11 Epic Birthday Party Ideas Because You Are Never Too Old for Cake and Balloons

Remember the birthday parties of your childhood? You know, the ones that usually involved streamers, too much pizza, and punching the poor guy in the mouse suit when you got cranky? Those were the days, my friends.

So maybe there are a few more candles than you’d like on your cake this year. Heck, maybe you don’t even remember your last birthday — except for the fact that it included four bottles of cupcake-flavored wine. The good news? You’re never too old for an epic party, especially not the kind that calls for cake. That’s why we rounded up everything we loved most about childhood birthdays — Treat bags! Sparkly things! Presents! — and gave them an elegant, DIY twist: You can have your balloons and still come out feeling like a respectable grown-up. Strap on your hat and get ready to blow out those candles. We have a birthday to celebrate.

Image: My Name Is Yeh

Start Off With a Bang

You can do better than a last-minute Facebook invite. Set the tone for your party with these adorable poppers from Oh Happy Day — they twist off with a burst of confetti and a thoughtful message inside. How could anyone say no?

Image: Oh Happy Day

Build a Party Cart

Trust me, you’re going to need a party cart. It doesn’t have to be fancy — try repurposing an old kitchen cart or dresser — but it’ll be the perfect place to stash away gifts and welcome your guests with something sweet…or boozy. Thanks, Studio DIY!

Image: Studio DIY

Hang Up a Garland

Need to dress your place up on the fly? A geometric garland is just the thing. Oh Happy Day shows us how to DIY our own with just a few supplies.

Image: Oh Happy Day

Light Some Candles

Candles aren’t just for cakes anymore. These hand-painted votives over at Swiish would add the perfect pop of color to your birthday décor.

Image: Swiish

Take a Swing at a Pinata

And now, your party’s crowning glory: the piñata. We’re not talking donkeys, though — this handmade moon from Studio DIY is both elegant and whimsical.

Image: Studio DIY

Get Boozy

What’s a party without some booze? How Sweet It Is’ cranberry margarita is definitely a step up from the Kool Aid you used to have at birthdays.

Image: How Sweet It Is

Stir Things Up

Keep things festive and dress up your drinks with a few handmade stirrers, à la Beautiful Mess.

Image: A Beautiful Mess

Bake a Cake

You know that boxed cake mix you were going to buy? This chocolate confection from My Name Is Yeh will blow it out of the water. After all, it’s your birthday — and you deserve the best.

Image: My Name Is Yeh

Top It Off

Don’t leave your cake naked! Crown it with a beautiful, DIY topper, like these crepe paper butterflies from Oh Happy Day.

Image: Oh Happy Day

Open Up a Cupcake Bar

Don’t feel like baking a towering cake? Scale back with a playful cupcake bar — and then go all out on DIY toppings, from hot fudge to sprinkles. Thanks, A Beautiful Mess!

Image: A Beautiful Mess

Treat Your Guests

Let’s be honest. The best part about childhood birthdays was always the goodie bag at the end. Honor the tradition by leaving your guests with everything they need to roast their own s’mores in one box, courtesy of Oh Happy Day.

Image: Oh Happy Day