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    D-I-Y, or Do-it-Yourself, is all the rave these days, and it works all too well for people who have the flair for creating, organizing, and executing their own bash. It allows self-expression and, for many moms who are on a budget, a means to save.

    However, not all D-I-Y projects are successful. Some end in disappointment – if not disaster. Ever wonder why? Here are the top 5 common mistakes D-I-Y-ers make:

    1. An infinitely expanding guest list
    It is perfectly natural to want to celebrate your child's most special birthday with your family and friends. While you and your husband may begin with the intention of hosting just an intimate party, it is also perfectly natural for guest lists to expand and balloon as you go further along the planning process, but if you don’t watch it, your intimate party for 50 could blow up to 200!
    If you are planning to DIY this party, you will find this feat extremely difficult to pull off with a large guest list. The reason for this is simple: having more guests means having to book a larger venue, a larger stage, a higher ceiling, and more tables, all of which translates to more "space" that you need to cover up with decorations and styling. The whole point of DIY is to minimize costs (and to some extent, offer a more personalized feel to the event), which is then undermined as you see all the expenses pile up. Think about handcrafting centerpieces, and then doing it 20 times for your 20 tables!
    In order to avoid this situation, follow this simple rule - keep your guest list at a maximum of 100 people. You will be surprised at how much easier and cheaper it will be.


    2. Ineffective purchasing of decor elements
    Assuming now that you have pledged to yourself to keep your guests to a maximum of 100, the next common mistake lies in the procurement and creation of the props themselves. Once you have an idea on what decor element you would want to use, for example, for your table centerpiece, the next thing to ask yourself is: do I make this on my own, or is there a ready-made version that can be purchased? The first method will be more cost-effective but will take up more time and labor, while the second will be more expensive yet will require no time and human resource.
    If you do not plan carefully, either (or both) of the 2 scenarios will happen: you run out of time, or you run out of budget. Most of time, the DIY moms underestimate the expenses that they would be incurring, then find themselves in the middle of their preparations with their decor elements and props nowhere near completion, and desperately contemplating about hiring a professional stylist at the last minute! I know this to be true as I have personally answered a number of distress calls from DIY moms!
    As a general rule, paper crafts are more suited for DIY parties as these are cheaper, lightweight, easily disposable, and biodegradable. Use them indiscriminately. When you do decide to purchase items, think carefully about how you will use it after the party (will I be able to use these mason jars for the kitchen? Where can I display this lamp afterwards?). Think about just renting props that are too large or expensive to create on your own.
    However, if you feel that this feat requires too much time, effort, and money, consider hiring a professional stylist as she will be able to provide you a better all-in costing for all your party needs. This is because (some) stylists offer a rental fee on the props that they use, which they can charge at a reasonable rate because they can spread out the acquisition cost with all their other clients.

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