Inspiring Celebrations Since 2006

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):

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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

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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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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 theme:

  • spray-painted succulents tucked into the flowers for a bold look
  • giant “engagement rings” made from paper gems + embroidery hoops
  • paint-dipped bud vases + “balloon dipped” glasses
  • “Something Sweet” party favors filled with a mix of colored-foil and silver KISSES
  • guest of honor chair embellished with ribbons and mini honeycomb balls

Blue and Yellow Geometric Bridal Shower

Modern Bridal Shower Table and Place Settings

Bridal Shower Lemonade with Balloon Cups

Something Blue Place Setting - Free Printables

Modern Bridal Shower Designs

Paint Dipped Bud Vases

DIY Bridal Shower Decorations

Free Printable Bridal Bingo

Something Blue Bridal Shower Favors

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Something Blue Bridal Shower – Creative Details

Centerpiece

When it comes to tablescapes, I’m a firm believer in statement-making centerpieces with clever details! Surprise guests with unexpected elements like these giant DIY rings made from painted embroidery hoops and printable paper gems. Hot glue the finished rings to wooden craft dowels (painted silver) and display them in a container filled with white and yellow flowers. For a bold accent, spray paint a few succulents blue and silver and tuck them into the flowers. Last but not least, a printable “Something Blue” banner helps to highlight the theme and adds a nice finishing touch. (All of the printables can be downloaded here.)

Place Settings

Give table place settings some (inexpensive!) geometric flair with octagon shaped premium plastic plates and printable plate liners. A special “Bride to Be” design will ensure that the guest of honor’s setting stands out. Use craft paint and patterned tape to give plain plastic utensils a party-ready makeover.

Table linens are a great place to introduce pattern. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box if you can’t find the exact type of linen that you need right off the bat. This striped “tablecloth” is actually a (brand new) queen sized duvet from Ikea, and the triangle print napkins are squares of inexpensive fabric that I purchased and cut down to size! If you shop at affordable places, you’ll often find that it’s even less expensive to purchase these outside-the-box “linens” than it would be to rent traditional ones!

Signature Drink

Signature drinks should compliment the party’s color palette, but remember that all of the colors don’t need to be portrayed through the drink itself. Blue party straws and blue marbled balloons are the secret ingredients for this perfectly-coordinating party lemonade! To “balloon dip” your own glasses, just cut the tail off of a 12” balloon, turn your glass upside down, and stretch the balloon around the bottom of the glass. (See more details in this online tutorial.)

Party Favors

It’s a good idea to thank your “Something Blue” guests with something SWEET on their way out, and what could be sweeter for a bridal shower than chocolate Kisses, right?! To create these party favors, fill 3” clear tins with a pretty mix of Dark Blue, Light Blue, Silver, and Black Hershey’s Kisses + Silver Nuggets. Use double-stick tape to attach a paper gem to the lid and a “Something Sweet” banner to the front of each container. Add tiny rhinestone stickers for extra sparkle! Display the finished favors next to a printable “Something Sweet to Say Thank You” sign.

Bridal Bingo

Make gift opening time a fun activity for the entire party by playing Bridal Bingo! Pass out printable bingo cards, pens, and sets of 5 Hershey’s Kiss “game markers” to each person before any presents are opened. Ask them to fill in the blank squares on the card with different gifts that they think the bride will open today. (No duplicates, please!) Each time the bride opens a gift that matches a square on the guest’s card, they can place a game marker on top of that square. The first guest with 5 squares blocked off in any direction wins a prize!

DIY Bud Vases

Mini bud vases are a great way to stretch your color palette even further down the table. Gather some craft paints and paint brushes, then just have fun with it! I used a pencil eraser to create polka dots on some of these vases and freehand painted the rest. You can hot glue ribbons and trims on as accents too. (These vases were all around $2 each and were purchased at Ikea and Michaels.)

Accent Decor

Garlands & oversize balloons are some my favorite types of party decor because they’re quick to create, affordable, and high-impact for your space. Use printable papers and leftover fabrics from your Something Blue table to cut or punch out simple shapes. Hot glue the shapes to string or twine and make your own circle garlands, triangle banners, and more! Give giant balloons (24” to 36”) a stylish twist with chic tassels made of lightweight ribbons and trims.

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DIY Halloween Balloons with “Floating Heads”

DIY Halloween Balloons - Skeleton, Frankenstein, Vampire

My newest tutorial for Balloon Time is now live on their site – and it’s a FUN one! Don’t be spooked by the “floating heads” description either… these characters are actually really cute and simple to create using printables, a marker, and a little craft paint for the vampire’s “hair”. ;)

Check out the full tutorial and free printables over on BalloonTime.com! Here’s a little sneak peek of the project before you head over:

Halloween Balloons with Free Printables (more…)

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How to Make an Awesome “Dirt Cake” + Introducing PipPipHOORAY

Dirt Cake Recipe and Tutorial

Parties are often a perfect excuse to “play” with your food… and today’s guest post is the perfect example! Brought to us by Pernilla Meyer, mother of 3 boys and founder of PipPipHOORAY (more on this below) – her clever Dirt Cake Recipe is such a fun, creative treat for outdoorsy, camping themed, or nature-inspired birthday parties. And with its chocolate-y earth tones and woodsy feel, I think this recipe would make a wonderful addition to creative fall dessert tables and Thanksgiving celebrations too! Read on for full details…

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FROM PERNILLA:

There’s this thing that keeps happening at my house over and over again. My three boys have a birthday—every…single…year.

And while I LOVE hosting a special birthday bash for each of them—you know, something a bit more inspired than just choosing something from the party isle—I don’t have a lot of time to spend on each party. Sound familiar?

I’ve created PipPipHOORAY party plans so that busy moms can throw a special birthday party without investing too much time. Each plan includes EVERYTHING YOU NEED—instructions, pictures, shopping and to do lists—to cover every detail of the party from start to finish. There are a slew of ideas to choose from. Feel like doing three or four? Great! Inspired to tackle them all? Go for it! Either way, awesome really can be easy.

boy-vs-wild-birthday-party_1

I recently hosted a BOY vs. WILD outdoor survival party for my eight-year-old adventurer. It was a blast!

Imagine…these guys are in the middle of nowhere. Their only resource is their wits. How will they survive?

They were tested—both physically and mentally—in team tug of war, a first aid trek, animal tracking, shelter building, and a foraged foods challenge.

boy-vs-wild-birthday-party_2

So after enduring all of that, I figured that these guys deserved something special…Dirt Cake!

