Real Moms Plan Parties: Garbage Truck Theme

September 23, 2016 4 min read 2 Comments

This post is part of Cuddle Sleep Dream's "Real Mom Plan Parties - on a real budget!" series. Pinterest is full of amazing ideas created by people with seemingly unlimited money and time. But it can be overwhelming to go from Pinning to actual party planning – especially if you don’t want to spend a fortune!  The goal of this series is to make a party easy - you can click on each link and re-create this party - without requiring a whole team of event planners to pull it off!

Garbage Truck Birthday Party Ideas

My older son has been obsessed with garbage trucks practically since birth. When he was just 6 months old he would bounce in our arms when he saw them rolling down the street, when he was 15 months old we were taking him to follow garbage trucks through the neighborhood, and when I was pregnant we helped him understand when his little brother would arrive by telling him “in 25 garbage truck days”. Now that he is about to turn FOUR years old, it is no surprise that he requested a garbage truck theme for his first “real” birthday party with friends.

So, as adorable as all that is – how on earth does one pull off a garbage truck party??

Last time I checked , party stores do not carry garbage truck themed plates and the kiddie gym does not have a garbage truck theme package. 

But as it turns out, it wasn’t nearly as difficult as you might expect. Here’e how we did it:

Budget: $575

Number of adults/kids:20/20

Event Type: 4th Birthday Party

Theme or color scheme: Garbage Truck

Garbage Truck Birthday Party Ideas

Venue: I discovered a park right around the corner - Mason's Mill Park - that has an attraction they call “Safety Town”. It is a 5’ tall miniature version of Willow Grove (where we live) made out of cinderblocks. The”streets” are wide enough for chunky trikes to drive and there are even little stop signs and traffic lights! I couldn’t have dreamed of a better place for a cute garbage truck party.

Masons Mill Park Safety Town

Total cost: $80 (non-resident of the township)

Food: We did not go thematic with the food. I did briefly consider some gross garbage themed names I could come up but since the kids can’t even read yet, I figured there was no reason to gross out the adults!

Our food requirements were: easy on us for preparation, good for potentially hot weather, and kid friendly.

We decided to get some catered items from Wegmans that we could just pick up and serve.

Total cost: $250 ish

Tableware: Our picnic pavilion has 6 picnic tables and we are bringing an additional table for the food.

I have a roll of black plastic table cloth, but you can find one here. And I added yellow lines of electrical tape to make it look like a road. I also got some plastic cones that doubled as play toys.

Garbage Truck Theme Birthday Party Table Decor

I got metallic silver plates, cups, napkins, and utensilsfrom Oriental Trading so they kind of look like cans.  

Total Cost: $75

Cake: My son’s grandparents offered to get the cake for us from their local bakery that we love (Cramers in Yardley). It’s a ½ vanilla, ½ chocolate sheet cake with a road scene on top and they added a lego kit.

Garbage Truck Birthday Cake

 Total Cost: Free to us - always keep in mind asking family or close friends for help! 

Invitation: Evite! Free and easy. We of course had a picture of my son with some trucks to use on the front.

Boy with Garbage Truck Toys

Outfit: The original garbage truck birthday shirt was made just for this party.

Garbage Truck Birthday Shirt

Total Cost: $35.50

Favors: Here’s where I had way too much fun… So I found a lot of ideas, but I decided that the things I cared about for the garbage truck theme favors were keeping them inexpensive, on theme, and only things the kids would actually like.

I decided to make the bags out of cut up black garbage bags so they looked like mini bags of trash. They are tried with a green ribbon and favor tags from Confetti Fete. (She emailed me the custom file like 2 hours after I ordered!)

Garbage Truck Birthday Party Favors

They are filled with “things found in a trash bag” that I found mostly on Oriental Trading.

Total Cost: $100 

Activities: We have Safety Town! There are so many creative games we could have come up with to have the kids play, but ultimately I ran out of time and also they are 4 – so they were happy just riding the trikes.

And I also got some birthday garbage truck printable coloring sheets (that were personalized with his name and age) and a box of crayons so they had a quiet activity if any kids needed some down time.

Total Cost: $10 

Decorations/Printables/Banner:I made the garbage truck birthday banner out of old trash we held on to for a week before the party. Cheapest banner ever, ha!

To brighten it up a bit I did order a dozen helium balloons, a #4 balloon, and a dump truck (that looks like a garbage truck) balloon from the party store.

The tableware scene added to the décor. I was going to go a little crazier with some streamers and strings of garbage but did not end up doing that.

Total Cost: $30


Ryann Kahn
Ryann Kahn

2 Responses


October 04, 2016

Love this! I am so happy mg boys have you to dress them. So few people make such great and creative, colorful clothes for boys!

Aleshia Ludwig
Aleshia Ludwig

October 03, 2016

This is sooooo cute and creative!! I have never seen this theme before. So perfect for a messy little boy. I’m keeping this in mind for when my son turns 2 next year!!

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in Cuddle Sleep Dream Blog

5 Tips for Choosing a Cake Smash Outfit to Match Baby Boy's 1st Birthday Theme
5 Tips for Choosing a Cake Smash Outfit to Match Baby Boy's 1st Birthday Theme

March 25, 2023 2 min read

Baby Boy Valentine's Day Outfits: 7 Cardigan Onesie Ideas
Baby Boy Valentine's Day Outfits: 7 Cardigan Onesie Ideas

January 02, 2019 1 min read

7 Lucky Baby Boy St. Patrick's Day Outfit Ideas for Newborns through Toddlers
7 Lucky Baby Boy St. Patrick's Day Outfit Ideas for Newborns through Toddlers

February 13, 2018 3 min read

Whether you are Irish or just looking for another excuse to pinch your little man's cheeks, there are plenty of good reasons to dress up your baby boy for St Patrick's Day. We have cute outfit ideas for newborn boys all the way up to big boys. Here are our favorite St. Patrick's Day Outfits for Baby Boys from Cuddle Sleep Dream.

Want a FREE tie?