Inspiring Celebrations Since 2006

A Modern Rainbow Art Party (Kids Birthday)

modern rainbow birthday party ideas

We’ve featured lots of rainbow parties here on HWTM over the years, but this is the first one that I designed myself. I wanted it to feel fresh, modern, vibrant, and HAPPY!

Colorful balloons, streamers, and paper were my key design elements. I also infused a bit of “art party” in here, with coloring placemats, art-inspired party activities, and a party favor/treat station that literally looks like a paint palette! As usual, printable paper designs played a big role in this party – from signs and labels to the DIY birthday hats. Click here to download the printables for FREE! :)

Some of my favorite details to look out for:

  • “Double Rainbow” birthday cake decorated with chopped Rainbow Twizzlers + sprinkles
  • Guest of honor chair surrounded by colorful balloons and rainbow paper garlands
  • “Rainbow Skies” party punch with vanilla ice cream “clouds” and rainbow fruit
  • DIY “Birthday Cake” table centerpiece with balloon “candles” and tissue fringe “frosting”
  • Paint palette inspired favor table with mini paint bucket favor tins

printable kids birthday party placemats

Coloring Placemats

Coloring is always a great way to keep little ones entertained! These cloud-shaped placemats come in 2 designs and are included in the free printables. Note: The placemats are formatted on 11×17 paper. I printed them as black & white engineering prints at Staples. You can fit 2-up on their 18×24″ paper, which makes them less than $1 each.

Guest of Honor Chair + Photo Backdrop

Rainbow balloons, circle garlands, and honeycomb balls make for a happy-go-lucky photo backdrop and gift-opening spot!

rainbow party balloons - guest of honor chair

For the circle garlands, I used craft circle punches to cut circles from colored card stock, then sewed them together with my extremely limited sewing machine skills. You can also use hot glue to make the garlands, as demonstrated in this other rainbow chair design. I used 1.5” circle punches for the smaller garlands shown here. A combination of 2” and 3” circle punches were used for the big ones.

Rainbow Cake

You don’t have to be a pro baker to whip up a fun birthday cake! This playful cake topper features paper balloon designs hot-glued to bamboo skewers:

rainbow party cake + printable cake topper

To decorate the cake, I used kitchen shears to chop up Rainbow Twizzlers into giant “sprinkles”. These provided a nice size contrast to the regular rainbow sprinkles.

For the inside of the cake, I used a rainbow cake boxed mix which produced beautiful, vibrant colors but didn’t rise much at all. So… I used another box of cake mix (in white) to bake an additional layer to go between the rainbow layers. This gave the cake some much needed height plus a happy silver lining: a “double rainbow” inside the cake! ;)

rainbow party printables

A Colorful Kids Table

The place settings on the kids table featured the coloring placemats that I mentioned earlier, crayon packs, birthday hats, and kazoos. What’s a kids party without lots of NOISE, right? ;)

rainbow party kids table and coloring placemats

I also hung garlands on the chair backs and designed an artsy “faux birthday cake” centerpiece, which I’ll post a tutorial on later. In a nutshell though, the centerpiece is made from floral foam bricks, crepe paper, and tissue fringe + balloon and wood dowel “candles”. 

Rainbow Confetti Popcorn

Kids will go crazy for this sweet and colorful treat! To make it, add approximately 1/2 cup of white melting chocolate per 8 cups of popped kettle corn or regular popcorn. Pour the melted chocolate on top of the popcorn and toss gently to coat. Spread the popcorn out evenly on a baking sheet, then sprinkle generously with rainbow sprinkles. Let dry for 2-3 hours.

rainbow confetti popcorn

Rainbow Party Drinks

The signature drink was a “Rainbow Skies” Party Punch with blue fruit punch, vanilla ice cream “clouds”, and colorful chopped fruit.

rainbow ice cream punch

The punch was served in clear cups that I embellished with skinny balloons (the twisty kind you use to make balloon animals).

rainbow party drinks

Colorful sparkly craft poms were the perfect ingredient for fun party straws!

rainbow party straws

Rainbow Rock Painting Activity

For this craft, you’ll need to collect or buy a bunch of large, smooth stones for your party guests to paint. You can also purchase rocks that are pre-painted with a matte black coating (or add one yourself), which will make the bright paint colors really POP! For the craft supplies, you’ll need kid-friendly paint in a rainbow of colors, small paint brushes, and any extras you want to include, like rhinestones or googly eyes. 

rainbow party rock painting activity

Helpful Tips: Paper cups filled with water are helpful for rinsing brushes. Paper plates are great for drying time and for saving your table cloth from paint splatters!

Rainbow Sand Art Activity

Kids will love making their own sand art creations to take home and display! You’ll need colored sand, clear containers with tops, big spoons, and FUNNELS. Choose from plastic or glass containers, depending on the ages of your guests. I used inexpensive glass bud vases (purchased at Ikea) plus cork bottle tops.

rainbow party sand art activity

To fill the bottles, insert the funnel into the bottle top and pour the sand in slowly. Alternate colors often to create the pretty layered look. Older kids should be able to pour the sand themselves. For younger kids, it’s best to have them pick out the sand colors and help by holding the funnel in place while an adult pours the sand. You can also let younger kids spoon the sand into the funnel while you hold it.

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Paint Palette Favor Station

Since I partnered with Hershey’s on this party (in celebration of their shiny new Hershey’s KISS colors) – I wanted to design a candy station that really made the individual colors stand out. The result was this fun “paint palette” inspired favor station!

rainbow party favor table

I’ll post a separate tutorial on this later with more details. All of the printables that you need to recreate it are already included in the download link though. :)

rainbow party favors - mini paint buckets

rainbow party chocolate mix

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Hope you found some inspiration here for your own rainbow art party! If you have questions, please feel free to ask away in the comments section below.

P.S. For more inspiration like this, check out our Rainbow Party archives.

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Winnie the Pooh Baby Shower Printables & Quotes – Pink & Yellow

Winnie the Pooh Printable Quote - Grand Adventure

A little over a year ago, I shared one of my very favorite work projects with you guys – a Winnie the Pooh Baby Shower theme created for Disney Baby that featured the classic red and yellow palette. Since then, I’ve received a ton of requests for a PINK version of the free printables. Well… they are finally done! :)

A Soft & Girlie Color Palette

I swapped out the red in my original collection for a soft baby pink. Click here to download this new version, which includes 8×10 signs, party banners, “HUNNY” labels, and much more. Scroll down for a full preview of what’s included. For best results, I recommend printing these designs on a high quality matte cardstock. I always use this paper when I print at home.

P.S. The red and yellow Winnie the Pooh printables are still available in the original post, along with lots of ideas for how to utilize these designs at your baby shower. Most of these designs (in both colorways) would work well for a Winnie the Pooh kids birthday party too. Happy celebrating!

Winnie the Pooh Baby Shower Banner - 1

Winnie the Pooh Baby Shower Banner - 2

Winnie the Pooh Baby Shower Banner - 3

Here are the 8×10 signs (+ a 3rd design that’s featured in the opening image of this post):

DIY Plate Liners: (Visit the original post for 2 different methods of utilizing these.)

Winnie the Pooh DIY Plate Liner - 1

Winnie the Pooh DIY Plate Liner - 2

Decorative Bee Silhouettes & HUNNY Dessert Labels:

Winnie the Pooh Baby Shower Free Printables - 3

Scroll Banner accents (used on centerpieces, near the party favors, and on the dessert table):

Winnie the Pooh Scroll Banners

winnie the pooh printable banners

Larger HUNNY labels for bigger jars and accents:

Blank Tent Cards (for food labels or place cards) and Pooh & Friends inspired “Character Trait” accent flags:

Winnie the Pooh - Printable Tent Cards

Mini Chair Banner for the guest of honor (a.k.a. the QUEEN BEE!):

Favor Tags that can be used in square or circular format. (I used a 2″ craft punch to cut them into circles for the tops of round jar lids.)

Umbrella Topper Silhouettes: (Attach these to wooden dowels to create themed “umbrella” accents for a diaper cake or table centerpiece, etc.)

winnie the pooh baby shower umbrella 1

winnie the pooh baby shower umbrella 1

Last but not least – can’t forget everyone’s favorite Tigger! 4×6 signs:

winnie the pooh printables - fun fun fun

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Here’s a peek at the dessert table from the original baby shower… just swap out all the red elements with pink to work with this new collection. :)

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Royal Princess Birthday Party (Pink & Blue)

Disney Princess Castle Cake

In this Royal Princess Birthday Party by Undercover Hostess, Erin focused on soft pastel colors, sparkly accents, and a chic styling approach to bring one very dreamy birthday celebration to life! You might even call it a little girl’s “dream come true”. ;)

From rose-shaped Beauty and the Beast cake pops to dress-up gowns for Ariel, Merida, Snow White, and more, LOTS of different Disney Princesses made a cameo at this pretty party. I’m especially loving the vintage style Cinderella and Prince Charming silhouettes, though, which served as a simple & elegant greeting for guests when they arrived!

Party Highlights to look out for:

  • Dessert table linens styled to look like Cinderella’s dress – complete with bows!
  • INSANELY AWESOME Princess Castle Cake by The Chocolate Box
  • Chic Cinderella and Prince Charming silhouettes on the front door and mantle
  • Ruffled curtains flanking the dessert table (repurposed from the birthday girls bedroom)
  • Frozen Donut Balls + colorful Disney Princess Dress Cookies

Cinderella and Prince Charming Silhouettes

Cinderella birthday party ideas

Disney Princess Dessert Table

Disney Princess Dress Cookies

Cinderella Party Table Ideas

Princess Party Chandelier

Disney Princess Party Decorations

Beauty and the Beast Rose Cake Pops

Disney Princess Dress Up Station

Princess Party Dresses

Disney Princess Favor Bags

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Party Details, as told by Erin…

Like many four year old girls who just absolutely love anything princess, my daughter seems to attend a Royal Ball several times a day. I was thrilled when she asked for a Princess Birthday Party and couldn’t wait style it in a unique way. The challenge was to make it fun and appealing for both boys and girls.

For the theme, I decided to focus on princess silhouettes for a sophisticated feel. Pink and blue were used as the main colors, which was a great way to include both the little princes and princesses.

Our royal guests were welcomed at the front door, which displayed hanging Cinderella and Prince Charming cut outs. I love having the theme right there immediately when your guests walk up to your door!

The Dessert Table

The linens on the main dessert table were styled to mimic the look of Cinderella’s dress. The table was draped with a soft pale pink and accented with blue bows. The Chocolate Box created a beautiful castle cake, which served as the focal point of the dessert table. The cake was centered on the table and framed by soft white ruffle drapes (repurposed from my daughter’s bedroom).

The three piece silhouette backdrop over the table is one of my favorite decorations! Accented with a candelabra, pink roses, vintage books, and delicious desserts, it definitely created the luxe royal look I was going for!

I extended the princess theme into the other desserts as well. Various princess cookies, “Frozen” themed donut balls, and Belle’s red cake pop roses were served. The Beauty and the Beast themed cake pops ended up being one of the most talked about desserts. They looked incredible and tasted amazing!

The Royal Table

The idea was to have all the guests dine at a royal table, so one long table was created to achieve the look. Crisp white linens were used as the base, styled with silver candles and pink roses as a centerpiece. A pink chandelier hung from the ceiling tied it all together.

One of my favorite pieces on the table were actually the custom princess silhouette paper plates, they helped bring the entire theme together.

Princess Party Activities

Our princess-inspired games and activites included:

  • a large inflatable princess carriage for a bounce house
  • a “Seven Dwarfs” mining station where the kids shifted sand to find gemstones
  • a dress up area with princess clothes for the girls and swords & crowns for the boys
  • face painting
  • a “Brave” station where the children threw water balloons at a target

I am lucky enough to have a handy husband and he constructed the mining trough. The dress up station was brought down from her room (nothing like cheap décor!)

The party turned out beautiful and the kids had a blast playing games and eating delicious desserts. When my daughter walked outside and saw the tables set up for her party, her facial expression made all the planning worth it for just that!