Could there anything better for a fun, outdoor treat? I don’t think so – just the name itself makes me smile. As you dig into the crunchy, chocolate dirt topping and down into those layers of ooey, gooey chocolate, you realize that this cake is almost perfect, especially for some sweaty, hungry boys.

I’m happy to share the recipe for the Dirt Cake with you today. I love that it’s so simple to throw together, but super fun to serve to a crowd! Here’s how to make it:

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DIRT CAKE RECIPE

Ingredients:
– (2) Batches of your favorite large pan brownies
– (1) Large batch of chocolate pudding, chilled
– (1) 8 oz container of whipped topping
– (1) 14.3 oz Package of original Oreo cookies
– 6 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
– (12) Large pretzel rods
– Several sprigs of fresh herbs (sage, mint, basil, etc)

Cooking Tools:
– Glass pie pan
– Spoon
– Baking Sheet with rack or lined with wax paper
– Rolling pin
– Spatula
– Knife
– Medium metal bucket or bowl

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For the Chocolate Filling:

1. Make chocolate pudding according to the recipe or the instructions on box.

2. Using a spatula, fold in the tub of whipped topping into the pudding. Chill until ready to assemble the cake.

——-

For the Dirt Topping:

1. Place all of the Oreos into a sealed plastic bag. Use the rolling pin to crush cookies into small pieces to look like dirt.

——-

For the Chocolate Sticks:

1. Pour chocolate chips into glass pie pan. Microwave on medium power for 25 seconds. Remove pan from microwave and stir chocolate chips with spoon. Continue this process of heating and stirring until chocolate chips are melted and completely smooth.

2. Place one pretzel rod into the melted chocolate and turn until completely coated. Remove from chocolate and place on rack or wax paper to harden.

chocolate dipped pretzel rods

3. Repeat Step 2 until all pretzel rods are covered in chocolate. It’s a good idea to break some of the sticks in half before coating them.

——-

To Assemble the cake:

1. Clean the metal bucket well and dry it.

2. Cut your brownies into squares, and then completely cover the bottom of the bucket with a single layer of them.

3. Cover the brownies with a layer of the chocolate filling.

4. Repeat the layering of brownies and chocolate filling until you fill the bucket. You should end with a layer of the chocolate filling.

5. Spread the crushed Oreos (dirt) over the final layer of chocolate filling.

Dirt Cake Step 2

6. Decorate by placing chocolate sticks into a pile and arranging the herbs to resemble a forest floor. This does not have to be exact—just have fun and do what you think looks good!

Dirt Cake Step 3

Dirt Cake Step 4

Notes:

  • This cake can be made one day ahead and refrigerated.
  • Add the fresh herbs right before serving so they don’t wilt.
  • To make a large cake like the one pictured, you will need to double the recipe. Or, use smaller buckets to make individual size cakes.

dirt-cake-recipe_6

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PipPipHOORAY party plans are available as digital downloads for $14.99 and include:

Everyone loves a good party—so let’s get this one started!

*****

Thanks again to Pernilla for sharing this fun recipe with us today! :)

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A Casual & Chic Low Country Seafood Boil

Lobster Boil Party Table and Lobster Cookies

I’ve been to a variety of seafood boils and crab feeds before, ranging from dinner parties to fundraisers, and they always have something very awesome in common… they are so. much. FUN!

And also the fact that they’re kinda messy… in a good way. ;) I think there might be something about eating with your hands at a pretty dinner table, and the out-of-the-ordinary vibe of it all, that simply puts people at ease and makes for a great time.

Anyways, my friend and fellow blogger Chandice (of Gluten Free Frenzy) sent over some pics from a Low Country Lobster/Seafood Boil that she hosted recently for some girlfriends, and I’m excited to share them with you today!

Here are a few of my favorite details:

– A creative table set-up where the meal actually serves as a colorful, functional “table runner”!
– Use of a boat-shaped shelf for the sides & seasonings
– The cutest Lobster Sugar Cookies ev-ah by Shanan of Enchanted Cookie Boutique
– Themed details like melamine lobster plates, a lobster tablecloth, and a vintage copper tin for the biscuits
– The FOOD! She served lobster, crawfish, oysters, shrimp, kielbasa, and more… pass me a bib and the melted butter please. ;)

Lobster Boil Party Ideas - Boat Display

Lobster Party Cookies and Plates (more…)

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DIY Halloween Costume Contest Awards + Free Printables

Free Printable Halloween Costume Contest Awards

Last year, a friend asked me to make some sort of awards to give out for the costume contest at her Halloween party. After being totally inspired by the awesome little skeleton trophies that my friend/fellow blogger Scarlett had made for her own party, I decided to do something similar with “posed” mini plastic skeletons, but put my own spin on it with paper details & double-sided frames. Here’s how they turned out… pretty fun, right?! And also further proof that *almost* everything looks cute in miniature form –even skeletons! ;)

I kept the printable designs simple so that the skeletons really stood out, and used hot glue to make them hold specific “poses”. I also spray painted the good ol’ .99 cent Tolsby frames black, and added a relevant detail for each type of award – like “blood splatter” for Scariest, a ball & chain for Couples, and a tiny paper crown for Best.

Scariest Halloween Costume Award

The plastic skeletons that I used last year were from Target, but I’ve also seen them at Michaels this year. They usually come in packs of 4-8 and start out white/distressed, so I spray painted them silver here. Metallic gold would work well too – or you could even stick with flat white paint for a more mod look.

For the Best Couples Costume Award, the “ball” is a small, glittery black styrofoam ball (from the floral/holiday section at Michaels). You could also just use black play-dough though! The “chain” is a trim that I found in the jewelry section, and then I broke an arm off of each skeleton and hot glued them together:

Best Couples Halloween Costume Award

The Best Costume Award got a tiny paper crown (just free-hand cut from red paper and hot glued) + an appropriately *winning* pose. ;) (more…)

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DIY Baseball Balloons + Surprise Ball Game Gift Idea

DIY Baseball Balloons Tutorial + Free Baseball Printables

If you have a loved one that’s also a baseball fan, today’s post is for YOU! These DIY Baseball Balloons are super easy to create – thanks to a simple pack of office supply sticky notes! They also make great crafty decorations for a baseball party – OR a fun addition to a gift of game day tickets. So………… if you’re planning to take someone out to the ball game soon, consider hitting a home run in the creativity department by pairing the tickets up with this surprise baseball-balloon-in-a-box idea. ;)

Here’s how you make them:

P.S. Click here to download the baseball printables featured in this video. (more…)

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How to Make a Daisy Flower Cookie Ring (Recipe + Video)

Flower Cookie Rings Tutorial by Kurabiki

Flower Cookie Rings

Thank you SO MUCH to Silviya Schimenti from Kurabiiki for sharing this gorgeous tutorial with us today.

