DIY birthday decorations make a lot more sense than buying party decorations for every member of my family every year. When you go for store-brand party decor, chances are you are going to get the same old things: balloons, ribbons, and wrapping paper.
When you DIY it, as much as you may make use of the same things above, you can come up with something unique—something that speaks to the person for whom the party is being thrown.
Think about it: if your son, who is turning eight, is into fire engines, you can choose to decorate the whole place with a fire station theme. If you are lucky, you can even convince the local firehouse to let you guys bring the birthday boy in for a quick tour of the engine.
Where were we? Ah, DIY birthday decorations.
Yes, I have a few ideas.
1. Balloon and Flower Wreath
Now, if you are big on celebrations and want everyone in the neighborhood to know where the birthday party is going to be, you could decorate your front door with a balloon and flower wreath. Here’s what you’ll need:
- A foam wreath form
- Balloons (you can go as crazy as you want here, but I would stick to around 50; make them unique and of various colors).
- Fishing line
- Greening pins (about 100 should do)
- A single party hat
Now, there are several ways of doing this, but I like to bunch up the balloons three at a time. Simply bunch up three balloons (don’t blow them up). Make sure they are facing different directions.
Using a greening pin, push these three into the foam wreath form and repeat until the entire thing is covered in balloons, leaving some space for the flowers.
In those spaces, use the fishing line to tie the flowers all around the wreath, too. Make sure everything is tightly packed.
Finally, using your fishing line, attach it to the inside of your party hat, and then tie the line around the foam wreath. And there you have it: a birthday wreath made out of balloons and a party hat.
2. Balloon Arch
Also known as balloon garland, balloon arches are absolutely essential when it comes to birthdays or any kind of celebration. The good thing about these arches is that you can either go big, go small, or both. If you are going big (like I would), here’s what you need to do.
First things first, you will need a balloon garland kit. These kits come with everything you need to make a beautiful balloon arch.
- Balloon decorating strips
- Balloon-tying tools
- Glue strips
When you have your kit, simply follow the instructions in this video to get the perfect balloon arch for your next birthday party.
3. Dessert Pedestals
In my book, there’s at least one day you are allowed to eat whatever junk you want, regardless of how strict your diet might be, and that’s on your birthday. If you are of the same doctrine, then having DIY dessert pedestals will probably sound like an awesome idea.
Here’s what you will need:
- Random plates
- Museum wax
The trick is simple: take however many random plates (depending on the number of pedestals you want to build), then decide if you are going to use the candlesticks or vases (I use both to make things more eclectic).
Using your museum wax, attach the plates to the candlesticks or vases. Use the one with the vases for heavier desserts, such as cakes and cupcakes. The others can be used for candy and other light desserts.
4. Pom-Pom Garland
This is a simple yet impactful DIY birthday party decoration idea. It works particularly well if the birthday party is being held outdoors. Here’s what you need:
- Baker’s twine
- Pom poms
All you have to do is tie the baker’s twine around some pom-poms at random or even intervals. That’s it. You can get different colored pom-poms to make things sparkle a bit more.
Pro Tip: A garland is always an excellent choice for DIY birthday decorations. You can make a garland with pretty much anything you can think of: paper straws, party hats, anything you can push a baker’s twine through. As far as DIY birthday decoration ideas go, this is a “must-incorporate.”
5. Flower Bomb
If you know the person well and know which type of flowers they love, why not flower bomb them on their birthday? This is one of the simplest ways to brighten up any room. The best part is that you don’t have to do much except buy lots of flowers.
You can tie them in little bouquets and place them as centerpieces on the table. You can have them tied as a garland along the window arches; heck, you can have that foam wreath form we started with made out of nothing but the petals of the flowers they like.
6. Confetti Floor and Wall
A confetti floor or wall is easy enough to DIY. All you have to do is throw some confetti and glitter around. For the walls, however, the best approach would be to use some glue or double-sided tape to stick some of that confetti at strategic locations.
I like to have just one specific location. I stick the confetti in a love heart pattern (or whatever pattern you fancy) and use that location as the designated photo studio. Not only does it serve as decoration, but it also has a dual purpose.
It makes it seem like you put quite a bit of thought into it! Who knows, your photo studio DIY might just be the most popular location in the room.
