Creative Ideas for a Sweet 16 Birthday Party!

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75 Responses to Creative Ideas for a Sweet 16 Birthday Party!

  1. I did the following for a friend’s baby shower, but it can totally work for a Sweet 16. Using a design software program, I made circular cupcake toppers that matched the color theme with customized text (names, dates, event name, etc.). Then I cut the circles with zig-zag scissors so that they gave a sun-ray effect. Then you glue 2 back-to-back on tiny sticks, like popsicle sticks or toothpicks (I found tiny paper tubes at the craft store). Finally you just top each cupcake with a finished cupcake topper.

    I don’t have a picture of the ones I made available online; but this link I found is something similar:

  2. I would ask all my friends that I invite to the party to pitch in to help setting up the party and to ask each person to give a specific item that is needed for the party

    • Emily says:

      thats cool and all but firts you need to make a total for how much you want to spend.Then you can do that stoof.

    • invite your friends and ask them to pitch in don’t be a drama queen though when my cousin did that i didn’t talk to her for almost a month until she elegized just take it easy on your friends there doing the best they can i’m almost 16 only its not going to be the best because well i’m poor. but i’m saving money and what i’m telling you is just have a great time and don’t turn everybody down and its your not and you can make your dreams come true just like i can :).

  3. Raeven says:

    I just had a birthday party for my son and got away cheap! Go to and click on their freebies link! All you pay is shipping! Always choose the 21 day mail, all my orders shipped “early” within a week! I got banners, invitations, thank you cards, gift tags for the birthday person to give, a t-shirt and hat, thank you cards, and so much more! All customized to the theme of my son’s party! Check it out! It’s an easy way to have a custom “couture” party without all the money!

  4. Mollie says:

    When I was 16, the popular thing to do was have a pool party (the fancier ones hired a DJ for a couple hours). Invitations were in the form of flyers, like you’d see passed out as concert promos. They are SUPER easy and cheap to make. Food was pizza, chips, veggies, assorted dips and fruit with soda and water bottles. All the food was laid out on one table (usually at the back patio, adjacent to the pool). No decorations, no fuss – just FUN. 17 years later and I have my own teenager; this is still the party of choice! :)

    If you don’t have access to a pool (or cooperating weather), consider the birthday girl’s hobbies/interests. Does she like to bake? Have a cupcake party. Does she like art? Have a DIY canvas party, where everyone paints a special picture for the birthday girl… a tie-dye party … OR a screen printing party. Got more time on your hands for projects? Have a carnival party! Set up games around your backyard or nearby park.

    One of the best parties I’ve thrown for my eldest daughter was her scavenger hunt party. Our neighbors were a big help; they were part of the clues! The end goal was to get the birthday girl back home for her big present, but along the way guests had to work together to gain little prizes (like candies, etc.) to get to the next clue.

    • Demi G says:

      What was the idea of the sweet 16 scavenger hunt and where did you have them go? What transportation did you use for them and how many guests did you have?

  5. Elizabeth says:

    My girls are a couple if years away from sweet sixteen but what about these ideas…….. “red carpet/hollywood” party, if weather permits do an outdoor movie projected on a fence or the side of the house. Or you could copy an idea from the MTV “My super sweet 16″ shows but scaled WAY down :o) I like the idea to follow one of her hobbies too. Repost to let us all know how you decide to celebrate with her!

  6. Jill says:

    Get a roll or pieces of newsprint paper( paper that has not been printed on or butcher paper or tablecloth paper, whatever your budget allows). Cut to fit tables and have markers, crayons, glitter pens etc for each guest to write a note to the Sweet 16′er.
    Go to Dollar Store and get old fashioned plain flip flops and then have an area where the teens can fashion their own flip flops.. glue guns, ribbons, sequins, buttons whatever you have around the house.

    • Adrionna says:


    • Sabrina says:

      hey I’m turning 13 and i searched ideas for 13 year old party’s and they all sucked last year i had a disco/dance theme party it was sickkk but now I’m 13 so this party needs to be amazing i already have a venue its on the roof of a restaurant its very nice but i need a theme does any one have an idea please help this year my parents said i have no budget

      • Hannah says:

        If it’s on the roof of a restaurant, I’d go along with that idea, and make it a black-tie or formal event. Maybe a nice dinner, dancing, mocktails, the like. You can style the venue quite luxuriously, tell the guests to dress formally, ect. This has a lovely, sophisticated touch, and is always a lot of fun.

  7. Erin says:

    I planned a Hollywood themed party for my husband’s 30th birthday, but I think it would be fun for a sweet 16 also. I had a friend who is a photographer wait behind bushes for my husband to pull up to the party. She jumped out and took pictures of him walking into his party like a paparazzi. Inside, there was a “red carpet” rolled out for him to walk down. The DJ played “Limelight” by Rush, but you could have the birthday boy/girl’s favorite song playing. We then went into a roast where my husband’s mom, brother, sister and friend told some embarrassing stories/jokes about him. Later, I dressed up as Marilyn Monroe (a halloween costume I had from a few years before) and sang happy birthday to him in front of everyone. Maybe not appropriate for a sweet 16, but could be fun if you can find someone willing to dress up as the birthday teen’s favorite celebrity. We hung gold and silver stars from the ceiling, had walk of fame stars on the floor with my husband’s name on as well as his favorite actors, and all the guests were encouraged to dress up for the red carpet. We really had a lot of fun!

