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How many times have your kids come home from a birthday party with a party favor bag full of pencils, candy and little erasers? At one point I had a kitchen drawer exploding with pencils. Birthday party favors can definitely be more creative than what’s available in the dollar aisle — and they don’t have to cost a fortune. Here are ideas for 37 awesome birthday party favors that work for any party theme.

37 awesome birthday party favors that work for any party theme - The Party Teacher

My preference is usually to buy one nice party favor instead of several small items. Often, I don’t even worry about packaging. Instead, I tie on a printable thank you tag with a pretty ribbon and call it done.

Let’s start with food party favors.

1. Decorated cookie Party favor

When you’re ordering cookies for your dessert table, order a second batch that are individually wrapped and tied with a bow. Just add a thank you tag. Place each cookie on top of your place setting as a favor or create a set a separate cookie tray on a favor table.

These gamer cookies are from TS Cookies on Etsy.

TS Cookies on Etsy - gamer cookies

2. Paint your own cookie party favor

These cookies come with an illustration and icing that you can paint with, like water colors. It’s a fun way to send a little craft and treat home from your party.

This sample is from one of my favorite cookiers, The Cookie Riveter.

Paint your own cookie - The Cookie Riveter

3. DIY cupcake Party favor

Buy or make cupcakes, then buy individual cupcake boxes, ribbon, thank you tags, and itty-bitty test tubes. Add sprinkles in your party colors to each test tube and then tie the tube to your cupcake box with a ribbon and thank you tag. Guests can take home the cupcakes and decorate them as they wish after the party.

We made these Halloween treats for friends during the pandemic. The individual packaging made it easy to drop these on friends’ doorsteps.

Halloween sprinkle cupcakes by The Party Teacher - 45

4. Candy wand Party favor

Hard candy in any sort of cute container is always a winner. Candy wands or test tubes can fit Sixlets or gumballs, depending on the size of the wand or tube. Visit your local craft store and you might find other ideas available, like light bulbs or mini paint cans or other cute tins. Of course, choose candy in your theme colors. To find inexpensive candy, try an online resource like Candy Warehouse, Oh Nuts or Just Candy.

You can also find Etsy sellers like Handcrafted Parties who make premade candy wands. How cute are Lisa’s candy wands?

5. Candy Jar Party favor

Make your own cute candy favor jar by gluing figurine on top of the jar’s lid and then spray painting the figurine and lid to match your party palette. Animals, army men, mini tiaras or faux flowers all would be cute options. Use E3600 glue to attach the topper to the jar lid. Use mini mason jars or baby food jars.

Here’s a super cute version from Paiges of Style via HWTM.

horse-topped-candy-jar - HWTM

6. Candy Boxes Party favor

The easiest option may be to order gummy candy boxes from Just Candy or Sugarfina (pictured here). They come in several size options and you can personalize the box’s label.

Sugarfina candy cube party favor

7. Themed candy party favor

It’s amazing what kind of candy shapes you can find. Gummy frogs from Nuts.com for a camping or fishing party? Gnome lollipops for an enchanted forest party? See if there is a candy shape that fits your party theme.

PPC jungle frog gummies Nuts

8. Custom Wrapper Candy Bar Party favor

Wrapping up a Hershey’s chocolate bar with a custom printable wrapper is a classic choice and an easy DIY. You can find options for every occasion on Etsy; this one is from Eclair and Paper.

PPC groovy daisy candy bar wrapper

9. Artisan Candy Bar Party favor

An artisan candy bar (or any sweet treat like a cake pop or Rice Krispies Treat) can be a beautiful choice. Aren’t these dark chocolate bars from Divanna Chocolates a work of art?!

Divanna Chocolates on Etsy - artisan candy bar

10. Movie Theater Candy Party Favor

If you’re having a backyard movie party, serve theater sized candy in a plastic popcorn box. Make “popcorn” out of white paper shred. I show you how in this post. (It’s really easy!) I’ve also got a free party favor tag for you in that post.

Movie night popcorn box party favor by The Party Teacher - 4

11. Custom Lollipop party Favors 

You can put a party printable favor sticker on any lollipop, or give a giant lollipop, or you can have custom lollipop flavors and designs made.

Here are non-food party favor ideas.

12. Coloring book Party favor

Choose a coloring book that’s related to your party theme. Superhero party? Choose a justice league coloring book from the Target dollar aisle. Pair that with a box of crayons. Tie a bow around it with a thank you tag and you’ve got a great party favor for about three dollars per person.

Or, order a custom coloring book from Etsy. You can find coloring books for common party themes and have them customized with the birthday child’s name and age.

AndersRuff created Lego coloring books and homemade Lego men crayons for a 6th birthday party.

AndersRuff lego coloring book and crayon DIY

13. Little Golden Book Party Favors

A hardback book is a great all-purpose party favor. I tend to choose a hardback book just because it’s easier to wrap than a softcover book. Little Golden Books are classics and cost-effective. If you’re having a farm party, there’s a perfect book. If you’re having a construction party, there’s a perfect book. You can also sometimes find books like these on Amazon priced four for the cost of three — score!

