Whether planning for a child’s party or an adult birthday party, homemade decorations give the event a personalized look. Before purchasing materials at an art store or a party supply shop, look around your own home for supplies. Look for pieces you can repurpose into DIY party decorations, including fabric, boxes, leftover art materials and colored paper. For a child’s birthday party, leave some of the projects for the guests to do themselves. They can draw a banner, create a birthday collage with thematic images or personalize their favor bags.
Establish a theme. For a child’s birthday party, themes may center around a favorite storybook character or cartoon, or they may involve a setting, such as the beach, the rain forest, under the sea or a castle. For adults, a color theme may suffice. You might also consider creating party decorations that reflect the individual’s tastes, such as favorite places to visit or foods she likes.
Create a centerpiece. Nearly every party has a main table for food, gathering or cake, and a centerpiece can set the tone. A bouquet of handmade flowers has style. Fold different colors or patterns of tissue paper accordion-style. Wrap a pipe cleaner around the middle of the folded paper to affix it. Spread the edges of the paper gently and a tissue paper rose will bloom. Place the flowers in a vintage glass jar or vase.
Decorate with a bright backdrop. Hang a large swatch of fabric from the ceiling for a canopy effect, or attached to a wall for a subtler look. If you want to decorate with fabric outdoors, use clotheslines strung between trees to frame a canopy.
Adorn place settings. Tie ribbons around chairs or wrap fake flowers around table legs. Decoupage patterned paper onto glass jars for decorative drinking glasses. Glue paper onto cardboard for eye-catching place mats.
Personalize the cake. Jump onto the cupcake trend by cooking a tower of cupcakes that guests can personalize with colored icing, sprinkles, gummy worms, crushed cookies, chocolate chips and gumdrops.
Add homemade party favor bags. Cut fabric swatches into squares and gather them with a ribbon or bit of string.
Finish with a homemade party game or favor. Stuff hollowed eggshells with confetti and glue a piece of tissue paper over the opening. These party favors, called “cascarones,” are a traditional party game in Mexico, where children crack the eggs over each others’ heads.
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