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World of Toys Birthday Party (FAO Schwarz Inspired)

Giant Toy Blocks - FAO Schwarz Toy Party

There’s really no shortage to the party magic that Laila Plant of One Inspired Party can whip up, and today’s toy-inspired celebration is the perfect example! 

Inspired by the famous FAO Schwarz – an NYC-based toy store founded in 1862 – this “World of Toys” First Birthday Party captures the same larger-than-life, childlike wonder that made the store so iconic. From giant building block signage to a dessert display backdrop fashioned after the infamous FAO Schwarz clock, the details in this party will have you feeling like a kid in a TOY store in no time! ;)

Party Highlights to look out for:

  • clusters of toys used as centerpieces & displayed on colorful crates
  • Ikea side tables customized with vinyl decals to read F A O
  • an incredible array of desserts displayed on a giant “toy train”!
  • giant toy soldier “greeters” + toy soldier inspired cake pops
  • decorative signage made from giant alphabet blocks
  • Mr. Potato Head party favors arranged to look like an in-store display

P.S. Click here to see more parties from Laila that we’ve featured on HWTM.

Amazing Toy Themed Birthday Cake

World of Toys Birthday Party Ideas

Toy Birthday Party Centerpieces with Teddy Bears

Kids Toy Party Activity Table

Toy Birthday Party Backdrop and Kids Tables

Toy Party Centerpieces and Party Favors

Toy Themed Birthday Party Circus Tent

Jack in the Box Toy Party Centerpiece

Toy Party Dessert Table

Toy Party Train Dessert Table + Toy Soldier Cake Pops

FAO Schwarz Toy Birthday Party Ideas - Pinata and Tables

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Party Details, as told by Laila…

Welcome to Our World of Toys! At our first meeting, when Mariaco told me she wanted to throw an FAO Scharwz inspired party for her son’s first birthday, I immediately fell in love with the theme! There’s so much tradition and nostalgia tied into the store that I wanted to make sure I did it justice.

Every single detail in this party was completely thought out. From the giant building blocks at the entrance to the toy soldiers, every single store staple made it to our party.

With an insane amount of creative details, Guillermo Andres’ party was filled with happy colors. Our primary colors color palette harmoniously tied all the elements together.

The amount of detail in each prop, including the toy soldier seat cover for the faceprinting area, the insane sweets for the table, and the oversized train for the dessert table were everything and I could not have been happier with the end result.

Happy birthday Guillermo Andres! Can’t wait to celebrate you next year.

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BIG Valentine Cookies + Cute “Baked with Love” Cookie Sleeves

free printable valentine's day cookie gifts

It’s hard to believe that Valentine’s Day is right around the corner already, right?!

Since there’s never a shortage of candy hearts and wrapped chocolates to go around on this holiday, I wanted to share a different sort of sweet gift idea with you today that’s easy, unique, and COOKIE based!

BIG Valentine Cookies

In a nutshell, these are simply good ol’ chocolate chunk and snickerdoodle cookies with colorful Valentine sprinkles mixed in… but there’s a fun baking trick used here too. I baked the cookies in a whoopie pie pan to make them BIG, uniform, and perfectly round. In other words, you’ll look like a real pro baker when you hand these babies out. ;)

big valentine's day cookies

I also used 2 of my favorite Krusteaz cookie mixes (Triple Chocolate Chunk and Snickerdoodle) to make this project extra easy, then designed some playful “window” cookie labels to package them up in style. The “windows” are positioned to look like the “mouth” on the bunny and the “belly” on the penguin and bear.

Side note: I included traditional Valentine’s Day messages on the labels, but am thinking that  fun alternative captions for these would be “Get in mah belly!” and “Open wide!”. If anyone would like these versions instead, you can download them right here.

valentine cookie sleeves

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Whoopie Pie Pan Cookies

Here’s a closer look at the process of making the cookies:

my favorite Krusteaz cookie mixes

1. Preheat your oven to 350º.
Note: The instructions on the box say to preheat to 375º for regular cookies, but I tested these “whoopie pie pan cookies” at both temperatures, and 350º worked better in this instance since the unique style of pan affects the way they bake up.

2. Mix sprinkles into the cookie dough.
I used XOXO sprinkles for theTriple Chocolate Chunk cookies and tiny hearts for the Snickerdoodles.

chocolate chip valentine's day cookies

3. Scoop the cookie dough onto the whoopie pie pan.
I used a 1 oz cookie scoop and was able to scoop 12 big, yummy cookies from one batch of mix.

4. Press the dough into the pan cavities.

5. Add another pinch of sprinkles on top.
This guarantees a big pop of color on the top of the cookies, where you really want it to show!

Note: The Snickerdoodle cookies require one additional step: rolling the dough balls in a sugar/cinnamon mix before pressing them into the pan, as shown below. A packet of this cinnamon/sugar mix is included in the Krusteaz Snickerdoodle cookie mix.

snickerdoodle valentine's day cookies in a Whoopie pie pan

6. Bake for 9-11 minutes.
They should bake up nice and even, like this:

big cookies baked in a whoopie pie pan

7. Let the cookies cool for a few minutes.
Once they’ve cooled enough to handle, pop them out of the pan. Now it’s time to package them up!

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Valentine’s Day “Baked with Love” Cookie Sleeves

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You’ll need:

valentine cookie sleeve materials

1. Punch out the “window”.
Turn the craft punch upside down so that you can see/control the placement of the punch.

DIY cookie window sleeves

2. Hot glue the label to the bag.
Align the bottom of the label with the bottom of the bag. 

That’s it! Your finished cookie sleeve packaging should look like this:

printable cookie sleeve gifts

Time to add the cookies! Just slip one into each bag, then fold the excess bag over and tape the bag closed.

You can also add a printable to/from gift tag to the back if you’d like:

valentine's day cookie gift idea

These make cute Valentine’s day gifts for friends, family, teammates, and more – not to mention a fun surprise for a lunchbox, co-worker’s desk, or neighbor’s doorstep. Hope you can use them to SPREAD SOME LOVE! ;)

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krusteaz-badge-3

This project is brought to you in collaboration with Krusteaz®. As always, all thoughts, designs, and opinions are my own. THANK YOU so much for supporting the companies that make it possible for me to keep the creative inspiration & ideas coming your way!

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A Pancakes and Pajamas Party in 5 Easy Steps (+ Funfetti Pancakes!)

Pancakes and Pajamas Party Sign - Free Printable

Today’s post combines 3 of my favorite things that all happen to start with a “P”… pancakes, pajamas, and PARTIES! I mean, what’s not to love about the idea of attending a party in the comfort of your favorite PJs, right? And since I’ve been working with my favorite pancake mix brand – Krusteaz – on various party ideas for quite a while now, it seemed like high time to create an actual PANCAKE PARTY. ;)

Simple, Festive, and Fun

Instead of focusing on PJs and slippers for this Pancakes and Pajamas party, I decided to try something different and give it a night time inspired spin with clouds, stars, and a giant moon balloon.

I also wanted to create something that felt simple enough to inspire a special family celebration at home, yet festive enough to work into a full-blown birthday party too. This meant quick decor, easy pancakes, and my favorite go to “secret ingredient” – party printables! You can find download links for the free printables after the images below, along with my 5 step breakdown of how to recreate this look

Giant Moon Balloon - Blue

The party table features playful cloud-shaped printable “placemats”, honeycomb balls, and pancake toppings with custom labels. Hanging above the table: a giant crescent moon + more honeycomb decorations.

Pancakes and Pajamas Party Table

Sometimes it just makes sense to state the obvious… ;)

Rainbow Funfetti Pancakes

Colorful cups, napkins, and straws are an easy way to add fun patterns to the table. I purchased all of this partyware at Target and embellished the straws with printable stars.

Printable Pancake Party Placemats

Pancake toppings + new labels = a cute & functional centerpiece!

Cute Whipped Cream and Syrup Labels

I love adding words to placemats… this printable set comes with 5 colors and alternates between “PASS the SYRUP” and “MORE PANCAKES please”.

Pancakes and Pajamas Party Ideas

Here’s a closer look at the funfetti pancakes. Note: If you want to get even fancier, you can also add simple patterns and colors to your pancakes using the method I demonstrated here.

Funfetti Pancakes Tutorial

The image above is proof that even a simple addition can make pancakes SUPER FUN! My own kids were so excited about these. It’s amazing how much joy “fun food” can stir up!

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5 Steps to a Playful Pancakes and Pajamas Party

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1. FUNFETTI PANCAKES
Add colorful sprinkles (like the shimmery star sprinkles used here) to your Krusteaz Buttermilk Pancakes to make them stand out! This simple step makes a big impact without adding much work in the kitchen at all. I stirred some sprinkles into bowl of batter first, then also added a pinch of sprinkles to the pan before pouring on about 1/3 cup batter on for each pancake. This way you’re guaranteed to have lots of color at the top. :)

2. CUTE PLACE SETTINGS
Set the tone for a fun party with big pops of color at each place setting. Add cloud-silhouette placemats + colorful napkins and straws. Hot glue paper stars to the straws. 

3. MOON BALLOON
Easy, high-impact decor is the BEST… and this giant crescent moon balloon is exactly that. Just fill it with air and using fishing wire to hang it above your party table. Instant statement-maker in a just a few minutes!

4. HONEYCOMB DECORATIONS
These inexpensive tissue decorations are another favorite ingredient for fast and high-impact. Just open up small honeycomb balls and toss them around the center of the table. Hang a few next to the moon balloon for added color above the table, and hot glue little stars to them to play up the night sky theme.

5. FREE PRINTABLES
In addition to the Cloud Placemats, download the following elements to dress up your theme:

And of course this tip kind of goes with out saying… but make sure everyone comes in their PJs! To customize this design for a birthday party, I’d recommend adding chipboard or metallic balloon numbers (for the birthday age) and letters (for the guest of honor’s name) to the decorations.

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Krusteaz Funfetti Pancakes

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This project is brought to you in collaboration with Krusteaz®. As always, all thoughts, designs, and opinions are my own. THANK YOU so much for supporting the companies that make it possible for me to keep the creative inspiration & ideas coming your way!

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Playful & Modern Pirate Birthday Party Ideas

Pirate Party Homemade Cake

If you’re on a *treasure* hunt for pirate party ideas… x marks THIS spot! ;) I’m excited to share the new Pirate Birthday Party theme that I recently designed for Fisher-Price, which is filled with lots of ideas and free printables for YOU!

Scroll down for a close-up view at the individual ideas – from fill-in pirate party invitations to Caribbean Punch, Pirate Bananas, “X Marks the Spot” Loot Bags, and more! Then, head on over to the “How to Throw a Pirate Party” article on the FP website for the detailed instructions and downloads. 

Free Printable Pirate Party Invitations

Pirate Letters

These paper mache letters are a great way to personalize the party too. In addition to pirate phrases, try decorating the name or initials of the guest of honor! Instructions here.

Pirate Party Decorations - Paper Mache Letters

“Caribbean Sea” Pirate Party Punch

I always love dressing up drink dispensers, and pirate party punch in particular looks great decked out with ripped bandanas, chains, and rope! Get the recipe & free printable drink label here.

Pirate Party Punch

Jolly Roger Jello Ships

Cute toppers are for more than just cupcakes! Little ones will love these fun & colorful jello pirate ship snacks. Instructions & sail printables here.

Jolly Roger Jello Ships - Pirate Party Food

Pirate Bananas

Proof that even “healthy” party treats can bring smiles. Details here. 
P.S. This a cute “anytime” surprise for lunch boxes too!

Pirate Bananas - Pirate Party Food

Pirate Party Sandwiches

Cookie Cutters make sandwiches (or “sandys”) fun too! I added some crushed potato chips to the PB & Honey for a bit of that awesome salty/sweet combo AND so we could label them our “crunchy skulls”. ;)

Pirate Party Food - Skull and Shark Sandwiches

Homemade Pirate Party Cake

I’m definitely no pro when it comes to cake decorating, but have enjoyed challenging myself with all of the Fisher-Price parties to find easy/doable ways to make homemade cakes (by other non-pros like me) still look awesome. Gotta say I love how this one turned out! See the first image for a full view of the cake, and then the image below for a close-up of the top.

