A couple of weeks ago I helped conceptualize the decor for a new magazine's prelaunch party. Drink Me, the magazine — which launches nationwide in 2009 — will be a free publication distributed in bars (like Cantina where the party was held) and spirits stores. Since the magazine is new, the budget for the party decor was pretty minimal. However, cutout letters printed on cardstock is virtually free! We printed out the letters in several different sizes, cut them out, and scattered them around the room. It made for a great, simple decoration that people couldn't stop talking about.
Another way we saved money was by getting inventive with the vases. When covered with a printed Drink Me label, wine bottles make excellent (cheap) vases that kept up with the parties theme.
This effortless idea can be applied to virtually any party. If it's an engagement, spell out the couple's names. A birthday? Spell out the guest of honor or Happy Birthday. To check out more pictures of the Drink Me decor, read more.