As the third installation of the Balloon Time Party on a Dime contest series, Michelle Burt of Maddycakes Muse has got a rootin’ tootin’ Country Farm Birthday Party to share with ya’ll! Michelle not only was able to stay under budget (just $84 spent!), but she also thoughtfully disregarded the loads of party supplies she already had (knowing that the average person doesn’t have that kind of stash) and used other common things around her house + lots of great finds from the Dollar Store! This is one party that definitely does not look like it came from a bargain bin! ;) See all of the Party on a Dime contestant features here.
PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:
– Homemade corndogs on mini hay bales + homemade chili served in flannel topped mason jars
– DIY chalkboard chargers (+ chalk for decorating), bandana napkins & pie tin plates
– Flower filled cowgirl boot, popcorn filled bushel basket, a chicken wire backdrop & birdhouse painting
– DIY barn fruit ‘cake’ with watermelon slices & cookie cutter fruit animals + cow print juice & balloons
PARTY DETAILS as told by Michelle…
I was contacted by Balloon Time to compete in a Party on a Dime challenge. The designers were asked to style a complete REAL party for $100 (not a photo shoot party) for the chance to wine $5,000 for their favorite charity. Of course, this was right up my alley!! For my charity, I picked Operation Shower as I have been volunteering with them for a few years now and being a retired Marine, they is near and dear to my heart.
As I started thinking what I was going to do, I realized that as a party planner I have way more “party” props/items than the average person. I don’t think it’s fair if I used all my already owned party stuff and called it a true $100 party! So I challenged myself to only use items I either created or items easily found in the average household.
I went with a farm theme because it’s a classic theme that is so easy to pull off. Plus, I’m betting you have all you need right at home or easily borrowed or inexpensively bought. To have a budget party, it’s important to shop your home to find items that you can use.
The tablescape was affordable and super easy. I made homemade chili and corn dogs for lunch. This was my first time making homemade corn dogs and I could not believe how easy and yummy they were. I will never buy the frozen premade corn dogs ever again! These tasted like the corn dogs you get from the fair! So yummy!!
I used a white table cloth as my base linen for the table. I always like to layer linens for contrast and texture, so I bought red and blue bandanas from The Dollar Tree. I layered red bandanas and a burlap runner I already owned over the white table cloth. (If you don’t have a white table cloth you can use a white sheet and burlap is very inexpensive to purchase.) I made a chalkboard charger by spray painting pizza pans from The Dollar Tree with chalkboard spray paint. I got the chalk from Dollar Tree as well. These chargers came in handy as a fun activity for the creative guests.
I put some homemade chili in small mason jars. I love mason jars because you can use them over and over again. The fabric on top of the jar is actually a shirt I found in a donation pile! My chili recipe called for beans and canned tomatoes so I recycled the cans for my centerpieces. I used scrap fabric and the donation pile shirt again and glued them on the cans. The cost of centerpieces was only my flowers.
I didn’t have any cow print paper so I wrapped the juice boxes in white card stock and used a black sharpie to add the cow spots. The pie tins came from Dollar Tree with 3 tins in a pack. I created the chair backs using cardboard that I spray painted chalk board on (it makes it easier if you use a primer first), then added torn strips from the donation pile shirt.
The sweets table consisted of store-bought mini cupcakes, a fruit cake, and kettle corn popcorn. A custom cake can cost you over $100 by itself. Why not try a healthy alternative but still make it super cute. This barn fruit cake consisted of watermelon, cantaloupe, blueberries and jicama. I cut the watermelon and stacked the slices into “cake” tiers and then used cookie cutters for the farm animals. I just love how it all turned out!
I used my BalloonTime helium tank to fill the blue balloons from the Dollar Tree and used my handy dandy Sharpie to write SWEET. I found the frame off the side of the road and stapled chicken wire to it. I spray painted clothes pins from the Dollar Tree red to attach the balloons and photos of my “Sweet”ie.
In that same donation pile sitting in my garage, there were a pair of my daughter’s too small cowboy boots. A coat of red spray paint and yee-haw those babies look great!
After lunch, the kiddos painted wooden birdhouses. I got the birdhouses for 97 cents at Walmart and already had the paints. Recycle your egg cartoons to hold paint. For favors, I put candy in a balloon, filled it with my Balloon Time helium tank and drew a cow face using markers. I got the white balloons from the Dollar Tree.
That’s it! The total cost spent was $84 for all the food, decor, sweets table, activity and favors. You don’t have to break the bank to have a great party that kids will have fun and remember. I still have TONS of helium left in my Balloon Time tank so I already have more ideas how to use balloons for Madison’s Halloween party this year! Thank you Balloon Time for giving me the opportunity to have such a fun day and the chance to win money for Operation Shower to help more deserving military families.