Girl About Columbus choose a variety of Little Golden Books for her daughter’s Disneyland party — it’s really cute!

3rd-birthday-theme-for-girls-Girl About Columbus - golden books

14. Mini piñata Party FAvors

Piñatas aren’t just for party games. Sometimes you can find mini piñatas in Walmart or Target, although you may have to order those online because the shelves often don’t have enough for each design. I like adding mini piñatas to my place settings. Piñatas come in almost any theme — you can find dinosaurs, sharks, space rockets or daisies. If you can’t find a mini piñata premade in your theme, ask an Etsy seller like Lisa from Handcrafted Parties who made these mini apples, and I bet she’ll whip up a custom set for your party.

Mini pinata apple - Lisa Frank Handcrafted Parties

15. Bracelet Party Favors

You can find party theme bracelets from any number of online party stores. But those tend to be DIY kits and they’re not the sturdiest. I would look to an Etsy seller, like Stacked Simply Co who made these ice cream bracelets. You can find beaded bracelets for girls or braided leather bracelets that are great for boys. In any case, type your “theme + bracelet” in the Etsy search bar, and you’re sure to find many options. You could choose a fully beaded bracelet or one that just has a simple, single charm on a pretty ribbon.

PPC Ice Cream bracelet StackedSimplyCo on Etsy

16. Necklace Party Favors

Much like the bracelet idea, you can find darling party favor necklaces from any number of Etsy sellers. I like to package bracelets or necklaces in a small jewelry box. These generally come with a cushioned insert. And once again all you have to do is tie on a pretty ribbon and thank you tag.

Blakes Bricks on Etsy made these fun necklaces that would be great for a Lego themed party.

PPC lego necklace dog tag Blakes Bricks on Etsy

17. Custom crayon Party Favors

Etsy to the rescue. Choose crayons that spell out your guests’ names or give each guest their first initial. Or, find homemade crayons in the shape of your party favor theme. You might find fire trucks or cupcakes. If your crayons arrive already tied with ribbon and a tag, but you don’t love those choices, just replace them with whatever works best for your party and your aesthetic. These initial crayons are from Wonder Creations by Lu on Etsy.

Crayon initials Wonder Creations by Lu on Etsy

18. Mad Libs Party Favors

Mad Libs are a great go-to, especially for boy parties. They come in so many themes, you’re almost sure to find one that matches your party theme: space, dinosaur, gaming, scientist and more. Give those with a cute pencil — maybe have pencils made that say “thanks for coming to my party from NAME”. Try the Positive Pencil Company on Etsy.

PPC science mad libs Amazon

19. Homemade Play-Doh Party Favors

Package a mini Play-Doh container with a mini cookie cutter or toy that relates to your party theme. Or, turn to an Etsy seller like Wonderful Child Kits who sells pre-packaged homemade Play-Doh plus little toys and crafts perfect for molding the dough in whatever ways your guests can dream up. Great for sensory play and just plain fun.

PPC Rainbow - play doh favor - Wonderful Child Kits on Etsy

20. Slime Party Favors

Slime, Play-Doh’s gross cousin, is still a popular party favor. You can make your own with your kids using this tutorial from A Night Owl Blog. Or search Etsy for pre-made slime.

DIY-Shark-Slime-6 A Night Owl Blog

21. Bath Bomb Party Favors

For a spa party or mermaid party or under the sea party, a bath bomb can be a great gift. You’ll find bath bombs for all sorts of party themes, but for me, they go better with those two themes. (Also, a quick word about soap as a party favor: I don’t love it for kids because I’m always afraid the kids will think the soap is candy. Maybe your kids are smarter than mine. I totally believe my girls would have eaten soap given the chance.) Anyway, Sunbasil Garden Soap on Etsy has gorgeous and fun bath bombs, body butters and soap that’s perfect for party favors.

PPC mermaid bath bomb Sunbasil Garden Soap on Etsy

22. Painting Kit Party Favors

Painting kits aren’t just for art parties. You can find painting kits for almost any theme. I love these wood kits that come with paint and a brush — everything you need is already taken care of! This rainbow kit is from Hoo Hoo and a Mouse on Etsy — how cute is the personalized thank you card? Another to-do taken care of!

PPC Rainbow - painting favor - Hoo Hoo and a Mouse on Etsy

23. Hair accessory Party FAvors 

Hair bows or elastic hair ties or pony tail holders or scrunchies or Teleties all make great party favors. This basketball pony tail holder from KenzLaurenz on Etsy is just one of their many, many options.

PPC Basketball hair tie KenzLaurenz on Etsy

24. Felt toy party favors

Felt food sets make great party favors for tea parties, grocery store parties, pizza parties, strawberry parties, baking parties and more. Buy a set, then split it up between your guests. For my Vintage Tea Party, we gave felt cookies packed in a tea tin. Ooh La Lollipop on Etsy made these darling donuts.

felt donut set of 3 ooh la lollipop on etsy

25. Hot wheels Party Favors

Little diecast vehicles come in so many designs, from street cars to race cars to emergency vehicles to superhero cars to construction trucks to monster trucks, and more. Search “Hot Wheels” on Amazon and you’ll find a wide variety of options, starting at about $1 per car. My girls spent ages playing “car rug” with daddy when they were little; this is a party favor that both boys and girls will love.

