How to Make Homemade Birthday Party Decorations

by Nina Makofsky

Whether planning for a child's party or an adult birthday party, homemade decorations give the event a personalized look. Before purchasing materials at an art store or a party supply shop, look around your own home for supplies. Look for pieces you can repurpose into DIY party decorations, including fabric, boxes, leftover art materials and colored paper. For a child's birthday party, leave some of the projects for the guests to do themselves. They can draw a banner, create a birthday collage with thematic images or personalize their favor bags.

Items you will need

  • Tissue paper
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Recycled items
  • Fabric
  • Ribbons
  • Patterned paper
  • White glue
  • Cupcakes
  • Frosting
  • Candies
  • Hollowed out eggshells
Step 1

Establish a theme. For a child's birthday party, themes may center around a favorite storybook character or cartoon, or they may involve a setting, such as the beach, the rain forest, under the sea or a castle. For adults, a color theme may suffice. You might also consider creating party decorations that reflect the individual's tastes, such as favorite places to visit or foods she likes.

Step 2

Create a centerpiece. Nearly every party has a main table for food, gathering or cake, and a centerpiece can set the tone. A bouquet of handmade flowers has style. Fold different colors or patterns of tissue paper accordion-style. Wrap a pipe cleaner around the middle of the folded paper to affix it. Spread the edges of the paper gently and a tissue paper rose will bloom. Place the flowers in a vintage glass jar or vase.

Step 3

Decorate with a bright backdrop. Hang a large swatch of fabric from the ceiling for a canopy effect, or attached to a wall for a subtler look. If you want to decorate with fabric outdoors, use clotheslines strung between trees to frame a canopy.

Step 4

Adorn place settings. Tie ribbons around chairs or wrap fake flowers around table legs. Decoupage patterned paper onto glass jars for decorative drinking glasses. Glue paper onto cardboard for eye-catching place mats.

Step 5

Personalize the cake. Jump onto the cupcake trend by cooking a tower of cupcakes that guests can personalize with colored icing, sprinkles, gummy worms, crushed cookies, chocolate chips and gumdrops.

Step 6

Add homemade party favor bags. Cut fabric swatches into squares and gather them with a ribbon or bit of string.

Step 7

Finish with a homemade party game or favor. Stuff hollowed eggshells with confetti and glue a piece of tissue paper over the opening. These party favors, called "cascarones," are a traditional party game in Mexico, where children crack the eggs over each others' heads.

Tip

  • Personalize a party banner by having each guest sign it or sketch a self-portrait on it.

About the Author

Nina Makofsky has been a professional writer for more than 20 years. She specializes in art, pop culture, education, travel and theater. She currently serves as a Mexican correspondent for "Aishti Magazine," covering everything from folk art to urban trends. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Mills College.

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