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Party Planning - Party Decorating Tips

Party Resource Guide
Presented by Event & Wedding Planners

Hot Party Themes

Sports Parties Mardi Gras Hollywood Party Fiesta Party Luau Party
Sports Parties Mardi Gras Hollywood Party Fiesta Party Luau
Nautical 20's to Disco Parties Casino party ideas Safari or Jungle Party Western Party Items
Nautical 20's to Disco Casino Night Party Safari or Jungle Party Western Party

Setting the tone for your party can be easy with some basic decorating tips. Whether you are using a "theme" or have decided to use a color scheme, choosing your colors is the starting point to creating an inviting atmosphere. 

Colors Scheme:

When using a color scheme use one or two main colors and build around these. If you choose to use only one color for your decorating, try to add little touches of another color or a lighter or darker shade of the same color to create a more pleasing effect. Adding little splashes of white, black, gold or silver will not detract from your main color choice, and the effect will be considerably more dramatic! 

If you have decided to go with a "theme" for your party use colors that relate to that theme.

When using a "theme", choose basic colors, then add some fun props related to your theme to create a spectacular party setting! Here are a few ideas for some color choices for "theme" related parties, but by no means does it represent the only choice that would be appropriate!

  • Southwestern (Fiesta) orange, yellow, red, purple, black, green
  • Luau or Hawaiian lots of brights green, yellow, purple, blue, orange, hot pink 
  • Fifties  - 50s-black,yellow,red, purple, hot pink
  • 60s & 70s - turquoise blue, banana yellow, orange, red, lime green
  • Jungle black & white zebra prints, varying shades of green, varying shades tan & brown, natural burlap fabrics, with splashes of orange, red & yellow
  • Casino Night black, white & red, with splashes of green & yellow 
  • Music black and white with little splashes of red 
  • Nautical navy blue, red & white 
  • Asian red, gold & black
  • Hollywood Black, white, gold or silver
  • Mardi Gras- Gold, purple, green.

Personalized Banners

Greet your guests by hanging a personalized birthday banner from your front door or entrance, with a special message for the guest of honor. If you have decided to use a theme, then use a custom theme banner. A fabulous way to add spunk right from the get-go! 

Large Props, Scene Setters & Photo Murals

Transform a room by using Large Props, Scene Setters or giant Photo Murals. You will create a greater impact using one large decoration rather than a lot of smaller decorating items. If your budget is low, but your dreams are grand, consider the depth of a giant photo mural, it will fill an entire wall, and better yet, it provides guests with the most realistic setting imaginable. Murals also make an excellent photo background too. Large Props and Scene Setters also provide more depth.

Using Glass Vases & Cylinders

To create a colorful tabletop, place different sizes of glasses, vases & cylinders filled with colorful sports drinks (food coloring stains glass) down the center of your banquet table. Fill glasses to the top (this keeps the focus on the glassware, not the liquid inside). Add colored glass plates to match.  Wrap napkins with a simple ribbon and set a large glass marble on top for the perfect finishing touch. 

Take plain glass cylinders, cover the outside of the glass cylinders with stickers (dots, geometric shapes & etc.). Add an oasis cage to the top of the cylinder (a size that fits down into the top of the cylinder). Cover the oasis cage with carnations. For a whimsical touch, tie feathers together and secure with wire, top each arrangement with the feathers.

Filled Glassware like: flutes, goblets, snifters, votive holders and mugs provide a gorgeous addition to any tabletop. Set one at each place setting on tables, or group several together in the center of the table.

Candles for mood lighting...

Being surrounded by flickering candles is a sure "fire" way to boost the mood. A room in any condition will look great illuminated by the glow of candles. Candles are a great way to pull together a sophisticated color theme. They add mood lighting.....Use candles, candles, and more candles in a shade to match your color theme. Use pillars, tapers, balls, and votives, fill all the tables with various sized candles and keep them lit throughout the evening. Remember that cooler candles will burn for a much longer period of time. Prior to the party, put your candles in the refrigerator or freezer. 

For a romantic tabletop, nothing beats red & gold. Use a red & gold damask table cloth. For your centerpiece, use 12 unscented white pillar candles* (different heights). On some of the candles wrap a piece of 1-1/2" to 2" red & gold ribbon around the candle base and secure with a pearl tipped floral pin. Place each candle on a gold candle holder (different heights). Group the candles in the center of the table or for a romantic dinner for two, place the candles on one side of the table leaving room on the other side of the table for your place settings.

