Thursday, February 17, 2011

Party Planning 101

I love throwing parties.  If I had an endless supply of money I would have lavish parties every weekend for no reason at all.  But alas, I am on a tight budget, so I have to very carefully plan my parties.  That doesn't mean that I skimp in the details it just means careful planning and preparing. Since I have several parties on my horizon I thought I would share with you some of the tips that help me make a pretty party without breaking my budget - time or money wise.

1. The most important tip that I can think of is plan ahead.  I know it's not always possible especially if you are throwing a dinner party, but I honestly start planning for the parties I know about sometimes 6 months in advance.  It gives me time to mull over the details, pick up items cheap that will work and craft things.

2.  Keep a party journal or notebook.  This is something that I have just started to do.  Before I kept everything in a folder on my computer and pretty much forgot about it.  Now I am using several pages to plan and document each party.  This way I can take it with me when I shop and actually know what I am doing.  I like to have a menu planning page, a decorations page and a crafting page. I clip inspiration from magazines and draw little pictures to remind me of what I want to do.

3.  Pick a color scheme.  It's easy to get overwhelmed when planning a party especially one with a theme. Sometimes you just start buying everything you see that is cowboy themed and you end up with a big mess.  I find that picking a color scheme of two to three colors really ties things together.  I also buy a lot of neutral dishes and serving pieces, white and clear glass, they go with everything and you won't need a second house to store all your party stuff in.

4.  Think outside of the box for your theme.  I don't think my kids have ever really had a character themed party, not that there is anything wrong with that.  Sometimes though you can make a party more personal and special by using your a favorite color, book, food, music, candy, animal, toy, etc. as inspiration.  I'm lucky because my kids usually pick the most off the wall party theme they can think of so I at least have a jumping off point.

5.  Don't just head to the party store.  I have bought almost all of my serving pieces from thrift stores. I often use fabric as table runners and have purchased cake toppers, party favors and decorations from the craft store.  I also find a lot of good party stuff at discount places like TJMaxx and Marshalls.  This goes back to tip 1 which is give yourself plenty of time.

6.  This is the best tip, in the end parties are suppose to be fun.  You shouldn't feel stressed and you shouldn't go over your budget.  Do what you can and that will always be enough.  Nobody is going to leave your party thinking to themselves, "Well, that would have been a nice party if she had just made one more fabric garland and a few more tissue paper pom poms".  If they do, they're a jerk and you shouldn't invite them to your parties anyways. :)

Check out these great handmade party supplies from Louisville artists:

pixelstopaper- invitations

crazydaizies- party decorations and supplies



  1. Reading this made me want to have a party! or at the very least attend yours. The owl decor is soooo cute.
    My boyfriends 5 year old is totally into tea parties. I think it would be cute to have a party centered around it, tieras, fancy napkins and crumpets hand made! I'm on it! Thanks Kim!

  2. Great tips! I also love the owl-themed decor!


I love reading your lovely comments, thank you! Please leave me a link to your blog so that I may pay you a visit, as well. I try very hard to follow back all of my readers!