Guide to DIY Party Decor For Beginners

The Beginners Guide to DIY Party Decor will take the mystery out of creating the perfect party and will help to make you the hostess with the mostess in no time.

Born To Party

Does the thought of party decorating gives you a headache? It doesn’t have to be that way!

Over the years hubby and I have held large BBQs, epic Halloween parties, and winter sledding parties. We’ve had the honour of hosting bridal showers, baby showers, graduations, milestone birthdays, celebrations of life, holiday gatherings, retirement parties, and even a couple of weddings.

In this post, I’m going to answer some common questions about DIY party decor so that you can feel confident in your ability to create a beautiful event. By the end, you’ll be able to wow your guests with your amazing decorations! So let’s get started!

What Is DIY Party Decor? 

DIY party decor simply means party decor you made yourself. It can be as simple as a floral centerpiece to as complicated as wedding centerpieces.

  • Invitations
  • Tablescapes
  • Signage
  • Centerpieces
  • Lighting
  • Photo booth
  • Backdrops
  • Music
  • Overall ambiance

Common Misconceptions About DIY Party Decor

I think the greatest misconception when it comes to DIY party decorating is that it’s too difficult, time consuming, and expensive to bother with.

This is just not true. Ok, maybe the time thing comes slightly into play but unless you have the money to hire a professional party planner someone will have to plan, purchase, and set up everything. So since you’re going to be doing these things anyway why not make it spectacular?

As for difficulty and costs…. nope. You’ll be amazed at how far a little bit of thrifty shopping, imagination, and good taste will go. Read on and I promise that by the end of this article you won’t be able to wait to start planning your next party!

yellow and white balloons on table

The Beginners Guide to DIY Party Decor Getting Started

To start any party you need to answer some basic questions that will get the party planning process started. You will need:

  • Pick a party style – What kind of party are you throwing? The time of day will help determine this.
  • A concept – What kind of feeling are you going for? Why are you throwing this party?
  • Budget – What is your max budget and where will the funds be going?
  • A guest list – Who is coming to this party and what size of party are you planning?
  • Venu – What location will you be using? What venue will best suit the number of guests invited?
  • A colour scheme – What colours will you be using? Choose 2 – 3 colours.
  • Invitations – What kind of invitations will you be sending? Mailed, email, or text?
  • Decor ideas – What decor ideas make the most sense for this party? What will add to the over all concept?
  • Menu – What will you be eating at the party? Is this a full course meal, a buffet, or appetizers?
  • Plan for signage – What foods or beverages need to be identified? Where would it be helpful to have more detailed information? (bathroom, favours, etc.)
  • Music list – What music will you be playing at the party?
  • List of activities – Will there be any activities at this party? What will you need to make these activities happen?
  • Cleaning House – Will you be hiring a house cleaner or cleaning yourself?

Party Decor Ideas

Sometimes we just want to keep the decorations easy. To make easy party decorations try suing :

  • Balloons done properly and with helium balloons don’t have to look old school cheap.
  • Streamers if done in classic colours, manipulated carefully, and used in unique and interesting ways streamers can make fantastic decor.
  • Garland and banners are easy to make out of paper cut outs, large beads, wood cut outs, faux florals, foam shapes, or pompoms.
  • Colour consistency will make a huge visual impact. By keeping the style of decor and the colour of the decor consistent even the easiest of decor look thought out.
  • Accessorize with paper lanterns, pinwheels, balls, banner flags, wording and and shape cut out. These are all great ways to decorate simply and inexpensively

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Beginner’s Guide To DIY Party Decor: Tips For Success

Are you planning on throwing a party but you have questions about where to start when it comes to decorations? Not to worry! By following these simple tips, you’ll be able to throw a party that is both stylish and easy on the budget. So get ready to get creative!

Use this throughout the party but stay away from making it too themed. Throwing a princess party? Think less Disney princess on every plate, cup, balloon, and treat bag and more shades of pink and creams, lace, sparkle.

If you need a touch Disney maybe throw a few Disney themed items into the treat bag.

Planning on hosting a game night party with friends? Try using Scrabble tiles for labeling things on the buffet table, rectangle sugar cookies decorated to look like playing cards, dice in a vase for great looking centerpieces, and then decorate a wooden box to make it look like a cigar box and then fill it with chocolate cigars.

Make sure your colour choice is consistent (try and keep it the same shade unless if you are going with a monochromatic scheme), ensure that there is a touch of party decor in every room, and if you are throwing a party for a guest of honour include personal touches that will make them feel special.

Planning a Halloween party? Start in August. This may seem a bit nutty but if you start early you will have time to prepare properly and your decor will come out looking professional and high end.

Look for party decor from unusual sources. Your parties look like a professional decorator had a hand in things. I like to look for possible party decor at garage sales, thrift stores, discount warehouse stores, home hardware stores, clearance sections in grocery stores and home decor stores, and in antique shops.

selective focus photography of assorted-color balloons

Your Party Decor Questions Answered

This guide will help answer some of the most common questions about party decor. By following these tips, you can create a festive and fun atmosphere for your guests. Happy partying!

A good party decoration is a decoration that adds to the overall concept of the party. Really anything can be made into a good party decoration.

I once used a black light and glow in the dark dishes as decor. Would this work at a spa party? No, but it rocked at my son’s 18th birthday bash and it had his friends talking for weeks.

