DIY Glow Party Teen Birthday (on a tight budget) – Decorations

My little geekling, Kid #2 turns 15 in July. She wanted to have a glow party/rave for her birthday bash. This summer party will be fun and frugal, as I try to stick to a tight budget.

Glow Party Teen Birthday Decorations

In this series: DIY Glow Party ~ Invitations ~ Decorations ~ Food ~ Summer Party Time ~ Blacklight Party Time ~ Favors


Most of the decorations will be ready to hang about a week (hopefully more) in advance. Many will actually be hung the day before. We are saving money doing it ourselves, but we are paying in the time it takes to make them

Tiered trays

Spray paint silver trays and candlesticks and adhere to make tiered trays like these from Joy’s Hope. I will paint them in colors that will go with her room so she can use them after. (Note: not food safe once you spray paint them)

Spiral ceiling decoration

Cut a spiral from neon posterboard for a super cheap ceiling decoration, from Alpha Mom. If I have time I will paint the edges with fluorescent paint.

*Update: Neon posterboard was the cheapest decoration ever. One piece makes multiple ceiling spirals, and glows nicely under blacklight.

We will get some helium balloons from the dollar store to put on the mailbox, since we live in the boonies and GPS dumps you far, far away from my house (but on the right road).

Glowing balloons

My Walmart has a helium tank and balloons for sale for $21 (see it on Amazon but don’t buy it here, the shipping is killer), and if I did that I would get mini glowsticks (see it on Amazon) to put in there for diy glow balloons (instructions from DIY Projects Journal.)

Tissue paper pompoms

We will make fabulous tissue paper pompoms (instructions from Martha Stewart).

Neon tray

I will create a tray like this one from Style Me Pretty with a clear plate from the dollar store and washi tape. I won’t worry about the tape being on top since it’s not for regular use, and I’ll probably use it for something else later, like holding kiddie hair bows.

Paper rosettes

We plan to make neon paper rosettes. I like these because they look good during the day and glow in the blacklight. You accordion fold three of pieces paper, and stick the sides together. Once you have a full ring, you smoosh it down so it is flat and you have a rosette. (Instructions from Broke Ass Bride.) In the photo they used gold paper doilies to make layers and I think that adds a nice touch.

Birthday banner

We will make a loverly birthday banner like this one. I think I will use white cardstock paper, since it should react to blacklight, and paint the letters with fluorescent paint ($2 a bottle at my Walmart). I have some purple zebra ribbon that will make an appearance here.

Party doorway

I have a separation between the kitchen and living room, way too big to be a doorway. But I would like to do something like this with neon streamers and balloons. I want to make it shorter in the middle so there actually is a kind of doorway.

Bowl backdrop

Use cheapo neon disposable bowls to make a backdrop like this one from Simply Creative Insanity.

Postit backdrop

Fold postits to form another neon backdrop like this one from Simply Creative Insanity

*Update: The postits I got glowed, and the highlighters I got were good for drawing on neon posterboard, white tshirts, and apparently teens.

Hanging streamers

Use an embroidery hoop (around $1 in the craft section), or strong craft wire, and neon streamers to make the spiffy ceiling decor from Rebekah-Lynn.

Glow lanterns

After dark we will make glow lanterns (instructions on The Gold Jellybean). You put a piece of white tulle in your jar. Cut up some glowsticks (3? 6? 8?) and squeeze the goo into your jar, then shake shake shake it. You can’t make these ahead since the glow wears off.

*Glowstick alert! Normally the dollar store has tubes of 10 glow sticks for a dollar. In July they only have packs of 5. The party store might be a better bet.

Photo backdrop

On my covered porch I will make a photo backdrop like this one from Celebrations. I can get sheer curtains for free from the swap shop in town. I already have some battery-powered led lights from eBay (there is no shortage of fairy lights in this house), or get them off Amazon.

Mustache photo props

I will make mustache photo props with neon paper and leave them out there (like these from Made + Remade).

Straws with washi tape flags

Wrap straws with neon washi tape for a pop of color (like this from Con Botas de Agua), or buy glow in the dark straws (from Amazon).

Washi tape bunting

I will make tiny bunting with washi tape to decorate my cupcakes, like this from Con Botas de Agua.

Duct tape wrapped water bottles

I will wrap water bottles with pretty duct tape like these from The Frugal Girls, one roll of duct tape should do about 20-40 bottles, depending on the size roll you get. If you try the paper covers I would wrap them with packing tape. The paper gets soggy and ends up on the lawn or your floor.

In this series: DIY Glow Party ~ Invitations ~ Decorations ~ Food ~ Summer Party Time ~ Blacklight Party Time ~ Favors

Previous ~ Next: Food

What has been your most successful DIY decoration?

More With Less Mom

Tween Girl Rock Star / Spa Night Birthday Sleepover Party
Also see my Tween Girl Rock Star / Spa Night Birthday Sleepover Party

Photo credits:
Birthday banner from Confetti Mama on Etsy
Doorway from Getting Some Fun Out of Life
Glowing balloons from DIY Projects Journal
Glowstick lanterns from The Gold Jellybean/a>
Goodie bags from
Hanging streamers from Rebekah-Lynn
Light backdrop from Celebrations
Mustaches from Tree Town Paper on Etsy
Neon bowl backdrop from Simply Creative Insanity
Neon lucite tray from Style Me Pretty
Neon marshmallows from Sugar Loco
Neon rosettes from The Pugmires
Postit backdrop from Simply Creative Insanity
Spiral streamers from Alpha Mom
Tiered trays from Joy’s Hope
Tissue paper pompom from PomTree on Etsy
Washi tape bunting from Con Botas de Agua
Washi tape straw flags from Con Botas de Agua
Water bottles from The Frugal Girls

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