DIY Décor Meets Event Rental Items: Matching the Mismatch

diy-decorOne of the great downfalls of event rental décor is that, ultimately, it can look too slick and professional. If you’re looking for an event that has a touch of the personal, the artisanal, or the original, it pays to know how to create decorations with your own two hands (or someone else’s hired ones!) Here’s some key tips on how to commingle the two without losing the value of either.

Don’t Separate
If you have a space that is entirely decorated with professional-grade event rental décor, and another that is entirely decorated with DIY décor, you have a recipe for disaster. Either the DIY décor is going to look cheap because it’s handmade, or the rental décor is going to look cheap because the DIY décor is handmade. Commingling the two into a single space — like putting handmade centerpieces on top of rented tablecloths as a very basic example — will remove the contrast and leave the space as a whole feeling good about itself.

This is especially easy if you go for a theme like ‘Bohemian’ or ‘shabby chic.’

Use Rentals to Establish Theme, and DIY to Tweak to Taste
Rental event décor is great for easily establishing a theme. Especially with a company like Design Group, where we have massive set pieces appropriate for almost any basic concept, setting the…well, setting — of a party is easy. But we know quite well that for most people, “Beach” isn’t really a theme. “Beach” is a category — a real party generally has a theme like “Baywatch” or “You’ll Never Be Dennis Wilson.” That’s when the DIY items come in: to take a general theme and make it something that meets your specific needs.

Use Rentals for Necessities, and DIY for Shock and Awe
Another way to think about it: rent the stuff that you need in bulk. Chairs, tables, place settings, carpets, lights, all of that can and should be rented. Including bulk décor items like pendant LEDs or throw pillows. Then put your DIY skills to use putting together just a few clutch one-ofs that will set the whole event up, like a massive paper mâché Harley Quinn mask on the wall for a villain-themed event. By keeping the DIY items limited and number but big in scope and impact, you help keep the rental items firmly in the background where they can do their job while everyone compliments you on your excellent decoupage.

Know What You Can Do With DIY
We’ve seen some impressive claims — one mother-of-the-bride claiming she was going to sew chair covers for 85 guests with less than a month to go until the wedding is still worth a chuckle now and then around the office. Don’t be her; take an honest assessment of what you can DIY in the time allotted with the budget and materials you have available, and don’t overcommit. It’s better to finish a few big amazing pieces and fill in the rest than it is to have dozens of hurriedly-put-together DIY decorations that don’t add the wow you want.

In the end, of course, every event is different and no one set of guidelines will be right for everyone — but we firmly believe that every significant event has a place for DIY décor alongside the necessary rentals. Just mix and match carefully, and get the full advantages of each!

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