1. says

    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. says

    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

    • says

      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. 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.

    • 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. 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!

  11. 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!

  12. 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.

  13. 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!!!

  14. 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.

  15. 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!

  16. 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.

  17. 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!

  18. says

    I am an event planner in Florida and do all sorts of weddings and parties. The last 16th birthday I did was a very low budget party. She wanted everything hippie i.e. tie die, peace sign etc. If you go over to my website you can see the pictures. If you have a specific idea in mind e-mail me and I would be more than happy to help. Good luck!! =)

  19. Christy Bouverette says

    Okay….I did the whole “Super Sweet sixteen” but on a major budget. I bought super fancy printable “wedding” invitations that I got at the dollar store and printed them with fancy script writing. Then I ordered customized Chocolate lollipops with her picture on it…I found them on the internet. She gave those with her invites @ school…she was the talk of the town. Because it was it was a youth event some of our local restaurants and stores gave us gift cards for giveaways for the Mall Digital Photo Scavenger hunt contest we had after her glow-in-the-dark bowling party. The Bowling alley had a private back room we rented (very inexpensively when you consider the pizza drinks and bowling games with shoes were included. They offered big screened TVs where I played videos she loved and my gift…her baby pictures to her Sweet 16th pictures video I put to her first lullabye “You are so beautiful” by Ray Charles. We had an amazing night…tears and all! Good Luck!

    • Michele says

      What website did you go to for the cheap/inexpensive lollipops? I want so bad to throw my daughter a sweet 16 since she didn’t get her quincenera (spell check) but we are on such a tight budget and her 16th birthday is VERY close! any other cheap/inexpensive ideas you can throw my way would be greatly appreciated. I know it was quite a while ago that you posted, so I hope you can respond whenever possible, but ANY help would be much appreciated! Thanks in advance!

  20. Tina says

    Hi, my daughter was 16 last year and we did what she wanted to do. She invited 3 friends and we went to a hotel for the night. The hotel had breakfast and happy hour snack time, so we just ordered pizza for dinner. We went early so they could wander the mall and then just relaxed in our “own” room and they had a connecting one. I think we got a good price at $59 each room, we had all the amenities, pool, hot tub, etc. Of course this was June, so we were there during the week, but there are decent hotel prices just about any time. I did do small goody bags as beach bags and put in pool toys, funky sunglasses, etc. most came from the dollar store or big lots, they loved it. I also brought popcorn and pop along with since we also had a mini fridge and microwave in the room as well. Fun time for all, but they didn’t get much sleep!!

  21. Nicki says

    Bon Fires are great! They are super easy, no decorating needed, and affordable. Set up a table w/ snacks and drinks and kids can make thier own hot dogs and marshmellows.

  22. Nancy says

    I did a Luau for my daughter’s 16th. Since her bday is in late Spring, I was able to get decorations, favors, etc. at the Dollar stores. We did it in our backyard, with tiki torches and lawn chairs for seating. Made palm trees out of butcher paper. I didn’t do a fancy cake, instead made cupcakes, frosted in pink and white and put them in the number “16” on a piece of foamboard that I covered with a lime green shimmery wrapping paper. Walmart scavenger hunt (be sure to call manager ahead, ours wouldn’t let the girls use cameras, so we had an adult go with each team). A fun game we did was “Blind Pictionary” – person is bindfolded after reading what they are to draw, led to the paper (we used an easel from our children’s church area, and they had to draw the item. That was the hit of the party! Spent $75-100, but you only turn 16 once. When my daughter told me that this was exactly the kind of sweet sixteen party she could have wished for, I knew it was worth the effort! Good Luck!

  23. Marci says

    Make cute cupcakes and arrange them in the shape of a 16.
    For people who love tacos, make a taco bar: soft tortillas, hard tacos, refried beans, salsa, cheese, sour cream, ect.
    Dollar Tree for all the decor and for and for favors. I always like to throw a chocolate bar in. Especially when its teenagers. 😀

  24. DeAnna O'Malley says

    My daughter is turning 16 in November and I am getting excited about how the plans are coming along. I am divorced from her dad, but we have remained good friends so he and his wife and my husband are taking our daughter ona scavenger hunt around town (the day before her party). We are starting at the hospital she was born at. When she arrives, she will have her picture taken with he nurse that he…lped deiver her (yes, shes still there :) ), and I will present her with a scrapbook page of those pictures and a poem. Then she will go to the house we lived in and we (my daughter, ex and myself) will take a picture in front of that house and we’ll just talk about stories of her living there and of course she’ll get her next scrapbook page, then it will lead her to my parents old house and so on and so on and she will be presented with 6 pages of her life to add to her scrapbook. On the day of her actual birthday, I have arranged for 16 family/friends to “meet” up with her during the day to present her with a white rose, and each wll have a tag attahed to the rose with them posting something for her. An example would be her grandparents meeting hr during lunch and giving her a rose. My aunt is going to “coincidently” run into us at the gas station and happen to have a rose for her, etc. etc. For her party, she likes the colors aqua blue, with black and white accents, so I come up with the theme “Heaven Sent”, since she’s always been my angel. We will have a candy buffet done in all blue color candy and I found the cutest centerpieces that we will make. I also am making a video of her life using songs that mean a lot to her, especially the song ‘Butterfly Kisses’. (that’s the song her daddy dedicated to her the day she was born and has told her from the bginning that’s the song they will dance to at her wedding). And for her invitations, I will print the invitation on a DVD and when she passes that out to her friends, they can watch a slide show of them growing up with my daughter.

