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Last Minute Birthday Party

Have you ever had to plan a birthday party at the last minute? In a perfect world, I like to have a few weeks to plan out a theme. But sometimes life gets in the way and it just doesn’t work out like that. So if I need to plan something in a rush, here are 9 things I know I can pick up for an awesome party. All of these items can be found at local stores (Party City, Target, etc.) If you hurry, you could probably do all your shopping and set up in less than 3 hours!

Last Minute Birthday Party | Oh Happy Day!

1. A dessert. I like donuts: they’re unexpected, fun, and super easy to get at the last minute. Stack them up to make a bigger impact. (Photo from here.) 

2. A pinata. Parties are always more fun when there’s an activity to help keep people entertained – and pinatas are always crowd pleasers. I love making my own, but in a pinch there’s always great choices at Party City.

3. Fun candles. Make sure they’re colorful! I love these & these.

4. Party hats. You could always make these (like these!) But, if you’re short on time, check out Target.

5. Sprinkles. These are great to have on hand in a pinch. You can use them to decorate your donuts or top off drinks. (But really, they’re good on everything.)

6. A simple garland. This doesn’t have to be hard or take lots of time. Cut lots of triangles out of colored paper and glue them to string. Done. (Photo from here.) 

7. Napkins. I love that these can double as plates – especially if you’re serving a simple dessert like donuts.

8. Balloons. Keep these in a bunch to add lots of impact with a limited budget. (Photo from here.) 

9. Drinks. I like serving lemonade – everyone loves it and it’s super easy to get. Pour it into a beverage dispenser to make it look nicer.

PS – If you want to stock up ahead of time, don’t forget to check out the stash of supplies we keep in our party closet!

  1. Jesse

    January 16, 2014

  2. B @ The Sequin Notebook

    January 16, 2014

    It’s so helpful to have a go-to list for all of the last-minute celebrations that pop up! Love the idea of a Party Closet…my apartment is only big enough for me to have a Party Storage Bin, but I definitely pick up pretty napkins and other fun supplies whenever I see good ones – you never know when they’ll come in handy!

  3. Brandyn | Southern Distinctions

    January 16, 2014

    I don’t have the space for a party storage closet, but a bin is a must! I also have one for special occasion wrapping paper. The party bin will be going on top of it. Such colorful and easy items to keep on hand.

      • jordan
      • January 17, 2014

      A party bin’s a great idea for a small space. That’s what we had when we lived in our 500 sq. ft. apartment!

  4. Bec W

    January 16, 2014

    I love #9. Throwing together a candle blowing out party for my one year old and I almost forgot about drinks (other than wine)! A stack of donuts is such a great idea too .

  5. Malika

    January 16, 2014

    wooooow! all of this is sooo cute (:


    January 16, 2014

    they are really go ideas!!! i love the cake


  7. Katie

    January 17, 2014

    Great round up! I always like to have striped paper straws and mason jars on hand. You can do so much with these two items. Mason jars for drinks, vases, or even party favors, and paper straws always had that extra something special to the party. You could even make striped garland from the straws!

      • jordan
      • January 17, 2014

      Great ideas!!

      • jordan
      • January 20, 2014

      Yes! I always keep a stash of pretty straws on hand in case of emergency!

  8. Lindsey

    January 17, 2014

    The paper garland you linked to (#6) is from my wedding! I had fun making it, though a guillotine-style paper cutter helped immensely.

      • jordan
      • January 20, 2014

      It’s beautiful!

  9. lyndsay // coco cake land

    January 17, 2014

    yes!! love the stacked donuts. i kind of love slamming together a party at sort-of the last minute. it’s amazing what a few trimmed flowers from the garden in a mini vase, some circle craft punch confetti, a few balloons and a simple cake can do – instant party!! xo

      • jordan
      • January 20, 2014

      Exactly! 🙂

  10. Cynthia

    January 18, 2014

    Such a good idea to have these things collected before hand in a party closet! Definitely going to collect my party essentials into a bin!

  11. Paulette Leto

    January 22, 2014

    I agree that pinatas are definitely fun, especially if you make your own. I helped make a donkey pinata at my library for Day of the Dead last year, and it was awesome!

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