Washing the dishes at the end of a long day, you think about how you can barely keep up with the day-to-day routine.
There are crumbs all over the floor you just cleaned. You didn’t get to the overflowing laundry pile today. Lunches to pack, homework to check, kids to get to bed.
On top of that, your child’s birthday is coming up, and you really want to throw a nice party.
But how can you handle party prep in addition to all the draining housework and all of the other things going on?
With these tips and tricks, you will be able to throw an awesome DIY party without going crazy.
1. Choose 3-5 DIY party ideas and that’s it.
With Pinterest being an easily accessible party-planning archive, it’s typical to feel overwhelmed with all of the ideas out there.
Instead of trying to do everything, which can end in half-hearted efforts or stress overload, just pick a few manageable party DIYs.
This will put a creative spin on the party, without all the pressure.
For my friend’s son’s truck party, we chose 3 party DIYs – a cardboard truck photo booth cut-out, truck goody bags, and a pin the wheel on the truck game.
It was a manageable amount of work, and it creatively tied in the theme of the DIY truck party.
Definitely browse Pinterest or Google images to see what’s been done before. This will help you to brainstorm or even emulate ideas.
And, there are lots of easy DIY party ideas out there.
2. Cut corners with your time, where you can.
Designing, ordering, stamping, and mailing an invitation too much? Save yourself time with an Evite.
Cooking not your forte? Do a few crockpot dishes or order a few dishes from a local restaurant. Baking a cake too time-consuming for you? Order it from the bakery.
Spend your time where YOU feel it is most valuable.
Remember, you can delegate tasks out to reliable family or friends.
For every family party, my sister’s job is to work with the photos – whether making a photobook, collage, or slideshow. She never lets us down, and it’s a task I don’t have to worry about.
Also, prioritize your list, so that if you don’t get to everything, you aren’t disappointed.
For my son’s Sesame party, we barely got to set up the last game “Grover’s Obstacle Course.” We literally threw some pool noodles on the ground along with some balls.
Of course, the toddlers didn’t mind, and I didn’t either because this was low on the priority list.
3. Keep entertainment simple but creative.
Whether it’s music that goes with the party’s theme or party games for kids, entertainment can bring a lot to a party.
Since it can be overwhelming to know where to start, look for what’s already been done. Lots of websites have free templates and printables that can make your planning a piece of cake.
For baby or bridal showers, pick a game or two where most of the work has already been done for you, a game with easy prep or free templates.
We played such a fun game at my friend Meg’s shower – Mustaches and Tiaras, where all of the prep work was done.
For kids’ DIY parties, think easy. Kids love coloring or craft stations, playing with trucks in the sand, or having an egg race.
These activities can easily be adjusted to go with the party’s theme. For example, if having a vehicle party, instead of an egg on a spoon, use a race car on a spoon.
Station games are also great – and they can be made from foam boards from the dollar store.
You can literally make a Pin the “Blank” on anything – characters, animals, trucks, etc. I personally love using felt for these – since felt sticks to felt.
If planning a DIY anniversary party, put together a soundtrack with popular songs from the year the couple married.
Entertainment doesn’t need to be elaborate, or even time-consuming. Think easy – and don’t forget you can also delegate.
4. Do as much as you can early.
Creating, making, and shopping without of stress of a deadline is much more fun.
So, choose a few things that you easily get done ahead of time – like shopping for decorations or working on some DIY party projects. Then, get these done as early as you can.
This will free up your time closer to the party for things like cooking, food shopping, and cleaning.
For my dad’s Beatles party, I started working on the decorations a month or two ahead of time. I would cut letters for banners while I was watching television or had a few minutes of downtime here and there.
I had all of the decorations and games finished early, so the week of the party, I could focus on cooking and cleaning.
Planning and creating are so much more fun when you aren’t working against the clock.
5. Shop smart.
Prior to the DIY party, as you are doing your regular shopping at the grocery stores or craft stores, keep your eyes peeled for party things you can stock up on.
For example, take advantage of sales on paper products – plates, plastic wear, napkins, etc – or even decorations. I bought an abundant supply of ribbon at Michaels at 70% off before the winter holidays.
Months later, I used the ribbon to make banners – and was so happy I didn’t have to make a special trip out to the store.
For kids’ goody bags, it might be smart to steer away from food with all of the allergies out there.
If you are wondering what to give, the Dollar Tree and A.C.Moore have great deals for just $1. You can find cute kids books, stickers, coloring books, and learning games.
Choose a few that go with the theme of your DIY party, and you’re all set.
Speaking of the Dollar Tree, it wouldn’t be a section on shopping smart without mentioning that this chain has the best selection of all the dollar stores. Dollar Tree has all kinds of books and games. Their party section doesn’t disappoint: table cloths, paper products in various colors, pom-poms, and all kinds of other party goodies.
A few trips to Dollar Tree will definitely shorten your to do list – and not be a big hit to your wallet.
Remember, shopping early helps too. When shopping without the stress of a deadline, you tend to easily find the things you are looking for.
And the Housework…
Birthday parties are days that your child anxiously awaits. Even though a DIY party will make your to do list a little longer, following these 5 simple tricks will make the party planning more than manageable.
And, about the housework, no one will notice how clean the kitchen is or see the overflowing laundry baskets hidden away.
Of course, the floors will be dirty again in five minutes, whether or not you had guests over.