    • dayla says

      Your party planning brought tears to my eyes but in nostalgic way. I want to doa slideshow of her life with the butterfly kisses song cause that is the last song my husband heard right before her birth so it has a special place in my heart when I her other fathers share the same love for that song. We are doing candyland theme .

  25. DeAnna O'Malley says

    Just a couple of more ideas…about the spa party; we had one of those too. I happen to sell Beauty Control and knew a few consultants who earned the red mustangs, so we had 3 of them pick up my girls one year at school, along with their friends that they invited. (They didn’t know they were going to be picked up in identical cars and it looked pretty neat too). We paraded them around town with the top down, and people were honking and waving at them. They dropped the girls off at the house and we proceeded to do the spas for them. We took tons of pictures of those silly girls, lol. After we completed the facial, they all got ready in their “movie star” outfits. Yes, they had their formals and movie star glasses. We then took them to my aunts house and had the red carpet rolled out for them an my two male (yound 20’s) cousins helped them out of the vehicles onto the carpet so we “paparazzi” could start snapping away!! Once inside, we had a room set up and served the girls a 3 course meal by candlelight (spaghetti of course, lol). After their meal, the girls played a fierce game of bunko and we gave out the MSA’s (Movie Star Awards) making sure everyone was awarded something. It was a very tiring party to deal with, but to watch those girls laugh was priceless. Birthdays are probably my favorite holiday. I can spoil one of my four babies all day long and not feel guilty for giving them more attention than my other babies and they each dont complain because they know their day is coming!

  26. Becky Guajardo says

    I am throwing my daughter a sweet sixteen in March 2013. We want a vintage theme with the colors of ivory & different shades of pink. The venue is my back yard since we have a large lot and the we have plenty of seating area plus a huge dance floor. Since I am on a major budget I need decorating ideas for my built canopy, where to shop for other items and get a good price. Any suggestions?

  27. Hannah says

    For my sweet sixteen, my parents threw me an elaborate (but extremely cheap) mystery party. Each of my friends had a character to play so we could figure out who took the jewels. The only cost was the finger foods, and the party was such a hit with my friends that they threw me another for my 18th!

    The best part about the 16th was that it was a surprise! It took a lot of effort from all my friends and family to keep the plans quiet.

    It does take a little work because you have to write the mystery and characters yourself so they are age-appropriate, but all my friends thought my parents were the coolest for such an awesome party.

  28. Audrey says

    I’m turning 16 in a little over a week and we still don’t have plans. We can’t rent a place to do stuff but we have our little house and tons of hilly space outdoors. It’s pretty cold outside, though. I have no idea what to do and we’re really on a budget. (Like, less than $80) I have plenty of guy and gal friends that I can invite but more girls than guys… I originally wanted to do something formal, but there’s no dance floor. I want to do something that isn’t boring and I need ideas of what to DO during the time that go with the theme, too. I’ve held tons of movie parties so those are a no-go. I’d love some frugal ideas to have a party with. (We’re all modest Christian teens with no care for clubbing-type ideas.) Also, I live in a relatively small town. What do I do? Please let me know. :)

    • Party Planner says

      I have planned many parties for my daughter that have been a hit!!!
      Last year we had a mix of ages 14-17 so we did a scavenger hunt at the Mall – we split the guest in to two teams by drawing numbers: Team 1 & Team 2. I gave each team a list of items they had to collect such as; shopping bag from a spacific clothing store, picture with a cute guy, one square of toilet paper, broken hanger, picture on the Kids play ground, perfum sample, business card, each nail painted a different color from Saphora, and the best part…. I gave each team $10 and asked the to find one pair of underwear and a spacific soda from a machine in the mall. This was embarrassing , but the girls said it was hilarious and loved it. Come up with your own ideas to fit your guests.
      Afterwards we went back to the house for a taco bar and some crazy activities; music, water balloon toss, eat powder donut off a rope don’t let any fall to the ground, make an outfit with Aluminum foil (Dollar Store) you need about 6 rolls per team. Hopefully these ideas will help those that are party stumped.

