March 20th, 2012 |

Easter Egg Hunt

When it came time to officially launch our latest Easter party collection, we asked Lynlee Beckett of Lynlee’s Petite Cakes to conjure up a fabulous fete perfect for kiddies to be featured in the Spring issue of The Party Dress Magazine.  Our collection features a sweet little bunny frolicking in the grass, so it was perfect for an Easter Egg Hunt.

Lynlee did a fabulous job designing a fresh and fun party with lots of ideas that you can carry into your own celebrations.  Read on for more information from Lynlee…..

Once Spring has sprung and the grass is green once again, you know Easter is just around the corner! And what can be more fun for kiddos than inviting friends and family to hop on over for an Easter Egg Hunt? I styled this festive party around the adorable “Grass Easter Bunny” collection from WH Hostess, specifically for children. I fell in love with the darling designs and vibrant colors, including the little bunnies in the grass, the infusion of orange (perfect for carrots!) and the pops of pink.

To complement the graphics, I focused on a bunny patch theme, with white picket fences and trellises, bunny garden adornments and more natural items, such as burlap, wood crates and baskets. The vivacious pops of color paired with provincial decor made a perfect pairing of modern lines and rustic elements.

The lunch table was set with this combination in mind, utilizing little baskets embellished with grass and bunnies on top of polka dot plates. You can personalize the settings by adding name tags to each basket and accompany it with some little details, such as carrot ribbons and little white poms for bunny tails. I also used the water bottle labels on glasses and inserted striped paper straws that coordinated with the graphics.

The sweets are always one of my favorite aspects of any party and the dessert table matched back to the entire theme. For the rural feel, you can utilize a simple backdrop, such as the white trellis, and accentuate it with a banner, like the adorable “Happy Easter” banner coordinating with the collection. The cupcakes were displayed on wooden crates with picket fence liners and fondant bunnies and carrots in the patch! On one side of the table, I added cotton candy bunny tails to polka dot straws, as well as jello cups, hopping fondant bunnies and jelly beans in ceramic egg crates.

The other side included egg-shaped rice treats with cupcake toppers, orange candies in carrot containers and pudding push pops with rabbits entering their bunny holes! You can really add an extra punch on the table with additional details, such as food tent cards and cupcake and centerpiece toppers. The infusion of the vivid colors was also accentuated with the hot pink frame and dried flower balls, which really made the table pop.

Tying back to the country, bunny patch atmosphere, you can utilize different containers than the traditional Easter baskets with which the kids can hunt eggs. I found cute wooden boxes with handles and added little tags with ribbon to each one. You can also add the children’s names to each to avoid any disputes regarding to whom they belong! After hunting for eggs, the kids had a blast with the bubbles! For favors, say goodbye to your little guests with cello bags and toppers, which can be filled with so many different options! I added orange candies for the boys and edible fondant bracelets, which I specifically made for the girls. Going home with their baskets full of eggs, candy and bubbles will be the perfect end to the Easter Egg Hunt at the bunny patch!

Resources: fondant bunnies (edibledetails.com), polka dot straws (cakes and kids too via etsy.com), push pop containers (cupkateeventdesign.com), paper goods (whhostess.com)

March 15th, 2012 |

French Stork Baby Shower

When it comes to throwing a fabulous baby shower, I prefer to focus on entertaining the mom-to-be, not the baby.  Let’s face it, it’s a rough nine months….she deserves a party!  So let the gifts be directed towards the baby, but cater the party details to a more mature audience!

I wanted to put an updated spin on the traditional stork themed shower, so we created a collection of paper goods around a sweet “French Stork”, and incorporated a nautical-like color palette of aqua blue, navy and a touch of red.  With all of the sweet decorations, it was almost like we were celebrating on the coast of France.

We carried the “Celebrate le Bebe” theme throughout the entire party, and used ribbons as a common accessory to create a cohesive look.  We created flag garlands that hung down over the lunch table with ribbons, and they looks like sails from a sailboat.  Our drink straws were dressed up with ribbon flags, and napkins were tied with the same ribbons.

