Boy Bash on a Budget Challenge

[Boy Bash] Vintage Car Party Tablescape

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Every Tuesday till early September we’re going to be featuring a budget themed dessert table or tablescape from the talented women who have 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, make themselves or already own.

I am absolutely loving today’s Boy Bash on a Budget Challenge feature. It’s a super cool vintage car party tablescape from Kelly at Studio DIY. I LOVE the interactive details she included — specifically the use of the chalkboard table runner and using cars as the favor so that the boy’s could then play. I also LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the paper elements she created herself including the dice and cones. In Kelly’s own words, we have details about this vintage car themed birthday tablescape at the end of the post.

Here’s more about the table in Kelly’s own words:

Working with the Vintage Car Party printables couldn’t have been more perfect for me! You see, I have a very active, car-loving nephew, who’s taught me a thing or two about cars. When I found out I was creating a tablescape for this boy themed party, I knew it had to be interactive, or the kiddos wouldn’t stay at the table for long. Luckily the car theme made that easy for me and I created a chalkboard road table runner. Being a party blogger, I had most of the basics on hand, so I spent my money wisely on making this table an activity in and of itself. I purchased a roll of black chalkboard contact paper on amazon, a box of chalk and a bunch of toy cars. Since I wasn’t using a tablecloth, I simply laid the contact paper across the table as a runner, but if you wanted to use kraft paper to cover the table you could actually stick the contact paper to it! I set out all the main necessities on the table and then built my roads around them using white artist’s tape. I wrapped scraps of the chalkbaord paper around votive holders to hold the chalk and scattered a few cars about.

When I think of fun and funky cars, I think of those fuzzy dice hanging over the rearview mirror so I had to recreate that as my “chandelier!” I made the dice using white cardstock and a circle punch for the dots, then hung them from the ceiling with fishing line. The bunting, one of my favorite parts of the collection, anchored it on both sides angling from the ceiling to the edges of the table.
I had leftover paper snow cones from July 4th and decided to recover them in orange and turn them into traffic cones! I chopped the top off and they made the perfect holders for utensils and straws. I removed the labels on water bottles and replaced them with more chalkboard paper and tape to mimic the road on the table.

I used the cake bunting as chair decor and the license plate labels as place cards. I love looking at something that is meant for one purpose and totally changing it up! These items were perfect for just that. I also made a “Spare Tire” cake of donuts and stuck the “Fuel Up” and “Pit Stop” signs onto skewers to use as a cake topper.

If you ask me, you can’t have a party without a favor! Though some people cut this due to expenses, you really don’t need to spend much at all. I used the awesome printable bag tags and some white favor bags (I got these at a garage sale way back when, 50 for $1! Garage sales are a great party resource) and popped a few toy cars (You can get packs of several for $1 at the dollar store!) in each. That’s a treat if I’ve ever seen one for a bunch of car-loving boys!


Items I Bought
Donuts: $8.00
Toy Cars: $3.00
Chalk: $1.00
Items I Had
Cake Stand
Utensils + Straws
Water Bottles
Artist’s Tape
Votive Holders
Paper (And lots of it!)
Favor Bags

A few tips on saving money when planning a party! Think beyond the party. If you have to spend money, it may as well be on something you can re-use later on. That’s the best part about this chalkboard road table runner. It can be wiped down and rolled up to use again on a non-party day! Just clear the kitchen table when everyone’s cooped up inside and roll it out for hours of fun. Use the toy cars as both an activity at the party, and a favor to take home. And second, utilize paper to it’s full advantage. As you already know, printable suites like this one make for great and affordable party decor, and you can add to it with even more! Those traffic cones and the dice were made with just paper and tape and cost virtually nothing. The paper possibilities are endless.

Stephanie Keeping

Stephanie is in love with a boy named Sam. He has taught her that it’s okay to jump first and look later, to wear a dirty shirt to the park and to decide that today is a good day to take a nap in your rubber boots. She hangs out here blogging at Spaceships and Laser Beams and at our printable party shop on Etsy.