Thursday, May 17, 2018

{Party Bee} Pinterest-worthy Party Tables on a Budget

Pinterest-worthy party tables are all the rage these days and it is no question that I love myself a fun theme that I can go crazy with the decorations and treats! I am fortunate to be able to design and create a party almost entirely on my own. However, most people cannot do that nor do they have the luxury to hire a party stylist or baker to take care of their party and baking needs….that of course gets expensive. Furthermore, many people are unaware of the amount of time, energy, and money that can go into a table, or perhaps they do not want to spend that kind of time and money on a party, but would like to have a similar look without all the cost.  Well I am here to tell you that there are ways you can achieve a similar aesthetic on a budget! Though it is important to have realistic expectations of what your table will look like based on your budget, as every budget will produce different results (the party tables I have created are most likely on the higher side than the typical party budget, but every budget can generate at least a cute and basic table). Still, you too can create a lovely party table that will receive many compliments! All it takes is a little resourcefulness, creativity, and just the ability to think outside of the box. 

1        Size Matters!

Tables, that is. Before you start planning and decorating, you need to know the table you want to fill. If you are on a very tight budget, keep your table small….filling a large table will only become very costly and if you do not fill a large table enough, it just looks odd (and a little sad). Great tables to use are buffet tables, console/sofa/entryway tables, or a basic 4-foot folding table. Once you know the size of your table, you can determine how you want to fill it!

2        Know Your Strengths

It is good to know what you are good at and what you enjoy doing! This will determine the areas that you can really contribute to the table and will hopefully lessen the need to hire anybody to assist you, which ultimately saves you money! So, think about the following; are you good at baking, are you a whiz on the computer, do you scrapbook, are you crafty? These are all helpful when putting together a table, but being able to do just one of these can be of great assistance.

3        Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and be Resourceful

It is important to know that not everything on your table has to be edible! Using toys and decorations from around your house, that work with the theme not only help with the décor, but also add to the festivity….and will save you money! I also like to reuse when I can….I have reused tablecloths, table runners, and paper for my backdrops. Kraft paper from the dollar store has been very helpful!  I used it for my children’s Western themed party, painted it with chalkboard paint for my daughter’s Minnie’s Bow-tique party, and recently for my kids’ Mario party where I covered a canvas I had in my home and painted it with spray paint and glued paper decorations to make it look like the setting of the video game. Kraft paper is easy to work with and is incredibly inexpensive! Also, do not count out kraft paper lunch sacks….they can be decorated in numerous ways and have many uses!

      Piece of Cake

Baked goods are quite lovely, but can get pricey if you are having a professional make you a custom-tiered cake or decorated cookies. I love the way they look on a table, but are not always necessary. However, if you are going to splurge on one thing, cakes or cookies are the way to go because they are not easy to replicate yourself and can add to your theme and décor entirely on their own. Because I am not a cake decorator and cannot even begin to think of how to replicate a tiered fondant cake, ordering gorgeous cakes is where I like to splurge! Nevertheless, there are also alternatives to those glorious tiered cakes. For example, finding a simple frosted cake from a grocery store and adding small toys, paper toppers or decorated cookies can be just as cute! If you want to cut costs entirely, bake cupcakes yourself or purchase them from a grocery store. Adding small toys, candies, and/or paper toppers work just as well for a fraction of the cost!

5        Party Décor that Pack a Punch for Pennies

Phew, say that 3 times! When I design my table, not only do I like to fill it with toys, goodies and a splurge item, but I also like to determine the things I can use that are very inexpensive but still make an impact on the table. My go-to item is always water bottles! It is very easy and cost effective to purchase water bottles and wrap them with coordinating paper labels. You can also use duck tape, stickers, googly eyes, etc. depending on what you have around the house and what works with your theme. Another item that adds to your table on the cheap are latex balloons! They come in a variety of sizes and patterns….you can even add stickers, construction paper, or mark them with sharpies to draw on faces, numbers, letters, etc. And never forget the power of the dollar store….they can provide you with so many great decorations, craft supplies, and party favors that will help cut costs and fill your table with really cute stuff!
6        Pretty Papers

Purchasing printables on Etsy is an easy way to decorate your table with paper decorations, however if you don’t want to spend the time cutting and assembling paper printables, head on over to Party City, Target, or Walmart and take a look at their party aisle. These stores are very accessible and have so many similar banners, tags, and toppers to choose from that are adorable, inexpensive, and will do the trick! If you happen to be a whiz on the computer, try creating some paper decorations on your own. Even more, if you are a scrapbooker and have
the time, this is the perfect opportunity to create some lovely paper decorations for your table using your existing paper and supplies!

7        Just Buy It!

If crafting isn’t your thing, identify any items you may want to splurge on….if you are on a very tight budget and can’t afford to splurge, no worries, go store bought all the way! The secret to this method of decorating is presentation and packaging! Pull out your platters, cake stands, mason jars, etc. and just present your treats nicely. If you find candies on clearance from a previous holiday (which I absolutely love to do if I can make them work with the theme or color scheme) place them into a treat bag and tie it with a ribbon or paper label and ta-da….perfect party treats ready for display!

Ultimately, the key to putting together these tables on a budget is just being creative, working with what you have around the house, knowing your strengths, and calling reinforcements to assist with the areas that you need help with (i.e. bakeries, dollar store, grocery store, and party store). Remember to have realistic expectations based upon your budget ($100 will not get you a full-blown party table, but you can still create something small and cute) and lastly, have fun with it because in the end parties should be fun and everyone is going to love what you do!

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