What are some party decorations?

Throwing a party can be a fun and exciting way to celebrate a special occasion or bring friends and family together. An important part of party planning is choosing the right decor to set the mood and transform the space. Party decorations help create an immersive atmosphere and make the event more memorable.

What are some party decorations?

When selecting party decor, it’s important to consider the occasion, theme, venue size, budget and personal style preferences. From birthday bashes to holiday gatherings, here are some popular party decoration ideas to spark inspiration for your next event.


Balloons make any party instantly more festive. These fun, inexpensive decorations are available in every color and can be filled with helium or air. Balloon arches and garlands are trendy now and create a focal point over food tables, doorways or photo backdrops. Other ideas:

  • Latex balloons – Traditional, rubbery material, available in solid colors or patterns
  • Mylar or foil balloons – Shiny and metallic, perfect for milestone birthdays or New Year’s Eve parties
  • Giant balloons – Oversized orbs make a statement and are perfect for photo ops
  • Balloon bouquets – Cluster balloons together like flowers for centerpieces or seating decor
  • Balloon curtains – Suspend balloons from fishing line to divide a room or backdrop
  • Balloon letters & numbers – Spell out messages, age or year for photo backdrops


Banners are versatile, inexpensive decorations that can reinforce the theme and add personalized flair. Choose materials like fabric, paper, tinsel or plastic sheeting. Options include:

  • Photo backdrop banners – Print special messages or photos on banner material as a selfie station or photo booth backdrop
  • Pennant banners – Triangle flags in coordinating colors strung across open spaces or above food/drink areas
  • Foil fringe curtains – Flowing metallic fringe makes a glamorous entrance or stage backdrop
  • Fabric tassel garlands – Lightweight triangular pennants in metallic fabric or colors
  • Paper pom poms – Kindergarten classroom classic can be glammed up in glittery paper or tissue


Centerpieces serve both form and function, decorating tables and providing focal points. Vary heights, colors and materials for visual interest. Centerpiece ideas:

  • Floral arrangements – Fresh or artificial flowers make colorful centerpieces. Choose blooms to match the theme.
  • Balloon bouquets – See above, clusters of ballooths in coordinating colors.
  • Candles – Groupings of pillar candles, tea lights or candelabras make lovely table accents.
  • Lanterns – Paper, glass or metal lanterns with battery-operated candles create a warm glow.
  • Terrariums – Mini indoor gardens with succulents or air plants make living centerpieces.
  • Fishbowls – Fill clear glass bowls with decor items like shells, beads, pinecones or marbles.

Garlands & Streamers

Garlands, streamers and other hanging decor add movement and visual intrigue from above. Popular places to hang them include doorways, mantels, stair railings and ceilings. Options include:

  • Crepe paper streamers – Twisted paper curls come in every color. Hang in arches or swags.
  • Tassel garlands – Series of colorful tassels link together to form a garland.
  • Pom pom garlands – Fun furry balls clipped together to create playful lines.
  • Foil fringe curtains – Metallic curtains that shimmer when they move.
  • Paper chains – Nothing says “party” like loops of colored construction paper.
  • Tissue paper poms – Graphic tissue paper shapes (stars, circles) strung together.


A sprinkle of confetti livens up any party with dots of color and sparkle. It’s most commonly used on floors or tables, but also makes a fun filler in clear balloons. Confetti comes in many varieties:

  • Paper confetti – Cut shapes or punched circles in bright colors
  • Metallic confetti – Gold, silver, or holographic for a glam look
  • Flower petals – Real or fake petals make romantic confetti
  • Glitter – Add sparkle with loose glitter or glitter shapes
  • Confetti balloons – Clear balloons filled with confetti for centerpieces

Signs & Banners

Custom signs and banners spell out the occasion and reinforce the theme. They make great photo backdrop props too. Materials include:

  • Fabric – Lightweight canvas or cotton for indoor/outdoor use
  • Paper – Cardstock, poster board or paper banners
  • Chalkboards – Reusable boards with chalk messages
  • Acrylic – Clear plastic sheets that can be written on and wiped off
  • Wood – Painted signs in wood or MDF give a rustic vibe

Party Favors

Send guests home with a small memento of the celebration. Favor ideas include:

  • Candy – Individual sweets or take-home bags
  • Cookies – Packaged cookies or small baked treats
  • Soaps – Pretty guest soaps make nice favors
  • Seeds – Packets of flower or herb seeds
  • Candles – Mini votives or tea lights in colors
  • Bottle stoppers – Toppers that seal open wine bottles
  • Coasters – Useful favors guests can use at home
  • Keychains – Custom keychains with initials or meaningful trinkets

Using Decorations to Create a Theme

Party decorations are key for transforming a space and creating an immersive atmosphere around a central theme. When all elements work cohesively together, it brings the theme to life.

Here are examples of popular party themes and how to decorate to achieve the look:

Black & Gold Art Deco Party

  • Black, gold and silver decor
  • Feather boas, fringe, sequins, metallic fabric
  • Geometric shapes (triangles, diamonds, zigzags)
  • Mirrored decor like disco balls
  • Feathered, beaded or crystal headpieces
  • Bold graphic posters or prints

Bohemian Garden Party

  • Floral decor in bright, bold colors
  • Lanterns, flower garlands, paper fans
  • Macrame, lace, burlap or muslin textures
  • Distressed wood signs with nature-inspired quotes
  • Picnic blankets, throws, cushions on the floor
  • Outdoor string lighting

Nautical Party

  • Navy, white, red, rope and burlap
  • Life preservers, oars, fishing nets
  • Nautical flags, ship wheels, telescopes
  • Sand and shells for centerpieces
  • Under-the-sea themed paper goods
  • Paper sailboats, sea creatures, starfish

Groovy 70’s Party

  • 70’s music playing
  • Lava lamps, disco balls, retro posters
  • Bright neon, psychedelic patterns
  • Funky furniture – bean bags, hang chairs
  • Fringe, patchwork, tie dye fabrics
  • Peace sign and smiley face cutouts


Lighting helps set the mood and transforms spaces from day to nighttime ambiance. Use lighting decoratively to accentuate decor rather than just illuminate.