I love the cheap thrill of creating a party on a budget. Working on a tight budget forces you to be creative and careful. It means paying extra careful attention to detail and it gets you thinking outside the box where all great ideas can be found. Some of the ways I like to keep my party budget friendly are:

This is were the mood board becomes especially important. It will help keep you focused and will help prevent those pesky unplanned purchases. Dollar stores, garage sales, thrift stores, and Ikea are all great places to find party items on a budget. DON’T discount your local party supply store. Yes, they can be expensive but with a well planned out mood board a few selective purchases at the party store mixed with less expensive decor items will create an overall high end look.Make your own party decor. Banners, signage, tablescapes, candle holders, centerpieces, etc… can all be made easily and inexpensively. It takes more time but it is not hard to do.Use what you have both inside and outside of the house. Turn to nature for centerpieces, use candle sticks to prop up decor pieces, bring inside furniture outside, bring out those fancy dishes you never touch, use pieces from board games or children’s toys. Photography, collections, books, light strands, and art pieces can all be used to decorate with.

When decorating a food or dessert table basic design elements are just as important as they are in home design. Every table should have a mix of textures, shapes, consistency in colour, and most importantly varying heights.

To create height interest use items found around the home.

You don’t need to buy anything fancy. Just take a look around your house for:

  • Cake stands
  • Upside candle holders
  • Books
  • Painted or stained boards on wooden feet
  • Tiered trays
  • Plant pots
  • Boxes
  • Wooden crates

I get it. You want your party space to look amazing and you have all these great ideas but then you hesitate… how are you going to hang them without damaging your walls? Let me help:

  • Command hooks is a host’s best friend and they come in so many variations these days. You can get them in metal finishes, black, white, clear, large, small, and window friendly.
  • Use a strip of painters tape and a glue gun to hang up your decor. Just stick the painters tape to the wall, and then glue your decor onto the tape. Afterwards, simply peal of the painters tape and all is well.
  • Clear fishing wire is fantastic for making things look like they are floating in mid air. Just attach it with a clear command hook or tape and no one will see it.
  • Hang decorations from areas that no one will see if any damage occurs such as the tops of window frames, door frames, or on the upper inside of cabinets.
  • Magnetic wreath attachments are great for metal doors. For other types of doors opt for over-the-door wreath hangers. These can easily be spray painted to match your decor. Garland can also be hung using hangers on your stairs, above door frames, window frames, or fire place mantle.
  • Zip ties, rope, twine, ribbon, fishing wire, dental floss, and yarn are all great options for hanging decor.

How Can I Make Party Decorations Look Expensive

The difference between an expensive looking party decoration and a cheap looking decoration all comes down to attention to detail. A few of the tricks I use to make my party decor look more expensive is to:

Skip the plastic cups, paper plates and plastic utensils. Opt instead for real deal and bring out the good stuff. Decorate with trays, vases, urns, and candle sticks all add to the overall feel of the party.

And then carry it throughout all aspects of the party. Have this concept show up in the food, the decorations, music, and favours BUT stay away from matchy-matchy. Not everything has to have flowers on it just because you are hosting a garden tea party.

I know I am starting to sound like a broken record but this can’t be stressed enough. Nothing looks cheaper or messier than four versions of blue. Use up to 3 colours in your colour scheme and keep them all in the same shade,.

I personally like to stick to one type of flower per arrangement and I love using unexpected vases.

If creating your own decor (something I highly recommend because it is fun, cheaper, and you have complete control over the look) pay attention to detail. Cover the sides of pieces, use embellishments, and paint / spray paint can make anything match your colour scheme.

To represent the concept. Such as dollar store blankets and slippers in a basket at the front door for those needing to warm up after the outdoor portion of your sledding party. True story.


If you don’t have or don’t want to use your good dishes, glassware, utensils, or table clothes rent them from your local party supply store. This is also great if you are having a large party. Done carefully this can be an affordable option, it can provide you with everything you need, and the best part is that they clean it all for you. Love it!

Unexpected but appreciated party decor ideas

People love photo booths and everyone has a cell phone so it’s easy to do. Hang a frame, set up a few props and let your guests do the rest.

Are an especially great idea if you are having an outdoor party, a shower, or a BBQ.

I don’t care what time of day or type of party you are hosting there is an appropriate music selection for every event and it needs to be included.Food – By this I mean, using food to add to the overall concept. Sugar cookies can be made to look like anything you want them to. Apple crisp baked in cast iron pans look awesome at a pumpkin carving party. I once ate baked Klick on a Ritz cracker at a 1950’s inspired Tupperware party. Awesome idea!

If you are having kids at the party make sure to include them. Have an area for them to go to where they can find age appropriate activities. Include foods, beverages, and desserts that they too will like.Favours – Are always a nice touch and they can be displayed as part of the decor. Keep them simple and make sure that they with the overall concept.

Jenny’s Finishing Thoughts On The Beginners Guide To DIY Party Decor

By having a plan, paying attention to detail and applying a little creativity planning a spectacular party for when the time comes is really within reach. Just keep your concept consistent, think of your guests needs above all else and I guarantee your party with be a smashing success.

Let me know what is the first party you are planning to host once this crazy time is over?

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