Monster Theme Birthday Party on a Budget

One of the many parties I’ve had the pleasure of planning since Covid appeared and I disappeared was this fun Monster Theme Birthday Party. Inexpensive and super fun!

Monster Theme Birthday Party | mamasbrush #monsterparty #birthdayparty #boybirthdayparty #monsters #eventplanning #partyplanning

It was a casual at home family party, shutdown style, but the little details made it special to the little monster we were celebrating. I tied together balloons into great bunches and incorporated white ones into the mix as eyes, with black “pupils” colored with sharpie. Black circles of paper would also work.

I used my Cricut to cut out the number 5 and letters of his name. If you don’t have a Cricut, scissors and scrapbook paper (or any paper for that matter) would work just as well.

Monster Theme Birthday Party | mamasbrush #monsterparty #birthdayparty #boybirthdayparty #monsters #eventplanning #partyplanning #chalkboard

I love my trusty chalkboard. I get so much use out of it! If you have one, this was a super simple thing to draw. Just make a bubbly, lumpy shape with the side of your chalk, coloring it all the way in. Then with the tip, trace around the outside. I used a q-tip to clean away the shape of the mouth, added white teeth, and the eyes. This chalkboard is the first thing the kids see when they come downstairs. It is usually the way they figure out the surprise theme for the day.

Monster Theme Birthday Party | mamasbrush #monsterparty #birthdayparty #boybirthdayparty #monsters #eventplanning #partyplanning
Monster Theme Birthday Party | mamasbrush #monsterparty #birthdayparty #boybirthdayparty #monsters #eventplanning #partyplanning

Other balloons were used independently around the room, stuck to walls or resting in containers. I added a wiggly eye and a little smile or other shaped mouth and, poof, a monster was born.

Monster Theme Birthday Party | mamasbrush #monsterparty #birthdayparty #boybirthdayparty #monsters #eventplanning #partyplanning

This was an empty jar I had laying around. I bunched up some dark blue fabric inside and added some eyes and a mouth with water-based paint pens (note: make sure they are water-based. The oil-based paint pens may not come off.) Easy, quick, and cheap party decoration! 🙂

I love to use those water-based paint pens to add a touch of birthday to the bathroom mirror too. These monsters were simple to draw. I just scribbled a random shape and added eyes and other details to make them into monsters. One of them even has little toes (just lines people… you can do this!)

Monster Theme Birthday Party | mamasbrush #monsterparty #birthdayparty #boybirthdayparty #monsters #eventplanning #partyplanning

Breakfast was regular donuts picked from our local donut shop. To them I added candy eyes (those candy eyes are the maker of monsters!) Easy peasy! Just as easy with donuts from Walmart or even toast and jam for a more frugal option!

Monster Theme Birthday Party | mamasbrush #monsterparty #birthdayparty #boybirthdayparty #monsters #eventplanning #partyplanning

The Monster cake is my favorite part of the day. I started with a plain two layer cake and frosted it with the orange. Then I added the candy eyes in various sizes all over. On top are 6 cupcakes that I frosted with the blue using the star tip. Those eyes are simply mini cupcakes stuck on paper straws. I frosted them in the same blue and added large candy eyes. So simple to make, but such a great impact!

Are there any little monster details you plan to try on your next party? Let me know how it goes! 🙂

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Pink Kitchen Themed Bridal Shower

Pink Kitchen Themed Bridal Shower | mamasbrush #pink #bridalshower #customrecipecards #cakedecorating #kitchenillustration #macarons #partyplanning #eventplanning

After what felt like several years with no bridal or baby showers in our church, we have had a flush of them in the last year or so. The first was a double shower. Two September weddings led to two brides needing showers in August. Both brides loved pink and cooking, so it just made sense to do a pink kitchen bridal shower!

Above is the gift table. My favorite part is the matching aprons hanging in the windows. Sorry it’s hard to see, but I used my Cricut to add their new married names and the year to them.

I designed these for each of the brides. The artwork is mine and some of the first I used Adobe Illustrator to create (before I had a tablet). They were super fun. There is a 4×6 recipe card… and a 8×6 foldable size too. The last gift is little gift labels with their names on them. Isn’t that whisk so cute? I love it! 🙂

I used both sides of my chalkboard this time. I had homemade tootsie rolls (rolling pins) sitting by it for guests to help themselves to on their way out. (Here’s the link to those!) The other side was visible as guests arrived. I loved adding Hebrews 10:24 – “Let us consider how to stir up one another to love….” (Anyone else love puns?)

