Disclosure: this post may contain affiliate links, which means I may make a commission if you decide to make a purchase through one of my links, at no cost to you.

Did you know you can buy helium balloons at the dollar store? Shiny foil ones in tons of colors? Until just a few weeks ago, I had missed this useful piece of info.

new years centerpiece

My friends and I love having parties. They’re usually not the Pinterest-worthy, everything-perfected kind of deal, but they do include the important stuff: a group of people enjoying each other’s company, acting silly, and taking photos with bad lighting and phone cameras.

new years photo backdrop

As the new year approached, my friends and I decided that we wanted to have a big one to say goodbye to 2016. We wanted to dress up. Drink champagne. Come up with goofy themed cocktails and, for a change, actually decorate.

Guess who volunteered to provide the decorations?

Without wanting to spend a fortune on those absurdly expensive New Years Eve party kits (because when the choice is champagne vs party hats, you choose champagne), I got resourceful.

diy new years decorations

This post may contain affiliate links — for the full disclosure policy, click here.

Most of what I bought new came from the dollar store, but I kind of challenged myself to try to reinvent what I could find around the house into anything that fit into a New Year’s Eve color scheme (I went with classic gold/silver/black/white). I had multiple rooms to decorate, so spending as little as possible was a huge factor.

For instance, I took this janky old tree that had a past life as Christmas decor that should have been donated to Goodwill a long time ago (come to think of it, did I originally get it from Goodwill?)…

…I took it apart (the branches came off with a quick tug), and used it as vase filler.

I also nabbed a number of dollar store altar/devotional/prayer candles and gave them a small makeover with some gold leaf flakes and Mod Podge that I had in my office‘s craft supply (you can use actual gold leaf adhesive as well, but I wanted to see if good ol’ MP would work as a decent substitute… it worked great!).

The idea was that by combining a big mix of accents all in the same color scheme, it would work out to a massive centerpiece for my friend’s kitchen. I wound up including jars of Hershey’s kisses, smaller candles, old Christmas ornaments, etc…

I took most of these photos at my house while the actual party was at a friend’s place. I would show you the actual setup itself, but I 1) had to rush off to dinner when I dropped off all the decorations; 2) the lighting was low; and 3) getting a perfect shot for my blog would have seemed like the silliest excuse for interrupting the flow of the party. Thankfully though, I took these pics as a preview to send to my friend prior to, so I can share them with you! ;)

Because it seemed like the party wouldn’t be complete without them, I made some photo props with hand lettering, a glue pen (I highly recommend this ball point one), a wooden dowel variety pack (P.S. kabob sticks are a good substitute if you can’t find them), and lots of glitter (mostly with stiff scrapbook paper).

(By the way: some of my favorite glitter is this collection from Martha Stewart. I also have a number of colors from this Tulip collection, but I like the MS ones better because it’s finer as far as the size of each flake and overall sparkle.)

If you’re wondering about the star-shaped foil confetti: I used a star punch and a foil gift bag from the dollar store. Like I said — I got resourceful!

Finally, I made a sign out of some lettering and plywood with a perfect-for-this-particular-friend-group-and-my-sense-of-humor phrase. I intended on drilling through the letters to make a marquee style sign (A Beautiful Mess was probably my biggest inspiration), but I ran out of time and needed to wash the paint off so I didn’t look absurd in my fancy dress. Still, thanks to some $3 dewdrop lights I picked up at the Target Dollar Spot, my friends made it into a perfect display!

“I’m sure I’ll finish it at some future date” – me, probably lying to myself.

As for the photo backdrop, I created the “Happy New Year” banner using the same glue pen/lettering idea and some fishing wire, along with balloons and white tablecloths from the dollar store (to put in front of the windows) and gold foil curtains I ordered on Amazon. By the time I actually snapped some photos in front of it, the banner had fallen and we’d made a huge mess, but everyone seemed really happy that we finally had a spot that was designated for photos (at our previous parties, we were always noticing that we wanted one in hindsight).

The “2017” tabletop lettering: dollar store balloon weights, bamboo skewers, paper, glue pen, glitter. If I were to do this one over again, I’d probably make the numbers bigger and stand-alone with black glitter as opposed to the circle with gold numbers idea.

At the party itself, we set up a table with a black tablecloth with the 2017 numbers above, along with a huge spread of plastic champagne flutes (a big thank-you to Candice for assembling them all!). So, once midnight hit, all we had to do was pour… and pour… and pour.

Anyway, it was a lot of fun to just see what spilled out of my head and overall holiday boredom. This was basically what I call classic crafting — the kind where you gather your supplies and just start creating with no real sense of direction, perfection, or polish, and that’s what makes it fun. You make a big mess, somehow get glitter in your bedsheets (still not 100% sure how that happened), and maybe produce something that you’re not super embarrassed to decorate your friend’s house with.

We had such a wonderful time; the perfect way to kick off 2017 and celebrate. I’m hoping this will be a big year for the UDH and all of the projects I have planned, so for now, I’ll just wish you all a Happy New Year; lots more to come, and cheers, friends!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Comment Policy: I love comments, especially if they make me laugh. Feel free to let your words of wisdom and humor fly (there's no swear jar on this blog), but if you're overly spammy, rude, or just plain boring, you're just going to have to accept that your comment may not see the light of day. P.S. If you leave an affiliate or monetized link when making a comment on this site, such links might get overwritten by a plugin I have installed that uses my own internal tracking. See terms and disclosure page for more info! Thanks in advance. You rock.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

2 Comments

  1. I love love your post very much. And the tabletop lettering is amazing i would do it and make my home more amazing. Love the home decor ideas. I totally got inspired of you. Thumbs up!

  2. I love to host parties but this year my sister is going to host the new year eve’s party. She is a totally newbie, But I’m sure she can get some help from your post and you can save the day. Thanks for sharing such great ideas.