Colorful store-bought candies (grape Starbust jelly beans, red licorice, rock candy, and a gold-wrapped chocolate) plus a printable topper did the trick for this “x marks the spot” inspired design. And the topper IS customizable by age – the printable “pirate sail” with the number on it is available in 1-9. :) Full details and free printables here.

Pirate Party Cake Decorations

Pirate Dress Up Station

What little pirates wouldn’t love to dress like a MATEY?! Use our free printable sign to invite them to plunder some goodies to dress up with…

Pirate Party Dress Up Station

And of course you can never have too much gold at a pirate party… ;)

Pirate Party Gold Chains

X Marks the Spot Favor Bags

Send your guests off with a little “loot” before they sail away. These cute DIY favor bags are super easy to make! Get the instructions here.

Pirate Party Favor Bags - X Marks the Spot

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Hope you’re able to have some fun with these ideas! If you need more inspiration, check out our Pirate Party Archives here on HWTM.

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“10 Things I Love About You” Valentine’s Day Balloons

Valentine's Day Gift Idea - Printable Sign

Looking for a cute way to surprise your favorite person for Valentine’s Day? This balloon gift idea is easy, thoughtful and definitely a statement-maker! Well… TEN statements to be exact. ;) It’s also a playful nod to the similarly titled romantic comedy from 1999… for those of you that love old school chick flicks like me. 

Love Notes + Stickers + Balloons

Adhesive number stickers make this project super-quick, and I’ve designed a set of printable Valentine notecards and a matching sign to make everything easy-peasy! Head over to the Balloon Time website for more details and to download the free “love note” printables.

P.S. This idea would work well for both significant others OR (reading age) kids!

DIY Valentine's Day Balloon Surprise

10 Things I Love About You Balloons

Free Printable Valentine Love Notes

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Download the free printables for this project HERE.

For more free Valentine’s Day printables, check out my Cake and Ice Cream Valentine’s Day collection. It’s got watercolor-style banners, party flags, cake toppers, and more… a sweet addition to any love-day celebration!

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A Football Sip and See Baby Shower with NFL Homegating

NFL football themed baby shower ideas

This football themed Sip and See might be my favorite idea for a new baby celebration to date!

NFL Homegating is like tailgating in the comfort of your own home – which is fun on its own – but even more so with a brand new baby to show off! ;)

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Sip and See …and Cheer

In case you’re not familiar with the term, a “Sip and See” is an open-house style gathering where several people come over to meet a new baby within a specified window of time. They can stay for a while or just pop in for a few minutes. It’s a fun excuse to get together, AND it saves new parents from having to accommodate the various schedules of a zillion different people that are all anxious to meet their little one.

One big thing to consider though: not everyone can hold the baby at once, which means it’s a good idea to have something else to keep your guests entertained too. So… HELLO, WORLD + HELLO, FOOTBALL!

DIY football baby bottles - baby shower decorations

Timing a Sip and See to align with an NFL game provides the perfect extra entertainment for your guests: it’s fun, it’s social, and, most importantly, it’s low-maintenance. They’ve got something to focus on while you’re busy chatting with others, and you’ve got a great theme to work with… your favorite NFL team! Or the favorite team of the guests of honor, if you’re hosting this party for a friend.

So with this in mind, I’m excited to team up with NFL Homegating to bring you some inspiration for hosting your own NFL Inspired Sip and See! NFL Homegating is all about celebrating your team at home. I stuck with my own favorite team here (of course!), but you can easily swap out the Raiders glasses and serveware with versions that feature your own favorite team.

football-baby-shower_3

I also designed the football printables featured here in black and white so that they can work with any team color palette! *Download them for free at the bottom of the post.*

P.S. Even though this NFL season is coming to an end soon, all of these ideas would work great at a regular football-inspired baby shower too, which can happen year-round. Plus, the next NFL season will be here before we know it!

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footballl baby shower printables

The Drinks

Since this is a SIP and See, drinks are key of course! Set up a station that makes it easy for guests to help themselves. Make sure to have a variety of options available for people of different ages and tastes. I always like to offer one party punch with a fun name that matches the theme + the standard basics (water, iced tea, wine, beer, soda).

This “Touchdown” Punch is simple yet tasty. It’s just store-bought green fruit punch (kiwi strawberry flavor) + lemon-lime soda. For an extra point though, throw in some lime sherbet and/or champagne!

Football Party Touchdown Punch

Speaking of fun names, I couldn’t resist calling the iced tea “Safe-TEA” as a play on the football position/play.

football party drinks

Space for cold drinks can often be an issue, and it’s fine to use your refrigerator as a solution for this! Just make sure to set out a note that lets guests know that more beverages are available for them in the fridge. You’ll probably also need to clean out your fridge... ;)

I’m a big fan of wine myself… and this is a CELEBRATION, after all! These team-branded stemless wine glasses feel a little more sporty and “Homegating friendly” to me:

sip and see baby shower wine glasses

Since this drink station is also the focal point of the party (similar to how styled dessert tables are often treated), I have a few decorative tips from it to share with you too… :)

1. “Football Family” Centerpiece

First up is this decorative drinkware display, which is a nod to both parts of the theme (sipping and NFL), as well as to the family that’s being celebrated. There’s a wine glass for mom, a beer mug for dad – (both from NFL Homegating) – and a DIY painted bottle for baby (a.k.a. the MVP!). 

football baby shower centerpiece idea

If you’re hosting for someone else, the glassware can also double as a thoughtful gift for mom and dad after the party. The mini Quarterback, MVP, and Coach flags can be downloaded below.

2. Football Onesie Banner

Since there’s not a whole lot of obviously “baby” stuff happening on top of the table, I thought a onesie banner was in order to help highlight the occasion more obviously. ;) These are available to download below as well. Note: the dates on the free printables have been changed to be more versatile. There are separate banner files for babies born in 2017 and 2018.

printable football baby shower banner

3. Felt Football Field Table Cover

For this table cover, I used green felt, white duct tape (large lines), and white masking tape (small lines). Having an attractive table cover or linen makes ALL the difference in the world as far as the look of a party station!

DIY football field table cover

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Football Whoopie Pies

The Food

Snacks at a Sip and See can be simple and fuss-free! In similar fashion to the drinks, I like to have one “star”of the food table surrounded by a few crowd-pleasing basics like cheese/cracker and veggie trays.

I chose a 5-Ingredient Chili as the main dish, since it’s quick to make and easy to keep warm all party long in a (Raiders!) Crockpot:

football party chili station

Popular garnishes for the chili (cheddar cheese, avocado slices, onions, and sour cream) were served in cute galvanized pails. 

football party chili and wine

Cheese and crackers were carefully arranged on this ceramic plate so that they didn’t cover up the best part…

football party snacks

Veggies add such a fantastic pop of color to any food station! I pretty much always include them at parties…. even though I’ll admit that I usually reach for a cheese stick first myself. ;) 

DIY football baby bottle decoration

Hope you found some useful tips here for your next football soirée! Remember to visit NFL Homegating for official NFL team party supplies, drinkware, serving trays and more. 

P.S. The football baby bottles pictured above were made by pouring craft paint into the bottles and letting it slowly drip down the sides, similar to what I did in this tutorial post. I cut pieces of duct tape for the “laces”.

Football Baby Shower Printables

Click the links below to download the high resolution PDFs.

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Disclosure: This post is sponsored by NFL Homegating. As always, all thoughts and designs are my own. Thank you so much for supporting the companies that make it possible for me to keep the creative content coming your way!

 

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Paint-Dipped Cactus Party Favors (Tutorial)

DIY Cactus Party Favors - Paint Dipped

Have you seen the new colorful chocolate KISSES from Hershey? I had so much fun dreaming up a few ways to *party* with them. This Paint Dipped Cactus Favor might be my absolute favorite, though…

I mean, it has color blocking and sparkly craft poms… and CHOCOLATE! ;)

There are 2 different styles of cacti here – a taller, skinnier version and a shorter, rounder version. Both are easy to make – check out the instructions below.

P.S. Download the matching 8×10 “Fiesta Forever” Favor Sign too!

Free Printable Fiesta Party Sign

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CACTUS PARTY FAVORS TUTORIAL

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MATERIALS:

  • Hershey’s KISSES in Green Foil
  • 3×5” Clear Treat Bags (for tall cactus)
  • 4×9” Clear Treat Bags (for round cactus)
  • Mini Craft Pom Poms
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Tape
  • Brown tissue paper
  • Scissors
  • Printable YAY! Flags
  • Bamboo Skewers

For “Paint Dipped” Pots:

  • 1/8” Painter’s Tape
  • 1/2” Painter’s Tape (or Washi Tape)
  • 2.5” Terra Cotta Pots
  • Craft Paint
  • Paint Brushes

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INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Prep the terra cotta pots. For a paint-dipped look like I did here, use painter’s tape to block off the bottom portion of the pot that you want to paint. Apply 2-3 coats of craft paint to each pot and let dry completely, then peel off the tape.

diy-cactus-party-favors_3

2. To form the tall cactus plants, fill 3×5” clear bags with 20 green Hershey’s KISSES. For the round cactus plants, fill 4×9.25” clear bags with 20 green Hershey’s KISSES.

NOTE: Turn both sizes of bags INSIDE OUT before filling them to help conceal the corners and create a more rounded look.

3. Once the bags are filled and shaped to your liking, twist the excess cellophane to secure the shape and tape them closed. You can also trim the excess cellophane off of the round plants.

4. Flip the candy-filled bags over so that the taped side is down, and place them in the terra cotta pots. The round cactus bags should sit nicely towards the top of the pots. For the taller & skinnier plant, insert a ½ sheet of brown tissue paper into the bottom of the terra cotta pot first, packing it down firmly to create a hidden riser for the cactus.

5. Hot glue mini pom poms onto the cactus plants to make colorful flowers and prickles!

6. For the finishing touch, accent the plants with Printable YAY! Flags hot glued onto bamboo skewers.

Printable Fiesta Party Flags

Make Your Own Cactus Favors

Fiesta Party Favor - Cactus

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Grown Up Party Favors: Good Morning, Sunshine! Prep Kits

Hangover Prevention Party Favors for Grown Ups

We spend lots of time dreaming up party favor ideas for little ones, so how about something just for the GROWN UPS?! ;) And let’s make it something useful while we’re at it…

Since the vast majority of adults have LOTS of responsibilities to manage every day – work, kids, home maintenance, etc – I can’t think of a more THOUGHTFUL “party send off” gift than something that can help your guests feel good in the morning. You know… so that they can actually “adult” like they need to, even after a fun night out of cocktails and celebration.

(Make it a ) Good Morning, Sunshine!

So on that note, I recently teamed up with a new company called ClearVia that I’m really excited about, which is of course always a requirement for the brands I work with). They make a probiotic supplement that helps you metabolize alcohol. It’s available on Amazon and you can also learn more about it here. 

I noticed a difference in how I felt the next day when I tried it myself, which was after a night of moderate drinking.

Anyways, the individual packets of ClearVia are tiny, so I thought it would be cute to pair them with a bottle of water and a sleep mask and call them “Good Morning, Sunshine Prep Kits”! Wouldn’t these be cute lined up by the door for guests to grab on their way out?

If you need to make a bunch of these favors, you can find inexpensive sleep masks at discount stores and online – or you could go the opposite route and gift beautiful, fancy sleep masks to a few close friends for something like a wedding rehearsal dinner or bachelorette party.

Good Morning Sunshine Favor Tags - Free Printable

Printable Favor Tags

Click here to download the favor tags. Print them on nice cardstock (I like the matte photo supreme paper from Staples). You’ll need a 2″ circle craft punch to make them round, or you can always leave them as squares too.

Hope you have some fun with these. ENJOY! :)

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Disclosure: This content is a sponsored post. As always, all thoughts, opinions, and designs are my own. Thank you so much for supporting the companies that make it possible for me to keep the creative content coming your way!

