Awesome Party Tricks Under $8 That Will Change Your Entertaining Forever
Price: 50 cents each
Skip store-bought. Personally made invites stamped with guests' names are a special way to get the party started. Design them online or go old school with pretty stationery paper and letter stamps.
Set Out Fresh Flowers
Flowers add a happy pop of color to any gathering, fancy or casual. No need to splurge at the market -- a handful of blooms is plenty. Use one stem per jar, then scatter them around the party zone or string on a garland for some sweet-smelling sophistication.
Mix Up Trays
Why break the bank when what you have is already perfect? Use on-hand plates and trays -- plain or patterned -- to get your grub on the party table. New to hosting? Ask to borrow from a friend.
Keep Track of Glasses
Admit it -- we've all lost a drink in the midst of munching and mingling. Save glasses from being goners with a quick strip of washi tape. Leave a permanent marker at your drink station so that guests can mark and pour as they please. Look for the adorable (and inexpensive) tape at your local crafts store.
Hang a Homemade Banner
For no-fail party style, hang a homemade banner showcasing your favorite prints. Start by cutting a thin stack of your chosen paper into indented or triangle shapes. Use a hole punch to string the sheets together, then hang for all to ooh and ahh over.
Make Confetti Poppers
Price: $2 each
Forget ice cream -- fill empty push pops with something even better: confetti. To make, mix up small scraps of colorful cut paper. (Use patterned, tissue, and/or wrapping paper.) Hole punchers and ridged scissors help create a mix of fun shapes. Look for empty push pops at your local crafts store.
Editor's Tip: These fabulous favors double as decor -- sprinkle the confetti atop tables for some extra glitz and glam.
Price: $2 each
Party colorfully with an assortment of brightly hued baskets. The spray-painted serving ware makes every trip to the table a treat. Look for plain baskets at your local party supply store.
Bonus: Make cleanup a snap by lining the baskets with parchment paper!
Keep Drinks Cold
Don't forget to stock up on ice the morning before your party. Quick tip: Drinks actually cool faster in a bucket of ice that has a fair slosh of salt water in it (not just ice). A few shakes of table salt should do the trick.
Hang Up Lights
Price: $8 for 8 (or $1 per light)
Get the party glowing with a string of hanging lights. The cheap and festive decoration is perfect for wrapping around trees and decks. Look for them at your local hardware and party supply stores.
Use Paper Straws
Sip in style with fun paper straws. Go plain or multicolor -- either way, guests will love the added touch. Look for a pack at your local superstore.
Decorate with Washi Tape
Washi tape is the perfect party tool. It's cheap, colorful, and can adhere to almost anything. Wrap it around trays, candles, glasses, and more to make your party instantly prettier.
Perfect Party in 3 Easy Steps
Whether your event is indoors or out, here are three easy tips for hosting a successful soiree.
Create a Playlist
Pump up partygoers with some sweet-sounding fun: a playlist. A mix with both fresh and classic artists such as Katy Perry and The Beatles will appeal to all tastes.
Freeze Fruit in Ice Cubes
Make a splash with this easy, freezy party trick! Grab an ice tray, drop in your favorite fresh or frozen fruits, cover with water, and freeze -- your party drinks have never looked so good.
Set Out Mason Jars
Price: $1 each
Mason jars are hot right now. Use the trendy, vintage jars for almost anything: cocktail glasses, silverware holders, vases, and more! Liven them up with a quick brush of transparent glass paint, available at your local crafts store.
Make Napkin Pockets
Paper pockets are a cute and easy way to hold napkins and utensils. To make, fold a letter-size piece of decorative paper in half; press in the sides so they just overlap, and secure with colorful tape. (Leftover washi tape is perfect for this project!)