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  • Writer's pictureGuest Writer

The Upcycled Birthday Party

Tammy Ryan, writer behind the party ideas blog ice cream and jelly, shares ideas for how to embrace reuse for birthday celebrations, helping to reduce waste and save money.

If you are trying to minimise your impact on our planet, then an upcycled birthday party may be

right up your street. What’s more, not only will you be looking after the planet, you will be

looking after your bank balance too, so it’s a win-win!

There are so many creative ideas out there, you will be spoilt for choice. To give you a head

start, I have chosen a few of my favourites to share with you below.


Fabric bunting can be made from all sorts of things such as scraps of fabric, old bedding or

table cloths, dads old office shirts or even old baby clothes. If you aren’t handy with a sewing

machine you could always use some pinking shears, so you wont need to hem the bunting. If

you don’t fancy making your own, then check out Pri Pri’s beautiful bunting made from

upcycled sari fabric, which can even be personalised.

Upcycled Bunting by Pri Pri

Pom-poms are also a really great way to decorate. If you don't have a few odd balls of wool hanging around, you can usually pick some up from your local charity shop or scrap store. Pom-poms are really easy to make, you can even get the kids involved and you can create garlands, flowers, wreaths and more. A wreath is a great option for hanging on your front door instead of balloons.

For more ideas take a look at: Fun Eco-friendly Alternatives to Balloons

Party Bags

I hate throwing things away and now have a huge stash of paper shopping bags, which make great party (or gift) bags.

With a little imagination, some crafty materials and some glue, you can transform these branded shop bags into unique party bags.

Here are a few of my bag transformations:

If, like me, you are a fabric hoarder, you could make some little drawstring bags for party bags, which the children could then use to keep all their treasures.

Party Bag Fillers

If you are feeling creative, then handmade party bag fillers are a great opportunity to gift something unique and cost effective.

There are lots of easy-to-make party bag fillers including:

  • painted rocks

  • hair scrunchies

  • hot chocolate stirrers

  • bracelet making kits

  • crochet water bombs

For more ideas take a look at Tammy's blog: Handmade Party Bag Fillers


Old bed sheets are great for refashioning into table cloths - you could paint them, tie-dye them or appliqué onto them. These could be tailored to your party theme. Or if you don’t have a bed sheet, you could use an old set of curtains or make a patchwork of smaller pieces of fabric.

Alternatively, if you already have a tablecloth you can use, instead you could make placemats or a table runner to match the theme of your party.

To reduce the environmental impact of your party, switching to reusable tableware is an easy win. If you don't have enough tableware, you could ask guests to bring their own plates, cups and cutlery to the party. Or hiring a local party kit is a quick and easy way to access reusables for a low cost without the hassle of trying to find storage after for 30 sets of tableware!

A cake stand is a doddle to make - a quick trip to your local charity shop or car boot sale to buy a plate and a teacup and with a little super glue and its job done! I’ve seen some really cute cake stands made using an old plate and the bottom half of a plastic toy animal or dinosaur.

Teacup, plate and upturned bowl turned into a cake stand

Gift Wrap

There are lots of different paper sources for wrapping gifts, from magazine pages to old maps or pieces of sample wallpaper.

If you are a dab hand with a sewing machine you could make a fabric drawstring bag from leftover pieces of fabric or you could just reuse an old pillow case or wrap with a piece of fabric, like the Japanese art of Furoshiki.

Gift wrapped with leftover wallpaper

For more ideas take a look at: Eco-friendly Gift Wrap Ideas



Eco-friendly parties

Party kits are an easy, convenient and often cheaper way of accessing reusable tableware and decorations for a party. 

Make your next party a little more eco-friendly and hire a party kit. 

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