(NEW YORK) — Planning a party can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be.
Saba Lausch is the owner of Sparkle and Twine Parties, an event-decorating company in Illinois. Having been in business for years, she’s an expert on event decorations of all kinds, from lavish to small-scale. According to her, planning a party on a budget doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice its overall vibe.
Here is her list of five tips that will help you make the most of your party budget:
1. Pay attention to small details, like color coordination
While it may be tempting to reuse your mismatched leftover utensils from past holidays or plain-old white napkins from the store, a small detail like color coordination can make a big difference in the overall feel of a party. Lausch’s advice is to pick three colors and then find paper goods, party favors and other decorations in those colors.
Bonus: Most local stores sell most things you’d need for a party — plates, utensils and decor — in a variety of colors, so you have options.
2. Use accents to dress up the rest of the decor
If you’ve followed Lausch’s advice and color coordinated your plates, cups and utensils, she said you can add another layer of fanciness into your party with cute, printed paper napkins.
“This creates a clean, coordinated look while still packing a festive punch,” she said.
3. Forgo the traditional balloon bunch and go the DIY route
Balloons are a staple of any party, but instead of opting for a professional balloon bunch that may end up putting you over budget, try doing it yourself. Lausch said it’s simple — pick up three or five 24-25 inch round balloons and, rather than using the curling ribbon that a party store would give you with the balloons, tie a long (about 5 to 6 inches) satin ribbon to each one to dress them up.
4. Repurpose items already in your home
Not everything needs to be bought in-store. Plenty of things around your home can be repurposed — like white twinkle lights from the holidays. Lausch said hanging them around a “happy birthday” sign, the cake or gift tables will add a magical touch to any party.
A cozy sitting area can be created by bringing together a bunch of throw pillows from around your house and putting them in areas where people will sit.
“The look it creates is: relax, grab a beverage and let’s have a really good conversation,” Lausch said.
5. Skip the floral bouquets
Instead of buying bouquets, snip off the heads and petals of your favorite flowers and display them floating in bowls of different heights.
“This was a tip I learned in my travels to India, where flower petals in bowls are spread throughout. The aesthetic is one of peace and beauty. Nothing chaotic, nothing too intense, just quiet, calm beauty,” Lausch said.
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