Every Tuesday from now till early September we're going to be featuring a budget themed dessert table or tablescape (or party!) from a talented woman who has graciously volunteered to take on our Boy Bash on a Budget Challenge. And we're even going to throw our own work into the ring from time to time and follow the same budget confines. Every participant gets the Spaceships and Laser Beams Collection of their choice + $50 for a dessert table or $20 for a tablescape. They can also use anything they are able beg or borrow or make themselves.
I am thrilled to be able launch this exciting experiment with a fabulous party thrown by Allison of Cupcake Couture now Wild Rose Sweets and Styling. (If you haven't become a fan of her's already, make sure you visit her Facebook page). She chose our Prehistoric Party Dinosaur Collection, which Andrew designed. I've been gushing about this party on our own Facebook page for days, so it's needless to say I think it's great. Allison did such a wonderful write-up about her table that I am going to let her words speak for themself. (Anywhere you see italics are her words.) I'm going to do a second post tomorrow that gives Allison's tips for dessert tables for the budget conscious.
Of her creative approach for the decor, Allison says: The printables dictated the lush green and brown colour palette. Brown and green hessian provided an affordable backdrop and tablecloth, and I used the silk palms that we use as decoration in the house to maintain the jungle theme. I also cut some bushes from my garden and filled tin pails with the cuttings and cut plain brown paper that I had in my gift-wrapping box to line the food platters.
Whether you are assembling your first-ever table or you are a professional party planner, each of us works within a specific budget. To work within a budget successfully you just need to determine your priorities and embrace your creativity. A small budget can simply turn your focus from ‘What shall I buy?' to ‘What can I use that I already have?'
You'd never know that this party was thrown on a budget! So what did Allison spend money on?
The Fabric: I purchased a couple of metres of hessian in brown and green to use as a tablecloth and backdrop. As a Mum to four boys I knew these colours would most certainly be used again (think ‘Jungle', ‘Spring', ‘ Farm', ‘Bugs', ‘Chocolate')... the possibilities are endless!
The Food: Whether you buy it or bake it, food is costly. The fruit in fact was the most expensive item on my table! Unfortunately you can't get around it – you have to feed your guests. :-)
The birthday cake was a caramel mud cake with cream cheese frosting, decorated with chocolate ‘rocks', crushed Oreos and a plastic toy dinosaur. Don't spend your entire budget on the birthday cake – it is often the last thing eaten, which means everyone is often too full to enjoy it. There is nothing wrong with a simple buttercream cake decorated with toys, printables, or lollies. Simple things can make big impact.
I love baking so I truly enjoyed all the cooking and decorating, but if cooking is not your thing, perhaps think about using part of your budget on buying some (or all) of your treats. Her tip: Go to your local grocery store, lolly shop or bakery, or enlist the help of some friends who enjoy baking and offer to pay for ingredients. Remember that you are harder on yourself than any of the kids at the party will be. Whether bought or homemade - party food is party food to them.
Among the sweets Allison included on her dinosaur-themed dessert table were:
Lava Juice – Cream Soda
Jurassic Jaffa Cupcakes (Jaffa mud cupcakes)
Molten Chocolate Brownies (Brownies topped with coloured sugar)
Dinosaur Bones (Meringues)
Lime Jungle Slime (Lime Jelly)
Fossilised Caramel Critters (Caramel popcorn)
Dinosaur Buddies (Iced sugar cookies)
Vanilla Dinosaur Eggs (Cake balls shaped into eggs)
Herbivore Treats (Fruit)
Thankfully for us (and her guests), Allison's creativity didn't stop at the dessert table. I decorated the yard by adding printables to different areas – signs in the garden, on the kid's play cars, on their outdoor table. We created a ‘Jungle Doctor', a ‘Jurassic Tour' vehicle, and a ‘pre-tour' table with a Dinosaur identification chart, binoculars, and Dinosaur camera.
She adds: I also made a Dinosaur nest full of eggs that I made by putting paper-mache around balloons and then inserting the lolly bags into the ‘eggs' when they dried. The kids had so much fun cracking them open to discover the sweets inside!
Want even more dinosaur party ideas? You have to check out this post with 30 Dinosaur Parties You Will Love. It's one of our most popular ever!
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