Because I was kind of a pompous jerk.
Fast forward seven years and well, let's just say Isaiah spent about three entire years of his life in shirts with Lighting McQueen on them. Turns out, if kids really really like something, it makes them really really happy to wear that something on their chest day in and day out. So I gave in as any loving mother would, and I let him wear his Cars clothes because I liked making him happy more than I liked being the mom with the ever-fashionable kid.
I always start with a basic color scheme. In this case, I obviously went with red, white, and blue. This helps me avoid cartoon characters on plates that are only covered by cake anyway, and it also cuts down the cost quite a bit. Captain America plates are $3 for 10. Blue plates are $1 for 20. Makes way more economical sense. Next, I raided my 4th of July decor. I will admit I got lucky in that Isaiah's birthday is at the end of June, so I found a lot of extra little things at the dollar store, but this idea works well no matter what. (For example, if your daughter loves Frozen, stock up now on inexpensive Christmas decor that works with that theme!)
Our table cloth was just about 3 yards of fabric from the craft store, and the table runner was simply a blue plastic table cloth I had folded from the dollar store.
In the end, I think I spent around $50 in all for this party! (And much of that was on candy...)
In the end, I think I love character parties now. It was so simple to pull together, and it was such a happy birthday!