Silviya dreamed up these beautiful Daisy Flower Cookie Rings for her daughter’s 6th birthday, but I’m pretty sure that ladies of all ages would be THRILLED to receive one of these statement making pieces! Read on for her recipe, step-by-step instructions, and video tutorial below. Enjoy!

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When it comes to my little one, jewelry is always a win so when she wanted to have a “sparkly jewelry party” for her 6th, I convinced her that we could put a whole new twist on that idea with a daisy party instead, using Daisy Cookie Rings as edible jewelry! They were such a hit with the kids and the adults that I just had to share this fantastic dessert idea with you all! It is one that can easily be used for birthdays, engagements, anniversaries, favors and more.

The Cookie Dough

To start your adventure in cookie ring making, you need cookie dough of course! This recipe is a delicious starting point that is simple to create.

chocolate sugar cookie recipe ingredients (more…)

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Crafty & Creative Labor Day Ideas for “Kids” of All Ages + Free Printables

Labor Day party ideas for kids

Labor Day is coming up soon, and you know what that means………… long holiday weekend, of course!! And whether you’re having a party to celebrate or just kickin’ it at home with family, it’s always fun to surprise your loved ones with something special… like a big plate of fresh-baked blueberry muffins with cute toppers, or even some friendly party animals holding little Labor Day signs! ;)

On that note, I’m excited to share some fun ideas with you today ideas for adding a big splash of creativity to any Labor Day…

First up is a brand new set of free printables featuring summery icons, patriotic colors, and playful sentiments. Even though Labor Day is a sign that fall is right around the corner, the weather is still very warm and summery in most of the country (it’s still in the 90’s where I live!) – and I wanted these designs reflect that “end of summer” feeling.

patriotic printables from HWTM and Krusteaz

In this printable set, you’ll find:

– Silhouettes of summery elements (String these in to banners, make gift tags out of them, etc),
– Mini Party Flags that can be used as treat toppers or on straws
– a playful “no work today, just play!” Labor Day Sign
– and Talk Bubbles that can be used with my playful dinosaur centerpiece shown here – or just on their own. I also love the idea of just taping the talk bubbles to a bedroom door or bathroom mirror, so that it’s first thing your loved one sees when they wake up!

DIY labor day party decorations

Labor Day Paper Mache Animals
I felt inspired to come up with something fresh and unexpected in terms of Labor Day decorations, and ended up with this Patriotic Party Animal Party trio, because…. why not?! ;) Actually, I’ve got 2 little ones of my own, and like to dream up things that will make them happy… and we’ve been eyeing these inexpensive paper mache animals in the craft aisle at Target for a while now.

Most of the time the ideas I work on for my little ones end of working for “kids” of all ages though – because I don’t know about you, but I would personally be VERY HAPPY to see these party animals making a cameo at my table too! They are sitting pleasantly at my desk for the time being though. ;) (more…)

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A Colorful & Modern Pop Star Party Dessert Table

Modern Pop Star Party Dessert Table

I’m excited to share some more details from our Ultimate Pop Star Party project with KIDZ BOP! Here’s a closer look at the place that always seems to draw party guests in like a magnet…the DESSERT TABLE, of course. ;)

I really tried to make sure that the treat ideas for this party were cute and on theme… yet still totally doable! Nothing on this table requires a massive budget or intricate dessert guru skills to recreate. This meant relying on easy tricks like giving popular store-bought sweets clever “pop star” names, and working in a few playful ingredients that are show-stoppers all on their own… like bright pink and blue ice cream cones, for starters!

DIY Microphone Cupcakes for a Pop Star Party

Microphone Cupcakes
These homemade treats were definitely a hit with the guests! They were also really easy to make; I used a mini muffin pan to bake mini cupcakes for the rounded dome at the top, and also baked the extra batter right inside the cones so that they weren’t top-heavy. (I filled the cones about 1/3 way up with batter.)

To assemble the cones: pipe a bit of chocolate frosting into a baked cone, then place a mini cupcake on top. Next, frost the top of the mini cupcake and dip it into a bowl of chocolate sprinkles. Done!

Pop Star Candy Microphones (more…)

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Olympic Games Home Viewing Party Drinks + #ThatsGold Coca-Cola Giveaway

Olympics inspired Drinks - Coke Floats

Earlier this week I shared one of my recent #ThatsGold moments with you guys, about how a friend brightened my day with a sweet and unexpected gesture.

You can check that post out here, but as a quick recap – #ThatsGold is a fun project I’ve partnered with Coca-Cola on that’s inspired by the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, and celebrates the “golden” EVERYDAY moments in life that happen to all of us – not just the super athletic few! You know… the moments that leave you feeling happy, loved, inspired, and capable.

So, when I first sat down to start thinking about my own #ThatsGold moments, I quickly  recognized a common theme. The vast majority of them had something to do with making people happy through creativity… like inviting friends over to watch a chick flick and serving themed drinks inspired by the movie storyline, or surprising my kids with a snack arranged in the shape of their favorite animal, or decorating someone’s door or desk in a style that’s “SO them” on their birthday.

I just love seeing faces light up when people are surprised by something that’s cute or pretty or clever… something that just makes a typical moment or experience a little more happy and exciting. For me, #ThatsGold!

So this got me thinking about the Olympics, and how much more fun it is to watch the Games with other people so that you can be wowed by and root for your favorite athletes together. Someone else needs to witness those crazy twisting flips along with you, right?!

Olympics Viewing Party Drinks - Team USA

And since chances are good that your guests are going to want something to sip on while they watch, why not make things extra fun by doing things like:

A) serving up “Go for the YUM” Coke Floats garnished with a gold straws and toppings that match the Olympic colors!

B) tossing patriotic popsicles into ice cold sodas for a cute/tasty drink garnish AND a spirited nod to Team USA. I call this one “Perfect 10 (soda) POP“. ;)

Scroll down for more details on the drinks + free printable drink tags and signs to match.

P.S. Don’t forget that if you share a #ThatsGold moment of your own following the (very simple) contest guidelines at the bottom of this post, you’ll be entered to win a one-of-a-kind, crystal-covered Coca-Cola bottle!

Olympics inspired Coca-Cola cans and #ThatsGold bottle

You can also find the Olympics themed Coca-Cola cans in major retailers right now. And in case you’re wondering… yes, there is a Diet Coke version too! ;) (more…)

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DIY Bumble Bee Balloons (Tutorial & Video)

DIY Bumble Bee Balloons

Buzz, buzz, buzzzzzzzzzzzz! These DIY Bumble Bee Balloons are such a fun project for any bee-themed birthday party or baby shower… or just as a fun surprise to brighten someone’s day!

