January 3rd, 2013 |

Winter White Florals

As I begin the process of taking down our Christmas decorations, I am taking a quick peek around to see if there is anything that I can re-interpret into “winter” decor vs “holiday” decor.  Paper whites and white amaryllis plants are a great option.  I love having fresh flowers in our home all of the time, but especially once the Christmas decor comes down and everything looks bare.

I love the modern interpretation of these typically classic arrangements – the amaryllis mixed with boxwood and pinecones, and the cluster of small paper whites arrangements.  Which is your favorite?

Images: amaryllis (link no longer available, found via pinterest), paperwhites (stylemepretty.com)

November 28th, 2012 |

DIY Advent Calendar

Started in Germany in the 19th Century, the Advent Calendar has been used for more than 150 years and becomes increasingly popular every year. From a traditional calendar to calendars that feature chocolate hidden behind every door, to the more elaborate versions that have risen in popularity over the last few years.

I love a good do-it-yourself project around here, so I decided to craft a hanging wall calendar that could serve as a statement piece in my home for the season. It was very simple to do, here are my tips:


(2) old, wood frames  |  white spray paint  |  wire picture hanging kit  |  mini striped paper bags  |  mini wood clothespins  |  numbers  |  1.5” craft punch  |  candy or treats


1. Spray paint two old, wood picture frames (depending on the original color, you may need a coat of primer first.

2. Once the frames have dried, measure out where your wires will hang (I spaced them out by 5.5”) and mark with a pencil on both sides of the frame.

3. Screw the picture hanging hooks into the inside edge of the picture frame, attach the wire and pull taught between screws.

4. Print out our FREE DOWNLOAD numbered tags, and punch them out with a 1.5” circle punch.  Glue these to the top of the mini clothespins,

5. Fill bags with goodies and use the clothespins to attach to wire.

October 25th, 2012 |

3 Fun and Free Halloween Crafts

With the fall festivities upon us, I am thrilled to share some fun, and easy to make, Halloween party decorations using templates from my new book Pretty Paper Parties (the links to the free templates are at the bottom of this post). Simply download, print, cut and glue. Is that easy!

Materials needed for the projects:

2.5 inch round stickers from Paper Source in Poppy
8.5×11 cover weight paper in black and poppy from Paper Source
Baker’s twine (Paper Source)
Glitter/Gold wrapping paper (Paper Source)
Glassine Bags (Paper Source)
Paper Sticks (Hobby Lobby)
Templates and ideas (Pretty Paper Parties)

Project #1 – Party Signs & Cupcake Toppers

Project #2 – Paper Chain & “Trick or Treat” Bunting

Project #3 – Treat Bags Tags

Links to free/downloadable templates:

Paper Chain
Cupcake Toppers
Party Signs  and here
Stickers and here
Treat Bags Tags 

Planning a party? Check out my new book, Pretty Paper Parties!

October 4th, 2012 |

Personalize Your Placesetting

Add dimension to your placesetting by introducing new elements to your table. Use a galvanized tub, a small colander or a basket to contain your napkin, silverware and a fall embellishment, such as a pumpkin or gourd. Personalize a leaf with a metallic pen to serve as the placecard.

For more Fall entertaining ideas, read the latest issue of The Party Dress Magazine:

order a printed copy   |   download the ipad app   |   read the digital issue

October 1st, 2012 |

DIY Pumpkin Topiary

Things have been so hectic around here lately between some big projects, the start of fall parties, and finishing up {what I consider to be our BEST} holiday collection, so I haven’t had much time to decorate for the change of seasons.  I decided to take 30 minutes out of my Saturday to dress up my front stoop by creating a colorful pumpkin topiary.

Supplies and steps are very simple: I scoured my local farm stand for three pumpkins tiered in size and that would stack well atop one another.  I broke off the stems of the bottom two and used wood skewers (left over from summer bbq kabobs) to hold the pumpkins together.  To finish it off, I stuck a few leaves in between the pumpkins.

What do you think?  Will you try to recreate this for your front stoop?

September 26th, 2012 |

Moss + Candlelight

As the warm days of Summer are moving aside for the cooler temps of Fall, it’s time to start transitioning your home into seasonal decor. Inspired by my recent trip to Napa, CA and the natural elegance of entertaining in the Valley, I created this moss and candlelight centerpiece, which is perfect for a centerpiece for a Fall dinner party, or to be placed on a coffee table.

I used a gorgeous wine barrel serving tray from Pottery Barn, and gathered up all of the white candles I had laying around my home.  (clearly I have  a bit of an inventory on hand of those!)  Green moss was tucked into all of the nooks and crannies, and it made for a simple, yet beautiful centerpiece.

