Last May, my mom turned 55 years young and I was honored to host a surprise party for her at my new house! Knowing her love for all things floral, the theme was easily decided: a garden party! Complete with a carrot birthday cake and terracotta planters to hold snacks, this adorable birthday party rang in at under $65 for decor!
First things first: CAKE!
I know carrot cake may seem like a strange touch for a birthday party. However, it is my mom’s favorite and fit the theme perfectly. So, I had a talented friend whip that up at a fraction of the cost than what a brick-and-mortar bakery would charge, and it was amazing! Knowing that not everyone might like carrot cake, I made cupcakes in the mini terracotta pots (and extras in the floral liners). (I probably went overboard on the desserts, but I couldn’t resist!) For the cake topper, I saved money by using my Cricut machine, glitter cardstock, and bamboo skewers for an even more personalized touch.
Other than the terracotta pots and a few odds and ends, most of the decor was found at Dollar Tree. If you’ve never been to Dollar Tree, they have the best party section for every holiday, no matter the occasion you are celebrating. I always check there first. I bought paper flowers galore, serving items, and even the little garden tools! My favorite detail was taking three glass jars and sprucing them up with ribbon and paper grass to hold the colored cutlery. The adorable plates and napkins were found at Big Lots in the seasonal section.
To keep this party cost-friendly, we utilized our back deck and grilling area to make grilled chicken kabobs and potluck sides. My husband and I shared food costs with my three siblings, so while I don’t have exact numbers for total food costs, our menu is listed below.
- Carrot cake
- Grilled chicken kabobs
- Items needed: Chicken breast, mushrooms, peppers, onions
- Sausage dip and chips
- Items needed: Ground sausage, cream cheese, Rotel, chips
- Mini cupcakes
- Items needed: Chocolate cake mix, vanilla frosting, green food coloring
- Veggie tray
- Items needed: Carrots, celery, broccoli
- Relish tray
- Items needed: Olives, cherry tomatoes, gherkin pickles, pineapples, strawberries, grapes
- Raspberry mousse
- Get the recipe from Pinterest here.
- Favorite candy
- SweetTarts, gummy worms, peanut M&Ms
- Pink lemonade
Dollar Tree: Where everything is a dollar!
- Table cloth (1 pink, 1 green)
- Wallflower streamers (6)
- Colored cutlery (forks, knives, spoons)
- Glass jars (3)
- Ribbon (1)
- Paper grass (2)
- Mini glasses for raspberry dessert (2)
- Mini spoons for dessert (1)
- Garden tools (3)
- Gerbera daisy plant (1) – $4.97
- Large terracotta pot (1) — $5.97
- Medium pot for daisy (1) — $3.47
- Small pots for candy (3) — $1.47/each
- Mini pots for cupcakes (12) — $0.48/ each
Crafts & Budget Savers:
- Borrowed serving platters
- DIY cake topper
- Homemade carrot cake
- Watering can from my own backyard
- Handmade present
- Split food costs between families
When it was time for our birthday girl to arrive, we lured her to our new home for tacos and a tour. We had everyone park down the street so she wouldn’t notice and we led her through the garage and up the stairs where everyone was waiting. She was completely surprised (there was even a little happy dance!) and gushed about her party for weeks after!
Do you have a springtime birthday in your family? Give this garden party idea a try!