This is the perfect year to DIY New Years Eve. Why? Because of college football playoffs, silly. Plus, New Years Eve parties can be a letdown with their high ticket prices, expensive drinks and surging Uber rates. If you’re thinking of hosting the first party of 2016, here are a few projects that are easy to execute but will make you look amazing:
The Champagne Tower
The key is to use glasses, not flutes, and to start with a strong base of 4 glasses by 4 glasses. Continue to make squares (3×3, 2×2) until you reach the top. Make sure all glasses are centered and pour your favorite bubbly into the top glass, overflowing until it runs into the others. Bonus points for doing this after your guests arrive and before the ball drops.
Artful Food Stations
Food is essential, especially if you plan on serving alcohol. And food can dictate the flow of the party as well. Our recommendation is to make substantial snacks that you can prep in advance and then cook/heat up before guests arrive.
Sample menu: hot ham & cheese sliders, queso dip, slow cooker meatballs, chicken taquitos and baked brie. In the mood for lighter fare? We love mozzarella, basil and tomato skewers, fruit tray, shrimp cocktail and charcuterie.
Place these on their respective platters or heating elements and place them throughout the party area. If you’re putting more than one food (or having an assembly area for a food like sliders), place food and accouterments at varying heights for a look that will make even bacon bits look refined.
Placing food in more than one location will also encourage people to walk around and talk instead of holing up at one table. Now, for the DIY, artful part. Here are a few easy ways to make your simple dishes look amazing with packing paper and markers, or a few sticks, construction paper, glue and glitter:
Not really craft-oriented? There are printable cupcake toppers all over the interwebs. Simply print and use some glitter to make them special.
An Amazing Playlist
It goes without saying that any great party has great music. While we recommend starting out with some Top 40 hits that people can dance to, as the night goes on, it might be fun to get nostalgic. Here are some oldies but goodies you can bust out once the ball drops that will coax even the shyest person to the dance floor:
No Diggity – Blackstreet
Billie Jean – Michael Jackson
Bye Bye Bye – NSync
Where Da Party At – Jagged Edge
Africa – Toto
Jumpin’, Jumpin’ – Destinys Child
Low – Flo Rida
Footloose – Kenny Loggins
Walk This Way – Run DMC/Aerosmith
Hot in Herre – Nelly
Slave 4 U – Britney Spears
Yes – Merry Clayton
Honey – Mariah Carey
Dirrty – Christina Aguilera
I Wanna Dance with Somebody – Whitney Houston
A DIY Photo Booth
Want your party to be Instagram-worthy? A DIY photo booth is a simple way to do it. Depending on the time you can commit, you can create a backdrop using poms, paper flowers, fabric, lights and strung-together glittery balls. Let these serve as inspiration:
images via Buzzfeed