decorating for a party on a budget

This is a guest post written by Heather Hewitt from Shutterfly. Heather Hewitt is a seasoned writer and guest author who enjoys connecting people with thoughtful products, services and ideas as they relate to crafting, photography, gift giving and personal expression. She reached out to me about writing for my blog.

Photo courtesy of Heather Hewitt
Photo courtesy of Heather Hewitt

Throwing a party – whether it’s a birthday shindig, a bridal shower, or a holiday celebration – can get expensive. You’ve got holiday or birthday cards and invitations to send out, food to prepare, activities to arrange, and a venue to book. In addition to all of that, you’ll want to decorate in order to present a certain theme or focus. But while there are certain areas of a party you can’t scrimp on – food and drinks, for example – decorations don’t have to break the bank. Here are four ways to save on party décor when your budget is tight:

  • Do it yourself. As in most cases, it’s much cheaper to make something yourself than purchase it outright. If you roam the aisles of your nearest party supply store, you’ll see just how expensive premade decorations can be, whether you’re throwing a dinosaur-themed birthday party, a Cinderella-themed bridal shower, or a casino night party. Get your creative juices flowing by checking out DIY party décor ideas online, recruiting your most crafty friends, and busting out the scissors and glue.
  • Shop at discount stores. There are certain themed items you’ll have to purchase, such as colored plastic tablecloths, plates, cups, utensils, etc. Your first instinct may be to head to the party supply store, since they’ll likely have exactly what you need. But first consider whether you have any dollar or discount stores in your area. In addition, some bigger stores like Wal-mart, Target, or Big Lots may have discounted party supplies during certain times of year.
  • Create favors that double as centerpieces. Why buy both favors and centerpieces if you don’t need to? Consider what would be a nice gift for guests to take home with them, and then make them as attractive – or theme-appropriate – as possible. For example, if you’re throwing a children’s beach-themed party, purchase tiny pails and fill them with treasures. These can be placed in the middle of the table (or tables depending on how many you have) and fill the space a centerpiece might normally have taken.
  • Use décor you already have. Before you go out and spend lots of money on decorations, consider what home décor you have sitting around that can be put to use. Are you throwing a holiday party? Then cover wall art with wrapping paper and a bow for a festive look that costs practically nothing. Throwing a pretty bridal shower? Move that vase full of silk calla lilies in your bedroom out to the kitchen and use it as a centerpiece.

It doesn’t matter the kind of party you’re throwing – it doesn’t have to cost hundreds and hundreds of dollars, especially when it comes to décor. Get creative and use what you have, and your decorations will create the perfect ambience for the party!


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