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Noisemaker and plastic glasses are New Year’s classics, but these DIYs will bring your New Year’s Eve to the next level!
The last night of the year is just days away and if you’re throwing a blowout house party or a low-key dinner with friends, it’s the perfect time to put together some unexpected treats, games and decorations for your lucky guests.
PEOPLE asked Darcy Miller, author of Celebrate Everything! and founding editor of Martha Stewart Weddings, to share six simple ways to elevate your gathering as you count down to 2019.
“New Year’s Eve is a time to say goodbye to one year and celebrate the beginning of the next with friends and family,” says Miller. “It’s always a good idea to have a few extra touches to make your celebration extra special.” Here are six of her favorites.
1. Jot Down Your New Year’s Dreams(above)
“Here’s a game that’s easy and fun that people will remember all year long. Think about what you want for the New Year and write yourself a letter. Do you want to travel to a new country or spend time cooking with your friends? Write it down! Slip into an envelope and don’t break open until New Year’s Eve next year to see if your dreams have changed–or if you’ve accomplished any of them!” Download Miller New Year’s Dream template here.
2. Make a Toast
“Raise a glass to the new year and make some noise about what you’re looking forward to. Wrap a party blower or horn with a card inviting guests to get loud and toast something special in the coming year. If you prefer a quieter toast, skip the blower all together and just leave cards out for people to fill in. Download the template here.
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3. Break Open an Unconventional Piñata
“Piñatas aren’t just for birthdays anymore,” says Miller of this DIY featured in Celebrate Everything! “They come in every color, shape size and theme — it’s easy to find one perfect for New Year’s. Stick it on your table as a centerpiece or hang it as decor and break it open at the end of the night. You can fill yours with candy, of course, but think about small surprises that are outside the box, too. Scratch-off lotto tickets, coffee gift cards, movie passes, a pair of dice, and little baubles like hair accessories or plastic rings add an extra special touch.”
4. Play With Your Food
“Midnight is a lot later than it sounds — especially if there are kids at the party! Pass the time with games that double as a snack. Draw a quick tic tac toe board on some paper (or a paper tablecloth to make it even more fun) and hand out the makeshift Xs and Os: Oreos in two colors! Any candy, cookie or snack will work, as long as there are two kinds. Winner gets to eat their row!” she says of this fool-proof activity, also featured in her book.
5. Spell It Out
“Sweet snacks that double as decor. Spell out HAPPY NEW YEAR with any small treat like brownies, cupcakes, petit-fours, or, cookies and let your guests take a bite out of 2019.”
6. Hats Off to Your Night
“Grab (or make!) some party hats to make your night extra festive. Hats can be lined up down the table as centerpieces, used for games like three-card monte, or turned upside down to hold treats from piñatas or favors. Use hats as place cards or set out with markers so that everyone can write their resolutions down…and wear them!”
“Toss hats on top of your bottles of champagne, whether mini or full-size, so that when you ring in the New Year at midnight, even your drinks are ready to toast! Go the extra mile and print out these labels to stick on each bottle for guests to cheers to the new year. If champagne’s not your thing, sparkling apple juice or mini water bottles can be just as celebratory with the right accessories!”
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