Home Money Consciousness 40 DIY Projects That Make Celebrating Any Occasion Affordable and Fun
Money Consciousness

40 DIY Projects That Make Celebrating Any Occasion Affordable and Fun

TristaApril 7, 2022

When you plan a party, you want to go all out, from decorations to the right goodies for your guests. However, those unique visions of celebrating can end up being more expensive than you were planning. So instead of overspending on expensive party decor, here are 40 of the best items from Dollar Tree to make your celebration more affordable.

These affordable examples of cheap party decor will help you to celebrate every occasion in style on a budget. From birthday parties to gender reveals, you and your loved ones will adore these affordable party items from the dollar store.

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40. Make A Mermaid Tail Out Of Balloons

Children usually fall into one of two categories most of the time: they like unicorns or they like mermaids. This is an excellent way to encapsulate the latter with a “splash” of balloons designed to look like the sea spray from a mermaid’s dive underwater. Everything is a wonderful shade of green and blue. Putting all of these balloons together doesn’t take much, but it will need blowing a lot of air to get them inflated (via Pinterest). The Dollar Tree themselves provided this idea to help their customers save money here (via Dollar Tree).

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39. This DIY Backdrop Is Simple But Elegant

If you’re looking for a new way to decorate your home for a party without having to spend a lot of money, you may want to take a look at this party backdrop. It’s made from simple streamers or tinsel. However, this partygoer opted for a serious of similar-colored balloons at the top (via Pinterest). Get a cheap banner at the dollar store and that’s all you need to make your wall ready to rock (via Rain on a Tin Roof).

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38. Fun And Easy New Year’s Countdown 

There’s no better way to roll in the New Year than to have a fabulous countdown that your children can get involved in. All you need are balloons, some string, and a marker. You can choose whatever time you’d like to start as long as your last balloon ends at midnight. Write an hour on each balloon and string them up along a mantle or table (via Pinterest). Then when each hour rings in, your children can pop the corresponding balloon until they finally reach midnight (via Pinning With Purpose).

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37. Build A Fort With Just A Tablecloth

The great thing about this idea is that you can leave everything up to your children’s imaginations – all you have to do is provide entertainment for them and let them go wild. You can create an entire playful fort out of a tablecloth draped over a table, with a few windows cut out and “curtains” to add to the ambiance (via Pinterest). Dress up a few tables to create an entire “community” of townhouses if you’re having more children over for a party (via HGTV).

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36. Glow-In-The-Dark Ring Toss

When the sun goes down, that doesn’t mean that the fun has to stop. Instead of packing the kids inside, you can let them explore a few games of ring toss in the dark with glow-in-the-dark rings, (via Pinterest). You just need a few glow sticks that you can find at the dollar store, some glow stick necklaces (each person can be a different color to keep track of scoring), and some masking tape. Then just insert the large glow stick into the ground with a small hole and you’re ready to start playing (via Home Front Mag).

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35. Plastic Cups To Make Popcorn Snowmen 

This is a great snack idea for those winter close days locked up inside watching TV. You just take a single clear plastic cup and fill it with popcorn then draw a snowman’s face on it. It’s a simple idea that not many people have thought of. It’s also a great way to share a snack with your friends and family in front of the fire while still having a cute and whimsical way to decorate (via Pinterest). Tie a small red ribbon around each cup so that it looks like a scarf, then draw some buttons on with a marker and you’re set (via Creative Kid Snacks).

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34. Fizzing Sidewalk Paint 

Drawing a sign on your driveway in chalk can be a unique way to signify to your guests which house is yours so they know where to go. But if you want to add some flair to it, then you’re going to have to use more than just chalk. With just baking soda, some cornstarch, cheap food coloring, and some vinegar, you can create an experience that everyone will remember for a long time (via Pinterest). Using spoons or paintbrushes, everyone can draw interesting pictures on your driveway or your garage floor. Then when everyone’s done, whip out the spray bottle of vinegar and start spraying. Everything will begin fizzing up, creating an exciting experience for everyone to remember (via Living Locurto).

