holiday party ideas

When Wal-Mart reached out and asked if I would help them throw an “untraditional” holiday gathering I knew immediately what I wanted to do… a book exchange party!! I recently heard about this idea from one of our readers. She told me instead of an ornament exchange or a cookie exchange she and her friends had a book exchange party. I mean, y’all know how much I adore books so this is my dream party come to life!

In this post I’m sharing how to set up your own version and I pushed myself to use items you might already have at home. That is, if you’re like me and bought everything The Pioneer Woman made for her Wal-Mart line.

holiday book parties

First I started with a bright bold base color for the tablecloth. You can absolutely use something that feels more “holiday” but I like that this is festive without hitting you over the head with snowflakes and trees.

easy to make party banners

With any buffet height is key… that’s what gives your table dimension and makes it more visually interesting. Since I didn’t have anything really tall on my table I made my own bunting to hang above it to draw your eye up. This was seriously the easiest thing on the planet… it’s yarn attached to a removable clear hook with party napkins draped over the top. 

unique vase ideas

For the centerpieces I just grabbed some greenery from the grocery store and packed it inside my kitchen canisters. Who says you need a fancy vase? These two pieces add color and pattern and when the party is over they’ll go back to holding coffee and tea. 

party diy ideas

Cake stands are darling but not everybody has them. You know what everybody does have? Plates and bowls! I stacked these colorful plates on upside down bowls and created a darling little display for my Cowboy Cookies. The delicious little treats you see next to the cookies? Those are our No-Bake Cheesecakes in mason jars. 

walmart party supplies

My favorite recipe for mixed nuts is served inside this fun bowl which ties into the rest of the decor perfectly.

holiday cocktail recipes

What’s a party without a signature drink? I served up our Apple Cider Sangria in Ree’s cut glass pitcher… seriously you guys, I wasn’t joking when I said I bought half the line!

wrapped books for book exchange party

For the books themselves I had an especially fun idea… what if you brought books for the book exchange party but wrapped them so nobody could see what they were? It might encourage your friends to try a book that they otherwise would have judged, well, by it’s cover. I wrapped mine up in brown paper and then wrote a quick synopsis on the cover. Need a book for your book exchange? I have one of those too! You can pick up your copy of my book Sweet Girl while you’re shopping at Wal-Mart!

Be sure to check out for all of your holiday party shopping and tag your finds #AffordableStyle on social media to show off your finds!