Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Tinkerbell Ballet Birthday Party on a Budget

Early last month, we hosted a Ballet birthday party with a Tinkerbell theme for Natalie at the studio where she takes weekly lessons. As with many families, our December budget is always a little tight with the holidays and two birthdays close together. This party isn't a beautifully styled, feature-worthy fete. But I thought I'd go ahead and share some pictures because I firmly believe that even if your family is on a budget, you can still throw an enjoyable party that your child will have fond memories of.

The only real downside to the party was that they stuck us in the "ghetto" studio, most likely because they didn't want little girls with plates of cake wrecking up their floors during Nutcracker rehearsal season. Due to Nutcracker rehearsals, they only gave us thirty minutes to set up...that meant no extravagant decorations.

But you know what? The roomful of little girls was so excited to get their party on that they could have cared less about whether or not the food coordinated with the decor or the fact that we only had a few balloons. They had a blast!

The tablecloths (plastic), plates, and napkins came from Wal-Mart. The banner came from Target, as did the paper decorations, which came in a party pack with all sorts of punch-outs, including a runner and placemats. The "centerpiece" (I use that term loosely- remember, we only had thirty minutes!) was one of the girls' dress-up tutus and my old pointe shoes from my dancing days.

The cake is another story, entirely. I normally make my own cupcakes, but wanted to keep this party as low-stress as possible since I had an event the night before. I ordered it from a well-known "high end" grocery bakery and ended up with something my dog very well could have decorated. I won't be ordering from them again.

The young ladies who served as instructors kept the girls busy the entire time with stretches, simple ballet exercises, moving across the floor, solos, and dance games!

Pass the slipper! (Hot Potato)

The only party time the studio could give me was right in the middle of lunch hour, so we had a pizza picnic...right on the dance floor! A $1 plastic tablecloth and runners/decorations from the Target party pack made a perfect picnic- for lunch and cake!

We all love presents...

And what did my girls wear?

Natalie and Michaela Byrd already had tights and ballet slippers; and the tutu Michaela Byrd wore is one that her aunt SuSu gave her a couple of years ago. I found the pink leotards cheap at Wal-Mart (Danskin) and the leg warmers are from Target. They are able to wear the leg warmers to ballet class, so we've gotten our money's worth out of them! Natalie's tutu is from Harper's Hat Box, and the headband is actually mine-- from Nikycole. Both are fabulously easy to work with!

This was the first birthday party that we've had outside our home. Lots of dance studios offer children's birthday parties as a way for their older students to gain teaching experience (and make some extra money).

While it hurt to pay for the studio time and teachers, the extra cost was worth it to me this year because it meant I didn't have to stress about decorating my home for Christmas and a birthday party in the short week after Thanksgiving. I paid for the studio time over the course of several months, so we didn't have to shell out $$$ the week of the party. Clearly, we also saved with decorations. Because it was a drop-off party, we also didn't have to worry about providing food for adults, which was a plus!

No, it is not the fanciest party you'll ever see...but the birthday girl looked pretty pleased, don't you think?

And that's really all that matters, isn't it?

Linking to Tatertots and Jello

Pin It


  1. This looks like a fabulous party!!
    I know my little ballerina would have loved it!!

    My favorite part is the picnic lunch! How fun!

  2. I think it turned out to be a great party. The girls looked like they were having fun in every picture. Why break your back on all the decorations when all they want is to have a good time. Her out fit was darling!

  3. Looks like it was a great party to me! The smiles on all of their faces is proof enough :)

  4. I think she will remember forever her fun and unique birthday party at the ballet studio. All the girls looks so pretty and could totally tell they had a blast.
    LOVE the centerpiece with your old pointe shoes!!
    Natalie look so beautiful in her ballerina outfit, and the headband matched perfectly!! (Thank you so much for mentioning my shop!)
    Again, HAPPY BIRTHDAY Natalie :)

  5. So adorable! My little girls are teens now, and this makes me ache for their ol'ballarina days. You pulled off a great party!

  6. OMG! Will you throw ME a Tinkerbell ballerina party, too?!? I would even wear the tutu! FUN!

  7. I'd say if Natalie felt like it was wonderful that is all that matters! Those girls look like they are having a blast. :)

  8. I think it looks like a fabulous party!

    What a fun idea for a girls' party.

    Everyone looked like they were having a blast!

  9. I think it's perfect!!! I know that other kids had elaborate birthday parties when I was little, while my mom always made a homemade cake, simple store bought decorations, etc. And I loved my parties most of all. Because they were mine. I'm sure Natalie will be just as happy with hers!! ;)

  10. The birthday girl looked ecstatic! As well she should!!

    I love this, Amanda. You and I have talked before about birthday parties. I applaud you for setting a great example. If little kids are treated to wildly extravagant parties, what will they expect when they're teenagers? Or worse, when they're adults? I really think it's far better for little girls to feel like they're treasured daughters of their parents than that they're princesses. As the mother of boys, I get nervous thinking of one of my boys someday falling in love with a girl who's been taught that she's a princess, that the world revolves around her, and that no expense should be spared in pursuit of her entertainment. Shudders!

    You are an awesome mom.

  11. So fun! As the mom of 2 boys, my heart goes pitter patter and my uterus aches a bit when I see all that pink and tulle. Love it! The girls look like they had a blast. Thanks for sharing.

  12. How adorable is this the idea!!

  13. Amanda, I agree with Richella! I truly believe the elaborate kid's parties are more for the parents benefit. What one year old is going to remember that you had the perfect cake topper and party invites? Most of our girls parties were thrown at home, a few at play places. We almost always served homemade cake (they preferred it). Their invitations were usually something we made to go along with the theme. Most were very simple, but my girls still talk about them to this day.

  14. Love this idea! So cute & great job doing it on a budget! Visiting from Tater Tots & Jello! :-) Really love your blog! <3 Heidi Rew from

  15. Amanda, this is such a beautiful party! Really, just perfect! The fun and the the friends are so way much more important than the over the top decorations and perfection. (plus your decorations are pretty great! Love the picnic!)

  16. You gave her a wonderful party, don't you think any different. Cost, place and decorations aren't what it is about, it is the love and time you put into the party is what is priceless.

  17. What a sweet party! It looks like everyone had a blast and the "picnic" was a great idea! :)

  18. so fun!! my 4 year old was looking over my shoulder while I was reading your post and said "can we do that for my birthday mommy?" so you've got the official seal of approval!

  19. Absolutely precious!!! Oh, how I miss the studio! Many, many fond memories :)

    And, hey, did I already know you were a dancer? Sheesh, getting old sucks. I'll have to add you to my Blogger/Dancer list, ha ha ;)


I love to hear your feedback! Please feel free to leave comments...just don't send me spam asking me to buy stuff off your website! I've got three kids and no money to purchase your magic weight-loss pill or bust enhancement, or whatever else you might be selling. Thanks, and I look forward to hearing from you! :)

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...