10 Expensive Graduation Party Ideas

graduation-party-ideas

source: partiesbyme.com

While it’s totally possible to plan a great graduation party on a budget, isn’t graduation one of the best times to throw away the budget and just go all out?

If your graduation party has no budget, here are ten rather expensive graduation party ideas you could throw and how to pull them off.

Party in your favorite restaurant

If you’ve never rented out a whole restaurant, we’ll save you the call—it will be expensive. But if it’s your favorite restaurant and it holds a special place in your heart (maybe you met your girlfriend or boyfriend there, it’s where your family has always gotten together to celebrate, or you just always have a good time there with your friends), this can be the ideal venue for your graduation party. Depending on the restaurant’s policies, they may require you to pay a per-head fee or to guarantee that a certain number of paying customers will show up, but either way, just getting the place for the night is going to take a chunk out of your budget. Food, graduation party decorations, and more are going to eat up even more money.

Renting an event center

If you have a large group of people that want to attend your graduation party, you will likely have to rent out a local event center. Researching what venues people in the area rent for weddings is a good way to find one that will allow you to decorate as you please and have a large group of people either for an open house or to stay and chat, dance, and celebrate for the duration of the party. Like renting out a restaurant, the cover charge just for getting the space is going to be the biggest expense, but there will also be a significant expense for buying graduation party decorations to fill the large space. Getting lots of large decorations like wall banners and hanging lanterns can help to fill up a large space.

Gathering at your favorite bar

An alternative to trying to rent out a restaurant is gathering with your friends and family at a local bar. This party is best for those graduating from college, since high school graduates won’t surpass the legal drinking age. However, if there is a particular bar that holds a special place in your heart, graduating from university is a great time to gather there and celebrate. Even if you don’t rent the entire place out, covering the tab for all of your guests can put a dent in your bank account.

Upscale celebrations

If there’s any time to get fancy, celebrating graduation is it. Why not spring for a ballroom and deck the place out in the most expensive graduation decorations you can find? Buy everyone attending their own graduation cap and gown, dress every table in the best linens you can find, and don’t be afraid to hang tassels from every chandelier in the space. Graduation is the best time to go big or go home.

Cater a feast

Anyone who has ever planned one of these parties will tell you that it is not the venue or the graduation party decorations that can empty your budget—it’s the food. One of the most expensive graduation parties you can plan is a catered feast for your guests. Most parties will stick to finger food or very small meals, but the most expensive will have a five-course dinner for all of their guests, even if there are a hundred of them. The cost can be marginally offset by using high quality paper products instead of real china—but if you’re going to go all the way with a feast, why not have fancy plates, cups, and cutlery, too?

A destination graduation party

Whether she is graduation from high school or from college, the first thing the graduate wants to do is probably go relax on a beach somewhere for a few weeks. Why not take the whole family? Flying the entire family to a tropical destination for a few weeks can be costly, but it can also be worth it.

Professionally planned

If you have access to a graduation party planner, why not hire one? The graduate himself already has plenty of stress—he doesn’t need the additional stress of trying to plan his own graduation party. A planner will take care of everything from graduation party supplies to renting the venue and sending out the invites.

Reward with a ride

Maybe it’s not the party that is the real expense, but the gift that is going to be given along with the party. A car is actually a surprisingly common graduation present for high school and college graduates alike. Nothing says “Congratulations!” better than the freedom a vehicle provides.

Backpacking without books

Why not trade your backpack full of school books for a backpack full of clothes and supplies and set out for a European backpacking trip? Right now, now that school is over and before you will have to think seriously about a career or higher education opportunities, is the perfect time to spend a little extra cash and have a graduation celebration that doubles as an adventure!

Pay off student loans

What if, instead of throwing a massively expensive graduation party, you channeled all that extra money towards paying off your student loans? The celebratory spirt you’re feeling right now, in the wake of being done with your degree, will be even greater knowing that you’ve paid off that education.

Top Ten Reasons to Throw a Summer Party Now

summer party

Sure, May isn’t technically a summer month—but it’s also the first month that we get consistently warm weather. And by the time June rolls around (which, for the record, is still two-thirds spring, since summer doesn’t officially begin until June 21st), it might be too hot to through a comfortable outdoor summer party in the middle of the day. May is the perfect time to start the summer festivities, so why not grab a few summer party supplies, call your friends, and get the party started!

Here are just ten of the best reasons May is the ultimate month for throwing a summer party.

It’s warm, but not too warm.