Here’s how you make them:

Helpful tip: I love using helium with this project to make the bees look like they’re actually “flying”, but this does mean you’ll need to make them the day of your party/surprise so that the helium stays strong… SO, if you’re pressed for time or need to make a lot of them for the occasion, here’s a trick you can use: Fill the balloons with regular air first so that you can paint the stripes and let them dry ahead of time. Then, when it’s time to actually use them, undo the balloon knot carefully to let the regular air out, and re-inflate them with helium! (more…)

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Creative “Welcome Neighbor” Gift Ideas + #ThatsGold Coca-Cola Giveaway

Welcome Neighbor Gift Basket with Free Printables

As someone immersed in the world of party design, I’ve shared a lot of big, splashy merrymaking over the years here at HWTM, but you and I both know that some of the best moments in life aren’t necessarily “big” celebrations…

They can come in the form of uncontrollable belly laughs that happen when you’re hanging out with good friends, or in the feeling of excitement that happens when your project turns out extra-fantastic, or in unexpected gestures of kindness –  like when someone surprises you with just the right thing to brighten your day (more on this below).

#ThatsGold

With the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in full swing and lots of talk about gold medals, I’ve teamed up with Coca-Cola on their #ThatsGold campaign to celebrate a different kind of gold… the everyday gold moments like the examples mentioned above.

Coca-Cola’s #ThatsGold campaign is shining a light on the everyday happy and humorous moments turned gold, and encouraging people to share them in order to inspire and spread happiness during the Olympic Games.

gold crystal Coca-Cola bottle

So here’s the deal:

1. I’m going to share a recent #ThatsGold moment of my own with you – something that happened amidst our long distance move this summer – and I’d love to also hear one from you!

2. Those of you that choose to share a #ThatsGold moment of your own can be entered to win a super sparkly and downright FABULOUS Coca-Cola bottle like the one that I’m holding above! It’s absolutely covered-to-the-bottle-cap in gorgeous crystals, and I’m SO EXCITED to have the opportunity to gift one of these to an HWTM reader. :)

Scroll down for details on how to enter at the bottom of this post. Entering is easy + you’ll be spreading happiness & positivity around with each entry, which is a win-win for all! (more…)

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Splashy & Colorful Surfer Girl Birthday Party

surfing themed birthday party dessert table

Surf’s up! Time to catch a (very HAPPY) birthday wave today as we wade through the bright and summery details of this colorful Surfer Girl Birthday Party! Planned and styled by Krista of Hoopla Events & Jen of Banner Events for Krista’s daughter’s 6th birthday, the beachy decorations, tubular treats and surfing themed party favors will have you riding high. ;)

I’m especially loving the tiki hut with all of those mini, treat-filled “sand” buckets — perfect for little hands! Hang ten and check out all of the adorable fun these girls had, as beautifully captured by Karina of A Fresh Take Photography.

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • Awesome ombre sand & wave tier cake with fondant surf boards, flowers & a surfer girl
  • “Hang Ten” ham sandwiches, goldfish cracker “Shark Bait”, & custom Surf Club bottle wraps
  • Colorful surf boards & bamboo backdrop + fishing nets, custom garlands & brown sugar sand
  • Sugared beach ball & shark cake pops + Hawaiian flower & surfboard cookies
  • Matching swimsuits & sunglasses + sand bucket party favors filled with beach toys

beach and ocean themed cake pops and cookies

surfs up birthday party inviations

beach birthday party tablescape ideas

surfer girl beach birthday cake

(more…)

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{Go Bananas!} Awesome Disco Monkey Birthday Party

disco ball monkey themed birthday party

As usual, Juliet Boydston, owner of the COOP in LA, absolutely smashed this one out of the park! I always love her parties because she pulls inspiration from so many different places and still manages to keep everything cohesive. For his 12th birthday, the birthday boy did not want a party theme, much to his momma’s chagrin! ;) SO… she followed his lead (and Instagram name) and created this Disco Monkey Birthday Party filled with vibrant pop-art polka dots, glittering disco balls, TONS of bananas & plenty of monkeying around. Feast your eyes on all of the amazing details below…

P.S. Juliet writes some of the best party details, so be sure to check those out (directly below the images) for an inside peek into her creative genius!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • Glittered and mirrored vases, drink bottles, and letters + “LETS GO BANANAS” silver balloons
  • DIY sparkly-headphone-wearing monkey backdrop with an awesome painted banana smile
  • Giant inflatable bananas for extra fun on the dance floor and in the ball pit!
  • Party table piled high with bananas & disco balls + a sparkly “12”-topped drip cake in the middle
  • Disco ball cupcake toppers, sprinkled banana skewers, and monkey party glasses for all!

birthday party confetti poppers

monkey party glasses

disco ball topped birthday cake (more…)

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Rainbow Balloon Tassel Tutorial + Festive Party Chair

Rainbow Balloon Tassels and Party Chair

Sometimes the simplest projects can have the biggest impact, and that’s exactly how I feel about this one!

Watch the video below (or scroll down for the pictorial) to learn how paper circles + balloons can create awesome party decor AND transform any ol’ chair into a festive spot for photo-taking and gift-opening!

These Rainbow Balloon Tassels are super versatile and can be used for so many different occasions – from rainbow birthday parties for “kids” of all ages to baby showers, bridal showers, and even colorful graduation pics. Happy party crafting! ;)

Rainbow Balloons Photo Backdrop (more…)

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How to Throw the Ultimate POP STAR Party! {Ideas, Activities & Free Printables}

Modern Pop Star Birthday Cake Topper

Whether you’re listening, dancing, or channeling your inner pop star and singing along, there’s nothing that livens up a party quite like a great mix of tunes!

And on that *note*, this year marks the milestone 15th birthday of KIDZ BOP, which is the #1 music brand for kids, not to mention a staple in my own household, thanks to our 2 pint-sized music lovers. ;)

As part of their all-year-long birthday celebration, I was asked to dream up and share some creative ideas for throwing the Ultimate KIDZ BOP Pop Star Party at home! I wanted to keep things very upbeat and playful, and was inspired by the fun, summery color palette in their new brand new album.

Here’s a list of the party ideas included below:

Note: these sections start after the first 6 images, which give a good overview of the entire party. Clicking on a link will jump you directly to that section.

I’m also including a TON of Free Pop Star Printables to make things extra easy to recreate!

