Even the simplest birthday needs a few decorations to make the event feel festive. Sometimes, all you need are a few streamers or balloons to get the party started. Other times, you may want to go all out and have a themed party with fancy tableware and centerpieces. Keep the tastes and the age of the birthday person in mind when deciding on decorations. Some children do not want an elaborate party while others are too young to notice.
Keep things low key by using simple decorations. Drape crepe paper streamers across the ceiling and blow up some balloons for a simple celebration. Make a banner that reads “Happy Birthday!” or buy a pre-made one and hang it at the entrance of the party. If you feel inclined to, sprinkle curled ribbon or large sequins about the food table and on any other surfaces.
Themed Birthday Parties
Pick a theme for the party and have the theme guide you in choosing decorations. If the birthday child wants a Hawaiian theme, use a bowl of tropical fruit, such as mangoes and pineapple, as a centerpiece. Give leis to the guests as they arrive. Place a fake palm tree in the corner of a room. If the birthday child has a favorite television show or story, you can make that the theme of the party. Use small stuffed toys from the show as the centerpiece and choose streamers and balloons decorated with characters from the show.
If you are using a theme, carry it into the food served at the party. Serve birthday cake decorated with cartoon characters, a tropical theme or pirates. You may also want to hang up a pinata that matches the theme or simply use a plain pinata.
In place of curled ribbons, decorate surfaces with miniature candy bars or peppermints. Cut fruit into the shape of flowers and use as a centerpiece. If the birthday child is a bit older, you may want to have a chocolate fountain. Set it up in the center of the table and have guests dip fruit or pretzels into it.
A birthday party will look much nicer if you use festive tableware. Look for disposable plates, cups and silverware that match the party’s theme or that simply say “Happy Birthday” on them. Cover your everyday table with a festive, brightly colored tablecloth. If you are having a sit-down meal at the party, set the table before hand. If you are serving snacks only, stack the plates at each end of the table and arrange the silverware by type in glasses or cups.
Play With Lighting
Don’t rely on the usual overhead lighting for a birthday party. Create a mood by using strings of Christmas lights or by placing lit candles around the party area and food table. If the party is for very young children, you may want to skip the candles. If the party is outdoors during the early evening, hang paper lanterns from trees or hooks to add a bit more light to the area. If you live in a particularly buggy area, you may to add citronella candles or torches to the party’s decor.
- birthday decoration image by Renata Osinska from Fotolia.com