*Use unscented candles in any tabletop arrangement to preserve the scents of the food.

 Display candles on a round or square mirror, and add gem stones, curling ribbon curls or confetti to the base for a beautiful centerpiece. Use glitter candle colors, including mixed glitter, glitter banded, volcano glitter, mini confetti (primarily gold, silver and iridescent), different wax colors, stacked wax (combine two or three theme colors), or gel candles in numerous colors.

Floating candles can be placed in a glass bowl, or several different sized wineglasses filled with water on a mirror and look absolutely lovely. Color the water with food coloring to match your color theme for a unique effect. (food coloring can be mixed to achieve just about any color you need!)  Add candles, and colored or clear gemstones and enjoy the dreamy look you have created! 


Order napkins to match your color theme, and have them imprinted with a special message. Even without incorporating a theme in your decorating, you can still delight the guest with a message that lets them know how much you care. You can choose from a wide range of napkins and ink colors. Select a metallic foil, holographic foil, prismatic foil, or traditional ink imprint. The napkins will serve several purposes: great decorating in disguise, and a delightful memento for the guests. 

Bring color to the table via cloth napkins. Give each person two napkins slipped into one napkin ring. Use two different colors, two coordinating patterns or one patterned and one solid-colored napkin. A colorful setting can be achieved with little effort this way.

Non-personalized napkins to match your theme can be located in the theme parties sections, & birthday sections.

Tie napkins with curling ribbon, gossamer steamers, or add theme related items decade theme items, holiday theme items, or items associated with your special event to serve as a napkin rings. Beads, bracelets, necklaces, headbands, rings, ribbon, and flowers, are all great items to use for napkin rings. Place your napkin in the center of each plate at an angle. The cutlery can also be added before the napkin is tied.

Unfold the napkins, pinch each in the center of the napkin, and place the center point in the bottom of each glass or cup. This adds a decorative touch while the glass or cup is still empty.

The napkins can be laid out on a serving table, or can be displayed at each place setting. Place napkins in the center of each place setting at an angle.

Bandanas are also a great decorating item. Use a themed bandana as a napkin. Use them under a centerpiece. Place six bandanas over the top of a banquet table as an overlay. Don't just think western, there are tropical bandanas, patriotic bandanas, animal print bandanas and more!

Decorating with balloons:

Decorating with balloons, is an inexpensive but powerful way to transform your party area into a festive space in minutes. Find a variety of high quality latex and mylar balloons in all shapes, sizes, patterns, and colors.

On our Balloon Decorating Tips offer instructions on how to make balloon clusters, balloon garlands, balloon arches, balloon columns, balloon clouds, balloon palm trees, balloon fish and balloon flowers. You can also find directions for making rosettes from crepe streamers and accessories for for decorating with balloons.

A simple decorating ideas for a luncheon, baby shower or any special event is to glue real rose petals onto latex balloons. Just use a spray adhesive (available at craft stores), spray one side of the rose petal and stick on the balloon surface. Other flower petals like daisies can also be used.

Balloon arches are ideal for photo backdrops, entryways, or decoration to hi-light different areas around your party room and are easy to make. 

Balloon garlands make the perfect accessory. They can be swagged and hung across the ceiling of a tent, or a room with a high ceiling like banquet halls or a gymnasium.

A column of balloons will work much the same way that arches do, and can be used for entryways, photo backdrop, or for a terrific splash of color when placed at intervals around a party room.

For any fantasy setting Balloon Clouds are dreamy floating overhead. You can fill with helium and secure with a balloon weight or drop them down from the ceiling using fishing line, by doing this you don't need helium. They work will for themes like castles, Cinderella, rainbows, butterflies and gardens. You could also enhance location themes like tropical, jungle, winter wonderland, and etc. with balloon clouds.

Balloons can also be used on your floor space, just blow them up and scatter them all over the floor, your guests will feel like they are floating on a cloud. Scatter single balloons & also clusters of balloons.

Add excitement to your party with a colorful Balloon Drop .

Fill balloons with helium. Tie curling ribbon to balloons and group them together. (Odd numbers look best: 3, 5, or 7)  Place groupings of balloons around the party site.

