November 9th, 2009 |

Color Me Happy Art Party


If your child is a budding Picasso or Monet, throw an art-themed birthday party.  Invite your guests with this colorful invitation from Minted. This party is all about color and art activities….so make sure you ask your guests to bring an art smock (or an old shirt from Dad will do) to wear.

Infuse your party with color….especially the food.  Serve trays of veggies – bright red peppers, orange carrots, green broccoli.  Red Hawaiian punch served in a big punch bowl.  And a colorful dessert buffet that will make the children squeal with delight!  Bowls of colored M & M’s, rock candy, solid color lollipops.  For the birthday cake, buy (or bake) a large sheet cake with plain, white frosting.  You can have the kids decorate the cake using the M & M’s – challenge them to see how artistic they can make it!

There are so many options when it comes to activities….depending on the age of the children, and how messy you want your house to get!  I would pick up one of the  pipe-cleaner kits from Land of Nod.  The kids can make anything and everything with pipe-cleaners.  Glasses, hats, sculptures….sky’s the limit!  Another idea is to make a special wall in your child’s bedroom by wallpapering  it using a “empty frames” wallpaper.  Each child can draw a picture on the wall and your child will have her very own art gallery in her room!


art party crayons

LOVE.  LOVE.  LOVE this idea.  Ask the kids to all bring bags of their broken crayons….you know they all have them!…chop them up into small pieces, mix them up, and bake them into new crayons.  It’s a fun activity and you can bag them up for the kids to bring home as a party favor.

Directions: Heat the oven to 250 degrees.  Using a mini-muffin pan, fill each mold with assorted colors of crayon pieces (paper removed) and bake until the crayons melt, about 10 to 15 minutes. (Tip: Place a sheet pan under the crayons to catch any drips). Once they’re cool, remove the crayons from the pan and smooth any rough edges by rubbing them on a knife.

An art party is perfect for a creative child.  Have fun with it!

Images: crayons napkin (, invitation (, colored pencil centerpiece (, paper garland (, dessert buffet (, art supplies (, pipe-cleaner kit (

November 6th, 2009 |

Real Party: It’s a BOY! Baby Shower


I was sent these pictures from Heavenly Blooms, a floral design firm located in Orange County, California.  They put together a beautiful baby shower – the perfect combination of “baby-sweet” and “mama-sophisticated” that I love so much – and I hope you take away a few fun ideas for your next baby shower!  Here is a little description of the party from Jaclyne at Heavenly Blooms:

“We at Heavenly Blooms love baby showers! It’s the perfect occasion to be creative and have fun for a very special “little” reason.  Our theme for this shower was simply BABY. We incorporated everything baby, but with a boyish, preppy edge.  The shower luncheon was held at a private Southern California estate on a beautiful spring day, so we used a color palette of yellow, apple green, and shades of blue with lavender accents.

The place card table was adorned with black and white baby photos of the Mama & Daddy to be…as well as the baby’s first “picture” (an ultrasound image).  Place cards were printed on baby blue, green and cream harlequin patterned paper and placed in a silver frame. The table centerpieces consisted of three different styles – floral arrangements in material covered square vases, wheat grass clusters in silver mint julep cups, and floral paves in silver mint julep cups. Other table decor included hand painted wooden blocks, small rubber ducks and hand painted wooden trucks. We used custom-built, hand painted wooden boxes that looked like baby blocks that made quite an impression – they stood over 7 feet tall !!! They were placed all over the party area and were accented with stuffed animals. Floral pomanders were hung inside of the white umbrellas providing shade over the various buffet tables.”

I just love those hanging floral pomanders, don’t you?!  For more inspiration, check out the Heavenly Blooms gallery and blog.

November 6th, 2009 |

Floral Pomander Tutorial

Jaclyne from Heavenly Blooms was nice enough to share a tutorial with us on how to make these darling floral pomanders, so you can try making them at home for your next party!

