Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Rockstar Birthday Party... on a $50 budget

My neighbor is raising her niece.  The little girl has not had a wonderful childhood, but since being placed in her aunt's home, her grades have sky rocketed, she's active at church, has clean clothes and has a few close friends.  My neighbor does her best to, as she puts it, "do right" by her niece, but she came to me one afternoon and confessed that she had only maybe $50 to celebrate her niece's birthday in January.  Her niece wanted a Rock Star party and she didn't know what to do.  She asked if I could give her any tips.  I decided to take on the project and here's what we did.

The internet was full of fun ideas for an event like this, but I had basically no budget as the primary use of my neighbor's $50 was going towards the cake and pizza.  So, I knew that we'd be making a lot of things from scratch and using what we all had laying around our homes.

A Community Comes Together:

There were only about 6 kids and their parents invited and it was all done by word of mouth.  Everyone understood the situation and was glad to help.  The parents were great, and all spent some time glamming their kids up for the event with lip gloss, hair spray, and eye liner.

Each family brought a side dish to share.  We ended up with fun stuff like veggie trays and nachos to compliment the pizzas that my neighbor had made for the main dish.  By the way, if you've never had them, the 'Take & Bake' pizzas in the deli section of places like Walmart and Aldis are pretty good in a pinch.  For about $6 each, you get an 18" pizza that you can load with your own toppings.

Creating Rock Stars:

I cruised a few local stores and found things like sunglasses, blingy necklaces and temporary tattoos for the kids to put on to enhance their Rock-Star image.  These were all from the party favor section.

I also brought over nail polish and some spray glitter for hair.  The kids danced and put on their super-cool tattoos and celebrated rock music.

The birthday girl wore a birthday outfit she'd received early that mimicked Selena Gomez, her favorite of the moment.


I raided my craft supplies for this event.  I visited a local grocery store and picked up some empty boxes for free.  One I flattened and cut musical note shapes out of.  I painted them black and outlined them in glitter glue.

Two others I taped closed and painted the entire outside.  Then I got aluminum foil from the kitchen and wrapped two different sizes of paper plates and glued them to the largest side to mimic large box speakers.  I wish I had made four of these, instead of only two as I think it would have built up our fake stage a bit more, but in reality I only made two.

My neighbor purchases some gold balloons and some "Happy Birthday" streamers from the Dollar Tree.  She also found a "Happy Birthday" banner for a dollar.

I dug out some long navy colored curtains [the closest I had to black] and some LED Christmas lights.  I was going to make a mock stage.  We pinned the curtains against the wall, draped the lights over everything and put her birthday banner front and center. 


I was a little unsure of what to do in the little time I had to get this together.  I knew that most of the children attending could not read so that put a damper on board games or treasure hunts.  Also, it was the middle of January and too cold to do anything outside.

In the end, I phoned a friend.  I remembered that her daughters had gotten a Disney Karaoke video game for Christmas just a few weeks prior.  I also knew that my fiance had a copy of Guitar Hero.  After begging around I also managed to get a small, unused television from a friend.  It was coming together!

My fiance agreed to take his Playstation to the party so we could have some fun.  We set the tv up in the center of our mock stage and my fiance connected everything together.  There was a guitar and two microphones for karaoke.

Lady Gaga and Cyndi Lauper ended up being the songs that everyone loved the most, but they sang and danced and rocked their socks off.

The birthday girl was shocked when she walked in to the room and found everything that we'd done.  She was too shy to actually partake in the karaoke, turning beet-red when we sang happy birthday to her.  It was a feel-good day.

On a side note, my fiance and I made these nifty bowls out of old vinyl records to hold all the bling and tattoos and stuff.  Here's some instructions:  Vinyl Bowls How-To


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