Party Design Basics: DIY Custom Party Utensils

I am so excited to start a new series of “how to’s” focusing on simple ways to dress up your party and give it that designer look without breaking the bank. We’ll tackle where to buy the supplies you need and how to make it work for your event. First up is one of my favorite ways to add that special touch — DIY Custom Party Utensils.


Why Wood Utensils?

Wood utensils are my favorite for many reasons — they are versatile, inexpensive and are biodegradable. And they are easy to find at online party supply shops, Amazon, Etsy and even Party City has a line. Buying in bulk can give you a great discount, and if you have several kids or events during the year, it never hurts to have some on hand. I recently bought 100 for around $12 off of another Etsy seller.

What Do I Do With Them?

Washi Tape is a really fun way to add pops of color. You can use it to make flags or alternate stripes and patterns.

Washi tape is really inexpensive and can be purchased at some hobby shops, Etsy, party supply stores and many group deal sites like Pick Your Plum. Just tear or cut off pieces of tape and arrange them in any pattern you like.

FYI, sometimes washi tape doesn’t stick very well, so press down hard and try overlapping the ends if your tape isn’t cooperating very well.

Cover them in Glitter Tape! Glitter tape is like washi tape, only a bit thicker and covered in gorgeous glitter. I bought mine from There are many beautiful shades, and shipping is inexpensive and fast.

Like with the washi tape, cut off pieces of glitter tape and arrange in any pattern you like. For my daughter’s upcoming magic party, I chose bright glittery pink, purple and gold and arranged them in random patterns. I used an xacto knife to trim away the excess on these since the tape is much thicker than washi tape.

Painting is a great way to add color too, like in these bright color blocked utensils by Studio DIY. Paint all one color (or several colors), alternating stripes, at an angle instead of straight lines, polka dots, glitter paint … the possibilities are endless.

Chalkboard Paint is another fun one. For these, I covered the ends in a plastic bag, and taped around it being sure to make a straight edge to avoid seeping. Some seeping may happen, but it adds to the charm, no? I sprayed the handles using chalkboard spray paint (love that stuff!).

Since it is wood, you will have better luck writing on your chalkboard painted utensils with a chalkboard marker than with traditional chalk. You can write names, words, ages … lots of fun things to write on this one. And the best part is it’s chalk, so you can wipe it off with a damp paper towel and start over. You can see it took me a couple of tries to get “eat” the way I wanted it. Penmanship is not my greatest skill. This could be really fun for grown up events too!

 Mod Podge is another great way to personalize your utensils. That Cute Little Cake used Mod Podge and pretty paper napkins to make these beauties. There are so many pretty patterned napkins available at Party Supply shops and online party suppliers. Lots of possibilities for personalization.

Stamps are another fun way to personalize utensils. For my son’s fossil party above, I used a small alphabet set of stamps to stamp out “rawr”. You could stamp out “Happy Birthday”, your child’s name or age, or even shapes, such as a mustache for little man parties. Stamps and a variety of ink shades can be purchased at Hobby Lobby, Michael’s and other hobby stores.


I hope that gives you a few fun ideas to move beyond plastic utensils and try something custom at your next event. Stay tuned for more Party Design Basics coming each week. Next week we’re going to look at fun cupcake toppers. Can’t wait!

And just for fun, this is how photo shoots in my house usually end up. If it isn’t one of my monkeys, it’s this little lady …


    • Gretchen says

      Hi, Alison! Yay! Decorating utensils is my new addiction. Such a fun way to add a personal touch. Be sure to share some pics!

  1. Isaac says

    Love the glitter tape! I just picked some up the other day but for some reason I can’t seem to make it stick? Is it a peel away thing or what? Lol

    • Gretchen says

      Oh, no! Some brands of washi tape just aren’t as sticky as they should be. You might try just a little bit of glue at the seam to hold it down. Hope that helps!

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