Having a graduation party in your garage is a great idea if your house is small and you’re expecting a lot of people of if you want to have your party outside and the weather is iffy. It’s also a great way to let all your guests mingle in one space instead of having it in your house where people may be spread over 3 or 4 rooms.
With some planning and a little work (or maybe a lot) your garage can be transformed into the ultimate party room.
The most important thing is to clean, clean, clean. This can be done well advance of your party. It’s a great time to get rid of a lot of junk too! In fact, getting rid of the junk is the perfect place to start. Throw away or give away all that stuff that accumulates in your garage because you don’t know what else to do with it. Throw away the useless stuff and the broken stuff. Have a garage sale to get rid of the stuff that’s still useable, give it away to charity or simply put it out on the curb with a “Free” sign. You’d be amazed at how quickly it will disappear.
Once you’ve gotten rid of the junk move the rest of the stuff you’ve decided to keep outside or in the center of the garage and start cleaning. Clean the walls, floor, and ceiling. It sounds like a big job but it isn’t. You’ll be amazed at how quickly this can be done and how nice your garage looks after. This is a good time to paint the walls too if they need it. It doesn’t have to be fancy. A fresh coat of paint will make a huge difference.
Once the space is cleaned (and painted if you’re doing this) move your stuff back into place. This is a good time to get organized. If you don’t have shelving in your garage and have been meaning to get some now’s the time to do it! Get everything organized and then keep it that way until the day of the party. The day before the party move as much stuff as you can from the garage to another location like the backyard (maybe under a tarp), under your deck, or to your neighbor’s garage.
You might incur some expenses as you clean, paint and organize your garage. But remember … these are improvements that will last long after the party is over!
Once your garage is cleaned and organized you will need to “party-ize” it. You can do the bare minimum – just enough for people to know it’s the party room – or you can go all out. Here are a few ideas:
- Set up tables and chairs. Rent fold-up tables and chairs if you don’t have any. Or borrow some from your friends and neighbors or maybe from your church.
- Cover the tables with disposable table covers and/or skirts. Use colors from your high school or college. A wide range of colors and sizes are available through GraduationParty.com.
- Put centerpieces on the tables. The choices for centerpieces are endless. There are graduation themed centerpieces you can buy through GraduationParty.com or you can use small potted plants or cut flowers in bud vases. You can use pictures of the grad, school friends, your family and/or family friends. Or how about team or club pictures taken through the years? If the grad is a dancer put ballet shoes on the table with a few cut flowers in each one. Or how about some of your favorite games like Yahtzee, Uno, Fish, Connect 4, Checkers, Chess, Backgammon, Snakes & Ladders, or cards. Your guests will have fun playing these too.
- Place balloon bouquets along the driveway leading to the garage and in the corners of the garage. Helium filled latex balloons are cheaper than mylar but they only last up to 24 hours so don’t pick them up too early. You can order these ahead of time at your local party store. Have someone pick them up the morning of the party. When creating a balloon bouquet use an odd number of balloons. Five or seven is a good number. Use colors from your high school or college.
- Is your garage floor stained or very dirty? Buy some inexpensive green artificial turf and put it down just for the party.
- If you want to cover your walls or hide your storage shelves you can use wall murals, gossamer, poly vinyl or corrugated paper. GraduationParty.com carries most of these items in a variety different colors, styles and sizes.
- Make poster boards filled with pictures – school years, friends, after school activities, graduation, family, and anything else you can think of. Hang the poster boards on the walls of your garage. This will be even nicer if you can cover your walls with poly vinyl sheets or something similar first.
- Or cover the walls with sports jerseys, club t-shirts or costumes.
A great theme to have with a “garage” party is a tailgate theme or barbeque theme. Set up the tailgate area and/or barbeque on your driveway. Or you can simply set up and serve your food from your kitchen and let everyone eat and mingle in the garage.
If the day turns out to be really nice weather-wise then move some of the tables out of the garage onto the driveway.
The garage is a good backup to have if you’re having an outdoor party and are worried about the weather. It’s a lot of work to prepare but if the weather doesn’t cooperate you’ll be happy you did it.