There aren’t many parties more colorful than a fiesta. I love all the bright colors and how fun they look together. I traditionally decorate with neutrals and cooler hues, so creating props and cookies for this party felt exciting.
I love the challenge of creating and decorating things myself. I love creating decorations for pennies that still look amazing. In this post, you will find five simplified DIY ideas for your fiesta themed party. You can also take many of these ideas and use them for other themed parties as well.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase, which allows me to provide all of this content to you for free.
Are you looking for a specific DIY? Jump around the post with these quick links: Fiesta Cookies, Plastic Fringe Backdrop, 3D Cactus Cutouts, Balloon Garland, and Fiesta Coffee Filter Flowers.
Don’t have time to DIY all the party things? I created a Fiesta Party Themed Amazon shopping list for you to quickly find cute decorations for your party.
1. Fiesta Cookies
Making cookies is so much fun, and whenever I have an excuse to try a new design, I take it. While making cookies is just a hobby for me, I have learned so much over the past few years experimenting with different recipes and techniques.
If you are interested in learning to decorate cookies, I have a lot of free resources available for you to get started. After looking through those resources, if you still have questions or need help troubleshooting an issue, reach out to me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to offer any support I can.
For these fiesta themed cookies, I didn’t have any cookie cutters for the shapes. Rather than ordering specific cutters for this small set, I made a stencil. If you are making a small number of cookies for a particular theme, cutting cookies by hand is a great way to get custom shapes.
A quick google search gave me the shapes for the sombrero and donkey piñata. I printed them out at home and cut the shapes out of paper. I used a sharp knife to cut around the shapes onto the cookie dough.
After I cut them out, I smooth out any rough edges with my fingers before baking. The cactus was a free-handed cut with a sharp knife.
Once the cookies cooled, I flooded them with white royal icing. After the icing dried for several hours, I painted the cookies with gel food coloring and added details with a black edible marker. Lately, painting cookies have become my favorite technique for decorating because you don’t have to color a lot of icing.
These brilliant colors and fun fiesta shapes made the perfect cookies for my fiesta themed party. Here’s a video of the decorating process. Cookie decorating videos are one of my favorite things to watch. While you’re watching, SUBSCRIBE to my YouTube channel.
2. Plastic Fringe Backdrop
Need an inexpensive way to add color to your party? Pick up some colorful plastic tablecloths. For years I have used plastic tablecloths to decorate for parties and events, especially events for kids. They’re inexpensive and come in lots of colors. One way you can use them for a fiesta theme is to make a fringe backdrop.
This backdrop comes together quickly, and it’s worth the big impact. Plus, the steps are simple.
Typically, you would tie the strips to plastic fencing. However, I wanted to try to use what I already had on hand, so I used two cookie cooling racks. They were the closet thing I could think of to square layout like fencing.
I zip-tied two cooling racks together and tied the plastic strips in rows of each color. For the yellow and red, I left room between each strand. The green pieces are solid across the top to cover the cooling rack.
Each strip is about 1.5 inches wide. The length of each strip is the width of the table cloth. They are tied in the middle, so the two ends hang beside each other to fill in one space. Once you hang up the backdrop, cut and trim the strips to your desired look.
I purchased one tablecloth of each color and used about half of each one. The final backdrop dimensions are 33×32 inches, and the total cost is about $2.
3. 3D Cactus Cutouts
Do you need party props on a budget? Well, I made these cacti from 2 sheets of $.85 foam board. I have used foam board and cardboard for a few other projects, but this was my first time trying the 3D cutouts. I made my joints a little too big, but overall I’m pleased with how they turned out.
Here’s a quick step-by-step guide. I free-handed each of these designs, but you can also use stencils.
- First, draw/trace the design onto the foam board. If you are free-handing the shape like I did, draw one first. Then use the cutout to trace the other side, so the shapes match.
- Cut out each shape with a box cutter.
- Cut out a small strip on the top/bottom of each shape for the joints, so they stand up together. (Notice, my joints were too big.)
- After you get the fit correct, paint each cactus front and back, including the edges. I used acrylic paint and a black permanent marker.
Once the paint is dry, add the permanent marker details. If you notice the board bending with the wet paint, the board straightens back out after getting the paint on both sides and drying. The cacti props are a great inexpensive way to add details to your party.
4. Balloon Garland
Balloons will forever be kept in my party stash. I did my first balloon garland for my daughter’s third birthday, and I fell in love with it! I share more about the specifics of creating one in that post, but I reused the balloon garland strip for this setup.
These balloons were inexpensive. I picked them up at Dollar General for $1 per bag. Total cost for this balloon garland, just $2, and it’s so colorful and perfect for a fiesta party. I used 9″ colorful balloons with squiggly balloons mixed in. This garland is a little less than 3 feet long, but you can make them as big as you need.
5. Fiesta Coffee Filter Flowers
Get the kids in on creating these colorful flowers. Coffee filter flowers are an easy craft. I use some in my home decor as well. We have tried dying them with watered down acrylic paint and food coloring. The food coloring worked better for us, but our hands were dyed for the day.
We used food coloring mixed into water to dye our fiesta coffee filter flowers, and each flower is made of ten filters. You can dye all the filters at one time too. Make sure your water is colored dark to get vibrant colors. Fold up the filters and dip them in the water.
You can cut them into various shapes too. For the fiesta theme, my favorite cut was the straight cut because it reminds me of a piñata.
I also used pink coffee filter flowers to top the cactus.
I hope these DIY party decorations are inspiring and helpful for your fiesta themed party. Please, share what you create with me on social media. Tag me @annakateturnerdiy on all platforms. I’ll be looking out for your fiesta parties.