Having some simple go-to ideas for an already jam-packed birthday party can mean the difference between a successful event or one that will cause more stress than is necessary.
When I start to plan a party my first thought is what can I do ahead of time and what can I do to make my life easier so I can enjoy everything too. The benefit is that the Host/Hostess won't have a nervous breakdown before the big day. I want to celebrate as much as my guests do and I want to sit back and take a little pride in what I've created.
“The most important part about throwing a party is that the Host/Hostess is having fun.” Ina Garten
Here are my 9 favorite Birthday Party Hacks that I hope will inspire you.
1. Photo Booth App
This is one of my favorites. For Halloween, I wanted a photo booth. My Western Theme and decor needed some fun photos for everyone to share and double as a thank you for joining us.
With a little research, I found a fun Photo Booth App in the App Store. A fun background and some simple Halloween props and Voila! DIY Photo Booth in my den. I used my iPad propped on a chair, held by bungees (I didn't want anyone to tip it over) and typed up simple instructions on how to take the pictures so I didn't have to explain it to everyone and they could enjoy the booth on their own. Everyone got in on the fun, including my mom. We even had some relatives face time their daughter in college so she could get in the pic too!
Once these photos were taken and saved to my iPad I was able to post them and send them to everyone so they could save them to their digital photos. Here's what the App looks like that I used in case you're interested, it's called Simple Photo Booth - Best Real Camera Selfie Fun App with Collage Grid Frame. However, there are so many to choose from. I got this one for free.
2. Ice Cream Prep
If there is one thing I've learned from all the parties I've planned is that the best thing you can do is prepare whatever you can ahead of time. Serving ice cream is no exception. I disliked buying assorted flavors or the dreaded Neapolitan so everyone could yell out their favorites including trying to scoop a portion of that Neapolitan because someone didn't like strawberry. I had to ask someone to help scoop while I cut the cake and it was just a hot mess.
The solution was to have cupcake tins and fill them with scoops of ice cream the night before. I scooped various flavors in each cup and covered it with some saran wrap. After I was done, I put it back in the freezer for the next day. When cake and ice cream time came each person got one scoop of ice cream and a piece of cake. They could tell me what flavor they wanted. I usually only get chocolate and vanilla and then whatever the birthday child's favorite is at the time.
This tin is from the Real Simple.com if you are interested in taking a look at it. Click on the photo above. The Hack is all over the internet and I just had to try it for myself. I'm here to tell you that I won't serve ice cream any other way again.
3. Digital Games
Digital Games are great for last-minute parties or for some fun that you can't purchase anywhere else that will fit your theme. The traditional game of Bingo has been replaced with something your guests will talk about.
A scavenger hunt game for instance for a Dinosaur Party where the teams find the bones, race to see who got caught when the volcano erupted can be so exciting. Teams wear Junior Paleontologist Badges and this game includes a Treat Bag Topper for those party favors.
You print them from home or a local printer/office supply store and you'll have a unique game with QR Codes or Traditional Cards. You can even play printable dice games that you use candy or cereal with. Why not take a look here for your next party.
4. Digital Invites
Digital Invitations are another hack. Of course, you can download these and send them via snail mail but why not save the jpegs you receive and send them via text or an email?
With the digital invites and our customization you can make last-minute changes to a date or time (just ask us to do that for free) and you will save on postage and paper if you want.
I even had a family member tell me they had not received their invite in the mail so I sent it via text so they could have all the information on time. I love digital invites because there are so many to choose from and they aren't like all the cookie-cutter invites you will see in the party stores. Click Here to see our Birthday Party Ideas and our Holiday Party Ideas too!
5. Face Painting (with Stamps)
They call it Face Stamping. For those of us who are artistically challenged this is a great way to entertain the kids on a budget. Unless you can afford to hire someone or you have a family member that can do this for you then buying some stamps and face paints is the way to go.
Purchase some fun rubber stamps at your local hobby store, buy some face paints on Amazon and maybe some brushes to brush the paint onto the stamps and you can have face painting for your party theme. How about some Mermaid or Dinosaur Stamps?
6. Individual Servings
I am a big proponent for not touching all the food on a buffet. I think it's a great idea for everyone to serve themselves but some adults and kids are not big on washing hands. Things like popcorn in small popcorn boxes or bags, cupcakes wrapped in pretty cupcake liners, vegetables in a clear cup with the ranch dressing on the bottom and even paper lunchboxes you see for packing picnic lunches work well for crowds to grab and go.
7. Use A Pizza Calculator
If you want to take the stress out of how much to buy for your party especially when it comes to the pizza then use this calculator to make how much to serve easier. There are a ton of them on the web but I have used this one to help me. Knowing how much to buy can help with the budget so you don't have too many leftovers and waste.
8. Decorate Store-bought Cakes
Nowadays there's no excuse for not having a dessert. Your local bakery at your grocery store has cakes that are not decorated but frosted and you can buy candles, sprinkles, candy or you can even print up clip art and attach them to dowels to insert into the cake to match the theme or the party colors. My sis-in-law even bought decorated cookies to match her theme and added them to the cake. The skies the limit.
9. Water Bottles and Filtered Water Pitchers
Bottled water can get expensive especially if everyone is grabbing one and forgetting if it's theirs. Some easy tricks to keep this to a minimum is to buy the smaller water bottles, add names with permanent markers or my favorite, buy a Brita Pitcher with the Spigot. I purchased a pretty large Pitcher and have that on hand as well as other Pitchers with spigots for Lemonade, Iced Tea and a fun punch. I purchase the smaller cups 8oz size and use those next to the pitchers for filling up during the party. The smaller cups keep people from filling up cups and not drinking everything too. Here is the Brita Pitcher I purchased and the Filters. The other Pitchers I purchased at my local Walmart and they don't have filters. I use those for other beverages.
I hope your next party will benefit from one or all of these Birthday Party Hacks. I know I could go on and on but these are some of my all-time favorites.
Let me know if you have tried any of these and how it helped. I'd love to know. Again, thanks for stopping by. Don't forget to Subscribe to our website and favorite our Etsy Shop too! If you favorite our shop you'll get a discount on your first purchase. Subscribe and get a free Party Planner.