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Ideas for inexpensive but very nice table decorations?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
We're throwing a surprise party on Saturday for my MIL and her wife because they never got a reception or any formal kind of recognition of their marriage. We decided to leave it until after they came back from their honeymoon, and I'm in charge of decorating the place. I can do balloons, I can do streamers and whatnot, but I want a nice idea for table decorations as well... but something that ain't going to cost the earth.... anyone got any suggestions?
post #2 of 20
How about a simple flower arrangement? If you have a large glass or vase, make a simple flower arrangement inside the container and fill it with water above the arangement!

I always think these look lovely and they're cheap as you don't need to have many flowers to fill the vase - plus the water magnifies it!
post #3 of 20
How about helium balloons? BALLOONS ALWAYS "MAKE" A CELEBRATION!
Ideally I chose to put a cluster of 3-5 on each table but if $ is tight you can always do every other table with 1 then 2 then 1 then 2 etc.....or 2 then 3 then 2 then 3 etc....depending on how much $ you want to spend. They are usually about $1 each.
You can weight them by tying the strings to a couple of heavy washers (that you get from a hardware store )and cover the washers with a pew type bow, if you know how to make them, or have someone who can do it for you. (Wide CRAFT ribbon is not expensive) The 2 tails of the bow can be cut long so they can extend down the table both ways a bit.....just to elongate the color of the bow.
Or , for an even cheaper, but pretty weight, you can take a sandwich baggie, fill it at least 1/2 way with salt, set the baggie in the center of a piece or 2 of tissue paper and gather the tissue up around it and tie it off to create a little package with the tissue points sticking up ...then tie your balloon ribbons to it. You could use crepe paper twists down the length of the tables with this...or not.
Also a small bag of those little glittery cut outs could be sprinkled down the center of each table to add a touch of whatever color you are accenting with. 1 bag goes quite a ways...some will end up on the floor though...but they sweep up easily, and usually you have to sweep after a party anyhow!
If you want candles on either side of your centerpiece you can buy those that are already in a small glass containers. They come in quite a variety of colors. Or buy tapers , if you have or can find glass candle holders.
Sometimes i have bought 2 different sizes of paper doilies, small for under each candle and larger for under the can even add smaller bows to the base of your candles to match if you have used the pew bow in the center of the table.(A lot of these items can be bought from a dollar store)
Another thing that can add a touch of color and character, is to pick up some inexpensive silk flowers in the color of your choice, cut each flower , (or 2 or 3, depending on the size of them and what you think looks good,) loose from the cluster and tuck a few here and there beside or inside the bow (or at the base of the tissue pouch if you use that) and maybe a few at the base of your candles. They do not have to be glued in...they can simply be "placed" where you want them.
If you don`t like the little glittery cutouts idea to string along the center of the tables, but you have leftover silk flowers, you can cut the petals apart and sprinkle them along the center of the table.
If you want your flowers to glitter you can buy a can of spray glue and a small container of CLEAR glitter (Walmart will have these in the craft section) and simply spray each cluster of flowers lightly with the glue, THEN hold them over a paper bag, while they are still tacky, and sprinkle with the clear glitter and lightly shake the excess off into the bag....then stick the stems into a glass or vase until dry (the bag is so that you can reuse the glitter that falls off) Cut your flowers apart AFTER you have glittered them. Glittering bunches are easier and less messy that doing them individually....and you will want to do this outside if it`s warm enough, or in a garage with papers or an old shower curtian spread on the floor.
OPTIONAL: I have bought a cheap can of clear acrylic spray in the paint section of Walmarts too and used it as the glue for the glitter...and it works just fine too.
Whatever you sure you have FUN doing it!
post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 
I like these ideas.... the problem though is it's not a very big celebration. It is literally going to be just 10 people...
post #5 of 20
Then you might want to go with a little bigger clusters of balloons since you`ll only have a few tables. I`ve done this kind of thing with only 1 table for just a few guests. You can get colored napkins, plates and even plastic silverware to match at the dollar stores.
post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
we'll only have one table!! We're in my SIL's house! I'm glad that one will work for it... maybe I'll go have a schnookie and see if I can find some balloons then....
post #7 of 20
Lille Kat.....I looked at your profile...and it did`nt show your location, and chances are you probably don`t live near me....but then again, you never know......I live on the Michigan, Indiana state line, just about in the center of that line in if you are near enough to me you can PM me and i`d be more than glad to make these pew type bows for you if you can pick them up. (I`d give you my address and phone number if so.)
post #8 of 20
Most florest shops will have helium balloons...but they may be a little more expensive.
If you have a Krogers , or other grocery store, near you that has a floral section, they will probably have helium balloons that you can order.
Also some Dollar stores will have them too....just make sure that they have "HIGH FLOAT" to put in them. (It`s a liquid stuff that coats the inside of the balloon to make it stay up longer)
They may even be able to make you a pew bow (does`nt need to be quite that large though) or for sure a florest shop can.....or you might be able to even buy an already made BIG bow at a dollar store that would work.
post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 
hrmn... I dont' even know what Krogers is.... but I reckon I might be able to make my own decoration if I tell them what I want done... there should be a party store around here somewhere.....
post #10 of 20
Do you have a craft store near you? They will have a LOT of stuff there to chose from.
Are you not living in the states?
post #11 of 20
A really pretty way to decorate a table that I have seen lately is using a mirror. Put a round mirror (or any shape, really), in the middle of the table. Scatter coloured confetti over it. Then place your centrepiece in the middle of it - it can be a small vase of flowers with balloons tied to it, or even just balloons on a weighted base as someone described above. It looks really festive and pretty, and makes a small centrepiece look much more elegant and significant.