Tie a bunch of helium-filled balloons to the guest of honor’s chair, or tie one balloon to the back of each chair around the birthday table.

Fill balloons with helium and attach to a balloon weight to create inexpensive centerpieces.

If you choose not to use helium, tie balloons to varying lengths of curling ribbon and hang balloons from the ceiling or from a light fixture over the party table.

Inside your front door, hang an enlarged picture of your guest of honor displayed on an easel. Attach helium filled balloons or a mylar balloon displaying their new age! 

Use Curling Ribbon for accenting your decor:

Curling ribbon is a  necessity when decorating! It can be used to anchor balloons, attach curling ribbon clusters to accent balloons. Make into curls and scattered over tabletops for an inexpensive and easy decorative touch. Curling ribbon is available in a multitude of colors, and is easily "curled" with the blade of a pair of scissors.

What is Gossamer and how is it used:

Transform any drab venue with gossamer. Gossamer is a beautiful, lightweight "fabric" that creates a stunning dreamlike setting for your party when it is draped or hung. You can create fabulous decorating touches for your party with gossamer and it is very reasonably priced and holds its shape beautifully.  Gossamer is available in a multitude of colors and theme patterns, and there are different widths to fit any of your party decorating needs. You are in for a delightful surprise, if you have never used gossamer in the past for decorating.

Gossamer can be used in a variety of ways when decorating. If you are decorating a large area, or want to make any area look more intimate and festive use gossamer.

It is perfect for hiding the supports, corner posts and steel frame that often show inside of a tent if you will be using one. 

Hide unsightly walls, ceilings and doorframes with gossamer by draping, swaging, or covering just about anything. Wrap gossamer around columns, stair rails, or balloon arches in your theme colors. Twist or braid two colors together for a stunning look. Transform any room into fantasy location. 

Create a tent-like appearance in any room by gathering the gossamer at a central point in the ceiling and draping it to the walls. 

Use it to accent your table by swaging it at the top edge of your table skirting. Make bows out of gossamer streamers to hang on table-ends, chairs, doorways, stair rails or anywhere. Gossamer holds its shape beautifully and can be used at a fraction of the cost of wired ribbon. 

Use it to cover banquet or reception chairs. Drape a piece of 19" gossamer across the top of each chair back, and then tie a gossamer streamer bow around the back of the chair. The bows can be cut to any length, and even look lovely with tails trailing on the floor. If you have ever used chair bows you know how costly they can be, but gossamer is budget priced and very affordable.

What can I do with Streamers? 

Decorating with streamers is fun, and it's an easy way to add a flourish of color to your party room with just a few simple steps. 

Instantly transform your room by draping 2" or 4" wide streamers in your theme colors from the ceiling's center to the room's sides, then attach a cluster of balloons to the ceiling where your streamers meet. For added effect, twist the streamers after they are anchored to a ceilings, walls or a table. To create colorful two-tone streamers, place two different colored streamers back-to-back, and twist for a unique look. Simply twist them as you walk toward the wall, or anywhere you think a good place to attach your streamers would be. 

You can also gather 6-8 streamers and attach them to your walls (mounting them in corners and on opposite-facing walls works well). Then, twist them and attach them to the ceiling in the center of the room. 

If a tent-like look is not your preference, they also look terrific hanging from doorframes, cascading vertically down walls or hanging horizontally across ceilings.

Streamers can also be used to accent tabletops by making rosettes that can be attached to the corners of table, they can also be used to make bows for gifts. 

Light fixtures are a good place to attach your streamers, add a small cluster of balloons and some curling ribbon clusters for a marvelous effect. 


Ideas for using Background Paper:

Cover a wall with seamless paper and allow guests to leave messages, clever doodles, or creative outlines of themselves for the guest of honor. A really fun keepsake! Start by creating a message of welcome or a greeting to the guest of honor on the sign prior to the party. Then you can clip the doodles and messages after the party and preserve them in a scrapbook! 

Transform any large room into a spectacular party place. Cover walls, doors, floors, and windows with rolls of seamless paper, decorative flat paper, or poly vinyl. The paper and the poly vinyl both come in a stunning array of colors, and patterns: stars, marble, brick, checkered, cobblestone, and water. 

Transform ceilings into a starry night sky with a star background paper in black or blue with gold or white stars! 

