Now that Christmas is over and done, it’s time to star thinking about New Year’s Eve! But don’t worry–if your budget is a little tight from all of the Christmas shopping, I have some tips for throwing a fun and memorable party without having to break the bank.
1. DIY Decorations – One of the great things about New Years is that there isn’t really a theme that you have to stick to, so depending on what kind of party you want, you can easily create your own New Year’s Eve decorations! If you’re going for a more classy, modern sort of look (like the kind you see all over Pinterest) then contrast sparkles, glitter and shiny paper with solid black and white decor for an easy simple look. If you want a more fun, homemade party look then just decorate with bright, mismatched colors and streamers or garlands everywhere.
2. Homemade Party Favors – Bundle up homemade goodies as party favors. You can also take a toilet paper roll, cover it with tissue paper and fill with treats, jokes, confetti and anything else you want! You can find a tutorial here. If you have kids, organize some sort of craft that they can keep all through the year for good luck.
3. Photo booth – Using construction paper and sticks, design and cut out mustaches, glasses, hats and other accessories. Then set up a corner of the room with a fun backdrop for a makeshift photo booth for your friends!
4. Homemade noise makers – One of the best traditions is to make a TON of noise to ring in the new year! Staple two paper plates together and add beans or rice to shake, or create a makeshift tambourine with a circle of posterboard or cardboard and lengths of string with buttons on the end. You can also spray paint plastic bottles and fill them with anything to rattle or reuse some Christmas bells to make lots of noise.
5. Family Games – Make memories and spend time with family and friends playing games! You can do anything from a family favorite board game to charades, a scavenger hunt, or chess tournament.
6. Homemade drinks – Talk to your guests and have them bring over a bottle of whatever their favorite drink is, and create tasty mixed cocktails to ring in the new year in style! And the best part? All you have to provide is the juice and cheap mix-ins for the drinks. You can check out some cocktail recipes here or here, or be creative an invent your own! For the kids, use some sparkling water or ginger ale and their favorite juices so they can join in the toast!
7. Potluck Dinner/Snacks – If you’re on a budget, feeding a group of people can be a challenge. Instead of planning a full meal, scatter various snacks throughout the night and let people graze on them between games, movies and chatter. If you’re inviting a lot of friends and family, ask them to bring a dish to pass. Not only will you have more variety, but it will take some of the strain of cooking from your shoulders! Just be sure to plan to serve some food yourself in case people forget.