DIY Fridays: Event & Party Planning Resources
Grab some paper and a pen and get ready because for this week’s DIY Friday I will be sharing some of my favorite DIY planning go-to retailers for planning your next event! Welcome to my Little Black Book of retailers and make sure you make through the entire post because I have some awesome planning tips for those of you that may not know where to start!
DIY Vendors & Stores for Party Supplies, Favors, & Decor
Michaels: one of the largest, not to mention my favorite, online and brick and mortar crafts retailer that sells arts and craft supplies, scrapbooking materials, framing, baking materials, baskets, party supplies, decor elements, framing, and a lot more! They also offer a variety of wonderful classes – check out their website for details. They always have coupons, so make sure you grab one before you go shopping and be prepared to spend a few hours in the store!
Dollar Tree: LOVE the Dollar Tree! You wouldn’t believe how many amazing decor and party planning supplies that I have snagged from this retailer from vases, candles, decor items, candlesticks & plate for a DIY cake stand, silk flowers, foam, children books, and so much more! This is definitely one of my go to retailers and each store may have slightly different inventory so you may have to hit up a few. Hint: If you need to buy in bulk you can purchase from them online, usually in cases of 24, and have it shipped to a nearby store for FREE for you to conveniently pick up!
Etsy: online retailer that offers a ridiculous amount of amazing handmade goodies from talented people around the world. Any and everything handmade that you can think of is available through Etsy – invitations, banners, signs, clothing, jewelry, etc. (For an example check out my Etsy Thursday posts – every Thursday I pick a unique and creative wedding theme and then search Etsy for the best handmade finds to fit the theme.)
Amazon: this retailer is known for the awesome shopping experience it provides to its buyers and sellers, with great accountability, ease of purchasing, and wide variety of products. For unique party decor items I can’t find in store, I always search Amazon for the product and have had nothing but wonderful purchasing experiences!
Save-on-Crafts: online crafts retailer with a amazing variety of craft and decor items that at times it is just overwhelming to look at all of their decor goodies. You will find a lot of wonderful items at great prices – so have fun and be prepared to spend a few hours looking!
Party City: online and brick and mortar retailer of party supplies like paper goods (plates, cups, silverware, tablecloths), serving dishes, themed party supplies, balloons, and more!
Joann: online and brick and mortar retailer that sells an amazing variety of fabrics plus some decor elements! If you can sew or work with fabric, this is the place to shop. I recently bought burlap and fabric for a pirate flag from Joann’s for my son’s 2nd birthday party that I did.
Linen Tablecloth: offers a variety of quality linen for purchase at amazing low prices (less than rental rates)! Why rent linen when you can buy it for your next event?
Beau-coup: one of the largest online favor and party supply retailers with creative items for a variety of events – weddings, baby shower, bridal shower, birthday parties, etc.
Hobby Lobby : online and brick and mortar retailer selling arts and crafts supplies, party supplies, silk flowers, and more! (Make sure to keep an eye out for coupon codes and see if they have one available on their site.)
Oriental Trading Company: the largest online US direct merchant of party supplies, arts and crafts, toys and novelties – all at great low prices!
Event Planning Advice
Once you know the event you are planning, whether birthday party, bridal shower, intimate dinner, baby shower, etc., you will want to decide on the following:
- Budget – Decide how much you can afford and are willing to spend for the event. If you are on a tight budget try to solicit the help of a friend or family member to help and contribute in order to maximize your budget without uncomfortably stretching your pockets.
- Theme & Decorations – Use online resources like Google, Pinterest, & Kara’s Party Ideas to find inspiration and come up with a creative concept. It is ok to take a popular theme and add your own twist, unique color palette, or creative addition to make it your own! Or try to come up with something different that hasnt been done over and over again that is outside the box and most importantly relates to the person(s) you are celebrating! Once you have your theme start searching in local stores and online for decorations – if you are as detailed as I am you will make a few trips to a variety of stores and then search online (using the retailers I mentioned above + Google) for the items you can’t find in stores, compare item and shipping prices, and then purchase. It is ok to do a little comparable shopping before purchasing and feel free to search the web and vendor’s website for coupon codes, coupons, and deals! If you are crafty, then incorporate DIY projects into your decorations, thinking of creative elements to add to the decor.
- Number of guests you plan on inviting
- Invitations – Depending upon the event, theme, and person you are celebrating, you will want to decide whether to use an online invitation site like Evite or go the traditional route and mail invitations. Try to make a creative invitation that fits your theme or search online (i.e. Etsy) for a unique invitation to share the details of the event. Nowadays you can buy invitations, paying someone to personalize, make, and print them for you or on Etsy you will find alot of stores will sell you a customized pdf invitation that you can print on your own. If you purchase an invitation that you have to print on your own, buy some colorful or textured paper to print on at home or if you want to save your ink, just order it from an online print shop like VistaPrint or Overnight Prints. Recently, I used UPrinting and had a wonderful experience – they had the best pricing & shipping options, timeline for print and delivery, and I found their process really easy to use.
- Timeline for the event – It is important to have a basic outline of the activities for the day, sequence of events, and a rough time schedule for each activity. You definitely want to plan in advance so that you don’t run out of time to do all the activities you worked so hard putting together.
- Location – You will want to decide if it will take place in a private home or if you will rent a space.
- Date & Time
- Menu (food and drinks) – Keep in mind your budget, theme, type of event, time of the year, and your guests when developing a menu. It is always a lovely touch when it compliments the event. (For example: for a Super Bowl party you will probably want to serve delicious finger foods, bbq, chips & dip, and mini desserts.)
- Games/Activities – Search the internet for creative games and activities that relate to your specific event and theme.
- Favors/Gifts/Keepsakes – Although this is optional, it is always fun to give your guest a parting keepsake. Try to find something that represents the person you are celebrating and/or fits your theme.
- Entertainment & Photography – Based upon the event and theme you will need to decide if you will have entertainment at the event – clown, balloon artist, caricature artist, character, vocalist, DJ, etc. Also, you may want to hire a photographer to capture the decor and special moments or if you are lucky enough maybe you can enlist the help of a friend or family member that is a photographer or takes great photos with a quality camera to help you out.
Here are some party planning resources that I found on Pinterest and think you might find of interest! (Click on the link below, which will take you to the Pinterest pin and then you can click on the pin to get to the original resource and information.)
Now are you ready to party? I am! Just waiting for the next event I can plan! If you are not the party planning type, don’t have the time to do it, or just don’t have a creative or DIY thumb, then call/email me! I am available to help plan your next event and/or develop the creative decor that will give your event the WOW factor and keep your guests talking for months! (Check out my most recent event that was featured on one of the largest party inspiration blogs – Kara’s Party Ideas!)
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