Most party decorations aren't usually too expensive, but if you're buying enough party decor to deck out an entire room or home, things can quickly add up. It can also be hard to find decorations that match the theme you want, or that even look nice to begin with. Luckily, most of those same decorations you buy at the store can be made at home using everyday materials. And with a little thought and effort, you can make your decorations look 10 times better- here's how.
Make Party Hats With Paper Cups
This is a really cool DIY project because you can make these hats before a party or turn it into a full-blown activity for kids. All you need are some paper cups, preferably ones with different patterns and colors, and things like cotton balls, string, paint, and colored tape. If you do decide to turn it into an activity, just lay everything out on the table and let the kids go wild.
After they're finished, they have their own customized party hat they can don for the entire party, or at least until they're inevitably lost. If you do decide to make them before the party, you could get your own child involved.
Turn Construction Paper Into Beautiful Starburst Decorations
We're sure everyone remembers cutting construction paper to turn it into a cool pattern when they were a little kid. This is basically the same idea, but the end result is a lot more intricate and worthy of being hung on a wall. You can use construction paper or opt for some cardstock. Start with a square and then fold those diagnally twice. Next, you're going to want to clip through the folds.
You'll end up with a piece of paper that's cut into thirds. Unfold everything and curl the flaps together. Tape these so that they're slightly overlapping. After all of that is done, glue everything together so that they resemble the starburst shape.
Create Paper Pompons Using Tissues
These pompons make great decorations for just about any occasion. They can be hung on the wall or simply placed on tables. Just grab some tissue paper of your preferred color, and start by stacking them and then folding all of the paper at once. Next, tie some string around the center of your folded paper and unfold the stack from the ends. You can also cut the ends using scissors.
Lastly, simply pull the ends apart to form your petals. This decoration is super easy to make and it adds a nice touch to your display that's not going to look out of place.
Turn Scraps Of Fabric Into A Hanging Decoration
If you're the type of person who does a lot of crafts, then you probably have some scraps of paper lying around. Instead of just throwing it all away, why not reuse it and turn it all into a great hanging ornament? Just take a hula hoop or something similar and tie your scraps of paper to it. You'll probably want to make sure that all of your scraps are shaped like ribbons, but it's not a necessity.
Finally, use a couple of pieces of string to hang the hula hoop wherever you want. After you're done, you can save it and break it out again for the next party.
Make Your Own Piñatas For Birthday Parties
We won't get into the technical details of this one, but there are plenty of instructions online, and it's actually super easy to make. You can make your own piñata for a kid's birthday party or even for an adult party. What you choose to fill it with is totally up to you. Most instructions call for some cardboard, tissue paper, and, of course, scissors. It's a bit of work, but it's really worth it in the end.
You could always go and buy a piñata at the store, but it's so much funner to make your own and create just about anything you can think of.
Make Colorful Hot Air Balloons
This is a really easy crafts project that's sure to brighten up a kid's birthday party. All you need are some balloons, cardboard, glue, sticks, and paper. You can use colored sticky notes and string to decorate the top of your balloons. For the baskets, paint or color your cardboard pieces once you've glued them into tiny squares using your sticks. Next, simply hang them from your balloons, and you're done.
Of course, these look great if you use helium in your balloons but you could also simply hang them from the wall or ceiling to make them appear as if they're floating.
Add Colored Water To Vases To Turn Flowers Different Colors
This is a really cute project to do with kids. Basically, just add some food coloring to the water in your flower vases, and over time, the flowers will absorb the coloring and start changing colors. Not only does it look great, but you can use it as a learning opportunity for curious children. You can use any color flower, but white flowers are going to be best for this one.
The same thing goes for the vase you use, as any color can work, but you might want to consider using clear vases so you can see what color water each vase has in it.
Make Sure To Color Match Decorations
This one is more of a tip than a project, but it can help the look of your decorations. Whether you decide to make your own decorations or buy some from the store, try and make sure you have some color matching going on. This will help keep everything neat looking, and visually appealing. If a kid's birthday party is themed, then just make sure the decorations match the colors of the theme.
This rule of thumb applies whether you're using a lot of different colors or if you're just using a couple. Things tend to start looking a bit chaotic when there's no matching going on.
Put Confetti Inside Balloons
Here's another simple yet visually appealing trick. You can spice up some plain balloons by putting confetti inside them. This is going to work best with white or somewhat clear balloons, so just keep that in mind. There's also no need to go out and buy confetti as you can just make your own by cutting up pieces of construction paper or really any paper that's something other than white.
Balloons filled with confetti look especially good when they're aired up with helium, but it's not required, and this is sure to look great even if they aren't floating in the air.
Make Some DIY Candle Holders For Outside Areas
We're sure you've seen some variation of this project before, but it's just so good that we couldn't leave it off this list. All you need is some cord, jars, and citronella candles. Tie your cords around the neck of your jars and then hang them up outside. Next, put your citronella candles in the jars, light them, and prepare for an atmospheric evening outside that's free of pesky bugs.
You can use any jars you might have at home or buy some of the cheaper ones from the store. Just make sure the jars are clear so you can enjoy the light of the candles.
Tie Balloons Together To Make An Elegant Garland
This balloon garland is a great addition to just about any birthday party or celebration. It's also super easy. Simply tie the ends of your balloons to a long string and add some ribbons to each end, and you've got a fun new piece of decor. Just make sure to match the colors to any existing decorations. A balloon garland looks great over doorways or on walls above centerpieces.
The ribbons on the side are totally optional, but they work great in hiding the long piece of thread or string that all of the balloons are tied to.
Use Cupcake Liners To Create A Cute Garland
Want to make a garland but short on time? This garland using cupcake liners is super quick and easy. Simply take your liners and either poke tiny holes in the center or thread your string through using a needle, and you're basically done. Like any other garland, make sure you're using liners that match in color or theme. You can also make it as long as you need to, but usually, you want to keep it around the length of the one in the photo.
If you want to get really fancy, you can add glitter or other ornaments to your liners, but we think it also just looks great when left alone like in the photo.
Combine Glue And Glitter For A Great Party Decoration
Have some glitter sitting around the house? Why not use it to decorate your balloons? Just use some glue to coat one portion of your balloons and then fill a tray with glitter. Next, roll your balloons in the glitter, and you're done. Admittedly, this one could get a bit messy, but it's still a great activity if you want to get kids involved with helping you decorate for a celebration.
You can use pretty much any type of glue you have on hand, but if you're not using a glue stick then you'll probably want to wear gloves for this one.
Make Atmospheric Candle Jars Using Glue And Glitter
You could make these for an adult dinner or a celebration, but we love this idea for an atmospheric dinner. All you need to do is coat the bottom of your jars with clear glue on the inside and then add your glitter. Any color will work, but if you're making them for dinner then gold is probably going to be your best part. Lastly, add a fake candle and you're done.
We're not entirely sure if you'd be able to get away with adding a real candle since the inside of the jar is going to be covered with glue and glitter, but it still looks great nonetheless.
Create Wall Art Using Paper Chains
This DIY project is pretty self-explanatory. It just involved connecting a lot of paper chains to one another and then hanging them from something like a rod in whatever room you're having a celebration in. It's a bit time consuming, but the finished product is sure to look really good, and who knows, maybe you'll end up liking it so much that you just decide to keep it up, even after the party is over.
You can go for any color combination or geometric shape, but we especially like the one shown in the photo. Whatever you end up choosing, just remember to match colors.
Craft Some Paper Windmills For A Party
These paper windmills are a great addition to just about any partner, no matter the age of the guests. Start with some thicker paper, and cut your pieces into squares. Next, fold your squares diagonally and cut your corners; just make sure not to cut the center. Lastly, fold a half or quarter of your paper over so it creates something that looks like the blade of a windmill.
You can use a pin to hold the blades together and then attach them all to a small stick so that it makes a cute little windmill and you're done.
Make A Sequin Letter Garland
Here's a really cool take on the traditional lettered garland. You can make your own using twine, cardboard, gold sequin, and glue. Just cut your letters out of your cardboard and attach the sequin using glue. Let it dry, and then hang everything from your twine, and you're done. You can spell out someone's name or you could just make a phrase or something, the choice is all yours.
It'll look great if hung from a doorway or on a wall above a centerpiece or cake. And if you use a phrase instead of a name, there's no reason you can't break out for your next celebration.
Use Fairy Light Jars To Decorate Your Room
This might just be one of the simplest DIY projects on this list. Just stuff some fairy lights down into empty bottles or jars, and you have your new favorite decoration. These look great in just about any home, but they look especially good in your room. They can also work in place of a lamp so that you have a bit more light. This photo is seasonal but really, you can use them all year round.
If you have an outdoor party coming up, they also look really great on a table outside, especially in combination with other hanging lights or outside candles .
Turn Boring Balloons Into Cherries
Have a bunch of red balloons that you don't know what to do with? It might be worth thinking about making a cherry-themed balloon garland. Just tie two red balloons to a long piece of twine using string and then finish it off with some green construction paper or cardstock, and you're done. It's super simple and also looks great if you already have some red mixed in with your other decorations.
It also looks great if a dish or drink you're serving contains cherries. If you're looking to take it a step up, then consider using red balloons that have a bit more of a satin finish.