Nothing can put a damper on a great party like the sun constantly beating down on you, making everyone sweaty and uncomfortable. Unless your party is water balloon or squirt gun fight, there’s no reason to wait until the hottest part of the year just to through a summer party. May is perfect because the days are warm, but not too warm. March and April’s rains have passed, but the summer monsoons have not yet set in. It’s ideal party weather, people!

Cheap summer party supplies abound.

Until it’s actually summer, summer party supplies will be relegated to the “holding shelves.” They’ll still be available in your favorite party stores and they’ll also be easier to find, as your party will be the first of the year to choose the summer theme. Whether you choose luau as your theme, or just warm weather and sun, spring is the perfect time to buy summer party supplies (even if you’re just going to save them for the dog days).

Yours will be the first party of the summer.

If planning a party during the “real” summer months, you will have to compete with other parties. However, if your party is the first of the year, not only will you be the trendsetter amongst your friends, you would have any time and date conflicts as the rest of your friends want to throw their summer parties too.

Get more of your guest list to show up.

During the summer, most people travel. They’ll pick up and head off to the beach, to visit family, or abroad for some culture. Even if your friends don’t travel, they may get caught up in summer activities. Little league, soccer, hiking, and touring the surrounding counties and towns can all muck up a schedule and make it difficult to find a time for everyone to get together. Plus, there are other holidays that take precedence during the summer months. May is devoid of holidays (except for Cinco de Mayo), making it the ultimate time to throw a summer party.

Blow of some steam.

The time in between winter break and summer can feel like a long haul, especially for students, but definitely for professionals and stay-at-home-parents. There really aren’t any holidays during this time that require the bacchanalia that accompanies Christmas, Hanukah, New Years, and almost all winter holidays. Before summer actually arrives is the perfect time to throw a party, just to get everyone through that last month and a half until they can take a little break.

You’ve got your tax return in hand.

If you paid your taxes before Tax Day, you will have your refund in hand by the beginning of May. What better way to spend it than with a celebration? If a party is usually outside of your budget during the rest of the year, May is a great time to throw a party, before you find other, more responsible uses for that money.

The party’s honoree will be gone in the summer.

If you were planning on throwing a going-away, graduation, welcome-home, birthday, or other party for a friend or loved one during the summer, but have discovered that they, the guest of honor, will not even be in town that weekend, why not move the party up to May? Some people aren’t out of school yet, which means they have academic pursuits holding them in town, and most people haven’t schedule their summer vacations until June or July. You won’t have to fight with schedule or other holidays if you pull up a party to May.

Celebrate the end of school.

Some schools let out in April, but most let out in the middle or near the end of May (if you’re unlucky, it’ll be June). This makes May the ideal time to celebrate. Sure, school can be fun, but after two long semesters of learning, you definitely have reason to celebrate. Pull your friends together and throw a party while the weather is warm and clear.

Have the first water balloon or squirt gun fight of the year.

May is the first time it will be warm enough to have a real water fight. Fill up balloons, grab a bunch of big squirt guns and just go to town! You can make the party very structured, by forming teams and having an objective like “Capture the Flag,” or you can just splash and shoot each other until all of the water is gone.

Why not?

You don’t really need a reason to throw a great summer party in May. With summer party supplies on hand, it will be easy to put a party together, whether you want a well-planned, effortless affair, or whether you just want to get your friends together and have some off-the-cuff fun.

Fill all of your summer party supply and decoration needs at Parties 2 Order.

How to Throw a Luau Graduation Party

luau party supplies

In Polynesian culture, a luau is used to mark any special or momentous occasion—and that includes a graduation! Whether you are graduating or are in charge of planning the graduation party for a friend or family member, choosing a luau theme is a great way to mark this amazing achievement.

Here is everything you need to know about planning a luau party to celebrate a graduation.

Picking a Venue

Finding the right venue for your graduation party is probably going to be one of the more difficult part of planning this party. Not every venue will have the right vibe or the necessary accommodations for your party. Of course, if you care more about the people that show up to celebrate with you than how closely the venue adheres to the luau party theme, then you can hold your graduation party just about anywhere.

If your parents or friends have a backyard to offer, this is usually the best place to hold your party, as long as it is large enough for all of your guests to mingle without feeling claustrophobic. Hosting your party outside will add to the luau theme, and if you have a barbecue available, you can grill hamburgers, hot dogs, or something more traditionally Polynesian.

A party hall, church, park, or rented tent can also be great places to hold your party, depending on what kind of rent you can afford. Most parks allow you to reserve an area for free, while most other venues will require some kind of deposit in order to secure the area for your event.

Invites

Sending out invites will be one of the most important parts of your luau graduation party. Incorporating the luau theme into the invitations can help your guests understand the theme and remember to dress appropriately and get into the spirit of the luau even before they arrive at the party. It is traditional to include pictures of the graduate with the invite, so why not throw a lei over the graduate and add a note to your guests, reminding them to wear their best luau gear when they arrive at your party.

