Chic, Cheap Homemade Garden Party Decorations
There is absolutely nothing more offputting than realizing that your party is going to cost a whole lot of money. Don't think for a moment that you have to purchase everything from a party store! A garden setting gives any party that air of casualness that means you can get away with using cheap garden party decorations, and pass it off as beautiful shabby chic. You'd be surprised at what you can find at discount dollar stores, as well as at home and in your local supermarket. With a bit of ingenuity, your garden party can be transformed into something your guests will be talking about for weeks to come!
Plan a Great Garden Party for Friends and Family
First things first, plan plan plan! Planning the party will save you ridiculous amounts of time and money in the long run, and is a lot simpler than you might think. Here are some quick suggestions on how to plan:
- Decide on a guestlist -- Make sure you have a rough idea of how many guests you will be inviting. There is no point in preparing for 20 when you realize you've only invited 10! Write it down, so you can physically see who is coming including any children, and note any food allergies or intolerances if there are any, to help you with food preparation. Most importantly, don't forget to invite everyone on your list.
- Decide on a time -- Daytime? Night time? This will make a huge difference in the types of garden party decorations you might choose to focus on. For the purposes of this article, we'll say daytime, since it will be warmer.
- Plan your food -- I guarantee you that the food will be more important than the decorations! If the food looks drab or cheap, so will the decorations. Let the food become a decoration on its own. Choose roughly 2 or 3 main dishes that have lots of color, or can be jazzed up really easily with beautiful garnishes. Unless you are catering for more than say 30 or 40 people, 2 or 3 big mains will be plenty enough for people to choose from. It's also a good idea to have a couple of plates of finger food that is easy to prepare, such as dry snacks or ready-bought simosas and spring rolls that can just be chucked in the oven whilst you're busy preparing other foods. Don't forget, you can always ask your guests to bring sides as well.
- Finally, plan your decorations.
There is no limit to the types of garden party decorations you can conjure up in your imagination, but there are definitely a few essential favorites that always work. Garden canopies and marquees are fantastic, but can be quite pricey to hire. The key is to try and match together elements from indoors with elements of outdoors, for a flawless blend of home and garden. Here are some tried and tested garden party decorations that are super cheap:
- Candles -- My absolute favorite decoration! You can buy bulk packs of tealights at any dollar discount store, or you can spend up and get LED tealights. If you have a stash of paper lunchbags handy, pop a few pebbles and a tealight in the bottom, and place them around your garden. They look stunning in the evening, and are great for lighting footpaths or steps. No lunch bags? Wrap some paper around the metal base of the tealight to make a paper tube which does the same thing! Big wax candles can also be used as a table centrepiece, or in empty jars around your garden. If you want to get really clever, you can wrap wire around the top of the jar, and hang the candles from trees. Perfect!
- Table dressings -- No need to go all out on napery, just pick a color theme that will suit your garden party and go for it! Table dressings can include paper napkins, cups, plates and table cloths, just to name a few. You can also buy sequin scatters for a sparkly effect on your table, or a paper table cloth for your guests to doodle on if they want to, and which you can chuck out later without having to clean. You can also use live flowers or cut flowers, to really link the indoor/outdoor theme together.
- Ribbons -- I'm talking big rolls of that curling ribbon stuff. It is cheap, and adds gorgeous party texture to your outdoor party. I like to pull off armlengths of it, tie it together and have it float off tree branches, backs of chairs, fences, wherever. Curling them a little bit also makes them look a bit classy. Choose a color that will contrast with your garden, like white or blue. You won't be able to see green or brown ribbon.
- Balloons -- Balloons are so often relegated to birthday parties, but they can really be used for any occassion. Use your ribbon to tie balloons in clusters around your garden. It really lifts the atmosphere and makes the surroundings look ready for a celebration.
- Paper decorations -- If you check out youtube, there are thousands of video tutorials showing you how to make beautiful decorations out of office paper. You can easily string them together and hang them up around your garden, or stick them to furniture for a funky look.
Your imagination is the limit when it comes to garden party decorations, but the few suggestions above will go a long way to making yours a memorable party. Good luck!