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Mario-themed birthday party on a budget

Updated: Feb 8, 2022

Wow, another 5 years have passed and my youngest son is at it again with his desired birthday party theme. I always like to give them an option when it comes to choosing the theme for their birthday party to make it unique and also special to them.

This year was no different and my youngest son requested a 'good old time' favorite of mine Mario. Who would have thought that my kids would also love Mario as much as I did growing up? It was as much fun for me planning it as it was for them.

So I took on the challenge, scoped around Pinterest for ideas, and got to work on a Mario-themed birthday party.

Let's just be clear here, anything Mario is not cheap. But I only plan birthdays on a budget so I had to make it work with what I had available.

If you would like to know more about planning kids' parties visit my blog post on How to plan a kids' birthday party on a budget.

Have you also found any tips that you could share? Please feel free to add to my list, or ask your questions or concerns in our FORUM section. I would be happy to help you!

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Mario Themed birthday party on a budget

“Highly requested Mario-themed 5th birthday party!”


The highly requested theme was Super Mario. I was rather excited at first to get started with the planning except that there really weren't many Mario items available for purchase. My first stop was to always check the Dollar store. There was nothing Mario either in the Dollar store.

I thought that Mario would be flying off the wall in the stores, but was rather surprised to find either overly priced party items or nothing at all.

I had to put my thinking cap on and plan to DIY if I wanted to get this party started.


Once you decide on a theme, search for ideas that will help you to select items that can match your theme.

For the theme above I "googled" Mario theme birthday party. So many ideas popped up including pricey party packages, that I don't really like because it doesn't give your party a unique look.

My all-time favorite place to scope for ideas is Pinterest. I was able to find so many unique Mario-themed inspired ideas to work with.

Once I got an idea of what I wanted to do, the next step was to fit it into the budget.


Remember the goal is to stay within budget. Therefore we want to be able to find cost-effective decor for the party. That would include, tablecloth, tableware, favors, food, etc.

I created a list of what I would need for this party and also a sketch of my table decor and placement.

Using Google search, shopping tab, I was able to find and compare prices for items that I needed to use for the party. This helped me to stay within budget.


The Bargain hunt begins for this Mario- themed birthday party.

My first stop was at the Dollar store to get anything I needed for DIY and utensils e.g. the containers for the candy and popcorn. Plates, balloons, utensils, pictures frames, etc. are also my Dollar Tree find.

For DIY, I was also able to get a roll of construction paper to make the Mario question mark box and Brick wall.

I also purchased the straws for the marshmallow pops, cups for the jello and chocolate pudding along with the red plates for the DIY mushrooms.

Walmart is another place to shop for party items. They do have a good selection of party items too for less than a dollar. I was able to get the yellow table cloth, gold coin plates, Acrylic paint for the pipes (cost 50 cents), and the jello and chocolate pudding (less than a dollar).

To learn how I did the decor for this party, visit my blog post on DIY Mario-themed party decor and food.

The Mario-themed backdrop was purchased on Amazon. It also doubled up as a photoshoot backdrop at the end of the party. It is made of vinyl and not any cheap plastic. It was a really great purchase of which I plan to use afterward for decorating the boy's room.


Canva was my go-to for invitations for this party. It really took me just minutes to create this DIY card which I sent via text to my party guest.

Canva is also FREE to use and you can also get their PRO account for just $12.99 a month, or 119.99 yearly if you want access to more features and if you plan on using it for a long time.

If you prefer giving out the card versions of invites better than the digital, then a great way to save is to purchase a pack of cards in the dollar store or try making them from scratch at home with cardstock.

You can also get a printable version from free resources available online or paid ones on Etsy.

Mario-themed birthday party invite


I sometimes like to get pull apart cupcakes, which are so much easier to give out at a party and can definitely cut back on waste. My go-to places for those are Publix or Walmart. They usually cost less than $25 dollars, which is a great deal, especially for custom cakes.

I was able to purchase a Mario-themed custom cupcake cake for $23 dollars at Walmart.

Again you also have the option to make your own cake and add Mario-themed props to the top which is cost-effective as well. I just didn't have more time in my schedule for the DIY cake.

Mario-themed cupcake cake


The Mario-themed Party favors can be made with bags ($2 for a dollar) purchased at the Dollar store or Amazon ($6 dollars). You can then use construction paper to make the Mario jumpsuit, or add other Mario-themed character stickers as you choose.

You can also purchase pre-made bags on Amazon if you are short on time (I was). They can then be filled with little toys, trinkets, and snacks.

Another great way to save on party favors is to purchase items for a dollar in the party store. For example, you could purchase kids' water bottles and then make Mario stickers to place on the bottles or purchase a pack of Mario-themed stickers from Amazon.

Mario-themed party favor bags


The food for this theme consisted of Mario -themed related items. I had Nutella sandwiches that I cut out using a star cookie cutter (Walmart -0.97 cents).

I made jello ( Great Value pineapple jello -0.36 cents/pack and question mark applied from piped Great Value white icing -$1.98). A gel version is also available on Amazon.

I also made chocolate pudding purchased from Walmart ( Great Value -0.84cents).

I had M and M's and popcorn along with marshmallow pops that were dipped in candy melts (straws purchased at the Dollar store).

I also made rice crispy treats purchased from the store and used piped icing from the Great Value icing tube (purchased at Walmart $1.98), to apply the question mark.

The food place cards were also made using Canva.

To learn how I did the food for this party, and the food place cards (FREE DOWNLOAD) visit my blog post on DIY Mario-themed party decor and food.


Kids playing parachute game

We mostly did traditional games such as musical chairs, parachutes, etc., and tried to keep it Mario theme related. My mom brought this parachute game to the party, but here is a similar one on Amazon.

You can also create DIY games that the kids can play as well. Examples of these are:

  • Pin the mustache on Mario - Draw a picture of Super Mario or print a large poster of him and cut out a mustache from construction paper or cardstock and use to pin the mustache on Mario.

  • You can also create a Mario-Themed treasure hunt game to find hidden Mario characters around. Here is a free template that you can use. Treasure Hunt (FREE DOWNLOAD).

For more ideas or inspiration on activities for kids visit the blog post below:

To learn how I did the decor and food for this party, visit my blog post on DIY Mario-themed party decor and food.

Did you find the strategies listed in this article helpful? What were some of your favorite tips? How have they worked for you? Leave a comment below, I’d love to know what you think.

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