Last Saturday I held a party at my house for my 18th birthday. Surrounded by 30 of my closest friends and family, I celebrated taking my first steps (and drinks) of adulthood and it was a truly wonderful night. A wonderful night with that many guests doesn’t just happen on a whim and I spent over a month planning and prepping. In this post I’m going to show you the decorations I bought to add something special to the night. Most of the decorations are either from Kmart or the Reject Shop because although I wanted the night to be special I didn’t want to spend all of my hard-earned savings. So if you are interested on throwing a pretty little party on a reasonable budget just keep on reading.
Food & Drink Accessories:
Colour Changing straws 18 pack ($2 from Kmart) –
Although these straws unfortunately didn’t actually change colour from what I saw, they were still really good quality straws for $2. Here I am as an 18 year old commenting on the quality of plastic straws but they were honestly some of the best straws I’ve used. They’re also pretty pastel tones of blue and pink which is the colour scheme I was looking for.
Cute food flags ($2 from Kmart) –
These little toothpicks didn’t actually end up getting used on the night because I forgot about them until it was too late and all the snacks had been eaten but they are so cute and I will definitely use them for future parties or even a summer picnic. There were three different coloured flags in the pack. There’s pastel pink flags, a mint green design and also some sparkly silver ones. These would look so pretty on a snack platter or even as decoration on cupcakes and other sweet treats and I’m disappointed that I forgot about them.
Floral Cupcake Cases ($2 from Coles Supermarket)
I bought these because they were on final clearance and I still hadn’t found any pretty patty cases for the cupcakes and I really loved the floral cases. Practicality wise these weren’t the best as they are larger than an average cupcake case and therefore a standard cupcake recipe didn’t really fill 12 of these and when it came to eating the cupcakes, the only way to get them out was to tear the paper. But they looked beautiful on the cake tiers and only cost $2 for a pack of 18.
“18” Sparklers (Mum bought them so I don’t know :P)
I really wanted these to go on top of my cake but they are not easy to find let me tell you. I’m still not quite sure where my mum found them in the end but she tracked them down and they were really spectacular albeit a tad frightening.
Mason Jar Glasses with straws ($1.50 each from Kmart) –
These were a last minute addition to the party haul but for $1.50 each I knew they worth the purchase and definitely be used throughout summer regardless. I think these looked amazing on the makeshift bar I created and that area was my favourite in terms of decoration on the night because I think it turned out quite Pinterest-worthy. They come with little red & white stripes which I think could also look a bit Christmassy and due to the lids these will be perfect for summer picnics and days by the pool. You can probably expect to be seeing a bit more of these glasses in future blog post I think.
Gold Frame for Drinks Menu ($8 from Kmart) –
I had been looking at these frames for a while because I really liked the simplicity and style of the geometric frame. I definitely intended to use this as a picture frame after the party but after seeing an idea for a drinks menu on pinterest I decided this was the perfect frame to create that.
I just typed up a list of what each of the drinks I had on the beverage table and what they had in them so that if anyone had allergies or wasn’t wanting to drink the alcoholic drinks then they had a way of knowing what was in the punches without me needing to stand there and explain each time. I also made little labels for each punch bowl so that people could associate the description with the correct punch. I love the way this little DIY turned out and the drinks table was probably my favourite section of the party decorations.
Mason Jar Dual Drink Tap (borrowed from friend for the night) –
Also for the drinks table I borrowed this mason jar drink tap so that I could fill them both with homemade punches and cocktails so that they would be convenient for people to be able to fill their cups easily and also it looks super cute. I’m almost certain that this was from Kmart as well and I think they could still be available but since I wasn’t sure how much use I would actually get out of this after the party I decided to just borrow it off a friend. I would advise that if you are making cocktails or punches with slices of fruit to use these as it lets you get the liquid without getting chunks of lemon rind or apple, etc. If you want to know which recipes I used for these cocktails and mock-tails then keep an eye out for my summer blog post series coming either in November or January where I will show you a bunch of easy but delicious summer party drinks.
Fluffy Flowers ($3 from Reject Shop)
As I was sort of aiming for a subtle wildflower theme for this party, I thought these fluffy flowers would be a cute decorative addition and they were. I hung these from the two columns in the courtyard so they dangled like clouds above everyone’s heads and looked really pretty. I also received several compliments on what an elegant decorative touch they added to the party set-up which isn’t too shabby for $1 each.
Happy Birthday banner ($5 from Kmart)
I bought this banner with the idea of hanging it on one of the walls and having it look quite cool in the background of photos but unfortunately time got away from me and due to a lack of available hanging space it didn’t actually get used in the end but nevertheless it makes a nice party decoration. Just be warned although these balloons may seem reusable, it took me around an hour to inflate each letter and then thread them on the string and now I’m yet to figure out a way to deflate them in order to be able to reuse them for my next party.