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(Simple & Sweet) Unicorn Birthday Party Ideas

DIY Unicorn Birthday Party Ideas

I’m excited to share this Unicorn Birthday Party Theme that I recently designed for Fisher-Price! You can find the instructions for each idea + download all the free printables right here on their website.

And even though some of the printables are geared towards a first birthday in particular, there are lots of ideas that would translate well to unicorn parties for ALL AGES… like magical unicorn punch, DIY unicorn headbands (made from sugar cones), and a homemade cake decorated with Lucky Charms.

That’s right… sometimes the perfect cake decoration is just a CEREAL BOX away! ;)

Scroll down for a close-up look at everything, then visit the full article for more info.

Homemade Unicorn Birthday Cake

Rainbow Unicorn Cake

Even though I love them, I rarely buy custom cakes for the parties we host… partly because I’m always last minute, and partly because I hate missing out on a chance to sneak some cake batter. ;) I really love how this homemade cake turned out though – and the best part is that there’s even more magic inside! (Instructions here.)

Rainbow Pasta

My own kids went particularly crazy for the rainbow pasta and it’s easy to see why… have you ever seen a prettier batch of buttered noodles?! Lots of uses for this fun idea… (Recipe here.)

Rainbow Pasta with Star Shaped Puffs

Unicorn Horn Treats

These sprinkle-covered goodies were a big hit too! (Recipe here.)

Unicorn Party Food - Sugar Cone Horns

Unicorn Headbands

Here are my own kids modeling the Unicorn Headbands… they’re always happy to be “paid” in treats! ;) (Instructions here.)

DIY Unicorn Party Headbands

Magical Unicorn Punch

This party punch was inspired by blue skies and rainbows + dusted with edible stars! (Recipe here.)

Unicorn Party Punch

Rainbow Unicorn Party Food and Garland

I ordered a custom-color tissue tassel garland kit from Flair Exchange and embellished the tops with glittered ribbon. 

You can also make these from scratch very inexpensively, but I’ve found that having the tissue arrive pre-cut and ready to go is worth the extra money in all the time that it saves!

Photo Booth 

I also have one extra freebie for you that isn’t available on the Fisher-Price site – a matching Unicorn Photo Booth Sign! Click here to download the PDF.

Unicorn Party Photo Booth Sign - Free Printable

Unicorn Piñata

If you’re wondering about the super darling Unicorn Pinata pictured in the first image – I ordered that from Balloon and Paper on Etsy. (It’s the “Pastel Baby Unicorn” listing.) I love that piñatas can pull triple duty as party decor, photo props, AND party activities.

This is another one of those elements that you could DIY if you’ve got tons of time – and patience – on your hands! As for me – I ran out of patience just reading through the instructions for one of the DIY versions. LOL ;)

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Hope you’re able to have some fun with these ideas! If you need more inspiration, check out our Unicorn Party archives here on HWTM.

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A Rustic Flannels & Flapjacks Holiday Party

Girls Night In Holiday Party - Flannels and Flapjacks

I’m so in love with this clever HOLIDAY twist on the ever-popular Pancakes and Pajamas party theme! 

Chandice Probst  of Gluten-Free Frenzy gathered close friends, buffalo-check linens, scrumptious gingerbread pancakes, and lots more for this rustic “Flannels and Flapjacks” Holiday Party, and it just looks like good times all around!

Scroll down for a sneak peek of some of my favorite details, then head over to the FULL recap on her blog to check everything out. She’s also sharing a recipe for these adorable Maple Pancake Cupcakes (and it’s gluten-free, of course!). ;)

Pancake Cupcakes

Flannels and Flapjacks Party Ideas

Rustic Holiday Party with Buffalo Check Tablecloth

Flannels and Flapjacks Party Shirt

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A Colorful New Year’s Dream Board Crafting Party

colorful painted brush strokes cake

It’s that time of year again… when we start to think about all the possibilities that come with a brand new year and a fresh start!

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Inspired by this exact sentiment, Maureen Walker of Party a la Mo gathered up some good friends and hosted this wonderfully vibrant New Year’s Dream Board Crafting Party.

What a fun and UPLIFTING excuse for a girls day, right?!

I love how each of the guests chose one specific word as the focal point of their dream board. This post feels especially timely to me, too, because I had dinner with a friend from high school last night – first time we’d seen each other in 9 years! – and we had this exact conversation about choosing a “word for the year”. 

There’s something about simplifying a goal to the core that really helps to bring everything into focus.

Party Highlights to look out for:

  • Colorful Balloon Garland made from a kit. Simple to put together and such a big visual impact!
  • Gorgeous food, including a beautifully plated Golden Beet Carpaccio
  • Acrylic blocks with designs featuring the 2017 words of the year
  • Bright floral displays featuring pomegranates and mandarin oranges.
  • Custom cookies + personalized drink stirrers

New Years Dream Board Party - Girls Day In

Colorful Balloon Garland

Girls Night Crafting Party

Bright and Colorful New Years Party

Custom Drink Stirrers

golden beet carpaccio

Dream Board Crafting Party

Crafting Party Cookies

Gorgeous yellow orange pink floral centerpiece

colorful felt balls garland

Dream Board Examples

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Party Details, as told by Maureen…

I’m a very visual person, so for several years now I’ve been piecing together an annual vision board to sum up my dreams for the year and keep them in a prominent place. To keep my board focused, I also like to work around my one word for the year. For 2017, I wanted to share the experience of creating my vision board with a few of the creative ladies that I’m lucky to have in my life.

I planned this New Years Dream Board Party for 6 of us to get together and plan for the year ahead. We chose our words, crafted our dream boards, and had so much fun in the process. As it turns out, we all agreed that it was a very relaxing experience. It was an opportunity to take a break from all of the holiday stress, focus on ourselves, and have a little time with the girls.

My one word for 2017 is CREATE.

I want to create art, opportunities, healthy habits, and strong relationships. I want to create a life I love, and the only person responsible for doing that is me! I feel like this word will empower me to make some important changes in my life. Other words that the guests chose were shine, happy, love, family, and dream.

Each guest got a notebook to write down their thoughts about their word and the focus of their dream board. I had 16×20″ framed cork boards available for everyone to use too. I asked them to bring any items or photos from home that they knew they wanted to include on their boards. We went through piles of magazines looking for inspiring images and words to use.

My board also included my family’s holiday photo card right in the middle. We are sending out New Years cards this year, so that worked out perfectly. Everything I do is for that family, so it’s important to me to put them right in the center of the dreams that I have for my future.

The event took place at The Mint Studio, a beautiful local spot for gathering and crafting. I don’t like to do things in a small way, so we had lots of pretty details to make the morning memorable.

I wish you and yours a beautiful 2017! Thanks for following along with my creative journey.

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Midnight Toast New Year’s Eve Table + Ombre Glittered Champagne Bottles

New Year's Eve Party Table - Black Gold Blue

I’m super excited to share my latest project for Balloon Time with you, because it has BALLOONS and GLITTER… and CHAMPAGNE! I don’t know about you, but these 3 are all definitely on my list of favorite things. ;)

New Year’s Eve is all about celebration and PARTY TIME – so my goal was to create a festive table and centerpiece that felt glitzy and glam, but that was also easy and affordable. I designed some printable paper stars for the  place settings, tossed some tissue confetti on the table, and stretched pieces of cut balloons around champagne flutes for a pop of color. After shooting this table I also played around with turning the stretched balloons into “drink markers”. More on that in an upcoming post!

Ombre Glittered Champagne Bottles + NYE Balloons

The main “star” of the table is the centerpiece, though… it’s a bouquet of balloons embellished with metallic letter stickers (the kind from an office supply store) tied to an ombre glittered champagne bottle. These bottles are SO FUN TO MAKE! You can find the full DIY tutorial + download the printable stars over on the Balloon Time website.

Scroll down for a closer look at the details:

New Year's Party Ideas - Balloons and Free Printables

Ombre Glittered Champagne Bottle - Silver Gold Blue

I just love how these bottles turned out! And yes, they’ll still chill up nicely when you want to drink them later. ;) These would make for a show-stopper hostess gift too!

DIY Ombre Glittered Champagne Bottle Tutorial

I stuck glittery foam star stickers (purchased at a craft store) back-to-back on  fishing wire strings for a “floating stars” effect under the balloons:

DIY New Year's Party Ideas

Gold and Blue New Year's Party Table

Click here to head over to the Balloon Time website for DIY details and to download both versions Star Silhouettes. HAPPY NEW YEAR! :)

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10 Creative Holiday Cookie Gift Ideas

holiday cookie reindeer pails

‘Tis the season for lots of COOKIES! And if you’re looking for creative ways to package up those cookies and turn them into festive gifts for friends and loved ones, then you are in the right place. :)

I teamed up with Krusteaz to bring you these 10 Creative Holiday Cookie Gift Ideas, from sweet & sleepy “Reindeer Pails” with playful antlers to pretty “Birch Log” canisters adorned with sparky berries. There’s even a nod to the infamous ugly Christmas sweater, plus a clever container idea that’s both naughty AND nice!

I also used the delicious Gingerbread Cookie , Shortbread Cookie, and Butter Vanilla Sugar Cookie mixes by Krusteaz, which made all this cookie baking simple and stress-free! Fun garnishes like sprinkles, peppermint chocolates, and white chocolate pretzels added the perfect holiday twist to the mixes.

Scroll down for a close-up view of each idea, then head over to the Krusteaz website to see detailed instructions + download the free printable gift tags and other paper details associated with each project. (Everything can be found on the same page.) Enjoy!

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DIY reindeer pails for holiday cookies

1. Reindeer Pails

I always love an excuse to use cute party straws in craft projects, and the patterned “antlers” that they’re used for here are what make these reindeers so festive! This is a versatile packaging idea that would work well with any holiday color palette – you could even use metallic or glittered straws for some extra sparkle. Get the instructions & printables.

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ugly sweater inspired holiday cookie gifts

2. Tacky Christmas Cookie Sleeves

They’re inspired by the infamous “ugly sweater” Christmas parties, but these playful gifts are actually “wearing” Christmas SOCKS! There are so many fun styles to be found at this time of year, so the design possibilities are endless. Get the instructions & printables.

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DIY cookie packaging - cookie sleighs

3. Cookie Sleighs

These cookie “sleighs” are quick & easy to put together, not to mention SUPER CUTE! They make great gifts on their own – or you can pre-make a bunch of the sleighs and use them as the “take home” containers for a cookie exchange or cookie tasting party. Get the instructions & printables.

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easy holiday cookie gifts

4. Cookie Bar Presents

Taking a cue from the holiday package itself, these cookie bar “presents” (featuring candy cane sugar cookies) are great if you need to create a bunch of smaller cookie gifts, or if you’re looking for a sweet favor idea for holiday parties. Use a variety of ribbons and crafty embellishments – like pom poms and mini bows – to make the “packages” look extra merry & bright. Get the instructions & printables.

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little drummer boy holiday gifts

5. Little Drummer Boy Gift Tins

I just love how these “Little Drummer Boy” inspired cookie tins turned out! This holiday song is one of mom’s favorites, and I remember her singing it often when I was little. A phrase from the song lyrics adorns the lid, while a pair of wooden dowel pieces serve as crafty “drum sticks”. Get the instructions & printables.

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mod santa cookie packaging

6. Mod Santa Takeout Boxes

Sometimes simple says it all! For example, a white mustache against a red backdrop + Ho, ho, ho! tag = “Santa”. This cookie gift idea makes a statement that’s playful and fun, just like the cookies inside – which are feature a merry mix of nonpareils and Candy Cane Kisses. Get the instructions & printables.

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naughty and nice holiday cookie pails

7. Naughty AND Nice Cookie Pails

Instead of choosing between “naughty” and “nice”, why not have both?! These cheeky cookie pails are a clever way to do just that, with snowball cookies on one side and “coal” drop cookies on the other. Something tells me your recipient will actually find this entire gift quite nice though. ;) Get the instructions & printables.

