9 Frugal Holiday Party Tips and Ideas for Small Spaces

Holiday party at home

 Svetikd / Getty Images

Hosting a Christmas or New Year's soiree can get expensive. And if you don't have much square footage, it can also seem like an impossible feat.

But these nine thrifty holiday party ideas will show you how to pull off a bash in your small space without draining your bank account.

  • 01 of 09

    Serve Large Batch Cocktails

    holiday punch bowl
    Brett Stevens / Getty Images

    You would love to have a party-worthy home bar for your holiday soiree, but it would bust your budget.  

    What to do? Limit your alcohol selection to one or two large batch cocktails or festive punches. You should also have a few nonalcoholic options on hand, and a bag or two of ice so drinks stay frosty.

    FYI, setting up a self-serve beverage station in your small kitchen will make it a cinch for guests to help themselves in a spot that's easy to wipe clean.

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  • 02 of 09

    Serve Fun Finger Food

    holiday finger food
    Deirdre Rooney / Getty Images

    Too much booze and too little eats can be a risky mix at a holiday party. Having plenty of sweet and savory treats on hand will keep the good times flowing. But don't think you have to spend a ton of cash on fancy finger food. Instead, jazz up conventional munchies by mixing them, for example, add fresh Parmesan cheese to kettle chips, mix salty popcorn with gummy bears, or spice up your favorite mixed nuts with Sriracha.

    While you could park all of your party snacks in the same spot, we suggest placing tasty treats in small bowls throughout your party space. Doing so will encourage your guests to move about and mingle. 

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  • 03 of 09

    Don't Sweat Mismatched Drinking Glasses

    home bar
    Contrast Addict / Getty Images

    Short on cocktail glasses?

    While it may be nice to have several matching sets of cocktails glasses, it is not a big deal if you do not. In fact, mismatched glasses can give a party a relaxed boho vibe. So instead of running out and buying an extra set of glass tumblers that you may never use again, or worse, those ugly red party cups that will only wind up in a landfill, borrow some drinkware from friends.

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  • 04 of 09

    Fake a Holiday Dessert

    The Cake Girls

    Every holiday party needs a few sweets. This idea by The Cake Girls shows how to convert a cheap store-bought loaf cake into a delightful centerpiece for your soiree.

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  • 05 of 09

    Have Plenty of Coasters on Hand

    Ikea Ideas

    Cocktail coasters are a must if you want to protect your wood table tops during a cocktail party, but who the heck wants to spend money on them?

    This DIY from Ikea Ideas shares how to make chic coasters on the cheap out of old magazines.

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  • 06 of 09

    DIY Mood Lighting

    Best Out of Waste

    Nothing kills a party like bad lighting. But you can transform any small space from annoyingly bright to just right with beautiful mood lighting.

    This idea spotted on Best Out of Waste shares how to create the ambiance you get from lighting tea candles minus the fire hazard they impose. All you need to create are some colorful glass bottles and LED string lights. 

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  • 07 of 09

    Create a Pom-Pom Wreath

    Deirdre Sullivan

    If you do not have the space for a holiday tree, consider dressing up your walls with a DIY pom-pom wreath. This tutorial by yours truly is jammed packed with ideas for creating a decoration that fits your style and space.

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  • 08 of 09

    Sweet Holiday Party Game

    christmas party games
    Jeff Wasserman / Getty Images

    Party games make great icebreakers. A crowd favorite is "guess the candy." You can use a broad range of sweets or stick to a theme like chocolate bars or retro confections. What is the trick? Party guests who can guess the name of a particular candy after a blind taste test win a small prize.

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  • 09 of 09

    Create Extra Places to Sit

    Mexican Blankets
    Puhimec / Getty Images

    You can whip up more places to sit around your coffee table using floor pillows. Neatly folded blankets and throws can also create comfy and cozy places to sit without spending a dime.