Tag Archives: party

Easy DIY Party Decor on a Budget

Our little friend group gained another awesome addition this fall when one of our friends married his sweetheart and brought her all the way across the country to our little town. I, personally, was very excited to have another friend :). After they had a chance to settle in a bit, we gathered our friend group together to celebrate this sweet couple and their brand new marriage!

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When planning this shower, I knew I wanted the colors to be pink, cream, white, and gray/silver to match the colors of their actual wedding. I also knew I wanted fresh flowers (I love a shower filled with fresh flowers) and since the bride’s name was lilia, I felt lilies were an easy choice. And with those two decisions, I began to create. My budget for the just the decor (not including food and gifts) was $30. I could have gone over if I needed to but with everyone pitching in, I really didn’t need to spend any more than that. Plus, I love a challenge.

I first began brainstorming. How could I get a background of some sort to define the food and dessert tables. Something to add color and contrast the beige walls, and, of course, it needed to be budget friendly. My thoughts went straight to balloons. Balloons are a great way to get bang for your buck. Very affordable yet festive. But, I needed these balloons to have a romantic, wedding shower feel to them and NOT a child’s birthday party feel to them. I decided to use white and pink balloons and wrap them in tulle. I wrapped the pink balloons in cream tulle and the white balloons in pink tulle. I tied it all off with a silver ribbon. I love the romantic feel the tulle gives the balloons without being over the top. Definitely a more sophisticated look for balloons. Total cost for three packages of balloons (36 balloons), 2 rolls of tulle (one cream and one pink), and 2 rolls of ribbon was just under $7.

For this design I made the balloons in different sizes and hanged them bottom largest to top smallest to the give the feel that the balloons were floating away.

11224367_10153698875651672_6015126948984625842_nAnd for this one I made all the balloons the same size and created an arch over the food table to really make that the focal point of the room.

12088588_10153698872711672_8531083671378448324_nHere is a close up of the tulle wrapped balloons.

11753721_10153698897526672_366944729055225313_nNext, I wanted a display to hold the cupcakes. I had made on these cupcake displays before so that was an easy decision. I made the display out of foam board and plastic cups from the dollar tree. I added a tulle “skirt” around the bottom and blinged out ribbon along the edges  of the display to really tie in the colors. I then made the cupcakes in silver wrappers with a light pink cream cheese frosting to tie it all together. At the very top, I added the word “celebrate” made out of wire and spray painted white. I picked that up at the Dollar Tree. I used two foam boards, 6 plastic cups spray painted white, white spray paint, ribbon, and tulle to get this cupcake stand. Total cost was just under $8.

A detailed “how to” on this stand is coming soon but until then, here is a close up.

12096188_10153698878641672_6664548693105683365_nThe remaining amounts were spent on table cloths in white and pink (I folded the pink table cloths and used them as table runners over the white table cloths for a pop of color), pew bows (I used them to drape the table cloths as well as to tie off the flower arrangements), and silver trays (I used them to hold the plates, cups, utensils, and napkins to give it a more elegant feel). All of these supplies were from the Dollar Tree. A friend picked up the flowers at $4 a bunch (what a deal!) from a local grocery store and the vases were my wedding gift to the couple. Decorations were complete!

These ideas can be used for every type of party from a wedding shower, to a baby shower (just change up colors if it’s a boy), to a birthday party (a “pretty in pink” theme perhaps?). The options are endless.

What do you think? Let me know what ideas you were able to use for your next party and don’t forget to check back soon for more DIY ideas…on a budget of course. And, as always, if you enjoy what you are reading then feel free to follow my blog to get all my latest decorating and money-saving ideas and tips.

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Americana Themed Party Decor on a Budget

11722120_10153505240071672_3090114973966614293_oY’all…you like that southern slang right? But seriously, I am inspired by some dear, southern friends today on the blog. I recently had the opportunity to decorate for a one year anniversary celebration of the youth leader and his wife at our church. Not only was I excited to celebrate all they had done at the church, but I was also excited to celebrate them becoming our good friends over the past year. Now, these two are Georgia peaches so I definitely wanted the party to have a Georgia country vibe. I took that into an Americana feel (I mean I was still feeling very patriotic after the Fourth of July) and ran with it. I had a budget of $100 and a lot of ideas running through my head. I can’t wait to share what I came up with you!