Life of the Party

KIDZ BOP is also celebrating the debut of  KIDZ BOP 32 right now, which comes out July 15th. This album includes an original KB song called “Life of the Party“, was just released TODAY! And if you’re looking for a fun outing, the KIDZ BOP Kids will be on their “Life Of The Party” tour for the rest of 2016. Find tour dates & more info here.

And now… onto the party inspiration!

Pop Star Party Photo Booth

DIY Microphone Cupcakes - Pop Star Party

Pop Star Birthday Party Dessert Table and Backdrop

Pop Star Party Decorations

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PARTY PLAYLISTS

If you want to keep things easy in the party music department, KIDZ BOP has some great playlists on Spotify that are ready to go! Since my kids are younger, we like The Ultimate Kids Playlist, which is geared for kids ages 5-9. You can preview it below:

And if you have kids that are a little older, check out The Ultimate OMG Playlist, which is geared for kids ages 8-11.


ACTIVITY #1: VIP Badges + Pop Star Band Names

It’s important to make every guest at your party feel like a VIP! Greet them with printable “All Access” VIP Badges when they arrive, and use clear ID sleeves and lanyards to give the badges an authentic concert vibe.

Printable Pop Star Party VIP Badges

The flip side of the VIP badges is the perfect place for your guests to show off their pop star “band name”. For this activity, you’ll need to a Pop Star Name-O-Matic sheet to display (as seen below) and printable Tour Cards. Ask each guest to figure out their band name and write it on a Tour Card. (Younger kids may need some assistance with this.)

It’s fun to hear ALL the different band names that get created, making this a great ice breaker activity too!

Pop Star Party Band Name Activity - Free Printable

ACTIVITY #2: POP-arazzi Station

Printable Pop Star Party Photo Booth Props

What would a pop star party be without cameras flashing everywhere, right?!

Make your pics extra fun with themed props for guests to use when they strike a pose! We set out inexpensive items like kid sunglasses and costume concert mics, and made playful stick props from printable Pop Star Photo Accessories hot glued to wooden dowels (which are available in packs at craft stores).

Displayed next to the accessories were an 8×10 POP-arazzi Sign and I (heart) MUSIC Banner.

Printable Microphone and Sunglasses Photo Booth Props

Silver foil curtains and balloons make for super simple, yet effective POP star photo booth backdrop! I used 2 curtains here and simply taped them to the wall, then added colorful balloon bunches on each side.

This same set-up works great as a “stage backdrop” for karaoke and lip syncing activities too.

Kidz Bop Pop Star Party Photo Booth

INSTA-PHOTO FUN

In addition to taking regular photos with our digital camera, I bought an Instant Film Camera that creates mini Polaroid style pics, and we let the kids play “photographer” too.

I can’t tell you how much they absolutely LOVED this!

My own girls thought it must be some sort of magical device… it was hilarious to watch the amazed looks on their faces as the pictures developed. I realized that they rarely see pictures printed out anymore – especially ones that appear in front of them instantly!

Pop Star Party Polaroid Activity

We were also able to use the mini Polaroids that they took in our next crafty party activity too…

ACTIVITY #3: Design Your Own Album Cover

Designing album covers was another big hit with the kids – and it also created a good excuse for some down time after all the singing and dancing and running around. ;)

Pop Star Party Activity - Decorate an Album Cover

I ordered blank record jackets online, then printed large KIDZ BOP Logos in black and white and cut them out by hand. The logos were glued to the album covers to create a coloring template for the kids.

Craft supplies like washi tape, glitter glue, markers, and rhinestones were placed in the center of the table to share. Each guest also received their own mini crayon pack embellished with a cute headphone-wearing party circles.

You can download the Party Circles and 4×6 Activity Sign here.

ACTIVITY #4: Pin the Tour Bus on the Map

I always love a fun twist on a classic game, especially when it plays up the theme. So instead of “Pin the Tail on the Donkey”, we played “Pin the Tour Bus on the Map“!

Pop Star Printable Game

You can download my 36×48″ Tour Map – and print it as a Color Engineering Print at Staples for less than $12!

We had Tour Bus Game Pieces with large windows where each guest could write their name. You’ll also need to add rolled tape or a sticky adhesive dot to the backside of each  game piece. The player whose bus is closes to the star wins!

To play again, let the winner of the previous game put a new star on the map and start the game over.


The POP Station (Party Drinks)

Including soda POP at a pop star party is kind of a no brainer, right? ;) I found bottles of blue and yellow soda, removed the labels, and designed Soda POP Labels to wrap around them.

Pop Star Party Drink Labels

I couldn’t resist working “Pop Station” into this area as a play on soda pop + radio genre. ;) You can download the 4×6 Pop Station Sign here.

printable pop star soda bottle wraps

POP HITS Birthday Mix (The Dessert Table!)

Next up… the dessert table! Because this post is already lengthy, I’m including just a quick peek at the dessert table here + links to download the 8×10 Sign and Dessert Cards in Pre-Filled and Blank. I’ll post additional images of the dessert table in a separate article soon!

Pop Star Dessert Table Ideas

PARTY FAVORS

We sent guests home with “candy microphones” made from candy-filled tubes and printable Microphone Tops! I found the 6″ tubes online and filled them with a yummy custom-color Candyfetti™ mix.

Pop Star Party Favors

Hope you feel inspired to throw your own POP STAR PARTY now! Check out the new Life of the Party video on YouTube if you need some extra inspiration. ;)

Kidz Bop 32

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Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for KIDZ BOP, which records kid-friendly versions of today’s biggest pop music hits sung by kids, for kids. As always, all thoughts & opinions are my own. Thank you so much for supporting the companies that make it possible for HWTM to keep the creative content coming your way!

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Darling Little Lamb Baa Baa Baptism & Birthday Party

lamb themed dessert table

This Little Lamb Baa Baa Baptism & Birthday has me feeling all warm and fuzzy inside! Photographed by the talented Nicole Cantin and beautifully styled by Erica Courtney of Southern Juliette, the celebration included tons of sweet, fleecy decor — from strewn balls of yarn & “fluffy” cream hydrangeas to shabby chic burlap and twine elements for a country vibe. And those miniature white picket fences filled with the adorable sweet treats are such a cute way to display extra special details… like the incredibly detailed chocolate covered Oreos and cake pops!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • Chocolate lamb lollipops, fluffy marshmallow-topped cupcakes, & sprinkled lamb cake pops
  • Burlap-striped lamb wall hanging + lace inspired invitations & paper details
  • Grassy green crispy rice treats + popcorn cones adorned with twine & mini flowers
  • ADORABLE sleeping lamb cake with piped fleece
  • The cutest sheep finger-painting activity for the little ones!

lamb themed party invitation

shabby chic baptism

lamb shaped cake and desserts

kids lamb fingerpainting activity (more…)

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{Steampunk} 11 Thousand Leagues Under the Sea Birthday

ocean steampunk birthday party dessert table

This may just be one of the most unique party themes I’ve ever seen! Ocean creatures + rusty steampunk details + outdoor games & crafts — talk about catering to your audience!  ;)

Since her son’s love for sharks had not waned since the year before, Abigail of Paper & Cake geared up for this year’s party by putting a spin on a classic under the sea theme — adding rivets, gears and other steampunk details to take this party to a whole new level. 

