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Birthday Party

Decorating Ideas For A Birthday-Themed Party

Create a whimsical and fun atmosphere to celebrate a birthday with a birthday-themed party.  A bright and cheerful party using lots of color will form a casual and lighthearted setting that speaks to the inner child in all of us.

Birthday-theme decorations are also great to have on hand to throw together a last-minute commemoration.

Birthday-Theme Decorating Basics

There are four basic rules we follow to achieve a delicate balance of a fun and engaging party atmosphere that will also convey taste and sophistication:

1)  Strategic placement:
  • Choose locations most guests will eventually visit to place your decorations.
  • Arrange accents where guests are likely to "stumble upon" them.
  • Plan decorations to be discovered over the duration of the party.
  • Key strategic positions include:

Welcome your visitors with a prominent Birthday decoration along the designated party entrance.  A brightly colored yard stake like this metal "Happy Birthday" pink-balloon-shaped stake makes an excellent greeting to set a festive tone as each guest arrives.

Or, depending upon space and visibility, position the yard stake in a potted plant by the front door or in the foyer.


Every guest will visit or socialize near the bar, which makes it an ideal location for decorating.
Bar:  For the bar include a colorful tabletop display, such as these whimsical parfait sundae place card holders.  Add a birthday greeting or the name(s) of the drinks you are serving on color-coordinated cards.  Scatter pieces of birthday-themed confetti for extra sparkle.

Cocktails:  Make a birthday-inspired cocktail and name it for the event or guest of honor. Rim your drink and/or martini glasses with multi-colored, rainbow sprinkles (nonpareils). Use a Happy Birthday pick to skewer olives or maraschino cherries in selected drinks throughout the evening.  And, of course, serve your libations along with colorful Happy Birthday or Cupcake Confetti drink napkins.


Virtually every guest will visit the bathroom at some point, making it an excellent showplace for your distinctive decorations. Not only will you have a captive audience, but it keeps your party interesting as guests discover surprises throughout the evening.

Make a big impression by tastefully coordinating your bathroom decorations with the vibrant & whimsical tone of your party, such as a birthday octopus with octopus-shaped soaps.  Or use a blue or pink birthday cake hat and a flocked designer birthday present decoration along with embroidered guest towels with a funky cake & colorful gift to stylishly add a big dose of festivity and a touch of elegance to your bathroom.

Sprinkle a few pieces of birthday confetti of cakes, balloons, streamers and stars for continuity and a dash of shimmer and shine.


Dazzle your guests and delight the birthday boy or girl with a cheerful display of color for your birthday dinner setting presentation. Use a white tablecloth and napkins to make color decorations pop out.

Use a low profile centerpiece, like this leopard base & peppermint top cake stand with a variety of delicious-looking, cupcake candles, so that guests can see each other across the table.  Add height and whimsy with large colorful curly sprays in teal blue, spring green, vibrant orange, or sunshine yellow.

Alternatively, include a little sparkle with glitterball sprays in coppergoldteallavenderred, and pink.  Use colored water or party beads in glass vases to coordinate with your table decorations.  You may also add taper candles to the setting for light and height without creating an obstruction.

Ceramic cupcake canisters and designer flocked birthday gift decorations in festive birthday colors of hot pink, teal blue, vibrant orange and spring green add interest and fun, while coordinating the scene in color and content.  Pink cupcake salt & pepper shakers are the last little adorable detail to top off this lively birthday centerpiece spectacle.

Continue the fun by looping multi-colored metallic bead necklaces around individual white napkins to make a colorful napkin ring for each place setting. And for an extra dose of frivolity and color put purple, red, green, orange, pink, yellow, blue, and white submersible LED ice cubes in each water glass.  

Finally, sprinkle birthday-theme confetti sparingly down the center of the table around the centerpiece.  In addition, you may want to add a little bling with a scattering blue, small or large clear, pink or teal diamonds.

For a buffet, amaze your guests with your theme display. The food will soon be forgotten, but your decorations will be remembered for a lifetime.  Use votive candle holders in bright colors or polka dots for additional lighting, if needed. Check out our dinner party guide for more planning tips.


Passing hors d'oeuvres on trays not only adds a touch of style and elegance, but introduces another level of excitement as guests anticipate the next tray of intricately assembled appetizers. 

In addition to wowing the crowd with your detailed bites, this is the perfect opportunity to introduce another birthday-themed surprise to each guest as the tray is passed. 

