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Tip: Party Decor on the Cheap

I really like doing the decorations for parties at work (or any party, for that matter!). But there is no party decor budget for these things so I have to keep my budget to the amount I would spend on a gift or food. I limit myself to $30 for decor for 40-50 people (and that includes handmade invitations). Here are the tricks I use to maintain cuteness without spending much money.

Tip 1: I keep an assortment of glass jars (free, cheap or thrifted). The dollar store is a great place to find these or you can recycle your pasta sauce jars, etc. Based on the party's color scheme, I roll up pieces of pretty paper and stick them in the jars. You could stop there or you can use the jars as vases, which is what I usually do. I like to do paper flowerscoffee filter flowers or use cupcake toppers as fillers. These flowers all take more time than money. 

Tip 2: I also put small jars of mints/candies out on the tables. I just wrap the jars in coordinating ribbon, paper or yarn. So easy!
Tip 3: Tin cans are my signature decor (also perfect for gifting!) Again, wrap the tin in coordinating paper and add embellishments. Or you can spray paint the tins. 

Tip 4: Buy packs of paper doilies in a couple of different sizes. Very inexpensive and instantly dresses up your table. I slip them under the vases/jars/centerpieces. It helps fill the table out.

Tip 5: Make your own oversized confetti to spread on the table. I use a cutting machine or a craft punch to make big confetti, which also helps fill the table out.
Tip 6: Use cheap, white plastic tablecloths for your base. Dress the tables up with fabric runners. A yard of fabric (or a thrifted curtain, sheet, etc) goes a long way when cut into runners. I just leave the ends frayed,  no need to sew. You will be surprised how often you will reuse the fabric! A big trick I have learned about fabric - when deciding on your color scheme, start with the fabric. That's where you get the biggest wow factor for a tiny amount of money. Then you just take your cues from the fabric when deciding on paper/ribbon/yarn for your other decor. 
Tip 7: I use my Cricut or Silhouette Cameo (cutting machines) in a big way. I always cut out paper signs and shapes. These give a big impact for next-to-nothing cost.

I have other party decor tips but I bet you are tired of reading at this point! :)

All of the orange/yellow decor in this post cost me nothing! Well, technically I bought some of the paper and jars but that was a long time ago. I did all of these easy decorations the night before the party (it was a small party).

Do you have any inexpensive decorating tips?


eltocadordecenicienta January 14, 2013 at 1:56 AM  

Those are wonderfull and helpfull ideas! I´d love to have a cutting machine, it seems to simplify your crafting life.Doesn´t it?
Love the colour scheme you used in this particular party♥
XXOO Olga♥
El tocador de Cenicienta

nancy @ adore to adorn January 14, 2013 at 12:26 PM  

This is so great. I'm always looking for new ways to be resourceful with decorating!

Jana Davis January 15, 2013 at 6:05 PM  

What novel ideas! I'd never have thought that such simple items can have such a big impact. LOVE! Thanks for sharing!

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