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33. Transform A Bucket

No matter what the celebration is, kids are going to want to keep busy. What better way than transforming a bucket into a craft kit that holds everything they need? Hold their crayons, glue, and scissors with ease by putting a tool organizer over a simple bucket so that the pockets wrap around the outside. Then fill the tool belt’s pockets with tools and goodies to keep the children busy (via Pinterest). The bucket handle makes it easy to carry this around too to take it with them if they want to work somewhere else (via HGTV).

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32. Beautiful Signs Using Dollar Tree Foam Board

Foam board is some of the most versatile materials out there and comes in fun and bright colors. Plus it’s soft and light-weight and easy to manipulate if you need it for some other purpose. The Dollar Tree already has already-made signs that you can pin up on a wall. However, if you want that extra flair, cut your own letters out of foam board and add some glitter to the deal (via Pinterest). Your party will have more personality with the work you put in and look much more splendid than a sign you can already buy (via Lily Ardor).

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31. Craft Away With Cute DIY Cups

Snack cups are an excellent way for your guests to keep some snacks on hand while still moving around the party. And if they put down their cup, they’re not going to be confused for belonging to someone else. You can achieve this with just some simple paper cups, construction paper, and scissors (via Pinterest). Decorate each cup with a different dog or cat design so that people can tell their snack cups apart and let everyone pick which one they want to use (via Living Locurto).

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30. Achieve the Disco Ball Effect with Just a Few Dollars

Making everything sparkly and shiny for a celebrating doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. This is an excellent twist on the idea of filling a room with balloons by adding some glue to them and then dipping the balloons in glitter (via Pinterest). Hang them from the ceiling and let the lights do their job of refracting off the glitter so that there are light sparkles all over your ceiling and walls. It’s a cheap and fun way to get the kids involved in celebrating (via Craftsy Hacks).

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29. Lego-Themed Celebrating With Affordable Decor

The hardest part about celebrating a party is coming up with a theme. You want everything to feel coherent and put together so that everyone can have so much fun. But coming up with a theme that works and has many supplies you can get is half of the job. Well, worry no more. There’s nothing easier than hosting a Lego party (via Pinterest)! You can use these colorful little blocks in just about every aspect of your party, from the decor to the games. The link above provides many ideas you can use, and you can buy all of the items you need at the dollar store (via Sweet Frugal Life).

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28. Hosting A Pool Boat Race

With only some pool noodles, a few straws, and some construction paper, you can have your kids racing each other across the pool with their boats. With just a little wind power from them having to blow through a pool noodle, you can have races all day until they’re winded. You can have prizes for winners of the races, they’ll have had fun, and it’s a neat idea that they can then take home (via Pinterest). Even better is that you can get them involved with making their boats before the race so they can feel more accomplished (via HGTV).

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27. Build A DIY S’mores Station

Nothing says “summer” like roasting some S’mores, so why not add it to any summer party you’re hosting? The thing is, you don’t want there to be a line leading up to your microwave, nor do you want to start a massive fire in your backyard. Instead, you can create these small, perfect pots where people can make their own S’mores whenever they like (via Pinterest). It’s easy fun, and the materials you need aren’t expensive. Just a few small planter pots, some spray paint, and a few chunks of charcoal to keep your fire going (via Legally Crafty Blog).

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26. Fairy Wings For A Small Cost

There are plenty of children out there who enjoy the idea of being a fairy, and one way you can do that is with a fabulous  and affordable pair of fairy wings. Fairy wings from the dollar store are pretty inexpensive, but they can come in colors that may not fit with the theme you’re going for. Moms can make their own with a pair of butterfly wings, some knee-high pantyhose, spray paint, some ribbons, and glitter (via Pinterest). The link above lays out the details you need to put them together, and the result looks a lot more expensive than the materials you bought to put them together (via Random House Wifery).

