Update: Bugaboo Announcements has updated the FREE 2012 banner to 2013. Find it here.

We are such homebodies that we’d much rather stay home on New Year’s Eve and attempt to stay wake until the ball drops. So an at-home, very casual New Year’s Eve party seemed right up our alley. You could have the neighbors stroll over to your house for a party upstairs (adults) and downstairs in the playroom (kids). (I would add a babysitter for good measure; if everyone chipped in, the cost would be very small per couple.) Kids could come in jammies so you can pop them right in bed at 12:01 a.m.

To keep the party low-cost, I chose teal and silver, since I had elements in those colors. I also loved the idea of incorporating clocks and sparkle. Best of all, I spent only $131 (not including food).

I started with a ruffled teal backdrop that we hung from a suspension rod between two bookcases. Then I used a white twin flat sheet to cover the serving area and the open bins where we keep our toys. I added the 2012 banner to the backdrop and a distressed silver bead garland to the bed sheet. A rosette of silver garland left over from our New Year’s Eve clock wreath hid the spots where I pinned the beads. In the center of the silver bead garland, I used plastic house numbers to create “2012.”

Our terrific party printables were designed by Michelle of Bugaboo Announcements. Michelle is offering the complete set in her shop, but she’s also offering my readers the 2012 banner for FREE! The printables collection also includes:

  • Block party invitation
  • Editable food labels
  • “Name that Oreo” game card (more about this later)
  • New Year’s Resolutions card
  • 2011 Timeline
  • And more that Michelle has added to her shop.

To add height to the buffet, I added my apothecary jars and filled them with non-breakable silver and teal ornaments and topped them with teal ribbon. The clocks I gathered from around the house, and then added two Goodwill specials … my favorite is the glittery silver clock that my husband spray painted for the party.

I made all the food, focusing on finger foods and options like mini pizzas, ham biscuits, apple grilled cheese sandwiches, carrot sticks, and Cutie oranges that would be filling during a late night. For sweets, I offered marshmallow popcorn balls and Real Crazy Cake (a homemade chocolate cake with a few “crazy” ingredients). I added bunting to the cake using leftovers from Michelle’s printables and some scrapbooking paper, and then Grace and I trimmed the bottom of the cake in Sixlets. I do wish I’d had enough ribbon for the popcorn balls, but it made no difference to the girls!

I’m not wild about the idea of mocktails for kids, so I provided milk in altered Starbucks bottles. (For the tutorial, click here.) I covered the edges of the lids with white cardstock and the tops with more silver garland. The sides I wrapped in teal glitter paper and two bands of rhinestone bling.

For entertainment, I’d have Rudolph’s Shiny New Year in the DVR and board games ready to go. But I also came up with a few other ideas that Michelle helped me create through printables. First up was “Name that Oreo” — inspired by my husband’s love of Oreos and my total amazement at how many flavors there are. I bought six types of Oreos and labeled their containers one through six. Then, without peeking, the kids tasted each Oreo and wrote the number of the container by the flavor they thought each cookie was.

Our next activity was creating a timeline of each child’s year. The idea was to write down a memorable event from each month of the past year. I think it also might be fun to have all the kids create one big timeline on a roll of white paper.

Our other activity was, of course, writing down our New Year’s Resolutions. (It did take a little explaining was a “resolution” was.)

Finally, we got to Meg and Grace’s favorite part: the noisemakers. To create these, I simply recovered Dollar Tree noisemakers in silver polka dot glitter scrapbook paper and finished it with a length of teal ribbon and silver garland.

You Can Do It! SignatureVendor Credits and Party Budget  ($131)

  • Silver bead garland: Linden, $8
  • 2 Clocks: Goodwill, $5
  • Teal rug: WalMart, $29 (This was my splurge!)
  • Teal backdrop fabrics, 2 yards: Hobby Lobby, $14
  • Suspension rod: WalMart, $8
  • Ring clips for suspension rod: WalMart, $5
  • Noisemakers: $1
  • Scrapbooking paper (six sheets): Hobby Lobby and JoAnn’s, $9
  • New Year’s Eve hats: Party City, $4
  • 2 teal trays: Party City, $10
  • Teal appetizer plates: Party City, $4
  • Teal dessert plates: Party City, $8
  • Teal and white polka dot napkins: Party City, $2
  • House numbers: WalMart, $4
  • Rhinestone bling: WalMart, $6
  • “Silver” trays: Dollar Tree, $2
  • Teal ribbon: Hobby Lobby, $6
  • Teal ornaments: WalMart, $6
  • Printables: Bugaboo Announcements
  • Photography: Viridian Images Photography

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