Other things to include with your graduation party invitations: date and time, place and directions if the location is likely to be difficult to find, whether or not gifts are welcome, whether or not children are welcome, what kind of food will be served (lunch, dinner, appetizers, dessert, etc.), and what kind of party it is (i.e. open house, dance, munch and mingle, etc.).

Decorations

Luau decorations are going to be one of the most integral parts of the whole event. Luau party supplies are easy to find, but what exactly will you need? You will probably want to start with leis. Leis are traditionally given in celebration or as a welcoming present to guests. Having a lei for every guest is a great way to get everyone into the spirt, and if you set them on a table or hang them on the wall or a fence, they can double as a decoration. One of our favorite luau party supplies is our set of bamboo string lights. This is a great way to add some festive fun and light to an area!

Other decorations include ocean animal-themed balloons, hanging palm tree decorations, hibiscus-themed paper products, hula girls, and a range of banners and hanging paper lanterns. Tiki masks, grass skirts for tables, and flowers are all appropriate options when it comes to luau party supplies for your graduation celebration!

Choosing a Menu

What kind of food you are going to serve will depend on the format of your party. If you are hosting an open house, where you really only want your guests to stop by, give their congratulations, grab some food, and then leave, you probably want small, handheld food. On the other end of the spectrum, you might want all of your guests to stay and eat a full dinner with you. Either way, here are some of the most traditional luau dishes:

  • Huli huli chicken
  • Baked mahi-mahi
  • Teriyaki beef or chicken
  • Roast pig
  • Poi
  • Potato salad
  • Baked sweet potato
  • Tossed salad
  • A variety of cut fruit, including pineapple, papaya, grapes, strawberries, mangos, lychee, and coconuts

To Cook or Not to Cook?

Once you have chosen your menu, it is time to decide whether or not you want to cook. If you have the budget for a caterer, this can be a great way to cut all of the time and stress of cooking out of your party planning schedule. Caterers can, however, be rather expensive, and if you want to save your budget for luau party supplies, it might be more cost-effective to buy and cook the food yourself. Many of the most traditional luau dishes can be easily made in a slow cooker or in the oven, without much maintenance or attention given to the food itself.

Attire and Details

When it comes to what to wear, you have a number of options. You could go as Hawaiian as possible and break out the Hawaiian shirts, the grass skirts, and the coconut bras. This might not be the idea option for everyone, however. Throwing a lei over normal clothes and maybe adding a flower to your hair is usually plenty of luau attire to really look the part.

Dancing the hula and playing a few rounds of limbo are great ways to get into the luau spirit! Just find some traditional Hawaiian music for your party’s soundtrack and you will be ready to luau all night long!

Check out our Luau Party Supplies here.

4 Spring-Themed Caspari Paper Product Designs Perfect for Your Next Party

Most people don’t take the time to pay attention to what kind of paper products they are purchasing. Not all paper products are created equally. If you are trying to throw an elegant party, you don’t just want any old plates and napkins. You want the highest quality paper products you can find. This is where Caspari paper products come in. If you’re not familiar with Caspari, it’s time to get to know this company and the wide variety of high quality products they sell.

Why Caspari?

On our Parties 2 Order online store, we have a range of spring-themed Caspari paper products for sale. Why have we chosen Caspari to include in our store? This company is one of the oldest and most well-respected producers of paper products in the world. They don’t just throw together shoddy designs and print them on flimsy paper, they source art from around the world and use high quality materials to create their products.

This makes Caspari the perfect choice for anyone planning an elegant or upscale affair. Linens are a good option for a fancy dinner party, but if you don’t want to go through the trouble and expensive of buying and washing all of those linens, finding a high quality supplier of paper products is a great alternative. With a range of different designs to choose from, it will be easy to pick paper products that match your party’s theme, colors, atmosphere, or style. Here are the four spring-themed designs we have in stock from Caspari.

Endless Summer

Caspari Endless Summer

We have this design, which features white and pink hydrangeas, in four different products. These are plates, two different sizes of napkins, and a guest towel. With this range of products to choose from, it is easy to find what you need for a spring barbecue or garden party.

Being able to find coordinating plates and napkins not only brings cohesion to your party, but also allows the paper products to be part of the decorations for your event. There’s no easier way to dress up the food table or buffet area than to set out beautiful paper products. What makes Caspari special is its commitment to using high quality materials. When you use these products, you will not have to worry about whether or not they will stand up to the food you’re serving, they just will!

