If you’ve been following me for a while, you will know that I am a big advocate for the DIY hen – (that’s bachelorette to the rest of the world) – weekend.
Yes, hiring a company, travelling abroad and doing lots of activities is great, but particularly in current times, scaling back to something a little more “home-made” is becoming more and more popular. I also believe that putting that hand- made touch into the event makes it even more special. I wrote a whole other blog post about the benefits of the DIY Bachelorette Party, which you can read here.
In order to make sure all those handmade touches come together, there are some must-have supplies you’ll need to have on hand.
Command Hooks / Zip Ties
Firstly, I cannot stress how important it is to be aware of the walls and surfaces you plan to hang decorations from. What are they made from? Are they covered with paint or wallpaper?
More often than not nowadays, venues will ask you for a hefty security deposit to ensure there is no damage. So, the last thing you want is to leave damaged or marked walls.
This is why command hooks are possibly the most important part of your DIY toolkit when it comes to decorating your venue. If you follow the instructions carefully you will be able to remove the hooks from the walls without a single mark. It does require pulling the tape SLOWLY, so make sure you emphasise this point to whoever is helping you take everything down at the end of the weekend.
If you have places to hang from already, such as curtain poles, wall hooks or even exposed pipes (be very careful here not to load a pipe with too much weight and make sure it’s not going to get too hot) then zip ties are your best friend.
They make it quick and easy to loop around pretty much anything you’d like to hang and they hold a remarkable amount of weight. You can go for standard black ones or brighten it up a little with this multicoloured pack
Want someone to do the hen party research you don’t have time for?
Gaffer Tape in your colours
Speaking of not damaging walls or surfaces, Gaffer Tape is the media professional’s secret when it comes to sticking down heavy cables etc. It’s super sticky but doesn’t leave a trace of residue so you can breathe easy knowing that your security deposit is safe.
Warning – it’s hella sticky so make sure you have a few pairs of decent heavy-duty scissors, or better yet a craft knife.
If the worst happens and you do get some residue, this article has a handy guide to help remove it.
The old reliable of sticking stuff to walls. Blu Tac is a classic, easy way to stick anything to pretty much anything. The risk with using this however is that you aren’t guaranteed to have a clean removal. Even if you use the admittedly more subtle white tac, there can still be small marks and residue left on the walls. For this reason, I would stick to using it on places that are either hidden from view or wipe – clean. Think kitchen cabinets, the fridge, the front door and on the underside of the breakfast bar or the dining table.
If you do decide to risk it on the walls, here is a handy article on how to remove any marks left behind.
Fishing line / Monofilament
This is another absolute party décor essential for me. It’s amazing what you can do with a bit of fishing line. My absolute favourite trick is to zig-zag a sort of “Web” across the ceiling of the venue using command hooks, then hang paper poms, or any other décor of your choice, from this web. It really gives the illusion that your décor is floating and creates such a “Wow” moment for your bride as she enters the space. Look for a roll that says “Monofilament”, like this one, as it’s traditionally stronger than standard fishing line.
Fairy Lights (and batteries)
If in doubt…Fairy Lights. Fairy Lights (or string lights) make a huge difference to any space. They are simple, effective and importantly – quick. If you don’t have time to go around making fishing line webs on the ceiling or taping pom-poms to every wall, then wrap a few sets of fairy lights around some door frames, lie them on tables and hang them from doors and voila! You’ll have a pretty, sparkly, cosy space in minutes.
Or, drape them together and pin some photos of the Bride throughout her life in between them for a really touching, beautiful feature. You can even buy a set of lights with clips attached! How handy.
If you are buying battery-powered sets like this (copper wire for bending) or this (regular lights for hanging) then make sure you have PLENTY of batteries. Or get yourself a battery charger and rechargeable ones that you can keep swapping out over the weekend.
It’s also important to remember to buy a length of lights big enough for the area you want to decorate and remember to always turn them all off before bed at night. Burning down the venue will definitely lose you that deposit.
Lastly, an extension cord or two is very handy for multiple reasons.
Firstly, if you are using any mains powered decorations (like fairy lights) then you want to make sure they can reach a power source while still going where you want them to.
Secondly, and arguably of more importance, if you are sharing a bachelorette house with 10+ women and everyone wants to get ready together… it’s highly likely that a lot of venues will not have the plug points required for the many appliances that a gaggle of girls tends to use in this process.
Just be sure not to overload and blow a fuse. No one wants to go partying with half a blow-dry and makeup they did by candlelight.
Bonus Item – Patience
The last thing you need by the bucketload to pull off a DIY Hen weekend is patience. All the crafting and planning can be stressful and tedious. But I promise you that when it all comes together, and you see the look on your Bride’s face, it will all be so worth it.
*I earn a small commission from anything you purchase from amazon following the links in this article. But I solemnly swear to only ever promote products that I would genuinely recommend or use myself.
Hi! My name is Sherrie. I am a personal Hen Party Researcher and the Fairy Hen Mother behind How to Hen. I started this site because I wanted to create a space where bridesmaids and maids of honour could get inspired and feel confident in their ability to plan a kick-ass bachelorette (hen) party for their bestie.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, stressed or lost on how to create a perfectly personal, unique bachelorette weekend for your bride, then you need the How to Hen Toolkit. it’s the roadmap that guides you through every part of the process and gives you everything you need.
Want some extra help doing the research that you don’t have time for? Have a look at my Consultation Service.