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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004

    help me decorate for moms 50th!

    so the date for my moms party (first weekend in december) is just around the corner. and im at a loss for decorating and we dont have a theme. we'll have about an hour and a half to decorate (about 5 of us doing it)
    we're having it in a banquet hall, and will have 9- 8ft long tables (seat 8 each).
    we'll have white linen tablecloths provided to us and small tealight candle holders like these

    but for other table top decor i dont know what to do

    i want to stay away from anything christmasy. and i was thinking of just doing silver/gold/black for colors.
    it would be fun to get some fabric for the tables. to use as runners or something. but i need this to be cheap.

    i was thinking of black tulle kinda gathered and run down the center of the table. with confetti or garland down over it and 3 candles down the center with a balloon grouping (2/ table of maybe 3 balloons each) in between the candle holders.....
    so on top of the tulle it'd go candle balloons candle baloons candle

    but this is as (un)crafty as i can think of... i would be willing to do something fancier for each center piece... since there are only 9 of them.

    any inexpensive flower ideas?
    i also need a fun idea for the birthday cards and where to place them

    help! please lend me your crafty ideas

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  3. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Maybe it's me, but black seems kind of...depressing for a birthday party. I don't think I would use the black as the runner color.
    What are her favorite colors? Maybe you could use silver, gold and blue? It just seems like having an actual color might be cheerier.

    Other than that, I think your center pieces sound cool. Maybe get some crepe paper at the dollar store, and put it up in the doorways. Blow up balloons with helium, and tie them to her chair so that it's special.

    You could get her one of those oversized birthday cards, or make one for her, and have everyone sign it as they come in.
    Then put all of the cards and things they bring onto the same table.

    The dollar store usually has some pretty nice fake flowers. Ours has those glass marbles, and clear vases. You could buy a few of those, and then go to somewhere like costco, but a bouquet, and break it up into single flowers.

  4. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Los Angeles

    Some Ideas...

    What kind of personality does your mom have? Because... she was born in 1955, so that's a veritable hot-house of crazy 50s themed decoration, from naming each table after movie stars or TV shows (Marilyn, Elvis, James Dean) "Yes darling, why don't you join me at the 'I Love Lucy Table?"
    Did she have teen idols in the 60s-70s?
    Monkees? Beatles? Greg Brady? You could use those, or heads of state, or even famous book titles for your centerpiece decorations or table names.
    Centerpieces could have timelines printed with various aspects of your Mom's life/achievements "1963- Wins Poetry Contest" 1975- "Eats entire jar of pickles in one sitting"
    I love getting crazy with centerpieces, unorthodox stuff like old cigar boxes and drawers packed with grass and flowers and votives nestled inside. They look retro and well-loved, and they end up being so cheap, people can take them home and then you won't have to deal with them.

    If you use fake flowers, spray them gold, and dust them with glitter, since plastic flowers look cheap, kitsch them up so that people know that you know they're cheap! Have FUN with them, get those 99 cent xmas lights and stuff them into the bottom (battery powered, hooray) so that the light hits the glitter, and they also light up the table a little and add some lovely ambience. Target and IKEA both have really great deals on small light sets, I was just there this week.

    Do you have older photos of her over the years? I made a compilation of photos of my mom from over the years, from when she was hanging out at the drive-in in bobbysocks, to her "hippie days" to her "powersuit 80s" days.
    I put them all together and printed them on a small banner at Kinko's, but you could assemble a smaller compilation and make copies for each table for people to look at and say "Wow, remember that?"

    50 is a GOLDEN anniversary, so make sure your "auxiliary colors" exist only to accentuate the main hue.
    It takes WORK to get golden!
    Fun fact: Your mother is the same age as Disneyland, and they are making special "golden mouse ear" hats right now for their 50th.

    My Mom was born in '43, and I found her the LIFE magazine for her birth year and month, she loved it, and so did her friends, they looked at it and yelled things like "Oh wow, remember Burma Shave?" and stuff like that.

    If she's wanting a more elegant celebration, you can't beat fresh flowers, and sometimes at the 99 cent store, they have simple glass containers and glass baubles you can put them in... as cheezy as the 99 cent store is, I always go there first, you never know what kind of miraculous deal you might find!
    Pillar candles are also quite nice... as long as they aren't too close to decorative foliage. Tapers always make me nervous... so easy to knock over and they burn quickly and require more attention.
    Hope some of this helps!

  5. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    los angeles county, CA
    The "golden" ideas are great - what's her favorite color? Does it work well with gold? Would it look good as the tulle?

    (from someone looking at 50 looming up.....)

    Let's see... she was in her HS years in the very early 70s. Brady Bunch, Laugh-In, "A Clockwork Orange," "Harold & Maude." Rock was just starting to flex its corporate muscle. Hippie was fading, glitter was rising, many people were talking about 'heart of the country where the holy people grow.' (Disco is a little deeper into the 70s.) Flower Power, Happy Faces, Keep On Truckin. Embroidered, patched jeans, long enough to walk on the bell bottom hems. Silver, Danskins. The 30's were a BIG style influence. The Marx Brothers made a comeback -- so did pre-warII old romantic movies -- and everyone loved Groucho. Elvis was still alive. Avoid Watergate; it was not a happy moment.

  6. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    I'm picturing fuschia or hot pink as an accent.......

  7. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Cleveland, OH
    For my mom's birthday, we made a big posterboard with pictures of her as a little kid on it. And then pictures of her as she got older. She liked it a lot, and all the people who came liked looking at it.

  8. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Charm City
    I definitely agree that you should somehow work a timeline of your mum's life (with pictures!) into your decor, either a posterboard (like Guinness recommended) or a booklet available on the tables. Or the tables themselves could tell the story of her life; some quick examples, thinking of my own mother here to kind of provide ideas:

    Table 1 -- Preschool years, images of your grandmother pregnant with your mum, early photos, drawings she made as a kid, photos of her with any brothers/sisters
    Table 2 -- Elementary and middle school, does she have any old homework assignments, report cards?
    Table 3 -- High school, her prom photo, her yearbook
    Table 4 -- College or 20somethings
    Table 5 -- Honeymoon, images from her wedding, photos of her and your dad throughout the years (for my mum, this would take up several tables, as she's been married four times ;))
    Table 6 -- I'd make one table kind of novel, like images of your mum in Halloween costumes or on vacation, just to be cute.
    Table 7 -- Family Life, images of her with you and any other kids, family portraits through the years
    Table 8 -- Working gal, images or other representations of the different careers your mum has had
    Table 9 -- Wild guesses about things your mum might do in the future. You could make a centerpiece that has pictures of things like astronaut, president and put your mum's head in them, plus have an empty fishbowl and pen and paper for people to make their own guesses.

    Of course, this could vary wildly based on your mother, whether or not she went to college or worked out of the home, etc. But those were just to help you get some ideas.

    I also agree with Jedi Empress Mel that black seems a little too somber. I like the idea of this being a festive occassion, free of the usual "over the hill" stuff, and more about what an amazing woman your mother is, celebrating her.

    Gosh, I do go on? Would you believe that I originally started brainstorming ideas to have something to post other than this:

    @mrs stroozi--Yay! I love Harold & Maude!


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