How to Throw a Great Party on a Student Budget
Posted on November 28, 2022
As the year ends, we often think of everything we’ve done throughout the year and what we plan to do next year. For me, that’s parties. I’m obsessed with throwing parties. I plan them months in advance. Parties for my parents, my grandparents, my dog… Anyone. But it can be hard to throw parties that look like the ones in movies and shows, especially as a university student on a budget. So, here are some tips and tricks for throwing a Pinterest-Worthy Party with a low budget!
The first step is to think about the theme; the aesthetic; the vibe, if you will. If there’s one thing about me, it’s that I love a good theme: Y2K, Harry Potter, Horror, 80’s, ANYTHING. Having a theme actually makes everything easier, decoration-wise. There are ideas and guidelines within the theme, so all you have to do is decorate accordingly. If you can’t think of a good theme, Pinterest has about a million ideas. I quickly learned that Pinterest is my best friend for party planning.
The Dollar Store (or Dollarama, dollar tree, etc) has really cute, cheap decorations. You can make a flower wall with plastic flowers, or buy packs of balloons to hang from the ceiling because helium tanks are EXPENSIVE. What I like to do is buy fairy lights in a colour that matches my theme in order to make the whole house look like it’s decorated, even if it’s just a different colour. My advice is to use all the space you can without making things look crowded. Don’t put too many things on tables if you plan to sit there, and if you don’t have a lot of square footage, hang things on the walls and ceilings! You can always wrap lights and streamers around support beams, no one will judge you, I promise.
For a recent party, I made burn book posters for the guests and hung them on the walls, just like Regina George did at the end of Mean Girls. Everyone had a good laugh and got to take them home at the end of the night. I got 50 posters printed at Walmart for around $30 on glossy paper, but of course, you could print them at home on regular paper and it would have pretty much the same effect. If you’re going to make posters, invitations, or other text-covered documents, I always use Canva. It has a free version, which is perfect for basic graphic design use! Even if you’re not artistically inclined, they have templates that you can just fill out with your own information.
I have thrown MANY theme parties in my lifetime, and the one constant amidst all of the changes is a Sweet Table. I know that the saying is “less is more,” but sometimes, more is more. Having a full table of sweets and candy makes the party seem WAY more thought out, especially if the table is cohesive and aesthetically pleasing. For my Harry Potter Thanksgiving, I made chocolate frogs by melting chocolate bars and putting them in a frog mould. For my Y2K party, I bought all of the pink treats I could find, and bought ring pops and candy bracelets to match the time period! The Sweet Table doesn’t have to be just candy, it can also have cupcakes, cookies, and other baked goods that take up a lot of room on the table without breaking the bank!
On top of decorating your house, you can also ask people to dress up. They don’t have to go all out like it’s the MET Gala (side note- what a fantastic theme for a party) but you can ask them to stick to a colour scheme, or you can even buy cheap costume pieces like feather boas, funky sunglasses/hats, etc from party stores to make pictures look more cohesive and fun! Always remember that even though you may be the one hosting, that doesn’t mean that you have to be in charge of all of the costs. You can task a few friends with bringing desserts, drinks, etc!
Hopefully, these tips will help you host the best party you can! Thanks for reading!