10 Ways to Upgrade Disposable Party Decor

It's easier than you think to customize basic party plates, napkins + tableware. 

By: Samantha Ushiro
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Photo By: Samantha Ushiro

Photo By: Samantha Ushiro

Photo By: Samantha Ushiro

Photo By: Samantha Ushiro

Photo By: Samantha Ushiro

Photo By: Samantha Ushiro

Photo By: Samantha Ushiro

Photo By: Samantha Ushiro

Photo By: Samantha Ushiro

Photo By: Samantha Ushiro

Photo By: Samantha Ushiro

Photo By: Samantha Ushiro

Photo By: Samantha Ushiro

Photo By: Samantha Ushiro

Photo By: Samantha Ushiro

Photo By: Samantha Ushiro

Photo By: Samantha Ushiro

Photo By: Samantha Ushiro

Photo By: Samantha Ushiro

Photo By: Samantha Ushiro

Photo By: Samantha Ushiro

Photo By: Samantha Ushiro

Photo By: Samantha Ushiro

Photo By: Samantha Ushiro

Photo By: Samantha Ushiro

Buy, Then DIY

Whether you're throwing a birthday bash or a dinner party with friends, it's not always easy to find fun partyware that goes with your theme. Plus, the cutest party pieces can get pricey. A better solution: DIY it by transforming basic items. We're showing you how to take all of those boring disposable plates, cups, balloons, and more, and dress them up in fun ways that you can use for your next party.

Coming Up Daisies

This '90s motif is back in a big way. We decked out this party in yellow, white and daisies, but these projects are easy to adapt to any theme. 

1: DIY Cake Stand

For a fun twist on a cake stand, use super glue to attach a plastic party cup to the bottom of an inexpensive plastic plate.

1: DIY Cake Stand

Check your local party store or an online party supplier for novelty plastic cups, or sub in a patterned plastic tumbler from the dollar store. 

2: Candy-Covered Drink Stirrers

DIY drink stirrers are a cute addition to any party. These are incredibly easy to make: Just stack candy pieces on a bamboo skewer. Done! 

2: Candy-Covered Drink Stirrers

Color-code the candy to match the party theme. Add paper straws to complete the customized drink look.

3: Chocolate Spoons

Spice up those plastic spoons by adding two different colors of melted chocolate and swirling them together with a toothpick for a marbled effect.

3: Chocolate Spoons

We topped these with an edible candy daisy to tie in to the floral party theme. Offer them to guests with coffee or dessert, or present in a bag for a take-home favor. 

4: Contact Paper Plate

Cut shapes out of contact paper and stick them to the bottom of a clear plate. 

4: Contact Paper Plate

We added white and yellow daisies, but it's easy to get creative here: Try polka dots, triangles, or a half-circle for a dip-dyed look. 

5: Edible Paint

Mix together 3 tablespoons of powdered sugar, 3 teaspoons of water, and two drops of food coloring to make an edible paint. 

3: Edible Paint

Using a new paintbrush, paint the names of your guests on their corresponding plates for a place setting that they can eat!

5: Edible Paint

Use plain white ceramic or melamine plates to allow the washable designs to stand out. 

6: Paper Plate Basket

Cut four corners of a paper plate and fold it up into a bowl shape, hot gluing the corners together. 

6: Paper Plate Basket

Use fake flowers to embellish the outside of the container. 

6: Paper Plate Basket

It's a quick and modern way to hold party snacks! 

7: Stamped Napkins

Use stamps from the craft store and ink to create a pattern on plain paper napkins. 

7: Stamped Napkins

Go for an all-over patter like we did here, or add a single, larger stamp in the corner of the each napkin, like a monogram.

8: Wrapping Paper Runner

For a patterned DIY table runner, trace shapes onto one solid color of wrapping paper and cut them out. 

8: Wrapping Paper Runner

With spray adhesive, glue the cut-outs onto another color of wrapping paper.

8: Wrapping Paper Runner

This customized runner adds a focal point in the center of the table for just a few dollars. 

9: Tattooed Party Cups

Buy sheets of temporary tatoos that coordiante with your party's theme. Apply them with a damp paper towel to the outside of a paper cup.

9: Tattooed Party Cups

For a more customized look, buy temporary tattoo paper (available for inkjet printers) and use a photo editing program to create your own design. 

10: Embellished Balloons

Tissue paper is a great way to add some fun to a plain balloon. Cut petal shapes out of tissue paper, spray one side of the tissue paper with spray adhesive, and stick it to the balloon. 

10: Embellished Balloons

Display behind the table for a fun, easy-to-make party backdrop.