Planning a Spa Birthday Party on a Budget

Birthday Candle Number Nine

Photo by Hint of Plum

This year Princess is turning 9. For many years we had princess themed parties-there is just something about little girls and princesses! I even made a Barbie Cake without an expensive mold!

Then she decided that she was just too old for that, but that Hannah Montana was THE thing. So we hosted a Hannah Montana Rock Star birthday party.

Last year Hannah ‘s music was cool, but we weren’t all about the star anymore, so we went with an Arts & Crafts themed party.

This year she wasn’t really sure what she wanted. At 9 she is a curious mix of child and pre teen. Yes-I know she is several years away from her teen years (thank goodness). . . but she doesn’t seem to know that. She loves clothes and makeup, as well as her stuffed animals and toys. She’s a little girl who wants to be grown up~even though we talk frequently about the fun of enjoying the age you are at and not wishing it away.

After a bit of browsing around on the internet (a favorite pastime as I am sure you can imagine) I suggested to Princess that we have a “Spa Birthday Party”. She thought it was a fun idea!

Our plan is to invite over 8 or 9 friends and have a couple of hours of spa-like fun. We’ll do their fingernails with polish & little nail jewels purchased at the dollar store, braid their hair, maybe have them put on a facial mask and cucumber slices for fun. There will be music, and cake, a themed craft (maybe make bath salts to take home?) and of course a goody bag.

I know that I am going to knit each girl a little headband to keep their hair out of their face during any spa activities-I’ve got 4 or 5 skiens of great baby blue fluffy“polar fleece” yarn that I purchased for a buck a piece several years back that will be great for that.

I have a girlfriend who sells Mary Kay who volunteered to come over and use some samples with the girls.  If we are really lucky her Aunt, who is a professional Massage Therapist, will give each of the girls a quick massage. I plan on hiring a few teens to help with the hair and nails at my typical babysitting rates.

The details are a little fuzzy right now, but will be solidifying over the next few weeks.

I know all of you are creative-so what ideas do you have for a great “Spa party” aimed at the 8-10yr old crowd? I could use ideas for invitations, cakes, inexpensive decorations, games and goody bag items.

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  1. Jill says

    Decorations-candles/incense/bowls of floating candles, bottles of water-you could make homemade labels with spa images, soothing spa music, comfy floor pillows, handheld or small stand up mirrors (of if you have one of those electronic plug in mirrors!, handtowels and washcloths tied with ribbon, magazines for them to look at during treatments, you could buy those cheap little pedicure flip flops

    The dollar store sometimes has small glass bottles with corks that you could put the bath salts in for the craft. This website has some really cute spa party invitations that you could probably reproduce on your computer with some cardstock. You could invite them to a “SPArty.”

    You could take before and after pictures of the girls and send them to them later in a thank you note or if you have a printer that prints pictures you could print them out before they leave to take home with their goody bags.

    Goody bag ideas-nail polish, nail file/clippers, pumice stones, eye mask, mini lotion, loofah, bubble bath-you could probably find all these items at the dollar store.

    This link has a cute spa girl cake:

    You could also make a cake to look like a bathtub and maybe use marshmallows as bubbles (the pink Easter ones would be great!) or a nail polish bottle cake

  2. says

    I’m pretty bad at birthdays, but I love this idea! My daughter has requested a mani-pedi for her birthday, and I promised the two of us would go, but what fun to do more at the party. I look forward to seeing other reader ideas!

  3. Meredith says

    Cute theme! Maybe you could make some kind of flowered head band to keep the hair out of their eyes while they have their spa masks on.

    As a fellow parent, though, I might be uncomfortable with one of my kids receiving a massage–even from a total professional! I can see a shy child like mine feeling peer pressure to get one even though having a stranger touch her would make her feel very uneasy.

  4. says

    We did a spa theme for my sister-in-law’s bridal shower and it was really nice. I made glycerin soap (like you get from the craft store) so maybe the girls would like to make their own bath salts, soaps or other beauty items. For the soap, you just buy a big block of glycerin, melt it in chunks in the microwave, then pour it into molds. They could customize them with coloring, fragrance, or stir-ins like oatmeal or flowers. The bath salts would be even easier for them to mix (epsom salts and baking soda with essential oils). You could save little jars or buy some at the dollar store for packaging. It might be a nice activity for the kids to do.

