Party Bags – so where have they come from?

PartyBags Image

Party bags, loot bags, goodie bags, favours.
There’s lots of names for the gift/cake combo encased in a little plastic or paper bag, sorted into boys and girls bags most of us hand out at the end of a party these days.

It may seem that they have always been there, and they’ve been built into the party planning process forever. But they’ve certainly evolved a lot since the days of a half-deflated balloon on a stick and slice of cake wrapped in (and stuck to) a napkin that used to be handed to guests at theend of a party when I was small. And although I’m not in the first flush, I don’t remember, to my kid’s disappointment and astonishment, what life was like in Victorian times.

So, where and when did we start providing our guests with an extra little gift for attending a party? The whole idea of party bags, or favours, may well have evolved from the tradition of offering wedding guests small gifts or ‘favours’ as a thank you for their attendance at a wedding celebration, and also as a memento of the day itself. It certainly extends back to the thirteenth century, when ‘confetti’ was introduced Although then confetti wasn’t the paper or foil shapes thrown at the bride and groom, but was sugar coated almonds, which remain popular as wedding favours today.
It is thought that the tradition of the modern day party bag may have emerged from North America, although their precise history seems a bit lost in the mists of time. There may be a tenuous link between the gifts offered at the end of a party and a native American and Canadian tradition called ‘Potlatch’ in which families would throw huge celebrations and give away their wealth to enhance their standing in the local community. It’s no bad thing our loot bags have changed somewhat since this tradition was disbanded!

Guests and stars attending the big international award ceremonies such as the Oscars and the Brit’s have been known to receive goodie bags with contents valuing tens of thousands of dollars. Maybe these gifts have played a part in the rise in popularity of the goodie bag for kid’s parties, although it’s a good job kid’s expectations are somewhat lower than that of the guests who grace red carpets around the world….
People often have mixed feelings about party bags, probably stemming from feeling under pressure to provide something extra, after having thrown a party for your child’s friends. Of course there is no obligation to offer goodie bags, and increasing competitiveness over the contents is not a great thing to encourage either. But they don’t have to be a big deal, time consuming, or wildly expensive. Party Things 2 Go offer a fantastic range of great value, often themed filled party bags. The contents of each bag are carefully selected to suit the party theme, thus guaranteeing your guests will go home happy, whilst saving you time putting them together, and remaining within your party budget. So, party bags, goodie bags, loot bags, or favours, with our help, they can put a smile of any child’s face!


Until next time… Charlotte x


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  1. I know that some of the colleagues i work with have experienced some upper class party bags from the Cheshire Set scene & it’s like a game of “keeping up with the jones”. They’ll put really expensive stuff in them like ipads!! OMG a pack of smarties is plenty good enough.

  2. Aww the windmill packs are gorgeous, will be stealing this idea for my niece’s 1st birthday this weekend 🙂

  3. I like the idea of being creative, but can’t help but dislike the expectation that comes along with party bags. I’m not a fan for that reason

  4. Need some inspiration for my daughter’s party bags in August!!!

  5. Fantastic idea’s for the boy’s birthday’s x

  6. aw i love the ‘nutrition facts’!

  7. Hazel Christopher

    I like giftbags for childrens parties, like you say they don’t have to be expensive. I just think it’s nice to take something home from the party to continue the party at home a little bit and it makes children a little less upset when they have to leave.

  8. Party bags cause such parental wars!

  9. Kerry Lethbridge

    Lovely and personal x

  10. I’m always looking for new and unusal ideas when doing birthday parties these are great

  11. ve the windmills they are great!

  12. Great idea

  13. Very nice and useful for parties 🙂

  14. fantastic idea


    Love the windmill packs 🙂

  16. The Windmills are just perfect

  17. We never had these when I was a kid but that was many moons ago.

  18. nice idea very personel touch

  19. fab ideas

  20. What a great idea x

  21. its usually some sweets and a couple of little toys with my kids, we had swirly lollies at our wedding loved them!

  22. Jennifer Rhymer

    I love the windmill packs – children are happy with party bags however much they cost.

  23. Such a great idea, I hate some of the rubbush that you get in party bags

  24. They are really cute! Its difficult to find things to put in the party bags so a gift for the parents is brilliant!

  25. I have a Halloween party every year for all the children in my extended family. These ideas are great and could easily be adapted with a Halloween theme 🙂

  26. I used to love getting party bags!
    But they seem to be getting ridiculous now – I’ve known people give out party ‘rucksacks’!

  27. brilliant love the windmill packs great idea

  28. I love these ideas! It’s my daughter’s birthday in September and this has given me some great ideas!

  29. some lovely things

  30. Emily Jayne Phipps

    I’m worried what to put in my sons party bags – he’s only one and his little friends can’t have a lot of things… so I might do half for babies and half for Moms and Dads! Only a little something though… Can’t be going too bonkers!

  31. I love these ideas, my middle son is 2 in July and I love making up party bags x

  32. Daughter birthday is coming up – these are a great idea – for all ages.

  33. i make sweet cones, sweet bouquets etc… but i have to keep them reasonably priced, otherwise people go elsewhere, they look good, but the above do not look cheap to make which means they will be expensive to buy

  34. a personal touch that I may try in future!

  35. Perfect for little ones parties

  36. Live these ideas they are great

  37. Everyone loves a sweet!

  38. I love the windmills they are so different 🙂

  39. I like the windmill, it’s nice to keep things simple

  40. great idea!

  41. I love the Windmills, So cute!

  42. i love the nutrition facts they are amazing and so informative

  43. All these treats look wonderful, i feel quite guilty that my little boys 1st birthday wasn’t quite so organised. x

  44. They sound great. I wouldn’t say no to one thats for sure!!

  45. Pam Francis Gregory

    Great Idea!

  46. I think this is a great idea. definitely going to remember this. x

  47. What an amazing idea for adults and children alike! Would make great wedding favours and great party bags! 🙂

  48. wonderful idea-sounds great 🙂

  49. I am not a fan on giving small children sweets- It makes my children hyper- toys are much better!