Budget-friendly Luau Birthday Party Ideas

luau birthday party ideas

Everything about this party from its decorations to its execution was all done by my daughter, Sadie. She was turning 12 at the time and wanted a luau birthday party for a few close friends. So she went to work making the invite list, the invitations and all the details for the party.

Normally our girls opt for family parties because we tend to make those more special but for her 12th, Sadie wanted a party with friends. And since Sadie is a planner, I was more than happy to let her handle all the details.

I have to admit, handing over the reins was pretty nice.

Here are Sadie’s luau birthday party ideas and how she pulled them off:

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At the time Sadie began talks of planning her party, her Grandma was visiting and wanted to contribute $20 towards decorations. Sadie was ecstatic and knew right away where she wanted to go. So off we went to the Dollar Tree.

If you have never been to the Dollar Tree for party supplies, you really ought to check them out. They do not always have a large selection but we almost always find some items there that help stretch our decorating budget.

And if you have a birthday in the summer, like Sadie, you can take advantage of all their luau decorations. Which we did.

I had been pricing out luau decorations at some other party supply stores and was looking at close to $80 for what she wanted. We were able to get everything off Sadie’s list using only the money her Grandma gave her. We were both very happy about that!

When it came time to decorate, Sadie enlisted the help of her sisters and I think they did a pretty nice job!

luau birthday party ideas
luau birthday party ideas


Sadie had some pretty neat ideas for the food she wanted to have for her luau and when she ran out of ideas, she went to Pinterest for more. We narrowed down the list to items that were fairly easy to assemble and things she thought her friends would enjoy.

The day before the party, Sadie and I went to my favorite grocery store: Aldi where we picked up fresh pineapple, oranges, grapes, ham, pudding cups, and Taquitos chips.

We cut up the fruit and made this cute little dish that doubled as a centerpiece:

luau birthday party ideas

For the main dish, I cut up the ham and, along with some leftover pineapple, fried them in some brown sugar and mustard. This is one of our favorite home dishes that we eat served over rice and the guests couldn’t get enough.

For dessert, Sadie is not a fan of cake, so we usually try to find some creative alternatives. I loved what she came up with: she took pudding cups and crushed some vanilla wafers over the top to mimic sand and added gumballs for beach balls and little umbrellas. (We failed to get pictures but they really were super cute!)


We had planned this like a pool party originally, but the weather did not cooperate so the girls enjoyed some beach ball volleyball after they ate.

luau birthday party ideas

There are so many things you can add to this post for a really in-depth party but I hope these luau birthday party ideas gave you some inexpensive tips to start you on the path to your own perfect luau. (If you don’t have a Dollar Tree near you, you can always find some great luau party supplies¬†on Amazon.)

Sadie was so proud of the party she pulled off and I loved that she was able to plan everything and see it come to fruition. In fact, when I asked her after the party what she enjoyed most, she said it was planning her own party.

I have to say, I was quite impressed with Sadie’s creativity and willingness to do it all and that she pulled it off without a hitch.

I see this becoming a yearly thing…

*As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases, but if I am recommending an item in my post, it is only because I have used it myself or have done enough research on the product to feel it is a good fit for my readers.

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