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How to Cheaply Decorate Your Kid's Party

Home > Perth > Family | Party Ideas | Craft | Fun for Children | Frugal Friday
by Shannon Meyerkort (subscribe)
Writer. Storyteller. Mother. Find out more at shannonmeyerkort.com/ or join me at fundraisingmums.com.au
Published February 7th 2012
Rainbow balloons ~ $50

This looks pretty awesome, doesn't it? A rainbow made of balloons, large enough for kids and adults to walk under. Pretty costly too, at $50.

Rainbow pinata ~$20

How about this, a rainbow piñata. You can fill it with lollies and then smash it to pieces (or leave it intact if you prefer). Still pretty expensive at $20.

However, if you have a little time and creativity, there are cool rainbow decorations you can make for your child's party that cost mere dollars or even less.

Go through your kids' art box and dig up some A4 sheets of coloured paper. You will need two each of red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple. While you are sitting in front of the TV, cut each piece into 12 rectangles. Taking two rectangles at a time, fold them in half and cut out a circle. Before the end of Neighbours, you will have 48 circles in each colour.

Cut a load of circles out of craft paper


Divide each colour into three piles of 16. Now the hard part. If you have a sewing machine, run the circles through, end to end, so you wind up with three strands of each colour. If you don't have a sewing machine, you can sticky tape or staple the circles to long pieces of ribbon or wool.

You seriously don't need any sewing skills for this


Finish your garland by attaching all 18 strands to a long ribbon. If you have any shiny, glittery or otherwise spangly looking paper, you can add a bit of 'bling' to the occasional circle.

This is how it looks when finished.
Finished rainbow garland... cost less than $1



Or try this. Grab a packet of pasta – it needs to be flat shapes like wheels or teddies, not round ones like elbows or spirals.

Get six snaplock bags and some rubbing alcohol (or white vinegar if you don't have a clue what rubbing alcohol is). And don't waste your good Schmirnov. You will need liquid food colouring in the six rainbow colours, available at any Coles or Woolies.

Dye flat pasta shapes using food colours and white vinegar


The basic process is to add some food colouring to the alcohol or vinegar, add the dry pasta, and give it a good shake and rub until the pasta is nicely coloured. Tip them out to dry for a few hours.

Where it gets complicated is if you want to make a traditional rainbow as opposed to a simple 'flag' shape. If you just want a flag, divide the pasta evenly into six piles. If you want a rainbow, you might need to spend some time figuring how much to dye of each colour, because you will need approximately twice as many red pasta shapes as you will purple.

So easy, it's childs play


For this particular rainbow (with only five bands of colour) there are 31 reds, 27 yellow, 23 green, 20 blue and 16 purple. We found one packet of pasta dyed made four rainbows.

Once your pasta is dry, start with the purple band, and liberally apply craft glue or PVA to some waxed paper (or any paper – but waxed paper is more translucent and looks better when hanging at the window). This is no time to be tight, slap it on.

You need twice as many red pieces as purple


Once your rainbow is complete, leave it to dry for at least a day. Trim the paper around your rainbow. Keep in mind that sticky tape and blu-tack won't stick to greaseproof or wax paper, so if you make some small holes between the orange and yellow bands of colour, you can thread some wool through and then use sticky tape on the wool.

Three pasta rainbows cost about $3


There was one other easy way of making a rainbow for a party. M&Ms. Only problem… it didn't stay a rainbow for long.

The M&Ms were the most expensive part of the rainbow decorations, also the tastiest


Happy crafting.
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Why? Because hand made is sometimes better (and almost always cheaper)
When: Allow a few hours over a couple of days
Where: Your place
Cost: A few dollars
Your Comment
You can also make your own icecream cake. Buy a 2 Lt tub of icecream, buy the time you get home it is soft enough to spoon into another tub or cake tin. Layer ice cream then lollies, then ice cream then lollies. Not rasp etc as they go rock hard frozen. crispy m&m, maltezers, To take out of container run a hot knife around the edge. drizzle with Choc magic and sprinkles. it goes a lot further than normal shop ones TA DA
by glend (score: 0|4) 2040 days ago
Wow, what great ideas! My daughter loves rainbows, so I'll definately keep this in mind for her next birthday. :)
by Jennifer Muirhead (score: 3|1039) 2186 days ago
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