Every party has its budget, but every party’s budget isn’t $50,000 or more, like the formerly popular MTV show, “My Super Sweet 16.” That is why we want to show you that planning a sweet 16 doesn’t always have to involve dropping a load of cash. All it takes is a bit of creativity and DIY attitude.

The Venue

No finished basement? Rent a 20- to 30-person enclosed tent to set up in your backyard. Avoid the fees for setup by putting it up yourself. Use scrap sheets of lumber and build your own dance floor. This will likely require a handy person’s help!
The Music
DJs can be expensive and oftentimes are unnecessary. All you need are some blank CDs and a modern-day boombox to get the party started. Create some CDs with mixes of recent songs and some classic tunes (i.e. AC/DC, the Cha Cha Slide, etc). Borrow a karaoke machine so you can make all your announcements and keep the party going late into the evening!

The Décor
Select your color or theme and base everything you do around it. Borrow black lights and floor lights to create a club-like atmosphere. Your typical Christmas lights are always a nice touch, too! Use an outside garden arch wrapped in lights and colored tinsel to spruce up the entrance. Print and hang pictures of the birthday girl/boy and their friends across the walls by attaching them to string and hanging from pole to pole. And don’t forget the sign! Grab an old bedsheet and some paint to introduce the star of the party.

The Invites
They are easy to create! Head to your local office supply store to pick out paper and create your invites using Word or another computer application. Print them in bulk at a place like Kinkos, and send away

The Sweet 16 Guest Book
Find a larger picture frame with matting around the edges. Place it at the entrance for all guests to sign with a message! Take a photo of everyone during the party that can be placed in the frame for a keepsake.

If you’re looking to jazz it up even more, head to your nearest party store to find coordinating paper ware, favors and decor! While this party may not include a guest appearance from P. Diddy, it will most definitely be the best birthday party a 16-year-old could ask for!

Share your sweet 16 photos and stories with us on Facebook or Twitter! For more inspiration, check out our Birthday Party Bliss board on Pinterest.