Birthday Parties Without the Punch

When it comes to birthday parties, a bag of red noses ($3 for 12, partypalooza.com) is almost as entertaining as the guy in the poufy wig. For free, reusable decorations, make colorful triangle-flag garlands from outgrown clothes and old sheets, aprons, and napkins. And rather than dropping $30 or more on a custom cake, make a batch of cupcakes and adorn each with a toy that doubles as a party favor ($6 for a dozen birthday-themed rubber duckies, orientaltrading.com).