The table sat center stage and was quite a showpiece.  In addition to the flag garlands hanging down and defining a unique vertical space, we wrapped a collection of different bud vases with yarn to create a textured look.  Crisp, white tulips and our stork centerpiece sticks filled in the table.  Guests were greeted to an “appetizer” of mini donuts on a cupcake toppers as they were seated.

Like most parties, the dessert table served as a visual focal point for the party. Guests always delight in seeing the different themed desserts, and it also serves as a great ice breaker and conversation topic. For this particular table, I wanted it to look crisp and clean. I created a simple backdrop with a grosgrain ribbon-wrapped wreath and striped pennant banners draped on either side. A navy tablecloth really made the glass and all white serving dishes pop, and we also added in a couple of the yarn-wrapped vases to coordinate with the lunch table.

I used a variety of all white candy from Candywarehouse.com, including gumballs, rock candy, chocolate-covered pretzels, and sour daisies. The glass jars and tilt bowls were embellished with coordinating ribbon and candy jar tags identifing their contents.

 

Cake pops from Sweet Lauren Cakes featured the stork’s sachel, a banner reminiscent of our invitation, and the words “le bebe” on them. To add some visual interest to the table, I stood them up in a white, footed bowl by Rosanna full of gumballs.

Allyson Jane made THE most precious hand-iced sugar cookies for this shower. She replicated our French Stork perfectly, and also made cookies that said “le bebe” on them.

To save time, and also keep the costs down, we mixed our designer desserts (the cake pops and cookies) with a couple grocery store finds. Store- bought cupcakes were dressed up with fondant toppers by Two Sugar Babies. They featured the stock satchel as well as the eiffel tower. I also created a powedered sugar donut “cake” on a mini cake pedestal. A banner topper that coordinated with our invitation stood atop it, and created an oh, so charming addition to the table.

My absolute favorite detail on the dessert table were the macaron rattles.  These were very simple to make: I inserted a white macaron on either side of a 4″ white lollipop stick, and then wrapped the sticks in a skinny polka dot ribbon.  They were DARLING and received many “oohs” and “ahhs!”

Candy jar tags and food tent cards helped brand the table, and we also carried the theme into the labels on our cracker party favors. All in all, this shower turned out to be a sophisticated take on a theme, and hopefully you will draw inspiration for many future parties.

For more fabulous party inspiration, view the latest issue of The Party Dress Magazine!

March 7th, 2012 |

How to Plan an Easter Birthday Party

A holiday birthday is always a tough project! This year, my son’s birthday falls on Easter weekend, and even though we are celebrating with a big party after the holiday, we are going to have a small family celebration during our Easter festivities. I’m thinking it would be adorable to use pastel blue, yellow, and green…maybe with some gray? Some of these ideas would translate so well into the small party I’m planning!

Images: Easter party display (via Anders Ruff), Bunny cake (by Cake Journal), Easter Egg Cake Pops (by Bakerella), Easter Egg Crafts (via Good Housekeeping), Easter Bunny DIY Bags (by Mr. Printables),
Easter Party Sodas (by Hello My Sweet via Amy Atlas)
March 2nd, 2012 |

Titanic: A Party by CupcakeMAG

You may recall my little sneak peek and details earlier this month all about our Titanic Soriee!  Inspired by the Titanic – we wanted a modern party and a sprinkle of vintage. Pairing the bright turquoise + pink color combo to the modern mixing vintage feel really inspired the entire party which centered around the invitation from WH Hostess. Well now, we have all the details on just how we made the party come to life!

Paper Pretties: The beautiful banner with the birthday girls name, Food Tends, Stickers, Cupcake Toppers, and all the paper pretties were custom designed by the lovely Kelly. How amazing did she do? Seriously, the invite is still framed in my 9 year old’s room! 

