Staying in is the new going out. We feel this so hard at Lily & Val that we have a print about it. But, since we’re people who still value celebrating things, we can’t let staying in on New Year’s Eve happen without a bit of fanfare.
As a professional procrastinator (a pro-crastinator), I’m big on quick fixes and easy DIYs. The following three ideas for a New Year’s Eve in are perfect for anyone like me – you can add some sparkle to your movie night or small get-together or party of one with minimal effort. Without further ado: an easy snack to go with your bubbly, an elegant decoration and a great way to reflect on the year past.
Decorate with Gold Painted Balloons
Let’s start with the decoration – nothing says celebration like balloons. And nothing says “woah, don’t worry, these are classy balloons” like gold paint. If you’re short on time but still want to make your space feel festive, try painting balloons!
Supplies for this project:
White latex balloons
Gold acrylic paint
Paint brushes and/or foam brushes
String or Baker’s Twine
Blow up as many white balloons as you’d like and tie them off. Use a foam brush to paint the base of the balloon (where the tie is) with a thin layer of Elmer’s glue. This will act as a barrier between the balloon and the paint so that the paint isn’t translucent. Place the top of the balloon in a bowl to let the base dry.
Once the glue dries, use the gold acrylic paint in long strokes to the end of the glue layer. Do this the entire way around the balloon. It’s okay if it looks patchy – you can go back over with more gold once the paint dries. And remember – it doesn’t have to be perfect! The point is to create a brushed on effect.
If you’d like to string up your balloons, poke a small hole in the tie (as far away from the base of the balloon as possible) and run your Baker’s twine through. Knot at the ends once you’ve strung up all your balloons and hang!
Make Stove-Popped Popcorn
Forget buying noisemakers – make popcorn! My personal favorite is Orville Redenbacher’s. The recipe is so easy, it’s barely even a recipe. Grease a deep pot over medium-high heat with 3 tablespoons of coconut oil (or similar). Add in 1/2 cup of kernels and cover the pot with a sheet of aluminum foil. Poke enough holes in the foil to vent the steam. Once the kernels start popping, feel free to yell out things like “Happy New Year!” and then listen for the popping to slow down. That’s your sign to turn off the heat and wait for the popping to stop entirely.
Allow your popcorn to cool, then dump the pot’s contents into a bowl. Now it’s time to season! As it happens, we already have some ideas about different mix-ins here. The below photos feature the cinnamon sugar variety.
Think Back on the Year with a Reflection Jar
Here at Lily & Val we believe reflecting is just as important as goal setting. New Year’s resolutions for January may be the norm, but instead of making resolutions this NYE, try starting a new tradition! We suggest the reflection jar. Grab a few popsicle sticks (and paint the ends gold if you still have some of that paint left) and write reflection questions on the ends. Fill a mason jar with your question sticks and take turns asking whoever is with you what they thought about the past year. Need some inspiration? Check out these questions by Anuschka Rees.
To decorate my jar, I used my trusty kraft paper stickers and white paint marker to label NYE on the outside of the glass. I tied the neck of the jar with black and white Baker’s twine from Target to contrast the gold – and ta-da! Easy peasy.
What are your New Year’s Eve plans? Mine involve a movie, some white wine (I’m not a big Champagne drinker, unless it’s with orange juice) and for sure using my new reflection jar. Like our Happy New Year print? You can grab yours here!
No matter your plans, whether they be to have friends over for a party or a chill night flying solo, everyone here at Lily & Val wishes you a spectacular NYE and a very happy New Year! Cheers!