Create Minecraft-Themed Balloons For A Birthday Party
Odds are you have a kid or know of one who loves Minecraft or Roblox. This is a super easy way to create some custom balloons using only tape or colored paper. If you're using tape, then just cut off a couple of pieces and add them to your balloons to create faces. If you're using paper, then you can cut your pieces and then glue them onto your balloons.
Just make sure to mix the color of your balloons up a bit in order to add some variety. But besides that, this one is super easy and quick to do.
Washi Tape Is Dynamic When It Comes To Party Decorating
Washi tape is great for any type of crafting project you have going on, but it can be an absolute lifesaver when it comes to spicing up some boring party decorations. You can use the tape to decorate things like jars or cups, or simply attach some to straws to create markers. It's just super versatile and allows you to create so many different things that just take extra time if you're using normal tape or paper.
Like with any other DIY project on this list, just make sure you're matching your colors and patterns and you should be good to go, no matter what you end up using it for.
Another Unique Garland Using Cupcake Liners
There is one other garland on this list that uses cupcake liners, but this one is so good that we thought it was worth including. Just fold your liners into quarters and glue them together so that they look like the tiny party hats in this photo. Next, glue your liners to a piece of string, and you have an adorable garland. We especially love the patterns and colors used in the garland in the photo.
Since you're using glue, this one works best if it's a bit smaller, but you could just forgo the glue altogether and use a needle to poke and weave your string through the center of your liners.
Create And Print A Letter Garland
Sure, you could go to the store and buy letters for a garland, but what if you want a specific font or design? Also, what if you don't want to pay a lot of money? Well, it might be worth considering making your own, using Canva and a printer. Just make your design in Canva and print it out on letter stock or photo paper. Normal paper doesn't look as great.
You can attach everything to your string using clothespins. It also isn't a bad idea to add some ribbon to each side like in they did in this photo.
Make A Confetti Wall
This is another super simple decoration. You can make a confetti wall using some circular pieces of paper. Let the type of celebration decide what kind of color combination you use. For example, if it's a child's birthday party, you may want to use brightly colored paper. If it's a celebration for an adult, then more muted colors paired with gold might be the better choice. You could even decorate the paper if you wanted to.
However, it's not really necessary, and one of the things we love about this DIY project is just how simple it is. Just attach your pieces of paper to the wall and you're done.
Make Colorful Paper Lanterns
We love the look and simplicity of these paper lanterns. To make them, just take a normal paper lantern and attach your tissue paper using glue. Make sure your pieces of paper are overlapping so you get the same look as in the photo. If you're making more than one, then it might also be a good idea to use colors that are similar, which is what they did in this photo.
All of that gluing might be a bit time-consuming, but these look so great that we think all of that work is totally worth it. These don't even have to be used for a celebration.
Make Colorful Paper String To Hang
This DIY project doesn't take much in the way of money. All you really need is some colorful paper, assuming you already have some scissors and glue at home. Just cut strips of paper, fold them, and then connect the strips using glue. Lastly, hang them from a wall or ceiling, and you're done. Make sure to match the colors when you're hanging them and you've got a fun new decoration.
The best part about this one is that it really doesn't cost a whole lot and so long as you remember to match your colors, it looks great in just about any setting.
Craft Cute Apple Decorations
For this DIY project, you're going to need some red and green colored paper. Cut your red paper into ovals or apple shapes, and then cut your green paper so it looks like a leaf. Next, glue two of these together and attach your leaves. You can then glue these onto a stick and add a little ribbon if you like. They make great decorations for a kid's birthday party.
The colors also work well for fall-themed parties. If you want to, you can add them to things like goody bags for the kids or just give them out as presents at the end of the party.
Turn Plain Balloons Into Doughnuts
Who doesn't like a good doughnut? If all you have are some plain white balloons, you might want to consider painting doughnuts on them using colorful acrylic paint. From there, it's simply a matter of adding some paper confetti using glue, and now you've got yourself some fun, doughnut-themed balloons that are sure to be a hit at birthday parties. Extra points for having actual doughnuts there for kids to snack on.
This little project is pretty expensive, but we would suggest you stick with white balloons as opposed to colored balloons since the colors take away from the design.
Make Some Paper Rosettes For Your Wall
DIY paper rosettes really shine when you use patterned paper, but no matter what kind of paper you use, these look great on walls. Just fold your paper like a fan or accordion, then spread it out and tie a piece of string around the center. Fold another piece of paper the same way and attach the two using glue or clear tape. That's pretty much all there is to it.
They're surprisingly quick to make and once you have a lot of them, they look really good spread out on a wall or above a centerpiece. They can be hung using the same string you tied to the center.
Craft Hot Air Balloons Using Paper And Cardboard
Here's a really adorable idea for making hot air balloons. Take some cardboard paper and cut out shapes similar to the ones in this photo. Next, repeat the process and fold your shapes in half before gluing them all together to make your balloon. You can use some square cardboard as a basket and attach them to your balloons using string. Finally, hang everything up, and you're all done.
