Whether you are looking for ways to stretch your event budget or a start a new creative event project that you can show off, this list is a great place to get inspiration from. From table dressing to actual furniture, as well as photo booths and props, some of these ideas are virtually free, which means if you’re over your budget you can still make an impact without missing out and come up with some pretty cool ideas too.
Dressed Pallet Furniture
Pallets are amazing and can easily be turned into furniture (they are just wood after all) but if you don't have the time to get too creative, consider dressing them and turning them into easy outdoor furniture. This rustic chic look focuses more on the dressing than the craftsmanship, but it's functional and cool, nonetheless.
Muffin Liner Backdrop
This hanging backdrop is made from string and muffin liner cases to create a funky hanging effect that could also double up as aerial décor around an entrance or archway. You could adapt this to include different colours or patterns, or it is a budget-friendly way to cover up an ugly venue wall!
Credit: Thea’s Little Creations
Pick up an old set of drawers from a thrift store or repurpose some you have lying around into a food or drink station. You could also keep one drawer closed and stocked full of refill food/cutlery and utensils, cups or drinks which is great for outdoor events to stop you having to make lots of trips.
Credit: Lloguers BMB
Save a fortune and make your own photo booth props by cutting out paper shapes and attaching to kebab sticks. This frame idea also allows space to incorporate the event hashtag which is perfect for money saving on these one-use items.
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Credit: Emazin Events
Tree Stump Centrepieces
Table décor is important but can also be costly, so making them yourself can work out cheaper. These centrepieces comprised of two log slices and simple florals on top which created the natural, rustic effect of them sprouting from within.
Credit: Quixotic Events
Event signage is important to an event, whether that includes wayfinding, marketing, branding, sponsorship opportunities or even décor. You can make signs in a variety of different ways such as printing on paper and framing them, drawing them yourself or like in this example, painting on distressed wooden boards. A range of different effects can be made with signage and all of them can be done by hand – if you are good at calligraphy, that’s a bonus!
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Credit: Honey Fields Décor
Homemade Pool Party
If you are looking for an entire DIY theme, then this pool party is a fantastic idea when you don’t actually have a pool! Make your own in the venue space, create a buffet and drinks table and you’re all set. Add some inflatables, crack out an inflatable hot tub and you’ve created a summer splash party at your venue without the maintenance and upkeep of a pool.
Credit: Moving Boutique
Food stations and buffet tables are an excellent networking idea at your event. They keep the cost of food down and also allow you to reduce the need for tables and therefore fully utilize your event space. This barrel buffet bar does the job and fits in perfectly at this Tuscany, country-style wedding by using wine barrels as the base and wooden panels for the table top.
Credit: Paolo Nassi
If you are looking for a stunning photo opportunity and backdrop idea, this is a quirky one to try that is adaptable to an array of different flowers depending on your theme or colours. You can also keep it for recurring events and just change the florals each time or hang props instead to mix things up a bit. This would also nicely draw attention away from plain venue walls and all for potentially under $25.
Credit: Chic From Chicago
Pallet Seating Chart
Another way to make use of old pallets is to turn them upright and fasten frames with table names and numbers, creating a unique seating chart option that hardly costs a thing. You can print out the names and add extra foliage or flowers around the edges to fit in with the other décor, and you’ve easily turned this old piece of wood into a functional signage option for your event.
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Crane Hanging Décor
Put your origami skills to the test and create aerial décor that’s beautifully simplistic by folding a range of designs and stringing them together. Although this can take time, these cranes in particular are considered good luck at weddings so they are also a thoughtful option you can make yourself as a gift to the happy couple.
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Credit: House Of Bunting
Photo booths are popular but they can be expensive to hire so instead you can create your own propped area that’s perfect for event photography. The backdrop is made by stringing repurposed old bottles and books and a distressed door frame is used as a booth frame with the event hashtag proudly on display. Who wouldn’t want to take photos here?
Credit: Ideeoh Events
Another origami creation that can be turned into a fun participatory activity is this wall panel, perfect for trade show or exhibition booths. You could include prizes, vouchers or QR codes that attendees can redeem when they visit your booth and you can create patterns in the wall itself to attract more traffic.
Trabalho do final de semana. Um lindo painel personalizado com dobraduras para a querida @fernandajahjahfestas. Contei com a ajuda da @cabanafestaebrincadeiras minha super amiga Iza. Adorei o resultado e vcs? #happybirthdayfestaspersonalizadas #paineldecorado #painelpersonalizado #painel #paineldepapel #dobraduras #origami #paineldeorigami #festapersonalizada #decoracaodefesta #festademenina #festademenino #silhoueteiras #partyideas #festainfantil #festasinfantis #kidspartyidea #maefesteira
Credit: Roberta Marcucci-HappyBirthday
This fun and gourmet grazing station is becoming increasingly popular and is always enjoyed at events. It’s a lot more simple than it looks and simply involves a backboard and wooden pegs with a splash of colour to mix up the look. As it is often photographed for its quirky nature, you could also consider adding your event hashtag to the top of the board as well so that attendees and vendors alike can know where they have seen it.
Credit: The George In Rye - Weddings
If you have an open-air event or one with high ceilings, you may want to create a canopy to ensure that the space feels more intimate. One of the ways to do this is to use umbrellas as a makeshift ceiling to enclose the space and also encourage attendees to look up. They also help to stave off the rain as a cover solution if you can’t afford a marquee or canopy.
Letting everyone know where to sit can be a mindless task and for large amounts of attendees’, place settings are needed, which can be a sizeable expense. This fantastic idea would suit all the bibliophiles out there by cutting shapes out of the pages of your favourite books or novels. You can then simply write the names on the shapes and prop them up on the plate or in between forks, like in this example. It’s definitely a quirky and effective way to seat everyone. Plus, you could create a game where each table has the same book and you have to guess which one it is from.
Credit: Bookish Bliss
There are plenty of tires lying around the junkyard, which means there is endless potential for your event. You can create a lot of uniform seating by getting hold of tires, painting them and placing a wooden ‘lid”’ over the gap in the middle, add some cushions and you can have an outdoor or indoor picnic!
There are plenty of elements of an event that you can attempt to do yourself and as you can see, that can range from paper folding to woodwork. However, it is important to remember that doing it yourself takes time, particularly with a large amount of attendees. Therefore, have a think about which projects you would like to start in advance, so that they are ready in time for your event.