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Two weeks ago I helped organize our annual preschool auction… It’s the primary fundraiser for the school so keeping costs at bay is a huge priority. Thankfully… I have a few tricks up my sleeve! I asked on my Instagram stories whether folks would be interested in some tips for party decor on a dime so here ya go!
How to decorate a party on a budget
A little background for you… the party is held in the church parish hall. You know the space… neutral walls, greige carpet, bulletin boards, bad lighting… That was our canvas. (Video at the end of the post!) This year, our theme was “Fiesta” but these tips are universal!
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Tip 1. Flowers
Flowers can certainly be an expense, but I also think they bring a certain life and vitality to a party. The good news is that they don’t HAVE to blow your budget! We spent $80 on flowers for this entire room… $6 a bunch at Trader Joe’s. To make the flowers seem more interesting and festive, we used recycled cans instead of vases. (Sidenote: I did the same thing with old cans at my wedding brunch!)
Tip 2. Colorful Linens
Our party is fairly large so we rent tables and linens…but this tip applies to any size function. Consider adding a little color to your tables by changing up the table linens! I know that white showcases the food and looks clean and chic, BUT… perhaps a bright colorful table cloth would be a little more lively and FUN for your party!
Tip 3. Look Up
Decorating from the ceiling will instantly make your space feel layered and multidimensional! Imagine a party hug! Our space has unfortunate lights so swagging some simple tissue garlands between the lights helped to not only conceal the eye sore but also to surround our guests with the fiesta!
Tip 4. The Photocopier is your friend
Whether enlarging a photograph with an engineer print or making a fun backdrop… a photocopier can work wonders in ‘creating’ decor on a dime. I found these amazing colorful bingo games and we copied them on the school color copier so that we could cover all the bulletin boards around the room. (Last year, we photocopied vintage pictures from the school records and used those to cover the same boards.)
Note: those tissue paper flowers were donated by Luna Bazaar and they are SHOWSTOPPERS. I love how they add some whimsy and texture to the space.
Tip 5. Think Big
Decorations don’t have to be limited to balloons and bunting! Our sombrero wall was the focal point of the room and cost us $60. So your party’s not a fiesta? Maybe it’s a baby shower so you could cover a wall with cute onesies. Birthday party? Fill the space with cupcake wrappers! You get my wave length… Think outside of the ‘decoration’ box!
Pile in 150 people, add some delicious food and drink and voila… a super fun party with colorful and vibrant decor… on a dime!
Obviously these decorations are super specific to our fiesta theme, but these are my go-to tips EVERY time I’m decorating a party (since I *never* have a ginormous budget for decor!). Creative ways to bring in plants, using the entire space, and bringing in unexpected items as decor… budget decorating 101!