Buy small and sturdy accents as serving tray centerpieces for your hors d'oeuvre to delight your guests over the duration of the party, like the ice cream cone candle, party hat balloon weight, and small gift balloon weight shown.  Use the centerpieces as party area decorations once the appetizer has been served.

Place multi-colored Happy Birthday picks or pink, blue, red, green, yellow, and/or white toothpick flags randomly in a tray of hors d'oeuvres to add interest and reinforce your theme. We have also included some charming birthday party appetizer recipes under food ideas.


Happy Birthday window gel is a unique way to decorate in some unexpected locations.  Add to a large picture window or a bathroom mirror for a cheerful surprise.

Window gel comes in individual pieces that cling to glass surfaces with no residue or mess. Quick and easy to decorate and remove, plus the gel pieces are reusable.

Window gel is most visible on windows in the daylight and mirrors any time of day.


Theme-related confetti is an easy way to add subtle details and lift spirits. Spread happy thoughts by scattering confetti sparingly on the bar, in the bathroom, and on the dinner table. 

For your Birthday-Theme party, use a mix of birthday cake, balloon, streamer, and star shapes to enchant your guests. If you are mailing invitations or thank you notes, add just a smidgen of confetti fun and festivity in each envelope.


Ideally, your party area should be just large enough to accommodate your guests to encourage mingling and conversation while discouraging sitting. For outdoor parties, try to create a designated party area around the bar.

Use votive candles liberally in bright solid colors or polka dots (pictured) to add indirect lighting.  Place votives & decorations in the party area at or just above eye level for better visibility.  Position items on the mantel, high shelves or hang them on the wall.

A strand of sting lights, such as pink flamingos, palm trees, surfboards, margaritas, or beach balls behind the bar, around a doorway, or along a mantel make a cheerful theme-inspired decoration for a day or night party.  Use white glow sticks to temporarily light walkways and steps.


Decorate with ceiling swirls and/or streamers to transform any room into a birthday celebration. Use metallic swirls or tissue streamers color-coordinated with your decorations or hang birthday-themed ceiling swirls.

A Happy Birthday banner is a great way to make your guest of honor feel even more special.  Hang high for visibility or on a far, bare wall that needs a dash of excitement.


Decorate your guests with brightly colored metallic beads.  Party beads encourage creativity, laughter, and fun while relaxing the mood.

Place multi-colored beads in a bowl or giant martini glass on the bar and let guests help themselves. Liven up the party, by passing a tray of party beads in between hors d'oeuvres.

For a birthday dinner party, loop a strand of beads several times around a rolled up dinner napkin to make a colorful napkin ring.


Find unique candles to add a twist to this birthday tradition.  This flower candle opens from one flame to 14 candles, while spinning and playing happy birthday. 

Find a wide selection of unique birthday candles, including bombsdynamitetiki godsLego blocksfire extinguishers, green army men, bottle rocketsbatslightersdigitsmatchsticks, & mini tapers in the Birthday Candles section.

Instead of making or buying a cake, put your candles in hors d'oeuvres or special bite-size sweets, such as petit fours. A fun option is to serve Jell-O shots with your unique candles in each one.

2)  Repetition:
  Choose colors and/or motifs and repeat them as often as possible to reinforce your theme.
  • Colors:
    • Select a fun predominant color, such as pink.
    • You may also need a secondary or accent color, such as purple or lime green.
    • A birthday theme is about lots of festive color, so use multiple pastel and/or bright colors along with your predominant & accent colors:  teal, green, red, blue, orange, and yellow.
    • Use variations of primary & secondary colors to create a more sophisticated look, such as deep pink, teal blue, coral red, lime green, golden orange, ochre yellow.
  • Motifs:    
    • Select a primary motif, such as cupcakes.
    • Use multiple birthday symbols and/or shapes throughout: gifts, birthday cakes, candles, balloon-shapes, stars.
3)  Tasteful decorations:
  • Buy quality and understated accents that are thoughtful and clever.
  • Seek out the unique and distinctive to make things memorable.
  • Avoid gaudy, in-your-face decorations.
  • Pass over common and cheap-looking paper and plastic items.
4)  Neutral background:
  • Neutralize the background when necessary to make your decorations stand out. For example use a white tablecloth on your dinner table.
  • Remove competing colors and objects in the party areas that distract from your theme.
  • Otherwise, add more color variety to make the background part of the festive birthday party scene. For example, instead of 4 green throw pillows, replace 3 of them with red, purple, and yellow pillows.