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5 Easy Ways To Elevate Your College Apartment Birthday Party

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I don’t know about you, but I love celebrating my friends’ birthdays just as much as I love celebrating my own. There’s something so special about making your favorite people feel like the main character on their big day, from hunting down the perfect gift to letting them know how much you appreciate them with a hand-written card.

Of course, one of the best ways to really go all out for a bestie’s birthday (or your own!) is to throw a party. Luckily, you don’t need to rent out a space or book a table at a fancy restaurant to host a memorable event. With these simple tips, you can make all of the birthday magic happen right in your college apartment!

1. Pick a Theme That Matches Their Vibe.

Is your guest of honor always rocking ’70s-inspired fits? Do they live and breathe all things pink? No matter their vibe, choosing a theme that matches it can bring your event to the next level — and make them feel extra special in the process. Plus, you can choose exactly how much you want to commit to the theme, whether that means simply choosing a few coordinating decorations or asking your guests to come dressed in costume.

Need some inspo for your next party? Here are a few ideas I can’t wait to try this year:

  • Enjoy some whimsical vibes by hosting a classic tea party complete with sweet treats, fresh bouquets, and floral party essentials
  • Grab your boots, set the table with breezy plates and napkins, and queue up songs from your fave country music queens for a coastal cowgirl brunch.
  • Set out gold and white party essentials, cover your walls in fairy lights, and tell your guests to dress to the nines for a glitz-and-glam-themed dinner party.

2. Choose Easy Snack & Drink Recipes.

When you’re living in a college apartment, you might not have enough kitchen space or the right supplies to whip up gourmet party food. If you aren’t able to offer your guests a spread of culinary masterpieces, don’t stress. The most important thing is that you have enough food and drinks for everyone to enjoy, even if your menu includes simple snacks, like chips and dip or a charcuterie board. Stick with easy recipes that don’t require fancy kitchen appliances or hours of your time, so you can focus on setting up your space and enjoying your event alongside your friends.

3. Use a Party Kit.

As a busy college student, you might not have time to hunt down the best party supplies online or visit a bunch of stores to find products that fit your theme. My secret? Use a party kit that has all of the essentials you need all in one place. 

I recently discovered Hallmark’s new Celebrate! collection, and it’s safe to say that I’m obsessed. Each bundle comes stocked with party essentials, like napkins and plates, as well as matching decor, like banners and candles. They have so many cute styles to choose from, whether you want something bold and playful or chic and elegant. You can even mix and match the pieces to create a party that’s completely unique — no event planner needed!

4.  Set the Mood with a Custom Playlist.

Sure, your decor can go a long way in bringing your party theme to life, but there’s another smaller detail that’s easy to overlook: your music. Whether you’re going for a laidback gathering or a full-on dance party, the songs you choose help to set the tone for the event. 

When you’re planning your next birthday bash, take some time to curate a custom playlist of songs tailored to your theme or your guest of honor’s music taste. Pro tip: Make your playlist public and share it with attendees, so they can relive their party memories whenever they want to!

5. Create an Area for Photo Ops.

Speaking of party memories, there’s a good chance your guests will document the event by snapping photos with each other. So, why not give them a photo-worthy backdrop for all of their selfies and fit checks? Just find a blank wall in your apartment and string up some decorations like streamers, banners, and decorative fans to create the perfect spot for a photo op!

It’s time to party, bestie! Send out your invites, start collecting those RSVPs, and head to hallmark.com or your nearest Gold Crown store to shop stunning party essentials from the new Celebrate! collection.

Katy Gioeli

U Conn '18

Katy is a Branded Content Editor at Her Campus Media. She graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2018, where she studied communication and was a College Fashionista Community Member. When she’s not dreaming up new branded content ideas, you can find her trying new restaurants, taking hundreds of pictures of her cat, Willow, or enjoying her latest romantasy book obsession and an iced matcha latte.