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A polka dotty new year party

21 December 2016

Tired of formal New Year affairs? We are. So we created an atmosphere focused on mingling, dancing, laughing and reminiscing. Check out our party idea filled with inexpensive, easy and fun ways to shake up how you celebrate the year that’s gone and another trip around the sun.

A nighttime view from the outside of a polka-dot themed New Year party in a garage.
A room decorated for a polka-dot themed party with circular tables, rugs and stools.

We went all-in with a polka dot theme! Why? Dots create a big, smile-creating impression while being easy to make and decorate with anywhere—like we did in this garage. We chose black and white for a bit of formal flair and mixed in yellow for a cheerful pop. Then we customised pieces like paper lamps and hats. Guests can even dress in dots or the party colours. Furniture and textiles with circular shapes pull the theme together, too. Stackable, lightweight pieces give you flexibility to move things around during the party.

Even with lots of mingle-inducing tables, you can still impress guests with a multi-course meal. Just put each course in a glass instead of plates and bowls. This makes it easier to prep (line ‘em up and fill ‘em up), serve (trays, glorious trays), eat (stand up and move about) and clean (stack, wash, repeat). We put vinyl dots on IKEA 365+ glasses, so guests know whose is whose. Choose recipes that are fork-, spoon- or finger- friendly. Knives are tricky. Bring everything out in rounds or all at once!

A tool pegboard covered with bags of confetti dots beside a worktable turned into a DJ area.

Whereever the party is, the best spot is being with people who matter to you. Get creative with what’s in your space. Our garage had a big workspace we made into a DJ area. The peg board for tools became a station for bags of midnight confetti (that we punched from paper). Then we threw in a lighting chain for festive sparkle. Decorate a bicycle or lawnmower. Turn storage drawers into serving areas or bring in a coffee table to collect used dishes.

And if there’s stuff in your garage or basement or party spot that you can’t move or don’t want on display, just cover it up! We painted a ton of dots on DITTE metre fabric and used it to hide cluttered shelving units. It’s a quick way to make a big impression, too. The fabric can do double duty as a photo backdrop, which is is a bonus for our last tip.

Last but not least, create a simple, shareable, scrapbook-worthy photo opportunity. To make ours, we cut out big paper letters to spell Happy New Year! Let guests take their own snapshots with the letters or try your hand at a group shot. You can always mail guests a photo later in the new year, so they’ll be reminded of all the fun they had that night and all the good people they have in life.

We love to see our customers get creative with our products. Go for it! But please note that altering or modifying IKEA products so they can no longer be re-sold or used for their original purpose, means the IKEA commercial guarantees and your right to return the products will be lost.

Browse our lamp shades, bar stools & glassware if you're having a new year of your own.

Made by

Interior designer: Emilia Ljungberg
Photographer: Sandra Werud
Writer: Marissa Frayer