Party Decor Basics
Creating a party setting is very much like designing the set for a theatrical production -- you need to use props, backdrops, music and lighting to set the mood. However, you do not need to spend a lot of money to create this desired effect. Here are some party basics that will give you the biggest bang for your buck:
Top 10 "Biggest Bang For Your Buck" List
When planning for a party, here are a few must haves on my list. Not only do these items help in creating the mood for your party, but some of these staples you can use over and over again for any party, thus giving you your bang for your buck!
The easiest way to create a party ambiance is to pick a theme. Once you have decided on a theme, the rest will be much easier. By using this party theme in several areas like the invitations, favors, centerpieces, napkins,and napkin rings, you can tie in the theme of your party without spending a fortune and having everything "match".
Pick a color scheme and repeat it over again in various places. If your party theme dictates the color red, white and black, repeat that in various areas of your party room and setting. One inexpensive way is to use napkins, either in paper or cloth. Place it on a small round table as a topper, bar area for drink place mats, on the table with the plates, in baskets with chips, in the sash for the chair covers, etc.
Always try to use fresh flowers on the table. Even if it is just one stem in a simple clear elegant vase. If fresh flowers from a florist are too expensive, find other resources to buy or get flowers, for example at your local grocery store, farmers market, vegetable farm or even in your own back yard.
There seem to be something magical about the glow of candle light that makes everything and everybody looks good. So go ahead, dim your lights, and add lots of candles in your party area. Make sure candles are in safe containers, away from flammable materials and that they don't tip easily. If kids are going to be present, keep the candles only in public open areas out of their way so that accidents do not occur. For kids only parties, I generally do not light candles but use other safer options like battery-operated candles and miniature glow lights.
5. Glass Wine Glasses
Use glass wine glasses for drinks instead of paper or plastic. The wine and drinks just taste better, and your table setting looks more polished and elegant, even if you are using paper plates and plastic utensils. Use it also for other decorating ideas, like mini vases, mini containers for mints, and mini candle holders.
6. Tiny white lights
Tiny white light strands are not just for Christmas only. They help create that magical ambiance, especially for evening parties and when your lights are dim. You just need a little to create just the right effect. Use them on tablescapes over drapes of fabric on your table around serving platters, in door ways, stairs, and on indoor trees.
7. Empty Paint Cans
Use empty paint cans on your buffet table and cover with drapes of luxurious fabrics and twinkle lights. Place dishes of appetizers and food on top to create various interest levels as well as to expand the table space needed for food.
8. Uplight Can Lights and Portable Spotlights
Use various types of lighting to set the mood of the room. Uplights and spotlights are great for creating more depth in a room and to make items look grander. Place an uplight behind a ficus tree, in an entrance area, or behind a couch, and guests will instantly feel that the party has stepped up a notch.
9. Basic White Plates
You can use basic white plates over and over again, and all you have to do is change the charger, place mat, napkins, or napkin ring to create a whole different feel for a different party theme. White is a versatile color, it makes the food 'pop' and is a great neutral or layering piece for any table setting.
Whether it is a Princess Party, a Luau Party or a slumber party, use edible centerpieces as your focal point, to decorate your party table, and to reiterate your party theme whenever possible. This way the dessert plays a dual purpose and it can also provide a decorative element to the party table. Prop the edible centerpiece on a cake stand to give it height and focus, then place it in the center of the table.