Cheap & Easy Homemade Birthday Party Favors

by A. Elizabeth Freeman
Give decorated glass jars as party favors.

Give decorated glass jars as party favors.

Give party guests a small token to remember a birthday party, but don't break the bank doing so. You can make party favors at home, cheaply and simply. If you're holding a large birthday party, you may want to enlist the help of your children or spouse. Hold a family party favor-making night--it will be a great way to bond and grow together.

Home-Baked Favors

Prepare a batch of sugar cookies. If you really can't make dough, use a store-bought refrigerated dough. Roll out the dough, and use a large cookie cutter to cut out cookies. Pick a cookie cutter that somehow relates to the theme of your party. Once the cookies are baked, frost them with colored icing and decorate with sprinkles or dragees. Wrap each cookie in cellophane, and tie with a pretty ribbon. You can also make chocolate lollipops or brownies to give as favors.

Decorative Objects

Small glass jars or votive holders make good favors for a teenage girl's birthday party. Purchase enough jars or votive holders to give one to each guest. You may want to get a few extra, just in case. Glue ribbons to the jars, and decorate them with glitter or paint. You may want to paint the birthday girl's initials or date of birth on the jars. Fill the jars with small pieces of candy or place a votive candle in the holders. Wrap the jars in cellophane, and give to the guests as they leave.

Kid's Favors

Make your own candy necklaces by threading jelly beans or other soft, small candy pieces onto elastic thread. Cut animal and flower shapes out of felt, and glue them to the tops of craft sticks or wooden pencils to give children small puppets as favors. You can also try to make crafting supplies, such as Play-doh or chalk, and giving those as favors.

Simple Jewelry

Give cheap, homemade beaded bracelets as party favors for a little girl's birthday. You can make nicer, but still inexpensive, necklaces for a teen girl's or grown woman's party. If you would like, you can make assembling the party favors part of the party itself. Set aside time during the birthday, perhaps at the very end, for guests to string beads onto elastic thread or a metal chain.

DIY Favor Bags

Make the bags you use to hold the favors as festive as the favors themselves. A few days before the party, have your children or spouse help you decorate the bags. You can use brown paper lunch bags and color them with paint or markers. Make the bags sparkly by gluing sequins or glitter to them. If you are using cellophane bags, make the edges of the bag decorative by cutting swirls or other designs into them. Choose birthday-patterned ribbon to tie the bags closed.

About the Author

Based in Pennsylvania, A. Elizabeth Freeman has been writing professionally since 2007, when she started writing theater reviews for OffOffOnline.com and Theater Talk's New Theater Corps blog. Since then, she has written for Phillyist, TheNest, ModernMom and "Rhode Island Home and Design" magazine, among others. Freeman has an Master of Fine Arts in dramaturgy/theater criticism from CUNY/Brooklyn College.

Photo Credits

  • white and blue bubbles wedding image by Paul Retherford from Fotolia.com