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DIY Your Party Decor Without Losing Sleep

Pinterest parties are super cute, but who really has the energy to create them? I know you want your kid’s party to be special, but let’s keep it simple. Here are some party projects that achieve the DIY trifecta: they are quick, easy, and inexpensive!

Candy topiaries

  1. Buy a styrofoam ball at Michaels. Put it on a stick.
    2. Buy some lollipops and shove those suckers into the styrofoam until it’s covered. Done.

This project serves double-duty because it’s a decoration, and the kids can eat it. Bonus – you get to take out some frustration with styrofoam stabbing.

Try other styrofoam shapes, too. You could make a row of lollipops in a styrofoam brick. Add some paper leaves and you have a lollipop garden!

Also think about other things you can buy in bulk. Tape any candy or small toy to a toothpick, and you can jab those into styrofoam too. Just make sure the kids are careful not to poke themselves. 

Poster board

  1. Buy some poster board (it’s cheapest at a dollar store).
    2. Cut it up into cool shapes.

Think big for maximum wall coverage – maybe a giant number for your child’s age. Cut out some giant spirals and hang them from the ceiling, or cut circles and fold them into fans. Put your kid to work and get them to paint or color the things, too.


Balloons are fairly cheap, and can have a big impact if you use them the right way. Instead of hanging one at a time, tie lots of them together and stick the resulting bunch to the wall. If you want something more structured, think about shapes that fit your party theme. You can make flowers, caterpillars, snowmen... anything with round parts. Clear tape is your friend.


Colorful tape is also your friend! Both duct tape and washi tape are available in all kinds of colors and patterns. Wrap some juice boxes in neon duct tape – suddenly, they match your color scheme! Take a plain paper bag and get your kids to help you make it stripey with washi tape – voila, a handmade loot bag. Give cheap cups and plastic dishes a makeover by wrapping pretty washi tape around them. Depending on your venue, you could even stripe your walls or create shapes with bright washi tape.

Cardboard boxes

As we all know, a cardboard box is the best toy ever. But if you can get some big ones, you can turn them into party decorations too! Depending on your theme and the size of your boxes, you can turn them into castles, superhero caves, cars, playhouses or spaceships. Bonus: your guests can decorate them as a party activity!


Listen, garlands are basically just strings of anything. Look around at the store. What’s super cheap? Can you tie or glue that to a string? Does it fit your theme? Buy it! Garlands can be felt or paper cut into pennants or bunting, but you could also use beach balls, plastic dinosaurs or other lightweight toys. Like the topiaries, these can be disassembled and used for loot bags at the end of the party.

You may want to look around and see what’s available before you decide on your theme. To generate ideas, visit your local dollar store, craft store, or party store. Think about things that will have a big impact with very little time invested. Then spend that extra time having fun with the birthday kid!

Katie is a mom who is tired all the time and encourages minimal effort in all things.


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