Without further ado, here is what I hope you can use as inspiration for an Americana themed party complete with DIY “how to”s and money saving tips for your own party no matter the decor you decide on.

imageFirst, I started by creating a ton of rag garlands in our party colors. I used some affordable material in our red, white, and blue color scheme to create my own DIY, budget friendly, country rag garlands. It cost me about $18 to make them all.

To make the garland, I purchased one yard of four different patterns (about $16). I then cut my material into one inch strips. Taking each strip, I folded each one in half with the pattern facing me and placed the folded edge about 2 inches above a long piece of twine (from Dollar Tree) like so: image Be sure the twine is the length you want your garland to be. Then I simply wrapped the two loose ends of my folded, one inch strip around the back of the twine and through the folded edge above the twine like so:

imageimageimagePull from the bottom of the strip to tighten and start with your next strip. I bunched some strips really close together on some garland strands and left them about 6 inches apart on others to give the different garland strands some variety. I hung some on borrowed pallets (donated to our youth group for free by a local home improvement store) and others above the food tables to add a real country, summer feel.

11264855_10153505240066672_2074573162746211750_nNext, I made banners with words on them by cutting small triangles out of material, using paint and stencils (you can use whatever you please to match your party) to add the letters, and gluing those triangles onto twine (again from the dollar tree). So easy! I splurged on this material because I loved the striped pattern. All in all, it cost about $14 to make all my word banners but you could easily do it for about $5.

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imageI used plastic table clothes (from the Dollar Tree) covered by a thin, natural linen material (from Wal Mart for $2 a yard). I love cloth tablecloths but needed the ones for this party to feel more rustic. The natural linen was perfect and so affordable! I added two rolls of burlap about 4″ wide purchased from the Dollar Tree down the center as a runner, fresh flowers from a friend’s garden in mason jars (from Dollar Tree and old ones I already had), and some homemade wood cuts to finish off that rustic feel. Cost me about $24 for two food tables, a cake table, and a punch station.

imageFor the card area I hung twine from a pallet and added clothespins to hang all the cards from. I love displaying cards like this. It really makes the one or ones we are celebrating feel so loved when they see all their cards up front and center. Clothespins were $2 and the rest (twine and pallet) were from left over supplies.

imageTo add height to the food table, in addition to large wood cuts (homemade so they were free), I also made my own tiered server for $3! Simple glue the bottom of martini glass to the top of one plate and the top of the martini glass to the bottom of another plate. So simple and yet it adds some great height to any table! I got my plates and martini glass from the dollar tree.

11745404_10153505240061672_1268914120188250075_nFor the drink station I used an old spool to display the punch and cups. I found this spool in our church attic. It had been used for electrical cord. I added in a pallet, a circular plastic tablecloth (from dollar tree), a burlap tablecloth (just a yard of burlap from wal mart for $3) and fresh flowers from my friend’s garden to create a whole new station to add to the decor feel.

imageAdd in a few flags and checkered paper from the dollar store and you have a completed Americana themed party. I also purchased plates, forks, cups, serving trays, and napkins from the Dollar Tree which added to my expense list but with what I saved by making all of the party decor I was able to easily get those supplies and still come in under budget.

What do you think? Let me know what ideas you were able to use for your next party and don’t forget to check back soon for more DIY ideas…on a budget of course. Next up will be a DIY door hanger. And, as always, if you enjoy what you are reading then feel free to follow my blog to get all my latest decorating and money-saving ideas and tips.