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25. Make Celebrating With Snack Trays Using Affordable

Are snacks going to be a big part of celebrating with your guests? This idea is one of the easiest ones on this list. Just purchase those divided eating trays that kids use, glue a plastic cup to the middle of one, and glue another plate on top (via Pinterest). There, you now have a two-tiered snack display that looks more expensive than it is. Choose your favorite colors or keep them consistent if you want to keep a specific theme (via Catch My Party).

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24. Create A Perfect Mermaid Backdrop

People create memories by taking photos of the event they’re involved in. And if you’re hosting a party, you want your place to look its best. Nothing’s better than having something glitzy and glamour on your wall, but the idea may seem too expensive. But just a trip to the dollar store, and you can score these shiny holographic plates that look exactly like mermaid scales (via Pinterest). Glue them together and hang them against a large white wall for the perfect illusion of a large mermaid’s tail (via Tik Kido).

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23. A Colorful Way To Keep Drinks Cold

Coolers are usually the best way to keep your drinks cold during a party, yet they can be a hassle to lug around and they don’t look very attractive (via Pinterest). There’s a much better way to do it, and that’s to fill a small colorful kiddie pool with some ice and drinks! It’s a fun way to present drinks to your guests, and you can tell exactly how many drinks you have left before you need to refill the supply (via HGTV).

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22. Use A Paint Palette To Decorate Cupcakes

Decorating cupcakes is an activity in and of itself. Instead of you having to do all of the work, you can leave it up to your guests to make their own colorful cupcakes (via Pinterest). All you have to do is provide the cupcakes already covered in frosting and provide your guests with their tools: sprinkles and candy, all separated in a paint palette. It’s a neat way to keep everything together, and your guests can use anything they want to make their perfect cupcake (via Kimspired DIY).

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21. Streamers To Create A Rainbow

Nothing is cheaper than party balloons and some streamers. But the way you use them can make or break a party. This great idea to create a rainbow on your ceiling will make your party, and all it takes is some air to get the balloons full and some tape to keep everything in place (via Pinterest). Your guests may just end up lying on the floor just to take in the beautiful colors above them. Either way, your friends and family will be celebrating your decorations for a very long time (via Project Nursery).

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20. ‘Fluffy Unicorn Slime’

The trend of making slime can be a fun project for kids to play around with if they’ve never made it before. The ingredients are cheap and can be gotten at any Dollar Tree and include white glue, shaving cream, Borax, and food coloring to create pretty swirls of color (via Pinterest). It’s best to measure everything out beforehand so that everything’s mixed just right and you’re not wasting any ingredients (via Living Locurto).

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19. Turn Pool Noodles Into Firecrackers

The great thing about pool noodles is not only that they’re stupidly cheap, but they’re also pretty versatile. You can use them for anything you can think of outside of the pool, and this celebrating idea is one of the best ones out there. Add some wire gland to the top opening of some pool noodles and tie a few together with some ribbons (via Pinterest). Add some metallic stars, and you have a great table decoration for the Fourth of July (via My Pinterventures).

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18. A DIY Frisbee Golf Course

Frisbee golf has become a popular in recent years and this is a great way to inspire some friendly competition between your guests. An entire frisbee golf set, however, can get pretty pricey. Why do that when you can get the same effect for less money? All you need are a handful of frisbees and some laundry baskets (via Pinterest). If you want to make it even more fun, ask your guests to bring their own baskets of various sizes to change things up a little bit. You’re bound to find frisbees at your local Dollar Tree store (via The Krazy Coupon Lady).

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17. Create A Cupcake Theme

Cupcakes are great for eating, but if you’re going for a theme like The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, then you may want to decorate the place with fake cupcakes too. You can make them in whatever colors you want, and you don’t have to spend a lot of money to do it (via Pinterest). You only need a plastic tub, a pool noodle, a plastic plate, craft paper, and a red rubber ball, which you can find at your dollar store. Assembling them will take some practice, but by following the instructions above, you’ll have some fantastic fake cupcakes covering every inch of your party (via Dollar Store Crafts).

