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Strategic items with big impact

Use a lot of the inexpensive decorations to fill in the background of the more expensive decorations. And don’t skimp! You’ll get maximum visual impact if you stick with one or two colors. Some party items are classic for a reason — because they’re cheap, versatile, and festive.

  • Balloons: inexpensive, come in a rainbow of colors, can be put pretty much anywhere, are big and make a big visual impact, can be manipulated into interesting configurations (if you’re really crafty – heh!)
  • Streamers: come in many colors, you get a lot for little money, instantly festive, you can put them anywhere
  • Personalization: Creating a custom banner or adding the celebrant’s name to the decor is a great way to make the guest of honor feel special

Quick Tip: Personalize traditional party items, like the flowery hat shown here. Cover a traditional party hat with faux flowers for a pretty, handmade look

When in doubt, steal ideas

There’s nothing wrong with cribbing ideas from people who are gifted at party planning! Use their parties as inspiration for your own. Keep track of the ideas you like, and implement them for any parties you have to plan. Don’t be afraid to adapt their ideas and expand them to fit your vision.

Ultimate money saving: use what you have

You probably already have what you need at home to make a great party! Try “shopping” your own stuff to put together a fabulous party for no money. Look at everyday items in new ways. Vases can become sweet displays for a candy buffet, cookie sheets can be topped with a sheet of scrapbooking paper to make a pretty dessert tray, you can built tiered serving trays for the party with cups, plates, and temporary fixative and then break them down again when the party is over. Food coloring will make boring lemonade into Spaceman punch, fabric yardage makes interesting tablecloths, swags, or festive wall decor. Don’t forget to shop your furniture, too. You can use bookshelves, toyboxes, dressers, end tables, or whatever to stage your party displays. All it costs is a little creativity!

It doesn’t have to be perfect to be special

Your loved ones will appreciate that you made an effort, even if it isn’t perfect or spectacular. This is an opportunity for you to express love, so no matter what you end up doing for the party, do it with love and with the people you love in mind.

You being there is better than any other party detail.

Additional Resources:

  • This isn’t party-related, but it IS applicable because Disney created a beautiful bedroom by making do with what she has on hand. Check out her ingenuity and be inspired to use what you have to get the result you want: Disney’s Bedroom at Ruffles and Stuff
  • Make treats out of other treats: Twinkie bon-bons
  • Why We Chose Efficiency and Simplicity at ImaniMama

Some inspirational party ideas can be found at:

Please add your party planning pearls of wisdom in the comments!