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When birthday season for our family comes around, every year I say to myself, “This year we are going to do a small family pizza dinner with cake and that’s it!” But as the big day approaches and the excitement builds, I can’t help myself and the party planning begins!
Have you realized how much fun little boys are? Noise with dirt on it, is a very accurate description of our little guys and oh how much I love them!
Which is why it was so appropriate that we went with a dump truck construction zone birthday party theme!
I love the challenge of throwing an amazing party on a small budget. I have shared detailed tips on how I do this in a previous article. For more tips on how to throw a frugal and fabulous party on a budget, checkout my daughter’s Tribal Princess Party.
When planning for a party the first few things you need to consider are how many people you anticipate to come and what type of food are you going to serve? Are you going to be serving just snacks or a full on meal?
For our little guys birthday party we planned for a total of 25-35 people. No one really RSVPs anymore. So you can just do your best to guess. Sometimes I will casually ask our friends if they plan on coming. That helps with the food prep a lot!
Because the party was around lunch-time, we did decided to serve a full lunch for everyone. When I am serving a meal to a large group, I try to come up with food ideas that are inexpensive. For this party we went with hot dogs. They are one of the little guy’s favorites, so that was perfect!
Normally I set my party budgets at $50, but because we were planning for almost double the number of guests that I usually do, we bumped the budget up to $75. Still not bad!
When throwing a party you have to be careful with your spending. It is really easy to head out to the dollar store and rack up a $50 bill and still need to buy food to serve your guests! (Which is usually the most expensive part) Yikes!
Now on to the fun party of party planning, the decorations! You will hear me say this every time. When it comes to party decorations, paper is your best friend! When you use a 40% off coupon, you can get a pack of colorful cardstock for around $2.
I have never used more than two packs for a party and most of my decorations come from those paper packs. So to total in your party decorations close to $10, it’s a huge win!
Firs off, the best way to make a large statement at a party is to use large impressive printables! You can do this by having large photos, word art, clipart, games, and so much more as an engineer print. You can learn more about how to make a DIY Engineer Print here.
For this party I made a large construction signs by creating a simple printable using Canva.com. I then mounted the engineer prints onto foam board that I bought at the Dollar Tree. Next, I took some yellow paint and went over the lines just to add a small touch of color.
You can get the free printable for the large signs and small signs used in the food by right clicking the images below, then saving to your computer.
Here are the signs I used to decorate our food table. I printed these from my printer at home on basic 8.5″x11″ yellow cardstock.
For these larger prints, I ordered them as engineer prints at 18″x24″.
To get everyone in the spirit, I bought these adorable yellow construction hats. The kids loved wearing them!
One of the biggest investments I made for the party was purchasing the caution tape. You can get some here but I picked mine up at HomeDepot. I pretty much covered everything I could with this stuff!
I used it in the backdrop behind our dessert table.
Around the drink station.
And as table runners on the eating tables.
Probably my very favorite thing that I made for the party was these dump truck cupcake toppers. Paper! I used the “Little Boys” cartridge for my Cricut to cut these out, then glued them onto toothpicks.
Cupcake toppers have to be the cutest party accessory ever!
One other thing I bought for the party was these little plastic toy dump trucks. When it came time for dessert, we let the little kids all fill up a “pit” full of treats.
We really let them go wild!
Then instead of using silverware, they used their dump trucks to shovel the food into their mouths. This was a huge hit!
I have found that my kids really enjoy activities at their parties more than they like games. So the activity for this party was an Excavation Project. We buried a bunch of little dollar store nick knacks in the sand box.
Then handed the kids their “shovels”, which were these super cute wooden spoons that were left over from my daughter’s birthday party, that were leftover from my brother’s wedding. USE WHAT YOU HAVE! Biggest tip for saving money!
Then to finish off the day, while the kids were devouring their desserts I read them Where do Diggers Sleep at Night? Such an adorable book!
Our little guy had a blast! Thanks for checking out our party! Let me know if you have any questions by leaving them in the comments below.
I’ll talk to you later! Xoxo