hwtm icons row

Adorable Vintage Milk & Cookies Birthday Party (+ 5 Budget-Friendly Party Planning Tips)

Quick Jump To » Vendor Credits | Comments

vintage milk and cookies party

Um… YES, PLEASE! That pretty much sums up how I feel about this insanely cute, vintage style Milk and Cookies Birthday Party by Jen Carver of Banner Events, and it’s not just my sweet tooth talking. :) The fabulous printables by Anders Ruff tie everything together beautifully, and Jen also includes 5 tips for easy & budget friendly party planning below.

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • Hay bales, milk jugs, and cow shaped creamers for a “vintage farm” feel
  • Recycled Starbucks Frappacino bottles used as “vintage milk bottles”
  • DIY cookie jars made from glass bowls with vinyl lettering + homemade “lids”
  • Incredible fondant cookie cupcake toppers, milk bottle cookies & monogrammed cookies

vintage milk and cookies place setting

milk bottle printables

milk and cookies party theme

monogram sugar cookies

vintage cookie party invitation

cookie birthday centerpiece on a bundle of hay

vintage chocolate bar wrapper printable

milk bottle cookies

cow pitcher with a blue ribbon

vintage chocolate chip cookie jar

chocolate milk straw flags

cookie party cupcake toppers

cookies and milk birthday party ideas

cookie jar

milk and cookies party decoration ideas

milk and cookies shirt

milk carton favors

PARTY DETAILS, as told by Jen

Do you ‘utter-ly’ love milk & cookies? My 2-year old son, Max, does! And what better way to celebrate our little cookie monster’s birthday than with a sweet milk & cookies party!

Ready for the best news? Using Anders Ruff’s darling ‘Vintage Milk & Cookies’ printable set, the party prep was simple & inexpensive, & the clean-up was quick! I gave myself a little challenge for this event & pulled off the party prep & planning in a matter of days and with a very limited budget. You can too!

5 Tips For Easy & Budget Friendly Party Planing

I’m sharing some of my favorite tips & tricks for tying an event together with minimal effort, but without sacrificing style or breaking the bank.

First: Choose a theme! 

Choosing a theme early in the planning process helps to eliminate a great deal of stress as it narrows down much of the decision making process. Invitations, activities, decor, party favors, food & color scheme will naturally coordinate with the chosen theme. Once you’ve decided on a theme, a plan can start to take shape!

As you can see, I chose a darling vintage milk & cookies theme. With my son’s current cookie obsession, this theme fit perfectly! The printable invitation & graphics package I chose from Anders Ruff, set the feel of our theme & the color palette. That is the beauty of using printable graphics! They help stylishly and effortlessly guide both the overall feeling of an event & also help tie in the fun little details that will knock your guests’ socks off! Lucky for you, Anders Ruff offers printable invitations and party packages in dozens of very unique and popular themes!

‘Moo’-ving right along… After last year’s big ‘First Bee Day’ Celebration (seen here), it was nice to keep things simple. Max’s grandparents were excited to receive this adorable invitation, perfectly customized for his sweet celebration. The invitation sets the stage for your event & is the first glimpse of your chosen theme that your guests will have!

Second: Take inventory!

With your chosen theme in mind, before heading out to shop for your event, look around your house to see what you already have that can be used as is or even repurposed. You will be amazed by what you already have that you can use. Here are a few things I discovered in my home:

  • An antique white farm style beadboard side table from my office was used as the focal point for our dessert display.
  • A cherry wood sofa table was used to display additional cookies.
  • Ikea jars with metal lids were dressed up with Anders Ruff printable flat labels and housed several yummy varieties of cookies.
  • Wood letters that spell MAX–leftover from last year’s party– got a fresh coat of paint and gave a nice pop of color to our main dessert bar.
  • Old Starbucks Frappacino bottles (donated by a friend) had their labels removed and were sterilized to resemble vintage milk bottles.
  • Remnants of burlap fabric were used to cover tables & wrap milk bottles. {Look how cute the bottles look with a few simple Anders Ruff printable embellishments! 2″ party logos were attached to handmade paper rosettes & party flags were attached to darling striped straws!}
  • Twine & clothes pins were used to hang our birthday bunting made by attaching printable banner elements from the printable ‘Vintage Milk & Cookies’ package to more handmade rosettes.
  • A round glass vase was transformed into a cookie jar (and provided the inspiration for my cookie jar favors) using custom chocolate brown vinyl lettering from A&E Design Works.
  • Tablecloths & serving stands/platters were all things I already owned and just had to be washed and set in place. {The gorgeous platter, cake stand and tiered stands you see here are part of a beautiful collection from Willow House by Angie Bytnar.}
  • Craft paper was used for wrapping gifts.
  • Leftover paper shred was utilized for lining cookie trays and embellishing a party hat for the guest of honor.

Once you’ve gathered things you may be able to use from your ‘at home’ inventory, make a short list of obvious supplies you may need to either borrow or purchase to carry out your theme. (Color coordinating paper plates, cupcake liners, napkins, etc…)

Third: Window Shop! 

I love shopping for party inspiration and am always amazed by some of the incredible things there are for purchase that can cut down on my prep time and help pull off my vision. Inspiration can come from just about anywhere! I generally like to start at the local dollar store to see what items from my list they may have. (I usually find quite a bit there!) Of course, craft stores, such as JoAnn, Michaels and Hobby Lobby are a must. Purchases made at these locations can be great, especially if you utilize the plethora of coupons that can be pulled from local newspapers or printed from online. Thrift stores, grocery stores and discount stores like Ross & TJ Maxx are also full of great party finds. Typically, I go from store to store with my notepad & pen & make notes about the things I see. I generally don’t buy anything on my first trip, and try to discipline myself into just jotting down specs about possibilities. This keeps me from overbuying and/or spending too much on items that I may find cheaper at other stores. (Of course, if there is an incredible sale or a must-have item that has low inventory, you may consider purchasing it on the spot, especially if there is a good return policy.)

