Throwing parties can be really expensive! Maybe you have several kids to throw parties for throughout the year, client parties or you love hosting holiday parties. The costs of entertaining can really add up. So here is a list of 21 Hacks for Decorating a Party with Paper Decor!
Inexpensive Party ideas
Years ago, when my first child was turning one, I wanted to make it an epic party. Sadly, I had no budget to do so. I am a stay at home mom. So, we had one income. My husband thought I was insane for throwing a baby a party. (Men…) lol!
So, I decided to get on Pinterest and get creative. I thought to myself, “Well, paper isn’t expensive, so I will just make all the decor out of paper and reuse things in my home that match the Vintage Cinderella theme I have in mind…”
I was so thrilled with how it turned out! So, from them on, I was addicted to going all out for parties and decorating like a crazy woman with massive amounts of paper decor and a minuscule budget.
I have a paper tote for my paper supplies and I keep every scrap of paper because I never know when I will be able to reuse it for another party! (It is just one tote, so I don’t have a serious problem or anything here, I swear. Yes, my husband would disagree.)
Party Craft Ideas
I shared in my Ultimate Party Planning Guide how to save time and money throwing a party. One of the ways mentioned was using paper crafts and DIY paper decorations.
Using paper decor to decorate for a party is so cost-effective, and seriously, the ideas are endless!
From paper flowers to paper food tags, you don’t have to spend very much on your parties with these 21 Affordable Paper Party Decor Ideas!
1. Food Tag Paper Decor
Food Tags! Everyone loves a good punny food tag. In addition, they are great for those, like myself, with food sensitivities. So everyone can be aware of what they are eating!
Food tags are an easy paper decor because you quickly add a uniform look to your party, since every food item has the same food tag. Moreover, they can have a personalized touch by adding in your favorite font and color scheme!
2. Paper Flags for food
Adding paper decor to your food? Why not! Paper flags are a simple way to add your color scheme throughout your menu items, while still eating the foods you want to eat.
I will be honest, there have been a few times I have went with foods that fit the color scheme instead of foods that were practical for a party. However, with food flags, you don’t have to sacrifice practicality for a pretty party.
3. Party Signs
Paper signs can be anything from welcome signs to a party favors sign! As mentioned in my Ultimate Party Planning Guide, I have a few frames that I use at every party for signs.
I feel like party signs are a simple way to use paper decor to tell a story about your party theme. Moreover, they can tell guests what to expect for menu items, favors to take home, where to leave gifts, welcome them, thank them for attending – you name it!
4. Personalized gift tags
If your guest of honor is receiving a gift, might as well add your personal touch and make your own gift tag that matches their party! Thus, this paper decor is practical and pretty.
Feeling unorganized planning your party? No worries! Grab my Free Party Planner Printable to stay on top of all the details!
5. Banner Paper Decor
Banners are so fun and very easy to create with a Cricut, which I discuss a bit further below! This Kate Spade themed party was for my daughter’s 3rd birthday. Nice and flashy for a three-year-old. Although, your banner can be as flashy or as simple as you wish!
Adding an activity to your party is a great way to encourage guests who don’t know each other to interact and have a better time. For instance, if you’re throwing a baby shower or wedding shower, you can have a questionnaire about the guest of honor. You can have worksheets/puzzles about how much a wedding costs, how much new baby items are, etc.
Another cute idea paper decor idea is to design (or find a free printable) that encourages guests to leave advice for the birthday boy, bride-to-be, or mommy-to-be!
7. Game Prizes
Sometimes, guests are resistant to playing the games. So, entice them to play with some prizes!
If you are on a strict budget, your game prize could be a coupon for one free playdate/girl’s day with the guest of honor. Otherwise, you can find simple prizes at the dollar store and add your party theme touch to the prize to thank them for participating and attending the party!
8. Favor Tags Paper Decor
This idea is similar to the game prizes idea. It is fun for guests to leave the party with a favor to take home. So, like the game prizes, I like to add a little note to the favor thanking them for coming!
For favors, the sky is the limit. For instance, I have done anything from candy to popcorn balls. Basically, anything that is small and easy to take with you, is a fun party favor. If you’re on a budget, again, the dollar store is great for favors.
