Cooking with Alison

DIY Housewarming Party Decorations and Take Home Gifts (and our Menu)

In DIY and Crafts on May 27, 2014 at am

When John finally settled into his first home, we threw a housewarming party to thank everyone that helped him get set up and to show all of his friends his new condo.  I’ve read that the tradition of having a “housewarming” started when neighbours would bring firewood and build fires to warm a new home and repel evil spirits (see source here).  I’ve also read that in France, the original housewarming custom was to thank all of those involved in building the home by inviting them over for dinner (see source here).  Nowadays, when we settle into and celebrate our new homes, our family and friends come bringing their warm wishes.

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The budget for John’s housewarming party was fully dedicated to the party room rental and, of course, the food and drinks.  We also spent a little bit of money on small, random take home gifts.  So we had to spend next to nothing on the decorations (did anyone else hear, DIY project?).  It didn’t take long for me to find inspiration online.  I’ve shared my favourite housewarming ideas and DIY tutorials below.  Happy Housewarming!


DIY Housewarming Party Invitations, Decorations, Take Home Gifts, and More

These is a compilation of my favourite DIY housewarming party ideas.  Since our budget for decorations was nil, we went with the ideas that used the free paint chip samples that you can find in hardware stores.  I was amazed at how many things you can make out of paint chip samples.  I made decorative banners and practical place cards that I used to label the food dishes.  (I feel less bad about taking advantage of the hardware store’s paint chip samples since my sister ended up purchasing enough paint from them to cover her entire condo.  Hopefully, you’ll happen to have some lying around in your house from previous painting projects.)


DIY Paint Chip Party Invitations:


Housewarming party invitations made with paint chip samples. Photo taken from

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Housewarming party invitations with paint chip samples. Photo taken from

DIY Paint Chip Banners:

Luckily for us, John’s condo party room is beautiful and needed nothing else, so we just added a few touches that said, ‘housewarming’.  These paint chip banners did just that.  To make a paint chip banner, simply cut the largest triangle that you can out of a large, almost square shaped, paint chip.  Repeat this with other coloured paint chips until you have all of the flags completed.  Then punch two holes, one at each top end of the flag, into each of your flags.  String your twine or yarn through the holes of each of the triangles.  Ensure that the flags are separated by an equal distance apart.  Hang up over a doorway, window, or bare wall.  See here for a more detailed tutorial.  Here, you will see a paint chip banner held together by popsicle sticks instead of string.  This person has also taken the time to attach a slightly larger flag, cut out of white cardstock to the back of each of her flags.



DIY Paint Chip Place Cards or Name Cards:

I cut the long and narrow paint chip samples into twos, so that each piece contained two different colours.  Then I folded them in half, along the line that separated the two colours, so that it would stand up on its own.  I wrote the dish or the guest’s name on one side.  Alternatively, if you’re having a sit down dinner party, you could cut out single colour blocks for name cards and insert them into place card holders.


Paint Chip Placemats:


DIY Paint Chip Utensil Holder:

Housewarming party utensil holders made out of paint chips. Photo taken from


DIY Take Home Gifts:

We were working with a tight budget for take home gifts, so we put random gifts (some edible, some accessories, some practical, some x-rated, etc.) into a moving box (1 item per guest) and we let people pick something out of it with their eyes closed.  Instead of giving everyone the same, neatly packaged take home gift, we turned it into a fun game of surprises, randomness and laughs.


Here are some take home gift container ideas that I fell in love with and hope to use one day:

Mini plastic paint cans make great take home gift containers.  I’ve seen these at the dollar store and at Michael’s craft store.

Mini plastic paint cans for take home gift containers.  Photo taken from

Mini plastic paint cans used as take home gift containers. Photo taken from

If you have more to spend, you can also buy actual paint cans, small, metal, and empty (new) from the hardware store.  

Brand new, small, metal, empty, paint can used as take away gift container.  Photo taken from

Brand new, small, metal, empty, paint cans used as take home gift containers. Photo taken from

Mini mailboxes also make great housewarming party take home gifts.  I’ve seen these at Target and craft stores.  You can buy the metal ones that are already coloured, or you can buy the paper ones that can be customized.

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Mini mailboxes used as housewarming party take home gift containers. Photo taken from


Mini mailboxes used as housewarming party take home gift containers. Photo taken from

I love the idea of wrapping your take home gift and making it look like a moving box or parcel.


Housewarming party take home gifts wrapped to look like moving boxes or parcels. Photo taken from

You could also use paint chips as gift tags, as shown here.  Another way to turn paint chips into gift tags is to use a circle paper punch and a small hole punch to make round gift tags.


Here are some DIY take home gift ideas that I’d like to try one day:

Handmade birdseed feeders would make adorable take home gifts, but you should be aware that there are controversial opinions on whether or not some of the common ingredients used to make these are harmful to birds, such as eggs and gelatin.  See one DIY tutorial here.


DIY bird seed feeders make great take home gifts for a housewarming party. Photo and tutorial from

Handmade paint chip coasters and magnets would make great take home gifts for a housewarming party.


DIY paint chip coasters as a housewarming party take home gift. Photo and tutorial from


Paint chip coasters as take home gifts for a housewarming party. Photo taken from


DIY paint chip magnets as housewarming party take home gifts. Photo and tutorial from


Artwork Made From Paint Chips:


This and other paint chip artwork by Peter Combe can be found at


John’s Housewarming Party Menu:


Some of the foods that we served at John’s housewarming party. The roast pig and sushi platters were provided by his mom and sister.


The Menu

(serving 40 people)

Sushi platters

Roast pig (Chinese style)

Maple drizzled baked brie crostini with craisins and pecans (recipe here)

Smoked salmon on cucumber rounds (recipe here)

 Mini macaroni and cheese bites (recipe here)

Korean BBQ beef in lettuce cups with kimchi (recipe here)

Mini cornbread wedges (recipe here)

Puff pastry tart with caramelized onions, gorgonzola, and tarragon (recipe here)

Puff pastry tart with prosciutto, arugula, cherry tomatoes, and goats cheese (recipe here)

Puff pastry tart with ricotta cheese, arugula, cherry tomatoes, parmesan, and balsamic reduction (recipe here)

Veggie dippers with cilantro and lime hummus (recipe here)

Soft chocolate chip cookies (recipe here)

Coffee jello

Sangria (recipe here)

Glazed donut shots (recipes here)



 Orange juice

Assortment of pop

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