HOW TO PLAN A PARTY: INSPIRATION

I wanted to start going into some of the basics, what makes a great party? Well, we know that there will be decorations and food and cake. Or pie, I don't descriminate against those pie-a-holics, I don't understand them, but I am accepting, to each their own. We are all pie people or cake people. Then there are also icing and icing averse...that takes a lot of understanding on my part and I am more likely to be tolerant with you if you let me have your frosting. But I digress.

We know what we will need to have...but finding what theme, well, that takes a bit of inspiration. Where does one find inspiration? When I am designing a party decoration and when I am planning a party I have two different methods. Today, how to get party inspiration.

If I am making a birthday party for an adult or a function, I usually just figure out the decorations first. What do I want to make and how do I want to decorate it? Where is my venue? What options do I have for hanging and display? Many times these things limit the types of decorations you can have. For example, if you are going somewhere that doesn't really have anywhere to hang decorations, you can't make a bajillion garlands. Where and how would you even hang them? This limitation has narrowed the avenue of choices, but that can be a good thing. Small details, such as cake stands, favors and tablecoverings work well with large hanging decorations but really shine when they stand alone. Their shape and color will really stand out and you should use this to your advantage.

If you can have hanging decorations, think of what kind you want to use. I like to use alot of either garlands or hanging poms and lanterns. Very large spaces can have lots of both, but in a smaller room you want to choose one to be your stand out and then scatter a few of the other. From there I choose a color, where I use many variants of the shade) or a colorway of three. For adults, I usually pick either a hot trendy color or their favorite and apply that to the decorations I have decided to make.

For children or even a shower, where themes are usually present, finding inspiration is a little harder. Sometimes you luck out and can find things really easily or your favorite short person declares his party choice. A rule I follow, and probably because I am set against too much prepackaged party products, is to have my boys pick out a theme before we set foot in the party store. Once they have chosen their theme without the influence of party decor displays, it is easier to create a more personalized party. Henry most recently had wanted a hot wheels party because he loves his car collection. We took pictures of his actual cars, it was his idea (he is so my child) and made our own printables. These had more meaning because they were his cars. He chose his favorites to put on the invites, water bottles and tablecloth. There will never be another car party like this because we made the decorations. I think it makes it more special. I guess my point is, find the inspiration from the guest of honor. Decide all of your details before taking that trip to the party store. Once you have a few main details, choose your color or colorway and then go to the party store and find accents, which I prefer in solids.

If your little one is too little, but has a favorite thing, like a puppy, incorporate that into the party. Favorite color? Favorite game? What makes the guest of honor giggle with delight? Search Pinterest for keywords. I use Pinterest for all of my inspiration searches because it is like a gorgeous filter on goodies. Search for more keywords like garland, bunting, parties, shower and even weddings. Search colors to find your perfect shade. Make a board and build from there. Think creatively, can you use this idea in a different color to make it work? Could you make the garland out of something else? Be crazy. Try new things. Modify and paint it to make it more modern. Go window shopping and find one amazing thing. Build from there. The key to themes is to allow ample time to gather ideas. Find something lovely. Be inspired.

If you get stumped, relax. Explore your options. How do you find party inspiration?