For more Fall entertaining ideas, read the latest issue of The Party Dress Magazine:

order a printed copy   |   download the ipad app   |   read the digital issue

September 25th, 2012 |

DIY Leaf Silhouettes Place Cards

It is with great pleasure that I welcome our newest contributor to the blog, Vana Chupp of Le Papier Studio!  Vana has been a good friend and supporter/contributor of the Magazine since the beginning and we are thrilled to now have her hear on the blog on a regular basis.

Professionally trained as an architect, Vana Chupp has always been artistically inspired by the sweet and simple moments in life. Her craft was born with the birth of her beautiful boy Nikolas. Documenting her son’s milestones by cleverly capturing his personality, emotion, playfulness and essence, she began using silhouettes to tell her own life story. When she isn’t creating and running Le Papier Studio, you will find Vana sharing her story on balancing motherhood and running a small business on her blog.

I hope you will all give Vana a huge, warm welcome….and I know you are going to LOVE her first DIY project!  Happy crafting!

* * * * * *

When it comes to silhouettes, I always love finding new ways to put them to use. This DIY project is no different! This past weekend while taking a walk with my family, I couldn’t help but notice all the wonderful colors. Midwest is magnificent in the Fall! It’s probably one of the reasons I decided to make it my home.

For this project you will need only a few things: your favorite leaves (gather up a variety of colors), your favorite pictures (profiles would be preferable), a marker, x-Acto knife or a pair of small scissors.

Before you begin, place your leaves underneath some heavy books so they flatten out before you proceed to work with them.

Step 1. Start marking the outline on each profile.

Step 2. Proceed by cutting each template with x-Acto knife or scissors.

Step 3. Next, start outlining the shape of the template onto the leaf.

Step 4. Cut out the silhouette.

I love mixing different color leaves. It makes for a nice variety.

With a thin tip marker, write the names of each guest on each leaf silhouette. Aren’t these darling?

Have you ever used leaves as part of your craft? If so, I would love to hear how you used them.

You can check out more fun DIY ideas on my blog.

September 19th, 2012 |

Pottery Barn Entertaining Tips

The transition between the end of summer and the start of fall is a favorite time of year. The weather is usually mild and there is an abundance of seasonal fruits and vegetables. This makes for a great time to host a casual gathering for friends and family. We partnered up with one of our favorite entertaining resources, Pottery Barn, to bring you some of their tried and true tips for entertaining this fall. Instead of stressing over a large meal at the table, try for a more casual setup with a Spanish-inspired tapas feast and a sangria tasting party. Small plates and quick refills make this a theme that is easy on the host and allows the guests to easily mingle and relax.

Keep the Sangria Flowing

Dispensers full of sangria, such as the Blacksmith Sangria Tub & Ladle, allow guests to serve themselves and are decorative on their own. Make a batch of red or white sangria and fill with colorful chopped and sliced seasonal fruits like oranges, lemons, nectarines and melons. For white sangria, you can use a white wine base, add a slash of sparkling wine for a bit of effervescent fun.

Layer Your Table with Color

One easy way to add depth to any table is to use a crisp white table linen, layer on a festive table runner, such as the Vallarta Stripe Table Runner, and top with classic white dinner plates. Then, serve your tapas in a colorful collection of oval and round platters and assorted size snack bowls from Pottery Barn’s Colorful Tapas Collection (new this fall).

Accessorize with Flowers

Set up a buffet table for food and drinks, and accent it with small bunches of jewel-tone colored flowers. This will match with the colors of the sangria!  Use a pitcher for drinks or to hold your flowers!

A big thanks to Pottery Barn for sharing these ideas! For more Fall entertaining ideas, read the latest issue of The Party Dress Magazine:

order a printed copy   |   download the ipad app   |   read the digital issue




September 5th, 2012 |

DIY Pencil Centerpiece

There is something so charming about a fresh pack of #2 pencils.  Even as an adult, I get excited when the aisles at Target get stocked up with fresh school supplies.  (Don’t think for a second some of them don’t make their way into my cart.  Office supplies, right?!)  We put together this darling centerpiece using a pack of pencils, a piece of ribbon, a rubberband and a basic vase.  It took under 5 minutes to create and really is SO simple to do.  Here’s how:

Incredibly simple, right?  And perfect for a back-to-school party, family dinner or as a gift for a new teacher!

For more Fall entertaining ideas, read the latest issue of The Party Dress Magazine:

order a printed copy   |   download the ipad app   |   read the digital issue 

August 6th, 2012 |

Statement Centerpiece

Do you have a large dining room table and have difficulty finding a centerpiece that takes up enough space to make a statement?  This farmhouse trough is a perfect fix!  Lovely for a party, the flowers can be easily swapped out to coordinate with any color palette.  Happy Monday, Everyone!

Image via Laurie Anna’s Vintage Home

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