Entertaining is expensive, but you can save money by keeping a tight rein on your budget and personally taking on a few creative decorating projects. For example, book a free or low-cost venue, such as a school gymnasium or community recreation center for your event. Talk with friends and family to find wholesale deals or locate someone with a surplus of decorating supplies, which is not an unusual circumstance after a wedding or reunion. Choose a simple theme, like "starry night" and decorate the ceiling yourself.
Things You'll Need
Star-shaped LED lights, strands
Measure 13 feet up the wall from the floor to the ceiling. Mark the height around the entire room with painter's tape or pencil.
Repeat the measurement up the wall to the 12-foot mark. Mark this height around the room with painter's tape or pencil.
Drill a hole along the tape lines every 2 to 5 feet. Place an anchor into the hole and screw a hook into each hole. Get site approval before doing any drilling. Or attach jumbo-sized, self-adhesive hooks to the wall at 1-foot intervals.
Hang LED light strands along and across the ceiling using the upper tier of hooks.
Knot the end of the fishing line to create a loop.
String 16 to 30 beads on the line.
Fit the loop over one of the hooks and unravel the line. Walk toward a hook on the opposite wall.
Place a drop of glue on the line every 1 to 3 feet. Slide a bead over each drop of glue or knot the thread to hold the bead in place.
Cut the line 1 foot longer than the distance between the hooks. Knot a loop in the end of the line and fit it over the hook. Trim any excess line.
Repeat to attach beaded lines between all of the remaining hooks, creating a grid of fishing line.
Lay strips of black and dark blue tulle as well as flame-retardant tissue paper on top of the grid. Disconnect a few lines temporarily to make this easier. Ensure the material obscures the light and wires from the LEDs.
Pull the tulle through the gaps in the wire grid to make it billow out and drape.
Glue the middle and ends of each tulle and paper strip to the fishing line to hold the material in place.
Run a length of wire across the room and use it to hang a disco ball to represent the moon.
Apply glue to all knots to make them more secure. Decorate the room with silhouettes of buildings, people and trees. Scatter black plywood silhouettes throughout the room. Make romantic preserve jar lanterns with LED candles, sand and wire. Wrap the jar with tissue paper for a softer glow. Scatter the jars around the room on the refreshment table as individual centerpieces or place overhead. Keep the lights dim, as the darkness enhances the decor and makes the ceiling appear larger than it is. Create a more believable ambiance with woodsy scents and a natural noise soundtrack. You can substitute an LED strand with twinkle lights.
Before putting up any decorations on walls or ceilings, review the relevant safety material provided by your local fire safety committee. If you are unsure about the safety of certain materials or designs, you can present your ideas to the committee and get approval. Always consider the safety of decorations before cost or effort. Saving a little money isn't worth risking lives.