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16. DIY Party Poppers

Party poppers are already cheap, as you can get a pack of several for just a few dollars. But where’s the fun in that? Instead, you could recycle some of the things you have lying around in your home to make some. All you need are some empty toilet paper rolls (via Pinterest). Just buy a pack of colorful tissue paper and confetti at your local dollar store. Roll the tube inside one sheet of tissue paper, secure one end with tape, stuff the confetti, trinkets, and candy, and then tape the other end shut. Then when it’s time to celebrate, they can grab both ends and pull hard until the poppers pop open (via Craftaholics Anonymous).

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15. Pom-Pom Wreaths On Every Wall

Sometimes you just need a splash of color on a blank wall to make a statement for your party. Instead of going out and buying an already-made wreath, you can make your with just a bag of pom-poms you buy at the dollar store (via Pinterest). They come in an arrangement of colors, so you either stick with a theme or just make it as random as possible for even more color. Just add the pom-poms to a floral craft ring, and you’re ready to hang with a piece of string. Your kids can get involved, too, so that they can feel like they’re helping to decorate for all the celebrating (via Hello Wonderful).

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14. Illuminate The Room With A Unique Glow

Even when the sun goes down, the party doesn’t have to stop. You can create a unique lighting situation by placing glow sticks inside your balloons (via Pinterest). The color combinations can end up looking quite intriguing, and your guests will wonder how you managed to pull off such an interesting display. Balloons and glow sticks are pretty cheap at the dollar store, too, so you can use this idea again and again to achieve the look you want (via Pinterest).

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13. Snacks In Summertime Buckets

When it’s summertime, sand toys are going to start popping up in stores. Dollar stores have them for pretty cheap, but you don’t have to bring them to the beach (via Pinterest). Buy a few buckets, and you have a fun way for your guests to help themselves to tasty snacks. Add chips, pretzels, or popcorn, and they can use the small shovels as serving spoons. This is a clever way to provide food for celebrating a summertime party (via HGTV)!

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12. Create This Balloon Chandelier

This is much different from any balloon arrangement you’ve seen before, and your younger party guests will love it. Some balloons, twine rolls, bobby pins, ribbon, and a hula hoop are all you need to put this together (via Pinterest). The hanging balloons will add a beautiful and poetic flair to any room, especially if it’s for celebrating a birthday or themed party. No one will know that it only costs you a few dollars to put this affordable party arrangement together (via Dollar Tree).

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11. DIY Drapery With A Tablecloth

Tablecloths aren’t just for tables anymore. With a little bit of effort and decorations you can create this look with just a few tools. You need a pink plastic tablecloth, some Command hooks, twist ties, and pink tulle. Attach the tablecloth to the area above the entryway to your party room using the hooks and twist ties to bunch it up in certain regions (via Pinterest). Then use the pink tulle to add flair and hide your twist ties simultaneously (via Jaime Costiglio).

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10. Decorate With Pool Noodle Lollypops

As stated before, you can do a lot with pool noodles that you never thought possible. With just a handful of pool noodles, some duct tape, and some PVC pipe, you can put these around your outdoor garden (via Pinterest). Just wrap each pool noodle with duct tape so that it creates the stripes of a lollypop, and hot glue the whole thing together as you roll it up. Then make a hole at the bottom, shove in your PVC pipe, then wrap it in cellophane with a ribbon for that authentic look (via DIY Ways).

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9. Display A Beautiful Rose Centerpiece That Looks Expensive

Do you need to create a beautiful centerpiece that you don’t want to spend a lot of money on? This centerpiece looks more expensive than it is. You need to get your hands on a bouquet of fake roses, a Styrofoam cylinder, and some thick ribbon that will stand up on its own (burlap is a good choice) (via Pinterest). Remove the flowers from their stems and insert them into the Styrofoam until it looks complete, then glue the ribbon around the edge so that no one can see what’s underneath (via Smart School House).

