How To Plan a Themed Pool Party On a Budget

When warm months come around, it’s time to start thinking about all the ways you can have fun in the sun, and if you have a swimming pool you’re already halfway there. Getting friends and family involved is the next step, but what do you do when you’re on a tight budget?

Stick to a manageable guest list, prepare carefully, and ask your guests to contribute a bit for a start. You can also find ways to save money by re-purposing items from around your home for decorations and hitting up dollar stores to find great deals on party supplies. Here are some of the best tips for throwing a themed military spouse pool party that won’t break the bank.

Figure Out The Guest List and Food

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Before you make any plans it’s a good idea to figure out the guest list so you’ll have a grasp of how much food you’ll need. If it’s a child’s party, check out Pinterest for ideas on cute food prep ideas that involve inexpensive, kid-friendly fare such as hot dogs, burgers, fruit cups, and cupcakes. For adults, the same rules apply, just on a different scale. Think outside the box within the theme -- for instance, if you’re having a Hawaiian luau pool party, you don’t need to serve poi and fresh pineapple; instead, make ham and swiss sandwiches on sweet Hawaiian bread and throw together a fruit salad that can be easily eaten from a paper cup.

Don’t forget the drinks

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It’s not necessary to spend a lot of money on sugary, cavity-inducing drinks for kids or alcoholic beverages for the adults. Instead, stock up on bottled water and consider offering a signature cocktail for the grown-ups--such as mimosas--that only include two or three ingredients. You can also ask guests to bring their own beer.

Pump up the volume

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Hiring an expensive DJ isn’t necessary to thrill your guests; you can use your laptop or even a smartphone to stream Spotify and other music apps through portable speakers and start an impromptu dance party. For a retro theme, find or create a playlist of ’60s music that evokes summertime.

Get creative with decorations

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You’ll probably want to stay away from glass items for the pool, but you can check your local dollar store for plastic bowls, flatware, dishes, platters, and cups that cost very little but look expensive. Think about repurposing items you already have--such as Christmas lights or candles--and make your own invitations with free printable templates.

Finally, prepare your pool and patio

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Of course, don’t forget to prepare the party area! Make to treat the pool with the proper chemicals that will keep the water sanitized (especially if your guests include young children) but safe to swim in. Wipe down tables and chairs, and sweep away debris and other tripping hazards. With some careful planning and a bit of imagination, you can create an awesome party that will wow your guests.


Aimee Lyons is a twenty-something free spirit who loves crafting, painting, building, and anything else that lets her exercise her creative muscles. A born do-it-yourself kind of girl, she started DIYDarlin.com to inspire others to embrace their inner creators and tackle projects with confidence. When she isn’t crafting, you might find her vintage shopping or taking her Corgi Champ out exploring in her hometown of Austin, Texas.

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