Well … it’s June 24th and we had Charlie’s 3rd Birthday party almost TWO months ago, yet I’m just getting around to posting about it. Apparently … that’s just how it goes with managing three littles full time (especially now that school is out). Since Charlie’s party, however, we have had 4 other birthdays in the immediate family (and for those counting … that’s everyone else in our family of 5), plus all three grandparents birthdays, one aunt, one uncle, and three cousin birthdays, our anniversary, Matt’s parent’s anniversary … all in the past two months. #ineedanap
You see, spring is birthday season around here (and anniversary season), and we’re just now coming up for air. So I thought I’d finally share some details of Charlie’s party:
I was just a family gathering … super simple, super inexpensive, and he shared the celebration with his cousin Jackson who turned 6. When I asked him what he wanted for his party … we pondered another Thomas the Train party, a firetruck party, a Curious George party … and then landed on a Race Car Party.
This year, I told myself we wouldn’t go crazy. It was just family. Charlie is only three. And I figured he wouldn’t really care about perfect decor to go with his race car theme.
But I did want to give him something special. Something he just might remember … or at least bits and pieces of … down the road. And I think we accomplished the goal!
Take a peak:
I can go a bit crazy on decorating for parties (go ahead … ask Matt), but I gave myself a strict budget of $50 for decor this year. And I actually just made it!! I think Matt is still shocked.
This $50 doesn’t include Charlie’s present … a DIY Racetrack that Owen and I worked on, but it does include all the other decorations.
Here’s where I spend the money (on the decor) for less than $50:
- 2 yards of black/white fabric from JoAnn to cover our artwork and act as a backdrop for dessert table (see picture below): $9
- Black and white circles and red and yellow ‘balls’ (see picture below): $3
- Checkered Flag banners. I ordered two and cut them up to use in various places: $7
- Chalkboard Table runner (which I simply added lane dividers with a chalk pen): FREE (because I had both of these on hand #craftsupplyhoarder)
- Checkered Duct Tape + black and white paper straws for cupcake toppers: $8
- Wooden Skewers for the Stoplight Rice Krispie Treats: FREE (because I had these on hand)
- Cake Pop Holder: $7
- Orange Cones for table and entryway decor: $8.50
- Blue Plastic Table Cloth from Target for ‘Car Wash’: <$1
- 2 Ikea Red Tolsby Frames for the table: $1.98
- Three upcycled aluminum cans for vases: FREE!
- Spidermums + Baby’s Breath to go in vases: $4
- And several DIY FREE Printables: Food Labels (download the labels HERE), Can labels + blank Can label (edit and personalize yours using PicMonkey), Happy Birthday Banner, Ikea Frame Printables (again … use this template and customize your own in PicMonkey … email me with questions, and I’ll walk you through it!).
Looking at our snack table (and dining table):
I covered our framed artwork that normally hangs on this wall with the black and white checkered fabric from JoAnn. From there, I printed and cut out the ‘HAPPY BIRTHDAY JACKSON & CHARLIE’ banner, added some checkered flags, and added some red and yellow party balls (from Charlie’s Thomas The Train Party) and those black and white circles from Target:
One the snack table, we had several ‘Race Car Themed’ items:
Veggie ‘Dip Sticks’ (carrots and celery in ranch dressing):
Brownie Bite ‘Spare Tires’:
Cupcakes with Checkered Flag Cupcake toppers (made of duct tape and paper straws):
‘Stoplight’ Rice Krispie Treats:
For the rest of the dining room, we added a chalkboard table runner, some orange cones, some upcycled aluminum can vases (see below), and a ‘car wash’ made of a blue plastic table cloth cut into strips:
I also found these simple (and super cheap) Ikea frames for the table and made simple printables to fit:
My favorite part … and the part Charlie probably couldn’t have cared less about … are these DIY aluminum can vases:
Favorite part ….
And here’s a closer look at the ‘Car Wash’. Charlie and Owen got a kick out of this for like 10 minutes. Oh well. Good thing it only cost $1.
That’s it for decor! Charlie thought it was great … Jackson was excited … my brother-in-law thought we were crazy for doing more ‘themed’ parties (especially because it was only family), but it was perfect!
And … like I said, the favorite part of the whole thing was this DIY Race Track that we gave Charlie for a gift:
Here’s a couple pics from the party ….
Charlie blowing out his three candles:
Charlie and Jackson opening presents (more Thomas attire for Charlie!!):
So … there you have it! My super simple, super inexpensive Race Car Themed Party for Charlie!