  29. Lauren says

    My 16th birthday is in a little over a month and I have no clue what to do! I want something original, but I want to go somewhere. Not just stay at home all day. Something that no one would think of and fun for everyone!

  30. MaKayla Weaver says

    my 16th birthday day is in october ( next month :p)
    and i have no ideas AT ALL i want to do something but nothing to expensive and outside at my house i live in the country fyi and any ideas are welcome!

  31. Deja says

    My sweet 16 is in less than 2 1/2 months and I still have no idea what to do!!! I have a lot of friends that I’m wanting to invite, with me having more guy friends than girl friends even though I’m girl. I’m renting a place out, but I have no clue what the theme could be! I’m wanting my party to be perfect because not only is it my sweet 16, but also probably the last one my crush is going to go to since he graduates from high school this year too!!!

  32. Tara says

    I’m looking for an activity for my sweet sixteen party .I invited over 30 guests and the party is held indoors ,does anyone have a suggestion?!

  33. Mikaela says

    I had an awesome birthday a few years ago. My birthday is in the winter but i hate the cold! my mom threw me a surprise luau. I walked in the house and seen a blow-up palm tree, and plastic beach wallpaper. everyone was wearing glasses, grass skirts, and flower necklaces! my mom just ordered pizza for food and she made fruit kabobs. she even bought a hawaiian cd to play! it was seriously sooo much fun!

  34. Virginia says

    I turn 16 in 26 days, the day the world is supposed to end, and no my theme isn’t the end of the world. My colors are lime green and black. My dad is friends with the owner of a Pub down the street with a basement I’m renting out. At the entrance will be a sign and the things that you walk through that hang over the doorway. Going down the stairs will be icicle lights and a bubble machine running until everyone arrives. There will be about 6 cocktail tables with black tablecloths and green strips across the center. Daises and roses will be in the middle of the table with bowls of green and black m&m’s with my name and 16 on them. The ceiling will be covered with white cloth with a green strobe light shinning off of it for affect. A DJ will be playing party music and just the normal popular stuff. A long buffet table will have my cake (3 tiers green, black, green with a giant green bow around the black layer and 16 candles around the whole thing) and all the rest of the snacks and finger foods. I’m getting water bottles and the bar will have the pop sprayer and a punch bowl also balloons, flowers, tea lights on the bar. I’m having a Candle Ceremony and a Daddy Daughter Dance where my dad is giving me a necklace he had made from the ring my Great Great Aunt Virginia left me when she died. Also, a Caricature Artist is coming for 2 hours and then a photographer will record the whole night. I’ll be getting my hair, nails and makeup done and arriving in a limo with 8 friends! Everyone will be dressed formal and hopefully it turns out amazing!!

  35. says

    im only 11 yrs old i just want to know what ideas i could grt my sister is 16 yrs old ans she had a beutiful one in jan and her theme was witer land and i want mine to be the theme of fire and i hope i get a beutiful one to than my sister. and my sister is going to plan it!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  36. Popie bell xxx says

    For my sweet 16, we are going to get a hotel room and it will be me and 4 other friends and it will be so cool living together for a week! And, during the day you could all go out shopping together one day, go swimming to an amazing waterpark the next, the next day go bowling and going for a tasty meal you all agree on, and the next few days can be varied on what you all want to do. Like to swimming for a few hours to a great place, then go to a anusment centre and play on the machines and go to arcades or go out shopping again? It is up to what you all agree on and would like to do. This would be great as on the last night after you sleep you could wake up and have a party in the lobby or in a special place with a big cake and a party for the rest of the day. This would have to be in he Holliday as students are working hard. I guarantee this is a party you won’t forget. :)

  37. Popie bell xxx says

    Another good idea, is going to a nice place. I wouldnt recommend bowling as it gets very boring and it doesn’t last very long. We usually go to wet and wild where they have amazing slides and wave flowing pools. It seems a long time, 10am – 7pm but it feels like 2 minutes when your there! The food is amazing too. My 12th is in a few days and we are all going to a huge shopping centre to spend cash and get the things we love most. Then we will be going to a nice restaurant and staying at my house that night with a nail artist coming to paint our nails. The next day we go to wet and wild. For my 11th birthsay party I had a pink limo. I had 8 friends at my house for snacks and activities like trampolining and playing in the back garden and on the wii console with a lady come to do out hair and make up. The limo arrive and it was a blast! Everyone thought it was amazing. We went around the town centre and got dropped off for bowling and spent most of the night there. Also, you could have a silly party like tell everyone to wear their clothes inside out or backwards for fun and then try on silly outfits and go to silly places, for egsamnple if you are 6-10 go to a soft play or a huge bouncy house and have some fun there and stay over but have baboons balloons all over and silly stickers just for that funny party. If you want a more serious party, you could go to a fine dini restaurant for some lunch and then stay at your house. The next day you could have your party. Throw on a dress and some heals and go have a good time at a rented out place with family and friends.

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