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holiday snowball cookie gifts

8. Snowy Baskets

Did you know that you can make any paper container “snowy” with the help of a pencil eraser + a little white craft paint?! These “snowy baskets” are an especially fun project for little ones to help with + another great way to gift the popular snowball cookies. I also designed 2 mini paper banners with holiday phrases to display on top. Get the instructions & printables.

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diy holiday cookie sleeves

9. Fancy Holiday Cookie Sleeves

Sometimes you might want to give out 1 or 2 big, fancier cookies instead of a bunch of smaller ones, right? Well, these glassine sleeves are the perfect packaging idea for that sort of cookie gift, or another smart option for cookie party favors! Get the instructions & printables.

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diy holiday cookie gift log

10. Birch Log Cookie Canister

This “birch log” cookie gift is another personal favorite! It’s made from a repurposed full-size Pringles canister wrapped with birch-print paper. I’m loving the black, white and gold color palette right now, but this gift idea would also look great with red holly berries and greenery as the embellishments. Don’t forget to dress up top of the lid, too…. first impressions, you know. ;) Get the instructions & printables.

holiday cookie birch sleeve

Hope you found something here to help inspired your holiday cookie gifts this year! Which one is YOUR favorite? 

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krusteaz-badge-3

This project is brought to you in collaboration with Krusteaz®. As always, all thoughts, designs, and opinions are my own. THANK YOU so much for supporting the companies that make it possible for me to keep the creative inspiration & ideas coming your way!

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Printable Holiday Gift Tags – Eat, Drink & Be Cozy

Holiday Blanket Gift Basket Idea

Here’s a creative holiday gift basket idea that won’t break the bank! Look for plush/luxe blankets at home discount stores… I found this INSANELY SOFT blue and white striped blanket at Tuesday Morning for $16.99. Then bundle each blanket with a bottled beverage and edible treat that you know the recipient will love to create an “Eat, Drink, and Be COZY” themed gift for them!

Of course, you’ll need a printable tag with that sentiment to pull everything together. Luckily you can download mine for free right here. ;)

Printable Holiday Gift Tags - Eat, Drink & Be Cozy

Free Printable Holiday Gift TAgs

Holiday Gift Basket Idea with Plush Blanket

P.S. I found the vintage drawer box used to hold everything at Tuesday Morning too. Isn’t it pretty?! And this way the container becomes a useful part of the gift too.

Happy Holidays! :)

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Dreamy “Sweet on Swans” Birthday Party

Pink and White Swan Themed Birthday Party

Dreamy, charming, magical… these are just a few of the words I could use to describe this darling “Sweet on Swans” inspired birthday party! Styled by Royale Ziegler of But First, Party! for her daughter’s 2nd birthday, she mixed artsy and whimsical details with just the right amount of sparkle for a celebration that I’m pretty sure girls of ALL ages would love! In fact, my 5 year old is swooning over it along with me right now. ;)

Party Highlights to look out for:

  • pink swan balloons + giant 36″ balloon with a felt leaf garland tail
  • glam masquerade-style swan mask with glittery gold feathers
  • darling heart-shaped swan cookies + chic tier cake with white chocolate “feathers”
  • gorgeous floral arrangements displayed in milk glass vessels and a porcelain swan planter
  • artsy gift wrap used as a paper table cover + a swan feathers accent on the birthday girl’s chair!

swan themed birthday party with swan mask and princess crown

glam swan themed birthday party table

swan cookies and kids party table

swan party centerpiece and birthday hats

giant pink balloon with felt leaf garland

pink and white swan birthday cake

swan feather chair and kids party table

pink and orange flower centerpiece

pink white and gold flowers and cupcakes

swan masquerade mask

hair tie party favors

pink and white swan balloons and birthday party

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Party details, as told by Royale…

Flowers, feathers and pretty pinks were the inspiration behind Nola’s second birthday! Twig & Twine created dreamy florals that filled vintage milk glass vases and a porcelain swan planter.

The cake was covered in Italian meringue icing with white chocolate feathers, and glittery crown-wrapped cupcakes were topped with buttercream frosting, coconut shreds, and edible gold hearts.

Swan balloons, party hats and cookies paired perfectly with the floral wreath, plates and confetti.

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Creative DIY Holiday Gifts | #ShareaCoke

DIY Coca-Cola Holiday Gift Bottles with Free Printables

There are lots of “angels” and “elves” and “Santas” to be found at this time of year…and I’m not even talking about the make-believe kind!

I see so many people that are busy making things merry for everyone around them right now – like the teachers at my kids’ schools, the extra-cheery employees at certain stores, the friends hosting festive parties, the moms and dads lighting up the yard and trimming the tree and cooking special meals (not to mention working extra hard to pay for it all!), etc.

It’s always great to recognize these people with a special thank you for all they do, and that thank you doesn’t need to be super expensive or fancy…just thoughtful and from the heart. I’ve partnered with Coca-Cola and their #ShareaCoke program this month to encourage more people do just that – to shine a spotlight on those special people and “unsung heroes” that go the extra mile to make the holidays a special time for other people!

Holiday Angel Coca-Cola Bottle

DIY Holiday Gift Bottles and Notecards

One of the best ways to make a person feel appreciated is simply to tell them! But of course there’s nothing a little creativity can’t make even better, especially when it comes to the holidays. ;)

So on that note, I’m excited to share a few ways to turn personalized #ShareaCoke glass bottles into thoughtful holiday gifts with you today -– by using simple crafty details and festive presentation. I also designed a matching notecard for each bottle style so that you can pair them with a heartfelt message. All of the printables are available to download for free below, along with the instructions.

Before I jump into that though – there’s also a GIVEAWAY!

***Winner Update, 12/15: This giveaway is now closed. Thank you so much to everyone who entered, and congrats to our (randomly selected) winner – Mersadee M!***  For your chance to win a $100 Visa Gift Card and a six-pack of personalized “Share a Coke” glass bottles ($130 total retail value), just post a comment here telling me who the unsung hero (or heroes) in YOUR life are that deserve some special recognition this holiday season. And this part isn’t required for entry, but I’d also love to hear which style of bottle decoration you’d give them (elf, angel, Santa… or something else maybe?!). Enter by Monday, December 12th at midnight PST.

P.S. Enjoy 20% off 6+ personalized bottles at ShareaCoke.com until December 25th with the discount code NEWYEAR20!

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Holiday Gift Idea - Personalized Coke Bottles - Elf Theme

Gift Idea #1 – ELF (The Merrymaker)

We all know a few people that seem to have an extra big dose of holiday spirit…the ones that take the decorating and gifting and parties to the next level! This “Merrymaker” gift idea was designed with those people in mind. It would also make a great hostess gift for a holiday party!

For this design, you’ll need Printable Elf Hats, mini craft poms, and felt.

Hot glue the mini craft poms to the elf hats for added detail, and use adhesive glue dots to attach the hats to the bottle caps. Cut small strips of felt to tie around the necks of the bottles as “scarves”. For the packaging, I found a cute $3 metal pail in the dollar bins at one of my favor stores and used felt and mini craft poms to add a decorative border to the rim. 

Free Printable Elf Notecards

I customized this particular gift for a friend that’s also a fellow mom at my daughter’s new preschool (we moved across the state earlier this year). She’s definitely gone above and beyond as far as planning fun playdates and helping out with creative projects at the school and coordinating parties and events… the true definition of a “merrymaker” (all year round, really!). Download the matching Elf Notecards here.

And if you want to add an edible treat to this gift, white chocolate confetti popcorn with coordinating sprinkle colors is a great choice!

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Holiday Gift Idea - Personalized Coke Bottles - Santa Theme

Gift Idea #2 – SANTA (YOUR Favorite One)

When it come to Santa, there’s usually someone that’s REALLY playing that role in your life. For me, it’s my dad. He works super hard and gives a lot of what he makes away to help both immediate and extended family… not just during the holidays, but all year round. He may not literally wear a red suit or fluffy white beard, but we all know he’s got them in spirit. ;) There might be someone else playing the role of “fav Santa” for you – and of course the bottles can be customized however you like!

For this design, you’ll need the printable Santa Elements and craft pipe cleaners (1 black, 1 white).

Hot glue the beard and belt pieces to the center of pipe cleaners for easy on and off, then twist in the back to secure. Using pipe cleaners also keeps the printables securely on the bottle even when the bottle is ice-cold! (Adhesives can lose their stickiness when condensation happens.)

DIY Santa Gift for Dad

This cute red drink holder is also from the dollar bins section at my favorite store. I hot glued mini bells to the handle for a little “jingle bells” flair. ;) For the finishing touches: confetti popcorn with red, black, and white sprinkles + a printable Santa Notecard.

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Holiday Gift Idea - Personalized Coke Bottles - Angel Theme

Gift Idea #3 – ANGEL (The Giver)

Last, but not least, is the Angel design! I really love how this one turned out… it kinda makes me want to have an angel themed party just for an excuse to cover a drink station with these fun bottles. ;) 

I customized this design with “A Giver” because it feels especially appropriate at this time of year… and the term “giver” doesn’t just have to mean monetary – it can be someone that’s generous with their time, their advice, their efforts, etc. My mom is definitely a giver all year round and has given a lot of time to helping out with my kids lately, for which I am eternally grateful!

For this design, you’ll need the printable Angel Wings, 2 silver pipe cleaners, and hot glue.

Wrap one pipe cleaner around the neck of the bottle twice and twist to secure. Trim off the excess pipe cleaner and set this leftover piece aside to use later. Take the 2nd pipe cleaner and form a small halo on one end, twisting to secure the loop. Fold the “tail” of the halo upwards, in half, and twist together to form a sturdy “base”. Hot glue the halo to the pipe cleaner that’s wrapped around the neck of the bottle, then glue the leftover piece across that. This is where you’ll attach the wings, as shown here:

DIY Angel Gift for Mom

I also think this angel bottle duo would work great with words like “an inspiration” or literally “an angel”, depending on how the recipient has affected your life. (“Inspiration” would work really well for a teacher or mentor too!) Download the matching Angel Notecards here.

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#ShareaCoke Holiday Gift Bottles

I hope these bottles inspire you to spread a little holiday magic to the special people in your life! 

Don’t forget to to ENTER THE GIVEAWAY below by posting a comment about who deserves to be recognized in your own life! Enter by Monday, December 12, 2016 at midnight PST. Good luck!

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Disclosures: This post is sponsored by Coca-Cola, and the Coca-Cola Company will provide the Giveaway prize. The Coca-Cola Company is not a sponsor, administrator or responsible in any way for the Giveaway. As always, all thoughts, opinions, and designs are my own. Thank you so much for supporting the companies that make it possible for me to keep the creative content coming your way!

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Charming Vintage Camper Christmas Party

Black and White Vintage Holiday Party

If there was ever a time I wanted to jump right into a set of photos and feel the cool woodsy air, it’s now! This charming Vintage Camper Christmas Party is seriously the sweetest thing and encompasses all those wonderful feelings of nostalgia and holiday magic that make this season “the most wonderful time of the year“.

Dreamed up by Tara Berger of One Stylish Party and inspired by a 1969 vintage scotty camper (which is rented out by a local vendor for events – how fun!), this charming design is full of fantastic inspiration for both rustic Christmas parties and beautifully styled holiday card photo shoots. There’s even a snowball fight and an unexpected “special guest” that stopped by to check out all the fun! See the last photo for his cameo. ;)

Party Highlights to look out for:

  • “…what a wonderful world” hand lettered calligraphy sign
  • darling white reindeer sugar cookies and gourmet mini donuts
  • buffalo plaid tablecloth + natural wood slices used as charger plates
  • fun activities for the kids, including a play campfire setting and a REAL snowball fight!
  • lush greenery garlands on the treat stations + mini versions wrapped around the utensils

White Reindeer Cookies and Rustic Holiday Treats

Most Wonderful Time of the Year Pillows

Kids Snowy Photo Shoot

Most Wonderful Time of the Year Painted Sign

Vintage Camper Christmas and Woodsy Holiday Table

Black and White Holiday Party Table

Oreo Cookie Donuts

S'mores Christmas Favors

Land of Nod Campfire Toy Set

Vintage Camper Christmas Party for Kids

Fancy Vintage Christmas Party Outfits - Kids

Woodsy Christmas Photo Shoot

kids Christmas snowball fight

beautiful deer in the woods

 

Party Details, as told by Tara…

The idea for the vintage camper Christmas was born after stumbling upon a Cleveland vendor who rents out an upcycled 1969 vintage scotty camper for local weddings and events. While the caravan usually serves up cocktails and local brews, I knew it would be perfect to give out cookies, donuts and holiday cheer at a children’s playdate party.

