Monday, January 22, 2018

How to Decorate for a Large Event on a Budget

Each year, the non-profit I work with host a large scale banquet. It's our biggest fund raiser of the year. I do a lot of negotiating regarding our menu and the venue. But then there's the decorating. You see, I LOVE to decorate! It's my favorite part of any event but because we are a non-profit and we're trying to raise money, I have to be very very careful about spending too much money. Did I mention that we don't charge for the banquet. However we do recruit table sponsors that covers the cost of the dinner.

Every year we choose a theme for our banquet.This past fall our theme was, "What Is Your Story? "We had 36 tables so that meant 36 centerpieces.   I immediately thought about story books. Story books tell stories.  So I started thinking about using books as part of the centerpieces. I decided to start with a few books on each table. How would I ever find that many least a stack of three books on each table. Goodwill!  Bingo! But I didn't want just any book.  I wanted auto-biographies or biographies. People telling their story. Perfect!

At Goodwill, all hard back books which is what I wanted, are $1.99 each. Wouldn't you know it. Someone had donated a boat load of books and Goodwill was trying to get rid of them so they were selling them for .99 each plus I get a 20% further discount! So each book was .79 each! Boom! So the search started. I was delighted to see how many biographies I was able to find! But I needed 108 of them! After visiting every Goodwill in Omaha, I found more than enough. Next I took off the book jackets. I wanted them to look clean and uniform. Then I built stacks of three books times 36 tables and tied ribbons around each stack.

Flowers. I needed flowers. My "go-to" for flowers is Costco on line. You can choose your delivery date and the fresh flowers are delivered right to your door in flower boxes. Helpful hint, buy five gallon buckets from your favorite hardware store (Lowes) and fill them about 1/3 to /12 full of cool water. Add the "flower powder" that's enclosed with the flowers. Before putting the flowers in the bucket, trim off any leaves that would be below the water line. That can cause the flowers to wilt sooner.  

What to put the flowers in that won't break the bank? Why of course! Mason jars or Ball Jars. I took 36 Ball jars and spray painted them a metallic silver. The night before the dinner I put the arrangements together and they were ready to go. For our event, I chose red Gerber daisies and white roses plus Babies' Breath and greenery. With the black table clothes and red napkins I choose, this was going to be stunning. In addition, I ordered from Ikea, small white frames for .99/each. I printed table numbers on scrapbook paper that looked like a book page. I also bought 36 $1 5x7 frames from the local dollar store to put the names of each of our table sponsors on the tables. (The frames and jars will be reused at another event.) I had wood slices from a previous event that I reused.

I found these tiny little hearts on Etsy that said, "Once Upon A Time" that we scattered on each table

Next post will cover the decor of the entry and the stage. Stay tuned! Photo Credit: Alex Madsen

Saturday, July 15, 2017

10 Way to Make Your House More Sellable

Do you want have the home that everybody wants to buy?  Well here are a few tips to get you started to being the favorite home in the neighborhood!

1.  Get rid of clutter.  Throw out or file stacks of newspapers and magazines.  Pack away most of your small decorative items.  Store out of season clothing to make closets seem roomier. Clean out the garage.

2.  Wash your windows and screens to let more light into the interior.

3.  Keep everything extra clean.  Wash fingerprints from light switch plates.  Mop and wax floors. Clean the stove and refrigerator.  A clean house makes a better first impression and convinces buyers that the home has been well care for.

4.  Get rid of smells.  Clean carpeting and drapes to eliminate cooking odors, smoke and pet smells.  Open the windows.

5.  Put higher wattage bulbs in the light sockets to make rooms seem brighter, especially basements and other dark rooms.  Replace any burnt out bulbs.

6.  Make minor repairs that can create a bad impression.  Small problems, such as sticky doors, torn screens, cracked caulking, or a dripping faucet, may seem trivial, but they'll give buyers the impression that the house isn't well maintained.

7.  Tidy your yard.  Cut the grass, rake the leaves, trim the bushes, edge the walks.  Put a pot or two of bright flowers near the entryway.

8.  Patch holes in your driveway and reapply sealant, if applicable.

9.  Clean your gutters.

10.  Polish your front doorknob and door numbers.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

"Initial" Thoughts

Decorating with a theme in mind is one of the easiest ways to get started in decorating your home or planning for a party.  

While recently re-painting my family room, I had the idea that I wanted to use some of the "M" initials I have been collecting for quite a while. This wall used to be home to a big clock, but I was never satisfied with how it filled or didn't fill the space.  So I decided to use my collection of "M"s.  I chose black because that is one of the accent colors I'm trying to incorporate and black is timeless.  I wish I could say this was my original idea, but.......I found the idea on Pinterest and added my own spin to it.  The possibilities are endless!  

The majority of my M's came from Hobby Lobby.  I also found them at Kirklands and HomeGoods.  They don't have to be expensive.  Try your hand at it!  It's so fun and so easy!