10 years ago

“Red Solo cup, I fill you up. LET’S HAVE A PARTY!” And that’s exactly what we did.

One of our clients wanted to have a party with a red solo cup theme. She gave me complete freedom to turn her brother-in-law’s pole barn into an amazing party for her husband’s 60th birthday. Here’s how we did it!

We had to figure out how to make the theme noticeable, yet keep it in-check so it wouldn’t be overwhelming. Red solo cups were obviously used the same way they’ve been used at many parties; however they also had a new found purpose in their molded plastic lives.

Red cup decorations were used throughout the barn, including ones that became known around our office as “solo cup starbursts”. To make the starburst, use Styrofoam balls, found at any craft store, and spray paint them red. Next, put a thin layer of super glue around the edge of about 11 solo cups and cover the ball with glue (after the spray paint has dried). Place the cups on the ball top down to make your sunbursts. Finally, hang them by wrapping fishing line around the center of the ball and tie to the ceiling.

We also had string lights tented with cups hung over the driveway, giant happy birthday signs in the shape of the solo cups, etc. The red solo cup wine glasses (above) were made by purchasing candle sticks from the dollar store and gluing the cups on. It’s as simple as that!

With red as the central color, I looked for additional colors that would complement the red in the cups and add a pop to the room. Lime green, red and white paper draped over barn beams, along with lime green table linens, napkins and centerpieces brought it all together. Sunflower arrangements tied with a red sheer ribbon and red pails with green ornamental grass added a laid back, festive touch to the tables. 

The day before the event, our team set the party up! The now empty barn, which had previously been filled with trucks, tractors and tools, had been power washed, cleared and organized. It certainly looked much bigger than we remembered. We tackled each decorating task one at a time. After a few heart stopping attempts up the extension ladder, we started throwing string lights and paper lanterns over the 14 ft. beams. Hour by hour, the barn transformed from a gigantic tool shed, to a venue for a beautiful party. 

The day of the party, we arrived at the barn for a few last minute touchups. As the DJ set up his equipment and catering delivered the Chicago dogs and bánh mì, we quickly added the final details. The guests slowly arrived, sharing hugs and stories in the tent, grabbing a bag from the popcorn machine and enjoying the appetizers. Once the music started, guests were given a hand – crafted solo cup glass of wine and everyone had a great time dancing the night away. My client brought in about 40 different crazy hats, which were worn by party guests all night long. The kids kept us busy with the snow cone and popcorn machines! After dinner, there was even a fireworks show to celebrate the big birthday day. 

The night ended and the space was quickly turned back into a pole barn (MUCH quicker than it turned into the party). As we finished up, we left to a round of applause. All of our work had certainly been rewarded by the party guests and especially the birthday guy having a blast. This was a large party theme that can work great for smaller parties as well! So to you, I say, “Red solo cup, I fill you up. Proceed to party!” 

Kelli Tigges, catering specialist