“OMG! This place looks amazing! I love the decorations!!!” Here we go, my favorite part of preparing for a party…party decorating. Not only am I going to help you with decorating for your party, I’m also going to give you simple and budget-friendly party decorating tips. YES! It is possible to get great results with simple decor and stay on budget! Let’s get started with these 5 simple party decorating tips.
You can start to decide on the decorations 3 weeks out from the party. This will give you time in case you may need to order any decorations online or if you plan to create your own decorations. You won’t want to stress out the week of the party creating decorations. The more time you give yourself, the less stress you will have the week and day of the party.
Here’s what you need to remember, when you decorate for the party you truly set the mood for your guests. If you don’t decorate a little bit, there was no point of selecting a theme.
If you’re invited to a luau party and there isn’t a single grass skirt, coconut bra or lei to be seen then it doesn’t really set the mood for the party. When I had my luau party everyone had a lei, there were grass skirts on the serving table, guests wearing Hawaiian shirts and a blow up totem pole cooler for all the drinks. Having the theme in the invite helped the guests prepare for the party. Their outfits added to the party decor! (Free decorating!) Not every party will allow the guests to dress for the theme. But, your small touches in the decorations will give your guests an elevated experience.
So let’s get started planning how to decorate for your party.
- Take out your brainstorming list from when you selected your theme. (Need a theme or a brainstorming list? Check out the first post in the How to Plan a Party Series here)
- Review the list and highlight or circle the ideas that could be decorating ideas.
- Review your party budget to see how much you plan to spend on your decorations.
- Decide if you want to buy the decorations or make the decorations.
- Think of the spaces you want to decorate.
5 Budget Friendly Party Decorating Tips
1. You don’t need to decorate every inch of wall space. Yes, decorating is important for your theme but don’t stress out. A little WILL go a long way
2. Simple touches really make life easier for you and add to the mood of the party. For example – Incorporate the theme into the centerpiece. When I co-hosted a co-ed pirate themed baby shower, we created fun centerpieces. We found small fish bowls, filled them with sand and seashells and mini bottles of rum. These little bottles were a gift for the dad to be. Everyone loved them! We found everything, except the rum, at a craft store. They were super easy and cheap to make.
3. Use bright colors, they make a big pop!
4. Double up when possible – having a fall themed party? Set up a trail mix table and not only does this serve as a snack for your guests, it’s also a decorative piece that ties in the fall theme
For an Italian dinner party, you could also create a centerpiece using a large wood serving piece and place cheese, olives, grapes and meats on the tray. Guests can eat the centerpiece. You can use small votive candle holders and place tea lights in them and place them throughout the food too
5. Incorporate your theme decorations into your food and drink table. Using colorful and theme related items on your food and drink table will help with decorating. For example – having a baseball themed party? Use a baseball mitt as the napkin holder. (Make sure the mitt is clean) For a luau party use grass skirts to skirt your serving table.
Let me give you some more examples for easy and budget friendly party decorating ideas…
For my son’s train party – I found long railroad track posters. I cut these and used them as the table runners. They were cheap and went a long way. They also incorporated the train theme into every place a guest would sit during the party.
Christmas Cookie Exchange Party
Gingerbread Men could be your theme. Put gingerbread cookie towels in your bathroom. Find cookie tins that have gingerbread men on them and store the cookies in them. Stack these tins up on your cookie table. Use plates and napkins that have gingerbread men on them. Or you can even find brown butcher paper and use this as your table cover. Then use red and white colored plates and napkins. With the butcher paper, you can also set out the cookies and use a black marker to write the type of cookie right on the table cover.
Put beach towels on the back of your patio chairs and on your lawn for a pop of color and this gives your party a beach feel. Blow up some beach balls and place them around the party. Use a blow up or plastic pool for your drink cooler. Use bright colored paper plates and napkins. Serve snacks in plastic sand castle pails. Many of these items could be picked up at the dollar store.
Little Girls Tea Party
Find small pearl bracelets at a party store or kids jewelry store and use them as napkin rings. This also works as a double up option, since the little girls can wear the bracelets and take them home as a party favor. Buy a variety of tea cups at a thrift store that the girls can drink their tea from during the party. This too can be used as a party favor. Or put little plants in 3 tea cups and place them in the middle of the table for a centerpiece.
You don’t need to use the majority of your party budget on decorations. When your party is over, don’t throw away your decorations, if possible. I like to recycle my party decorations whenever possible by saving them and using them at another party.
I hope this starts to give you some ideas for decorating for your party on a budget. These ideas are budget friendly, make an impact and incorporate the theme.
If you need some decorating ideas for your party, please feel free to email me or comment below and I would be happy to help and give some ideas.