So, it’s — um, February 6. And Valentine’s Day is just days away. So close in fact, that when I shopped this weekend, I saw more Easter than Valentine’s decor! But I still want to pull off a little Valentine’s celebration for my family. So that means I need a to style a last-minute Valentine’s Day party.
I usually turn first to Etsy, but at this point, I’m concerned that most sellers might not have time to craft (or bake) and ship out my purchase. Instead, I turned to Amazon Prime and a few local sources to come up with a fun and little-to-no DIY Valentine’s Party. You can shop it right along with me.
My inspiration for this look are these red, pink, yellow and white heart-shaped mini pinatas. The pop of yellow just feels so fresh to me, and so it inspired my color palette. How fun would it be for everyone to have their own personal pinata? You could fill it will Valentine’s candy and hang it from the backs of your chairs.
For the table
I often start my dining tables with a white tablecloth just because I like the clean surface that make everything else pop — especially if I’ve planned for a lot of color. Here’s what I have in mind:
1. Pink and red heart straws (Twigs & Twirls) – These bring in the pink and red I want to use – adorable.
2. Pink paper cups with red hearts (Party City) – I’m normally not a fan of paper cups because they can turn over so easily, but these are so modern and cute that I couldn’t resist.
3. White tablecloth (Amazon) – I like to use a polyester tablecloth designed for weddings. They don’t look like poly, but they are easy to iron. An actual cloth tablecloth looks tons better than a disposable tablecloth and the reusability is a bonus.
4. Bright yellow beverage napkins (WalMart) – I usually use cloth napkins, but these paper napkins are less than $2, so into the cart they went!
5. Pink and red round paper placemats (Amazon) – How cute are these?
6. White heart plates (Amazon) – These come in a set of four and are ceramic, so you can use them year after year.
7. Red-handled silverware (Amazon) – I have these and use them for parties. They are on the small side, which is great for kids, and they aren’t super-great quality, but if you’re just pulling them out for the occasional dessert table, that’s okay. If you’d rather buy disposable, here are cute red-handled forks that I’ve also used before.
8. Centerpiece inspiration (Ruffled) – I love this loose arrangement with the pink and yellow flowers. So pretty! It would be fun to do a few of these arrangements in different size vases, and maybe to elevate one vase on a stack of red, heart-shaped candy boxes.
Here’s a little sketch of how I envision the Ruffled-inspired centerpiece, sitting on a box or two of chocolates. I think it would be cute to add two more little vases of flowers, maybe one of just yellow and another of just pink or red.
Almost no DIY backdrop ideas
If you can manage a 3M Command Strip (and I know you can), you can hang up a paper fan backdrop and drape a heart banner across the front. If you want to get really fancy, pick up a Balloon Time helium tank while you’re at WalMart and some balloons from Party City. (WalMart usually has a better price on helium than Party City, but the price varies because helium is a commodity.)
1 and 2. Felt ball garlands (The Rainbow Barn on Etsy) – I couldn’t find a felt ball garland with red, pinks, white and yellow, but I think you’d have time to make your own. If you jump right on it, an Etsy seller might be able to get you one in time.
3. 4. and 5. Balloons (Party City) has a Valentine’s balloon with all our party colors, plus white heart shaped balloons, plus red with white heart balloons. Happy, happy. I think the trick of a place like Party City is to pick out the items that work for your theme without buying every licensed item in the store or everything within a certain product line. It’s when you mix and match that you get that custom party look.
6. Heart garland (Amazon) – I just feel like you can never have too much garland.
7. and 8. Yellow and red paper fans (Amazon) – My Mind’s Eye makes beautiful paper fans and when you chose the red set plus the yellow set, you get pre-mixed patterns that make it look like you carefully chose each fan – score!
And here are all those elements pulled together in a loose sketch of how I see the dessert table.
Easy dessert ideas
Before we had kids, Don and I used to treat ourselves to a really nice dinner out on Valentine’s. Now, the thought of going out on a holiday sounds like an awful lot of work. We’d much rather do something with the kids while they still like us. (Have I mentioned that their 13th birthday is fast-approaching?)
But, staying in doesn’t mean I want to spend all day in the kitchen. And, of course, I’m out of time to order cake pops or decorated sugar cookies. Here are some easy ideas that you can use on your Valentine’s dessert table. Just enough to have a little variety, not so much that you’re eating cake all week. Some of these are even grocery store dress-ups … AKA, the best kind of desserts for the busy mom.
1. X’s and O’s cupcakes – These are from Martha Stewart, but the link to this recipe is broken on her site. But you get the idea: use Red Hots to make X’s and O’s on your cupcakes. The kids would have fun doing this. Make or buy your cupcakes — whatever you have time for.
2. Watermelon heart fruit salad (A Designer Life) – My kids would both eat this salad (especially if I call it a dessert).
3. Valentine’s Snack Mix (Pip and Ebby) – To round out our goodies table, how about a little sweet and salty snack mix?
4. Rice Krispies Treats (A Pint-Sized Treasure) – Another project that the kids can help you with. Super easy, and everyone loves these. Tip: if you don’t want to make the Rice Krispies Treats, just buy the kind that come pre-packaged. The dipping and drizzling is the fun part, anyway.
I would just display these on cake stands at a variety of heights. The watermelon salad would look great in a pedestal compote bowl, if you have one. If not, serve it in on a tray with a tall lip. If will be your “low” thing while the other desserts are “high”.
More Valentine’s party ideas
If you need more inspiration, be sure to check out my parties from years past:
- Valentine’s SweetTarts cookie decorating party
- Brown Paper Packages Valentine’s party
- Teddy Bear Valentine’s bar cart
And don’t miss the free Valentine’s party printables I’ve collected for you here.
Are you planning any kind of party for Valentine’s Day? Maybe for your child’s classroom or a little dessert table for your family? Let me know in the comments — I’d love to hear what you’re working on!