Pink Kitchen Themed Bridal Shower | mamasbrush #pink #bridalshower #customrecipecards #cakedecorating #kitchenillustration #macarons #partyplanning #eventplanning

Dessert table – I’m noticing in this picture that I could have used something festive on the wall behind the table… oh well. 🙂

Our evening party was perfect for serving dessert. I try to have some non sweet/non sugar options as well, but mostly this was dessert.

The food tags were made with my cricut and embelished with white pen to enhance the hearts. Both brides were gluten free, so I was careful to have gf options for everyone. Rice Krispies dipped in pink melting chocolates, macarons, fruit and veggies, popcorn, meringues and…

Pink Kitchen Themed Bridal Shower | mamasbrush #pink #bridalshower #customrecipecards #cakedecorating #kitchenillustration #macarons #partyplanning #eventplanning

This cake was super fun to make. It was gluten free and the cupcakes were regular chocolate cupcakes.

Here are some close up shots of the cake for those of you who like that kind of thing. 🙂 I’ve been working on my cakes. I feel like this one hid my novice more than most. I was pretty excited that it turned out. I found an inspiration photo on Pinterest, I’m sure, but I can’t find it now. Check out my Cake Decorating board if you are interested, though, for more ideas!

I hope you found something to inspire you from this party. Remember, parties don’t have to be perfect to be appreciated. Everyone had a good time and the brides were blessed!

Until nextime,

You can find me gathering here.

Easy Hiking Theme Birthday on a Budget

I wasn’t sure how I was going to make this “Hiking” themed birthday different from the “Camping” theme we did a few years ago, and let me tell you, inspiration was not coming. I had only general ideas going into the evening before the big day, but hopefully that is just proof of how easy and budget friendly this whole theme was.

Birthdays are a big deal around here, and if you’ve been around a while, then you know that there is always a theme. I was really struggling with what the theme would be this time around since the interests of my now nine year old haven’t changed much over the last few years. I’ve done all the themes already. What he really wanted was a hiking theme, but I kept fighting against it since we just did a camping theme a few years ago.

Added into all that, my husband and I spent 10 days during July in the hospital with our oldest daughter and, while she is in full health now, the week we got home was full of recovery and catching up from being away from home and the rest of the kids for so long. That left only a few days to figure out what I was going to do for this birthday.

Finally I gave in. Hiking theme it was… but I had no idea what I would do. Pinterest is always a huge help, but most of the “hiking” searches brought up tons of great “camping” themed party ideas. Or “national park” themes. Still not exactly what I was looking for. (See my Pinterest board for more ideas!)

One thing I did find was cute hiking signs I could print… but my printer wasn’t working at the last minute, so we didn’t have those.

So what’s a girl to do with no balloons, no streamers, and no idea what to start with? I headed upstairs to to the attic for the Christmas/winter decorations. Yes I did! You may recognize some of these from the Cozy Mountain Lodge Women’s Retreat I decorated for earlier this year too.

I put some of these decorations on my much loved shelves.

Adventure Awaits Hand Painted Card -- Easy Hiking Theme Birthday on a Budget

And I try to paint/illustrate a little card for each of the kids on their birthday. It’s become something that is really special to them. This time I thought it fit nicely in the decoration. You could totally do this painting. I painted the green part of the tree loosely, leaving gaps here and there in a light green. After that dried, I did it again with the same paint, but not going all the way to the edges. Then a third time after it dried again. Once it was all dry the fourth time, I added the brown trunk. Sometimes I simply use a tall triangle for a pine tree. It works great!

The mountains I put on a pedestal in the middle of the breakfast table. (Excuse the wrinkled tablecloth… the epitome of last minute.)

Birthday breakfast was cinnamon roll mountains. Super easy! Two cans of cinnamon rolls from the refrigerated section of the grocery store (though you can make your own if you have the time and inclination). I just unrolled each one and re-rolled it in the slightest cone shape. A little tip: don’t go too high with your cone or it will topple over… but I just made that one mine. 🙂 No big deal.

I made little flags out of scrapbook paper and glued “take a hike” circles on to them. The stick is a skewer I cut into three parts. I hand wrote the “take a hike” but you could use something printed off the computer or even stickers if you can find something you like.

Life's An Adventure... Go Hiking! Chalkboard -- Easy Hiking Theme Birthday on a Budget

The chalkboard was really easy to do. Honestly, the hardest part was the lettering. Again, you could even use a simple tall triangle for the tree if the scribbled lines are too much. I found that the orange chalk gave enough of a brown feel over the black of the chalkboard that it worked perfectly.