Sweets Table: Filled with beautiful custom cake pops from Jens Pop Shoppe, Custom red-velvet cupcakes {just for us} from Georgetown Cupcake, and mouth-water Edward Marc Gourmet Assorted ChocolatesThe beautiful light pink and turquoise macaroons {Crazy About Macarons} gave us that little touch of oh-so-chic vintage, just so pretty on the Grace & Gumption stand.  The Heart of the Ocean cookies were a huge hit from Firefly Confections as we reminise on that beautiful necklace from the hit movie. And oh my gosh, can we say perfection? Her vintage lace flower cookies were just to-die-for. We seriously wanted to frame the cookies and hang them on the wall. Almost too pretty to eat as they sat nicely on a Magnolia Creative Co. platter. The cupcake stand in a bold turquoise perfectly matched the well-dressed cupcakes! We topped them off with cupcake toppers and pom pom toppers  along with cupcake wrappers custom designed by Pinwhirls. Best dressed cupcakes! Tiny Giraffe blocks spelling out the birthday girl’s name really topped it off! 
Each guest sat down to their WH Hostess placecard being held with a simple holder from Homes and Weddings. We mixed paper plate pretties with vintage plates and teacups along with a JuliskaGoblet – all on top of adorable Anchor Place mats.The tables wouldn’t be complete without the Anchor Place mats from The Fortunate Home and cocktail napkins. It was great that we were able to customize them with our theme! Polka Dot Market also had the perfect striped pendents which we placed into chocolates for easy picking and polka dot plates. Magnolia Creative Co. hand-painted the beautiful square platters that were perfect for pretty cookies and chocolates. To tie in the elegance of the Titanic, we used Juliska goblets, stacking bowls and a charge. We placed rustic LOVE candle holders throughout with silver trays along with an assortment of milk glass vases and vintage Etsy find like the Trinket Box – so beautiful & perfect for this theme. Make sure you shop the shoot below for all the details on how to get the look! 

Favors: Centered around a LOVE burlap banner, each guest received lots of goodies! We printed a ticket to the event as each guest arrived. They were wrapped in lace will a full-size candy bar. We picked up small vintage frames from Michael’s and framed the titanic ship stickers designed by Kelly — that way each guest took a little memory home after the special day! Monogram cookies from Fun Favors were given to guest as they left along with Edward Marc Ice Cream Pop chocolates. 

Tips for a Titanic Theme Party!


Lace: We placed lace throughout the party. Across the plates, around the favors, tied around the chairs – this gave it that touch of vintage sparkle. 

Old is New: I shopped my house and my grandmothers too! It was a great way to make vintage pieces new again with Milk Glass vases, vintage plates, tea cupcakes and more. You won’t believe what is right in front of you! Just because it’s a party doesn’t mean you have to shop at just the party store! Be creative. 

Formal Attire: We asked guests to dress in their Sunday’s best! They had a dance off as the Titanic soundtrack played in the background, along with a fashion show! We had 3 judges who choose the best dressed at the party. Winners received $10 gift cards to Target. It was so fun to see everyone dressed up! We had lots of fascinators for guest to wear and really get into character. 

Mason Jars: We rolled mason jars in glue and glitter! They made the perfect place for Pinwhirls custom-designed pinwheels and looked great on the table! 

 

 

 

 

 

February 14th, 2012 |

Parties by WH Hostess: Sophia’s Wonderland

One of the many thrills of my job is seeing our creations come into play.  We recently worked with a California mom to create a custom suite of stationery, decorations and custom fabric for her daughter’s “very merry un-birthday tea party.” She wanted the party to be in true Alice in Wonderland-style, with whimsical touches throughout.

We created this custom pattern, incorporating polka dot tea pots, charming tea cups and flowers in a turquoise blue lattice pattern.  I absolutely love how it looked on the invitation, but then when I saw it on the custom fabric used for a table runner….WOW!  It looked stunning!

One large table was dressed with colorful linens, chair covers with sashes, and a whimsical assortment of items making up the centerpiece.

The room was decorated with colorful pom poms, creative signage, and some cute floral arrangements.  My favorite piece of the decor is the large “S” that hung above the fireplace, made out of paper fans.  So unique and festive.The dessert table was absolutely stunning and I am sure received rave reviews from the little girls in attendance.  The polka dot back drop was made from our custom coordinating polka dot fabric, and a felt banner from Taffie Wishes hung across the front.  I love the color-blocked jars of candy (dressed up with candy jar tags), and the darling coordinating desserts: cookies by Allyson Jane, chocolate covered oreos from Sweeties by Kim, and cupcakes from Cupcakes Couture (embellished with fondant toppers by Edible Details).  Striped food tent cards topped off the table, identifying all of the delicious sweets!