Photobooths are my favorite addition to a party. They are a fun, engaging way to get photos with your guests. Below, you can see my son’s Vintage Aviation Party photobooth backdrop was created with paper decor. So, a really simple way to decorate.
Years ago, I made photobooth props for a baby shower. Some were baby themed and others were just generic. For my son’s party, I added in some vintage pilot type props. You can find free printable photobooth props on Pinterest.
10. Invitations Paper Decor
I really enjoy making party invitations versus spending $15 on Etsy just to get the download. You can easily create invitations in PowerPoint or Canva. For instance, Canva offers a free trial and their images are usually only $1.
Once your invitation is created, you can simply print the invitations at Walmart.com or whichever local store you choose.
11. Personalized Thank You Notes
Grabbing some thank you notes for the guest of honor is always a welcomed gesture. It is nice to have thank you notes ready to go. This is especially helpful when you are hosting a baby shower.
As a mommy-to-be, your guest of honor has a lot on her mind. It is also really nice to have guests fill out the envelopes with their addresses, so she doesn’t have to!
12. Paper Serveware
A simple way to get creative with your paper decor is to grab color coordinated paper plates, napkins, cups, etc. Oriental Trading Co. has an awesome selection of themed serveware, but they also have a great selection of color-specific serveware.
The reason I love Oriental Trading Co. is because I can choose items by party theme, color or shape. In addition, it ships super quickly!
13. Hanging Paper Decor
For my son’s vintage aviation party, I hung paper decor with paper airplanes! This would work great for any room and almost any theme: snowflakes, paper flowers, cars, letters, etc. Let your creativity run wild!
14. Paper Bags
A few years ago, when I was pregnant with my son, my best friend threw a baseball themed shower! She is so creative. She used these simple gift bags, as not only paper decor for that party, but also made them part of a shower game!
Each bag contained a baby related product and we had to touch and feel what was in the bag and write down our guess without looking. The most amazing part of these bags is that you can just swap out the tissue paper and reuse them for any baby shower – just add pink and white or blue and green, etc.
15. Confetti Paper Decor
Confetti is such an easy way to decorate for a party. You can use a hole punch to create confetti and they even make fun shaped hole punchers. For example, I have a heart-shaped hole punch.
In addition, I enjoy using a larger hole punch. You can find the hole punch I use here. Again, these come in all different shapes and sizes too!
16. Cricut Die-Cutting Paper Decor
A Cricut seriously takes party planning to the next level. They are amazing!
I have saved so much money using my Cricut, not only for party paper decor, but also for thank you notes, invitations etc. The Cricut I purchased recently also prints! You can find my Circut here.
Paper garlands can take on all shapes, colors and serve all sorts of purposes! For example, vertical… horizontal…whatever you can imagine. In addition, they add height and interest for your guests.
18. Paper Flowers
Paper flowers are a great paper decor idea for a feminine party theme! Bachelorette parties, baby showers, or bridal showers. They are an inexpensive way to brighten up the room and add different textures and heights to your decorations.
Moreover, there are all sorts of YouTube videos on how to make paper flowers!
19. Paper Party Straws
I am a sucker for decorative paper straws. What can I say? They are cute! Practical and Pretty…
20. Balloon Garland
Hello again, dollar store… The dollar store is a party planner’s dream. Every party has a new theme, so you don’t want to be spending a ton of money on party specific items.
Luckily, balloons are good for any party. These balloon garlands are easy to create. Simply blow up the balloons, thread string through the balloon tie. Lastly, add your paper decor leaves, flowers, letters, or whatever you have in mind!
21. Paper Announcement boxes
How adorable are these boxes?! Creating 3-D announcement boxes really adds to your party! You can make these with square boxes (or cut boxes to be square) and add whatever word you’d like. Thus, they don’t have to be only for a baby shower!
paper decor conclusion
Do not doubt the power of paper! You can easily create a great “over the top” party with just paper and your own home decor.
There are definitely more than 21 hacks for using paper for party decor!
So, tell me, what are your favorite ways to affordably decorate?