I wanted the party details to keep with the rustic feel of the camper, so I sourced antique props, such as winter skis, a church pew and lanterns. I accented the camper with a lush greenery garland and displayed a wooden round table and a hand lettered sign in front of it. I was inspired by the buffalo plaid trend that seems to be huge this season and incorporated this pattern into the kids dining table, custom pillows and other little details.

I set the dining table with natural wood slices, marble paper plates and hand lettered mugs. The centerpiece consisted of a white floral arrangement set inside a galvanized metal tin, accented with silver antlers. The dessert spread in the caravan window was styled with a mixture of metal and wooden cake stands, bottlebrush Christmas trees and reindeer accents.

We kicked off the playdate by gathering around a play campfire, followed by throwing (real!) snowballs and snapping a few pictures in front of the camper. By then, the kids had worked up and appetite and got to choose from an array of sweet treats including reindeer cookies, gourmet donuts, s’mores favors and milk!

“And I think to myself what a wonderful world”. The quote by Louis Armstrong summed up my feelings once the party was said and done. I couldn’t help but step back to reflect on what a fun morning it was to experience the joy of the Christmas season through the eyes of 6 small children.

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A “Mama Bear” Holiday Brunch Playdate for Moms | #doingood

Mama Bear Holiday Brunch + Free Printables

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If you’ve visited the blog recently, then you might already know that I’ve partnered with Minute Maid and their #doingood campaign this holiday season to encourage the spreading of JOY to parents in particular. You know – that group of people that looks EXTRA-exhausted this time of year… or is that just my husband and me? ;)

As the mom of two little girls, this project has hit close to home, and I’ve enjoyed dreaming up creative ways to make other parents happy (like this and this) by thinking about the common threads that we all experience in parenting. Speaking of which, please watch the video at the end of this post for a heart-warming explanation of the idea behind #doingood!

So, for my third and final post for this project, I wanted to do something extra FUN… and decided it was high time for a MOMS “playdate” too! My kids are young, so the term “playdate” is still a thing in my house, but this one really applies to moms with kids of ALL ages…

free printable Mama Bear placemats

The idea is simple… let’s create an excuse to get together with other moms, chat about life, realize we’re not alone when it comes to this whole parenting thing, share advice and ideas, crack up at each others’ very familiar sounding stories, etc. This kind of thing is SO GOOD for the soul! 

Mama Bear Brunch Theme + Free Printables

You don’t have to get super fancy with things for this playdate, of course, but if you feel like getting creative and giving your get-together a holiday vibe, here’s my “Mama Bear” Holiday Brunch for inspiration! I see moms running around in “Mama Bear” shirts a lot lately, and thought it would be fun to give this concept a polar bear twist for the holidays.

I kept the details pretty simple and inexpensive with paper plates and napkins, simple breakfast foods, and high-contrast black and white printables. (Scroll down for links to download all of the printables for FREE!)

polar bear holiday table with red, black, and white

I wanted the focal element on the table to be a set of printable placemats* with encouraging words. There are 2 different styles, and they’re designed in a talk bubble shape for obvious reasons. :) Let’s CHAT!

I also designed mama bear Party Flags for the straws and centerpiece tree topper. If you want to host your “playdate” later in the day, these little flags work great as cupcake toppers too!

An 8×10 Treat Sign was an easy way to “theme up” the food and drink area, which consisted of spinach-egg-feta wraps, donuts, fruit salad, and cranberry-orange muffins. Everything except for the muffins was store-bought to keep things easy! I set out Minute Maid Orange Juice (which has a #doingood message on the side of the carton) and Minute Maid Light Lemonade for the drinks.

holiday mom brunch with cranberry orange muffins

I couldn’t resist hanging this “Live a Little Wild” ornament on the donut tray to add a little cheeky humor…permission to indulge without guilt is granted! ;)

holiday donut tray and polar bear figurine

Printable decorative hearts were used to embellish the chair backs and serving dishes. 

I cut the egg wraps in half to make them go further… and this way the guests have more room for a donut too. LOL

Starbucks Spinach Feta Wraps

easy holiday brunch food

This centerpiece was quick to put together and consists of a polar bear figure, a small cranberry tree, and a flannel-check ornament. A painted mason jar is placed under the tree for extra height. I also used sparkly craft poms and bakers twine for added detail.

Polar Bear Inspired Mama Bear Holiday Brunch

*Printing tip: You can also download the placemats as an 18×24″ PDF with 2-up on sheet, then print them at a local print shop as engineering prints, which are very inexpensive. Since I don’t have an oversize printer at home myself, I did this and only spent .89 cents per placemat!

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Mama Bear Holiday Gift Idea

If you love the “Mama Bear” concept for the holidays but can’t host a get-together, here’s another idea for a themed #doingood gift: pair a polar bear ornament with an edible treat (like holiday muffins or “bear claw” pastries!), and write a little note on the back of these free printable Mama Bear Gift Tags

Homemade Holiday Gift Idea for Moms + Free Printables

For an extra thoughtful touch, include a bottle of your favorite Minute Maid beverage with this gift! You can even look for the ones that already have the #doingood message on the container, then fill in the blanks to personalize the message for the recipient.

Minute Maid #doingood Orange Juice

Speaking of messages, another quick and easy way to tell someone they are #doingood is with Minute Maid’s Letter Maker. Sometimes heartfelt words are the greatest gift you can give a parent (or someone special!).

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#doingood Holiday Contest + Video

I hope you’re able to use these ideas and printables to spread holiday joy to some of your fellow “Mama Bears”! And speaking of holiday joy, don’t forget to enter the $500 holiday contest that I’m currently hosting, which ends on Thursday, December 8, 2016.

Last but not least, here’s that heart-warming #doingood video that I mentioned earlier!

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Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for Minute Maid. Thank you so much for supporting the companies that make it possible for me to keep the creative content coming your way!

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Encourage a Parent this Holiday Season (+ Free Printables) #doingood

Free Printable Holiday Cards for Parents

I was in the holiday section at my favorite store the other day – shopping for this project in fact! – when I overheard a very timely conversation.
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First, a mom was talking to her teenage daughter. I only walked in at the tail end of their conversation, but instantly recognized the tension in its tone, then heard the daughter’s footsteps as she stormed off to another aisle.

A few seconds later is the part that made me smile.

Another mom peeked her head around the corner and said to the first mom, “I just HAVE to tell you that I have a teenage daughter too, and that conversation sounded exactly like us! I’m so glad it’s not just me.

That last party really struck a chord.

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Isn’t that just SO TRUE, you guys? Parenting is tough, and we often wonder if we’re even doing it right, especially when sassy attitudes, stretched-to-the-max nerves, and sheer exhaustion come into play.

That’s why it’s so appreciated – and a big RELIEF – to hear that we’re not alone in these feelings, and that maybe we shouldn’t be so hard on ourselves about every bump in the road!

On that note, I’m excited to be teaming up with Minute Maid on their #doingood campaign (and a holiday contest!) right now – to encourage the spreading of some extra holiday joy, specifically to PARENTS! Wanna know a super easy way to accomplish this? Simply TELLING THEM something you love, admire, or respect about them. There’s really so much power in a few unexpected and heartfelt words. 

Minute Maid #doingood holiday campaign

Free Printable #doingood Holiday Cards

To make spreading the joy easier – and a bit more festive! – I designed a set of holiday-inspired #doingood cards that you can download for free and customize with a handwritten message…

free printable encouragement cards for parents

There are four different card designs, and each one is available in two formats: Flat Notecards & Folded Cards. (Click on the links to download them.)

modern printable holiday cards

I know that parenting isn’t a “seasonal” job, but the holidays can be an especially hectic time of year for moms and dads, who often (eagerly) take on extra time and money stressors in an effort to create holiday magic for their kids. 

Personally, work is always extra demanding for me at this time of year, so my “working mom guilt” also kicks into high gear. I try to counter-act these feelings by getting creative with the time I do have and involving my (4 and 6 year old) daughters in some of my simpler work project tasks – like sorting craft supplies, baking, “taste-testing” recipes, etc. They were more than happy to “taste test” the fruit punch for this one! LOL ;)

BTW, if you want to turn your #doingood message into a thoughtful gift, these notecards work great as oversize “gift tags”, too:

free printable #doingood cards

Hope you’re able to put some of these cards to use and help spread the #doingood joy! As someone that struggles with getting my kids to stay in bed, the “Silent Night” design is my personal fav. Do you know anyone that can relate?! ;)

free printable funny card for parents

P.S. Last but not least – don’t forget to enter our #doingood Holiday Contest for your chance to WIN a $500 prize! Visit this post for full details AND for more free goodies.

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Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for Minute Maid. Thank you so much for supporting the companies that make it possible for me to keep the creative content coming your way!

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Tips for Setting a Non-Traditional Holiday Table That Shines {Glitz & Glam}

non-traditional holiday table designsPhoto: Amy Anaiz Photography |  Floral & Event Design: Makini Regal Designs

As someone that tends to shy away from traditional holiday color palettes in my own home, I’m excited to welcome Erin Ollendike of BBJ Linen to the blog today to talk about setting beautiful tables that feature non-traditional holiday decor! Here we go…

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With the holiday season not too far away, holiday planning is already taking some shape or form! While most people are used to traditional colors and holiday décor, there are plenty of options for creating a holiday feel without going the traditional route.

Here are five tips for adding glitz and glam to your holiday party in an unexpected way.

1. Mix Metals for a Wow Effect

Metallics are a great way to create a show stopping look that’s perfect for the holiday season. Mix gold, silver, and copper together for a luxe holiday fête. Add interesting textures, faux fur and exotic flowers for a hint of glam and extra intrigue.

Winter Wonderland Holiday Wedding with Mixed MetalsPhoto: Kristin Banta Events

You can also mix metals with a generous dose of bright white for an ultra-sophisticated look that’s sure to impress your guests!

Silver and White Tablescape - Wedding or HolidayPhoto: Kristin Banta Events

2. Elevate Details with Holiday Style

Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language,” once said Dale Carnegie. Personalized place settings let your guests know how much thought you put into the place setting – and their presence. They will feel special from the moment they sit down.

glitzy pear place card

To add some holiday glitz, opt for golden or glittered fruit forms with a handwritten place card for a special touch.

gold white place setting with pear place cardPhotos: Amy Anaiz Photography |  Event Design: Makini Regal Designs

3. Charm with Napkins

You can make a big design impact on your table with the napkins alone, and pattern is always a great way to add visual interest. Go bold with patterns and colors to create eye-catching table settings.

menu fold napkinsPhoto Credit: Arthur Ingle

Another way to delight your guests is clever napkin folds. The ever-popular pocket menu fold is a snap. They’ll surely be impressed and wondering how you did it!

4. Add Some Punch

Don’t be afraid to go bold with color! You can add a whimsical feel with a bright pink, or let the bright oranges and reds of autumn shine on contrasting Aubergine linen.

pink and green holiday tablePhotography by Becky Brown Photography, Design by Christine Janda Design and Events

You can also use deep gemstone colors for a luxurious look that will bring out tableware and other accessories.

5. Go Grand with Black and Gold

Nothing says New Year’s Eve like sequins and black and gold! The luxurious texture of sequins paired with the elegance of black and gold create a perfect look that is fit for any end of year celebration. Set your guests up for a night they won’t forget with this timeless color pairing.

black and gold new year's eve table

black and gold place settings and floral centerpieceAs seen in ChicagoStyle Weddings |  Photos: Rush Productions Photography & Video

If you’re feeling adventurous and want to try something new this holiday season, there are plenty of options – so go for it! From metallics to bold colors, you can create sparkling, holiday-inspired décor that goes beyond the traditional and will impress & delight your guests.