For this particular party, I found the following things from the Dollar Store:

  • small glass bowls that would be fashioned into my take home cookie jar party favors
  • cookies (Famous Amos for filling the cookie jars, fudge striped cookies, etc…)

Fourth: Purposefully Shop.

With your notes in hand, return to the stores where you found the greatest deals for the items needed. Be sure to consider which things best meet both your party vision and your budget restrictions. (It’s always a good idea to save receipts in case you don’t end up using something or find an unexpected deal at a future date.) Anything you couldn’t find locally, may now be purchased online.

I found several fun prop items already on sale at Michaels & JoAnns and was able to use additional money saving coupons. I also scored a few clearance items at Target. Things I purchased included:

  • Hay bales for the dining table centerpiece and dessert table.
  • Galvanized bucket and milk jugs for displaying cookies and milk.
  • Mini wooden crates for each place setting & for the dessert bar.
  • Large wooden crates for adding height/levels to my display & a rustic touch.
  • Ceramic cows & milk cartons for whimsy.

Fifth: Simplify Food/Dessert Prep.

Unless you absolutely love slaving away in the kitchen, give yourself permission to purchase some of the food/desserts. It’s a good rule of thumb to opt for a few tried & true homemade items that are crowd pleasers & also make for a great presentation. Then, fill in the rest of the needed food/desserts with some prepared store bought items that require minimal prep & mostly need some simple styling/arranging. From those purchased items, I like to splurge on 2-3 specialty/gourmet items for that added WOW factor. These specialty items generally serve two purposes–they act as a dessert & due to their custom nature, also usually function as part of the decor too!

How did I do this for our ‘Milk & Cookies’ party? By sticking to a simple ‘milk & cookies’ theme, it meant I didn’t need to do a huge dessert table. I chose a couple of favorite recipes we’d make–my husband’s whoopie pies and my Oreo truffles.

From Costco & Walmart, I purchased some prepackaged cookies and found fun ways to arrange them. Our fun ‘splurge’/ gourmet items were these gorgeous cookies from Goosie Girl and The CookieXchange, as well as incredible fondant cupcake toppers from Fondant Flinger, all of which were custom designed to coordinate with both the colors of our event and the printable graphic package.

We kept our party favors simple & edible too, and by coordinating them with the party colors, we got twice the bang for our buck because they served as part of the decor until they were taken home by guests!

  • Adorable milk carton favors from Anders Ruff’s printable package held supplies of Milk Duds and Milk Chocolate Malt Balls.
  • Milk chocolate bars were embellished with custom candy bar wrappers from Anders Ruff’s Vintage Milk & Cookies printable package.
  • Cute chocolate and white striped sacks with coordinating party printables were available for take away treats. Family members loved being able to select a few extra cookie favorites to take home for later.
  • Guests also got to take home the mini cookie jar favors from their place setting.

We had a wonderful day celebrating one sweet little boy.

Vendor Credit


  1. Ali Bazor Jennings August 17, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    Love, love the colors. The milk bottles are so cute! The ccokies on top of the cupcakes really go with the theme plus super easy to make!

  2. Party Girl August 17, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    Sweet, sweet, sweet…everything about this theme is delicious!

  3. Ruth Briggs August 17, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    Great look! really interesting details. I’m sure it was a super party.

  4. JewelBoxCreativeStudios August 22, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    Love love love!

  5. Festinha cookies e leite | ChaChic August 23, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    […] Fotos: Hostess Blog […]

  6. Marrom, branco, azul e bolinhas « Lindezas September 15, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    […] Via Share this:TwitterFacebookPinterestGostar disso:GosteiSeja o primeiro a gostar disso. de → Ideias ← Pratos como moldura Ainda sem comentários […]

  7. Amber Smith November 19, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    I love this! My son will be 1 in March and I think we just found his theme!

  8. No Stress Birthday Party for 2 Kids! | St. Albert March 25, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    […] HARD! Really hard. Some gender neutral ideas I liked are rainbow theme, thing 1 & thing 2, cookies & milk theme, radio flyer theme and carnival […]

  9. Leslie gerstlauer April 19, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    Did you serve food too? Or was it just desserts? We are doing this theme for my sons 3rd but I don’t know what to serve… Ideas?

  10. […] Events is sharing a simple tutorial for making DIY Cookie Jar Favors as seen in her Vintage Milk & Cookies Party. The Anders Ruff Printables inspired the jars, displayed throughout the party… and the best […]

  11. […] it first, and then started scanning pinterest for more ideas. My two favorite inspirations are here and here for the milk and cookies theme. I decided to keep with the Cookie Monster idea, but […]

  12. Smily @ Cupcake Happy Hour February 8, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    Really adorable idea, with perfect details to everything.. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Nicole Gardiner April 29, 2014 at 9:26 pm

    What do you call that color blue? Love it!

  14. INSPIRACJE NA PIERWSZE URODZINY July 11, 2014 at 9:38 pm

    […] zdjęć: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, […]

  15. Taryn Starkey January 23, 2015 at 6:25 pm

    I need to know where the milk cartons came from? thank ya!

Comments are closed.

Browse Party Ideas:

Vendor Credit