Eco-Friendly Birthday Party on a Budget | 5 Easy Tips to Follow

Birthday parties, they are so fun, so meaningful, but also… so wasteful. From paper plates, plastic cups to disposable cutlery sets, there is a lot of waste. So what can we do? No one wants to wash dishes for a large party, is there a way to throw a birthday cookout on a budget and still have everything looking classy?

Well you guessed it!! THAT is exactly my mission with my sons second birthday!! So we have decided on a TinkerBell and Peter Pan theme. He loves the TinkerBell movies and Peter Pan is such a timeless and classic theme. The first thing I did, the first place I started was with the disposable plates, cups and cutlery.

Eco Friendly Supplies:

I scoured Amazon for eco-friendly, biodegradable materials. I found a set of plates for under $6 for 50 plates! They are wheat straw fiber plates and they are completely biodegradable, earth friendly and natural. I then moved on to plastic cups, I found completely compostable plant based plastic cups that are sturdy. The set of 50 cups was $6.69 Lastly, I chose a wooden disposable cutlery set with 100 forks, 100 knives, and 50 spoons. This set being only $9.99 it was frugal and economical.

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Don’t buy certain materials:

So there are certain things I won’t use and wont buy for birthdays. Mostly these items are really terrible for the environment when discarded. First one is balloons, I will not buy balloons anymore for parties. If the balloons are let go into the atmosphere and then popped and back into the earth as trash they are very damaging to animals and our environment. I just do not see them being worth it for the damage they cause. Another item I will no longer buy is confetti or glitter. In the past I was all about the glitter and sparkly confetti for parties but after learning how damaging these microscopic pieces of plastic are, they have made it on to the “no buy” list. If I do purchase glitter I will look for something made from plants, something eco-friendly and biodegradable. A great example is the image below, biodegradable star confetti. Just making better choices can lead to unique and original decorations and also better results for our earth too!

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Reduce Reuse Recycle:

Another thing I do very often for parties is I reuse things I already have at home. I am a big crafter so chances are I have things I can fashion into any theme around my home. I have fabric, notions, twinkle lights, paint, markers, printing paper, all kinds of craft paper and much more!! I do not buy anything that I might already have or that I can make myself. For Augustus’ birthday this year I made my own Tinker Bell stickers using this print and stick paper I got FREE at a yard sale!! This was one of the coolest things I did, I really enjoyed the way it came out when I was done. I used some of these stickers to press on mason jars (recycled from jars of sauce or salsa) that I filled with mini light sets and tulle. The rest of the stickers I bought will be stuck on a fairy forest backdrop I bought on Amazon for $13. This will create a scene with the characters from the theme we are using and be a fun backdrop for photos! Being a photographer I know I will use this backdrop later! I can’t wait to see how these things come together this weekend!

Skip the cheap breakable favors:

We all know the items I am talking about, those cheap sets for like $10 with 50 party favors and decorations. Whistles, plastic rings, Stamps, keychains… does anyone even keep these items after the party? If your child received these items at a party would you be ready and excited to dispose of them once the novelty was over? Getting nice party favors can be expensive sometimes, creating decor that’s classy and nice looking without being wasteful and excessive can be a challenge too. I decided to skip the cheap crap for our goodie bags and have the kids who attend create something themselves that they can keep and that parents wont be totally disgusted by! I bought a bunch of mini wooden chests for the kids to decorate, they were only $1 each!! I already have tons of materials for them to use to decorate so that part was easy! I also threw some other cute items in the bag that are useful and fun. So once they finish their chest and it dries they can take it home in their Tinker Bell goodie bag! I think this is going to be really fun!

For decor, get creative think outside of the box:

So aside from my awesome DIY stickers and the backdrop I ordered, I have a few other ideas up my sleeve to add to the fun atmosphere. I took some wooden frames ($1 at michaels) and printed out some cool Peter Pan art from online and framed them. What a cute thing and its going to really make the decorations even better! I also printed out a sketched map of “Neverland” and framed that as well. These are simple ideas and easy to incorporate into your decorating skills. I then used some scrapbooking stickers to write “Peter Pan” on one frame and “You can fly!” on another. These frames can also be painted, you can use stickers there are endless possibilities but I kept it simple because the natural wood look goes really well with my theme!

I also used felt. Felt is really inexpensive and I made flowers, leaves and a leafy garland for the party. I think this is going to add a lot of color and fun!


So, I shared most of my ideas I am using for the upcoming birthday party this Saturday! Its really possible and even easy to have a tight budget and still make really amazing original decorations! Just having a little creativity using ideas from Pinterest you can really impress your guests! What do you do for birthday parties? Do you make your own decorations? I would love to hear more about what other people are doing to create awesome creative DIY party decor! Stay tuned for a post with pictures from the party and details about how it went!!! Cant wait to share!

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