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erin_ollendikeAbout the Author:

Erin Ollendike, Executive National Sales Director at BBJ Linen, has been helping clients around the country create inspiring and memorable events for over 9 years.  As an active member of the Dallas Fort Worth NACE chapter and WIPA member at large she strives to learn everything she can about the special event industry.  Her true passion is helping her customers bring their visions to life through their linen selections.   

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A Retro-Modern Inspired Holiday Table + Free Printables

Retro Modern Holiday Table + Vintage Charm Bowls

It’s beginning to feel a lot like the holidays around here…so let’s kick things off with a *charming* GIVEAWAY and some festive table decorating ideas, shall we?!

The inspiration for this playful holiday tablescape was the Rise N’ Shine collection from Vintage Charm Inspired by Pyrex®. If you’re not yet familiar with Vintage Charm, it’s an adorable line of glass mixing bowls that feature a modern twist on popular Pyrex® designs from the 50’s and 60’s.

The Vintage Charm bowls are great for place settings, baking and gifting. Whether you’re giving to a hostess or baker, they will love these darling bowls! They’re available online and in-store at Target, Macy’s, Walmart, Amazon, and ShopWorldKitchen.com. Use the coupon code: VINTAGE20 to receive 20% off your Vintage Charm set on ShopWorldKitchen.com.

And for a chance to WIN a set of nostalgic Vintage Charm prep and serve bowls, just post a comment here mentioning which Vintage Charm design inspires YOU the most. Full details on the giveaway are at the bottom of this post. 

Retro-Modern Holiday Table + Free Printables

Speaking of picking favorites, I was able to select any Vintage Charm pattern to work with for this holiday project, and was super excited to choose Rise N’ Shine! My family recently moved to Northern California (just a few months ago), where my dad has worked in the agriculture and farming business for his entire life. My husband is working with him now too, so farming is a huge part of all of our lives, and there are so many things I’ve come to appreciate about the industry. So, between the farm-inspired graphics and the retro-modern style of Rise N’ Shine, I was instantly smitten with this pattern!

Vintage Charm Rise N' Shine Serving Bowl

Now, I know that when you hear “farm inspired”, a contemporary look probably isn’t usually the first thing that comes to mind, but unexpected themes are my favorite! I had a great time dreaming up fun ways to merge farm + modern + holiday, and these dishes were the perfect starting point.

The little “shine” graphics on the bowls that kind of look like twinkles became my key focal point for the paper designs, which can be downloaded for free right here: Place Setting Accents | Party Circles | Place Cards.

Retro Modern Red and Aqua Holiday Table

I also took a cue from the corn illustrations on the bowls and made Christmas trees out of maize! You can find maize in most grocery stores this time of year, and you can also order it online year-round. These little guys were really easy to make and are probably my favorite DIY detail from the table…

Corn Cob Maize Christmas Trees

To make the little trees, I removed some of the kernels at the bottom of the corn cob to create the “trunk”, then spray painted the tops and used silver craft paint, applied with a brush, on the bottom. A bamboo skewer is inserted into the bottom of the corn to make it stand up. The jars and tins holding the trees are filled with dry floral foam, and the extra part of the bamboo skewer is inserted into the foam. 

I also cut some “shine” shapes from card stock to create a little “holiday magic” above the table! The cut outs are hot glued to fishing wire for more of a floating effect. Here is the tracing template I used.

Retro Mod Christmas Table

Pattern played a key role on the table too. I went to the fabric store and found two prints with a nice retro-mod vibe in my color palette, then cut a table runner and napkins from the fabric. This is one of my favorite, inexpensive ways to customize any table design! 

Retro Modern Holiday Printables

These place cards are included in the free printables too – but heads up that the templates are blank (aside from the HAPPY HOLIDAYS text) and most easily used with handwriting. If you’d like to customize them yourself digitally – the font I used for the names here is called Heritage.

The table centerpiece is a mix of painted pomegranates and pears + mini ball ornaments. I also tucked party circles into a couple spots for added detail, but kept the overall look more minimalist as a nice balance to the embellished trees on either side.

Modern Christmas Centerpiece with Painted Fruit

Red and Aqua Holiday Table

Chair backs are often overlooked when it comes to decorating a table, but they seriously make such a big impact on the design! I just did a simple baker’s twine wrap on the chairs here, paired with a couple more of the paper “shine” cut outs. 

Retro Mod Holiday Decorations

DIY Maize Christmas Trees

Red and Aqua Painted Fruit Centerpiece

Hope you’re feeling inspired to create a little retro-modern holiday magic of your own! ;) If you have any questions about this table that I didn’t cover, please feel free to ask away in the comments.

And now… who’s ready to win some adorable dishes?!

VINTAGE CHARM™ GIVEAWAY

**Winner Update! 11/28** This giveaway is now closed, and the (randomly selected) winner IS….Patricia Hoffmeister! Congrats, Patricia – Enjoy your adorable new dishes! :)

To enter, just leave a comment mentioning which of the Vintage Charm Inspired by Pyrex® designs you like the most or feel the most inspired by. One commenter (chosen via random selection) will win a Vintage Charm Mixing Bowl Set in the design of their choice.

Enter by Tuesday, November 22, 2016 at midnight PT. The winner will be notified via email & announced here.

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Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Vintage Charm™. As always, all opinions & ideas are my own. Thank you so much for supporting the companies that make it possible for me to keep the creative content coming your way!

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A Southwestern Inspired Kids Thanksgiving Breakfast

Kids Thanksgiving Breakfast Table

I’m excited to bring you a fun idea today that will make you feel like a food artist in no time! ;)

This post should also come in handy for the upcoming holiday, because if you’ve got school-aged kids like me, then you know that “Thanksgiving” represents much more than a big turkey feast… it also (typically) means that your kids are home for a week! These Southwestern Inspired Pancakes are a great way to add a creative spark to one of those vacation day mornings, and they’re surprisingly easy to make. In a nutshell, you just use tinted pancake batter, squeeze bottles, and a cookie cutter to cook fun designs right into your pancakes!

And if you’re feeling extra-inspired, you can set a matching Southwestern style table too. Get all the details on my simple & modern Kids Thanksgiving Table below, including the cute “Pumpkin Deer” centerpiece tutorial + free printables!

Southwestern Inspired Breakfast Pancakes

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SOUTHWESTERN INSPIRED PANCAKES

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YOU’LL NEED:

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INSTRUCTIONS:
Mix up the pancake batter and divide it into 3 separate bowls. Tint 2 of the bowls with food coloring and leave the 3rd bowl natural. Pour each of the pancake batters into its own squeeze bottle (a funnel will make this easier). Bring your pan or griddle to 375º (medium heat), and coat both the pan and the inside of the cookie cutter with cooking spray.

Use the squeeze bottles to “paint” a simple pancake batter design on the pan, as shown below. Let the design set for about half a minute, then place the cookie cutter on the pan, directly on top of the design, and flood it with the natural colored batter. Use just enough batter to fill out the circle. Let the pancake cook for 1 to 1.5 minutes (or until the top is nice and bubbly), then remove the cookie cutter and flip the pancake over.

Tribal Pancakes Tutorial

Let the pancake cook for about a minute on the 2nd side, then remove and start a new pancake design. There’s no need to be perfect here… just play around with the designs and do what makes you happy! I really liked using chevron stripes and dots in my designs. :)

Tribal Pancake Designs

You can also do some freehand pancake shapes without the cookie cutter step – I found that hearts worked well in particular…

Heart Shaped and Tribal Pancakes

That’s it for the pancakes! And now for some details on the matching kids Thanksgiving table… let’s start with how to make the centerpiece:

DIY Kids Thanksgiving Centerpiece - Pumpkin Deer

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Pumpkin Deer Centerpiece Tutorial

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MATERIALS:

  • Medium sized white pumpkin (real or faux)*
  • Pumpkin Deer Printables
  • Cardstock for printing
  • Felt (orange and blue)
  • Scissors
  • Hot Glue
  • Wooden bamboo skewers – 2

*I used a faux craft pumpkin here that was about 9” in diameter.

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Print and cut out the deer elements.

2. Use hot glue to add the eyes, “face paint”, and nose/mouth to the front of the pumpkin.

3. Antlers: Make little folds about a half inch up the bottom of each antler to create “flaps” at the bottom that will sit flat on the deer’s head. Hot glue bamboo skewers (pointy side down) to the back of the antlers to keep them sturdy. Make sure to leave a couple inches of wood skewer hanging off the bottom, as you’ll need this to insert the antlers into the pumpkin. The wood only needs to extend about half way up the antlers. Cut off the excess wood skewer at the top.

4. Ears: Freehand-cut 2 leaf shapes from the blue felt + 2 much smaller leaf shapes from the orange felt. Put a dab of hot glue towards the bottom of each felt “leaf” and pinch together to create dimension, then glue the pinched orange pieces on top of the pinched blue pieces.

5. Hot glue the ears in front of the deer antlers. Done!

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Place Settings

I kept things super simple here with DIY felt placemats and printable napkin rings! These are seriously the easiest DIY placemats ever… just stagger 2 sheets of felt on top of each other and hot glue them together, then hot glue small squares of a third color of felt in the corner to fill in the gaps. That’s it! I love the fun color blocked look they have:

Free Thanksgiving Printables - Tribal Inspired

You don’t have to keep all of your placemats the same color, either! For this table I did one orange/aqua/beige combo and one blue/cream/beige combo.  I also cut some of the extra felt into triangles to use as “confetti” around the centerpiece.

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Happy Thanksgiving! :)

Tribal Inspired Pancakes

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This project is brought to you in collaboration with Krusteaz®. As always, all thoughts, designs, and opinions are my own. THANK YOU so much for supporting the companies that make it possible for me to keep the creative inspiration & ideas coming your way!

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DIY Juice Carton Sailboats + #doingood Holiday Contest ($500 Prize Value)

DIY Juice Carton Sailboat**

“Parenting is totally smooth sailing!”…………… said no parent EVER.

**
If you have kids, then you know exactly what I mean… one minute things can be all sunshine and rainbows, and the next minute the storm magically reappears in one of it’s impressively reliable forms. As a working mom of 2 young girls myself, it feels like I’m constantly “manning our ship”, so to speak, and often doing my best to just prevent it from toppling over… never mind any fantastical dreams about smooth sailing! ;)

Sometimes the most impressive parenting work actually happens in the middle of a storm though, or when you’re too busy taking care of things to even realize it. But I bet someone else realizes it… and if they did, wouldn’t it be AWESOME to be reminded that you’re doing a good job?!

HEY! You’re #doingood

That’s exactly the thinking behind Minute Maid’s #doingood campaign, which encourages people to recognize and celebrate great parenting, which is likely happening all around you. And the holidays are an especially wonderful time to offer some extra high-fives to moms and dads, as this time of year can also bring about added stresses and even more things for parents to juggle than usual.

As part of the campaign, you’ll see a section on several Minute Maid products where you can fill in the blanks to personalize a #doingood message to give to someone you know. Filling this out and dropping it off or sharing a picture of it with them is a super easy and unexpected way to spread some joy!

Minute Maid #DoinGood Carton + Printable Sails

JUICE CARTON SAILBOATS

If you want to get a little craftier though, here’s another idea! In keeping with the “not-so-smooth-sailing” concept, I turned some of the empty Minute Maid juice cartons into sailboats and designed printable “encouragement sails” to use on them. Just add your favorite edible treat, and you’ve got yourself a creative – and very thoughtful! – homemade gift.

Each of the 3 sail designs comes in 2 colorways: 1.) black with white type and 2.) white with black type and a pop of cheerful holiday RED.

DIY Juice Carton Sailboat gift

YOU’LL NEED:

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Give the carton 2 coats of white craft paint. Let paint dry completely between coats.

drink carton craft

2. Cut out the Boat Top Template and lay it on top of the carton. Lightly trace around the template with a pencil. Next, trace the rectangle shape inside of the first shape, and cut it out with a craft knife.

