Since the element of surprise is the most important part of a surprise party, take care to check that your party decorations aren’t at all visible from outside the venue. If you’re using strobes or any special lighting, make sure the switches are easily accessible so that the flashes and colors won’t be a giveaway.
Fill the party room with decorations that will truly shock the guest of honor: Cover the ceiling with helium balloons, drape streamers from fixtures, and give guests champagne poppers and silly string to release when the guest of honor enters.
Paper lanterns are a great alternative. They come in a huge variety of colors and patterns, and they are also reusable which is an added bonus.
When you send out invitations, try to add some kind of three dimensional object to it. A temporary tattoo they can sport coming to the party, a wand or fun buttons. It helps bring the party to life in their minds and makes it feel real and a little bit special.
So many things! You can add glow sticks or confetti inside to give them a fun new look. Or glue graft pom poms on the outside. Markers can be used to write/decorate them for a more personalized touch.
Party blowers and confetti are a fun and cheap addition to any party. Also, transforming a space with a bunch of giant paper globes, starbursts and streamers can make a big impact for a small investment.
Use alternating colors of streamers and some double sided tape to create a unique palette motif. Cover the table with white poster paper or a simple plastic table cover, and unroll streamers along its length, affixing them at intervals with double-sided tape. Top with glassine. Then tape streamers to candleholders/vases/bowls in the same palette to create an entire table look.
Table covers! The inexpensive plastic table covers(that come in tons of colors) can be used so many ways. If you fold over (about a foot) of it on the long side, and then bunch and tape it around the sides of a table it becomes a fancy table skirt. You can hang it from the ceiling like bunting, and accent it with tulle or balloons for an impressive ceiling decoration. You can also hang them as backdrops and curtains by layering them and cutting strips up into them and tying knots for a streamer-like affect.
Using jars, bowls, glasses of varying sizes and shapes and filling them with candy that is color coordinated to the rest of décor. Adds a splash of color and tastes good too!
Before you blow up your balloons, hide small favors inside…like a sticker, candy, etc. When the party’s over tell everyone to take a balloon and sit on it. Another option can be to put a piece of paper with a number on it and put it in the balloon. Each number corresponds to a pre-wrapped prize (you should wrap and number prizes before party and place on table).
Scene setter kits are affordable, and fill up one wall space creating a powerful emphasis without taking up any space.
A carnival is one idea that really is adjustable to the group. Carnival games can double as décor, and décor can be as simple or fancy as you wish. Also carnival foods come in a variety of the simple like cotton candy, hot dogs and French fries, to the more complex like funnel cakes and sliders.
Throwing some fancy candles on the cake, and putting it out on display is always an easy one. You can also buy a piñata to make a big visual statement, and then have a fun activity for later in the party.
Make sure you mail out the invitations in time. 3-4 weeks ahead of the party is a good amount of lead-time. Any less than that expect that some people are going to have other plans. Be sure to make a follow-up call to anyone you haven’t heard from so you can make your final preparations.