PPC racing Hot Wheels 10 Amazon

26. Small plushie Party Favors

Having a jungle party or firefighter party or puppy party or farm? Let guests adopt a mini stuffed animal at the end of the party, like this set of 12 jungle plushies from Amazon.

12 mini plush jungle animal party favors Amazon

27. Pop Its Party Favors

I can’t tell you how many fidget toys we’ve bought over the years and I should probably still put them in my daughter’s Easter basket. Pop Its are fun because they come in so many shapes and colors: dinosaurs, unicorns, food shapes — you name it. You can find one to fit your party theme. The price point is so low on these that you could combine them with another small item or even use the Pop It to dress up your party favor packaging.

pop it fidget toy unicorn party favor Amazon

28. Monogrammed water bottle Party Favors

You’ll find every style of personalized water bottle on Etsy. For durability, I’d probably look for an engraved bottle like these from Custom Happiness Shop on Etsy, but make the choice that’s right for your budget. You’ll also need the correct spelling of guest names and RSVPs that give you enough lead time to have the bottles personalized. Choose your bottle colors and name font.

engraved kids water bottle custom happiness shop on etsy

28. Nail polish Party Favors

If you’re hosting a slumber party, spa party, or dress up party, nail polish may be a fun party favor. When we paint nails at parties, I choose Sally Hansen Insta-Dri because it goes on in one coat and dries before little guests can smudge their nails. Find a pack of 10 colors for 21 on Amazon (you don’t get to choose the colors) or pay about $6 each for the color of you choice. Give one color to each guest.

sally hansen insta-dri nail polish set of 10 amazon

29. Bubble Party favors

Bubbles are a classic party favor and since they are so inexpensive (maybe 3 for $1 at the dollar store), bubbles are easy to combine with a few other small items. I like to add a custom, printable paper wrap from my party printable designer. We added bubbles to the place settings at my daughters’ flower fairy party.

Flower Fairy Party by The Party Teacher - bubbles

30. Crayon caddy Party favors

Another party favor that works for any theme? A crayon caddy or crayon roll. You just have to find the right fabric to fit your theme, and there are toooons of choices on Etsy. Handmade by Ozella has great options and all her fabrics are so cut!

crayon roll by Handmade by Ozella on Etsy

31. Enamel pins party favors

Enamel pins are fun additions to jean jackets, backpacks, or hats — so you know they’ll be popular party favors. Just put your party theme + enamel pin into Etsy’s search engine and you’ll find a variety of choices. I like the selection at Quirky Crate.

enamel pin by quirky girl on etsy

32. Sticker book Party Favors

Find sticker sheets, rolls or books for kids. Usborne makes great sticker books that used to entertain my girls on car trips. These sticker books from Jofrey are good for 2-6 year olds. You’ll find themes including space, oceans, insects, animals and vehicles.

space sticker book amazon

33. Action figure Party Favors

Small action figures may be easiest to find locally. Sizes range from 2 inches to 4 inches. Find any superhero (or villain). You’ll also find movies like Toy Story and generic figures like dinosaurs or farm animals or army soldiers. These are another party favor option that would make a cute plate topper before going home as a favor. This set from Amazon comes in a 5-pack.

marvel 5 pack action figure amazon

34. Surprise ball Party Favors

Surprise balls are just that: little surprises like stickers or bracelets or small toys wrapped in layers and layers of crepe paper. Match the paper to your party colors and you’re ready to go. Meri Meri has a few options in a variety of colors. You’ll also find holiday surprise balls on Etsy.

Meri meri surprise ball set of 6

35. Wood toys Party Favors

tractor party favor wood fun wood shop on etsy

36. Costume Elements as party favors

Think cape or mask for a superhero party, gloves for a tea party, or tiaras for a princess party. These felt masks are from SuperKid Capes on Etsy. Add them to your place settings, let the kids wear them to play superhero during the party, and them send them home with your guests as a party favor: you’ll get triple-duty out of one budget item!

PPC superhero felt masks SuperKid Capes on Etsy

37. Peg People Party Favors

Peg people often come in sets, but you can divide them into one pegs per guest. Just pick the theme or occupation that fits your party theme. These pirate peg people are from Tiffany Lee Studios on Etsy. You’ll find superheros, sailors, mermaids, elves and more.

pirate peg dolls by tiffany lee studios on etsy

I’m sure as soon as I post this, I’ll think of more flexible party favor ideas – ha! If you have favorite party favor ideas to add, please let me know in comments.

Want more party favor ideas?

Want more party favor ideas for specific themes? Join the Party Plan Club! I offer four or five party favor ideas for each party theme to make planning your next party easier.

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TPT 14 Party Planning Cheat Sheets 11-23-1

Don't miss my FREE Party Planning Cheat Sheets!

Don't miss my FREE party planning cheat sheets.

These are the exact 14 worksheets I use to plan all my parties!

Have fun planning your party (and stop worrying about what you're forgetting).

Plus, you'll get all the latest parties, tutorials, and discounts from The Party Teacher.

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