The resulting Steampunk 11 Thousand Leagues Under the Sea Party is one that I’m sure the birthday boy and his guests will not soon forget!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • Custom designed steampunk shark dessert table backdrop hanging from ‘rust’ painted pipes
  • Adorable steampunk sea creature cupcake toppers + anchor & gear topped Oreos
  • Bronzed miniature sea animal figurines, custom steampunk printables & a COOL steampunk goggle craft
  • Morning aquarium visit with, stingray petting, tide pool exploring and sea lion befriending!

under the sea party welcome sign

steampunk birthday party games

ocean steampunk cupcake toppers

DIY painted rust party sign

(more…)

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Vintage & UP Movie Inspired “Little Lending Library” Party

Adventure Awaits Cake Topper and UP Cake

There are so many things to LOVE about this sweet & creative party sent in by Chandice Probst. What a great excuse to get the neighbors together and celebrate the (very impressive!) “Little Lending Library” that Chandice’s family built for their entire neighborhood to enjoy. And, as if that’s not cool enough just on it’s own, the UP inspired party is also filled filled with gorgeous styling ideas for any vintage-themed bash.

I’m sharing a few of my favorite details from the party today, but there’s lots more to see  over in the full recap on Chandice’s blog. She also includes the measurements they used for building the Little Lending Library. In other words… INSPIRATION awaits! ;)

P.S. Kudos to KW Bale Photography for all of the stunning images.

Little Lending Library Vintage Book Party

Homemade LIttle Lending Library

Vintage Popcorn Party Display (more…)

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{Fun in the Sun} Flamingo Summer Pool Party

blue white and pink pool party dessert table

While there can be a downside to having a summer birthday (friends out of town, no class celebration, etc.), one MAJOR upside is the warm weather and the opportunity for a pool party! Bethany of Auntie Bea’s Bakery didn’t throw just any pool party, she pulled off this stylish & FUN Flamingo Summer Pool Party for her darling little girl.

The bright color scheme, fun pool toys and tropical tablescape create the perfect mix of relaxing and vibrant. I can’t wait for days like these — lounging by the pool with friends and sipping ice cold lemonade… with those adorable flamingo straws of course! ;)

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • Giant cupcake cake, pink striped cake pops & the most darling pink flamingo chocolate Oreos
  • Custom flamingo plates and pink feather boa lined flamingo backdrop + POOL candy dishes
  • Matching aqua coverup dresses + glittering heart & flamingo sunnies for each little girl
  • “Flamingo poop” jelly beans & “flamingo fluff” cotton candy + the perfect flamingo pool toy

flamingo pool party invitation

little girls birthday pool paryt

flamingo birthday party tablescape

pink flamingo chocolate covered Oreos

(more…)

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Modern “Love Birds” Bridal Shower + Free Printables

Modern Love Birds Bridal Shower - Pink Yellow Black White

When it comes to special occasion parties like baby and bridal showers, one of my favorite things to do is take a popular theme and give it a fresh and unexpected twist. 

It’s so fun to see the reactions from guests when they notice all the playful elements and thoughtful details that went into creating a truly UNIQUE experience for them!

So, when I was recently asked to dream up a party inspired by one of the awesome new Vintage Charm™ Mixing & Prep Bowls, I took one look at the Birds of a Feather design and thought – “Love Birds Bridal Shower!”… but with a modern twist. 

By the way – for those of you that love nostalgia – all of the Vintage Charm designs are inspired by popular Pyrex® designs from the 50’s, 60’s & early 70’s. ;)

A Modern Love Birds Bridal Shower

“Love Birds” is a popular theme that typically leans rustic or “shabby chic garden party” in style, but the high contrast black and white design on the Birds of a Feather bowls instantly had me wanting to go bold and modern for this soirée, with some bright and spunky colors brought in for summer…

Pink and Yellow Bird Bridal Shower Ideas

Modern Bird Themed Lollipops

I also decided to go more “birds on a wire” than “birds in a nest” with this design, and incorporated artsy elements like mod sketched flowers and color-blocked feathers.

Read on for more details + free printables. I hope you enjoy this playful take on the Love Birds theme, and find some inspiration here for your own celebrations!

Love Birds Bridal Shower Candy Buffet

THE CANDY BUFFET

I thought it would be fun to design a creative candy buffet as the focal point of the party and use Vintage Charm bowls as the serving dishes. Since hot pink and yellow were my accent colors, I also incorporated a set of Vintage Charm Golden Days bowls into the mix.

Candy can add up VERY quickly, but you really don’t need to serve up a gazillion different types of it. Focus on 5-7 candy options, and utilize decorative elements and creative styling to help make the table feel full.

I also love re-naming treats to coordinate with the theme. Most people can recognize that a gum ball is a gum ball on their own, but adding a creative label like “Lolli-Flocks” (for lollipops) or “Balls of Sunshine” (for yellow gum balls) will make them smile… plus it looks pretty! ;)

Love Birds Candy Buffet Ideas

You can also use creative packaging to help fill a lot of space on the table without requiring a ton of candy. I embellished these cute heart shaped favor containers with chalkboard stickers found in the stationery section at Target…

Pink and Yellow Heart Favors

Love Birds Bridal Shower Sign

Use signage to encourage guests to take some treats home… this means your candy buffet doubles as the party favors too! You can download this 8×10 sign and the matching flower favor tags below.

Love Birds Candy Buffet and Favor Bags

I used an inexpensive black plastic trim (the kind often used by kids for stringing beads) – to accent my white table with a “wires inspired” criss cross pattern. This same trim was used for the “birds on a wire” design in the wall backdrop.

LOVE Marquee Lights - Pink Yellow Black

I spray painted paper marquee lights and white feathers to match the theme, and used paper bird and flower silhouettes (cut out by hand) as decorative accents for both the table and the top of the cake!

DIY Flower Cake Topper - Pink Yellow Black

I also added a Candyfetti heart to the top of the cake and outlined it in yellow Sixlets. (Candyfetti is also what was used to line the lollipop trays.)

