Do it in style!
'Glam' Birthday Party for a 13 Year Old Girl
by Dollar Stretcher contributors
Blow Out the Candles, Not Your Budget
Birthday Bashes on a Budget
The Great Loot Bag Debate
'Glam' Birthday Party
My soon-to-be 13-year-old daughter and all of her friends are crazy about celebrities and all things Hollywood. She wants to have a 'glam' birthday party at home for her friends. I'm not even sure where to start. I don't want to embarrass her. Can anyone help me with some ideas?
Picture Them Red Carpet Ready
For starters, I would start out with a souvenir picture on the "red carpet" just like they do at the awards shows and movie premiers. Get a white sheet to hang up as the background and have all of the party attendees pose in front of it for a picture. (Of course, the pic should be taken after they get all glammed up!) If you have a digital camera and a printer that prints photos, enlist the help of a friend to print out the pictures while the party is going on, so the girls will have their red carpet photo to take home. If you don't have a photo printer, after the party, you can have the photos printed at a local drugstore or big box store for 15 or 25 cents. The birthday girl can send the picture out to the party attendee along with a thank-you note.
Enlist Glamorous Friend's Help
Do you have a friend who always has perfect makeup and hair? Invite her over to teach the young girls how to apply makeup properly. You can have each girl bring two outfits and have a fashion show. Provide the materials for each girl to do manicures and pedicures on each other. They can style each other's hair with curlers and then take lots of pictures. Provide them with healthy snacks and some girly movies and step away.
Include Your Daughter When Planning
The first thing I would do is ask your daughter what she wants her Glam Birthday Party to be like. Her definition of "glam" may be different from yours, so let her be the designer. Does she want sparkly decorations, a red carpet event, guests to dress up, a specific movie's theme, or fancy finger foods and sweets? You can look for ideas together in magazines and online.
Lorraine in NH
Scrapbook Their Glam Memories
A glam birthday party is one of the easiest to pull off! When guests arrive, each is provided their own one-time-use camera with their name on it in permanent marker to act as "paparazzi." The cameras should be going off the entire party! Have soft chairs available with a container of warm water that has some lavender bath salts added for softness and scent to soak their feet. Provide each girl with sparkling grape juice in long stem glasses and small dainty chocolate bon-bon type candies on a small silver platter.
Once they have all settled in with their drinks and chocolates, have them dry their feet on big fluffy towels. Next have someone massage their faces lightly while they lay back with cucumber slices over their eyes while someone paints their toenails and fingernails.
Step three is to have a room where you have gathered lots and lots of different "glamorous" items, including costume jewelry, feather boas, shiny dresses that can be pinned to fit, wigs, hats, high heel shoes, etc. The girls can decide their outfits.
Next is hair and make-up! This can be done by an older sibling, friend, relative, someone in cosmetology school for extra practice, etc. Give glamorous hair and make-up to each girl.
Finally, before the cake and ice cream, roll out a red carpet (literally) leading to the actual party table (in the garage or another part of the house, kitchen, basement, etc.). Let each girl take a turn walking the red carpet, stopping for the cameras flashing, until the birthday girl arrives and the cake and ice cream is consumed. All "goodies" at the table need to be "flashy."
To make it even more glam, you could have a sleep-over. At the end of the party, gather up all the cameras, rush them to a quick print store, and then the girls could stay up late to have an "After Party" of making scrapbook memories of the party.
End with a Dance Party
My granddaughter did something very similar. First we went shopping at the thrift store and bought lots of frilly, sparkly, fab clothes. The thrift store also sells large gallon size zipper bags of jewelry for $2, so I bought one as well. From a dollar store, I picked up some makeup. (To keep it from getting contaminated, use cotton swabs.)
The girls came over to the house and helped each other do makeup and hair and then picked out clothes and bling to wear. We then had a fashion show (which we recorded) and a dance party. Later in the evening, we had munchies and watched the fashion show. At the end of the party, the girls were able to take home their glam wear as a thank you gift for coming to the party.
It was tons of fun and the talk of her classroom the following Monday.
Find Glam Birthday Party Ideas Online
I'd start at a party planning website like HWTM.com and do a search for words like "glam," "celebrity" and "Hollywood." Once you have some ideas, you can tailor them to be age appropriate. Then head to your local party store or dollar store, or if you prefer to shop online, you might have good luck at a place like OrientalTrading.com. With some cheap glass plates from the dollar store with the underside painted gold, some silver and black tissue paper, red foil gift bags, feathers from the craft store and bowls of cheap flowers, you're well on your way to a glamorous party. Throw in some sparkling apple cider in place of champagne and some kid-friendly appetizers and your daughters party should be a hit.
A Face for the Magazines
Find an inexpensive red carpet and put it near the entrance. Hang a backdrop like glittery fabric or white paper from a roll that you can paint with a design if you like. Take photos of the party guests on the red carpet and then print them to make them look like they are on the cover of a magazine. Many photo editing software programs offer this option or it can be downloaded from the internet easily. Give them to the guests as party favors. You can invite the guests to arrive in their best red-carpet attire, and if you know someone who is good with hair and/or makeup, you can do glam makeup as part of the party. You could even stock up on inexpensive accessories like costume jewelry, tiaras, feather boas, long gloves, etc., and make the photo session the main party activity.
Have Them Dress Like Favorite Celebrity
For the 'glam' birthday party, you can put on the invitations to dress like their favorite celebrity with a "glamorous" prize for the winner. Serve fancy cupcakes or cake pops and appetizers on plastic silver or gold party plates with sparkling punch in plastic champagne "glasses" from the dollar store. Have a karaoke sing-off with their favorite music (more prizes). Set up a mani/pedi station, so they can do each other's nails. Or if you can find a friend that does nails, have that person come over. Have fun!
find all of your party needs at BirthdayExpress.com
Clarify What "Glam" Means to Her
Does she want a makeover party or a "Hollywood" themed party? The question is not clear. If it's Hollywood, you need a red carpet, paparazzi, and little "Oscar" statues, which you can borrow, make, or find on Oriental Trading.
Susan (via Facebook)
Take the Next Step:
- Shop for party supplies and decorations at The Oriental Trading Company
- It's tough raising kids today! You need every time and money saving idea you can find. That's why you'll want to get our free weekly Dollar Stretcher for Parents newsletter. You'll find great ideas designed just for parents that will help your family 'live better...for less'!
- Visit the TDS library for more great birthday party ideas.
- Visit our Let's Have a Party...For Pennies board on Pinterest for more frugally fun party ideas.
Share your thoughts about this article with the editor.
More Tips & Tools to Help You
Live Better...For Less
- Is your family normal? See how other households spend their money
- 5 big bills you can cut fast
- 5 frugal ways to expand your living space
- What's on sale in November
- 4 steps to a simpler (and more frugal) life
- Kids' activities for Thanksgiving gatherings
- 5 ways to reduce the cost of kids' clothing
- What's the best way to bring a puppy into your family?
- 13 things to teach your children that will make their financial lives easier
- How a single mom can create multiple income streams
- Instead of toys for Christmas
- What is the cost of raising a child?
- Spouse income calculator
- Should my spouse work, too?
- College savings calculator
- Home budget calculator