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DIY Faux Bird’s Nest…perfect for your home decor or next party theme.

wpid-wp-1424986403666.jpgI am in the process of helping create some “woodsy” decor for an upcoming baby shower. One of the projects on my “to do” list was create a bird’s nest out of some supplies supplied to me by my MIL. I managed to come up with a rather quick and easy way to create a bird’s nest on a budget and wanted to share that DIY with you today.

To get started you will need:

1. A foam wreath 7.8in wide x 1.9in.

2. Spanish Moss

3. Natural Moss or preserved moss and/or leaves

4. Hot glue gun with glue

5. Small paper plate (big enough to cover the hole in your foam wreath but not bigger than your foam wreath).

6. Decor for your nest. I used a bird, eggs, and burlap flower.

To make your wreath, you will need to:

1. Cut your foam wreath down the middle. You want it to be about 1 inch tall when laying flat. Cutting the foam was a slow process for me. The foam is very delicate and breaks easily. The key is go slow and apply as little pressure as possible.

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wpid-wp-1424986425700.jpg2. Next, you want to carefully stretch out your Spanish moss to make a moderately thick rope about the length it would take to go around your wreath. You can make one long rope or two or three shorter ropes. I made three shorter ropes like the one pictured. I found that easier to glue on that one big rope.

wpid-wp-1424986468222.jpg3. Glue your moss rope(s) directly onto the smooth side of your wreath (so the cut side  becomes the bottom of your nest). Generously drizzle glue on the top of the wreath and push and hold your moss rope onto the wreath over the glue. Don’t get stuck trying to make it perfect. As long as it sticks that’s all that matters. Once glue has dried, pull at your moss to get it to fold over the outer edges and attach around the outer edges with a dallop of glue as well. don’t worry about the inside just yet. We will get to that.

Here’s a picture of the moss glued to the top:

wpid-wp-1424986501777.jpgHere’s a picture of the moss being stretched and glued to the outer sides:

wpid-wp-1424986535495.jpg4. Now fill in those areas needing more coverage using your filler moss which can be anything from the left over spanish moss scraps to natural moss, preserved moss, and/or preserved leaves. I mixed a few of these together to get my filler moss. Just dallop some glue on the bare area on the wreath and push on a pinch of the filler moss. Using different moss in different colors adds texture and interest to your nest and really gives it a real life look. Here’s a picture of my spanish moss scraps mixed with my greener preserved moss.

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wpid-20150226_124122.jpg5. Now we finish off the inside of the nest. Glue the bottom of your paper plate to the bottom of the nest. This allows you to apply a bit more of the spanish moss, natural moss, preserved moss/leaves to the center of the wreath, fill it in, and complete that real nest look.

Here’s a picture of the plate attached to the bottom of the nest:

wpid-20150226_124103.jpgAnd here’s a picture of me filling in the center of the top of the nest after the plate had been attached to the bottom:

wpid-wp-1424987290217.jpg6. Now it is time to add your wreath decor. For mine, I attached a bird, eggs, and a little burlap flower, but your options are endless. You could put some simple robin blue eggs for a country chic look or even use foil covered eggs to hold your candy during the Easter season. Let your imagination run wild and personal preferences play into this.

wpid-20150226_123744.jpgWhat do you think? Don’t forget to share what ideas you come up with to decorate your own DIY nest. Check back soon for more DIY ideas…on a budget of course. And, as always, if you enjoy what you are reading then feel free to follow my blog to get all my latest decorating and money-saving ideas and tips.

And here are a few pics of how the nests were used at the recent baby shower. It’s a girl!

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Lilly Pulitzer Party Theme…on a budget

150749_10152938984396672_2571961327879828316_nBaby C is 1! What an exciting time it was to celebrate with friends and family. But, oh man, what an exhausting month December was. Between Christmas and Birthday party planning, I think my husband, baby, and I were ready for a relaxing and non-eventful January. Now that everyone is rested up and recovered from December I wanted to take some time to share Baby C’s party details, DIY ideas, and budget break down.

First off, what do you do for a baby’s first birthday? I had no idea. I had never thrown one before. I decided to go with a floating birthday party all decked out in traditional party decor but with a Lilly Pulitzer twist.

