Best Tips for Adding Details To Your Party

You know the old adage, “it’s all in the details.” That’s the theme of this post for our Party Design Basics series – adding those little DIY touches that take your party to the next level, design-wise.

This is my favorite part of creating a design and the ideas you can use are limitless. Below are some of my favorites from various styling projects. Click on the photos to see the original posts.

Use What’s Available in Different Ways:

You don’t have to be super crafty to create wonderful details, in fact the simpler the better I say. The purpose for creating them though, is that they are unexpected, unique, and give your guests that “awwww” moment when they realize you did something special for them.

  • For the Pink Princess party above, I dressed up small napkins with rhinestone iron-on fabric transfers. Any time I can use fabric in a design, it inspires me. It must be my love of textiles & my Fashion Merchandising background. You could also use small stencils with fabric paint like I did here.
  • For the same party I created cupcake pedestals using $1 candlesticks {spray painted pink} and pretty tea cup saucers. A glue dot holds the two pieces together securely and allows me to use the saucers again separately.
  • One of my favorite editorial designs to date was the Keys to Success party. Inexpensive doilies {$1 each from the fabric/craft store} were used to top jars and keep bugs at bay. It’s a simple idea but it really dresses up the table and adds the Anthropologie feel I was going for.
  • In the same design I used lots of metal scrapbooking materials like the tiny frames above. You may see it in the store and not think twice about, but I want you to see it in a NEW way. They made the most fabulous place card/napkin rings!

Use The Same Element Throughout the Design:

Sometimes all you need to do is pinpoint a design element and use it over and over in a creative fashion. For instance, if you choose “flowers” as the recurring element you can add big ones, small ones, fabric ones, paper ones. Add them to favors, napkin ties, drink stirs, etc. It’s all about training your mind to think outside the box.

  • For the apple themed party above I used apples, obviously, but added in bits of lace for a feminine touch. Simply backing the paper tags with a strip of lace added another dimension to the design and made it more interesting to look at.
  • The lace was also carried into other areas by hanging it like a banner, and wrapping it around a serving dish {see original post for those details}.
  • The details were never ending in my Rustic Autumn dinner party, and newspaper print was everywhere. The crossword puzzle was a whimsical touch and was the perfect place card when filled in with names.
  • Newspaper print was also shredded and placed inside vessels, used to wrap mini pies, used as decorative wine bottle wraps, and more.

Make Utilitarian Items More Decorative:

Probably the easiest way to use creative details is to dress up items that are already being used by guests. After all these are the spots that they are sure to notice.

  • I have to say I was beyond thrilled at my own creativity when I came up with the idea to combine a place card, menu card, and conversation card all together. I was SURE it would catch on, but…. Oh well, I still think it’s a super cute detail for showers, weddings, birthdays, or any dinner party. It combines useful items in a more interesting way.
  • Another utilitarian item that has become extremely popular are the wooden utensils. Instead of laying them out in a bundle, add a decorative detail with stamps. There are many to choose from and they fit so nicely on the handle.
  • Finally, fabric has found it’s way into another party design in the way of a utensil holder. Sure you COULD place the napkin and fork beside the plate and leave it alone, but it’s the special touch of a fabric pouch that elevates the setting.


I hope this encourages you to dress up your own parties and celebrations with stylish details.  It really is simple once you think about it.  Here are some items you may want to keep on hand that will help you get started:

  1. Adhesive rhinestones to dress up paper goods.
  2. Bakers twine in basic colors to tie up almost anything.
  3. Ribbon and fabric in lots of colors and patterns.
  4. Craft punches in circles or other fun shapes.
  5. Stamps & ink to embellish fabric, paper, or wooden utensils.


For more inspiration, follow me on Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook. Cheers!


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  1. Great post. I love all the details of a party. The men I invite never notice but the women always do and appreciate that extra little touch.

    1. That’s funny, Tiffany. I’ve actually found that the men have noticed & responded quite often (to my surprise) to the extra touches.

  2. You are 100% right about making utilitarian items more decorative and I loved your placecard, menu and conversation tag together!

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