10 In DIY projects/ ottawa

party decor: getting crafty

I was recently asked by a fabulous not-for-profit organization I used to work for (PPO) to do the decor for a big 30th anniversary gala they were hosting. My answer was a very quick yes, and I happily got to work on crafting a few things for the big ‘do. There was a very limited budget to be spent on the decor, so I had to get clever about getting big impact on small bucks.

The venue was a room in City Hall that had soaring ceilings and huge windows. This meant that there wasn’t much we could do in terms of lighting or draping, so I wanted to get creative about the the table decor. There were going to be cocktail tables, long tables with silent auction prizes, and buffet tables. Fresh flowers was going to blow the budget and I wanted something with a pop of colour, so I ended up with tissue pouf centerpieces. Sounds weird, but stay with me for a sec and I’ll explain.

First I started out with the base. I grabbed a bunch of terra cotta pots and painted them turquoise, some wooden dowels, floral foam, and white gravel rocks (all items purchased from my local dollar store).

I cut the foam into pieces and stuck them into the base of the pots. This would be what the dowel would stick into, and covered up by the white rocks.

To put together the tissue poufs, I used this tutorial. It has super clear instructions, and the whole process was a lot easier than I imagined (tissue paper and wire are the only things you need). Once I had the poufs ready, I just wound the wire around the top of the dowel, and voila! Some cheerful and ultra-cute table toppers.

Since I was doing all of my decor shopping at the Dollar store, when I came across these little glass spice shakers, I couldn’t resist. They were 3 for a $1 and I knew would make cute little vases. By taking off the shaker top and cutting up a $1 fake flower bouquet (another dollar store special!), we ended up with some sweet little buds to dot around the room.

A paper bunting with patterned paper was another easy little craft project. Just like this one I made for valentine’s day.

We also threw in a photobooth for good measure. Who doesn’t like to goof around with their pals in front of the camera? Some hanging fabric and colourful balloons are all you need for this crowd pleaser.

The whole evening went off without a hitch. The mood was fun, everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, there was some fierce silent auction competition, and money was raised for a great cause.

What about you guys? Helped out with any party decor lately? Any good budget-friendly or DIY tips to share? 

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  • Courtney

    It looked awesome! :D

  • Gemma they’re great! And for a great cause! And easy to make! This sounds like music to my ears!

    • gemma

      Thanks Olga! :)


  • Kim

    I’ve got a bridal shower next month for which I’m in charge of decor and I love the tissue pouf pots! We wanted to do little vases of flowers for decor and then favours for the guests but I think we have more guests than surface to fit so many vases, so we’ll see.

    • gemma

      I’m totally using the ones I made for a baby shower this summer! Good luck with your party, Kim! :)


  • These are great, I have pinned them for some cheap inspiration for wedding decor. Thanks xox

    • gemma

      Nice!! I wish I had done some for my own wedding..!


  • i love the tissue paper pouf table toppers! what a great idea gemma!

  • how2home

    looks really good! love the blue color did you buy that from dollarama? I’m actually making a trip there right now to pick up some stuff to DIY. The flags are so adorable!

    • gemma

      The paint is actually from Michael’s. Can’t remember the name… something beach-related I think. It’s a really bright turquoise.

      Good luck with your DIY projects!! :)