I wonder if Claire ever threw Brianna a Sweet 16 party in the “unknown years” of Outlander between books one and two. Perhaps Brianna celebrated her kids’ birthdays with parties too. Well, having thrown a huge celebration for my own daughter recently, I wondered how these parties would have been decorated. Today’s blog is all about affordable party decor. Although most of the decorations in today’s blog are for a Sweet 16 party, they can really be used for any type of event – Quinceanera, bridal shower, retirement party, 50th birthday, other milestone celebrations, and even an Outlander gathering. First choose two or three complementary colors to use for the color scheme of the party. Then, purchase simple clear bowls and fill them with either decorative fillers or river rocks. Next, top them with flowers in the chosen color scheme to make nice centerpieces. Finally, scatter a few pieces of confetti or glass beads upon the tables to add additional splashes of color.
There are a variety of bowls and fillers at Target, WalMart, and Michaels. Below are some samples to use from Michaels.
The decorative fillers are available in a variety of styles and colors in 42 oz. bags. The river rocks come in 2 lb. bags. There’s a large selection at Michaels to meet any decor theme.
You can either use fresh or artificial flowers in the bowls with river rocks. Here, I grouped three smaller flowers in a bowl, but you may also use one large flower. To make them more visible, place the bowl on a doily – it can off-set similar colors.
Another simple centerpiece can also be made using a decorative charger, like the burlap-lined example below. I added a potted plant with a photo of the celebrant. I printed a mixture of pictures from through-out their life to add variety amongst different centerpieces. Be sure to attach a photo to each side of a stake so it can be visible from both sides of the table. You can add some river rocks and acrylic beads on the charger to add just a bit more zing.
Napkins can also be a part of the table decor. Both paper, as well as cloth napkins, can be folded in a festive manner. Here is a simple way to fold paper napkins that also hold the utensils. Take two different color napkins and place one on top of the other. Fold the side corners in – this becomes the back.
Fold only the top corner of the top napkin down and inward on the front. Tie a ribbon around the center. Finally, slide a knife, fork, and spoon into the pocket.
Alternate which color is on the top to make a pattern.
Streamers always add color without breaking the bank so add some paper and tissue pom poms in a complementary or contrasting hue to complete any party look. These are from Michaels and are also available in different sizes and prints.
Including a couple of photos (such as a first birthday portrait and a current photo) is an endearing touch and enhances the entrance of any gala. Below is a sign-in station for guests. I placed a journal to serve as a guest book so visitors can write a message to the honoree – this also becomes as a special keepsake.
There it is – a modern decor for a 21st century Brianna. Simple, easy, and inexpensive designs are all you need. In the end, a party is all about memories that will last forever and the adornments add a unique touch. We would love to hear about your creative ideas so leave us a comment below.
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