Friday, November 9, 2012

The "Easy on Mom" Carnival Party

I love seeing fabulous themed parties.   So pretty!  So inspiring!  So...much work.  Or cost. OR BOTH. Having two kids with birthdays smack in the middle of Halloween & Thanksgiving season, makes party throwing tough this time of year. They tend to get a bit shortchanged because I'm unable to go my usual crafting bananas.  

This year I really wanted them to feel special so we put together a Carnival-themed party for them both that was also an "Easy on Mom" theme.  Not only was it fun, but it didn't require spending a bunch of money or prep time.  I've included a handy "where to find" list at the end to make it even easier.

Here's how we made our guys Birthday Bosses, Carnival-style!

To get the decorating started, I tacked up plastic carnival signs set the room up in areas:
Our trusty art easel made an easy welcoming entrance and helped display the "Wooly Willies" & stick on mustache favors:
The mustaches were a big hit the adults and kids alike -
We already had Carnival Games for the Wii, so using that instead of having to put together activities was a big help (and required less space or mess since we had to be indoors).
I covered a sideboard to make a concession area with all the usual carnival treats and twisted some crepe paper to turn a boring door into a decorative background (of course this is the worst room to photograph, so sorry about the grainy pics):
Inexpensive popcorn boxes filled with bagged popcorn were a cheap & easy decorative element. Homemade cupcakes with some modeling chocolate stars (using my usual recipe HERE).  Each boy had different colored stars, so they had their own trays when it came time to blow out the candles: 
I put out some colorful lollipops, red vines & circus peanuts in festive cupcake wrappers too:
The lollipops were from Wilton's favor kits.  They came with stickers you could personalize & print yourself and I got them for half price in the clearance section so they were a real bargain!  
We made a drink station on a low table with some colorful 2 liter drinks and a mini claw machine we'd bought the kids for Christmas a few years ago.  It was pretty inexpensive and it's ALWAYS a favorite with kids when they come over.  We filled it with candy and they were more interested in the thrill of the chase than eating what they won from it!
To make the custom drinks I just cut off the original labels on the bottles and stuck on these carnival drink stickers to make them party perfect:
These hilarious clown mouth straw decorations and plastic swirl straws were a cheap find and added some extra fun too:
Of course the real star of the show was the Carnival Photo Booth.  This was what got us wanting to do a carnival theme:
I ordered it from an online party supplier and the Mr. rigged up a stand with some pvc pipe (so we can reuse it for other photo themes in the future).  
 Everyone felt like superstar (it was just hard to get 2 of my kids in it at any given time!)
 And it made for some awesome thank you notes with each guest's booth picture enclosed.
We all had a blast and since it was relatively easy & inexpensive to put together, this mom got to feel like an all star without loads of work.  That's the kind of a party I like celebrating!

Want more info on any of the party paraphernalia? Here's a handy list to save you time:

Where I Got The Goods:

Lollipop kits, crepe paper - Party City
Photo Booth poster, plastic signs, invitations, popcorn boxes - Birthday Express
Paper trays, birthday sign, straws, straw toppers, moustaches, drink labels, cupcake liners - Hobby Lobby
Claw machine - Young Explorers
Wii Carnival Games - Amazon

Sharing this with my FAVE LINK PARTIES too-
Click HERE to check them out!
Including: Bird's Party


  1. I love it all, but I expecially like this Carnival Photo Booth! Great idea!

  2. Really cute. It looks like everyone had a great time!!!!

  3. How FUN!!! You did a Fantastic job Mama!!!! I would've given my eye teeth to have had a party like that when I was a kid!!!! Even tho you say it was "Easy on Mom" it really looks like you went to a LOT of trouble! Double BONUS! We so need a photo set-up like that, especially w/ those 'staches! Too cute. TFS!

    1. Thanks so much Chelle! That;s what I loved about it - it looked like a lot more effort than it was (just cleaning up my house took a lot more time than the party prep & tear down!)

  4. Very cute party! And I love the pic of your little guy in the 'stache! Visiting from Tatertots and Jello...TFS!
    Megan from

    1. Aw thanks Megan - he was the one kid who was so serious about the mustaches too. Glad you stopped by!

  5. Awe! I love this party! So cute!

  6. fun!!! love this, great photos too. Thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things hop xo

  7. Cheryl, the party looked AMAZING!!! Gosh it must have been so fun!

    Thanks so much for sharing this at The DIY Dreamer... From Dream To Reality! I can't wait to see what you link up this evening!

  8. I think when we budget or are pushed for time, that's when the most fun and creative parties come along!! I LOVE all the clever details and the kiddos looked soooo adorable!! LOVE the photo prop!! :)

    Thank you again for linking up! Your party was featured on Bird's Party Blog! :)

    PS - I so desperately am trying to find a pin button with counter that works!! Where did you get yours? :)


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