Today I’m sharing some tricks of the trade … the “how did she DO that” kind of tools that party planners turn to. Not that you can really call any of these items “tools” in the true sense of the word. Here are my top 9 essential party styling tools. Most cost just pennies. Some are weird, but they are indispensable party tools.

1 – Dried Beans

Beans are cheap. Beans are reusable. Beans are great at keeping things in place. Go buy some beans.

See the white vase with the branches? You can just barely see the dried black beans that are holding the branches upright. (See more of my Night Owl Sleepover Party here.)

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2 – Poster Tack

Great for adhering paper to glass, mirror or more paper, poster tack also comes off cleanly. It’s easy to work with: just roll it into a ball and then smoosh it flat and apply it to one of your surfaces. Poster tack also is reusable, so you get a lot of bang for your buck.

Poster tack is how I attached the paper “chalkboard” to my mirror for my Junie B. Jones Party.


3 – Safety Pins

Want to hang a banner without visible hardware? Hold the bow of your banner against your tablecloth. Flip up the tablecloth, and insert a safety pin through the tablecloth and into the back of the bow.

Here’s a sneak peak of my Thanksgiving Children’s Table. (Printable Thanksgiving banner by Love the Day.)

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4 – 3M Command Strips

I use these everywhere: on windows, walls, doors and mantles. They do what they promise: come off cleanly. I have them in clear, white and oil rubbed bronze. I use these for hanging wreaths, banners and garland of all types and weights.

Here’s a Command Strip holding a wreath by Sweet Georgia Sweet.

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5 – Fishing Line

Need to hang something so that it appears to float? Head over to the fishing aisle of WalMart. (Hint: it is far from the crafting aisle.) Loop your fishing line through whatever you’re hanging and then over what you’re hanging it from. Tie it off several times.

Fishing line is how I hung a tissue fan rainbow from a tension rod at my Wizard of Oz Party.

6 – Clear Packing Tape

Don’t want to pull out the glue? Scotch tape not strong enough? Pull out the clear packing tape. That’s what I used to make the backdrop for my Dinosaur Baby Shower.


7 – Peg Board

Get your husband involved in the party: send him to Lowe’s for two sheets of pegboard. Wrap the pegboard in fabric and secure it with clear packing tape (see above). Instant party backdrop — and, you can switch out the fabric for an all new look.

Two pieces of peg board let me easily construct a two-part backdrop for my Trick or Treat Halloween Party.


8 – PVC Pipe

Need a freestanding backdrop? Then you need PVC pipe to make your own pipe and drape system. You’ll need straight pipe, connectors and corner connectors. Here’s how to make you own PVC pipe backdrop.

A portable backdrop is a great solution for an outdoor party, like my Charlie Brown Thanksgiving Party.

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9 – Sticky Back Velcro

In our dining room, we have a very heavy mirror that was a bear to hang. It’s not going anywhere any time soon. So one way to turn it into a party backdrop is to drape fabric¬† over it. Take three pieces of velcro and stick them to the back of the mirror, spaced evenly across the top back. Now get a helper. Drape your fabric so about 5 inches hangs over the back of your mirror. Make sure it’s hanging straight. Feel around for the Velcro on mirror and stick the matching Velcro to the side of the fabric that’s facing your mirror back. Then, just press the Velcro together. Repeat for the next two pieces of Velcro.

Here’s my Velcro solution in use at my Letters to Santa Party.


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