  8. Monica says:

    For my neice’s sweet 16 we did a polka dot theme using brown (as a base color), lime green and hot pink (as accent). We used brown table covering (found a roll at our local party store for under $15 and it covered @14 6ft tables. We then cut out different size circles from hot pink and green paper (found clearanced for $1 a roll)We used hole punch size up to 9 inch circles, this is easily done with a circle cutter. These are placed randomly on table. We made “matchbook” style mint holders. The closer side had Ashley’s sweet 16th Party and the inside had “It meant a lot that you came”. Our biggest expense was balloons… but they make a room. The helium was expensive but check around with local places to see what you can come up with. We ended up buying a tank and blew up @75 pearilized pink, green and white balloons. Leave the strings long to hang down. We put balloons on the food tables. (buffet line) We opted for a pot luck, since we included family. We made extra dishes to cover for the teenagers invited. The other really cool thing was we took a picture of her and printed it in black and white then we bought a frame with a large mat board so guests could autograph it. This is a keepsake she still has 2 years later hanging in her room. We played music geared around birthdays and sweet 16. The plates were solid in color and so were the cups. We used the hot pink for dessert, brown for dinner and green cups. We were able to find these at our local party store cheap. Best of luck! We spent @75.00, but we split that between 3 people. Think outside your box on people to ask for help. Maybe a church member has a pool, or family have special talents. Keep it simple, we shied away from a themed party b/c sometimes if you go with a theme peoples gifts tend to go with the theme. We did other things, but they were what I call filler. (votives on the table, signs, cake, cupcakes etc…)

  9. Sheri Reed says:

    We are planning a “Prom” party for my daughter based on the new Disney Movie coming out. We are having the girls dress up…getting one of those “Barbie” cakes with the huge puffy cake dress…and getting sashes for the girls to wear over their fancy dresses at the theater. Our favors are going to be real flowers in pots that will decorate the party room. Good Luck!

  10. Venessa says:

    Thanks for the tips Raeven!!!

  11. erin s says:

    We did a Limo ride for my daughter and 9 friends to the movies, and dinner, and then a swimming party/sleepover at a nice hotel. The girls had a blast, and I didn’t have to clean my house 2 times!

  12. Alison says:

    I think a Sweet Shoppe birthday party would be great for a Sweet 16 party! I have photos of the sweet shoppe party we had for my daughter’s first birthday in this post:

    Also, an ice cream parlor party would be fun. Making a sundae buffet instead of the candy buffet!

    An at home spa party could be fun too! Make homemade spa treatments and have supplies ready for the girls to give themselves or each other mani/pedis!

    • Tanya says:

      Thanks so much for sharing! I reccently asked my daughter what she wanted the theme to be for her sweet 16. She said she wanted a, “Sweet Shoppe” with lots of candy. Great ideas to get me rollin’ with the planning. Blessings!

  13. Danielle says:

    Spa Party! Have some friends pitch in or even the girls can do it themselves to help pamper them. Manicures, pedicures, shoulder/neck massages, and could even do up-do’s.
    The outdoor theater is also a good idea. Do an evening party, perhaps a BBQ and they can sit outside under the stars to watch a movie.

  14. Jenni says:

    The scavenger hunt idea is great for teens…. after rearing 3 and helping to rear a whole community of them, I’m not fond of a lot of traditional party ideas for older teens… they are often embarrassed… another idea is a poker run… we involved several parents/businesses and distributed playing cards… the kids had to collect a poker hand and return to the house for determining the winners and the food — hot dogs, burgers, etc… was great fun!!!

  15. Tammy says:

    My teenagers have been really getting into Ugly Sweater Parties!

  16. Kristina says:

    I have done Spa Parties for girls, you can pick up a lot of the things at the dollar store, headbands, etc.. They each would get a facial, pedi/mani, and if you have a friend or two that are talented or you are, you could do some fun hair and make-up, get boas and sunglasses, hats, things for props and do fun pictures… You could do all of this at a great price, and serve grown up treats, finger sandwich’s, fancy cut fruit, sparkling pink non-alcoholic drinks, decorate with flowers and tulle, make it very pretty.

  17. Kaylee says:

    FOr my sweet 16 we rented a gymnastics bilding and I inv!ited everyone I knew. IT was a blast! ROpe swings spung pits and tramps! IT was a huge hit!

  18. Brandy says:

    I didn’t ask the question but you all have given me something to think about for my future 17 year old’s birthday party coming up. I was thinking of doing a mystery dinner but now i will compare all yaw’lls great ideas with cost. Thanks.

  19. Jennifer says:

    You can contact a local cosmetology school and schedule inexpensive mani/pedis for the girls.

  20. Martha Daughtry says:

    When my youngest daughter turned 16, she wanted to have a “kick ball” party! It was not dangerous; it kept them busy; even non-athletic types could play; and it was ideal for guys and girls to play. After they had worked up an appetite, we had burgers and hot dogs from the grill. We didn’t decorate either so the big expense was food and we kept it simple. Everyone said it was the best party ever!

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