My son recently became very interested in Star Wars, so we threw him a Star Wars-themed party for his birthday this year!
It’s always a challenge to find the balance between wanting to give your child the most amazing birthday ever and working with your realistic budget. And this year, our budget was lower than ever. That meant I had to be pretty creative for my son’s party.
I find that even though my son’s birthday is so close to the holidays, it actually works out quite well, financially. I get to buy all his party stuff on clearance after Halloween! This year I headed to Walmart and Target, browsed the 50-70% off clearance, and scored!
No matter what time of year your child’s birthday is, look for holiday clearance year ’round to find items for their party. Not all holiday clearance will necessarily be themed. Think star napkins after the 4th of July, pink plates after Valentine’s day, and so on. If you plan ahead of time, you can get all your party supplies for 50 – 90% off!
I’ll share what we did this year. If you’re planning a Star Wars party for your child, hopefully this post will give you some money-saving ideas!
We had his party at a park so I didn’t feel the need to decorate much, but we did do a little bit.
I purchased a few packages of silver and lime green balloons for less than $1 each and some ribbon for $2 that we used to decorate with as well as for playing some of the games. We blew up the balloons ourselves to avoid paying for helium and we just hung them upside down – it actually looked great!
I printed off this Star Wars “Happy Birthday” printable banner and used black string to hang it up. I also printed the food cards with clever food names (Galactic Grapes, Warrior Water, etc.). I always search for free printables before I go out and buy something. And yes, even with the cost of ink I think it is still cheaper.
We used a black tablecloth ($0.90 on clearance), black plastic silverware ($0.90 on clearance), black striped napkins ($0.50 at Goodwill) and black plates ($1.97) that went nicely with the Star Wars theme.
We used my son’s Boba Fett helmet to add a nice touch to the food table.
It is hard to estimate the cost of the cupcakes since they were homemade, but it was definitely far less expensive than a bakery cake – even though I made them gluten-free. My son wanted chocolate cupcakes with chocolate icing, so I made these gluten-free chocolate cupcakes. I highly recommend the homemade route whenever possible!
I am not very skilled at cake decorating so I made cupcake toppers instead. I just printed off these Star Wars images, glued them to cardstock circle cut outs, and then glued the circles to toothpicks. It did take quite a while to cut out all the circles, but the cost was mere pennies. I also used a package of cupcake liners that I bought on clearance for $0.59.
In addition to the Clone Cupcakes, we served Vadar Veggies (baby carrots and celery sticks – $3) with Droid Dip (homemade ranch dip – $1.50), Galactic Grapes (green grapes – $4.47), Obi-Wan Kornobi (homemade popcorn – $0.25) and Warrior Water (bottled water – $2.48 for a 24 pk). Regular food is far more fun if you give it a cool Star Wars name. 😉
For their goody bags, I picked up some blue paper lunch bags ($1.89 for a 40 pk) at Target. I wanted to decorate them with Star Wars stickers but couldn’t find any that I liked, especially for how pricey they were! I decided to check out the arts & crafts section at Walmart to see if I could find a sticker book instead, and I did! I found a Star Wars coloring book with a sheet of stickers inside that was only $4 (just $1 more than the stickers alone, plus my son gets a cool coloring book as well).
To the goody bags I added glow sticks ($1 per 2 pk in the Target Dollar Section), clearance candy ($0.86 for a bag), and some themed pencils and small containers of Play-Doh that I bought on clearance last year. Each child also went home with their very own lightsaber!
To make the lightsabers, I cut a pool noodle in half and decorated it with duct tape and black electrical tape. Even though pool noodles are very cheap, I had a very hard time finding them in November! I randomly mentioned my difficulty to a friend and she just so happened to have a few that she wasn’t able to sell at a garage sale and was going to give them away. Talk about perfect timing! I spent around $8 for the tape but did not use it all, so I would estimate around $4 for 8 light sabers.
For the entertainment, we had a “Jedi Training Course”. The boys had an obstacle course through the playground, used their lightsabers to stop an asteroid (balloon) from hitting the earth, and battled Darth Vadar (my husband). I printed off these Jedi Knight certificates and presented them to each child at the completion of the course.
I’d wanted to to play a game of pin the lightsaber on Darth Vadar, but my husband searched all over for a Star Wars poster without any luck. He ended up buying a Star Wars banner package that included a very large picture of Darth Vadar for about $5 from a party store. It was too large for my original game idea, so we played a different game with it. It also doubled as decor.
We also played balloon stomp (use string to tie balloons around the kid’s ankles, kids try to stomp on and pop other’s balloons without getting their own popped) and had an asteroid hunt (balled up foil, hidden around the playground). The prizes were Star Wars blaster guns ($2.40 each on clearance).
It worked so well that the weather was nice enough to have the party at a local park – free entertainment! The kids spent the majority of the time playing on the playground and fighting each other with their lightsabers.
All in all, the party was a success. The kids from ages 5 – 11 all had a blast and my son thought it was the best party ever. I loved seeing him happy and I was thrilled that the party came in under budget. Win-win.
Decor – $9.27
Food – $20.29
Goody Bags – $16.75
Games & Prizes – $10.30
= $56.61 (under my $60 budget!)
There are seriously TONS of ideas for Star Wars parties, so I created a Star Wars Birthday Party Pinterest Board with the great ideas I found. There are lots of great ideas for games, cake decorating, costumes, and more! You’ll definitely want to check it out for more ideas.
See related post: How to Have a Ballerina Birthday Party for Under $60!