Everybody loves a good birthday party, whether it’s their own or someone else’s. If you’re hosting one, it’s a great way to show off your creative spirit without feeling restricted by the formality of many other holidays and events. Here are four DIY party decoration ideas to help make your next festivities an unforgettable occasion:
Get Creative with Balloons
Balloons are the usual go-to décor for birthday parties. Why not add an adorable twist to this standard party item with DIY ice cream balloon decorations? Roll a sheet of brown or tan construction paper into a cone, and attach it with tape to the base of a helium balloon. Your party room will be filled with cute, airy scoops of vanilla, mint and cotton candy.
Or try these sweet donut-style balloons, using double-sided tape, acrylic paint and small rectangles of crepe paper for the sprinkles. You can buy donut-shaped helium balloons online or at your local crafts store, but if you’re feeling creative, you can paint regular balloons in a pinch. If you’re not a fan of donuts (though who isn’t?), make your balloons into different types of candy, like peppermint or gummy bears.
Maybe you’re afraid your guests will be too tempted to take a bite of your delicious-looking balloons. In that case, you can fill clear balloons with streamers or cut pieces of shiny craft paper. You’ll get a cool confetti balloon effect that’s sure to impress your guests.
Make Your Own Streamers and Garlands
Craft your own streamers with ribbon, construction paper, tissue paper or light fabrics. For a basic design, cut the materials of your choice up from the bottom so that they have fringes covering the bottom three-quarters of the sheet. Leave an uncut strip along the top to hold the strips together.
With tissue paper or ribbon, you can twist the ends of your streamer into bunches to create neat arrangements of colors and shapes like rosebuds or fans. Or if you have any leftover cupcake liners, you can turn those into festive flowers (use two—the small one can be the center and the larger one can be cut into petals) that you can hang as garlands along walls, doorways and fireplaces.
Handcraft Guest Nameplates
If you’re having a sit-down meal, you might need nameplates to indicate where guests should sit at the dining table. Simply writing their names on blank white cards is fine, but it’s no fun. Instead, cut the cards into different shapes—like the shape of your guests’ favorite animals (eg. a cat’s head for the feline lovers, a rabbit’s head for those who adore bunnies, etc.).
You can also make something sweet like cupcakes (to accompany your donut/candy-shaped balloons), and stick little flags (made from construction paper and toothpicks) with your guests’ names in each one, as seen here by TomKat Studio. If you’re serving cocktails like margaritas, take this opportunity to match your namecards with your drinks. Cut lemons or limes into halves and place a small sail (similar to the construction paper flags) with each guest’s name into the fruit slices.
Top Off the Birthday Cake
Each birthday party has its own set of fun and activities, but everyone always has a cake. Whether you bake it or buy it, you can elevate the birthday cake into something more impressive by adding festive cake toppers. An easy one is to bend colorful pipe cleaners into the birthday boy or girl’s name.
Birthday parties can be a bit predictable, and we all have a list of clichés to expect. Avoid the usual party décor; with a bit of creativity and some craft supplies, you can really wow your guests with these easy twists on party favorites.