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!

 

November 16th, 2011 |

TPD Magazine: Elf Party

When designing a new collection of party goods, I always try to think thru designs so that they can inspire other elements for the party.  Decorations, desserts – patterns that can be carried throughout the event from start to finish.  Our brand new Elf Collection debuted in the holiday issue of The Party Dress Magazine, and judging from the response, I would say our darling little elf will be making the rounds among LOTS kid’s holiday parties this season!

Designed to be oh, so classic with a crisp red, white and green color palette, snowflakes and our darling elf, this collection features all of the items needed to throw the perfect party.

When it came to decorations, we focused on red and white and saved the green for accents.  A touch of sparkle here, a crisp ribbon there.  Paper lanterns were decorated with ric rac and buttons (this is something you could do for any type of party!), and oversized swirl lollipops served as centerpieces.

When it came to desserts, I compiled a team of some of the most talented bakers I know.  I gave them each a copy of our collection designs and couldn’t wait to see what they came up with.  These darling fondant elves were made by Two Sugar Babies, and completely dressed up store-bought cupcakes!

Cake pops from Flour & Iced were decorated with red, white and green sprinkles (the little ball shape of sprinkles mimics the polka dot pattern in the paper goods). Allyson Jane made elf cookies by using an upside down ice cream cone cookie cutter! The Marshmallow Studio created these darling elf pops, and we styled them in a cute polka dot pitcher, which could also serve as a table centerpiece!

One of our favorite dessert ideas was to serve ice cream in tiny striped mugs, with a “dressed-up” cupcake topper in them.  Jars of candy were dressed up with striped ribbon and a coordinating candy jar tag (I love the little snowflake on them!).  Kids LOVE bringing sweets home as a party favor, too.  We got creative while filling the tubs of candy by striping the colors to mimic the collection patterns, and our cute little elf made one last appearance on the gift tag tied to it.

November 14th, 2011 |

TPD Magazine: Turkey Cupcakes

With Thanksgiving rapidly approaching, it’s time to plan out those fun little treats for your kids that will make it a memorable holiday.  This charming turkey cupcake was featured in the holiday issue of The Party Dress Magazine and is the perfect combination of charm + deliciousness!  Made to compliment her kid-friendly Thanksgiving table, Stefanie at Anna & Blue Paperie came up with these simple, DIY instructions for creating these turkey cupcakes:

12 cupcakes

2 cups chocolate Frosting

¼ cup white frosting

6 large marshmallows (halved crosswise)

Crème-filled rolled wafer cookies

Orange decorating gel

24 mini chocolate morsels

12 orange gummy candies (halved)

12 candy corns

Wax paper

2 resealable sandwich bags

Star decorating tip

 

Frost your cupcakes with chocolate frosting.

Using a microwave-safe bowl, melt ½ cup chocolate frosting for 10-15 seconds.  Stir every 5 seconds until mixture is thin.

Dip uncut side of marshmallow halves into the melted frosting, turning to coat.

Place cut side of marshmallows on the wax paper and let stand until set.

Once set, place coated marshmallow half slightly off-center each frosted cupcake.

To create the turkey beak, place a small drop of melted frosting onto the center of the marshmallow.  Place the yellow end of the candy corn onto the drop which will keep the candy in place.

Using the gel, pipe a turkey wattle up and around each beak.

Place white frosting into a sandwich bag.  Cut a small piece from one corner.  Pipe two small dollops on the marshmallows to create eyes.  Place two chocolate morsels on top of the white frosting dollops.

To create turkey feathers, break the wafers in half and insert pieces in a half circle around the marshmallow.

Fit the second sandwich bag with the star tip and add remaining chocolate frosting into the bag.  Pipe frosting around the edge of the marshmallow.

To create the turkey feet, press 2 gummy candy halves below the marshmallow for each cupcake.

November 14th, 2011 |

TPD Magazine: Kid-Friendly Thanksgiving

When it comes to Thanksgiving dinner with kiddos, it’s important to keep them happy and occupied!  Stefanie from Anna & Blue Paperie put together this darling kid-friendly Thanksgiving table using her new printables collection for the holiday issue of The Party Dress Magazine, and there are tons of details that you can recreate for your own holiday table.  Stay tuned for the details as told by Stefanie…

Everyone looks forward to sitting down for a delicious Thanksgiving meal after hours of preparing, cooking and baking. Sitting through a long meal can be challenging for the little ones though. Why not set up a dedicated table just for the children to make their mealtime entertaining as well? A special table decorated for kids and a fun game of Tic-Tac-Turkey will ensure a pleasant gathering for everyone. It can also help to keep them entertained and seated for more than 5 minutes.

To create a warm and festive feel for the table, I designed a printable collection using a color palette consisting of chocolate, pumpkin, burlap and cranberry. Personalized place-cards give an inviting welcome for little guests at their table. A quick and easy centerpiece was created using pumpkins and pine cones. I created cornucopias made out of waffle cones and filled them with pumpkin candies as a fun touch for the table. The place settings were created using construction paper which serve as place mats as well as a canvas for kids’ doodles. The turkey cups were a simple DIY project made from silly googly-eyed stickers, construction paper and felt. I filled the cups with crayons to beckon kids to their seats and to give them a fun coloring activity while the turkey is carved. For young children, stick with unbreakable plates and heavy weight wooden utensils in place of silverware. During their meal, the children can use their checklists to ensure they eat all of their Thanksgiving goodies. Make sure they leave room for their dessert. Cupcakes were created to resemble turkeys that are sure to please! Who can resist gobbling up this special treat for dessert?   (Stay tuned for the DIY instructions on the blog this afternoon!) This year, start a new tradition by putting together a fun, kid-friendly table to give thanks and to create special memories that will last a lifetime.

October 17th, 2011 |

Halloween Sock Monkey Party

I came across this darling Halloween party for kids on Better Homes and Gardens, and I just had to share it with you.  As you all know, I have a soft spot for monkeys (my god-daughter is obsessed with them, and it’s also one of our best selling party collections!).  This sock-monkey twist on your traditional Halloween party is so cute….I love the colors, the patterns and there are some great activity ideas that you could re-create for any party!

Some of the activities include a candy corn relay race, and a matching card game.  Totally cute for kids!  Whoopie pies are dressed up with monkey faces, and check out these cute pumpkin straws!  Check out the feature on bhg.com for all of the darling details.

October 3rd, 2011 |

TPD Magazine: Halloween Silhouette Wall Lamp

One of my favorite parts of putting together The Party Dress Magazine each quarter is finding those little DIY projects that I just know you are all going to love.  I’m crafty….but my contributors are REALLY crafty and they come up with amazing ideas!  Today’s project comes from Vana Chupp of Le Papier Studio.  She’s create a step-by-step tutorial for making a cute wall lamp for your kids using a FREE downloadable silhouette image featuring a sweet Halloween parade.  (download the design here)

Step 1

Gather your supplies: you will need the kids parading free printable, a wall lamp from Ikea, scor-it board or any other scoring tool, and a screw driver.

Step 2

Start by removing the screw from the top of the wall lamp. This will allow the top to come off and release the decorative paper that comes with the lamp.

Step 3

Position the kids parading print on the scor-it board and begin scoring 1/4 inch from the outer edge of the print.

Step 4

Fold the ends over the outer edges of the lamp. You can use clear tape to secure them.

Step 5

Re-assemble the wall lamp and Voila!   For less than $5 you created something unique for your nursery or any other room in the house. Wasn’t that easy?

 

 

 

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