Hiking Trail Cake -- Easy Hiking Theme Birthday on a Budget

The cake was the most last minute of all. I baked the cake the night before… but I used too high of a temperature and it was dry. So my daughter and I remade it that morning. That afternoon I was assembling my cake unfrozen (freezing them first makes it super easy to assemble and frost!!) and with no real idea of what I wanted to do. None of the 2-3 pins I found were what I wanted/had time for, so I was on my own. The cake has it’s own post! Click over to find out how I made it! 🙂

And that’s how we did our easy hiking theme birthday on a budget! To top it off, we recommended some hiking themed birthday presents to family who were looking for ideas, so the back pack, nature journal and compass really added to the excitement! 🙂

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Easy Hiking Theme Birthday on a Budget

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Recommended reading:

Take a Hike: How I made a Sloped Birthday Cake
Ladybug Birthday Party Theme
Every “BUG”ys Welcome Adoption Party
Mary Poppins Birthday Party Theme

Hot Air Balloon Theme for Gender Neutral Baby Shower, Birthday Party or Event

Hot Air Balloon Theme Baby Shower | Party or Event | mamasbrush

A gender neutral baby shower, birthday party, or event just lends itself to an adventuresome and colorful hot air balloon theme. I started with my own design for gender neutral nursery wallpaper, and this is exactly what we did for an expecting mama in our church a couple weeks ago.

Food Table Decor | Hot Air Balloon Theme Baby Shower | Party or Event | mamasbrush

I know this post has been a long time coming. Not only did I promise it was coming, but I also promised detailed prep posts. Well, that didn’t happen. Between kid sickness and normal spring busy-ness, I should have been more realistic. I was just glad to pull off the party at all. 🙂

Cake, Cloud Cookies, and Rainbow Fruit | Hot Air Balloon Theme Baby Shower | Party or Event | mamasbrush

One of the friends of the mama to be has a sister who makes cakes. When she volunteered her, my first thought was that I wanted to do the cake. Then I realized that if she made the cake, I wouldn’t have to and time was at a premium. I accepted and I’m so glad I did. Isn’t it beautiful. I tried to get a website for you all, but she only makes them for family and friends. If that changes some day, I’ll try to get you a link! The cupcakes are gluten free and that basket was completely chocolate! Yummm!

Cloud Meringue Cookies | Hot Air Balloon Theme Baby Shower | Party or Event | mamasbrush

The dish next to the cake is my take on meringue clouds. (Find the tutorial here.)

Centerpieces | Hot Air Balloon Theme Baby Shower | Party or Event | mamasbrush

I adapted this tutorial and borrowed heavily from several other pics on my Hot Air Balloon Party Board to create these cute centerpieces. I had my 7 year old and one of her friends spread the left over triangles around the tables for extra color.

I created these tags using my own artwork. Find my inspiration for them here.

Gift Table Under the Clouds | Hot Air Balloon Theme Baby Shower | Party or Event | mamasbrush

Pops of color around the room came in the form of these pendent banners and adorable paper hot air balloons. For the balloons I used these instructions from Karen Kavett and this template. At the end of the party, I cut them down and sent them home with each of the ladies who came. I suggested that they put them somewhere they would see them and remember to pray for the family and new baby. They also liked the idea to hand them from the Christmas tree to remember the event for years to come.

Party Decor | Hot Air Balloon Theme Baby Shower | Party or Event | mamasbrush

The whole event really turned out beautifully. My sweet husband helped me to blow up and hang all these balloon clouds. I used this tutorial to string them together and it was pretty easy, but this one with glue would have been even easier.

What was your favorite part of this event? Please let me know in the comments! And as always, please…

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Hot Air Balloon Theme Baby Shower | Party or Event | mamasbrush
Hot Air Balloon Theme Baby Shower | Party or Event | mamasbrush

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Simple Wine or Vinyard Theme Birthday Party or Event

Chalkboard art - Wine Theme Birthday Party for Daddy

We plan parties in our family. Events. Each of the children gets a detailed theme for their birthday each year and each year is special, though some are simpler than others. Even my mom and my sister get a full theme for their days. Daddy, however, rarely gets a full thematic party. Frankly, he doesn’t care, so often I let the busyness of the impending Women’s Retreat (check out our Cozy Mountain Lodge and Sweet Life Cafe Retreats) and two approaching kid birthdays take my energy away from him. This year, however, we had a Wine Theme Birthday for Daddy.

It was simple. Super simple! But the important thing was that the kids and I set aside some time to honor Daddy by making him a party.

I decorated the chalkboard. Note the spelling of “Whinery”. A detail not lost on Daddy, I assure you. We should probably rename our property from Claystone Family Farm to “Whiney Vinyards” or something. But I digress.

I served one of his favorite dinners and the kids drank juice out of stemmed glasses.

The touches were so simple and took very little extra time, but it was fun to dress up Daddy’s birthday a little.

Gathering here.

