Fun Cheap Birthday Traditions

Making birthdays special without spending a fortune, it's the little things that count!

20 fun cheap birthday traditions

In our family we have quite a few birthday traditions. The list has grown over the years, once you do something for one, you have to do it for everyone every year apparently! Some of these are starting to drop off now the kids are older, some we will do forever I think.

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Homemade Cake

First up is home made cake. Always. A birthday is not a birthday without cake and homemade is just the best. Even before we had kids my husband would always make me a homemade cake, when they were young he would have them "helping" with the mixing and decorating. 

You can see lots of cakes we've made over the years here, if you are after some ideas. I also have a board on pinterest of cakes I dream of being able to make someday. 

If you have never made a cake before I have an absolute beginners 101 guide to making a simple sponge here.


Birthday Breakfast

This all began when the kids were little, and had to go to school on their birthday. We would all get up a bit earlier than usual, and the birthday person would come down to find the table laid nicely and their presents waiting for them.

Their chair has a birthday balloon tied to it and cushions on the seat and back so they are super comfy!

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We eat Croissants and Chocolate Pastries and drink Tropicana from wine glasses ('cos we know how to live large!)

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The kids also have a birthday placemat which I must have made about 13 years ago! It's just laminated paper but because they are only used for 1 day a year they are still in pretty good condition - we still get them out now.

Silly but fun, even now they are almost grown ups! 

The Birthday Banner

This all started when our youngest was about 5 and his big sister made him this beauty. 

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I do have his permission to publish this awesome photo!

For the next few birthdays we made a fresh one each time. Then we wised up and I printed this dinosaur one and we used that for several years. 

On our respective 40th's my husband and I were lucky enough to have these beautiful things hanging on the front of the house!

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We have even had some sophisticated Bunting style banner's in recent years.


Home made cards 

Everyone in the house makes cards for each other, I can't remember the last time anyone bought a card. The kids used to paint, draw, cut and stick etc. Nowadays they mostly use the computer and do something terribly funny in publisher, often involving a photo of the birthday persons head cut out and stuck on the head of a film, tv or game character. Wordclouds from Tagxedo and Edwordle also appear quite often as they are easy and free. My husband usually rustles up something lovely involving an old photo.

You can see some of my card ideas here:

The idea to share our birthday traditions came when I read this lovely idea from One Creative Mommy

Birthday Pizza - How brilliant is that?!

For someone whose Birthday comes right after Christmas how about this clever idea from The Writer Revived? (this idea doesn’t seem to be on that site anymore so it’s just for inspiration now)

Turn the Christmas tree into a birthday tree with a quick decoration swap!

Leanna from All Done Monkey has a lovely idea of making a Milestones Birthday Book, which you fill in each year on your child's birthday ready to present to them when they finally fly the nest. Leanna has provided a free printable to get you started or you could easily adapt the idea, add whatever things you'd like to record each year.

Jamie from Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom shows us how easy it is to make a balloon avalanche to surprise a birthday person.

In the house of I Heart Naptime they kept things simple one year for a 3rd Birthday but still had lots of balloons and these lovely streamers on the bedroom door. update - another idea that seems to have been removed from the site but still a fun idea for your inspiration.

Over at Sa Sea Living they have a lovely tradition of taking a photo of the birthday person ever year. One you need to start from year one I guess but really beautiful if you can remember every year. (they also have homemade cake too and they look amazing)

Growing a Jeweled Rose have a whole load of fun birthday traditions, from balloons and streamers to a special birthday bath to end the day!

What birthday traditions do you have?

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