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Washi tape, I love this stuff!

Party decorations are essential to set the theme and vibe of your get-together. But small things addup, and not planning your decor can make a huge difference on whether you spend a fortune or not. Here are a few fun and cheap ideas to get the party started, without having to deal with a budget hangover the next day.

Let your Food be the Hero

Make food the centerpiece of your decorations. You don’t need to break out the china to knock this out of the park. Cheap, plastic plates or bowls will work fine, just as long as you spice up their appearance a little bit. Stick DIY flowers, colorful washi tape, art paper or anything colorful you can slap on to add character and a little flavor to the otherwise boring plastic surface of the dishes. Mount the plates on painted candlesticks to create varying heights. Throw in some well placed balloons and you’ve got a killer food display.

Balloons are your Friend

What’s a party without balloons? Balloons are versatile, colorful and can be used in a lot of different ways. Old balloons can be filled with water and thrown into the freezer until they turn into ice, which you can use as a colorful way to chill drinks in a cooler. Hanging balloons in doorways, ceilings and walls can add some pop to an otherwise boring room. Need a more professional approach? Companies like CSA Balloons have tons of products and if you need balloons with designs or names printed on them, they can help.

Light ‘em up!

Not firecrackers, but candles! If you’re having guests over for an evening event, you can strategically set up candles where you want them to hang out. Candles are a cheap way to add class to your party while creating a warm and relaxing atmosphere for your guests. Old oil lamps will work as well and can add a more rustic feel for your party. Use what you have Don’t have enough plates, chairs and other utensils? No problem! Everything doesn’t need to be uniform. Take stock of everything you have and do a little mix & match. Remember that washi tape and craft paper are your best friends. If you’re still short of what you need,you can always borrow from your family or friends. Don’t rent and don’t buy disposables either. Save your money and help save the planet.

Garnished Garlands

Garlands are great because you can hang just about anything on it. You can string up balloons, flowers, photos or just about anything that can add color and character to your setting. You don’t need to buy anything either. A regular clothes line or some thin cord will do. For items to string up, old balloons or the ones you can buy by the pack and inflate yourself are uber cheap options. Flower cut outs or wild blooms you can pick yourself could also work. For children’s parties, string up pictures of the celebrant from different ages.

On the Floor

When you’re expecting more guests than your 8-seat dinner table can handle, setup on the floor. Get all your throw pillows and arrange them on the floor next to some low tables, crates, or old trunks that can double as a table. This type of setup can also cut down on your food bill, because you’ll mainly be serving finger food and drinks so your guests won’t have a hard time eating.

Colorful Chalk Boards

Be like one of those cool cafes where everything is labeled on black boards using colorful chalk. You can use this in variety of ways, from putting a sign at the entrance of your hou
se to writing down the recipes of the food you’re serving as a way to get people talking. Your party shouldn’t have to be a generic and boring affair that costs too much. With a little imagination, ingenuity and a DIY attitude, you can add fun, affordable decorations that won’t break the bank.

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