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Dunham Design Company

Sunday, October 26, 2014

How To Throw An Amazing Party!

How To Throw An Amazing Party!

A week in advance, I put all of my Beverage & Food dishes on my dining room table and label each dish with the food that will be going on that plate.  

When I host parties, I'm often asked how I was able to get everything ready in time for the party.  I want to share with you how I prepare for an upcoming party and this is my step-by-step process! 

Step 1     PLAN EARLY! 

If you are hosting a themed birthday party, pick the theme of the party several months in advance.  This gives you time to find deals on themed party supplies without feeling rushed.  Check stores like Dollar Tree several times for their newest shipments and purchase your party supplies as soon as you see it.  I found three rolls of Superhero wrapping paper at a Dollar Tree and bought it right away hoping to get more, but I never found more! My point here is to purchase it immediately if it fits into your party theme and is a good price.  I also found favor bag packs at Party City on clearance for 99 cents each pack (each pack had 10-20 favor bags).  On a return trip to Dollar Tree, I found Superhero Capes that I used for prizes for $1 each! Score!

Step 2     MAKE LISTS!

Make lists of all the party supplies you want and need.  Include EVERYTHING.  Plates, Cups, Straws, Beverages, Food, Game Supplies, Party Printables, Decorations, Tables, Chairs etc.  I also make one list of all the Beverage and Food dishes I plan to have at my party along with the ingredients for each Beverage Punch/Food Dish I will make.  This makes it easier to shop for groceries at the Supermarket-I know I have every ingredient I need.  Enlist the help of family/friends if you have a really long grocery list-split the list up between two people and spend way less time in the grocery store.  Make sure you make a list for games and get all the items you need for each game and store in a bucket together.  Put party prizes in the same bucket.  I make another list for each day the week before the party to make sure I get everything finished.

Here is a list I recently made for the week before a party I hosted:


Buy final ingredients from grocery store (things that would have gone bad if you bought it earlier.)

Clean House.

Sweep front entry.


Put punch ingredients together except for ginger ale.

Order chicken nuggets.

Make rice krispy treats.

Blow up balloons.



Put Greek Hummus together.

Make Ambrosia Salad.

Make Smoked Sausage in Crescent Rolls.

Make Cream Cheese Veggie Tortilla Roll-Ups.

Make Pasta Salad.

Make Pretzels in Cheese.

SATURDAY (Party starts at 10:30 am)

Wake up at 6 am and get ready.

Put mac n cheese in crockpot by 8 am.

Turn oven on to 300 degrees to warm food.

Husband picks up chicken nuggets.


Put out Beverages and Food.


I tend to get a little frantic the hour before the party.  In order to keep myself calm, I like to have as much as I can ready ahead of time.  If you are using party printables, have them cut, strung and put together a week in advance.  Make sure you have purchased all the party decorations, favors, games a week in advance including cups, plates, etc.  Make sure you have contacted family/friends about borrowing things (extra tables or chairs) you might need a week to two weeks in advance.  Ask friends/family to help in ways they are talented-such as making the cake, but remember to ask weeks in advance.  If you are using a caterer, contact them a month or more in advance.  If you are purchasing party food trays, order it a couple of days early.  A week in advance, I put all of my Beverage & Food dishes on my dining room table and label each dish with the food that will be going on that plate.  This way I know that a particular bowl/plate is clean and I can see if I need serving spoons.  Set up the party and decorate for the entire party a day or two in advance.  I recently hosted a backyard party and had to wait till hours before the party to finish decorating due to rain-remember some things are out of your control but try to have as much as you can ready the day before the party.  On the day of the party, give yourself several hours to set up beverage and food stations, warm up food, pick up food trays you ordered, and finish decorating.  Don't forget yourself! Before you prep for the party the day of, have your self ready first.  I wear an apron to keep my clothes clean. Make sure you have all of the beverages and food out and ready at least fifteen minutes before the party begins.  

Once the first party guest arrives, enjoy your family/friends and the wonderful party you created!

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