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dog topped birthday cake

As we previously mentioned, 8 talented party stylists were recently challenged by Balloon Time to design/host a real celebration using just one of their helium tanks + a budget of $100. The grand prize? A $5K donation to the winning stylist’s charity of choice! Now that the contest is over, we’d like to share each party in more detail with you over the next couple weeks, as they are all so unique and have some really great budget-friendly ideas… which we could ALL use, right?!

So, first up is the grand prize winner herself – Norene Cox of Party Pinching! For her entry, Norene styled this clever & colorful Dog Days of Summer Puppy Party, which benefited The Beagle Freedom Project. Congrats, Norene! And thank you for allowing us to share your adorable celebration. :)

Make sure to check out more of the party’s photos, along with recipes & tutorials for some of the treats seen here (including those famous ‘pupcakes’), over on Norene’s blog! Plus, check back for all of the other Party on a Dime contestant features.

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • Darling DIY beagle balloons with Sharpie-drawn faces & paper ears
  • Clever Mike & Ike candy ‘popsicles’ on the cupcakes + popsicle shooters
  • Paw print Oreos + a fondant beagle topped cake adorned with Necco Wafers
  • Ice cream cone squeak toys for the dogs + ‘adoptable’ stuffed dog party favors

dog days of summer puppy party ideas

mike and ike popsicle topped cupcakes

puppy dog birthday party on a budget

diy dog friendly cake and cupcake recipes

dog themed dessert table


PARTY DETAILS as told by Norene

When Balloon Time contacted me and wanted me to participate in their Party On A Dime Challenge, boy, I was “up” for it! I was so honored to be included among such talented ladies! With summer winding down, a “Dog Days of Summer” puppy party seemed to be the perfect theme and one to benefit a cause for paws, the Beagle Freedom Project!

I loved using the summer colors for the balloon backdrop and made beagle balloons using construction paper and a black Sharpie! Popsicles and lemonade kept us all cool in the summer heat while we snacked on other goodies such as popsicle cupcakes, candy from SweetWorks and cute little white chocolate covered Oreos with fondant paw prints. I decorated the beagle cake with Necco Wafer candies and made the edible beagle topper out of fondant using a tutorial by the Cupcake Queen herself, Victoria Threader of Victorious Cupcakes.

The puppies had their own dessert table complete with ice cream cone cookies from Muddy Paws, a variety of dog treats and my famous pupcakes (that are human friendly too). Ice cream cone dog toys and stuffed toy dogs to “adopt” and take home were purchased from the Dollar Tree.

Six years ago, we adopted our sweet beagle Kurby. I have had a love for beagles ever since I was a kid and fell in love with Snoopy. A few years ago, I heard about the The Beagle Freedom Project. Their mission is to rescue beagles used in animal experimentation in research laboratories and give them a chance at life in a loving forever home. There are over 70,000 beagles used in animal experimentation in the United States. Beagles are the breed of choice for exactly the same reasons they are so great with families — they are docile, eager to please and, forgiving. Whatever your views may be on animal testing, I think we can all agree that after the testing is done, these beagles who have given so much for our sake, deserve to be placed in loving homes instead of being destroyed. Please visit The Beagle Freedom Project for more information.

Total cost of this party: $67!


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