3. Time to paint! Add stripes, windows, etc, and just have fun with it. Let the paint dry completely.

4. Hot glue a printable sail front and back design together, then glue a wooden skewer to the back. Use a craft knife to puncture a small “x” in the top of the carton for the skewer to be inserted through.

Done! Just place a treat inside to turn the boat into a gift. I filled these with a buttery toffee popcorn, but you can use your own favorite edible or non-edible treat.

Here’s one of the options for the back side of the sail… (the other version has fill-in-the-blanks inspired by the design on the Minute Maid carton):

juice-carton-sailboat-craft_5

 

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#doingood Holiday Contest ($500 Prize Value)

*** Winner update, 12/12/16. This contest is now closed. Thanks so much to everyone that entered and WOW was that a difficult decision to pick a winner – there was so much thought and creativity that went into the entries and I wish I had several prizes to give out! There can only be one though… and the winner is Anna B. who put together this inspiring board! Congrats, Anna! :) ***

I hope you’re feeling inspired to spread some #doingood joy! And here’s some extra motivation for ya… you may have noticed that the title of this post mentions a contest, so here’s your chance to win a prize pack (valued at $500) with the following items:

–  $300 Visa gift card (this should help with holiday shopping!)
– 2 Minute Maid #doingood journals (one to keep, one to gift)
– a personalized canvas print of your favorite family photo.

You’ll need to create a Pinterest board to enter. Here are the details:

CONTEST RULES:

1. Create a Pinterest board and name it “Minute Maid #doingoodcontest

2. Pin ideas and inspiration about recognizing or celebrating great parenting and family moments during the holidays.

For example, you could pin other projects or things that would make great #doingood gifts, funny quotes that will make parents laugh, inspirational family holiday moments, ideas for celebrating with other moms, etc. Here’s my board as an example. Please note that you are NOT required to promote Minute Maid products as part of the contest, and the board will be judged on the quality, not the quantity, of pins.

3. Post a link to your board in the comments section of this post, along with the hashtag #doingoodcontest.

***

Important Disclosures:

This contest is open to US residents only, age 18 or older.

The contest starts on November 10, 2016 and ends on December 8, 2016 at 11:59pm PST. The winner will be contacted via email on December 12th and announced here.

The contest prize is provided by Minute Maid. Minute Maid is not a sponsor, administrator, or connected in any other way with this promotion.

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diy juice carton sailboats

*****

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for Minute Maid. Thank you so much for supporting the companies that make it possible for me to keep the creative content coming your way!

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How to Host a Chic and Cozy Friendsgiving {Bordeaux + Blush}

Wine Inspired Thanksgiving Party

GATHER round, y’all…. because I’ve got some of the most gorgeous Thanksgiving inspiration ever to share with you today! Let’s just call it a feast for your eyes. ;)

Tara Berger of One Stylish Party recently hosted this dreamy, blush-and-bordeaux Friendsgiving Dinner Party, and it looks like such a fun excuse for a girls night! She started with a gorgeous outdoor setting (a.k.a. her neighbor’s backyard) and filled it with rustic-glam decor, cozy pillows, chic Thanksgiving inspired appetizers and desserts, and wine-a-plenty. So, in other words, LOTS to be thankful for if you’re a guest at this party, right?! And even though it was designed with girlfriends in mind, many of these ideas would translate beautifully to a family Thanksgiving celebration or wine-inspired bridal shower too.

Speaking of getting inspired, don’t miss Tara’s 7 Tips for Hosting a Chic and Cozy Friendsgiving below. They’re super helpful and on point, and I’m especially loving numbers 5 & 6 myself!

Party Highlights to look out for:

  • “Gather” wreath featuring balloons, wood, and fresh florals (I. LOVE. THIS.)
  • Lush greenery garlands on the chair backs and table
  • Eclectic mix of risers used on the dessert table (vintage tins, books, wood, etc.)
  • Dip-dyed napkins + sparkly painted fall leaves at each place setting
  • Rose gold velvet table runner + hand-lettered apple place cards with gold names

Glam Wine and Blush Thanksgiving Table

Apple Place Cards with Gold Calligraphy

Honeycrisp Apple Sangria Signature Drink

Pretty Thanksgiving Appetizers

Give Thanks Pillows

Glam DIY Thanksgiving Decoration

Glam Wine and Blush Tablescape

Thanksgiving Party Appetizer Ideas

Wine Inspired Appetizers and Cocktail Napkins

Wine and Blush Friendsgiving Party

Rustic Glam Thanksgiving Chair Decoration

Rustic Glam Fall Dessert Table

Rustic Glam Cake with fresh flowers

Personalized Apples and Glam Thanksgiving Party

Glam Thanksgiving Wine Party with Friends

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How to Host a Chic and Cozy Friendsgiving

by Tara Berger

Friendsgiving is quickly becoming one of my favorite holidays. It is an excuse to gather together with some of your favorite people, similar to Thanksgiving, but without all of the stress! Here are a few tips if you are thinking about hosting a Friendsgiving dinner party this year.

1. Pick your location.
Friendsgiving tends to be a little less formal than Thanksgiving, so feel free to get creative with your location. When planning my Friendsgiving, I wanted it to have a feminine, yet cozy vibe to it, so I decided to host the party on my neighbor’s patio. The outdoor space allowed me to setup the tablescape in front of a stone fireplace that provided the perfect amount of warmth on a cool fall evening.

2. Set the Tone.
Don’t feel pressured to stick with traditional fall colors or decor. I used an unexpected color pallet of bordeaux and blush tones, which contrasted beautifully with the natural stone and wood elements on the patio. I set the dining table with vintage china and glass goblets paired with hand dyed napkins, custom menus and gold flatware. A hand lettered apple served as the placecard for each guest and a rose gold velvet table runner added the perfect pop of color and texture to the table.

3. Incorporate Fresh Florals.
Greenery and flowers can quite literally transform a space and elevate a party to a whole new level. When I hosted my Friendsgiving dinner party, I focused most of the decor on floral elements including a lush greenery garland, deep red and café au latte dahlias placed thoughtfully around the space and amaranthus draped from the fireplace and behind the serving tables..

4. Serve a Signature Drink + Classic Wines.
Get creative and whip up a fun seasonal drink, but also make sure you have all of your bases covered. I greeted guests with a honeycrisp apple sangria upon arrival and selected three wines to serve at the party, including a chardonnay, a pinot noir and a sparkling rosé. I also served apple cider for guests who wanted to skip cocktails all together.

5. Create a No-fuss Menu and Delegate the Rest.
Turkey doesn’t have to be the star of the show at Friendsgiving. I wanted the evening to be less formal, so there was no actual sit-down dinner. Instead, I created a heavy fall-inspired appetizer menu and asked each guest to bring a pot-luck dish to share. The appetizers included cranberry brie bites, polenta crostini with butternut squash and prosciutto wrapped apples with blue cheese.

6. Let the Desserts Shine.
If it were up to me, I’d probably skip the dinner and go straight for desserts! Just kidding. But I do think Friendsgiving is a fun event to serve up an array of sweet treats, such as pumpkin spice cake, gourmet donuts (which are super on trend right now), turtle cheesecake and fresh pies.

7. Leave a Lasting Impression.
As a parting gift for each guest, I created a small DIY greenery wreath that doubled as decor on the backs of the chairs during the party. My friends also surprised me with an amazing fall-themed gift basket including a bottle of wine, gourmet chocolates and an adorable fall print that I can’t wait to display in my house. Whether you are hosting an event or attending one, party favors and hostess gifts are a great way to leave a lasting impression.

I hope you enjoyed reading my tips for a throwing a Friendsgiving dinner party. The party I hosted was such a fun evening spent sharing delicious food, sweet treats and laughter with a great group of ladies. I can’t wait to make this all-girls Friendsgiving an annual tradition each year!

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Fabulous “Not So Spooky” Halloween Birthday Bash

glittered pumpkin and halloween dessert table

Halloween is just a few days away… and I’m in the mood to hand out some EYE CANDY! I always love seeing what the ladies of the COOP Los Angeles (Juliet & Lucinda) dream up, because it’s guaranteed to bring clever details, fabulous style, and GLITTER GALORE. These are my kind of ladies. ;)

This adorable party happens to be a 4th birthday celebration and kid-friendly Halloween bash wrapped into one. The goal was to channel the “not so spooky” side of Halloween with the look & feel of the party, and I’d say mission accomplished! There’s actually tons of fun inspiration here for all kinds of Halloween celebrations.

Some of my favorite details from this party:

  • Adorable DIY ghosts made from cheesecloth and GIANT googly eyes
  • Glittered mini pumpkins & forks at every place setting + glittered BOO letters
  • The cutest fondant black cat witch cupcake topper, courtesy of Blue Cupcake
  • Awesome “Eye of Newt” party punch with dry ice, floating eyeballs, & an HWTM drink label!
  • GORGEOUS Halloween floral arrangements displayed in skull vases
  • Creepy plastic black snakes adorning drink carafes and champagne flutes

kids halloween birthday bash ideas

DIY Ghost with googly eyes and glittery bottle

giant BOO Halloween balloons and drink table

Halloween birthday party treats for kids

Halloween Party Punch - Eye of Newt with dry ice

Halloween black cat cupcake topper and glittered BOO letters

glam Halloween flower arrangement

Halloween party face painting

Halloween Party Activity - candy corn ball pit

kids Halloween birthday party family

Halloween Birthday Cupcakes and Banner

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Party Details, as told by Juliet…

We had a lovely client who wanted a “not so spooky” halloween party for her adorable son.  We love a themed party — and we love to keep things modern and sort of “simple”.  Though most of our “simple” parties require quite a bit of hand making/ painting/ crafting… so they are not so simple after all!

We love a bold modern look to a party at the COOP so rather than go the traditional orange and black and purple that seems to be the most obvious choice for a Halloween, we settled on a bold black and white color scheme – with splashes of gold and orange for accents.  We LOVE how the party turned out.  We used lots of little pumpkins for decor — each place setting has one dipped in gold glitter, painted black with bat wings or painted black and piled on top of each other and made into an “unlucky” black cat.  We love to dress up a plate at the COOP!

We made the 2 large cheesecloth ghosts for the main table (and a couple of small ones for plate decor)  and used skull cups from Oriental Trading as vases on the main table and throughout the party.  We like to get creative with our flowers — and always try to have them match the theme –  which is why we chose those rich dark spooky hues!!!!

The amazing Julie from Blue Cupcake created the perfect (and super delicious) cupcakes to round out the gorgeous main table.

The Happy Birthday banner is from Martha Stewart crafts… I think it was sold as a table runner – we strung it together and added the gold glittered happy birthday letters.  We love how bold it looked against the white and gold ribbon curtain.

Dry ice in a drink container is one of our all time favorite treats (we have used it for alien parties, pirate parties, harry potter parties — it NEVER disappoints!)

The Food table’s main attraction was the giant North Star Balloon BOO letters flanked by the black Raven balloons. Again we went sort of simple outside with a white tablecloth draped in black netting/ cheesecloth material.

We just love how it all turned out and are always pleased to see so many smiling faces at our parties!  We try hard to make chic looking parties that are still super fun for kids… and we think this party was no exception!  Everyone had a blast at this not so spooky Halloween bash!

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A Bold & Modern “Something Blue” Bridal Shower

Geometric Bridal Shower Centerpiece - Something Blue

When I first started HWTM waaaaay back in the day, one of the first styled shoots I designed (just for fun) was a Something Blue Bridal Shower table. That was almost 10 years ago now, and boy have things changed across the years! LOL ;)

So… when I was recently asked to design a bridal shower theme for HersheyLands.com that incorporated some of their awesome new colored-foil Hershey’s KISSES in a creative way, it felt like the perfect chance to revisit the Something Blue theme and put a fresh spin on it all these years later. I kinda want to do this with all my old themes now! I hope you guys like how this one turned out… and there are lots of free printables for you to use if you’d like to recreate this look too. Click here to download them.

Some of my favorite details from this t