The tiered cake was absolutely stunning, as was Sophia’s personal cake!  Don’t you just love those super-tall candles?!

Our coordinating pennant banner hung across the party favor table.  Goodie bags and candy boxes were dressed up with our cute, square stickers.  And to wash down all of those sweets?! Mini bottles of water featuring our striped labels.

Sophia, you and your mother threw a fabulous party, and it was a pleasure to work with you!  You can now view this collection in our shop here.

Photography by Zoom Theory

Vendors Used: Enchanted Tea PartiesCupcakes CoutureEdible DetailsSweeties by KimAllyson Jane Designer DessertsWH HostessTaffie WishesFairytale JubileeGlam Hatter

February 7th, 2012 |

{Party Inspiration!} Invites Really Inspire!

Over on cupcakeMAG for the past month we’ve been working on pretty fun project — our next birthday editorial! WH Hostess included of course! {See a sneak peek here}
With the 100th anniversary of the Titanic coming in April {and a 9 year old little girl who is obsessed with the history!} we opted for a different theme than your average party store find. We wanted something that was fairly simple to re-create. Or maybe a reason to have a viewing party when the movie hits theaters in 3D this Spring?Just give us any reason to party!


Well, we had a vision in mind - a modern party and sprinkle of vintage - all keeping in mind, the Titanic. We wanted guest to feel as if they were attending a tea party in one of the amazing dining rooms on board the historic ship. So, we pulled out the history books to help with research & watched the movie as we set sail in full planning party mode. And then — I emailed Kelly. 
Yes, Kelly – the legend behind this very blog. This is exactly what I said -We are going for a vintage feel with lots of inspiration coming from the Titanic. Thinking maybe an anchor on the invite?” Oh, well she went above and beyond! She gave us a Titanic labeled ship. Could it be any more perfect? Definitely not. The invitation Kelly designed for us is the center of attention. From the bright turquoise + pink color combo to the modern mixing vintage feel of the ship and striped background. It truly shows how one design can totally inspire a entire party. With the color palette in mind and modern invite we began pulling spectacular finds from our favorite sweet shoppes, handmade designer on Etsy and even a few things from my own home. I have a serious love for vintage finds!
Of course, I had to give my fellow party animals a sneak peek at the party! And my advice to you? When planning a party, I would try and mix and match as match as possible. It’s not a bed in the bag deal. Sure, all the paper pretties should be the same {invites, cupcake toppers, etc.} but don’t go down to the store and buy all the coordinating accessories. Just because the invitation has a ship on it doesn’t necessarily mean everything on our dessert table will resemble a ship. Instead, let the invite inspire you to look outside of the box. We pulled in stripes, anchors, and even a vintage candelabra to fit the theme. We even found an Anchor Wall Hook on Etsy that will help create a perfect centerpiece! And just think, you can reuse so many of these items in home once the party is over!
You can read some more tips on how to mix old and new in my first post on the blog! And stay tuned to see what tips I have for making your color palette come to life! In the meantime, I hope this helps inspired your next party.
February 2nd, 2012 |

Parties by WH Hostess: Barnyard BBQ

When it comes to planning parties down South (Houstons) in November, there is nothing like hosting a birthday bbq outside (which we would KILL to do here in Chicago!), especially when it involves a petting zoo, horse rides and some pretty darling decorations!

We were thrilled to be asked to design a custom collection of party goods for this Barnyard BBQ held in honor of Olivia’s birthday….and I’m even more thrilled to be able to show you the fabulous images from the party!  Olivia’s mom is one of Houston’s premiere wedding planners, Christine from Belle of the Ball, and we are always thrilled to work with her. (Do you remember her daughter, Sadie’s mermaid party from last summer?)

The collection was designed around a red and aqua blue color palette.  To add a preppy, modern spin to your typical farm party, I used animal silhouettes along with a red barn (all dressed up for the party with a pennant banner) on the invitation and coordinating party goods.  We introduced accents of yellow and green in a colorful leaf pattern that you will see throughout the collection.

