Tuesday, March 29, 2011

2011 St. Patrick's Day Party on a Budget!

On March 19th Jon and I had our friends over for a St. Patty’s celebration! I wanted to put together games and decorations that didn’t cost a lot of money so I decided I’d show you just how affordable a party can be.

The Décor and Games
First things first: Don’t get intimidated or convince yourself you need expensive decorations! Decoration should be simple and some of the best things can be found around the house. Since I wanted my St. Patty’s decorations to be classic and to give an essence of Ireland this is what I came up with for my table decoration.

1.       I bought two packs of moss covered stones at the Dollar Store - $2
2.       The beautiful candle holders were given to me by Jon’s sister awhile ago – FREE
3.       The Cider scented candles I had bought for Jon’s Birthday Party last year so I guess maybe you could count that I spent 25¢/ each last year – $0.75
      Total spent on table decorations: $2.75

Keep it simple, if you don’t have free candle holders from your sister-in-law look for something you do have!  For instance a vase or bowl could be used for Christmas, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, 4th of July . . . by simply filling it with celebration colors! For Christmas I filled a vase with silver kisses but you could also put some colored stones (which you can get at the Dollar Store), or you could place the moss covered stones I bought for my St. Patty’s table decorations and place them in a vase or bowl.

My favorite part of the decoration of the party was the napkins with these name tags! I loved bringing the stripes alongside the green nature of St. Patrick’s Day!!!

My mantel was decorated with this simple green/blue paper garland.

I forgot to take a picture before the party because I incorporated the words/phrases from our Fast Irish Charades into this decoration. I rolled up each word/phrase and sandwiched it in between the two circles.

Here is what one of them looked like (I didn’t feel like re-rolling all them after the party just to take a picture)!

It was a fun twist to charades! For our Irish charades we battled boys versus girls and had the teams compete for the best time, the BOYS won! However, the prize was given to the person who guessed the most correctly and the winner . . . was not on the boy’s team, go girls!

The best thing about this decoration was I had everything on hand so no money was spent!

Around the fireplace I set up this Blarney Stone decoration . . . it was even was kissed once!

Guess Me Lucky Beans
Here was my living room table décor/game!

Pretty self explanatory: taste a Jelly Belly and match it to its flavor name! This served as my h’orderves and the entertaining game to kick off the fun!  This game had mixed participation as some were overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices (I should have cut the number from 34 to 15 flavors) while other were very determined and seemed to enjoy the challenge. Overall those who participated had a great time and those who didn’t get into it as much enjoyed conversing and taunting others! One flavor everyone seemed to get was licorice and one funny flavor name was Tutti-fruity!  The winner ended with 25 of the 34 flavors correct, guess that’s what happens when you’re an awesome female with a knack for Jelly-Beans!!

Cost for this game/décor was:  $6.50
1.       Two bags of Jelly Belly beans - $6.50
2.       Minimal cost for paper/ink to make:
·          7 Game sheets  and game title
·          Fabulous Irish sayings printout (I used a frame I owned)
·         34 Paper boxes from 9 sheets of paper (Jon and I spent about 1 ½ hours folding these. . . Jon was such a good sport)

The Irish Stealing Sticker Game
The 3rd game that actually began as soon as everyone was in the door! Each person placed or had someone else place 7 stickers on their back. Everyone tried to steal stickers without being caught and the person with the most stickers stolen plus the number remaining on their back WON!  The game was so funny! Some people were attacked while others were preyed upon by the stealthy. Most of the time, however, people were caught red handed!  Some were heard yelling “Give me my sticker back, NOW” and “I can’t get up I’ll expose myself”.  The cooks yelled “I’ll burn you” and “I will cut the next person who touches my back.”   No one was injured but many laughs were had! The winner once again was a female and a very stealthy one at that! Looking over the party video footage I couldn’t believe how many times she went for those stickers, she sure earned them! Congrats to another talented female! Maybe next party will be the boys turn to win!

Speaking of winning I put together a simple little prize packs of two different ciders (Woodchuck and Magners) and a Guinness. I taped all 3 together and tied a paper shamrock with the story surrounding how the shamrock represented the Trinity. Since it was a set of three drinks I called it the Trinity Party Pack or the Shamrock Party Pack! Of ‘course I forgot to take a picture of these cute party packs sitting in my fridge.

Cost for drinks (including the drink prizes): This was the most expensive part of the party but I choose to include the following as more of a food expense.  One frugal idea is to inform your guests to BYOB then you don’t have to worry about this expense!
1 six pack of Magners Cider - $11
1 six pack of Woodchuck Cider - $8
2 – 8 packs of Guinness in cans - $22
Drink Total: $ 41

In my opinion I did not go overboard on trying to provide a myriad of choices but just bought the staples. In fact I restrained myself from purchasing Irish whiskey and to my surprise one of the couples brought a bottle! Another couple also brought a six pack of Magners so we were stocked for the night! We even had some left over! Here is a picture of a name tag being used as a Magners drink tag. Jon decided to use his as a rock tag.

Dinner Time
No St. Patty’s Day party would be complete without some classic corned beef and cabbage along with potatoes and carrots. Jon was the cook for the evening and everything turned out so very good, great job cutie! Our guests brought delicious cheesy garlic bread from Great Harvest, homemade Irish Cream Bunt Cake and Ice cream! Yummy!

The party was a great success and we had fun planning it!

Grand Total Cost
The cost for everything excluding food (including the jelly beans): $9.25. Who said you can’t entertain on a budget!

It is true that what I saved in cost I made up for in time, especially the jelly bean game.
 It took 3 hours to sort the jelly beans, 1 ½ hours to make 34 jelly bean boxes, and at least 2 hours to make the garland on the mantle, not to mention all the time I spent creatively birthing these projects into existence (whew I’m tired). I figure, though, at this point in my life I defiantly have more time than money! Plus creating something is just plain fun!


  1. How fun! I love the blarney stone and the font you used for everything! I bet your guests found your party very refreshing! Great money saving tips!

  2. It wasn't refreshing, it was stressful protecting my stickers and taking others. It was like a horror film.

    Just Joking....



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