7. Confetti Balloons
As long as we are still on confetti, how about dressing up some of those balloons with some more color to make the pop stand out more, not the other kind of pop? One way to do this is to fill up colorless or white helium balloons with some confetti.
8. Tissue Paper Confetti Art
Yes, tissue paper can come in handy when it comes to DIY party decorations. One way to make good use of tissue paper confetti is to stick it to a wall in the form of a message. You can write anything from “Happy Birthday” to other whimsical messages that hint at the person’s receding hairline. Go nuts!
9. Painted Bottle Décor
This might sound a little complicated or too “artsy,” but it really isn’t. What you need are a few bottles (colorless ones would be best), some paint, and some flowers.
What I do is make sure that I have a few different colors of paint so I can either paint each bottle differently or mix and match the colors on each bottle.
Once they are dried out, all you have to do is stick some flowers in each bottle and use them as centerpieces for the tables. They are unique because you painted each one, and they are special because they are holding the birthday boy or girl’s favorite flowers.
10. Streamer Helium Balloons
This is yet another way to give party balloons more pop. Take a few helium balloons and then tie long, colorful ribbons to them and let them float away with the ribbons acting like streamers.
11. Disco Ball Piñata
Piñatas are always fun! Think about it; they make for an interesting centerpiece that will not only keep the guests talking but also build some anticipation for when the guest of honor swings and breaks it open. Fun all around.
Now, a piñata can be made up of pretty much anything as long as it’s hollow and can be filled with delicious goodness inside. Why not make it a disco ball? Here’s what you’ll need:
- A workspace
- Old newspapers
- A big balloon
Now, before you get started, I should warn you that this can get a little messy. So be sure to cover your work area with plastic or newspapers, which will make the cleanup process a bit less punishing. You should also probably wear an apron and some latex gloves. Alright, here’s what you do.
- Mix the paper mache paste: Take one of your bowls and mix 2 cups of flour, a tablespoon of salt, and 2 cups of water. Start stirring this mixture until it thickens like batter. Keep stirring until this mixture is relatively smooth. Break down as many of the lumps as possible, but don’t worry if there are still some hanging around.
- Cut out the paper mache strips: Take your newspapers and cut them up into strips. You want to make them about 2 inches wide and about 8 inches long. Cut out as many as needed to create several layers as they cover the balloon.
- Shape your piñata: This is the fun part; you can shape your piñata in any way you like. However, since we are looking at making it a disco ball piñata. The trick is to cut out some cardboard and glue or tape that onto the disco ball form.
- Inflate the balloon: This is the center of this whole thing and will form the body of the piñata. Choose a really big balloon that can accommodate enough candy. This means working with a round balloon since we are looking to create a disco ball piñata.
- Layer the paper mache: Take the newspaper strips and dip each one into your paste. Using your fingers, remove the excess paste, and then apply the strip to the balloon. Do this until you have the entire body of the balloon, except the knot, covered. Repeat it three or four times to create layers. Be sure to let every layer dry up before adding the next.
- Let it dry: Give the piñata time to dry until it’s hardened before popping the balloon, pulling it out, and decorating the disco ball as you see fit.
12. Personalized Cake Toppers
Personalized cake toppers open up a whole range of options for the creative in you to explore. One of my favorite options is using the guest of honor’s baby pictures as the focal point of the cake toppers. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Lots of baby pictures of the guest of honor
- Paper straws or long wooden sticks
- Extra paper
Now, the trick is to make sure the photos you get are of the birthday boy or girl making funny faces. You can choose to make them black and white or colored; it depends on how colorful you want all this to be.
Using the extra paper, fashion tiny party hats that will be glued on top of the baby photos. Once that’s done, use the tape to stick these to the wooden sticks or the tape to attach them to the paper straws, and you are done. Now, you can stick them on top of the cupcakes that go on every table.
13. Cupcake Liner Garland
Yes, this is exactly what it sounds like; you are taking a bunch of cupcake liners and pushing a piece of baker’s twine through them to form a garland. The trick is to gather a wide array of colorful cupcake liners to give the whole garland an eclectic look.
You can hang an assortment of these in different parts of the room. These DIY birthday decorations can be a delight to create. Of course, there are other things to think about, such as food and drinks.
But if you are thrifty, you won’t need to pay for much of those either. Here’s a list of how you can get some birthday freebies to help cater for the occasion and stay in keeping with the DIY party theme.