Every other week, Anna Hezel talks about the innovations, decorations, and other quiet touches that make a party memorable.
Today: Five easy decorations you can make ahead for your next tiki party.
Last weekend, after weeks of planning, my good friend Gabriella and I hosted a tiki party. Forgoing a few big tiki party essentials -- torches, coconut bras, a beach -- we crafted a big, crazy, apartment-friendly celebration.
More: Get Anna and Gabriella's menu, from bacon-wrapped water chestnuts to Mai Tais.
Since we wanted to stick to a budget, we took a DIY approach to as much of the party as possible, from the retro snacks to the handmade decorations. If you're planning a tiki party of your own, here are five simple do-ahead DIY projects to dress up the celebration:
1. Drink Umbrellas
Grab a pack of cool origami paper and make your own cocktail umbrellas. These are a perfect TV-watching activity to do in the weeks leading up to your party.
2. Dried Pineapple Flowers
It sounds crazy, but when you put thin slices of pineapple in the oven for two hours, they transform into beautiful yellow flowers that taste like tropical fruit leather.
3. Hibiscus Ice Cubes
These are a cheap and easy way to add a little class to your next tequila sunrise.
4. Tiki Paper Chains
This is an easy one: Use rubber stamps of pineapples, palm trees, or tiki masks to stamp colored paper. Cut them out, and tape or staple them onto a string.
5. Mint Leaf Ice Globe for a Bowl of Mai Tais
Add about a teaspoon of water to a round cereal bowl, and arrange six mint leaves in a circle around the base. Freeze for about 30 minutes, or until the leaves are frozen in place. Add a few more teaspoons of water and another ring of mint leaves around the first. Freeze for another half an hour and repeat, until the mint leaf pattern covers the whole inside of the bowl. Fill the rest of the way with cold water, and freeze until solid. Unmold and add, round side-up, to a punch bowl of Mai Tais.
Photos by Anna Hezel