Many of today's birthday parties for children seem to be on steroids. Some parties have 20 children in attendance for expensive activities like horse back riding or painting your own pottery. Ugh, we cannot afford that, but that doesn't mean our parties must be a boring flop.
I like to keep parties at home and follow the basic rule of inviting one more child than the age of the child until they are 10. For the Golightlys, March Madness translates to birthdays upon birthdays. (June must be a hot conception month.)
Little Pie turns ten this year and we will be serving a high tea for ten of her friends. I've been preparing for a year. The above assortment of tea cups will serve as party favors. I've been scanning thrift stores for months to pick just the right cup at the right price. This has been a lesson in patience and since I have the party favors set, all I really need to do is prepare the table. I acquired each teacup and saucer for around $2. Each find gave me a pleasant feeling of a small accomplishment; something we could all use these days. And, I brought each new cup and saucer home for Little Pie to see which offered her satisfaction and anticipation.
A funny thing happened near the end of my acquisition. I discovered one of the tea cups was quite valuable. (Guess now and I'll let you know at the end of the post.)
As noted in the former post, A place of possibilities, if one Dumps their retail mindset, the thrift store becomes a place of many unimagined opportunities.
If you have children or enjoy entertaining, consider the thrift store a resource. The items found there will be more fun than paper horns and tiny bubble blowers that discount retailers sell. In many cases, they'll be less expensive too and won't be so quick to become landfill fodder. To me, favors bought at party stores/discount retailers scream, "I'm not worth keeping!" Is that really what you want to give a guest?
Not only can you find the favors at thrift but you can lay a beautiful full place-setting (china, glasses, and silver-plate flatware) for under $5 from the thrift store. This is one incredible place for those who love to entertain.
Follows are a few easy ideas for party favors al a thrift. To be successful, plan ahead with patience. I promise it will take a stressful situation and make it less stressful. And, the chances that guests will actually value their favors skyrockets.
Sometimes we find things we never imagined, like these tiny clay tea pots, $3 bought all. These pots were in Little Pie's holiday stocking but easily could have been darling party favors.
All these marbles were found thrift for about $8. How about a cultural renewal on playing marbles? I do a lot of gardening about our 111-year-old home. When building out a new bed, I usually find old change like a buffalo nickel buried in the soil. I've also found several marbles.
Empty nesting dolls are easily found at thrift stores from 50 cents to a dollar. They're darling and could hold candy as a favor.
Paper parasols are another easy score in thrift stores. They run from $2-$4 each. Always check them to ensure they are not torn; there's about a 60% chance they're not. What little girl does not love a parasol?
Even small teapots can be gathered.
I purchased five pounds of old crayons thrift for $2. Little Pie and I recycled those old crayons into what we call pastel pies. We made over 250 pastel pies - that's enough favors for a classroom party!
They're really quite lovely and - if you wish - you can name your own colors.
Visit our sister blog, Mommy Golightly to learn how to make Little Pie's pastel pies.
Need more ideas? How about silk scarves, jewelry, collectible teaspoons, aprons, handkerchiefs? Or, you could host a party to make personal crowns from thrifted supplies. A few of my friends have handed out cash and cut kids lose in a thrift store. Believe it or not, teens especially love that one and usually have a fashion show afterward to see who landed the coolest score.
It doesn't end with party favors. Paper plates, napkins, paper lanterns, place-cards and invitations are easy thrift finds. I purchased Little Pie's invitations about six months ago, an unopened box of printable pink cards from Papyrus for about $2.
Try some patience and plan ahead. We all need practice on patience these days. Be open to possibilities and shop thrift. Thrift is not standard retail, think Portobello Road or a Parisian flea market with items unexpected. For example, I saw an antique rapier in the case of my neighbor thrift just this Saturday. I've seen so many exotic things, it's hard to remember them all.
As for the pastel pies, Piper and I noted something interesting in a few of them. What do you see in each pastel pie below?
Little Pie and I see a woman with a papoose on her back on the left. We see a child's face in the lower left of the middle pastel pie. A squirrel appeared to us on the right pastel pie.
Post Script: The teacup on the right with the violets was produced by James Kent, Ltd. pattern 5018. It's probably worth about 2,500% what I paid for it.