Need to come up with cool ideas for your next party? Here’s how to create your party decoration ideas using your digital camera, your computer and some digital imaging software.
Let’s say you’re planning your child’s first birthday party. You want it to be extra special – it’s the 1st one! Huge expectations of a parent, right? Of all the birthday photos you’ll ever take, the ones from the first birthday will be the highlight of them all. Family may be coming from all over to celebrate the little one’s milestone event and you want amazing party decorations.
Looking at the blank space where you are going to hold the party is like staring at an empty piece of paper knowing you have to write a 1000 word essay. Where to start?
If you have a digital camera, a computer, and a digital imaging software package, you can create your own party decorating plan and be as creative as you want.
I use Microsoft Digital Image Suite 9 for all my digital imaging – I create photos, airbrush family photos, sort photos, etc. My copy is so old, my 7 year old wasn’t even born when I received this software as a present from my parents but I couldn’t see replacing it. It does all I need it to do. As a blogger AND a mother, I use it every single day.
This decoration planning idea works whether you want to make your own party decorations, buy all of the decorations pre-made or hire someone to set up your party.
It also works for any event, not just a birthday party. You can use this idea to come up with the decorations for a reception, a baby shower, an anniversary party or even a wedding.
The first step is to take a photo of your party location and get it loaded to your computer.
Take pictures of the room or location from several different angles so that you get the entire space in your set of photos.
Next, open the photos in your digital imaging software and find the one that has the best, most complete view of the party space. This is going to be the canvas on which you design your decorating plan.
Here’s an example of an empty backyard photo on which I’ll be overlaying a plan for a boy’s 1st birthday party decorations using just images I found from Amazon.
Find a Mylar 1st birthday balloon in a theme I like. This one is a rocket ship theme.
Insert a present table into the backyard. Put the Mylar birthday balloon above the table.
The Mylar rocket ship balloon establishes the colors for my decorations – red, blue and yellow.
Grab red, blue and yellow balloon images from Amazon. Shrink to fit and assemble a cluster of balloons around the Mylar balloon.
I love the rocket ship pattern and decide to shape balloon columns into a rocket ship that matches the pattern. (I’d have to make and paint cardboard fins for the rocket ship base but they should wedge nicely into the balloon column base.)
The surrounding area looks a little blah so I add some Mylar gold star balloons to the perimeter. I can stake these to the ground with balloon ribbon or attach them to the top of clear dowels around the yard.
(Just be sure the poles or fishing line don’t pose a hazard. If it’s windy, these will blow around like mad which makes the poles a better solution – you just don’t want your guests running into them or tripping on them.)
I still have a blank area in the center I want to fill in. Found this great play tunnel for kids in colors that match the theme and I imagine toddlers would have a blast for hours going around and around the tunnel. (Anything to keep kids OCCUPIED!)
Is it perfect and to scale? No. Does that matter? Not a whole bunch. You need your party decorations enough to scale that you can gauge how many balloons and other materials you need to buy to complete your plan but don’t kill yourself trying to make it just right. You’re after “concept” – a plan, a starting point, ideas!
Where do you get your decoration ideas? Well, from the world wide web, of course. The internet is loaded with pictures of party decorations.
All of the pictures on the internet belong to someone and almost all of them are copyright protected meaning you cannot use them for distribution or publish them without the owner’s permission BUT you can use them for your own personal use. You can copy them into your software and cut out bits and pieces of the photos to place snippets of someone else’s decorations into a photo you are only going to use for yourself.
To grab a picture from the web, hover your mouse over the picture, right click, select Copy Image, and then paste the photo into your digital imaging software. You can then crop the photo to select only a piece of it and overlay that onto the picture of your party space.
You can also use images from Amazon where you’ll find TONS of balloons and party decorations. If you find a particular color of balloon or a themed Mylar balloon you want to use, copy it into your photo and move it around or build balloon decorations with the photo as you want.
If you do use Amazon images, you also have a really quick way to print out your decoration supply list. Once you’ve finished your party planning photo, print out the photo and print any of the product listings for images you used from Amazon and either create a master shopping list of supplies or staple all the prints together to use as your shopping list. As you head out to buy supplies locally, you now have photos of what you are after or you can find the items online and then check off each item as it is purchased.
Backyard Photo: © Brettanicus