Creating a Dessert Table on $10

NQA titleI love to celebrate my children!

I truly enjoy throwing them a birthday party that will be an experience, BUT I am not interesting in breaking the bank! So when my daughter asked for a pink-and-purple tea party, I put my thinking cap on. How could I recycle things we already had on hand and spend the least amount of money without sacrificing the experience? The grand total on the dessert table décor was under $10. Success!

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First, image the colors of this as bright pink and purple. My dining room doesn’t photograph well, and my external flash stopped working minutes before I needed it. Boo hoo! If you look at this display the only things I ended up purchasing were the tissue paper to make the tissue paper poms ($3 — clearance at Target) and the tulle used to make the tulle wreath ($6 — from Papermart).

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The backdrop was made by hanging curtains ($2 at Goodwill) I bought years ago on tension rods ($4 at Target) I had laying around between a piece of plywood I covered with batting and fabric I had stored away in my fabric drawer. The tulle wreath was made on a wreath form ($1 at the Dollar Store) I had from a previous party.

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I used boxes found in my garage to create varying heights for the food to be displayed on, and the pretty lace covering the boxes are once again curtains found at Goodwill on 50%-off day years ago. All the trays and milk glass are hand-me-downs or Goodwill finds. Love Goodwill!

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My biggest splurge of the whole party was the fresh flowers and those were $8.99 at Costco. They were worth it to me. I wanted them for the main table but ended up having enough left over that I could mix them into the fake flowers I had displayed on the desert table.

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When it came to their place settings, my only purchase was the purple heart ribbon (Papermart) I tied on the little tea cups they drank from. I had lots of dolies left over from her two-year-old Rainboot Party.

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And finally I must show off the birthday girl! She melts my heart. Her dress was $14.99 at the Clear the Racks Sale at Nordstroms Rack. If you knew the original price you would faint! That is double what I like to spend on my kids clothes, but I plan to add a red headband and use it as her Christmas dress this year so I justified the purchase.

I hope this encourages you to know that you can “go big” for your kids parties without a ton of purchases. Simply access what you have at home, get your creative juices flowing, and enjoy the memories made.

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Carey Bailey (29 Posts)

Carey Bailey‘s husband describes her as a woman who loves to dance around the living room in her pj’s, loves Blue Bell Pralines and Cream ice cream, loves her kids, and loves Jesus! This fun-loving mother of two also has a passion for helping fellow women discover ways to create a powerful relationship with Christ. She is the author of Cravings, an innovative 40 day devotional for busy moms that allows them to draw closer to the Lord in the midst of busyness. And the bonus is that is comes with a zero calorie cupcake.


  1. Carey, I love your creativity in celebrating your kids. And your daughter is adorable!

  2. What a lovely tea party and adorable little hostess! Such clever ideas. I could not agree more! This brings back such fond memories for me. My son is 19 now but we had such fun making parties for him when he was little. One year he wanted rock climbing and we hand delivered invites written on rocks (with sharpie). It’s fun coming up with ideas and being creative on a budget. Bravo! Oh and Happy Birthday!

  3. What a fabulous idea! Rock party invite ON rocks!!! Thank you for your kind words!

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