Congratulations on your engagement! We know you're dying to celebrate, but we know you're also trying to watch your budget -- so we've come up with loads of easy, fun DIY decorations that will make your engagement party a truly memorable affair.
A luau calls for tropical flowers; however, to save money, pick up flowers from the local grocery store in the colors to match your party and place them in a bamboo-type vase. Then, buy a box of preserved orchid blooms from a local market, or order them from a site like SaveOnCrafts. Use the orchid blooms to fill in spots on the table and in your flower centerpiece. This will be less expensive than ordering expensive arrangements, but no less lovely.
Paper lanterns make everything more festive. Tie a few to the ceiling or chandelier using fishing line or beading wire -- something invisible so they look like they are floating in the air!
Once you've got the big decorations in place, set up a buffet table (one of the easiest ways to serve lots of people) and set the mood with a few of our favorite DIY craft projects.
Customize a pack of paper napkins using rubber or foams stamps and an ink pad. Pair your first initial with your fiancé's, spell out your names, share the wedding date, or simply stamp napkins with the word "LOVE." Whatever you decide, this project makes for a sweet, personalized presentation.
First lay out where on the napkin you would like the initials to rest. Stamp the first letter and then use a ruler to help guide you to where the rest of the stamps should rest.
To continue the initial theme, use the same rubber stamps and ink pad from the napkin project to stamp your initials onto cork coasters -- or simply add a festive paper cut out. Our coasters are from Ikea, but you could also do this project with circles or squares cut from a roll of cork or cork tiles.
Follow the same stamping procedure from the napkins for the cork coasters. (Tip: Dark colors show up best). For a splash of color, use leftover scrapbook or wrapping paper to punch out 5" circles and adhere to the coasters using a glue stick.
Simple Utensils Holder
Get creative and put those empty cardboard beverage/beer holders to use on your table as a utensil holder.
Trace and cut pieces of card stock or wrapping paper to fit the four sides of the beverage container. Adhere using a glue stick. Do the same for the handle, cutting a piece to fit each side, cutting out a hole to fit the handle's shape. To make a tag, spell out "UTENSILS" using small letter-shaped rubber stamps and an ink pad. Tie the tag onto the holder using colored embroidery floss.
Paper Grass Table Skirt
Whether you decide to serve buffet-style or have a sit-down dinner, forget a pricey table cover. Start with a piece of leftover colored fabric or linen to create a pretty table runner. Then, dress up the table in a paper grass skirt!
Cut a length of kraft paper or postal wrapping paper wide enough to fit along the front edge of your table; make it long enough so that the edge just hits the floor. Next, measure a few inches down and draw a line using a pencil -- this will be your guide as to where you will start making slits. Cut the area below the pencil line into fringes, trimming the paper every couple of inches. Tape the "skirt" to the front of your table. Use the same idea to create a skirt for a wine carafe or bottle. Add a bloom to jazz it up.
Treat the ladies at your luau to a pretty orchid for their hair! Place a glue dot on the end of a barrette or metal hair clip, then secure a faux flower or preserved orchid bloom on top. Your guests can take these home and wear them all summer long.
Welcome guests (guys and girls!) with their own lei to wear for the party. Cut a length of beading elastic about 12 - 18 inches long. Cut a clear straw into 2-inch long pieces.Thread a flower bloom and then a length of straw onto one end, leaving a tail of about five inches or so. Tape the tail to a table to secure. Next, continue stringing a flower followed by a straw piece until there is only about a 5-inch tail left on the other side. Carefully remove the tape from the tail on the table and then tie the two ends into a secure knot. This is a fun craft for guests to do during the party, too!
Enjoy your engagement luau!