What can I do with Corrugated Paper? 

Corrugated paper can be used to "build" props and setting pieces like nothing else. Use it to make columns, faux staircases, structures (pirate ships, a fairy castle, a tiki hut, an enormous basketball. Let your imagination run wild), and to cut out shapes and 3-D designs to fit your theme. Huge geometric shapes are perfect for a general color theme. Corrugated paper can be cut or folded, stands without support, and comes in 17 basic colors, 7 metallic colors (wonderful reflective quality), and 31 different patterns. Checks, bricks, cobblestones, bamboo, lattice, shingles, marbled? you name it! 

Using Columns in decorating:

Columns provide an elegant decorating touch. Ready-made columns can be accented with gossamer, streamers, or garland, and topped with plants, balloons or corrugated cut outs. They also look sleek and sophisticated standing alone or grouped together. Columns provide a grand entry-way or a great photo backdrop, and also work well to section off a large room (food area, mingling area, etc.) 

How to use Curtains when decorating:

Block off areas of a large room or hide the food service area with curtains. Use shimmering fabric for a fantasy land feeling. Metallic, vinyl, star, holographic and cracked ice curtains in a dizzying array of colors provide an economical way to add dazzle to doorways, food areas, or photo backdrops. 

Add sparkle with Twinkle Lights:

Add twinkle lights to balloon arches, strands, columns or clouds, to gossamer swags and ceiling tents, table edges, around the perimeter of a room, and to hi-light signs, banners and corrugated cut-outs. 

If there are trees around (even indoors), add twinkle lights to the trees or make twinkle light balls by wrapping the lights around Styrofoam balls and place them in the trees (with an extension cord). This makes a really unique round light effect. 

Twinkle lights look lovely when strands are placed down the center of a tabletop. While a white cord blends well with most color schemes, if you want to stick with your color theme, try this idea. Remove the bulbs from the light strand, and spray-paint the cord to match your theme color. Tape dangling light cords to the underside of the table or to the floor. Lots of oohs and aahs will follow! 

Nothing adds ambience to a room like lights and candles do.

You might also consider using disco lights, lighted paper lanterns, chase lights, and strobe lights that can add to your party decor.

Tissue Decorations an economical choice:

Tissue balls
, tissue flowers, & tissue fans, will never go out of style! Hang them from the ceiling over your party area in a color to match your theme. They look terrific mixed in amongst balloons. If you are using just one predominant color in your decorating, they will look especially good as they provide an interesting mix of textures. Tissue flowers are a wonderful complement to the balls and fans. Attach tissue flowers to walls, doorframes, table edges, or tabletops. Tissue decorations are perfect for those working with a limited budget as they add bold splashes of color at economical prices. 

Garland a must-have for any party setting!

Garland is ideal to mold around centerpieces, outline the edges of tabletops, wrap around candle bases and votives, garnish gift packages, twine through balloon bouquets and wind around columns.

Sprinkle it with Confetti:

No respectable party tabletop should be left without a sprinkling of confetti ! However, confetti isn't just for tables anymore! Try sprinkling confetti or sparkle powder in a color to match your theme on a dance floor, an outdoor pathway leading to your party location, in party invitations, or even inside balloons for a great, unique touch at a budget price. 

Luminaries an affordable alternative:

Luminaries provide an easy, very inexpensive tabletop decoration. The candlelight glows softly through the slits for a dreamy effect. Set three or four down the center of a table, with confetti scattered between them, or set one at each place setting. Line walkways, entry paths, room perimeters or stage fronts with these simple but popular decorations. 

Chandeliers for instant elegance! 

Turn your party location into a glittering, sparkling fantasy location. Chandeliers add instant elegance and glamour to any setting at a reasonable cost. They are perfect for dances, Hollywood parties, any time the mood calls for a romantic atmosphere. Silver, gold, white or black chandeliers will complement any color theme! 


Theme Party Decor & Kits

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  Theme Parties N More is a wedding & event planning company located in Cypress, TX. Our party & wedding planners have put this website together to provide our visitors with ideas for planning their events, this includes links to products that can help you to make your event extra special. In accordance with the FTC Guidelines we are disclosing that some of the vendors that we link you to, pay us a commission when you purchase products from them, but some of the vendors do not provide us with any compensation.


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