BOY baby shower pomander guide

Step 1
Oasis (the spongey green floral foam) has come a long way and now is available in different size spheres. We used to have to shape the blocks into balls ourselves – but not anymore! So, start with a 4″ oasis sphere (already pre soaked in water), and tie the ribbon around it twice. Make sure the ribbon is secure enough and won’t unravel by knotting the top.  Add fern pins to the top of the ribbon to help secure it in place.
Step 2
For the rose pomanders, you will use about two dozen roses. The amount of roses needed will vary based on the rose variety used. Some roses have smaller heads… Cut the stems short, leaving about an inch of stem left. It is easier and faster to precut the roses in advance.
Step 3
Always start inserting the roses at the top, then work your way down and around.
** Be careful! Once you insert the stem, try not to remove it and reinsert it because the oasis will start to crumble**
**Sometimes it is easier to hang the pomander from a hook in your doorway or under a cabinet. You could even tie the ribbon to a curtain rod and hanger.**
Step 4
Voila – you’ve created your floral pomander. For stability, you can also use floralock spray adhesive to secure the stems in place.
Thank you so much, Jaclyne!  I can’t wait to try making these…perfect for my next baby shower or birthday party!

November 5th, 2009 |

Fall Birthday Dinner

fall birthday dinner party

Fall is the perfect time to host a cozy dinner party at home.  Whether you are celebrating someone’s birthday or  just looking for an excuse to gather good friends….a dinner party at home is the perfect way to celebrate the weekend.

Fall food lends itself to comfort foods, almost Thanksgiving-like food.  For this birthday dinner party, I have planned a menu that includes baked-stuffed chicken breasts with arugula and fontina cheese, acorn squash rings, and crisp potatoes with aioli sauce.  For dessert, instead of serving a birthday cake – go for something decedent like a triple-chocolate mousse (looking oh, so elegant in champagne flutes!)

Images: girl (, placecard (, invitation (, candle centerpiece (, table setting ( wedding invitations

November 4th, 2009 |

Fall Centerpiece Idea

Fall Candle Centerpiece

Since I am on an artichoke kick today – I thought I would share this centerpiece idea, too!  This centerpiece would be the perfect compliment to my artichoke place cards below!

Image via Better Homes and Gardens

November 4th, 2009 |

Artichoke Placecard

artichoke placecard

Looking for a creative placecard idea for you next dinner party?!  One that doesn’t involve a Halloween pumpkin or a Thanksgiving theme?

I love this idea….using everyday produce, you can take something ordinary and make it special.

Image via Glam

November 3rd, 2009 |

Bridal Shower: Decorated with Buttons and Ribbons


When it comes to decorating a party, whether it be a bridal shower, a birthday party, or a wedding….consistently using a couple of  common items can help you pull a theme together.  Take for example, buttons and ribbons.  Easy to find at your local craft or fabric store – when used in just two basic colors,  it helps to give the event a cohesive look.

For this event, I chose a color palette of bold kelly green and royal blue.  Once the seasons start changing and all of the summer flowers are gone – I crave COLOR – and bright colors are an easy way to make a party feel a little more festive.  The green wine glass invitation from Tiny Prints is actually a Christmas party invitation…..but it works perfectly for a wine tasting, a cocktail party, or in this case, a bridal shower!  As you can see, buttons and ribbons are used to decorate the vases, the cake, the dessert buffet and the party favors.  A simple and affordable embellishment – give it a try at your next party!


Images: centerpiece (, invitation (, cake (, place setting (, party favor bags (, candy buffet (, lanterns (

November 2nd, 2009 |

Minted. A special promotion for readers of The Party Dress.

Post Image

One of my favorite parts of my job here at The Party Dress is finding special products and sharing it with you, our loyal readers.  My job gets just a little bit sweeter when I can do something extra special for you….as a thank you for supporting us on a daily basis.  This is definitely one of those times!

