I LOVED being a part of this amazing challenge to party on a budget…after all $100 sounded like a lot at first. I thought I would make my own desserts for about $6, use things around the house…and have $96 to spare. Well, reality came fast and so did the budget! It’s harder than it looked! A huge thanks to Ebony of Sparkling Events and Design for asking me to compete and to all of the other challengers who really knocked it out of the park!
For my Green Theme, I decided on setting up a luncheon that would be green in color, green as in “greenery” of plants, and living green by growing healthy organic treats for the kitchen! The idea was to have a nice luncheon for four friends to help us each start a kitchen garden that would be pretty to look at and provide healthy organic herbs for our homes. My main goal was to have a luncheon that was organic feeling, warm, and homey combined with a crisp clean elements. Here are the details –
INVITATION – I believe an invitation sets the tone and gets everyone excited for an event! I designed the invitation with custom mod patterns along the sides and custom illustrated plant designs to combine the warm and organic style with the crisp mod design.
DESSERT TABLE & TREATS – Seeing as the party budget was to stay under $100, I knew one of the easiest ways to keep in line was to provide homemade treats in a really cute way! To keep a clean look, I decided to use white frosting, and to give the treats a “custom” feeling, I went straight to Two Sugar Babies for inexpensive fondant treats to decorate the cake and cupcakes. I also used printable cupcake toppers that matched the invitation to tie in the designs! I think these two items can take an ordinary dessert and make it truly special! The last dessert I added was a box of wonderful little pecan pie bites to which I added small flags made with coordinating pattern paper.
The desserts were set on a little chest of drawers to bring a little of the “homey” feeling to the outdoor patio where the luncheon was set up. Like most parties I went around the house looking for ways to decorate without spending money. I used my daughter’s picnic set basket to place the cake plate on, and added 3 mini topiaries to balance height on the opposite side and add in more greenery. Above the chest of drawers I hung a banner made from the same patterned printable paper.
DINING TABLE – To keep the table with a clean and mod feeling, I went with white tablecloths….This was also the most obvious choice to save money, as most people have either a white tablecloth or a large white sheet which will do in a pinch. I have a burlap table runner that I use every fall on the dining table (although any brown runner would work) which I brought outside, along with four of my formal dining chairs. I felt like the ornate dining chairs brought more of rich and organic feel to the table, as well as a relaxing comfortable place guests could stay and talk for hours. One of my favorite finds for this table were the moss mats that had been woven with copper which were used as placements and under the tables centerpiece. They were found in the local Hardware stores “home designs” section and I can see so many ways they can be used in the future!
I wanted the centerpiece was tall to make sure you could see the person seated across the table. To tie it in with the theme, I stacked small plant pots (use hot glue to secure them) and filled the top with clipping from plants around the patio. On either side was another pot turned over and a small vase atop also filled with clippings. I wanted to keep all of the colors greens and yellows, so I chose not to add any floral cuttings to the vases.
Each place setting had a simple white plate, silverware wrapped in a napkin tied with a ribbon and herb clippings, an amber colored glass, and an herb plant in a pot I painted and decorated before the event to be taken home as a favor! The plant pots had small plant stakes covered in the matching pattern paper to write the herbs name.
ACTIVITIES – This is one of my favorite parts!!! I knew my guests wouldn’t want to play in dirt right before lunch, so instead of planting new plants, I gave each a planted herb to take home as a favor, and had drawers in the chest full of random craft supplies I had around, as well as plant pots for the guests to decorate! I had fabric, modge podge, spray paint, fabric rosettes, hot glue, glitter and more so each guest could design a pot for their second plant! Around the craft drawers, I placed a chair, pillows, and a quilt so guests could sit to work on their designs!
The breakdown of the $100 was as follows –
12 small plant pots @ .89 a piece – $10.68
4 medium pots @ .99 a piece – $3.96
4 medium coasters @ .50 a piece – $2
5 moss squares @ $2 a piece – $10
Printable Invite – $15 (these are my own design, but this would be the cost to someone else)
Printable Party Circles – $10 (these are my own design, but this would be the cost to someone else)
Printable Pattern Paper – included on request
Plant Markers – $1 for a pack of 5
12 fondant leaves – $16
1 box pecan pie bites – $2.99
1 box cake mix – $2.58
1 container icing – $1.89
4 herb plants @ $1.88 each – $7.52
new green cake plate – $8 (from my private stash, but I assumed most wouldn’t have one…
I found mine at Homegoods for an amazing deal!!)
Not Shown Lunch Option
Chicken Salad Sandwiches –
Deli Chicken Salad for 4 – $6
Pack of 8 sandwich buns – $2
Grand Total – $99.62