I'm all things party and love sharing tips and trends on entertaining, event planning, and local happenings! Visit my blog Not Just A Mommy! for entertaining, crafts and design ideas.

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Do It Yourself, Or If You Can’t, Etsy!

Today is part 2 of my Kids’ Party Planning 101 series (check out part 1). One of the biggest money savers is making party items yourself. But don’t think you have to be Martha Stewart to become a DIY pro.  Making your own invitations, homemade cupcakes and having  guests make crafts are all great ways to personalize your party and save a litle money.

There are a staggering number of blogs dedicated to all things party, with oodles of tips and ideas to get you inspired.  Be warned, just because you may save money making things yourself, remember, your time is valuable. Many of us moms simply do not have the time to be up  until 2 in the morning trying to make your own banner when a lovely Etsy vendor can make one for you, but more on that later.

On that note, I’m going to share my go-to spots to help you get your creative juices flowing!


If you need it, One Pretty Thing has it. She has a staggering amount of projects linked up from all around the web for every level of crafting. Check out her birthday party roundup; do a search for your party theme like ‘pirate’ and it will reveal everything you ever wanted to see on pirates.

If you don’t know about Hostess With The Mostess, you are seriously missing out…she is the party queen and loves to share all types of parties with amazing DIY ideas. She has her own party themes with step by step breakdowns on all the details. She even has her own personalized party collection.


My own blog, Not Just A Mommy! is a one-stop party shop. From real party features to tutorials and craft ideas, I love to find out what’s hot in the party world and find fun parties that have great DIY ideas.  I love to create and share inspiration boards.  If you are planning any type of event, it will be  your best friend to help you focus your ideas and springboard off for new ones.

If all you want to look at are gorgeous parties, Kara’s Party Ideas is the place to be. From sharing her own fabulous parties to reader submissions, she’s full of great ideas and loves to share how she comes up with her amazing themes.

Alright,  maybe you don’t want to handcraft everything yourself, and that’s where sites like Etsy are your greatest ally. Everything from printables you can download and assemble yourself, to full blown party packs assembled and mailed to you, birthday banners, personalized outfits, favors, you name it! Here are some great places to check out…

The Celebration Shoppe has amazing collections that include many party elements like invites, banners, treat bag and cupcake toppers, ready for customization and print out at home. I love how she groups her themes together so you can also order all the pieces you need like matching plates and napkins.

Two Sugar Babies is a fondant genius, making toppers for your cupcakes and cookies. It’s a fun way to add something special and really tie your party together.

Piccadilly Circus Designs is a new discovery for me, specializing in personalized, applique shirts, perfect for celebrating birthdays.

A To Zebra Celebrations has fun banners that can fit every theme and color.

There are countless ways to make your party feel special without having to blow the bank.  For those of you who cannot have a house full of screaming kids (like me!), tune in next time for part 3 – Location, Location, Location!  I’ll clue you in to cool places to host your party.  And Chuck E. Cheese is NOT one of them.

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