Birthday parties

17 genius DIY birthday party ideas

Every year, whether you like it or not, you have to plan your kid’s birthday party. Let us take the stress and expense out of the decorations, cake and loot bags with these clever hacks and totally doable DIYs.

By Amy Valm

17 genius DIY birthday party ideas

Photo: Erik Putz

birthday hacks DIY

Cereal box pinata

Turn an empty cereal box into a party game by making your own pinata. Get the instructions here.

two diy pinatas with candyPhoto: Erik Putz

Charade popsicle sticks

Write easy charade ideas (monkey, sneeze, umbrella, dancing) on wooden craft sticks. Adorn with pompoms and place in a jar decorated with washi tape. No peeking!

mason jar filled with popcicle sticksPhoto: Erik Putz

Parcel tag banner

Stick letters on individual parcel tags and string them together for a fun twist on the classic banner.

three types of bunting made from parcel labelsPhoto: Erik Putz

DIY confetti balloons

You can buy kits, but they’re so expensive. To make them yourself, all you need is clear balloons and packs of confetti (or just chop up some tissue paper). Attach the end of a clear balloon to a funnel. Push the confetti into the balloon using a straw. Blow up the balloon as you normally would or take it to a party store to be filled with helium.

balloon filled with confettiPhoto: Erik Putz

DIY number wall

Those large metallic Mylar number balloons are very trendy but can be pretty expensive. Create the same large-scale impact with regular balloons. Just tape them to the wall, using a single colour for more of a graphic punch. Scrunch up coffee filters (yep, coffee filters!) to look like flowers and fill in the gaps between the balloons.

number 3 made from balloonsPhoto: Erik Putz

Decorative banner

A custom-made banner is a sweet party decoration. But ordering one from Etsy or a local maker can get a little pricey. Instead, use your computer and printer to make your own. It’ll require a bit of effort but minimal talent, and it’s reusable—after the party, simply take the letters off the string and store them flat in an envelope. Get the instructions here.

birthday bannerPhoto: Erik Putz

Loot containers

Use reusable plastic food containers with clear lids as loot bags. Fill them with party favours and finish with a thank-you note.

container with birthday lootPhoto: Erik Putz

Ombré balloon garland

Blow up some small balloons and tie each one to a long piece of ribbon. Slide them around to even it out. Adorable!

blue balloon garlandPhoto: Erik Putz

Paper bag stars

Do you have three minutes? That’s literally all you’ll need to make these stellar decorations. Gather up eight paper bags, a glue stick and a pair of scissors. Get the instructions here.

paper starsPhoto: Erik Putz

Paper plate crowns

This paper plate turned party crown is a great blank canvas for partygoers to decorate. Just supply glue and the bits and bobs. Fold in half and cut along dotted lines (sort of like a pizza). But don’t cut the brim. Open up by folding the triangles up. Round off the sharp points with scissors.

17 genius DIY birthday party ideasPhoto: Erik Putz

Party headbands

 Hot-glue foam letters onto headbands for fun party accessories. The kids might not wear them for long, but they’ll make for adorable party pictures!

little girl wearing party headbandPhoto: Erik Putz

Photo booth wall

Create a washi-tape frame on the wall big enough to accommodate a couple of kids. Offer up some fun props and snap away! After the party, email the photos to your guests as keepsakes. Don’t stress about your wall paint getting ruined—washi tape peels off easily.

twins standing in front of photo boothPhoto: Erik Putz

Foam bunting

Cut triangles out of foam craft sheets. Attach with brass fasteners.

colourful foam bannerPhoto: Erik Putz

Letter sticker balloons

Delight each guest with a personalized balloon, created by adhering big letter stickers to an oversized balloon. Bonus: It can take the place of a loot bag.

little boy holding a balloonPhoto: Erik Putz

Cake flags

Easily elevate a boring cake with these cute flags, which also look adorable on a tray of cupcakes. Just fold a piece of washi over one end of a wooden skewer and then cut a notch to create a flag shape. Use toothpicks if that’s all you have on hand. (Just not the minty kind!)

colourful cake toppersPhoto: Erik Putz

Custom tableware

Disposable tableware is convenient, but a little plain. If you want to spruce it up, try washi tape. Wrap the ends of cutlery, tape around cups, add flags to straws, or cut out a cute bunting motif to jazz up plain brown paper loot bags.

paper plates with washi tapePhoto: Erik Putz

Double-duty centrepiece

Fill Mason jars in an array of sizes with colourful loot and then personalize the jars with your kid’s name using letter stickers. This vibrant centrepiece makes a nice sugar-free gift to divide up and send home with guests.

17 genius DIY birthday party ideasPhoto: Erik Putz

Read more:
How to throw a mermaid party
How to throw a monster party
How to throw a unicorn party

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