Olivia’s party was set on the property of their beautiful home in Houston, and they decorated with red and blue oversized balloons, our patterned pennant banner, tables set with traditional red and white check tablecloths and galvanized tub centerpieces holding our centerpiece sticks.  Each child had a cowboy hat, a bandana and a sheriff badge sitting at their place.

The kids enjoyed a petting zoo with baby goats, bunnies, ducks and more. How cute are they?

Don’t you just love these cups?  Christine had us design a coordinating logo to have printed on plain, white styrofoam cups….a perfect addition to the party!  Who Made the Cake created an amazing cake for the party, and a special one for the birthday girl, featuring our red animal silhouettes and a 3-dimensional red barn on top.

Olivia clearly enjoyed her own little birthday cake, also featuring the red animal silhouettes, and served on her coordinating melamine plate!  Isn’t she darling!?

Photography by Goodlight Photography

Supplies & Vendors Used:

Balloons, Stripey Straws and Favor Bags (Sweet Lulu), Decor (Belle of the Ball), Cake (Who Made the Cake), Linens and Chair Rentals (Aztec),  Bounce House and Cotton Candy Machine (Incredible Events), Face Painter and Clown (Daisy and Curly), and Invitation and Paper Goods (WH Hostess)

 

November 30th, 2011 |

TPD Magazine: Winter Carnival

Holiday parties don’t need to fall into the typical red and green holiday color palette….sometimes it’s fun to shake it up a bit!  Fresh Chick Designs did just that with their take on a Winter Carnival party that we featured in the holiday issue of The Party Dress Magazine.  With a fresh color palette of pink, red and turquoise, there are tons of darling ideas that you can incorporate into a winter birthday party, baby shower, or holiday gathering.  Read on for more from Rebecca and Shannon…..

There is something so nostalgic about going to a carnival as a kid. One of our favorite treats that brings on the childhood memories and sparked our inspiration are the colors, smell, and taste of cotton candy. The oh-so familiar light watery blue and perfect pastel pink are the typical hues that can be associated this fanciful floss and thought it would be the perfect color palette for a Winter Carnival party.

This theme could be used for your next birthday party, baby shower, gender reveal party plus so many more! We started with an adorable pink & aqua argyle fabric that just has a touch of red. We wanted the overall color scheme to set the tone and keep it simple.

We opted for some pre-made Martha Stewart paper fans that complimented the colors perfectly. On the front of the table, we strung various types and styles of trim to add a touch of whimsy. Crystal cake stands were painted to match the colors. Since we already had a slew of sweets, we decided to construct a fake cake using Styrofoam cylinders, carnival tickets, ribbon, candies and a cake sign to resemble a real cake. A super cute and super easy DIY to add to your party decor. Lastly, party printables were used to tie it all together. A “concession stand” was the focal point of this party. We chose traditional treats you may see at a carnival / festival. Cotton candy, caramel apples, apple pie, candies and cookies. We threw in the pink “snowball” treats for the seasonal twist. Some other fun ideas for food could be setting up a hotdog & nacho station, popcorn bar, french fries, and funnel cakes…YUM!!

November 29th, 2011 |

TPD Magazine: Decorating for Kids

Have you been contemplating how to create a little holiday magic in your home for your children this season?  Nursery design enthusiasts, Melisa and Pam from Project Nursery came up with 8 must-have items for just this occasion.  Click on over to view them (and their direct shopping links to make your life easier!) in the holiday issue of The Party Dress Magazine.

November 16th, 2011 |

Elf on the Shelf Calendar

Does your family have a beloved “Elf on the Shelf“?  While designing the latest issue of The Party Dress Magazine, my assistant editor, Charynn and I came up with the idea of creating a calendar of ideas of places to hide your elf.  Cute, creative, amusing (to both adults and kids) places to put your elf for your kids to find every day.  We had SO.MUCH.FUN coming up with these ideas and hope that you will all get a kick out of them.

The calendar is below (if you click on the picture, it will take you directly to the free download) – please print it off, share it with friends and let us know if you try out any of these ideas!!  Enjoy!

 

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