A housewarming party can be hosted by either the new owners of the home or by a friend or family member. The main purpose of the party is to celebrate the event with a big bash! If you choose to have a theme party, you could base it on the style of the home or the name of the neighborhood or area the house is located in.
You could also throw a “hard hat” party for the fixer-upper where the purpose is to help get the house ready to become a home. If you are hosting this party for a friend, have everyone bring household items that would help to fix up the home. Instead of a gift, you could ask each person to set a couple of hours aside to help with a specific project throughout the house. Make a schedule before the party so people can sign up for a convenient time.
Either way, you want an invitation that gives the new address and let’s your guests know that this is the place to be! If the owners are the ones that are hosting the party, it is considered poor manners for them to expect gifts, so nothing should be mentioned in the invitation. Here are two ideas for invitations:
• Purchase inexpensive wrenches or hammers and using curling ribbon, tie a note to them with all of the party information!
• Snap a photo of the new home and make copies of it. Create your own cards by gluing the picture on the front of a blank card.
Not many decorations or party supplies are needed for a housewarming party since the guests are coming to check out the new house and to see what the new owners have done to make it a home.
• On the lawn or next to the front porch, place a personalized banner or yard sign that welcomes the guests and congratulates the new owners on their big purchase! Tie a bunch of balloons to the sign for a bigger impact.
• It is always a nice touch to have candles burning throughout the house and a fire in the fireplace. Put some cinnamon sticks and orange slices in a pot of water on the stove to let off a sweet fragrance that adds to the homey appeal!
• If the owners have moved often, purchase a large map to hang on a wall in a prominent location. Using string and thumbtacks, map off all of the places they have moved and label them with the dates. Be sure that the place you are celebrating is labeled with a big star or smiley face!! Purchase toy U-HAUL trucks and scatter them on the table, or hot glue them to napkin rings for a cute accent. Cut up old maps for place mats, or create a runner for the center of the table.
• If you are hosting this event as a “hard hat” party, you could decorate with work horses and saws. A wheelbarrow with outdoor tools piled on it would look cute by the front door. You could also hang our construction tools on your door and inside the house. Place a few construction hats upside down around the home and serve nuts or chips out of them. Bundle up the silverware with a napkin and tie the bunch with raw wire and tie a nail in the center.
• Of course, if you choose to have a theme for your party you want to decorate with things that are appropriate for your theme.
The main purpose of a housewarming party is to celebrate the new home of a loved one, so be prepared to show off the entire house to all of the guests! You may want to organize and lead tours, or just let the guests ramble around at their own pace – either way is acceptable and very appropriate. Here are some other ideas that you can do at a housewarming party to make it very special and unique!
• If the owners are moving from another town, you could have the guests all help to develop a reference book with the listings of their favorite places in town. Have guests each add a page – best restaurants in town, hairdresser, alterations, doctors, bookstores, ice cream, manicures, etc.
• Another idea would be to have an “around the town” party, similar to an “around the clock” party. Each guest would be responsible to highlight the part of the town that was assigned to them by the host – they would give positives and negatives of that particular area, plus a gift from the area.
• If you are hosting your own party and are looking for ideas to do with your new home, have everyone give their suggestions and advice. You could assign every guest one room to brainstorm ideas for!
• Be sure to present the owners with a guest book which all of the guests have signed and written a special note in!
• Hold a ribbon cutting ceremony outside the home in the front yard. Write the owners’ names on a thick ribbon that is tied across the front of the house. Have them cut the ribbon and let go of some helium-filled balloons at the same time.
• Hold the housewarming party like a wine tasting party. Have several wines out for the guests to sample. Be sure to have the guests bring a wine goblet to use and then leave at the home for the guest of honor to have. We have a huge selection of glassware that would make nice gifts!
• Have all of the guests bring something that the owners have an interest in. For example, if the honoree is an avid reader, have everyone bring a book to increase the new library! If the owners love music, have everyone bring them their favorite new CD! This one is fun because you could dance the night away to all of the new music!
• Last, but definitely not least, a nice touch is to have a house blessing done by the owner’s priest, minister, or rabbi. Sometimes the group will enter each room as a prayer is said for the blessing of each room in the new home, while other times a simple prayer is done for the whole house.
Although party favors are not necessary at a Housewarming Party, here are a couple of cute ideas if you insist on sending your loved ones home with something fun and fitting!
• Personalized key tags would be a cute gift to give to your guests for coming to your housewarming party. If they are all family and very good friends, you may want to attach a spare key to your abode for future use!
• If you had a working party where your guests gave of their time and labor, present them with either a new tool (like a screwdriver, or small hammer) or a bag of flower bulbs to plant in their yard when they return home.
A buffet set-up is easiest if the party is in an open-house format. Serve a menu to match the theme of the party if you are using a specific theme, or serve traditional party favorites such as a taco bar or built-to-order nachos, mini pizzas, burgers and hot dogs, or giant deli sandwiches.
Here are some great staples for a buffet style:
• Chicken wings and chicken strips (offer 3 or 4 interesting dipping sauces)
• Meatballs (Swedish or BBQ)
• Mini eggrolls
• Whole water chestnuts wrapped in bacon
• Veggies and dip • Mini sandwiches made on mini buns.
• Shrimp cocktail is a little more costly than most items you might plan to serve, but it will make your guests feel special, and the color looks terrific on a buffet table!
Make everything ahead of time, and store hot items in a warming tray, or in an oven set at 200 degrees until the feeding frenzy begins!
Add a few hearty dips that can be made ahead. Here are a few that are extra easy to make, and are always a big hit:
• Cream Cheese Dip
Purchase cream cheese in block form, and top with salsa (flavored salsas are great), cocktail sauce and crabmeat, green pepper jelly or jam (any flavor works, but apricot is delicious!)Serve with a variety of crackers. Triscuit thins are perfect with this dip.
• Artichoke Dip
Mix 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, 1 cup mayonnaise (“light” is okay to use), and 1-24 oz. can of artichoke hearts, chopped into small pieces. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, and serve with crackers. This dip can be served warm, or at room temperature
• Easy Cheesy Dip
Add one large block of Velveeta Cheese™, one 16 oz. can of chili without beans, and one 16 oz. jar of salsa to a crock pot. Stir occasionally. The dip is ready when the cheese is completely melted. Serve with bite-sized tortilla chips.
• Baked Brie
Hollow out an oval loaf of French or sourdough bread, cutting the bread so that you have a “lid”. Fill the hole with Brie cheese, and put the lid back on. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Serve with small chunks of bread, or crackers. If the Brie is not to your taste, fill the bread with any other type of dip, such as a creamy spinach dip.
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