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. The idea of an at-home, very casual New Year’s Eve inspired this budget-friendly New Year’s Eve block party.
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).
Dessert Table Decor
I started with a piece of ruffled teal fabric that I hung as a backdrop from a suspension rod between two bookcases. (It looks more blue than teal in these photos.) This is easy to do two ways:
- If you can sew, create a rod pocket at the top of the fabric, then slide it over the curtain rod.
- If you can’t sew (like me!) just use curtain rod clips. Clip them to the fabric and then slide the rings over the curtain rod.
I used a white twin flat sheet to cover the serving area and the open bins where we keep our toys.
- I safety pinned 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.”
To add height to the buffet, I added my apothecary jars and filled them with non-breakable silver and teal ornaments. On the knobs of the jar lids, I tied 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.
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.
I made all the food, including more substantial food to carry the kids through a long party, and sweet treats. All the “dinner” items were finger foods that would be easy for the kids to eat.
- Mini pizzas
- Ham biscuits
- Apple grilled cheese sandwiches
- Carrot sticks
- Cutie oranges
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. 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! Of course, we also had the Oreos from our tasting activity.
I’m not wild about the idea of mocktails for kids, so I provided milk in altered Starbucks bottles. Nothing’s better with cookies than milk! (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.
New Year’s Eve Party Activities
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.
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
- Party Styling: The Party Teacher
- Printables: Bugaboo Announcements
- Photography: Viridian Images Photography