The annual party bag dilemma.

It always seems a shame to spend money on plastic tat that invariably gets ends up in landfill. Also, no matter how hard you try, it is difficult to keep the costs down. And then after you have decided to go ahead you always seem to end up buying the same old stuff (bubbles, Haribo, more bubbles).

However, if you don’t produce a party bag, the kids are disappointed. So to keep those sad faces at bay we have come up with our top 10 places to find affordable party bag fillers.

We have included delivery costs where appropriate as occasionally the delivery charge can cost as much as the party fillers.

 1. Little Cherry

Party Bag Fillers cute animal tube of pencils

For: Eco-friendly party bags fillers

What: An eco-friendly online shop for biodegradable party supplies. Whilst they don’t have the widest selection, there are some wonderful products all made out of biodegradable material from wooden jigsaw puzzles, art pegs, fun hair bobbles, pencils and cute wooden pots. They also sell some excellent biodegradable tableware made out of palm leaves, bamboo and our personal favourite, coconut shells. Now I just need to engineer a reason to have a Hawaiian inspired party.

Where: Little Cherry

Delivery charge: Standard delivery (3-5 days) is £3.95 increasing to £9.95 for next day delivery.

2. Hobbycraft

Party Bag Fillers hot air balloon suncatcher

For: Predominantly craft inspired party bag fillers

What: Hobbycraft is an absolute treasure trove of arts and crafts for the kids and grown-ups alike. Our favourite fillers include animal suncatchers (online only), paddle balls, novelty glasses, Snap, novelty erasers. Again, another great place to stock up on party supplies.

Where: Hobbycraft

Delivery charge: Free if over £30, standard delivery (3-5 days) is £3.95 increasing to £5.95 for next day delivery

3.  The Curious Caterpillar

Party Bag Fillers woodland themed pre filled party bag

For: Good quality pre-filled party bags or boxes

What: You simply select the theme of the party bag/box from a selection of 59, choose your bag and tissue paper colour and Curious Caterpillar will send you everything you need to make the party bag – the fillers, tissue paper and the party bag. The only thing they don’t do is put it all together for you in order to prevent any damage in transit. Price per bag range from £1.29 to £2.99 per bag. For an extra fee you can upgrade your party bag to one with twisted handles and add a label. Alternatively, you can select your own fillers and bags from their extensive and well priced product range.

WhereThe Curious Caterpillar

Delivery charge: Standard delivery (3 days) is £4.49, 2 day delivery is £5.99, increasing to £8.99 for next day delivery.

4. Etsy

Party Bag Fillers charm friendship bracelets

For: Something different

What: If you are looking for something with a bit more longevity then take a look at some homemade alternatives on Etsy. For example, we found these friendship bracelets with assorted charms on them. Each one comes attached to a piece of card that reads ‘ Thank you for coming to my party’. There are a variety of different charms from cowboys and dinosaurs to ice creams and seashells. They cost £10 for 10 bracelets (with card) or £5 without the card. However, if these aren’t for you then there are over 700 items categorised as ‘party bag favours’. Some other Etsy favourites include personalised lip balm, personalised badges and fish shaped crayons.

Where: Etsy

Delivery charge: Varies depending on product and Etsy shop

5. Poundland

Party Bag Fillers bucket and spade

For: Affordable inspiration

What: Poundland is great for seasonal goods. You may have to think outside the box so instead of looking for party bag fillers look for something original to put a slice of birthday cake in.

For example, if it’s summer perhaps you can pick up some buckets and spades and that becomes your party bag. Tie a balloon to it, put a slice of cake in it with some bubbles and sweets and the kids will love it.

If it’s September time, Poundland will be full of Back to School paraphernalia. You could buy a pencil case and fill it with pencils, a sharpener, a rubber and maybe even squeeze in a bag of Haribo.

And if it’s spring time perhaps the garden section will be full of inspiration…buy an animal shaped/ colourful flower pot along with a mini trowel, pop some wildflower/sunflower seeds into little envelopes, then add the slice of cake and a balloon. Alternatively, they have a small selection of party bag fillers.

Where: Poundland shops nationwide

Delivery charge: Available in store only

6. Homemade

Party Bag Fillers homemade crayon lettersFor: Those who have a bit of time on their hands

What: There are some excellent blogs with ideas of easy to make party bag fillers. Clearly, this takes a bit more time than popping to your local supermarket but it could make a fun activity to do with your child. Here are a few of our favourites:

Delivery charge: None

7. Flying tiger

Party Bag Fillers Yahtzy

For: Great range of Scandi inspired party bag fillers.

What: Flying Tiger (previously known as Tiger) is a Danish brand stocked to the rafters with quirky Scandinavian affordable products. Whilst you can view some of the products online you aren’t able to shop on-line yet.

To see and buy the full range, pop into the store. With 80 stores in the UK alone there is bound to be one near you. Our favourite products include finger puppets, wiggly straws, handheld disco balls, mini whoopee cushions, mini Yahtzee games and of course the ubiquitous bubbles.

Whilst you are there, stock up on their quirky party supplies (bunting, silver plates, colourful doilies, heart shaped balloons, cake toppers etc.).

Where: Flying Tiger shops nationwide

Delivery charge: Available in store only

8. Baker Ross

Party Bag Fillers animal paddle bats

For:  An incredible range of party bag fillers (over 320 items when we last looked)

What: Literally every party bag filler you could possibly imagine. It was tough whittling it down but our favourites are the gorilla wall climbers, hedgehog pull-back racers and the butterfly gliders.

Where: Baker Ross

Delivery charge: Standard delivery (4-5 days) is £2.99, next day delivery is £4.95

9. Partypacks

Party Bag Fillers mini snakes and laddersFor: Multipacks of plastic toys (which, as much as we hate, the kids seems to love) at affordable prices

What: Partypacks have come up trumps with most of our party needs over the years and they hit the mark again with a great range of kids party bag fillers, often sold in multipacks which helps keep the costs down. From mini panpipes, waterbombs, mini windmills, maze puzzles and a set of magic tricks, there is something for everyone here at excellent prices. They also offer further discount if you buy in bulk (10 plus).

Where: Party packs

Delivery charge: Free if over £39, standard delivery (3-7 days) is £3.95 increasing to £6.95 for priority delivery (1-2 working days)

10. Supermarket

For: Last minute panic

What: We’ve all been there at some point. You get so engrossed in one thing or another that you totally forget to sort out the party bags. Never fear as most supermarkets have a good, if not small, selection of party supplies to choose from.  At our nearest Tesco our favourites were pink star bubble necklaces, mini Connect 4, and a mini xylophone.

Where: Supermarkets nationwide

Delivery charge: Varies per supermarket or no delivery charge if you buy in store

Over to you

Where do you go for all your Party Bag needs? Have you tried any of the above shops/ web stores? Which is your favourite?