Lobsters

Nothing says spring in New England like lobsters! Even if you are not serving lobster at your event, these cute little lobster napkins—your choice of cocktail or luncheon size—are a great way to add some life to your place settings or food serving area. If you are serving lobster at your party—even better

Like all Caspari products, these napkins are designed specifically for use at parties and are made with high quality materials, so no matter what kind of event you are having or what kind of food you are serving, these napkins will serve you well. How can you use this design? These would be great for your first picnic of the year on the beach, for a nautical-themed birthday party for a little boy, for a lobster bake, or for any event that could use a little fun and whimsy. This is definitely one of Caspari’s more spirited designs, with repeating red lobsters on a cream napkin, bordered in red.

Magnolia

Caspari Spring Napkins

Like the Endless Summer design, Magnolia has four different products to choose from. Two sizes of napkins, and two different sizes of plates to choose from. There are eight inch plates and ten-and-a-half inch plates. Smaller plates are usually best for cocktail hour (especially when paired with the smaller, coordinating cocktail napkin), while larger plates are better for a buffet or meal (again, especially when paired with the coordinating, appropriately sized napkin).

This design sports a large magnolia flower, accented with golden pairs. Ivory, green, and gold are the dominating colors on this Caspari design. It is definitely one of the most elegant in their lineup, perfect for elegant events where you might usually opt for china, but want to avoid the annoying cleanup that goes along with china plates and real linens. As great for wedding receptions as they are for fancy graduation parties, this is definitely one of the best Caspari designs for spring!

Under the Sun

Caspari

Featuring lovely sun flowers on a thatched beige background, this Caspari paper product design bridges the gap between rustic and elegant. Nothing heralds warmer weather like flowers, and while sunflowers are usually more associated with summer than they are spring, these paper products are perfect for any party, any time of year.

We have five versions of this design, including two sizes of napkins, two sizes of square plates, and a set of guest towels, all with coordinating sunflower designs. How can you use this design for your party? If you are throwing your first outdoor party of the year, these napkins and plates will look beautiful set up on the table beside the food. If you want to pre-set your tables, using these festive, spring designs could negate the need to have any other table decorations.

If you are looking for high-quality paper products, look no further than Caspari. They have a reputation for producing the most beautiful and functional designs that will be perfect for any spring party or event.

Check out our stock of Caspari products here.

Party Decoration Trends for This Spring

spring party supplies

Just like fashion, technology, business, and life, party decorations follow trends. While you don’t have to keep up with party decoration trends, if you want your party to look stylish and modern, keeping the following trends in mind can help you look for decorations that will help you achieve this aesthetic. Here are the top party decoration trends this spring.

Garlands and bunting

If you’ve been on Pinterest lately, you’ve probably seen hundreds of party décor ideas that include one kind of garland or bunting. While hanging wall decorations like these have been popular for decades, bunting especially has come back into vogue recently. It is the ultimate party decoration and because it can be found or made in just about any color or combination of colors, it is ideal for any party. Bunting is especially easy to make, as it is just isosceles triangles (two sides the same length, third side shorter) attached to string, thread, or ribbon, or rope.

Garlands on the other hand can be made out of just about anything. Tassels can be made into a garland for a graduation party, pink or blue bows for a baby shower, or silver bells for a wedding reception. Whether strung across a wall or draped across the ceiling, garlands and bunting are hot party decorations this spring.

Confetti

You’re going to begin to see a trend in these trends—people are starting to rediscover classic favorites. Confetti is another party decoration that has been used for decades that is making a comeback in a big way this spring. While the classic choice is multicolored dots, you can usually find confetti in a single color or in a variety of colors that more closely match your theme (school colors, a specific holiday, your favorite colors, etc.).

Aside from the standard round shape, it is now possible to find confetti in a number of different shapes, which can make it easy to decorate for a theme-specific party. Just toss a handful of confetti across a table and it’s decorated! It’s also great to throw at weddings, at a New Year’s Eve celebration, or to include in the envelope with an invitation, so the receiver gets a mini celebration when they open the note.

Stylish paper products

There is perhaps nothing sadder than walking into a well-decorated space and seeing cheap, flimsy, white paper plates set up next to all of the food you have worked so hard to prepare. While patterned plates are typical for a child’s birthday party or summer celebration, why not pick up some fun floral paper products or stylish plates and cups to accompany your spring extravaganza? Pastel pink, teal, and coral are very in this spring and it’s possible to find paper products that reflect not only your party’s colors, but also its themes. From a tropical barbecue to an understated garden party, make sure to accent your food and beverage table with stylish paper products to stay on trend this spring.

