Woman making DIY party decorations

There are so many wonderful events in life that deserve a celebration, and hundreds of ways to honor the special day. Whether you’re throwing a birthday bash for your bestie or hosting a dinner party for work colleagues, party decor can help set the tone for the affair. You don’t have to be an up-and-coming Martha Stewart or DIY expert to create your own event decor and DIY party decorations.

In fact, decorating for a big party can be fun and simple. You can even get friends and family in on the fun and make it a group project. These DIY party decorations will make any event stand out, and you won’t have to shell out thousands of dollars for a professional decorator. 

Top 14 DIY Party Decorations

DIY party decorations: Person decorating a piñata on top of a white surface with decorating tools on the side

When it comes to decor ideas, it’s all about setting the mood. Before beginning your DIY party decoration project, think about the event. 

If someone special is being honored, you’ll want to create decor that features them front and center. If it’s a themed party, think about what elements and colors pair well with the theme. For example, a mermaid theme party may incorporate turquoise hues while a Great Gatsby party will focus on metallics and glamour. Once you have these motifs and colors in mind, you can incorporate them into the decoration ideas on this list.

Whether you’re hosting a birthday party, baby shower, or a seasonal celebration like a haunting Halloween party or a sweet Valentine’s Day or Galentine’s Day soiree, here are 15 must-try DIY party decorations to set the scene.

1. Paper Flowers

Fresh flowers are gorgeous, but they can also be expensive and don’t last very long. With paper flowers, you can create a similar ambiance without worrying about the petals wilting before the guests arrive. From elaborate hydrangeas to seasonal wreaths, there are plenty of different DIY paper flower ideas you can use to make your party special.

2. Party Hats

DIY party decorations: Party Hat Invitation by Greenvelope

Design: Christie Garcia Creative

There’s something so fun and festive about party hats. Best of all, they’re easy to make and you can customize them to fit the theme of your event. Make classic cone-shaped hats in bright colors for a child’s birthday party or go for something more elegant for New Year’s Eve or holiday parties with party crowns in shimmering hues.

3. Tassel Garland

You can easily create tassel garlands using strips of fabric or tissue paper and some twine and tape. Inspired by Charm has a great tutorial if you want step-by-step instructions to make this cheery decoration. Choose fabric or tissue paper in colors that go with the rest of your event decor, or opt to create contrast with a pop of unexpected color. Drape the tissue paper garland around a buffet table or hang it over the mantle and doorways for a whimsical touch.

4. Balloon Arch

DIY party decorations: Iridescent Confetti Balloon Invitation by Greenvelope

Design: Laura Bolter Design

Balloon arches are eye-catching elements that offer a professional look, but are incredibly easy to make yourself. All you need are balloons, wire or fishing line, and some hooks. Use colors that match your party theme and add flowers, confetti, and glitter to take it up a notch. Place the balloon arch over the dessert table or at the entrance to your event. You can even use it to frame in a stage if there’s a performer or as a fixture of a photo booth.

5. Paper Fans 

Paper fans are a staple of party decorations. They’re easy to throw together at the last minute and you can make them as fancy or simple as you’d like. You just need two pieces of paper, which you’ll cut in half lengthwise. Next, fold the paper strips in one-inch wide sections. Glue the pieces together and then open up the fan. You can use different colors of paper to create different looks and you can find printable templates for more complex designs. 

6. Floral Vases

DIY party decorations: Floral Sentiments Card by Greenvelope

Design: Signature Greenvelope

Flowers are among the easiest ways to add life to a party. While professional floral arrangements can be pricey, you can make your own using flowers from your garden or a local grocery store. Grab some glass vases from a thrift store or the dollar store. You can paint them to match or opt for a few different colors to create a festive vibe. Spread the floral arrangements around different tables as centerpieces, or simply toss loose petals on the tablecloths or floor to add a sprinkle of romance.

