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DIY Favors and Decorations for Kids' Birthday Parties

Make your own simple, creative decorations and party favors for your child's next birthday to create an extravagant party without the cost.

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Flavorful Gumball Party

Colorful and bright are the first words that come to mind when you think of a child's birthday party. Kara Allen of Kara's Party Ideas chose red and aqua for the two main accent colors and combined them with all the colors of the rainbow.

She printed patterned paper and sewed crepe paper as fringe for the party hats, and she embellished the miniature gumball machines by tying polka-dot ribbons around them. The vanilla-frosted cupcakes are topped with red gumballs that resemble cherries, and many of the sweets, including the gumball machine cookies by batches and the polka-dot Oreo cookies by Sweeties by Kim, were online purchases. Photo by Lyndsey Fagerlund Imagery

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Vintage Inspiration

The gumball party wouldn't be vintage-inspired without some soda. "I used mason jars with stamped lids for drinking glasses," says Kara Allen. "The straws were made out of paper; a perfect vintage-inspired touch."

To add to the theme, Kara made "gumball" ice cubes by freezing red punch in a ball-shaped ice tray found at a bargain price online. Aside from the decor, Kara suggests including a theme-oriented activity for guests. "I thought that ribbon wands would be so fun for little guests to play with and they were also easy to make," she says. She attached colorful polka-dot ribbons to the tops of painted wooden dowel rods and placed them in a large mason jar filled with gumballs to fit in with the theme. Photo by Lyndsey Fagerlund Imagery

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Miniature Gumball Machines

These gumball machine party favors are easy to make and useful. Painted, upside-down terra-cotta pots make up the base of the machine and round glass jars were glued on top of the pots. The top part is a removable lid so guests can later use the machine as a cookie jar or other storage container. To complete the look, Kara Allen painted and glued wooden doll stands to look like machine dispensers. Stick with the party's theme while giving something practical for a perfect party favor. Photo by Lyndsey Fagerlund Imagery

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Campfire Treat

Celebrate a summer birthday with a camping party. Set up tents in the backyard, organize an outdoor scavenger hunt and tell ghost stories around a campfire. As party favors, Erika Barnes of Tiny Prints suggests filling clear, cellophane bags with s'mores kits. That way guests can make their own s'mores when they go home.

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