Paper fans, lanterns, and fluffy balls

Spring 2015 is the season of the hanging paper decoration. With so many different varieties available, it’s not difficult to transform a space simply by purchasing and hanging a few varieties of fans, lanterns, or other hanging paper decorations. Most of these are “assemble yourself” products, meaning that they come folded flat and you have to put them together and hang them up, but the instructions are included and they are far less complicated than your favorite piece of Ikea furniture.

Fans give great texture and dimension to a wall, while lanterns can fill up empty air space over a dance floor or in a vaulted reception hall. Tissue paper spheres have the same effect, whether they are lanterns or are fluffy and resemble the Truffula trees from The Lorax. These are a very inexpensive way to make a big impact and are very hot this spring!

Piñatas

When we were kids, piñatas came only in festive Cinco de Mayo colors and in very traditional shapes. Today, you can find piñatas in just about every shape, color, and size. Even if you don’t want to make breaking that piñata a part of the celebration, having a piñata at your party this spring is a great way to add dimension to your party decorations.

If you can’t find a piñata that exactly matches your theme or boasts the right colors, you can always make your own. Just pick up some tissue paper from your favorite party supply store and make the base out of paper-mache or cardboard. Once the base is prepared, just cover it in tissue paper until you have your desired design.

Drink stirrers

Who knew that drinks could double as party decorations? Well, obviously someone knew, because decorated drink stirrers are becoming a major trend this spring. You can pick up this party decoration at just about any store, or you can make them yourself out of plain drink stirrers and any accoutrements that fit your theme.

Top them with feathers, securing each plume with a bit of decorative washi tape, or even make toppers out of clay, attach them to the stirrers and bake them in the oven (following the clay’s directions, and only if the stirrer is wooden or another material that withstand the heat of the oven) to get reusable stirrers your guests can take home with them!

These are just some of the trends that are popular in party decorations this spring! Check out our store to see what other classic decorations are being rediscovered!

7 Inexpensive Graduation Party Ideas

graduation party supplies

Are you or someone you know graduating from high school or college in the next couple of months? Don’t let this occasion pass without properly celebrating it! This is a huge achievement and should be marked with a great graduation party.

You may want to plan a great party, but you probably also want to plan an inexpensive party. Even if other people are willing to kick in a little for the party, you probably will have difficulty planning a huge, extravagant party for the number of people that want to come and celebrate with the graduate. Being on a budget doesn’t mean throwing a cheap party—here are seven inexpensive graduation party ideas to help you cut costs and plan the ultimate bash.

1. Make it number themed.

2015 has a good ring to it, doesn’t it? There are perhaps no graduation party supplies easier to find than the number-themed ones. Couple those supplies with a few of your own creation and you will have a well-decorated party space. What about food? Why not try fifteen different kinds of appetizers? Or food arranged into a “2015” across the table. Fill the playlist with some of the most popular songs of the year and you will have the ultimate party—and all you really had to do was buy some graduation party supplies.

2. Make it nostalgic.

If there is a specific kind of food, activity, or place that holds a special place in the graduate’s heart, now is the perfect time to celebrate that. This could be especially great for a group of high school seniors that want one last hurrah before they jet off to separate colleges. Alternatively, this is also a great idea for college students who are about to step out into the real world and might want one more feast of macaroni and cheese, ramen, and cheap juice before they have to become real adults. Right now is the time to celebrate all of the hard work that the graduate has put into his schooling, but also to celebrate the fact that college is its own little world and he can only hold on to it for a few more days.

3. Food and drinks should double as décor.

Don’t want to spent your entire budget on graduation party supplies? Why not spend your entire budget on food and just make it masquerade as decorations. If you can find number cookie cutters, you can make anything say “2015” or the graduate’s name. Cut a watermelon into slices and punch out their name or the year. Punch “2015” out of pieces of pineapple and put them on a skewer as a festive drink garnish. Besides the food, your only decoration cost will be for those cookie cutters!

4. Make it forward thinking.

Is the graduated headed to Alabama for graduate school? Idaho to start his undergrad? Almost every state and many cities have a type of cuisine that they are known for. Plan out a simple menu that matches the grad’s destination and send him off in style. If he’s headed to the south, why not try some southern comfort food? Headed to Texas? Make some Tex-Mex. Going to Chicago? Some Chicago-style pizza will do the trick. Whether ever the graduate is headed next, there is probably some sort of specialty food that will help them prepare for their next big adventure.

