Sharing some fun party ideas for simple celebrations. You don’t have to spend a ton to create a fun, memorable, pinworthy party your guests will gush over. Here are a few simple ideas for throwing a super fun stylish bash.
Parties have gotten pretty ridiculous lately right? If your a mom you spend every weekend navigating the birthday parties of your child’s classmates, teammates, neighborhood friends and anyone else they’ve come in contact with in their short lives. Thanks to Pinterest the mommy wars over birthday parties have become complete chaos, with budgets in the thousands. It’s spilled over into the adult world too! You can no longer get away with a few bottles of wine, a Costco food platter, some balloons and flowers for your girlfriends bridal or baby shower. These occasions now call for 6 months of planning, a team of help, personalized party decor from floor to ceiling and a dozen custom Etsy orders for things like decorated cookies, cake pops and monogrammed party favors. In the end all that really matters is that the guest of honor feels special and friends and family come together to celebrate. Let’s get back to effortlessly stylish parties that are enjoyable for everyone, host included, with these fun party ideas.
10 Fun Party Ideas for Simple Celebrations
- Instead of an elaborate theme, decide on a color scheme. A great party palette looks pretty and feels put together, plus it’s a lot easier to shop for. Brights, pastels, primary basics or even plain neutrals with a pop of color will look well balanced without the ickiness of too much commercial partyware and excessive decor. Add in a fun pattern for the table linens or napkins, but don’t mix prints or it will look too busy.
- Decorate a table or two. A table with place settings, plus a food buffet table and separate dessert table works best. Even if you aren’t planning on serving a seated meal, setting up a separate table for food will keep the flow of the party balanced and the clutter and spills contained. Guests can grab eats and mingle around or sit and socialize. When it comes time for the cake you’ll be able to easily transition your guest of honor to the decorated dessert table and snap pics without a mess of half eaten plates and beverages in the image.
- Centerpieces are everything, but they don’t have to be expensive. You can make a couple of grocery store bouquets look beautiful for around $20. A dozen roses and a bouquet of hydrangeas will brighten up any table. The key is to cut the blooms so they just stand above the lip of your vase. Another pro tip is to use greenery and leaves to wrap the stems and fill around the water. Tissue flowers and paper flowers are an easy DIY project to create beautiful, inexpensive centerpiece decorations.
–How to Create Beautiful Flower Arrangements from Cheap Grocery Store Blooms
- Go for glassware for beverages. It’s almost as cheap as plastic ware and will look a million times more stylish on the table or drink station. Ikea sells wine and champagne glasses for $.79 each. You can often find great glassware at the dollar stores. Or use mason jars and a package of printed paper straws. Also, skip the array of ugly canned sodas and water bottles. Put out a few pitchers of water with sliced fruit or use spouted drink servers. For non-alcoholic parties I only offer water and lemonade. If you plan to serve alcohol, create a signature punch that only requires one liquor. Sangria is a delicious way to stretch your dollar with a wine option. Or set-up a simple mimosa bar with a sparkling wine and pitchers of orange juice.
- Paper plates and napkins are perfectly fine for most simple celebrations. Layer a dessert plate on a dinner plate in two different colors, or one solid color and a print. If you want to take it up a notch for a seated dinner or special occasion you can purchase linen napkins in bulk in a variety of colors for less than $10 on Amazon. Fold and tie with a piece of ribbon.
- Let’s talk cake. You could spend hundreds of dollars on a multi-tier fancy fondant creation that may look impressive, but will taste terrible. Noone likes fondant! It’s awful. A delicious local bakery cake with simple frosting is much prettier and will actually get eaten. Or make a cake yourself! Even if your oven has only been opened a couple of times you can create a beautiful tasty cake. Follow this recipe and instructions for a Gorgeous Rosette Cake with Vanilla Bean Frosting. Or skip the cake and go for gourmet cupcakes on a tiered platter.
- Say no to balloons. Balloons are unnecessary party decor filler that can cheapen your party look. Even for kid’s parties I recommend not using balloons because they are expensive, difficult to transport, scare some children and cause arguments between kids over who gets one and which one specifically. The only balloons I would recommend are the giant round balloons. One or two of these flanking a table with a tassel garland look lovely. You can purchase them online and have them filled at your local party store. Party City will fill for $10. Also, I like the look of the number and letter balloons for photo ops or to decorate a plain wall background.
- Say yes to DIY party decorations. You can make a cute banner or bunting to match your color scheme with some scrapbook paper and ribbon. Paper tissue balls and paper flowers look incredible sitting on a table, hanging from the ceiling or even simply attached to a background wall with double sided tape or glue dots (use removable ones and peel away slowly and carefully.)
–How to Make Party Bunting Banner Decor
–How to Make Paper Tissue Balls
–How to Make Giant Paper Flowers
–How to Make Tassel Garland
- Mini individual cups make your party look catered and keep the party area looking clean. Buy a small stack of mini appetizer cups and/or plates or even small cocktail beverage cups and fill with party food. Arrange on disposable platters covered with scrapbook paper or white/kraft butchers paper. A spoonful of hummus with a stick of celery or a pita corner, mini fruit and veggie cups, skewered meatballs on a dollop of barbeque sauce…. there are a ton of creative ways to display inexpensive, easy to prepare food. People will love the presentation, plus it keeps the party flow going instead of a crowded line waiting to spoon from a buffet covered in unattractive drips and spills.
–Party Food Ideas that Look Catered for Less
- Skip the party favors. Most of the time they are ridiculous random pieces that end up in the garbage. Instead of favors set up a fun photo booth station with a background and a few props. Snap a pic of each guest with the birthday girl, some silly group pics and a few fun party shots throughout the night. Print pics, glue to a piece of scrapbook paper matting and mail with thank you letter. You can even add an adhesive piece of magnet strip for hanging. Guests will appreciate this personal touch and keep it much longer than any thingamabobs you could buy.
–DIY Photo Station Background
–DIY Photo Station Props
There you have it, everything you need to throw a sweet soiree without all the stress! Birthday, baby shower, bridal shower, whatever the momentous occasion remember it’s not about the money it’s about the memories. Cheers!
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Blog post notes:
For moms, tips for celebrating in style with birthday ideas and theme party inspiration.