Silver, blue & pink bunting ($3 from Kmart)
I wasn’t sure about getting this bunting because my original plan was to have a colour scheme of pale pink, pale blue/mint green & gold but this pack of 3 buntings had a silver bunting that really caught my eye and I decided that I really liked it. So I hung the pink and silver buntings from the photo booth backdrop as a little addition to the background of photos that wasn’t just a black sheet.
Gold & Silver Foil Doilies ($? From Kmart) –
I stumbled upon these in the craft section of Kmart and spent around 5 minutes debating whether to get them or not but in the end the little idea pictures on the back of the packet are what sold it to me. I thought I could place them on platters or under decorative vases or even make another bunting out of them (not that this party needed any more buntings!) In the end I didn’t actually use these either but I will still use them in craft and baking projects in the near future.
“Let’s Party” Framed Print ($4 –reduced from $10 – from Reject Shop)
This is one of my favourite decorations I bought and I fully intend to display this in every home I live in from now until forever because it’s so darn cute! This little “Let’s Party” tassle bunting (yes I know, more BUNTING!) print was something I was immediately drawn to when I saw it but thought it could be a waste of money buying a print specifically themed for parties but other than deciding that I would happily diplay this all year round not just at parties the thing that finally sold it to me was the fact that it was only $4 reduced from $10 as well so I figured that even if there was a chance that I didn’t display it, I wouldn’t really be breaking the bank over it. In case you were wondering, this print is currently sitting pride of place on my desk and will probably feature the background of quite a few blog photos for the next couple of months.
Helium “18” balloons (around $13 from Big W Party Section)
The last decoration I got was something that I feel as if no 18th birthday party is complete without, giant helium balloons! I got these in gold from Big W and they sat upon the table which ended up being a place to put my lovely gifts by the end of the night. I think these look really cool in the background of photos and in case any of your guest aren’t aware of the age you are celebrating turning then these fix that problem.
4x boxes of 3m fairy lights for wrapping around columns ($5 from Reject Shop)
Another thing that I really wanted to decorate with to create a fun but elegant party atmosphere, is fairy lights. These 3 metre fairy lights were $5 each but they are the perfect copper string lights and I have already strung these in several places around the house since taking them down after the party. On the night I had wrapped these lights around the columns in the courtyard. You will also see these in blog pictures in the future as they are just so dainty and perfect for backgrounds of close up photos.
9 m Outdoor Solar Light for down driveway ($15 from Kmart)
When I bought this I wasn’t entirely sure what I had bought it for. After I finally read the name on the box properly to see that it was a solar light I realised that I could put it out somewhere along the driveway as a trail to show people the way to the house as the party started after the sun had already set. My dad ended up hanging it between 2 trees on wither side of the driveway to create an arch of light over the driveway and I love it. It’s still hanging up there and has an built-in setting that automatically turns the light on at sun-set which means that we can leave it up all year round and always have a pretty light arch to drive under when we arrive home of an evening.
Candle/Lanterns ($2 each from Reject Shop a while ago)
I’ve had these lanterns for a couple of years now and have never used them before but they suited the colour scheme of the party perfectly so I placed them on the bar and the drink stand and finally got to use them. I’m pretty sure they no longer stock these but I’m sure you could easily DIY these with mason jars, paint and tea lights.
Selfie Booth Stuff:
Fun Props ($3 from Kmart)
For the DIY selfie booth I set-up I wanted some fun props that weren’t too silly or childish and I came across these. They are in pastel colours and silver glitter and there’s everything from moustaches to unicorn horns and #selfie signs which I thought would be quite a fun addition to the photos from the night and hopefully would provide a few laughs which they certainly did.
Black Tablecloth/Backdrop ($8 from Reject Shop)
Because my house has a severe lack of blank walls I didn’t have anywhere that would make a nice backdrop in photos so I decided to make my own. I knew that I wanted a black tablecloth or a sheet of some kind to cover a large puzzle we have on the wall at the end of the living room but I found it really hard to buy black tablecloths. I stumbled upon this huge roll of black “cut-to-size” tablecloths at the Reject Shop and instantly knew that it would be the best option for the selfie booth backdrop. It’s lightweight so it wasn’t too difficult to hang up and due to a little bit of static from the material it just laid flat against the wall which was good.
Chalkboard Party Hats ($3.50 from Reject Shop)
The final item in this haul is one of the most interesting party items I found. No party is complete without party hats. No matter how old you are something about party hats just completes a party and these are especially cool because they are fully customisable by drawing on them with chalk! My friends and I had so much fun writing funny things on these and taking pictures wearing them and they bring a whole new revolution to the standard old party hat.
I hope you enjoyed this blog post and that it gave you a bit of an indication of what my 18th Birthday Party looked like. Let me know in the comments how old you are and whether you are also an October baby?