The Party Dress and Minted (the oh, so fabulous stationary company) have partnered together to give our readers a special discount for the Holiday season.  Between now and December 31st – The Party Dress readers can get a 15% discount on all Holiday Cards and Invitations.

So head on over to Minted….check out their Holiday Cards, Photo Cards, Invitations and Menu Cards.  Trust me, between their high-quality and fresh designs, you won’t be disappointed.  And if you need some help deciding….The Party Dress has a page of our favorite designs….click here to view them.

Happy Shopping!

MonogramEat Drink Be MerryCheers

November 2nd, 2009 |

“Kids-Only” Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to get together with family and friends to give thanks for another wonderful year.  Take this opportunity to teach your kids to do the same – have them invite their friends over for a “kids-only” Thanksgiving dinner.  Invite your little guests with this traditional turkey invitation from Tiny Prints.

Thanksgiving InvitationSet the table with Fall colors and a simple centerpiece.  This “give thanks” centerpiece from Parent’s Magazine is simple to do, colorful and makes the event more child-like.  Serve up a few snacks when they first arrive – paper cones filled with chex mix, and “turkey” fruit kabobs – the perfect snacks to eat while doing some fun activities.  For dinner, go ahead and bypass the traditional turkey.  Instead, think about making turkey wrap sandwiches, serve with mashed potatoes (which we know all kids love!), and turkey cupcakes for dessert.

Kids Thanksgiving Dinner (PN)You should have a couple of activities to keep the kids busy during the party.  Have a craft table set up with different foam shapes cut out and some glue sticks.  They can make turkey napkin rings or hats to wear during the party.  I absolutely LOVE this next idea….Parent’s Magazine came up with this darling yarn-wrapped turkey.  Have the turkey prepared before the kids arrive, as well as a basket of pre-cut feathers (use colorful construction paper).  Have the kids write what they are thankful for on a feather and stick it into the turkey.  I’m sure you will get everything from “I’m thankful for my family” to “I’m thankful for candy!”  It’s cute, creative and will help to remind the kids what Thanksgiving is really about!

Thanksgiving ActivitySend the kids home with a cute, little party favor.  I found these at Chasing Fireflies, and you can order them here.  However, I think you could also put together a version of this yourself, too.  A glass jar, a personalized label, and some cute ribbon….candy corn never looked so cute!

Thanksgiving Party Favor

Images: invitation (, turkey napkin ring and table setting (, snack cones (, turkey hat (, fruit kabobs (, cupcake (, turkey glasses (, “I’m thankful” game (, turkey toes party favor (

October 30th, 2009 |

Real Party: A Glittery-Glam Halloween Soiree

glam halloween soiree

I pretty much had closed the book on Halloween this year….the time had come, I had shared all of my favorite orange and black finds for the season… some ways, I was over it (even before it happened!).  But then, this amazing party showed up in my inbox from photographer Meg Baisden.  It stopped me dead in my tracks!  So fun, so different from everything else I have seen…..I just had to share it with you!  So, I apologize for the late post today….but I tried to get this up as fast as I could.

For all of you last-minute hostesses….Meg has some great ideas that are easy to do (and she did them all by buying Halloween decorations off the sale rack!).  Here are a few details about the party from Meg:

“This party was all about glittery-glam decor, Halloween themed appetizers and a friendly game of Texas Hold ‘Em – and it was done on a BUDGET! I bought most everything after Halloween last year and sat down with my good friend and employee Jamie and we glittered everything for DAYS.  Skulls, 10 cent Walmart plastic mini pumpkins (on sale last year in December at 90% off the original $1 tag!), dollar store plastic spiders and webbing …  oh, and IKEA for the fabulous black frame!”

I love the use of spiders (especially the ones hanging from crystals), and absolutely adore these glittered gourds!  Such a fun, yet somewhat sophisticated way to do Halloween for adults!  Great inspiration – thanks to Meg for sharing her party with us!    Oh, and if you are looking for a Halloween playlist for your party tomorrow night – Meg has a full playlist waiting for you on her blog!

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