In our home, almost everything is made by hand including party supplies. Not only are they handmade, but many times we find a way to make them from recycled materials. Try a few of these easy and fun projects.
GLITTERY LETTERS – Paperboard glitter letters are reusable decorations that you can use year after year. If you want a large project, you could commit yourself to making a sign that says “Happy Birthday!” If you are strapped for time, however, you may want to make a simpler sign that says “Party!”
First, draw your letters onto paperboard from an empty cereal box or food package and cut them out. Next, paint the brown side of each with a mixture of glue and water. Sprinkle the entire letter with glitter and set it aside to dry.
Once all are glittered and dry, lay them in order backwards and face-down. Stretch a piece of string or yarn across the back of the letters and tape it to the back of each one. When finished, it should be hung from the wall like a banner.
If you do not have glitter, you can use craft paints to paint each one, or you can do a theme like flowers on a pink background for a girl or blue and green polka dots for a boy.
LONG CENTERPIECE – If you have a long table that needs some kind of centerpiece, try this easy idea. Set a row of empty glass bottles with the labels removed down the center of the table. Place one real or fake flower in each.
PARTY CONFETTI – Before shredding and recycling your bills, go through them and find those that are printed on colored paper. Using a hole punch, punch confetti circles from the borders of the page where there is no print. This confetti is easily vacuumed up and you can even use it outside because it is 100% biodegradable.
FUN TABLECLOTH – Are you wanting something fun and decorative to protect your table with from partygoers? Try papering your table with newspaper comics! Save the comics section from a few newspapers and glue them together along their edges. Drape them over the top of the table, fold the edges under, and tape them securely. You can compost it after the party.
BALLOONS – This isn’t actually one that you make yourself, but it’s definitely a green party decoration alternative. When buying balloons for your parties, always buy the reusable shiny Mylar balloons (the ones that are mirrored on the back). You can reuse them many times, unlike the latex balloons which have to be thrown away after one use.
BORROW FROM OTHER HOLIDAYS – Raid your Halloween and Christmas decoration boxes for ideas. My favorite idea is to get out your Christmas lights and put them up for party decorations. They look pretty in the day and at night. The colored lights are particularly fun for birthday parties. You could also host a Halloween themed party (any time of year!) and just use your Halloween decorations. The kids can all wear costumes to the party.
COLORFUL TWIRL DECORATIONS – You can make festive party decorations from large pieces of scrap paper such as newspaper comics, craft paper, or colored butcher paper. Cut a large circle in any size you like from a piece of your paper. Starting from the outside, cut toward the center of the circle in a spiral pattern going around and around toward the middle. When finished, you should have what looks like a spring. Pull the center down slightly and hang it from the ceiling. Putting up several of these looks very fun in the party room.
PAPERBOARD CUTOUTS – You can make all kinds of party themed wall decorations from paperboard. I like to use the paperboard from cereal boxes and other food packages. Trace your design onto a piece of paperboard, cut it out, and paint it using craft paints. You can create cartoon characters, animals, trucks, flowers, hearts, balloons, and other designs from used paperboard.
DISHES AND CUTLERY – If you don’t trust the kids with your regular dishes, you can feed party snacks that don’t require any dishes such as cupcakes or ice cream cones. If you need forks and spoons, use plastic ware that you have saved and washed from take-out meals.
If you like these ideas, you may also like my article on how to make a kids party piñata from recycled materials located here: