Sunday, June 20, 2010

It's Party Time!

When I'm given adequate time (more than 72 hrs. notice) and lots of help (who likes to be expected to do all the work anyways), I love to plan a good party. My brother just turned 24, and he decided that he wanted to actually have a party this year. Well, we have a party every year, but it is usually just a family one. Since I put soooo much time, effort, and thought into this, I thought that I would post some ideas in hopes that it will make someone else's party planning a little easier. I really didn't find a whole lot of ideas out there for a non-alcoholic party. Most of these ideas are cheap, and they can be used for any age.

1. Choose an inspiration piece. We knew that we were doing a fiesta theme, but I had no idea how to decorate for one. So off we (remember I don't like to do this all alone) went to the party store. My mom and I found a pinata that we liked and it is very fiestaish if I do say so myself.

Our inspiration piece actually pulled triple duty. It inspired, made for a great table centerpiece, and later that night invoked lots of pinata fun.

2. Choose your colors based on your inspiration piece. This was an easy job for us considering the fact that there were some easy to find colors in the piece. Sure you can go buy a bunch of table and serving ware with a fiesta theme, but it's much cheaper and just as effective to simply buy table clothes in one color, dinner plates in another color, dessert plates in yet another color, cups in another color or a combination of colors. You get the idea. There are a host of things that you'll need and solid colors are a great option. Make sure that you remember to get plenty of streamers. They add some major color to any area with bare minimum costs especially if you get them from the dollar store.

3. Confetti is a pain. Use candy instead! We found same Starbursts in our colors and just sprinkled them around the same way that we would have done confetti. This actually went over really well. The guests ate all of them up very quickly. You can see the Starbursts in the first picture with the pinata.

4. Banners can be fun, easy, and cheap to make, and they definitely make a big statement. I've made banners before but never the night before a party. I wasn't sure that this one was going to get finished, but it finally came together in the wee hours of the morning. All you need to make a cheap banner is some construction paper and glue. Then all you have to do is decide on a basic shape and just go with it.

5. Balloons on a stick (for lack of a better name) can add some great, cheap height as well as color to those areas that still look a little empty after you've decorated. I actually stole this ideas from the Duggars. You know, the television show about the family with all the kids. Take a toilet paper roll or stack two on top of each other, tie some tissue paper around it, and stick some balloons in it.

6. Find a bucket or some sort of large container that can be spray painted one of the party colors and fill it with games and dollar store toys. We have never done this idea before at a party, but it was definitely the best party idea that I've had in quite a while. We raided the dollar store and Target's dollar section for some fun toys that would be new to everyone at the party. Since our guests were all in their early to mid twenties I wasn't exactly sure how this would go over, but apparently boys are never too old for parachute men and Nerf shooters. I didn't get a great picture of this, but the red bucket on the right hand side of the picture is what I am talking about. As you can see we put it in an easily accessible location that the guests could get to as soon as they walked in the door. By the way, this doubled as a great ice breaker. Most of the guests didn't know each other until they started shooting each other with Nerf type arrows.