These look really good inside, but we especially love the idea of hanging them from a tree, which is what they've done in this photo. Just make sure to coordinate your colors.
Create A Grand Balloon Arrangement
This might look like something you hire out to a party decorator, but it's really not that hard to do yourself. The main thing is to make sure you vary the size of your balloons. Once you've done that it's just a matter of picking two primary colors and tying everything together. That means you're going to need a lot of string. You can also add a secondary color or clear balloons.
Make sure to arrange them around something, such as a doorway, a cake, or even a table where you're placing food or refreshments. You'll have to commit some time to blowing up balloons but the end result is worth it.
Make Ice-Cream Themed Hangers
This is a nice idea if you're planning on having ice cream at your party, and really everyone should be having ice cream at their party anyway. To make these hangers, just take some paper cups and tissue balls similar to the ones in this photo and connect them using glue. You can add things like confetti or drizzle some paint, but that's totally optional. Lastly, just hang them using some string.
If you do make these, we also recommend having an ice cream bar for kids so that they can make their own ice cream and add whatever toppings they might want.
Throw Together Your Own Cake Toppers
Making your own cake toppers is a nice way to add a personal touch to any cake or celebration. If you go the numbers route, then get yourself some plane numbers at the store and use glue, glitter, and whatever else you can think of to decorate them. They can be attached to sticks or toothpicks so that you can stick them in the cake. However, you could also just make some toppers using lettering.
There are so many different directions you could go with this one, but almost all of them are going to look a lot better than store-bought cake toppers.
Make A Fruit Garland For Summer Pool Parties
A fruit garland like the one shown in this photo is a really cool addition to any summer party and a must for a party that includes a pool. You just need some different colored foam pieces and Sharpies. Cut your foam pieces into tiny half moons, like the pieces in the photo, and then get to work drawing seeds with your Sharpies. Use a needle to thread your string through each piece.
Seriously, these look great around an outside bar or even hung from some bottles or something on the table. You can also choose different fruits if you like.
Make A Garland Out Of Old Cloth
Need a garland but don't have any paper or crafting materials at the house? Instead, try and make one out of old cloth. Take some fabric and start cutting it as if you were cutting it into strips. However, don't cut it all the way through. After you cut your strips, fold the top portion where you stopped cutting and wrap it with some string or twine. You could also just tie it together using the fabric itself.
Next, simply run your string through all of your pieces, and you have a cool fringed garland you can hang up for your celebration. Just make sure to use complimentary colors.
Get The Kids Involved Making Paper Hats
If you need an activity to keep the kids busy for a bit during the party, then look no further than this project making paper hats or crowns. Just give every kid a paper plate and show them how to cut a circle out in the middle. You could also just do this part for them if you don't trust them with scissors. Next, spread things like paint, markers, glue, and other crafting materials out on the table.
From there you can let them all go to town making their own crowns they can wear around the party and take home with them when everything is over.
Paint Some Vases To Give A Room Some Color
This project is pretty self explanatory, but there are some tips we can share. Painting some clear vases, jars, or cups is a great way to give a room a pop of color, and it can be done for a celebration or just to add to your home. Start by choosing your colors, which should be complementary. Then you can start painting. If you want clean lines, you can use some tape, but we like the slightly messy look a bit more.
It's also a good idea to make sure your flowers match whatever color you painted on your vase. More neutral tones tend to work better for a project like this.
Use Paper To Create Colorful Unicorns
This is a cool activity to get kids in on. The main thing is to make sure you have ten paper circles. You can cut these out using scissors. Fold your circles in halves and then start gluing them together. From there, it's just a matter of cutting out or coloring all of the shapes that are going to be used for things like the unicorn's mane, horn, tail, and legs.
When you're all finished you can glue on a piece of string so that the kid can hang it in their room or on the table next to all the other decorations.
Easy Garland Drapes From Crepe Paper
If you need a garland and you need it easy and fast, these might just do the trick. Basically, just cut your crepe paper into strips and hang them from a piece of string or a rod and you're done. You are going to want to make sure you stick to a couple of matching colors, but that's pretty much it. These also look a lot better when hung from a wall.
Admittedly, they look out of place when hung in the middle of a room, like they are in this photo, but with a background they look really great.
Make A Fairy-Themed Jar
This one makes for a cool centerpiece, especially if the celebration is fantasy or fairy-themed. However, you will need to be able to make a fairy cutout using card stock or some other thicker paper. We suggest using a stencil for this part. Use some Mod Podge to give the inside of your jar that hazy effect, and then just add your other pieces, such as glitter and the fairy cutout.
If you like, you can finish it off with a wreath on top but this is optional. You could also use something completely different than a fairy if you want.