When Aleah and I decided to do a small, drive-in movie for our kiddos, we went straight into idea mode and never stopped. When we decided to do a Spongebob theme, the ideas got out of hand! Peanut butter and jellyfish sandwiches, pineapple jello, kelp juice, krabby patties, scrum, rock houses, grass skirt borders, photo booths, props, etc. Then we realized…we had to budget.
How did we pull off this party without spending a ton of money? We made a solid plan. We settled on some of the many ideas we had and roughed out exactly how we’d do everything. Aleah was in charge of getting food, making two photo booth props, renting the movie, and the small boat seat. That left me in charge of most of the decorations and the goodie bags. I found the most awesome Spongebob house and treat bags online to copy and Aleah gave me the thumbs up when she saw them, so it was full steam ahead.
I admit it was a daunting task, but I was confident if I took it in stages and started it a week early, I’d have plenty of time to pull it off. So, I bought a 10 pack of poster board for $3 or $4 and our Pineapple under the sea photo booth got one step closer to becoming a reality. I have tons of acrylic paints already, but I needed a few more colors for the masks and house, so I spent another $2.50 or so on paint. The treat bags were $1. Everything else that wasn’t food, was made from things we had already. Who doesn’t love free!!!?
Once I got my four poster boards lined up, I duct taped them together in the back and got busy drawing. The paint can cover parts where you’ve erased, so don’t worry if it doesn’t come out perfect in pencil.
I meant what I said about doing it in stages. I would spend an hour or two a night painting it and that helped break up the work enough that I wasn’t overwhelmed. Also, I left all the detail work and touch ups for the end. That helped my stress levels a lot, because I knew anything I had messed up could be fixed and sharpened. Another surprise happened when the paint was on. I realized that the poster board was curling up so once I’d finish sections, I used clear packing tape to make everything flat again. Before I knew it, we were hanging it up and taking pictures in front of it.
Next up was goodie bags. I found these cute little bags online and thought, I could do that. They weren’t really that hard to draw at all. The only thing I suggest is to do a double coat of paint when you do paint them. (Side note: None of the eyes on the Plankton bags are the same size, so don’t stress over making each one exactly the same.)
I even made a paper life-preserver and anchor that my girls helped paint. A few touch-ups and some outlining from me, and we had two more decorations to add to the fun.
Finally, it was time to make some masks. Spongebob and Squidward are not as hard as you’d think to draw. Squidward was just a little tedious because he’s very symmetrical. They were actually a little harder to paint, since there is so much more detail than I realized haha. I found myself switching paint colors and brushes a lot for Spongebob, and Squidward had a ton of outlining. But once they ARE painted, glue gun a popsicle stick to the back of those bad boys, and you’ll have a mask in a matter of seconds :).
Aleah made Sandy and Patrick with the eye holes cut out, so the kids had some variety with their masks. 🙂 By the end even we got into the fun!
We mostly wanted to show you what you could make with poster board, paint, and some creativity. It doesn’t have to cost you a fortune to make a fun party. For less than $10, I was able to make these creations out of paper and I still have some poster board left over for whatever comes to mind next time. 🙂 So whaddaya say? Arrrrr ya ready kids?!!!! -Moe