To recreate this design, gently place a heart shaped cookie cutter on top of your cake while the frosting is still wet, then sprinkle a thin layer of tiny candy or sprinkles inside the heart. Carefully remove the cookie cutter, and the candy heart silhouette should remain in place!

Love Birds Bridal Shower Centerpiece

THE TABLESCAPE

This was such a fun tablescape to put together! Again, everything was inspired by the Birds of a Feather bowls, as seen in the centerpiece.

I filled the largest mixing bowl with lemons – an easy and summery filler that already matched the theme – then set a craft marquee light heart on top to further coordinate the tablescape with the candy buffet and play up the element of LOVE!

Paper details also played a big role here… I designed some party flags and a special chair banner for the guest of honor. My favorite detail of the entire table though? Definitely the “bird on a wire” napkin rings! ;)

Love Birds Bridal Shower Table Ideas

The napkin rings are made from paper bird silhouettes hot glued to a thick silver ribbon. One bird reads “Tweet Tweet Let’s Eat” and the other reads “Chirp Chirp Hooray”.

Bird on a Wire Napkin Design

I just couldn’t get enough of the paper flower silhouettes either! Here, they’re embellishing a couple of cute wire bird figurines that I stumbled on for less than $7!

Love Birds Bridal Shower Tablescape

Now, I know that champagne doesn’t require a straw, but it sure looks cute with a straw/flag stirrer! These little flags can also be used to dress up food and other drinks.

Bridal Shower Drink Flags and Pink Champagne

The champagne flutes are also embellished with DIY “costume ring” drink markers – made from beads hot glued to plain ring bases – and with balloon bands. (Yes, balloons!)

To make the bands, just cut the top and tail off of a 12″ balloon so that you’re left with a balloon “ring”, then stretch that part over and around the champagne flute for a fun accent.

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LOVE BIRDS – Free Printables from HWTM

Click the links below to download the high resolution PDFs.

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Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Vintage Charm™. As always, all thoughts & 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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Royal Safari Baby Shower Theme + Free Printables {Pink & Blue}

Safari Baby Shower Centerpiece - Pink Blue Gold Animals

As much as I LOVE animals in (party) crowns, I’m actually excited to share this post with you guys for a couple of other reasons too:

1. If you’re looking to throw a Royal Baby Shower, you’re in the right place. You’ll find lots of very doable decorating ideas here + you can download all of my printables for free at the bottom of this post, which should make things extra easy for you to recreate at home.

2. I get to talk about the power of PAPER in parties… two of my favorite things! I was asked by the Paper & Packaging – How Life Unfolds™ campaign to share tips on how paper can play a central role in any celebration and help us create unique & highly customized experiences for our guests. Since paper designs are pretty much front and center in all of the events I design myself, I don’t think there could be a more fitting topic to cover here. Hooray! :)

Royal Safari Baby Shower Banner - Free Printable

My career background is in graphic design, and I always rely on stylish paper elements to both inspire a theme and put the finishing touches on an event. You know, those things that take a project from good to great!

From small details like mini paper flags on straws to big elements like custom banners displaying the guest of honor name(s) across the room, paper is a wonderfully versatile decorative tool and always makes a huge impact on the party space.

I truly believe there’s no centerpiece, dessert table, place setting, or party favor that can’t be substantially improved with a cleverly placed paper detail (or two!).

As they say, though, a picture is worth a thousand words, so instead of just telling you that paper elements can bring your party to life, I designed this Royal Safari Baby Shower theme to help demonstrate it. Just think of how different this party would look without all the colorful paper details…

Gender Neutral Safari Baby Shower

Let’s start by taking a closer look at the place settings.
This set-up is very simple and a bit bland on its own, but a colorful paper onesie placed on top of the napkins makes ALL the difference! I have printable onesies for you guys below in both blue and pink so you can create a boy, girl, or gender neutral baby shower with them.

Baby Shower Place Settings - Paper Onesie (more…)

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{Magical} Pastel Rainbow Unicorn Birthday Party

pastel rainbow birthday party dessert table

Sometimes I see a party that is so perfectly simple & sweet, all of the details are truly able to shine. Styled by Andressa Hara of Twinkle Twinkle Little Party, this Pastel Rainbow Unicorn Birthday Party is a perfect example of that! From the coordinating tissue tassels and star balloons to the most adorable unicorn & shooting star cookies  — there’s (almost) too much cuteness! I’m also loving the bright pastel color palette… such a darling twist on the classic rainbow.

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • Scalloped unicorn invitation & matching “You’re Magical” unicorn lunch boxes
  • Lightly colored lemonade in star topped mason jars & rainbow layered chocolates
  • Pearl topped pastel rainbow layer cake, rainbow pearl candies & DIY candy star cupcake toppers
  • Fill-in & color Thank You Cards + an adorable ombre rainbow party dress for the birthday girl

unicorn and shooting star cookies

unicorn birthday party invitation

pastel rainbow birthday cake

DIY candy star cupcake toppers

rainbow candy pearls

rainbow star balloons and rainbow party dress

pastel rainbow chocolates

fill in birthday party thank you cards

rainbow-dotted-divider-2

PARTY DETAILS, as told by Zelda…

Rainbows and unicorns are magically delicious and what little girl wouldn’t be delighted to have them both at her party? This Rainbow Unicorn party might be simple, but it is by no means short on fun and color!

Let’s start with the bright pastels that were incorporated, rather than primary colors of the rainbow. The white brick backdrop and star-shaped balloons look as delicious as the rainbow buttercream cake that takes center stage on the dessert table. To complete the look, the DIY tissue tassels are reminiscent of unicorn tails.

But the fun doesn’t stop there. The custom decorated cookies — unicorns, shooting stars, and lilac hearts — are breathtaking. Did we mention the amazing Oreo bite cookies also decorated in the party colors?

Take note from this party that your drinks don’t have to be limited to fruit punch or juice boxes and serve up “rainbow” lemonade in these darling mini jars complete with star lids.

With all that fabulousness at the dessert table, could there be more? Why, yes. Set up an adorable kids table with star and stripe paper plates and cups. Finish the look with mini white gable boxes perfect for treats and the beautiful reminder that “You are Magical.”

How do you get other rainbow and unicorn fans excited about a party like this? You send them the charming invitation that inspired this party design. As if the invitation wasn’t beautiful enough to set the tone for the party, there are coordinating envelope liners as well. To say “thank you for coming” check out these unique ‘Color Me’ thank you cards. Your birthday princess can color them and write a special message to give guests all before they wander off on their next adventure.