  5. Sarah says

    Hi Jenn,
    It’s your older neighbor on the road to the school. How ya doing? I see your gonna make a trip to Disney. Does that include veteran’s or widows in the $99? That’s a really good deal. I should contact MWR up to Fort Drum and see what they’ve got to offer. Well just wanted to stop by and say hello. Take care n talk to ya soon.
    Sarah Mata

    • Jenn @ Frugal Upstate says

      Sarah-good to hear from you! The tickets are just for Active Duty and Retirees-I couldn’t buy them myself as a veteran. I don’t know how widows fall in that-you could always check. They do have to be purchased in person from Shades of Green.

  6. Colleen says

    My daughter had a spa party for her 10th birthday. The girls decorated flip flops using craft supplies I had such as silk flowers, ribbons, plastic jewels, scrapbook stickers, etc. They hot glued them on with help from their older cousins. They wore the flip flops after getting their pedicures and loved them! I bought the flip flops at the dollar store.

  7. says

    You could always make the invitations look more like faux spa gift cards. You know “Chet Johnson’s Spa” (or whatever your last name is of course). There should be some clip art somewhere of a woman with a towel on her head or getting a pedicure or something.

    It’s really easy to make body sugar scrubs. (You can make them from salts but in case the kids have any things like eczema, sugar won’t burn.) You just need some baby oil, sugar and whatever scents you want to add. It’s a nice exfoliant!

    If you can find some boas at the dollar store, they might feel like really doing up the luxury part. It depends on how seriously the girls want to take it…

    Also, not much help on the cake, but it seems like you should have snacks ala spa type fare. (Well, the stuff little girls would still eat.) Maybe serve it all on little plates and with toothpicks or whatever. Make it look special even if it’s really basic.

  8. Lora says

    I’ve read on some of the “deal” sites that Kiss Nail Art Stickers are on sale at Walmart for $1.87. However, I’m not sure if these are suitable for kids. Also, I know that you are not a coupon enthusiast, but the sites report that after a printable coupon from coupon these stickers are free.

  9. Amyrlin says

    A friend of mine did a similar themed party for her daughter about the same age and included my four year old at the time. One of her ideas was little goodie bags with toe separators, a light colored nail polish, girlie stickers, soda pop flavored lip balm, and I think a little clear plastic cosmetic bag. You could get similar items at the dollar store, I believe my friend bought nail polish on clearance, bulk packets of emeryboards, and bulk lip balm. When you decorate I would add scented candles for a relaxing feel or maybe some lavendar potpourri going:) Sounds like fun!

  10. Jenn @ Frugal Upstate says

    Great ideas everyone! I knew I could count on all of you for fun and frugal creativity.

    Meredith-Very valid point. I decided to include a “menu of spa services” in the invitation that will say what we are going to do, along with a note on the bottom for the parents to contact me if there is anything they don’t want their child to participate in (some parents also don’t like nail polish on their children, or have kids with skin sensitivities etc) The massages will be fully clothed chair massages-and my daughter and her friends frequently rub each others shoulders at school, so chances are high that all of them will be good with it. I will keep the mother’s eagle eye out for anyone who seems uncomfortable about it tho.

  11. says

    We did a “Spa day” for my niece when she turned 9. We made masks out of cheap unflavored yogurt, made scrubs out of oatmeal, and served sparkling grape juice in plastic “wine” glasses so as one set of girls was working on the other set, the girls who were being pampered ate fruit, crackers, cheese, and drank “champagne.” They loved it!

    Gift bags were small nail polish bottles (5 for $1.79 – W*M), dollar store foot scrubs, dollar store loofas, and dollar store terrycloth hair towels. We wrapped all of the items inside an opened-up hair towel, then tied a ribbon around it, so it made a knapsack-type package. Very cute, very fun.

    We were also able to get sample lipsticks, eyeliners, and eye shadows from a local Avon representative to include in the gift bags. I chose very pale colors so none of the moms would get upset.

    The cake was a sheet cake decorated with a flowery flip flop, bottle of nail polish, and flower petals. Very cute.

    Invitations were handmade, handwritten, each with a pressed flower inside.

    Have fun!


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