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.
- 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:
- TomKat Studio
- Hostess With the Mostess
- One Pretty Thing – always a great place to start for finding great ideas
Please add your party planning pearls of wisdom in the comments!
Loved this post!!
Great post, and thanks for the link-up! :) It’s so funny because I’m working on the munchkin’s first birthday party now and despite all my “heck no!” rhetoric, I’m still finding myself going crazy making cute party favors. Oh well, at least they’re dollar-store friendly. :) Stay tuned.
Can I just say THANK YOU!!!! My baby girl’s first birthday is next month & I wanted to make a stylish, themed party like the gorgeous one you showed here, but my skills at throwing together party decor are a bit pathetic and I’ve been overwhelmed/intimidated by all the blog party phenoms out there. Thanks to your tips I’ve got some good & cheap ideas that aren’t going to take years or boost the stress level. Yay!!
YAY!!! Thanks for posting this. I will show Shelley and she will be so excited to be featured here. I went to the party and her girls had a blast. They were loving all the attention. Thanks again!!!
Yes I am totally honored to be featured here!!! :) Thanks for showing off my girls! ;)
I am currently planning my son’s 2nd birthday party. Here are a few of the projects I have going:
It’s Dr. Seuss themed. I have been collecting Dr.Seuss books and stuffed animals (Kohl’s had cute one’s for $5 each a few months ago), plus Dr.Seuss anything will never go out of style in my house. (I’m a big fan myself) The books and stuffed animals will be part of the party decor. For party favors- I found a pack of 50 bookmarks on ebay for $3. Pencils, erasers, and stickers (all Dr.Seuss) found in a $1 section at a certain big box store. A great online source also- oriental trading company. I found enough Cat in the Hat wearable paper hats for all the party guests for just $12. They also have great prices on whimsical candy. I did purchase a few Seuss party items online, but am supplementing with primary colored streamers, balloons, etc (from the Dollar Store!)Making my own cake (but that’s what I do anyway =)) And making cupcakes too. Red cupcake liners, blue frosting (for Thing 1 & Thing 2) The party is in our backyard, and we have a large sliding glass door that I will be decorating with my own Seuss artwork using Crayola Window crayons. I downloaded a Dr. Seuss font, so I will make my own party banner, gift tags and labels, keeping with the theme. Oh, and the food I am making- snacks and drinks from the Dr. Seuss Green Eggs and Ham cookbook!
@Sophia: Fun ideas!!
I saw some Dr. Seuss stuff at Target’s dollar spot recently. Maybe you will find some good things there. Also, I did a Dr. Seuss craft roundup at my other blog: http://croqzine.com/?p=1290
Thanks for the great comment!
Great post! It’s so try to stay focused, plan & remember to have fun! Another great tip is to look for things around your house to incorporate, don’t just buy more!
hugs! Kim @ Love you better
Lora Anne M
There are some great ideas on this party tutorial! Looking forward to planning my son’s first birthday. I was sent over from mycraftchannelblog.
Wondering where I can get those fonts that you used on the bunting?? Do you know, by chance?
Thanks so much!