5. Use yarn or tissue paper to make tassels.

While there are plenty of great tassel-themed decorations you can pick up from a party supply store, if you’re trying to cut costs, you might find your budget helped by making some of the decorations yourself, especially if you want to buy graduation party supplies like year-themed napkins or banners. Tassels are exceptionally easy to make and they are the perfect decoration for a graduate’s party. Simply loop ribbon or yarn in the graduate’s school colors around your hand. Slide the loop off, tie the top of the loop together and then cut the bottom of the loop. Use these along the edge of tables, on banners, and just about everywhere else to really create a cohesive theme.

6. Make a photo booth for making memories.

Graduation may seem like an ending, but it’s also the best time to celebrate everything that has come before. That’s why a photo booth, where guests can take pictures with props and leave a message for the graduate is a great way to celebrate this achievement. If you can steal the graduate’s cap, you’ll already have the most important prop, but if not, you can always buy one from our party supply store. Some mustaches and silly glasses will round out the prop table. Then, just set up a camera with a timer or someone dedicated to taking the pictures. If you can find a polaroid or other instant-print camera, the guests can leave a little message for the graduate, along with their picture!

7. Make it the graduate’s “last chance to be a kid.”

It’s time for laser tag, squirt guns, water balloons, and an old-fashioned barbecue. Celebrate the fact that he or she is moving into adulthood by giving him or her one last chance to play all of the games he loved as a kid. If you want to play twister, you can make a free board by just cutting out the appropriate amount of circles in the right colors and taping them to the ground. Balloons are inexpensive, as are little water guns!

graduation-party-supplies_social

Why You Should Always Keep Birthday Decorations on Hand

birthday-party-decorations

If you’re like most people, you only go out and buy party supplies when you actually have a party to decorate for. You might have a few left over rolls of streamers or a banner stored in your cupboard, but if you have to throw a last minute party, that probably isn’t going to be enough supplies to really deck the space out. Here are a few reasons why you should always keep birthday decorations on hand — and which decorations specifically to keep in your stash.

Unexpected Birthdays

It’s impossible to remember everyone’s birthday. If someone’s birthday sneaks up on you, you want to have the decorations on hand so you can throw them a great party, without having to rush and find decorations, on top of a cake and food. When you have a few banners, some streamers, fun paper products, and maybe even an interesting table cloth in your closet, it becomes very easy to throw together a party.

At that point, it’s up to you whether you want to act like this was your plan all along, or whether you want them to know that you didn’t realize it was their birthday. Either way, they’ll be sure to appreciate the time and thought that went into throwing them a party, even if it is last-minute.

Expected Birthdays

These are the birthdays you have written on the calendar and have been planning for months. Still, even if you have plenty of notice, having a closet full of birthday decorations makes your party planning duties much less stressful. Instead of having to add an additional task onto your list, you know that all decorations are covered, from “Happy Birthday!” banners to candles for the cake. Now you can focus your energy on trying to find the right baker for the cake and what kind of food to make your guests. Taking some of the stress out of party planning is always a good thing!

Creative Present Wrapping

If you find something that you want to give to a friend, relative, or coworker, you could just present it to them in a plastic bag. Or, you could raid your birthday party decorations supply and actually wrap that gift. While you might not have wrapping paper in your stash, you’re sure to have tissue paper or cellophane, or something else that will make a perfect wrapping material for a spontaneous gift.

Additionally, if you want to give a gift to a friend who is retiring, moving away, or a new neighbor how has moved into the neighborhood, having a fully-stocked party supply closet can make that quick and easy. You’ll be able to give beautifully wrapped gifts without having to actually put that much time or effort into finding wrapping paper or gift bags. They’ll just be sitting in your closet, just as they always have been.

What Birthday Decorations Should I Stock Up?

If you want to become a party prepper, there are a few items that are going to be essential to your birthday decoration stash. Here are just a few of the things to keep on hand:

1. STREAMERS

Streamers are a great accessory and they can make any room look festive in just a matter of seconds. You’ll want a variety of colors, to coordinate both with holidays and with potential party themes. The primary colors, plus a roll of green are usually a good place to start. Luckily, streamers are also extremely inexpensive and they can be used for anything from room decoration to present wrapping, even a makeshift piñata blindfold (or even to help you make your own piñata, if you are especially crafty).

2. PLATES, CUPS, AND NAPKINS

Nothing will be more valuable than having a stash of plastic plates, cups, and napkins. Whether you have an instant party when friends stop by unexpectedly and you don’t want to dirty every dish in the house, or you’re asked to bring cups or plates to your next office function, you’ll always have some on hand.

3. Banners

A banner that says “Happy Birthday,” is a great place to start. These can be purchased or made, depending on what look you want to achieve. A few banners with more generic phrases like “Congratulations!” or “Well Done!” can also be part of your store, as these can be used to decorate a space for everything from a graduation party to a promotion to a baby shower.