The other thing that people have been doing here is using betta fish in a pretty glass bowl as a centrepiece. They decorate the bowl with coloured stones and add some flowers that float, and people can watch the fish swimming around. Of course, that would mean that someone would have to own the fish after the event is over.
post #12 of 20
Ohhhhh....I really like the mirror idea! Mind if I "steal" your idea?
post #13 of 20
Heh. Steal away. It's not my idea anyway, I have seen it done at fancy gala events, where they get professional designers to do the tables. I love stealing ideas from expensive professional designers.
post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 
eeheehee you and me both.

I think I got it figured now though - they have two symbols - one for each of their summerhouses - that need to be re-painted (guess who gets that job eh?) one is a ladybug, the other a four-leaf clover. I found a type of paint that puffs up when it's heated, si figured I could go find some smooth round stones and paint ladybugs on in the 3D paint and 4L clovers on in acrylic... and place them on the table with a few silk flowers and a couple of those funny dried twizzly twig things to make a natural centrepiece. Then it's just a case of adding the two big church candles in the piece that I used here the other night and finding some plain green and/or red napkins. We're already going to have balloons apparently because SIL sorted that lot out. So I think I've sussed it..... (I think) I loved all of your suggestions by the way... I even found some of the stuff to do them with and even if I don't use them this time, I can use them the next time I have to host a dinnerparty for RUne's bunch. Would be nice if he cooked though.....
post #15 of 20
My suggestion:
a table cloth and then strewn all over the table are multicilored heart and star shaped glitter and curly Q's of the wrapping ribbon that curls when you run then quickly over a scissor edge. next use simple white plates and stemware and some tea candles in small clear holders or get the floating candles and place in a large low bowl filled with water in the center of the table. add some more glitter to the water to make that "pop" too.
post #16 of 20
I'm with poster Abigail, about the bowls with the floating candles! You can find floating candles now, for quite inexpensive amounts(if a budget is of concern). They often sell them at Big Lots/Odd Lots, and a lot of dollar stores. My sister had a shower and we put shallow glass bowls on each table, (Found them on sale too). We filled them 3/4 full of water, and placed flower shaped floating candles on each table. You can sprinkle confetti around it, if you choose. Then just light those candles and they look so beautiful! Oh, and I just bet that with a mirror under those bowls..... they would look so beautiful and elegant. They have a lot of season-related floating candles out too, right now. Good luck with all of this!
post #17 of 20
Silver wrapped Hershey's kisses look cute sprinkled around the table.
post #18 of 20
Three or four very nice pine cones, with one or two taper candles. Arrange.... can add pretty leaves, flowers, ect........
post #19 of 20
You could also use foil, cut up chocolate and make fancy decorations out of it .. you know what i mean? thats cheap
post #20 of 20
I was at a wedding and they had instead of name tags at the places, pebbles which were painted a love dark browny red kind of colour with out names written on in silver pen. It looked lovely and the idea has been well and truly stashed away in my 'stuff for my wedding' part of my brain. It wouldn't take long because theres only a few of you.
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