First, a disclaimer: I am not craftsy, artsy or willing to throw excessive money at temporary items. My goal for birthday party decorations is to have it look like (a) a party is happening and (b) the person doing the decorating is not completely out of touch with what a party should look like. Not like something you’d find on Pinterest. Expectations lowered? Excellent.
Let me present to you my guidelines for party decorations…
Pick a colour scheme
This is the definite #1 most important tip. A colour scheme makes your decorations seem much more intentional. It also makes all the things you have to buy anyway (napkins, tablecloths, etc.) seem like part of the decor, rather than part of the background.
Does your party have a theme? Then pick the colours based on that. Is it a Frozen party? Then pick blues and silver. Into Curious George? Yellow is your colour. Does your kid have a favourite colour? Then use that one.
What did we buy that matched our colour scheme? Paper plates, napkins, tablecloths, paper cups, balloons, forks. The possibilities are endless. And festive.
“But cake isn’t a decoration,” you say.
“Isn’t it?” I respond, wittily.
Since it’s a kid’s birthday party, there will be cake. Since it’s a kid’s cake, it will be decorated. Therefore, pick colours that tie in with the rest of the decorating. Easy ways of doing this are: coloured icing, topping the cake with plastic toys in the theme of choice, or a fantastically coloured/decorated grocery store bakery cake (they’ll put pretty much anything you want on a cake).
Pick one thing to go “big” on
If you want to make an impact, pick one decoration to focus on. We picked balloons. Filling the party room with dozens of balloons in our colour scheme was not only festive, but entertaining as well. Some other options,
- Make a canopy with streamers across the ceiling of the room (in your colour scheme), or
- Hang many paper lanterns from the ceiling (best found at the dollar store or party stores).
I hope this helps someone out there! Remember to keep your expectations low. The party will not be any better if you spend 4 hours pre-party making a balloon arch for 7 distracted 3-year-olds. Trust me.