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8. Make Floating Flowers Easily

This is great to use for any occasion, whether it’s a wedding or you just want to add a romantic flair to your pool during an afternoon celebration (via Pinterest). You can choose to use real flowers or fake ones, but the real secret is to add some bubble wrap underneath them to get them to float perfectly on top of the water. You only need a small square of it, so you can pull off this idea again and again with the amount of bubble wrap you can get at the dollar store (via Christine DeBeer).

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7. Use Party Hats For More Than Your Head 

The best celebrations are always about the snacks, but you don’t want to dirty all of your bowls so that everyone has something to eat. Buying cheap plastic plates or cups can add up too. Why not consider using party hats, as they’re pretty cheap, and can be purchased in large amounts (via Pinterest)? Instead of wearing them on your head, just turn them upside down and fill them with popcorn or pretzels so that everyone has a fun and festive way to snack on their favorite treats (via Real Simple).

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6. Build A Balloon Archway

Many people pay a professional to achieve this kind of look. Think of all the money you’ll save when you learn how to do this yourself. Depending on how tall you want your arch to be, you’ll have to figure out how many balloons you’ll need. A spool of floral wire will also help to keep them all together (via Pinterest). Tie three balloons together to create stacks, and then wrap your floral wire around each pile to make your archway. Keep in mind to buy extra wire so the archway doesn’t look too deflated after several hours (via Dollar Tree).

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5. A Carnival Party Theme

The great thing about carnivals is that the food. Popcorn, cotton candy, roasted peanuts…they’re all favorite comfort snacks that everyone loves to eat anyway. So building a carnival-themed party is also pretty easy, whether it’s indoors or outdoors, allowing you to plan in case of inclement weather (via Pinterest). A few bags of cotton candy can go a long way and you can add party games to the mix to add to the entire experience (via Dollar Tree).

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4. Light Up The Night Using These Candleholders

Cans of any kind are pretty much recyclable, but instead of tossing them into your recycling bin, you could upcycle them into something new and creative. Rinse out your cans thoroughly until there’s no adhesive left on the can. Using a hammer and nail, you can punch out a unique design of holes into the sides of the can and then add some paint to the outside (via Pinterest). When it’s dry, add a nice candle inside, either votive or battery-powered, and you have a neat way to light up your table arrangement after the sun goes down (via HGTV).

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3. Create Your Own Placeholders 

Labeling your food dishes can be difficult, as guests want to know what they’re going to be partaking in so that they know what they want to take. Instead of investing in expensive placeholders and cards, you can use simple card stock and… gumdrops! It sounds strange, but they’re pretty good at holding up. Just cut a slit at the top of each gumdrop and then write the name of each dish onto a small rectangle of card stock (via Pinterest). Then just slip it into the top of the gumdrop, and you have a placeholder (via Gimme Some Oven).

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2. A Popsicle Party Without the Drippy Mess

The pool noodles come in again to save the day. One pool noodle will suffice to make several of these popsicle decorations. However, you may want to get a few different colors to make your garland more interesting. Plus, you will need popsicle sticks and twine to achieve this look, and it’s the perfect addition inside along a wall or hanging overhead when you’re outside by the pool (via Pinterest). Cut your noodle into 5” lengths, glue the popsicle sticks to the inside of them, and string them up (via Ohh Happy Day).

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1. Spruce It Up With This DIY Balloon Cactus 

Balloons are the most basic decoration elements yet making them look great can be difficult. However, you don’t have to be a professional decorator to make them look fantabulous (via Pinterest). With just a good number of balloons and some pool noodles, you can create this intriguing balloon cactus that won’t sting any of your guests when they touch it. Glue a few fake flowers on top to make it look like a flowering saguaro (via Dollar Tree).

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