join our mailing list | facebook
sweet little parties - a blog by the candy tree the candy tree
party_hire party inspiration frequently asked questions
the candy tree
the candy tree

Friday, February 25, 2011

{party planning} step 2 - party ideas & inspiration

Welcome to Step 2 - Party Ideas & Inspiration!

In Step 1 - The Party Brief, we looked at gathering all the essential information required to make informed party decisions.

This next stage is all about exploring the possibilities!!

A quick overview of what we will look at in Step 2 - Party Ideas and Inspiration:
  • selecting a colour palette - We look at ways to select your colour palette. We also look at the colour wheel and touch on some basic colour theory
  • party ideas brainstorm - This handy worksheet helps you consider the key elements of your party and how you will bring your theme or colour palette into each of those elements
  • create an inspiration board - Create a collection of images, fabrics, and objects that will inspire you to take your party from your imagination to reality!

selecting a colour palette

We find that deciding on your colour palette is such a useful (dare we say essential?) starting point when planning a party. It might be selected based on the theme, your favourite colours, a photo or piece of art, from nature....anywhere!! For those of you who are not confident choosing colours or just not sure what colours 'go' together; we've also included a quick colour guide, explaining the colour wheel and basic colour theory...stick to one of the basic rules and you can't go wrong!!

There are many ways to select a colour palette:
  • Select colours from your theme - for example a superhero theme would call for a primary blue, red and yellow colour palette; or an underwater theme may suggest a colour palette or blues, greens and aqua. And for themes where the colour palette is not so obvious…you may find it appears once you have put together your party inspiration board!
  • Look for inspiration in nature - for example the beach inspires a colour palette of blue, aqua and sand; or a rainforest may inspire a colour palette with a base of green injected with splashes of vivid pink, red and orange.
  • Use the party persons favourite colours - these might be colours of their favourite sports team, or simply colours they love!
  • Use colour theory - if you are not confident that colours will work well together, you can try using the colour wheel and colour theory to select your colour scheme.
We recommend limiting your colour palette to two or three colours.

the colour wheel

Understanding the basics of colour theory can help you confidently select colours that will work well together!

Theories and principles of colour are used throughout all art & design disciplines. Fashion designers, interior decorators, and fine artists all consider the element of colour in their creations.

First...a quick look at the colour wheel. The colour wheel is made up of primary, secondary and tertiary colours. Tints and shades of those colours are added to form the full spectrum of colours.

colour combinations

 Here are some of the ways colour theory suggest you combine colour, along with an example of each:

Achromatic - Black white and greys, no hues/colour

Neutral - Off whites, ivory, cream, beige, soft chromatic greys

Monochromatic - Variations on a theme of one hue eg. tints, tones and shades of aqua
(image source:

Analogous - 3 colours next to each other on the colour wheel eg. Yellow, orange-yellow and orange
(image source:

analogous colour scheme

Complementary - 2 colours opposite each other on the colour wheel eg. blue and orange
(image source: unknown)

complementary colour scheme

Split-complementary - colours, two of which are either side of the complementary of the main colour, for example pink, lime and aqua

split-complementary colour scheme

Triadic - 3 colours equidistant on the colour wheel eg. red, blue and yellow

triadic colour scheme

Natural - Colours inspired by nature
(image source:

party ideas brainstorm chart

Each party we plan starts with a’s great to have someone to bounce ideas with, but also achievable by yourself!!

We use our list of key ‘party elements’ (ie things that we consider for every party we plan) as a starting point for our brainstorming sessions.
  • Invitations
  • Décor for entry, table, & party room/space
  • Outfit for the party person
  • Tables & seating
  • Marquee / shelter
  • Food & serving equipment
  • Drinks & serving vessels
  • Plates, napkins, cups, & cutlery
  • Games, activities & entertainment
  • Guests
  • Cake
  • Thankyous / goodie bags
(We will look at each of these party elements in more detail in Step 3 - Party Elements)

to download your party brainstorm worksheet 
(You can simply print it out and use it as is or you might like to redraw onto a larger piece of paper.)

You can add or remove elements to suit your specific needs...the point of this exercise is to explore how your theme and/or colour palette can be implemented into specific elements throughout the party.

party inspiration board

This is one of our favourite parts of the party planning process!

A party inspiration board is basically a collection of images, fabrics and other objects that complement your party theme and/or colour palette. You can use it to collate ideas & inspirations for invitations, food & drinks, décor & more! And it will keep you focused on achieving to look & feel you want for your party!!

Explore the internet, flick through magazines, read a book, watch a movie, look at shop window displays, even take a walk on the beach...there are so many sources of inspiration out there!

The easiest place to start is google...we love google! Simply type in the colour palette or theme of your party along with the words ‘inspiration board’ and you may find a ready made inspiration board for your party!!

Following, you will find inspiration boards we have put together for Skye, Vanessa, Tanya & Leanne who kindly shared details of their upcoming parties with us on facebook!

We hope you have enjoyed Step 2 - Party Ideas & Inspiration!!
We would love your feedback on this there too much information, or not enough?? Want more examples...please let us know!

This post is an excerpt from our upcoming e-book "Party Planning: Step-by-Step", to be released later this year. Information is for personal use only.  We would love you to add a link to this post from your blog or facebook page, however we kindly ask that you request permission before sharing or redistributing content from this post. 

No comments:

Post a Comment