4. BALLOONS

Like streamers, there are few things in the world that can make a room feel more festive than balloons. Even if you don’t have any helium, just a variety of balloons on the floor or even taped to the walls can add color and dimension to a room. Plus, they serve a wide variety of other purposes, including being useful for a range of crafts or making water balloons in the summer. When the desire to have a water balloon fight strikes, you’ll always have some on hand.

5. Craft paper

If you’ve put up your streamers and blown up your balloons and still think the space looks a bit sparse, you can make just about any other decoration you want out of craft paper. Whether you stick with the standard brown (which will give wrapped presents or banners a folksy, rustic flair), or a packet of multicolored paper, keeping craft paper on hand enables you to make just about anything your current party stash lacks.

Follow these tips and you’ll become a master party prepper in no time! Check out our party supply store for a huge selection of birthday decorations.

DIY Wedding vs. a Wedding Planner

diy-wedding

If you’re planning a wedding and have been on Pinterest lately, you might start to fall into the trap of believing that you can plan a DIY wedding. Why not hand-make those personalized little name cards for every guest? Why not set up a photo booth and make your own props for it? Why not?

Because you may end up driving yourself crazy!

Planning a wedding is stressful enough without also forcing yourself to be your own florist, dress designer, decorator, baker, and photographer.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that you have to outsource everything. Doing some of the work yourself is a great way to cut costs—if you don’t go overboard. Here’s a simple guide to helping you decide on a DIY wedding and what should be left to a professional wedding planner.

Invitations

It’s one of the first things that a bride and groom will choose together and can be a serious hit to a wedding budget, if you want to get the nice paper and a little embossing done. This can make doing the invitations yourself very attractive—but unless you’ve got an ounce of graphic design skill, they might turn out looking hokey or generic. So, should you DIY your invitations?

You should DIY your invitations if:

  • You know enough about graphic design or even just font design to make something you will be proud to send out to your guests
  • You find a template online, either a free one (Microsoft Office actually has a number of attractive free templates available) or a cheap one (again, purchased from Office or from a website like Etsy), that makes it easy to just fill in your information, print them out, and send them off
  • You have a high quality printer that won’t fail after printing half of your invites
  • You have the time to make or find a template for your invitations

If you don’t have the time, the skill, or the ability, it might be better to pay the price for professional templates and printing from your local or online stationary store.

Flowers

Flowers is another area of wedding planning that the industrious bride and groom might try to DIY. Flowers from a florist can be prohibitively expensive, and doing your own arrangements, centerpieces, and even bouquet can seriously cut down your costs, especially if you have a local flower market with reasonable prices. However, because flowers die so quickly, all arrangements, bouquets, and centerpieces will have to be made within one or two days of the wedding, which are going to be the busiest days of your engagement, even if you don’t decide to DIY this part of your wedding.

You should DIY your flowers if:

  • You have a local flower market with reasonable prices
  • You know exactly what you want your bouquet and centerpieces to look like
  • The arrangements you want are not available at any florist in your area (for example, you want wildflowers instead of lilies or roses)
  • You have time in those last couple of days to devote to this task

Time is really going to be your deciding factor here. If you do not have the time to put together your flowers, you may end up without any flowers at all. However, if you have a very clear vision of what you want and know that you can put the centerpieces and bouquets together quickly, handling the flowers yourself can be a great way to save a little money on your wedding.

Photography

With the proliferation of smartphones, just about everyone has an excellent camera in their pocket. High quality cameras are also more accessible than ever and there’s bound to be at least one person in your wedding party that has DSLR that takes great photos. This can make nixing a wedding photographer an attractive prospect.

However, asking one of your guests to play photographer usually means one of two things. Either they spend their entire time taking pictures and do not actually get to celebrate with you, or they spend their entire time celebrating and you don’t get any pictures. It’s also important to mention that having a great camera doesn’t make someone a great photographer.

You should DIY photography if:

  • You have a guest who is both a great photographer (and has the right gear) and is willing to give their photography services as a wedding present
  • You do not want a traditional photographer and would prefer to ask all of your guests to become your wedding photographers (perhaps even creating an Instagram hashtag so you can find and download all of your pictures), even if some of your guests are slow about sending you the snaps they took

A photographer can be a big expense, but unless you’re perfectly fine with enlisting one of your guests or having your wedding documented just on Instagram, it might be an expense you should be willing to pay.

China

China and flatware are another major expense for most couples. Some will try to go with plastic plates and utensils, but the wrong items can make a wedding feel more like a barbecue than a celebration of your love for one another. If you can find high quality plastic party supplies, however, like the ones sold at our party supply store, you should be able to find plates, cups, flatware, and even fancy napkins that can all just be thrown away at the end of the night. Instead of buying fancy china, you should DIY your place settings if:

You can find high quality plastic party supplies that you actually like and which won’t make your wedding look trashy.