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Marbled Baby Shower Balloon Weights + Centerpiece

Marbled Baby Shower Balloon Weights & Centerpiece Idea

I’m totally smitten with the marbled trend that’s popping up all over the party space these days – from marbled balloons & mugs to paper plates & napkins – and felt inspired to use this look as a fun spin on a baby shower!

So… what I have for you today is a fun Marbled Baby Shower Balloon Weights project that coordinates perfectly with store-bought marbled balloons. This combo looks super cute lined up in groups of 3-5 as a high-impact (and low cost!) party table centerpiece, but you can also use them individually as playful decor anywhere your baby shower needs a fun *POP*. ;)

The baby bottles used here are actually plastic favor containers, so they’re inexpensive – and you’ll also want to go the inexpensive route on your nail polish and craft paint here, since these materials get used up quickly. Let’s just say that dollar bins are your friend with this project! This concept is super versatile, too, so feel free to mix things up with your own favorite color palette.

DIY Marbled Baby Bottle Balloon Weights

Balloon Weight Materials

MATERIALS:

  • baby bottle favor containers
  • white acrylic craft paint
  • gold spray paint
  • nail polish
  • disposable tin
  • bamboo skewers
  • paper towels & paper plates
  • nail polish remover + cotton pads (not pictured)
  • dry rice or sand for “filler” weight (not pictured) (more…)
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A Vibrant & Colorful Kentucky Derby Garden Party

Kentucky Derby Horse Decoration with Flower Wreath

YOU GUYS. How is it already the first week of May… and in other works Kentucky Derby Party time?! This is the first year in a long time that I haven’t created a brand new Derby theme myself, but luckily Sarah Knepp of Sarah Sofia Productions did and sent it our way, so I still have bunch of beautiful eye candy to share with you today!

This colorful Kentucky Derby Garden Party boasts a gorgeous color palette, painted succulents, flirty dresses, and playful “Cheers Y’all!” mason jar drinks. Let’s be real, I love anything that has “fun signature drink” written all over it, especially when it’s literal. ;)

Another thing that’s definitely in the Winner’s Circle as far as party atmosphere goes… the venue! You can’t beat rustic stables, outdoor seating at the ranch, and beautiful horses wandering around this soirée. And for those of us that can’t experience that part in person (sigh) – at least those things WILL  be all over our screens come this Saturday. So get the mint juleps (or mint julep cupcakes) ready!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– Peach Mint Juleps served in playful “Cheers Y’all” mason jars
– Contemporary horse head statue enveloped in a gorgeous spring floral wreath
– Fab designer hats and LaRoque dresses in a coordinated party palette. ;)
– Spraypainted horse and jockey figurines + beautiful live horses on the premises!
– Handprinted bow tie, Derby hat, and horseshoe cookies from Edible Art Cake Shop

Kentucky Derby Garden Party Style - Hats, Dresses, and Invitation

Kentucky Derby Lunch Table

Handpainted Horseshoe Cookies

Derby Drink Station on a Barrel (more…)

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DIY Tutorial: Giant Marble Balloon Flowers for Mom

Marbled Balloon Flowers for Mother's Day - DIY Tutorial

I’m excited to share this fun Mother’s Day idea with you today! Flowers are always a staple for mom, of course, but I thought it would be fun to try something a little outside the box this year and make giant flowers out of balloons… and more specifically out of multi-color MARBLE balloons!

These colorful balloons are one of my newest party decor obsessions. Just take a quick peek at them and I think you’ll understand why… so pretty, right?! ;) You can find them at craft or party supply shops, both in-store and online. Read on for details on how to turn them into unique “petals” for giant balloon flowers (it’s easy!) + download my free printables to customize the flowers especially for mom. They make for a very creative Mother’s Day gift idea or high-impact table centerpiece!

Marbled Balloon Flowers - DIY Materials

MATERIALS:

– 12” multicolor marble balloons
– yellow water balloon (or 5” balloon) for flower center
Balloon Time Helium Tank
– string
3D glue dots, tape, scissors
printable Mother’s Day Leaves (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Using your Balloon Time tank, fill up 4 marble balloons to approximately 9-10” size and tie short strings to each one. (Don’t overfill them or the flower “petals” can get a little too crowded.)

Marbled Balloons - Red Yellow Blue

Tip: Tape the balloon strings to your work surface to keep the balloons from floating away. :) (more…)

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“Mom Magic” Mother’s Day Brunch Ideas + Free Unicorn Printables!

Unicorn Centerpiece with Mother's Day Quote

Hi Friends! Mother’s Day is right around the corner already, and I felt inspired to dream up some mom’s day ideas for you this year that felt fresh and fun and a little outside the box

As someone that’s been designing and featuring celebrations for more than a decade, I’ve definitely seen my fair share of Mother’s Day themes inspired by tea, coffee, and all things that grow in a garden – and there have been some truly gorgeous ones!

However, I’m a mom myself, and personally I like other stuff too… like unicorns, and stars, and magical things… but especially UNICORNS. How about you? ;)

Mother's Day Brunch Table Ideas and Free Printables

And speaking of magic, I feel like that’s also something that comes with the territory of being a mom – you know what I mean? Whether it’s a comforting hug, a “cheer up” shopping trip, or knowing just the right thing to fix a tricky situation, every kid needs a little “mom magic” from time to time.

SO… that sentiment is exactly what inspired this “Mom Magic” Mother’s Day design, which is full of bright colors, whimsical details, and lots of free printables, which you can download below!

This is a fun way to say thank you and celebrate the “mom magic” in your own life, or to shower some fellow mamas with love and appreciation. In other words… an excuse for some girlfriend time! ;)

Magic Muffins for Mother's Day + Unicorn Plush

This post is also brought to you by Krusteaz, who I’ve worked with as a brand ambassador for a couple years now. I used their Cinnamon Swirl Crumb Cake & Muffin Mix to make the “Mom Magic” Muffins pictured here, which are just about as easy and tasty as it gets! Just bake the muffins according to the directions on the box (water is all you need to add!), then garnish with edible star sprinkles. Paper toppers make for a sweet finishing touch.

Free Printable Mother's Day Banner and DIY Chair Cover

Decorating a “guest of honor” chair is one of my favorite things to do… and since you only have to decorate one you can get pretty creative with it! This “chair cover” is actually made from an inexpensive curtain panel I bought at Target. (It was also used to make the “table runner” and muffin basket liner.) I just cut the fabric to size for the chair, folded it over the back, and used 3D glue dots to secure the edges.

You can download the “Reserved for the World’s best MOM” banner below. :) (more…)

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