If I could, I would be a professional children’s birthday party planner. I love having the chance to create something fun and magical for my daughters’ birthdays (with help from my friend Pinterest, of course)!

Although I usually end up with about a million ideas (give or take a few), I simply do not have a budget that allows me to use them all. I have to be as frugal as possible. My husband has asked me why we can’t just have a BBQ without all the added “stuff.” Well, the truth is because *I* need this. I don’t have a job that allows me to utilize my artsy/crafty skills, nor do I really have much time outside of work to use them either. These parties give me the excuse I need to use my creativity. Plus, I really do love to see how excited my girls get about their themed parties.

We just celebrated my little one’s third birthday. (I’m still not quite sure how she’s three already because it feels like yesterday we were bringing her home from the hospital). Since she has become pretty obsessed with The Wizard of Oz it seemed only fitting that she have that as the theme of her birthday party.

Here are some of the highlights…

I picked up some chalkboard signs at Target, decorated them, and planted them into the yard.

Forgive the smudging. These pictures were taken post-party.

Forgive the smudging. These pictures were taken post-party.

I created a “photo booth” using a black plastic tablecloth from the dollar store as a backdrop, some FREE printable Wizard of Oz masks I found on Pinterest, and wooden sticks I picked up at JoAnn Fabrics. So inexpensive, but a lot of fun for the kids (and the adults as you can see in the pictures). I had five masks: Toto, Dorothy, Lion, Tin Man, and Scarecrow.

Some pictures taken in the "photo booth." (Not pictured: Scarecrow)

Some pictures taken in the “photo booth.” (Not pictured: Scarecrow)

The birthday girl donned a Dorothy-inspired blue and white dress, with pigtails of course. I bought blue and white gingham fabric, reminiscent of Dorothy’s dress in the movie, at JoAnn Fabrics (with a 50% off coupon) to cover the food table. I was all about having a “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” themed table, and placed rainbow-colored pinwheels in a glass vase, along with a large candy dish filled with m&m’s and a sign that said “Compliments of the Lollipop Guild.” Not only did these make cute decorations, but I also gave the pinwheels to the kiddos as party favors. Also, all the guests were encouraged to fill a treat bag with some m&m’s to bring home with them. And, instead of a large cake, we had a rainbow made out of cupcakes!

Somewhere over the rainbow!

Somewhere over the rainbow!

Emma received ruby slippers for her birthday and, although she decided not to wear them during her party, I just had to include this adorable picture of her showing them off!

Emma with her ruby slippers a couple days before her party.

Emma with her ruby slippers a couple of days before her party.

She also received her very own Dorothy dress as a birthday present, which her sister was extremely eager to borrow. The party had not even ended before she had her sister’s new dress on. Too cute for words.

Caroline didn't waste a second putting on her own ruby slippers and borrowing her sister's new Dorothy dress and Toto stuffed animal.

Caroline didn’t waste a second putting on her own ruby slippers and borrowing her sister’s new Dorothy dress and Toto stuffed animal.

There were so many other ideas I wish I could have incorporated into the party, if only I had more time and a bigger budget, but overall I was pretty happy with how the party turned out. Especially because everyone, including our little birthday girl, seemed to have a great time. And that, my friends, is truly what’s most important.