I am looking for ideas for a fundraiser I'm helping with in October. It is a gala dinner and auction and we are expecting about 300 people. It will be held outside in a tent. I have never decorated the inside of tent and I have a very tight budget to make this a WOW experience when people enter. The theme this year is olive and grape harvest. All ideas will be warmly welcomed. Thank you in advance.
Stacia from San Rafael, CA
tiny white christmas lights would be pretty draped to the center of the tent from each corner of the tent and maybe wrap silk ivy vines around the center as the focal point and even add a cluster of artifical grapes in two differant colors to the center hanging down at diffeant levels. walmart or hobby lobby sells all the silk vines and grape clusters. and maybe at the interance of the tent on each side have a topiary tree with lights around those. collectionsetc.com has those on sale right now.
and they could be used on otheroccasions as well or given as gifts afterwards. good luck!
Buy (or rent) 2, 3 or 4 sheets of natural cedar lattice & rent or buy a bunch of plastic grapes & several grape vine garlands from the craft store (about $10 each) sometimes they go on sale for half price. If you, or a friend has a wholesale license, then you can go to a "Floral Supply Warehouse" ...This is where the florists buy their ribbon & silk flowers at less than half the price for top quality goods. You should also buy some quality chiffon or metallic ribbon to make bows from. Maybe several baskets w/ grapes hanging from the handles?
---> The most important thing is to Keep your display REAL looking (not fake) & here's how you do it. When I went to floral design school they taught us to ALWAYS add something natural to every floral design (it could be a stick, twig corkscrew willow, etc)... What YOU do is go to a dollar store or a craft store (or floral wholesale house) & buy 2 or 3 Grape Vine Wreaths, then soak them in a large plastic tote or a bathtub over night. They will become pliable & no longer stiff (until they again dry out) Take these wet REAL grape vines & entwine them in the lattice (You can also staple gun them to a wall, then w/a hot glue gun cover up the staples w/ silk ivy leaves) ... After you have hung the grapevines you need to twine some greenery around them like Ivy or the garlands I mentioned above. Then place several clusters of fake grapes here & there. To REALLY make the display look real, you can have several plastic pots that look like tera-cotta set on the ground & have the grapevines "growing" out of them then rising & twining up the lattice.
* The cedar lattice sheets can be bought at Home Depot. You can take 2 or 3 then zip tie them together in an "L" shape or a "zin-zag" shape so they will stand up on their own, like a room divider or a set of screens. I agree with "theseamstress" I think tiny white twinkle lights would be especially nice. OR to make it look more like candle light you could buy tiny yellow Christmas lights. (They sell them at Ikea this time of year)
---> One more idea: Go to the woods, or yours, or a neighbors yard & get yourself some branches (about 5 or 6 feet high) that look kind of like a tree. Then take a large planter & fill it with plaster & put the branches in it, make sure they are standing up straight while the plaster sets up. This will look like a real tree or bush. Then cover the plaster w/dried moss & real rocks. After you arrive at your tent, decorate this tree w/tiny Christmas lights. (you could have ivy growing up the "tree's base") ...One word of caution. Do NOT mix colors of lights. Choose Yellow or Clear & stick w/one.
* One more idea. Go to a Salvage store & buy one or 3 old wooden windows, then make sure to take the glass out for safety. Then hang one or 2 of these old windows inside the tent & wrap Ivy around it Or staple-gun the wet grapevines AND ivy to the window(s).Think Window Boxes!
* You MAY want to buy 4, 5 10 or 20 yards of metallic or chiffon fabric (sometimes you can get it at Walmart for super-cheap) ...But, CAN you imagine chiffon or metallic fabric wrapped loosely around your displays or up in the top of the tent w/tiny lights wrapped up loosely in the fabric, you could also drape the sparkly fabric from the top of the tent & let it hang down along the sides... Simply beautiful!
* I have a planter on my porch that I bought at a garden supply. It's a planter that has a piece of 4 foot high lattice running vertical up the back. It stands up by itself. (mine is filled w/fake Ivy & other vines "growing" up the top of it) It would be very cool if you could find several of these free-standing planters w/lattice hooked to the back... You could have the vines "grow" out of the bottom planter then up the lattice. Then later on, you could use them in your yard.
* Another thing that looks cool, is to take a bunch of wine glasses & stack them (usually upside down) on a table, then put any kind of a light behind them... All of the glass will light up... WOW! .. Maybe several plaster (or plastic) columns, (you can rent these) would give it that "Classic" look.
---> The main thing is to try & make the inside of the tent look like a garden or a vineyard or a vineyard-garden... wi/trees, vines, bushes, ivy, old windows, lights, etc... Bring the outside IN! ...What fun you'll have! ...I must say, I envy you being able to do this wonderful, fun project, you'll have a BLAST!
Tulle is super cheap for decorating. They sell it in walmart and its about 50 cents a yard and gives such an elegant look. I used it in green and purple in my bath room and it would work great for grapes and harvest as there is a variety of colors. Depending where you live check pottery barn for cheap vases in several colors. Also check local thrift stores for grapes flowers and little tidbits you could hang in the corners of the tent. You should be able to decorate the tent for under say 200.00 dollars depending on the size and your shopping around. Good luck
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