Why a floating party? I decided on a floating party to give everyone freedom to come and go as they pleased. The constant change up in the party guests made for a fun time. I also decided on a floating party for budget reasons. We had invited about 50 people by the time it was all said and done. 50 people! A floating party allows snacks instead of a whole meal. Snack foods such as donuts, popcorn, fruit, veggies, pimento cheese dip, crackers, cupcakes, and punch are acceptable forms of “nutrition”. Grazing food if you will. Plus, they are all budget friendly and quite tasty.

Why traditional decor with a Lilly Pulitzer twist? I decided on traditional, old school decor for simplicity and budget reasons but wanted to spice it up. Plain wasn’t what I wanted for Baby C’s first birthday. Happy, colorful, and girly were my brainstorm ideas. What encapsulates those ideas better than Lilly??? Still, Lilly can be very pricey so I was hesitant. After a bit of looking around, I was able to find some free Lilly Pulitzer binder cover downloads for free in various well known Lilly patterns from this website. Free! That decided it for me. A trendy, chic, happy, girly yet age appropriate birthday party on a budget? Yes please!

I used the free printouts to make DIY invitations, banners, letter “C” cutouts, a number “1”, and framed pictures. Here are a few pictures of the Lilly details I was able to add…for FREE!

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Lots of fun using the paper designs everywhere I could think of. The letters are cut out of foam and the Lilly design modge podged on. The number 1 is a painted wood cut out with a Lilly design modge podged onto the front. Easy and simple yet such a fun detail. The banner was so easy. I just cut out a bunch of triangles and glued them onto ribbon. The picture “mattes” are simply cut out out to frame the picture inside. That simple. And, let’s not forget these Lilly additions were free!

Let me take you on a tour of all the stations we had at Baby C’s party. Because it was floating I wanted to have different stations to keep our guests entertained and moving around mingling. After some brainstorming, I came up with 5 stations that would help keep our guests flowing and entertained.

Our first station was the coloring station.

20141219_125549At this station guests young and old were invited to color a picture for themselves, Baby C, and/or someone they loved. This station was by far the most popular amongst the little ones. The coloring station included construction paper, crayons, polka dot can to hold the crayons, stamps, ink pads, stickers, bubble gum, a Lilly memory board filled with pictures of Baby C over the past year, an engineer print of one of my favorite pics of Baby C, farmed picture of Baby C, and a photo album to hold all of the pictures made for baby C. I simply covered my coffee table with a plastic table cloth and arranged all the supplies on the table. Most everything was purchased at the Dollar Tree except for the following: Stamps are from Target’s $3 section, Bubble gum was on sale at Target ($2), polka dot can is from Target’s $1 section, ink pads are from a local art store ($1 each), picture album from same art store ($1), engineer print is from Staples ($3),  memory board from ebay ($11). This station also included a DIY Lilly banner made for less than $1. Total for this station was $29. The memory board was a birthday gift for Baby C that I wanted to display since it matched the decor, the stamps and ink pads were already purchased for myself (I use them a ton!), and the polka dot can was from Baby C’s room. Total I spent just for decor not already owned and not a birthday gift for Baby C…$12.

Next was the sign in station.

20141219_125556At this station I used a foam board from dollar tree and modge podged one of my favorite pics of Baby C onto the center. I also purchased some trendy pens in complimenting colors from Target’s $1 section.  I had everyone write a note of well wishes or a prayer for Baby C. This way she has not just a documentation of who was at her first birthday but also a heart felt note from each guest. Total cost for this station was $3 (+ modge podge I already had).

Next was the gift station.

20141214_180531A Lilly Pulitzer banner and letter “C” above a bench already in our living room made the perfect gift station. To save a little money, I cut the letter “C” out of Dollar Tree foam board and modge podged one of the FREE Lilly Pulitzer binder covers onto it. Viola. Total Cost for the gift station was $2.

Next was the picture station.