Ladybug Birthday Party Theme

Chalkboard Art - Ladybug Birthday Party Theme
I try to use my chalkboard for each event I do (my sweet husband built it for me!)… It’s something I am still working on, but it’s a fun touch for our birthdays. 🙂

My youngest daughter loves ladybugs (she’s 7). I am glad for her sake that they always seem to be in the house. She get so excited, carries them around, and then, begrudgingly, lets them go free when it is time.

It wasn’t hard to pick a theme for her birthday. A ladybug birthday for my little ladybug!

Tea Party Lunch - Ladybug Birthday Party Theme

She wanted a tea party like her sister (and her brother for that matter), so we made lunch into a tea party complete with flower shaped pb&j. We had pink juice int he tea cups.

The children loved getting to make the paper flower and ladybugs on the table. (pinspiration here) It may not be as cute to us moms as the pin, but the kids had so much fun and the birthday girl loved that they made them for her.

Other foods were ladybug apples, ladybug bruschetta, and ladybug cheese and crackers.

I made the cake with red “dots” inside as a surprise. There are several ways to do them. I just made mini-muffin cupcakes and shaped them with a knife. They also make sphere pans for making them, but we couldn’t find one last minute.

Ladybug Cake - Ladybug Birthday Party Theme

I followed this tutorial for making the little frosting ladybugs. I did it all with frosting instead of edible pen, but it worked too.

Ladybugs on grass Hand lettered Psalm 150:6

And I made this for her also. (I told you in that post that I’d share this party, but never did. Sorry you had to wait so long! (UPDATED: a revised version of this painting is available in my Etsy shop!)

I try to illustrate and or paint something for the kids birthdays when I have the time and inspiration. She loves this one and put it in her school binder to see everyday. Makes my mama heart smile.

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Ladybug Birthday Party Theme

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Old MacDonald’s Farm Birthday Theme

Just after Thanksgiving, one of my little guys turned 5. He wanted a tractor birthday… but not a construction tractor, a farm tractor. And if he had anything to say about it, there should be a barn and a pig. Well… I had to see what I could do.

I try to do a little painting to go along with the theme of each birthday. The kids love them and have come to expect them.

I think this was my first pig. And barn and tractor and hay pile actually. I was pretty happy with them. I love that art can be art even when it’s not perfect. But I’m pretty sure my son thought it was perfect.

Hint: if you are just starting out, make stuff for your kids. They will think you are great even if you don’t! 🙂

For example… the cake. While structurally sound, it’s not the most attractive cake I’ve attempted. But, except that it was supposed to have a man on it (who went missing at the last minute) and that the cow was “supposed” to be in front of the barn (my bad), he thought it was great!

Breakfast and dinner went much better. Missing from this post is the pic of “pigs in mud” (baked beans and dogs) that we had for dinner. A nice and simple meal.

And there you have it… our Old MacDonald Birthday.

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Settlers of Catan Birthday Theme

My oldest son turned 12 a couple weeks ago and we celebrated in Catan.  Okay, we celebrated in my kitchen.  But we have really good imaginations.  Last year we were in Narnia.  This year we were in Catan!  It’s a game that our family enjoys and my oldest really loves it! 

The hex ornaments were just copies I made of the actual game hexes on my copier.  The tree was already up for the year because we had purchased it before Thanksgiving and had to test it so I included it in the decor!  For fun we put the birthday presents under the tree.  🙂  He loved it!

We had little hexagon pizzas.  Starting at “12 o’clock” there was “brick” (pepperoni cut in to rectangles), then “wheat” (cheddar cheese), more “brick”, “desert” (garlic bread with no sauce or toppings), “trees/woods” (broccoli), “rock/ore” (sausage), and in the middle was the “sheep/pasture” hex (tiny broccoli with mushroom).  And a total accident turned brilliant when my husband brought blue chips home instead of regular (our regular tortilla chips were out).  Instantly they became the sea!

The cake was fun to do.  I used a paper template to cut out the hexagon cookies, but you can totally find hexagon cookie cutters and it would be faster!  Then I tasked my husband with finding candy for the bricks and rocks (I was home with sick kids).  The bricks are those Twizzlers Bites.  I just cut them down so they would be flatter.  I wanted those candy coated chocolate rocks that are various colors and our Wegman’s carries them in the bulk aisle.  Unfortunately, those tubs were repurposed with Christmas candy this time, so these chocolate covered salty caramel balls would have to do. They were super yummy!

Oh, and those sheep are just white purl candy sprinkles.  Super easy and already in my stash. 

Have you ever hosted a Settlers of Catan party or game night?  It was super fun!  I’ll be taking a batch of these Hex cookies to the next game night we are invited to! 🙂

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