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Grad Banquet Decor CollageEvery year, my church hosts a graduation banquet to honor the grads among us. This year, I was in charge of the decoration plan, on a budget of $20! Despite the seemingly impossible task of creating an elegant and cohesive decor plan on such a budget, I jumped at the opportunity to be resourceful and creative in decorating. Here’s the ideas board I created:

Banquet IdeasFlowers/Plants

After brainstorming many ideas and estimating which decorations would consume which part of the budget, I realized that it would not be within our budget to purchase flowers. However, flowers add such elegant touch and natural beauty to the decor that I was reluctant to leave them out. Solution? Wild flowers! While driving on the highway, I noticed sporadic clusters of gorgeous purple foxglove just starting to bloom. So instead of purchasing flowers, I decided to gather wild flowers (on the day of the banquet).

DSC_3206One unforeseen issue that arose with these flowers was ANTS. These purple bell shaped flowers were the perfect hiding place for critters, especially ants. So if you choose the option of wild flowers, definitely leave them outside for a bit and shake them out well before bringing them inside.

In addition to the foxglove, I also gathered some interestingly-shaped broad leaves, and grass-like leaves for the center piece.

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Colour scheme

Once I decided upon the flowers, that gave me the starting point for my colour scheme. Aside from purple, I just wanted the rest of the decor to be more neutral shades (eg. black, white, silver).

When I went to the dollar store to look for tablecloths, I found purple tablecloth, and also saw a tablecloth with an elegant black and white pattern. I decided that I could cut the black and white tablecloth to make table runners.

IMAG3954Photo booth

Aside from the table decor, I wanted to create a graduation-themed photo booth where people can take photos to remember this year’s graduation banquet.

While shopping at a garage sale, a lady was selling a fabric shower curtain with a beautiful tree silhouette design. I thought that it would be the perfect backdrop for the photo booth. I also added Christmas lights behind the shower curtain to provide the feel of glimmering blossoms on the trees.

IMAG3964For the photo booth props, I decided to create my own, using black poster paper and skewers. After cutting out a frame, I also had the perfect shape for a photo booth sign!

IMAG3962Overall, people enjoyed the picture-taking opportunity and used the props in various ways!

DSC_3336 Class of 2014 Banner

At the entrance, I also wanted to create a welcome banner with “Class of 2014” on it. For the banner, I consulted tutorials like this one. Except instead of buying letters, I enlarged the words in Microsoft Word, formatted the words so that the fill was white and outline was black, and then printed and cut out the letters on white and black paper.

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PowerPoint

I figured that the easiest and most effective way of adding “wall” decoration would be to create PowerPoint slides that match the decor theme and also briefly introduces the grads. I had the PowerPoint looping automatically as people walked in and settled down.Grad Banquet PPT

Cost

Aside from the materials I already had on hand (construction paper, string, vases, bowls, candles, ribbon, Christmas lights), here’s what I spent:

$11.50- Tablecloths (6 purple, 2 black and white)
$1.50- 2 Black poster boards
$3- Balloons (1 pack purple, 1 pack silver)
$2- Tree silhouette Shower Curtain
$1.50- Skewers
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$19.50- TOTAL

I hope that if you are planning a party of your own, you will be able to gather some ideas from this post- happy decorating!

Betty

Soli Deo Gloria

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