20141219_09380720141219_093857You all, this was so fun. Whenever there was a lull in the party, I would just send the guests over to the picture station to make some fun memories. Easy. All I did was use a plastic table cloth, taped it to the ceiling in a bare corner, and taped tissue cut outs onto the plastic table cloth for decor. I added some fun props and boom, picture station complete! Table cloth, tissue paper cut outs, and props are all from the Dollar Tree. Total cost was $9.

The picture station also doubled as the background for Baby C’s cake eating. She didn’t really eat any cake but I loved the cute background and pictures we got anyways.

150749_10152938984396672_2571961327879828316_nAfter taking pictures, the guests ended their party journey at the food station.

20141219_125531I wanted this area to be bright, fun, and inviting so everyone would naturally gather here. Above the table were paper lanterns and streamers. On the table was a white table cloth covered by a pink one. For decor I used framed pictures of Baby C with those free Lilly print outs framing each picture, a Lilly number “1” modged podged with another free Lilly print out, a DIY Lilly banner, and a Happy Birthday banner. After this picture was taken I also added pink letters spelling out Baby C’s name to back of the table. In all the excitement I forgot to snap a picture of the completed table. My apologies. Lilly banner was a DIY, the Happy Birthday banner was a sale find at Target ($2), Paper Lanterns were also a Target sale find (under $1 each), straws, again, were a Target sale find ($2 a pack), the number is from wal mart ($1.49), frames (I spray painted them), streamers, cups, napkins, plates, silverware, and tablecloths were all Dollar Tree buys, and serving platters were all already items I had. Decorations and eating and drinking items, total, cost me $32.

Food: I purchased one bag of mini, powdered sugar donuts ($2), one box of popcorn bags ($3), cupcake supplies (I made my own from this website) ($10), punch (one 2 liter of lemon lime soda, one pint of pineapple sorbet, one can pineapple chunks) ($5), water (free). The remaining food (pimento cheese, cheese ball, crackers, fruit, and veggies) were all brought by family. So food cost me $15 with the remainder items being brought by family.

Total cost of the party for 50 people would be $90. For me, since I had some of the supplies already and some “supplies” doubled as gifts, it was $73 total for a party serving 50 people.

What do you think? As always, please share with us any budget friendly ideas and fun themes you have for your own DIY party. Check back soon for some fun Valentine’s Day decor ideas to spice up your home on a budget.

And, as always, if you enjoy what you are reading then feel free to follow my blog to get all my latest decorating and money-saving ideas and tips.

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Deck the Halls…for a fabulous party! A DIY Wisdom Tree That Adds Something Special For Almost Any Occasion

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Whew, what a busy holiday season. On top of the usual decorating, baking, shopping, wrapping, cooking, (you get the gist) add on a wedding shower and an engagement party and then you, my friend, are living my past month and a half. What a whirlwind but oh, was it fun. After my long hiatus from the world of blogging, I wanted to come back and share some of the fun and festive ideas from the parties. My first fave is one I used for both the wedding shower and the engagement party. Here it is:

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I call it the “Wisdom Tree”. The idea is that guests can write down words of wisdom and well wishes and hang them on a tree for the guest of honor to read and take home at the end of the party. It makes such a sweet and unique gift. This could even work in place of a guest book at a wedding. The options are endless. Here are a few steps to get you started:

First, choose your “Tree”. I chose a Christmas tree to go with the Christmas theme of the wedding shower. Other tree ideas include manzanita branches, a Bonsai tree or a jewelery tree stand.

Secondly, choose your “ornament”. This is what your guests will write their words of wisdom and well wishes on. I chose little paper tags shaped like ornaments. They looked so perfect hanging on the tree.

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Thirdly, set out a card letting your guests know what the tree is and how it works. It could be as simple as a few words or a cute little poem. For my theme, I chose to put my simple instructions on a star to sit atop the tree.

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Lastly, set out pens for your guests to use.

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All done! Such an easy yet meaningful addition to your next party. Let me know all about what fun ideas you add to the “Wisdom Tree.”

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