Graduation Party Decor... on a Budget!

Vacation was over and now prom is done as well... time for the next event on the calendar; our daughters high school graduation.

Talking to other parents it seems spending $500 - 1500 on a reception or open house is 'average' and that is assumed to a 'low cost' reception at their home, in their garage with ham sandwiches, cake and nuts. Average? Not for me! Remember, I have Pottery Barn and Ballard tastes on a Walmart budget. I like things to look expensive knowing that nobody needs to know how much I didn't spend.

We almost didn't hold a reception at all but I'll spare you the long winding road of a story that led us to where we are today: Holding an Open House reception at the end of May. In the part of the country where we live high school graduations are met with "Open House's" which are receptions held at the graduates home, usually in the garage, with ham and turkey sandwiches on buns or shredded bbq pork, baked beans, chips, cake, nuts and homemade mints. They've been doing it this way for at least 20-30 years that I personally know of and probably longer than that. (Where we used to live in California they would typically just have immediate family go out for a really nice dinner afterwards... but each part of the country does things differently and when in Rome.........)

Tonight I had to run and errand to the fabric store and right across the street is a dollar store. I popped in with my 13 year old and as I walked past graduation decorations it occurred to me; I hadn't bought any yet.

Walking through the aisles and making decisions I passed up the 'typical' decorations and used a bit of imagination. For about $20.00 I now am set.

The table decorations will be the red and silver star burst weighted table decorations. They are orignally to weigh down helium balloons. They were just $1. each and I got 6. I also got a large graduation cap centerpiece, confetti, 2 plastic (crystal looking) bowls and 1 platter to serve snacks and the red and white napkins, plates and table cover.

If you have graduation parties to plan don't just hit the local 'mart' stores or party or paper warehouse stores... you'll pay more for the exact same items you can find at your local dollar store. Check out the 'party' aisles for solid color plates, silverware, napkins and more and mix and match your school colors!
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