Don’t let Pinterest lead you astray—you’re a bright, capable person, but that doesn’t mean you should try to DIY your entire wedding.

Ten Reasons to Throw a Luau Party This Year

luau-party

Summer is on its way and that means right now is the perfect time to start planning a luau party and getting your luau party supplies together. If you’re planning on having any kind of celebration late spring, or early summer, there’s no better way to celebrate than with this theme! Here are ten reasons why everyone should throw a luau party this year.

1. Perfect for any celebration.

Throwing a graduation party? A birthday party for a child or an adult? A luau party is a universally great theme, especially for any party that is going to take place outdoors. Unlike other themes that are only appropriate for birthdays or garden parties or dinner parties, you can have a luau to commemorate any big event—even bridal or baby showers! While most people hold their luau parties during the spring or summer, when they can make use of outdoor space, having an indoor party during the colder months is just as good!

2. Easy to decorate for.

While this might not be the biggest reason to throw a luau party this year, it will be exceptionally easy to decorate for this theme. Every party store has mountains of luau party supplies, from grass skirts to tiki masks, to make it easy to deck out your home, yard, or other venue in true Hawaiian style. Some essential luau party supplies include:

  • Grass skirts
  • Tiki masks
  • Grass table liners
  • Green or brown table cloths
  • Leis
  • An assortment of flowers like lilies
  • Pink, orange, and red streamers
  • Island-print banners

3. Creating a menu is simple and fast.

Making food for your party will be just as fast and easy as decorating, especially because most of the food can be made in a slow cooker or in the oven, on a low, slow roast, without too much attention or prodding from the host or hostess. Slow-roasted pork, for example, for sandwiches, or to eat with rice, is always a good choice, and all you have to do is throw it in the crockpot or oven for a few hours, the day of.

4. Snacks are healthy and quick to make.

What could be a healthier, more delicious snack than grilled pineapple? It’s so simple to make, and once you’ve grilled it and cut it up, grownups and kids alike will love it. Cut fruit makes the ideal snack food for a luau party and it can be purchased, pre-cut, from just about any grocery store if you do not want to spend your entire day slicing melon. Just run out and grab a few different varieties of pre-cut fruits, including melons, pineapples, strawberries, and any other fruit that you enjoy, and empty the containers out onto platters right before the party. This really simplifies your job and compared to the chips and candy laid out at most parties, this is a healthy, delicious alternative.

5. The theme comes with its own activities.

If you’re short on ideas for activities to do during your party, a luau party is the perfect theme to choose. First of all, you can always spend a few hours having a limbo competition. While this game did originate in Trinidad, it has become a mainstay of the luau party and can be fun for all ages, especially if you don’t let things become too competitive. While a bamboo rod is traditional (for some reason), any long pole will do the trick.

6. Dance the night away!

If you finish your limbo competition or have to abandon it because some guests are getting too competitive, you can always finish off the night with some hula. Throw on some traditional music and just get dancing! It doesn’t have to be good dancing or perfect hula form.

7.You can entertain the kids

You can entertain the kids with some movies or television shows. If the kids are starting to wind down but the parents want to keep on partying, choosing a luau theme gives you plenty of entertainment options. There are at least two episodes of Scooby-Doo where the gang unmasks a villain in Hawaii, and Blue Hawaii with Elvis himself is a musical comedy that the kids might be able to get into. There’s also Paradise Hawaiian Style if they seem to enjoy the first Elvis flick. The huge variety of Hawaii-themed movies that involve a luau makes it easy to plop them down in front of something.

8. Clean up is easy.

Let’s face it, the grass skirts and leis are going to be wrecked by the end of the night. That usually means you can just open up a few garbage bags and sweep everything left over right into the bag. Just put aside the luau party supplies you want to save for next year and your venue (whether it’s your home, a friend’s home, or a rented space) will be extremely easy to clean.

9. It’ll be fun for all ages.

It can be difficult to come up with a theme that is as appropriate for adults as it is for children, and where all parties will have fun. Even if you are not inviting “all ages” to your party, this is a theme that is as great for a child’s birthday party as it is for a casual backyard barbecue for just the adults.

10. It’s inexpensive.

The luau party supplies and food, compared to other parties, will be extremely inexpensive. This theme doesn’t call for anything fancy or off-the-wall. Just inexpensive decorations and a menu that requires inexpensive ingredients and easy preparation.

Check out our online party supply store for all your luau party decorations.