Decorating on a Budget


Decor Ideas for Any Budget

Pick a Focal Point

  • If you do not have enough in your budget to decorate an entire space, pick one point of focus and pour your resources into that. When guests enter the room, their eyes will instantly be drawn to this area.
  • Your focal point should be where your food is or where the action is taking place.

Create Your Own Centerpieces

  • A little elbow grease can go a long way with a small budget. Examples: Easy centerpieces.
  • Although we do not suggest making centerpieces for a 300-person dinner, we do recommend creating one great centerpiece for a ten-person lunch.
  • In lieu of a big centerpiece, you can also make personal placemats for your guests with numbers, letters, or photos.
  • Another example: use blueprints as placemats; if your meeting revolves around a building opening, for instance, your placemats could be blueprints of that space.

Build An Event Supply Closet for $150

low vases

​Low Vases

  • Initial Cost: $10 to $20, depending on choices.
  • Upkeep Time and Cost: Minimum, cleaning vases between events.
  • High floral pieces add drama but may be expensive and prevent people from talking across the table.
  • Instead, invest in a few small vases that you can dress up with either river rocks or one large, dramatic floral. If you line up three to five square arrangements on a table, it can make a big impact.

A Black Linen

  • Initial Cost: $100 for plain, black linen.
  • Upkeep Time and Cost: $60, assuming it is professionally cleaned once per semester.
  • Most events have a check-in or registration table and having one linen on hand to make a clean first impression can pay off in spades.
  • To save on upkeep, you may be able to get by with cleaning the linen only once a year or wash it at home.

Cloth Napkins

  • Initial Cost: $20 to $40, depending on material and quantity.
  • Upkeep Time and Cost: Average. Will need to wash and iron between events.
  • These can be provided to guests as a napkin or used as a placemat to elevate a boxed lunch.
  • A little linen can go a long way, especially since many lunches come with only a thin paper napkin. 

Floral Design Tips

Valarie Bell

By Valarie Bell, owner of Bells on Floral Design

Even on a very small budget, you can make simple, creative, and elegant arrangements that enhance your event.

  • Choose beautiful flowers such as white hydrangeas, carnations, orchids, calla lilies.
  • Accent your arrangement with lily grass, sheet moss, and monstera leaves.
  • Use various vase sizes: tall glass, square glass, bubble bowl, gold plastic dish, or even a black disposable tray.
  • Assemble the pieces with bind wire, oasis blocks, waterproof ribbon, Just For Flowers color spray, “UGlu” dashes tape, and bamboo sticks.