String lights – Indoor or outdoor lights with bulb or lantern options. Drape from ceilings, trees, awnings.

Uplighting – Illuminate walls, backdrops, focal decor with LED uplights on the ground pointing up.

Table lighting – Vary height with pillar candles, lanterns, LED ice buckets, cylinder vases.

Pattern projection – Use gobos to project lighting patterns onto floors and walls.

Budget Friendly DIY Party Decor Ideas

Throwing a party doesn’t have to be expensive. Get creative with homemade decorations and DIY projects to design a unique party look on a budget.

  • Tissue paper poms – Easy decorative balls to hang as garlands or clusters.
  • Tassel garlands – Make cheap party tassels by wrapping yarn around cardboard.
  • Yarn pom poms – Cut cardboard discs and wrap with yarn to make furry pops of color.
  • Paper chains – Staple loops of colored construction paper into festive chains.
  • Pennant banners – Use triangle templates and colored paper to make flags.
  • Felt balls – Cut circles of felt, use glue to shape into balls for table scatter.
  • Tissue paper flowers – Gather and stack layers of tissue paper into paper flowers.
  • Paper cones – Roll paper into cones, decorate with colors/designs to hold snacks.
  • Reuse decor – Repurpose holiday or event decor year after year.


Party decorations are an essential component for setting the scene and mood of any celebration. Whether planning an elegant soirée or a backyard barbecue, decorations help transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. The key is choosing elements that reinforce the occasion and theme so that everything works cohesively together. With balloons, banners, lighting, DIY projects and more, the possibilities for festive, budget-friendly decor are endless. Focus on the must-have decorations first, then add accents to take the ambiance over the top. With thoughtful planning and creative execution, you can design an unforgettable party your guests will rave about.

Key Takeaways:

  • Match decorations to party occasion, theme, venue size and budget.
  • Use a mix of decor elements like balloons, banners, centerpieces, garlands.
  • Lighting helps transform spaces from day to night for a party atmosphere.
  • DIY decorations can help you save money while adding personalization.
  • All decorations should work together cohesively to bring the theme to life.
  • Focus must-have decor first, then layer on accents to elevate ambiance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are cheap ways to decorate for a party?
A: Cheap party decor ideas include using items you already have at home like vases, baskets, frames and candles. DIY projects with paper, yarn or other inexpensive craft materials also help cut costs. Reuse holiday decorations year after year.

Q: How much should you spend on party decorations?
A: Budget 10-15% of total party costs on decorations. For a cheaper party, aim for $2-5 per guest on decor. For more extravagant affairs, you can spend up to $15-20 per guest.

Q: How do you decorate a room for a party on a budget?
A: Use lights, garlands, paper decor and balloons to transform a space. Cover tables with inexpensive paper tablecloths and use vases, candles or other items you already own as centerpieces. Reuse any decorations you may already have.

Q: What are trendy party decorations?
A: Current party decoration trends include balloon garlands, neon signs, fringe/tassel accents, floral installations, geometric patterns, paper pom poms.

Q: How do you choose a party theme?
A: Consider the occasion, time of year, honoree’s preferences, and venue when choosing a theme. Select something that excites you and that you can create cohesive decorations for.

Q: How early should you decorate for a party?
A: Decorate 1-2 hours before the party start time. For more elaborate decor, you may need to start the day before. Just don’t decorate too far in advance or decorations can get damaged.

Q: What should you not forget when decorating for a party?
A: Don’t forget lighting, wall/ceiling decor, music, entrance decor, photo booth props, table linens, accents like confetti.

Q: How do you decorate a hallway for a party?
A: Hang streamers, garlands or string lights overhead. Use wall accents like framed photos, mylar balloons, neon signs. Set up a selfie station with props.

Q: How do you decorate stairs for a party?
A: Adorn stair railings with ribbon, garlands or flowers. Use removable hooks to hang decorations on staircase walls safely.

Q: How do you decorate a fireplace for a party?
A: Drape garlands across the mantel, display balloons or floral arrangements on top. Put luminaries along the hearth. Hang paper fans or medallions above.

Q: What are the most important areas to decorate for a party?
A: Focus party decor on key areas guests will see like the entryway, main party room, food/drink stations, photo booth space.

Q: How do you incorporate party colors into decor?
A: Table linens, candles, balloons, paper goods in theme colors. Wall/ceiling accents like banners, garlands, pennant flags. Uplighting.

Q: How do you decorate walls for a party on a budget?
A: Use things you have – framed photos, artwork, string lights. Make paper pom poms or fans, paper chains. Hang inexpensive fabric, streamers.

Q: How do you make cheap but beautiful centerpieces?
A: Use items from nature like pinecones, flowers, leaves, seashells. Repurpose household items like vases, lanterns, teacups. Scatter confetti, beads, or other embellishments.

Q: What are kid-friendly party decorations?
A: BALLOONS! Also paper chains, streamers, banners they can color, pennants, pom poms, fairy lights, glow sticks, pennant flags.

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