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DIY prom ideas: Tips to save cash on everything from centerpieces to backdrops for photoshoots

Prom season is upon us and let's face it, it's a dance that can get quite costly. To help, Newswatch 16's Ryan Leckey teamed with some pros.

WYALUSING, Pa. — When it comes to prom, it can get pretty pricey. 

From the dresses to the tuxedos, even those fancy photoshoot backdrops, they're the items that can really add up. 

To help, Newswatch 16's Ryan Leckey teamed up with a DIY pro and her students at Wyalusing Area High School in Bradford County. 

Jamie Weaver isn't just a Special Education Teacher; she also moonlights as an interior designer/event planner. Jamie is also the co-owner of Pocono Picnic.

In addition to highlighting the DIY ideas listed below, Ryan also spotlighted another money-saving event coming to our area, Cinderella's Closet of NEPA's Unique Boutique, on Wednesday.

Members were setting up Tuesday morning for their big event in Lackawanna County.

"A lot of people are struggling right now and it's just really a great avenue to look for affordable dresses, accessories, and things like that," said event chair Tiffany Klotz.

Details about Unique Boutique:

  • Unique Boutique 2022
  • It's a part of Cinderella’s Closet of NEPA
  • When: Wednesday, March 30, 2022, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Genetti Manor
    1505 Main Avenue
    Dickson City
  • Registration is required - CLICK HERE! 

The following "Prom Hacks" are courtesy of Jamie Weaver:

Photo Backdrops


Bulletin Board paper  (your choice of color)

Paper Towels

Three combinations of paints light, medium, and dark (your choice of color)



  1. Take your bulletin board paper and cut the desired length

  2. Take your paper towel and dab in hour medium and dark paint choice

  3. Then, take another paper towel, highlight the dark paint spots with the light paint color. 

  4. Continue dabbing until the entire length of the bulletin board paper is covered with paint

  5. Sit to dry (using 24 to 48 hours)

  6. When your bulletin board paper is completely dried, add streamers by taping or tying the ends together. It is better if you use different shades of the same color to add a dramatic effect to your design. 

  7. When you are finished, you can either add balloons, paper flowers and vines to your backdrop. This will bring your look all together!



Clase Vase (Dollar Tree)


Dollar Tree Diamond Ribbon

Hot Glue

Dollar Tree Bouquets

  1. Was your glass vase

  2. When dried, hot glue your Dollar Tree Diamond Ribbon to your glass vase. It is recommended to glue two pieces at equal distance from each other.

  3. Pour your gems into the vase *desired height* (Side notes: If you do not have gems, you can spray paint kidney beans for the same effect). 

  4. Add Dollar Tree Bouquet to the top. I usually like to add various feathers for height.



Bouquet of Flowers

Flower Block

Pizza Pan

3600 Glue

Hot Glue Gun

Spray Paint

Diamond Gem Ribbon Dollar Tree 

  1. Take your Flower Block and pizza pan and glue together using 3600 glue and seal it with your hot glue gun. 

  2. Let it dry for 30 minutes.

  3. Then, take your spray paint, and paint the entire structure. It is recommended to apply multiple coats. 

  4. Let it dry for 24 hours.

  5. Take an Exacto knife and dray a slit through the middle of the flower block. Then, add your ring. Seal the ring using your hot glue gun.

  6. To add to your centerpiece, glue your Dollar Tree Gem Ribbon to the top and bottom of your flower block. 

  7. Add a few bouquets of flowers



Dollar Tree Robe

Dollar Tree Leaves

Dollar Tree Bouquet

Batter Candle

  1. If you have any old Lanterns laying around the house. This centerpiece is for you. Take your Lantern and tie a rob to the top. You want your robe the length from the top of your ceiling until eye level. 

  2. Take your bouquet and wrap your rope around the stems so they are secured. 

  3. Add dollar tree leaves to decorate your rope. 


Pack of Construction Shims

Hot Glue Gun

Construction paper

Spray paint or wood stain

  1. Lay out your construction shims to desired design (there are so many)

  2. Glue each piece to the construction paper using the desired length

  3. Spay the construction shims with either spray paint or wood stain (It is recommended to apply multiple coats)

  4. When you are finished, let it dry for 24 to 48 hours before using.

Balloon Stands

Plunger or broomstick from Dollar Tree

3600 Glue

Hot Glue

Spray Paint 


  1. Glue your punger with your Dollar Tree Pie/Pizza Pan

  2. Let it sit for over 24 hours

  3. Then, spray paint the entire structure

  4. Let it dry overnight. It is recommended to apply multiple coats within that time frame.

  5. Add balloon clusters to the top and bottom of your structure. 

  6. Enjoy!

Hula Hoop Creations


Hula Hoop

Lace Ribbon


Dollar Tree Bouquets

Electric tape

  1. Take your Hula hoop and take out the contents inside it

  2. Tape it together using electric tape

  3. Lace your Hula Hoop 

  4. Then, take a noodle and cut through the center of it, so the hula hop can fit perfectly inside it. 

  5. Add Dollar Tree bouquet to the noodle (Make sure to cut the stems)


Hula Hoop

Stems from previous project

Various types of greenery

Edison Lights

Flower Wire

Electric Tape

  1. Take your Hula hoop and take out the contents inside it

  2. Tape it together using electric tape

  3. Add various types of greenery to your hula hoop until you cover the entire hula hoop. Take a second and make sure to spread the leaves to prevent bunching. 

  4. To secure your greenery, wrap floral tape. 

  5. Then, add your Edison lights. (It is preferred to loosely hang them from your hula design). 

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