Tuesday, January 20, 2015

a party experiment

I was talking with some people when I was home last month for the holidays, about Pinterest, and about how beautiful things look that that might see there, but how they are unattainable they feel due to time and expense and the like. So I thought about it for a while, and fell down a bit of a Pinterest wormhole in the name of research, and when I crawled back out again I decided to see if I could do it myself.
Of course I had to set myself a few guidelines so I didn't have a party-splosion on my hands, therefore I decided to do a 'dinner party' set for four people and to use only things that I already had, plus a budget of 20 dollars for supplies, and one afternoon for execution, aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand this is what I came up with.

After all of my research, and then putting little scene together, I had a few conclusions. First, color makes everything look more festive, and in fact sticking with a single color or even a color family can become it's own 'theme.' Second, things like backdrops, party favors, place cards, even a special cocktail, can be pretty simple to create, but make it all feel a little more special. And thirdly, twinkle lights are never a bad idea.

So, as to how this all came together, I started by looking through my cast off fabric box and grabbing this teal crushed velvet for a tablecloth  then went to the kitchen and looked at my dishes. Clearly there was a green thing going on so with that in my mind, I took off to pick up additional supplies. I stopped at both my favorite dollar store (excellent party source) and an arts and craft store, and picked up a big fake plant, mini acrylic boxes and treats for favors (I'll try to have pictures of those tomorrow) twinkle lights, and a big pack of green construction paper. And on my way back to the apartment I foraged a few pieces of greenery off of a willow tree around the corner.
The construction paper became the leafy backdrop as well as some super simple place cards, I cut the leaves off of the plant ( they looked less offensively fake to me once they were taken out of their plastic dirt filled pot ) and layered them along the middle of the table with some of the willow. Finally I stung up the twinkle lights for some softer light and a bit of an outdoor patio feel ( I think bistro/globe lights might be even better, however these were at the dollar store and I was trying to keep the shopping as simple as possible ) Overall setting the table itself was super quick, the only thing that was very time consuming was the backdrop and it wasn't that bad. I think it would be neat with oversize leaves as well which would be much quicker.

As to the budget, it shook down a bit like this:
fake plant...................$3
favor boxes................$3
twinkle lights.............$5
construction paper.....$4
This doesn't include glue/scissors/ribbon as I already had some things on hand. Most people probably have lights from the holidays that could be appropriated, and real plants could have totally been subbed in for the fake leaves. All of this is flexible, which I guess was the idea of this whole thing. As to time, it was about three hours, including shopping (and I was actually watching Downton Abbey while I made the background so it may have gone a little bit faster otherwise).
So...... overall it was a super fun experiment, one I think I might need to continue doing (maybe a series?)
I'll post the rest of the photos tomorrow, the favors and cocktail specifically, and maybe a tutorial for the backdrop as well. Hope everyone had an excellent long weekend, and here's to a nice short week!

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