How I Plan Party Decor

I just need to jump out of the cake and shout “I LOVE party planning” and every detail about it!!!!
I’m so flattered when people tell me I should make a career out of it. After putting some thought into it I know it’s a must to share my tips for your next wildly successful party!!!

The focal point of this post and every party I host is always how especially pleasing it is to the eye. Some feedback given to me is that the decor is “over the top”. This always makes me smile from ear to ear because that’s the goal I aim to accomplish. That being said, I know most seek a simpler look which these tips will speak to as well.

First, start with a theme... this is a simple but crucial step in the decor process because otherwise a general party will be planned which is fine, however, it does make more difficult on the host because there isn’t a visual or focus to stay on track. I see it happen from time to time when lacking a theme more money is spent because there is uncertainty which creates doubt which means grasping for straws to make party decor present.

I always ask the guest of honor. I began this process with my one year old daughter as she is growing up. The themes were obviously easy in the beginning because they were my choice. I will say that now that she’s 10 it is still incredibly fun to hear her desired theme and to execute it together with multiple ideas in mind.

I will use my daughter, Midori, who recently turned 3 as our party example. Midi loves picnics and tea parties so her theme was obvious to me to represent her wishes.

Secondly, choose location. This means inside or outside? Large room for decor to cover or small home room or home patios for example? I selected inside because we have been having so many unpredictable thunderstorms lately. I chose to use a room in our home that has double French doors and opens to our courtyard so the girls could have the best of both worlds and play tea party and dress up outside if the weather permitted.

Wall space-thirdly, evaluate and get to know your space. Meaning, wall space for banners, paper mache flowers or photos of the guest of honor to name a few ideas.

Hanging options and theme layout spaces- then look at where you can possibly hang themed items. This is important as this sets the stage visually. For example, I had ideal wall space to hang the birthday banner and paper flowers. I also had a dresser top to set up the teddy bears tea party and a mantle to set candles, drape flower garland, and place large teacups over flowing with fake flowers. I also took advantage of the rooms chandelier in which I hung an upside down white laced parasail. The tea table was placed in the center of the room and was loaded with tea cups and child size tea pots and personalized laminated placemats for each guest. The room became to come to life.

Extras, this is where the fun happens for me and the “over the top” comes to sight. I looked to the bottom drawer of the dresser and staged it open with tons of green leaf garland and large and small fake florals. I had all hostesses wear a ‘derby hat’ if they owned one and if not I happen to have a few collected over the years.

Entrance- this is where the stage is set. I put windmills in the yard and chalkboards shaped like arrows stuck into the ground. I laid out a trail of pink and purple rose petals. When the guests walked in they new where to go and it was fun to follow the trail and balloons.
Food and beverage set up- this is a high priority because guests want to nibble and visit and a great place to continue the theme. This year I used the room off the courtyard as well as our kitchen island where all goodies and beverages were served. I had cupcake tiers, doilies, craffes saucers, more tea cups, girlie glasses and plates elevated with canned food wrapped in wrapping paper to give each tray a different height. I also used some opened Parasails tin watering cans with more flowers coming out of the top and some vases with fresh flowers.
Mission accomplished as you can see from the pictures.
The question I get the most is where do you find all of this stuff.
Visuals- we live in a world of visuals and have resources like the images found on google, blogs and Pinterest. You don’t have to be creative to pull off a themed party. Leverage visuals and I promise once you get started the creative ideas will keep coming. Borrow! I called some friends and asked for to borrow tea party themed items. Also, having 2 daughters and hosting their birthdays, baby showers, Mother’s Day and other events I had a ton of items to create the theme. Coupons and sales- all major craft stores have weekly items on sale as well as online coupons. This is where being a planner is an advantage. When is it not I just asked myself. For example, I mentioned using fake floral in multiple places throughout the party. There are a few times a month when Hobby Lobby has 50% off all floral... I never pay full price for floral.
Good will and thrift stores- this is one of my favorite steps in the treasure hunt as I call it. I shopped for sweet tea cups, saucers and teapots as well as darling party glasses for lemonade. I also happened to find other glass wear and ladies hats to use amongst the theme as well.
Shop your own items- this step should come after visuals. I have a storage area where I store theme decor items over the years. This years party was themed a garden tea party which I also had hosted for my older daughter. I used all of those items plus many “princess party’ themed items from another hosted birthday party. I look at these items as investment pieces knowing they can be used multiple times and then it makes sense to me to spend the money. If this isn’t an option please take the others below.

Happy themed party planning. Now, I want to hear and see from you your next themed party. Pics please and tag me @keelystyle or use my hashtag #keelystyle. I also love party planning at my core so if you’re feeling stuck and have worked the suggestions above please feel like you can also use me as a resource and ask me any questions for help along the way. Pinkies up while tea cups clink for your next party.


Keely NationsMe, YouComment