Tips to Throw a DIY Cars #DisneySide Party for Less

I was recently selected to host a Cars themed #DisneySide @Home Celebrations party. I was so excited to host, however I knew with my son’s 2nd birthday approaching, my budget would be limited. I found some easy ways to create a DIY Cars #DisneySide themed party for less!

Tips to Throw a DIY Cars #DisneySide2

**I received free products in order to host the Disney Side @Home Celebration. The opinions expressed here are my own.**

Get Pinspired

As always, I began my party planning by hunting for ideas on Pinterest! There are so many great ideas out there! Here was the board I created to collect some of the great ideas I found around creating a Disney Cars/race car themed party.

Follow Ready, Set, Parenthood!’s board #DisneySide Cars Party on Pinterest.

  I put some of the great ideas I found into action! Several of them helped keep my party budget small, even for a big turnout!   

Decorate with Tape

Using yellow masking tape, I was able to quickly turn a black plastic tablecloth into a road ready to be filled with Cars goodies!

DIY road tablecloth

I purchased some plain black gift bags from the party store (about $0.19 each) and continued the road theme using the same yellow masking tape.
DIY road favor bags

I had found some checkered racing Duck brand duct tape at the craft store and picked it up unsure of what I would do with it. I decided that instead of designing water bottle wrappers, I would experiment with the duct tape instead! The duct tape was the perfect width to cover the label on the bottles, and was easier to attach too! I decorated each one with a Disney Cars sticker. The mini water bottles were the perfect size for the little hands at our party!
20150220_205709 20150220_205655

Here are all 3 tape projects together! All together these projects cost less than $20!
Printables are a fun and inexpensive way to customize the decorations for your party. You can find free or inexpensive designs available for instant download on blogs or shops like Etsy, or you can design your own for free! The only other cost is the paper and ink for your printer! Below are a pennant banner and invitation I created for our party. Click each image and a PDF file will open up for you to save and use for FREE! Cars DisneySide Pennant Banner Cars DisneySide Invitation
Make Your Own Desserts
Getting fancy, custom-made desserts can be expensive. I don’t consider myself a baker, but last year after over spending on a cake for my son’s baptism (don’t get me wrong, it was beautiful!) I decided I would tackle making my own cake and cupcakes for his 1st birthday party. It was easier than I thought! I decided to tackle a few desserts for this party as well!
The first was a Mickey Mouse Rice Krispie Treat. I used a Mickey Mouse cake mold, and pressed prepared Rice Krispie and Coca Krispie treats into the mold. I used Wilton sparkle gel icing to follow the impressions in Mickey’s face and match the image that came with the pan. I was so happy with how it turned out! 
Mickey Mouse Rice Krispie Treat
Rice Krispie treats make an inexpensive treat too! The icing was the most expensive part. It was a hit at the party too! There wasn’t much of Mickey left at the end of the party. 20150221_180555
The tie-dye cupcakes I made using Duff’s Cakemix were also a hit! I used this mix last year to make Patrick’s smash cake and cupcakes for his party. It is bakery quality cake that you can make at home without the bakery price! 
Duffs Cakemix Tie Dye Cupcakes


The @duffscakemix tie-dye cupcakes were a hit at our #DisneySide party! #yum #sponsored

A photo posted by Kristen Kelly (@readysetparenthood) on

I topped the cupcakes with Disney Cars cupcakes toppers and sprinkles.


Another inexpensive treat I made to go along with the Disney Cars theme were “Stoplight Brownies”. Another easy and inexpensive dessert, all this took was a box of brownies and a pack of M&M’s!


The biggest hit with the kiddos was probably the most inexpensive! The chocolate covered donuts I used for Luigi’s Casa Della Tires were one of the first treats to disappear.

Luigi's Casa Della Tires

Taco Bar

When feeding a large group of people, food can be a major expense. A taco bar was an inexpensive way to feed our large group, and our guests enjoyed it!

Taco Bar

We offered ground beef, shredded chicken (prepared in the Crockpot, so super easy), and black bean tacos.

Taco Bar

Chips and salsa were an easy snack to go along with the taco bar.

Taco Bar

We also prepared fiesta corn and Spanish rice (both microwavable and easy to prepare).

Taco Bar

With our taco bar, we were able to feed our group of over 30 people for under $2/person! Talk about a budget-friendly meal!

What are some ways you get creative with party planning to save money?

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