How to Throw a Birthday Party for $100 or Less

As promised, here is the guide to throwing a party for $100 or less. Of course there are a few variables here but I am going to show you the formula to use for parties of 12 guests; with a main cake table, 2 sit down tables complete with paperware, and goodies for each guest. If you’re really on a tight budget you can cut the goodies and use that money towards food instead.

It’s not always possible but I do recommend planning at least a month in advance if you can. That way you have time to shop around for items to go with your theme and fit in your budget. It also gives you time to play around with your design to get it just right. Remember, most items can be returned or exchanged.

All of these stores always have coupons online you should look up when paying! Just google the store name and “coupons” on your phone. Also don’t be afraid to shop online too but be wary of shipping costs!

  • Invitations: (FREE)
  • 1 Fabric Table Cloth: ($12.99) I usually go for satin
  • 1 XL 30 x 40 Foam Board for backdrop: Staples ($6.79) also sold at Hobby Lobby
  • 1 Yard of Fabric to cover board: Joanns with an online 50% off coupon or Walmart ($5.99 or so)
  • Scrapbook paper for banner and backdrop: any craft store like Michaels, Joanns or Hobby Lobby (usually around 5 sheets for $5)
  • Thin Ribbon for Banner: Craft Store ($1)
  • 2 plastic table cloths for sit down tables: Walmart for bright colors or Dollar Tree or pastels ($0.97 each)
  • 1 pack of large paper plates from Walmart or Dollar Tree ($0.97), 1 pack of small paper plates ($0.97), 2 packs of clear cups ($2), Paper Straws from Walmart ($2.60), clear utensils ($1), 1 pack of small napkins ($0.97), 1 pack of large napkins ($0.97). I usually mix and match colors for all of this.
  • Table confetti can be anything from tiny jewels to glitter to stones to sprinkles or sequins or just plain paper even! (About $2.99)
  • 2 Basic Centerpieces (optional): 2 vases from Dollar Tree ($1 each) filled with tissue paper from Dollar Tree ($1), wrapped with thick ribbon from a craft store ($3.99). You can also cut out figures and glue to skewers to stick in there from Dollar Tree ($1) {other ideas include figurines or plush from the theme you’re doing or other diy projects that go along with it. Always check your cheapest sources first for supplies}


{Here’s a perfect example of mixing and matching to portray a theme without spending a lot!}

All of this brings you to about $55 or so or $65 if you don’t do centerpieces. Whether or not you need centerpieces depends on your table size and set up. I feel they’re usually necessary but sometimes you just don’t have room for them. 

I usually split the rest of the money across 12 goodies for the guests but the remainder of the money can also be spent on more decor, activities, or even food and drinks instead. Getting creative with your own mixing and matching of colors and designs can portray your theme in a really fun and unique way without going to Party City and spending a ton on overused licensed party supplies. 


{This party here was only $100 because in lieu of favors, we bought fabric for the awning (from Walmart) and a floor drop. Everything else is from the formula above!}

A word about stores: I am most certainly a Target girl through and through! But the stores above have the best prices for each of these items. Feel free to visit Target and any other stores for some additional items but buying everything from one store, while convenient, is usually difficult given selection and is also more expensive than shopping around. 

Happy Shopping!



12 thoughts on “How to Throw a Birthday Party for $100 or Less

  1. I always plan way ahead when it comes to birthday parties to save money. I make a lot of my decorations, and don’t go the expensive Party City route either. LOVE Target 🙂


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