A process for designing unique decorations for your special occasion theme

The pictures in this post were for various Christmas Parties.  They represent different themes and atmospheres with different forms of creativity.

Some people are just "Naturally" creative.... AND some people "Appear" to be creative.  If you think your creativity is lacking when it comes to decorating for your party or special occasion, FEAR NOT!  This post will make designing event decorations just a simple process for your to follow to achieve a successful event!

Make it Modern

Give it a Face!

what does it mean to be creative?

Being creative (according to the Webster Dictionary) is: "...having or showing an ability to make new things or think of new ideas."

My clients/customers often told me that I was one of the most creative people they’d ever met.  (Granted, they’d never attended the event conventions in New York, California, or Las Vegas like I have.  Now there‘s where you can find some CREATIVE people!) 

a little creative secret for you:

Well, the reality of it is that I am very resourceful and not really, naturally creative.

Don’t get me wrong!  Once in a while I’d come up with purely, new ideas.  However, 90% of the time, my designs came from multiple sources of ideas that I would combine and modify, until I constructed the perfect solution to satisfy my clients’ specific set of circumstances.

You may ask: “…so if you’re small town, why did you go the Big City conventions”?  My answer, in one word is: INSPIRATION!

Almost anyone can make an event look awesome with tens of thousands of dollars.  My challenge was always to bring new, exciting things to my small community, at a price my clients could fit into their budgets.  Although I knew it was highly unlikely that I’d be able to sell the actual designs I saw at those conventions, I knew I’d get a ton of inspiration.  Then all I needed to do was convert that inspiration into small town applications.

Combine with Another Theme

Use a Non-Traditional Color

where can you get inspiration?

If you are SOMEWHAT creative, you can just go on a “scavenger hunt” looking for ideas and inspiration that will satisfy your specific decorating design needs.

CLICK BELOW for two 1-page lists.  The first:  a list of places to conduct your inspiration “scavenger hunt”! and The second: your Creative Conversion List, which will be referenced later in this post.

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Use Greenery

Make It of Something Different


You just need to go through a 2-Part “Brainstorming Process”.

    • You can do this alone, but adding 2-4 more people really helps. Once you have decided on your theme, take 15 minutes with a pen and paper (probably old school – but I like it!) and just write down every little thing that comes to mind when you think of your theme.  (EXAMPLE: Winter Wonderland:  snow, snowflakes, ice, snowmen, snowwomen, ice castle, ice queen, ice sickles, ice skating ….) Go until you can’t think of another thing.
    • Reference my Creative Conversion List - (Second Page from Previous Link)
    • Keeping the items in mind form PART 1, run through my Creative Conversion List and mark each concept that could apply.
    • At this time, decide what will be your “strong element”, “secondary element”, and accents. (EXAMPLE: your “strong element” could be a snowman couple with snowflakes as your secondary. If that is too whimsical for your atmosphere, you could go with all about snow and snowflakes with ice sickles for secondary.)  Using your Decorating Worksheet will be very helpful here.
    • Go through the Creative Conversion List again, this time focusing on your “strong” and “secondary” elements. (EXAMPLE: You could do a giant snowman couple as a focal point and/or do mini snowman couples as centerpieces and snowflakes hanging from the ceiling. OR you could combine a theme and have snow in the city streets, or with Victorian Carolers or a snowy country split rail fence and pine trees.)


  • It’s better if you have your atmosphere defined before going through this process
  • It will prove most helpful if you go through the PART 2 process while you are physically at the location of your event and completing your Site Inspection.
  • Don’t quite “get it” or need some help? Click here to check out my services page.

Make it into a Gift

Make it Super-Large

can you get too creative?

I don’t think a person can really get TOO creative.  However, I do know you can use TOO MUCH creativity at one time. 

WARNING! – Once ideas begin flowing, you may find yourself with a large list of ideas. Do not try to use them all at one event.  There is one Principle of Design that you need to keep in mind during this process: “Unity”  Your ideas, your creative decorations, need to be cohesive and flow throughout your event space.  Failure to do this will result in what I refer to as:  “The Garage Sale” effect.  The overall atmosphere of your special occasion will feel disconnected, instead of each area building on another and being unified.


a creative conclusion...

I came up with this cool acronym BUT didn't fit it in anywhere!

  • Constantly
  • Recreating
  • Event
  • Accents
  • That
  • Invite
  • Visual
  • Interest
  • To Treat
  • You!

I hope this has been helpful.  And the next time you need to be creative, you can just refer back to this little tactic and NAIL IT!

Author: Cheryl Rupple

After selling her 26-year Special Event Decorating Business, Cheryl started blogging to continue helping people celebrate their happiest times. Enjoying life as a Special Occasion Designer, Certified Balloon Artist, Prom Consultant, Wedding Designer/Decorator, and Small Business Coach has brought many happy times to her, those she has met on this path, and hopefully you!

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