7. Banners

Whether you’re hosting a birthday party or a bridal shower, a DIY banner helps shine the spotlight on the guest of honor. You can spell out phrases like “Oh, happy day,” “Happy Birthday,” or any other slogans suited for the event. Cut out individual letters or decorate full pieces of paper or cardstock with themed elements. You can also add glitter strips and fringe bunting to make the banner extra special.

8. Piñata

It’s not a fiesta until you break the piñata. While it’s easy enough to buy one, it can be a fun DIY project. You make super simple DIY piñata bags by decorating the outside of white paper bags and securing them with decorative tape. These will burst open easily when hit, but they’re a great option for young kid’s birthday parties where you don’t want to use a stick. 

If you want to go all out, you can make your own piñata using paper mache. Check out these three easy options for smaller piñatas or try more elaborate designs on Instructables.

9. Updated Glassware

DIY party decorations: Striped Straw Invitation by Greenvelope

Design: Clementine Creative

If you host a lot of parties or are hosting an event that only happens once — like a specific age birthday party — it might not make sense to buy fancy tableware or glassware for each event. Also, you might be trying to reduce the amount of disposable wares you buy. A good place to meet in the middle is updating dollar store plasticware or glasses using metallic markers, acrylic paint, or decals that you can reuse or give away as party favors. 

10. Candlesticks

Like flowers, candles are a great way to add elegance to a party. Plus, they’re versatile so the candle decoration ideas are practically endless. You can display several candles of different heights on a table runner as a centerpiece for a wedding or you can add dripping candles throughout the room for a Halloween party. You can also place candles in lanterns to add a cozy feel to an outdoor movie night party or place small candles in Mason jars with fake snow for a wintry themed event.

11. Pom Poms

DIY party decorations: Party On Point Invitation by Greenvelope

Design: Signature Greenvelope

Tissue paper pom poms add a punchy burst of fun to any event. In bright hues, they can be eye-catching and cheery. In softer neutral colors, they can be romantic and whimsical. That means they’re perfect for everything from bachelorette parties to sweet 16 bashes. String a few together as a garland or place them around the room and on tabletops.

12. Chandelier

Make a statement with a DIY chandelier that catches your guests’ attention. While a chandelier might sound super complicated to make, the design can be as complex or simple as you want it to be. You can make one using beads, shimmering fringe, and glistening shells that adorn your existing light fixture. Or you can make paper pom pom balls and fabric ice cream cones to suit your party theme. Head here for more ideas.

13. Dessert Table

Banana Split Invitation by Greenvelope

Design: Becky Nimoy Stationery

One way to dress up an event is to make your food part of the party decor. A dessert table not only makes it easy for guests to grab treats, but it also adds visual excitement to your event. Use tiered stands to display decorative cupcakes or make a DIY sundae station where guests can add toppings like gummy worms, sprinkles, and syrups. You can also make your own cupcake or dessert toppers using toothpicks and pieces of paper cut into shapes that match the party theme (like mini dinos for a dinosaur birthday party).

14. Photo Booth

Photo booths have become a must-have at most parties, offering an interactive experience and fun keepsake for guests. While you could rent a photo booth, why not make your own? It’s easier than you think. You can use anything from tissue paper to balloons or even marshmallows (yes, marshmallows!) to create a stunning backdrop. Add costume props like masks, hats, and giant glasses that guests can wear to amp up the fun. Check out these 32 affordable and easy backdrop ideas.

Throw the Party of Your Dreams

Person painting a small pumpkin

Whether you’re hanging up streamers or making your own piñata, there are tons of different ways to decorate a space for your big event. With these DIY party decoration ideas, you’re sure to find something you love that makes your event extra special. However you choose to celebrate, your event is sure to be a big hit.

Don’t forget to invite your guests in style before the big day. At Greenvelope, you’ll find a huge array of stunning digital invitations for every event. With online invites, you won’t have to worry about heading to the post office or paying for postage. Plus, it’s easier than ever to track RSVPs and you can send out quick updates and changes in a matter of minutes. From glamorous, glittering invites to colorful and understated designs, there’s something for everyone and every type of celebration.