It is the end of the school year which means banquets, graduations, ceremonies, and celebrations. A few years ago, when one of my kids finished elementary school, the parents in our neighborhood got together to host a pool party for all 100 or so fifth grade graduates. The logical choice was the neighborhood pool and activity room. For the sake of space and liability, it was the best decision, as much as I prefer home-grown celebrations.
My job was décor and cupcakes. Since it was a kids' swimming party and I had my typical budget, $0, I headed to Dollar Tree. Pool noodles came to mind as a great starting point. While I was there, I picked up plastic table cloths and sand pails too.
ith duct tape and my electric carving knife in hand, I went to work making flowers using the noodles in the school colors. Here is how I did it.
1. Cut pool noodle into vertical strips but stop about 8" from the bottom.
2. Bend the strips around on themselves and secure with a rubber band.
3. Using a contrasting color, cut small pieces for the stamens. Insert them into the center of the flower.
4. Duct tape the whole thing together.
5. Using another rubber band, attach "greenery" made from parts of tablecloths.
6. Place flowers in pails.
For the buffet tables, I layered the same tablecloths, making them a little fancier. By cutting one in half, it became a topper over the contrasting base layer. (By the way, if the cloths don’t get completely trashed, they make great drop cloths for craft projects.)
The investment was less than $3 per table. Not bad. Would the kids have cared if there were no decorations? Probably not. But did it make the atmosphere more festive? Absolutely!