DIY 5 minute birthday party kit

I love birthdays. I love birthday weeks. I love to go all out & throw birthday morning parties, making my family feel extra special. But? I honestly don’t like to spend a lot of time (or money) and always seem to run last minute. A few years ago I had accumulated quite a stash of birthday decorations & supplies – some bought, but mostly handmade.

And it hit me: I never have to plan anything ever again! With all of the supplies on hand, I could assemble a Birthday Party Kit! And with some strategic planning, I could re-use decorations in different ways to make it unique for each birthday.

On the eve of a birthday, I pull out my kit, decide on a couple decorations. String it up & bam. Party time, ready for birthday morning. Maybe not less than 5 minutes…. but close. A complete list of what to include in your Birthday Kit is outlined below.

Step 1:

Pick 2 areas of your home that you will always decorate. My 2 areas naturally ended up being the mantle in the living room and the dining room. These will be the 2 areas that all of your decorations with “work” in, and will look knock-out fantstic every time.

Step 2:

Decide what will go in both areas. And stick to it. Then you will not have to think about how to decorate. Only make & buy decorations that will fit/work in the designated space.

Step 3.

My first area to decorate is the mantle in the living room. It’s the spot where I hang the “happy birthday” banner, a balloon chandelier (more on that later!) and add a bit of color (a bit of frill or crepe paper).

Next, I decorate the living room. I hang 2 buntings criss-crossing each other from the ceiling. I have accumulated quite a selection of buntings & fancy crepe paper over the years (and will share more on that later this month!). Regardless of the materials, I always make the buntings the exact same length so they fit in the space every time. I have installed hooks in the ceiling where I hang the buntings for easy installation. Using decorative washi tape would also be fun.

Step 4.

After the 2 main areas are decorated, I spend a few minutes on the goodies, setting up the dining table. I throw out a few party favors (keep a pack of treat bags on hand & trinkets from the Dollar Store for an instant sibling party favor), little washi tape flags for cupcake toppers (I serve cupcakes for breakfast! A simple 1 bowl cake recipe is good to have in your arsenal.), candles, straws and napkins. I generally do not go for themed birthdays. I do however, indulge and buy themed napkins or plates of a favorite character (not pictured). And don’t forget the confetti! A total mess, but loads of fun.


What to include in your Birthday Party Kit

(and most of it’s from the Dollar Store!)

  • Balloons — I buy packs of these at the dollar store & empty into a large zippy bag.
  • Streamers — From the dollar store. Cheap and lots of cool decorations to make beyond the basics.
  • Tissue Paper — Use to make buntings and frill. My dollar store has the basic colors.. but other stores carry brilliant colors.
  • Cotton Twine — I designate this roll to the Birthday Kit! Butcher Twine works well. I found this ball in the automotive section at the dollar store.
  • Scissors, glue stick, thumbtacks & clear tape — Drop these in a zippy bag & designate for the kit.
  • Reusable Birthday Banner  — I love the black letters!
  • Candles — From the dollar store as well, though every once in awhile I’ll buy the fancier ones at the market.
  • Cupcake liners — Fancy or basic, it’s good to have a few set aside for birthdays.
  • Party Favor bags & trinkets — Both can be found at the dollar store. Nothing overly fancy as the kids rip right into it.
  • Straws, napkins & plates — Basic or of the themed variety. Kids always seem to appreciate their favorite character…!
  • Toothpicks & Washi Tape — For craft night you can make a couple dozen cupcake topper flags & store then in your kit so you’re always prepared. This is a good tutorial.
  • Confetti — Buy a few different colors and sizes. A little goes a long way and a single bag will last forever.


  • Store everything in plastic zippy bags. You will be able to see what you have easily & everything will stay organized (Unlike the image above! That’s a styled mess – ha!)
  • The goal is to reuse your decorations. As you take them down, take an extra moment to pack them up nicely.
  • When decorating, focus on color rather than a theme. Decorating by color allows you to throw a party up in a matter of minutes instead of trying to create something tricky.
  • Impress yourself with how clever, crafty and creative you are. Your family will be thrilled.

Our birthday tradition is a morning birthday party. Just us, everyone in their pajamas and totally cozy. The birthday boy wakes up, bursting with excitement over all of the fancy decorations, a pile of presents and birthday breakfast cupcakes waiting. Being able to execute the party part of our tradition in a matter of minutes with some stealthy planning makes the whole event enjoyable and I look forward to each celebrating my family.

What are your last minute birthday party tips?

Encouragement for living simpler, right in your inbox.

We share our stories as we simplify our lives - no guilt-trips, just love.

(no spam, promise. we hate it, too.)



  2. I think we’ll be having that cake tonight. Looking forward to more on the balloon chandelier.

  3. Love this idea. I always have all this stuff on hand but never is it all in one place. I am usually searching for birthday candles and rummaging for the streamers. I love simple birthdays, friends, cake, hamburgers and hot dogs and gifts. I throw up a few balloons and streamers in the dinning room and call it done!

  4. Greeeaaat idea! I got here through Pinterest, but I’m definetely adding the blog to my reading list! 😉

Add Your Thoughts