside anything but you should think about it’s presentation.
In the vein of a bag or box, it’s very easy to tie these in to a color theme party. Simply use a solid color bag or box and add a colorful fabric ribbon that matches the party theme. This party was for a little girl who was having a party and invited boys and girls. The boy favors had a blue ribbon and the girl favors had a pink or yellow colored ribbon.
Favor bags can be quite simple and yet can still make a splash with color.
Halloween Party Favors
We threw a Halloween Party with another family for the kids and adults but only the kids received favors. The witch brooms were the perfect simple favor for them.
These are simple to make and double as some creative decorations. The idea came form an article I saw in a Martha Stewart somewhere but I can’t remember exactly where. I just remembered the concept.
Directions for the Favors: Take 2 small brown lunch sacks. Keep one whole that you put candy corn or suckers or anything you wish inside it. Take the second back and cut slits all the way down the sides leaving the bottom solid. Insert candy into first bag and cut a short stick from your yard to add for the handle. Wrap that bag with the cut one and wrap around the mouth to secure to the stick or broom stick. I used some macrame’ cord I had hanging around but you could use anything. Yarn, ribbon….really anything will do and many colors would work. Try red, orange, brown, grey, black or yellow for the cording on your Halloween favors. The brighter the color the more of a impact the brooms will make. The red made a nice punch.
Resources: Paper bags can be found at Michaels or at many grocery stores. Candy of your choice. Cording at any fabric or craft store or even hardware store for twine. Sticks from your yard or the side of the road in a wooded area.
Group your broomsticks to make an impact for your Halloween Party guests and they will ooh and aah over them.
Pirate Birthday Party Favor Ideas
Having a Pirate Birthday Party and need ideas? Provide eye patches, hats and some fun beads and the kids will create their own party. There is nothing like dressing up to get kids in the mood to roll play. And a Pirate party lends itself quite nicely to just this.
Here you can purchase the hats and beads either made of felt or of paper. Long term the felt hats are going to last longer as the paper ones will tear up pretty quickly. This is an idea that the kids will play with. And it’s something that is appropriate for many ages.
Pirate Birthday Party Favors
For one of these parties, there were your basic birthday party games like the bean bag toss and others and as prizes, the birthday boy gave away the bead necklaces. So, at the end of the party everyone compared their booty they collected at the party. Then the mom provided a trunk that it could all be stored in. Would have given you a pic of that as well……but I’m afraid ours has been lost.
Resources: Felt hats, trunks, eye patches and necklaces can be found at Oriental Trading.
Photo taken by Amy Hall Photography, Portland, OR.
Creative Party Hat
Party hats for the kids who come to a birthday party or just the birthday child don’t have to be elaborate. We embellished these pre-made hats for my daughter’s 3rd Creative Art Birthday Party.
The red hats were bought at a party supply store. Simple red hats. I took some old white boas and cut them to hot glue around the bottom of the hat and then a little poof at the top. For the birthday girl, I used some white squirt on paint to write the number 3.
Super easy but gives the kids something to put on when they are singing happy birthday……which they absolutely love to do.
Photo taken by Amy Hall Photography, Portland, OR.
Creative Birthday Party Favors
Giving homemade play dough as a gift to a birthday child or as birthday party favors is a great idea. I don’t know of one child who does not like play dough. I even like to play with play dough and I’m way beyond the child stage! Play dough is super easy to make. Add in a few play dough playing accessories and you have a perfect gift or favor.
Let me tell you…..we had about 15 kids at this party. So, that’s 15 X 3 tubs of play dough. 45 tubs of play dough doesn’t sound like much but when you start making it, it can take some time. Luckily it can all be made early!
After making different colors of play dough, I put a nice size ball in each tub and tied 3 tubs of play dough together with a red ribbon which was one of the party colors. On top, I added a rolling pen and a couple of cookie cutters. To insure all the kids had a favor, I added a name tag at the top that we’ll talk about in another post.
Lining all these up did make a nice visual impact. Too bad I didn’t think to take a photo of it at the time to share with you.
Resources: We have a few Playdough Recipes you can choose from.
Photo taken by Amy Hall Photography, Portland, OR.
Princess Party Boy Sword Favors
Boys can have fun at a Princess Party too! Just have a few things for them to play with that are boy related and they are good to go. When they are young they really don’t care that the decorations are pink!
These inflatable swords are a perfect gift for the boys as they love to exert that testosterone! These were blow up swords that were given as favors and are super easy to blow up. They don’t blow the budget, they are sizable and you will get lots of play out of them.
Resources: These swords were purchased from Oriental Trading.
Photo taken by Amy Hall Photography, Portland, OR.
Princess Party Girl Favors
All girls love wands that they can waive in the air to change their frog into a Prince. Or just bonk others on the head……hopefully not…..but you never know.
Anyway, having these simple wands as favors are perfect. You can certainly purchase wands like these or you can make them as well. Simply cut out two stars and hot glue them together with a dowel in the center. You might spray paint the dowels black first. After they are all glued together, you can glitter your wands.
These princess party favors have each child’s name typed out on a flag in an old english font and taped on to the handle to insure all the kids at the party receive a favor.
Photo taken by Amy Hall Photography, Portland, OR.
Floral Party Hat
For a more sophisticated party hat, you can use a beautiful wrapping paper and our plain hat template to make your own.
There are so many beautiful wrapping papers now, that you can transform any of them into a party hat. If you are using a good quality heavy paper, you can use it all on it’s own. If the paper is more flimsy, you will need to make the hat out of a heavier solid color scrap booking paper and then cover it with your themed paper before assembling the hat.
Go crazy. For the flower birthday party, use any kind of floral paper you can find. Or even make it out of a solid paper and put dried flowers on them. Dried pansies would be beautiful! Just have fun making your own party hats.
Resources and How To: See our Simple Birthday Party Hat Directions and Template.
Flower Party Hat
For my daughter’s 2nd Birthday the theme was a Flower theme. We mainly used balloons to make and incorporate the theme. But as you can see here, I went for a custom party hat for her.
This hat was created using our plain party hat template. Use as heavy of a paper as you can if you plan to embellish it like I did.
How To: Cut hat form out of hard scrap booking paper. Cover the hat form with a fabric. I used a see through fabric but you could use tons of things…..silk would be neat or even a fabric with a pattern. Glue the top tassel inside the hat and then glue down the back to make your cone shape. I used hot glue for an immediate fix. And this can certainly go quicker and is easier with an extra pair of hands. My mom provided those for me…..thanks mom….Cut 2 holes on either side with a hole punch to insert elastic for the chin strap. Add finishing trim to the bottom of the hat. The final touch would be to use some squirt paint (sorry I don’t know it’s correct name) to write on the front or just leave it plain. If you were using a patterned fabric, you could put glue and glitter on strategic spots.
Resources: You can get heavy scrap booking paper at almost any craft stores or even target. Then purchase your fabric and notions or trim at a fabric store. See our Template and How to for a Basic Birthday Party Hat.