Archive | March, 2018

10 Easy Party Backdrop Ideas

Howdy folks!  Happy Friday and cheers to the weekend.  I wanted to pop in today and give you some really great, easy ideas on how to make a party backdrop.

I feel like there’s nothing that ties a party together than a centralized focal area that has a great backdrop.  I’m sure you can feel intimidated when you search for something like that on Pinterest.  But I’m here to tell you there are a ton of ways to make a really amazing party backdrop that’s really easy.  Let’s get started!

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10 Easy DIY Party Backdrop Ideas

1. Wall of Balloons

If you were around during my series on balloons, then you know how versatile they can be.  I love the idea of using balloons as a backdrop and making them into a wall.  You can do that by tying their strings at different lengths or just taping them to the wall.  These glue dots work best if you plan on taping them to the wall or each other.

2. Shower Curtains

After the most recent baby shower I planned, I fell in love with using shower curtains as a quick and easy backdrop.  I used some command hooks to hold mine up.  Here are a few shower curtains that would be so cute as party backdrops.


Three of them are from the same company, they have the cutest designs. *Affiliate Links used above

3. Flowers

I love a good large paper flower and use them for a lot of different parties.  They add so much dimension and interest to a party.  The tutorial above uses foam as a backing which I think it pretty clever.  The best way to make a statement with a flower backdrop is by using a large number of them.

4. Crepe Paper Garlands

I’ve made these large fringed garlands several times for different parties.  You can see them here and here.  They are pretty quick to make and cover a large area.  I love the color combination of the ones in the picture above.

5. Tassel Garland

Tassel garlands have been all the rage for awhile now and you can find a bazillion tutorials on how to make them on Pinterest.  For a backdrop though, I love the idea of layering each garland over another to make a bigger statement.

6. Pinwheels

Paper pinwheels are another easy, inexpensive, way to make a large party backdrop.  Layering them over one another in a range of colors that match your party theme looks awesome.  You can typically buy packs of pinwheels at party stores for not very much, so just a few different packs and you’ll be in business.

7. Wrapping Paper

This one is so easy, just find a wrapping paper that ties into your party theme and tape it to the wall behind a dessert table, gift table, or food buffet.  One thing to use and your done!  You could always add other things to it, but it’s great by itself too.

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Black and white wrapping paper as a dessert table backdrop

8. Paper Plates

Probably one of the easiest backdrops you could ever do is to use paper plates.  I’m over here, like why didn’t i think of that?  So easy to just tape them up, and so cheap to make a big statement with them.  Love all of these bright colors!

9. Cups on a String

Another way to make your party backdrop tie into your party is to make a wall hanging out of paper cups.  The picture below is just for inspiration.  It’s a similar concept but using a string of lights.

To make a cup backdrop without the lights, just poke a hole in the bottom of your themed cups, run a string through the hole and then tie a knot in the string on the inside of the cup.  Tie the cups at different lengths to add dimension and interest.

10. Letters

I’m loving the new trend of letter balloons, but they are kind of expensive.  So if you want a cheaper alternative, try inexpensive block letters from a craft store to spell out a fun phrase that ties into your party.  Or you could even just make your own out of cardboard or fun scrapbook paper.  The key with a letter backdrop is the bigger the better!

I hope you feel inspired to add a large focal point to your next party with one of these easy DIY party backdrops.  Using a little creativity and supplies you already have on hand for your party is all you need to amp up your party backdrop.

Have a great weekend friends, come back next week as we start to gear up for St. Patrick’s day, Easter, and all things Spring!

 

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Real Life Party: Up, Up, and Away Gender Neutral Baby Shower

Welcome back everyone!  I hope your week is off to a great start!  I’m so excited to share this gold and white gender neutral baby shower with you today.  It means that we’re getting closer to a new niece or nephew!  Recently, my sister-in-law asked if I would help host her baby shower.  I, of course said yes!

It was a bit of a challenge because it was located about 12 hours away from me and it was a gender neutral.  I’m so impressed that they have made it thus far without finding out the gender of the baby.  I am such a planner (shocker!) that I would have to know beforehand.

Because I’m a little particular about parties and how they look (again, shocker!), I ended up taking a lot of party decor with me across three states, haha!  For the other things that I didn’t take or couldn’t fit in my car I ordered through Amazon prime and had them sent to the party location.  What did we ever do before Amazon prime?  And I apologize to my sister-in-law who had to deal with a ridiculous amount of boxes coming to her house before the shower.

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So I really wanted to focus on a fun gender neutral theme for the party.  My sister-in-law and her husband love adventure and exploring.  You can see their wedding here.  I decided to go with an Up, Up, and Away theme hoping that it kind of tied into their love of adventures.  The main colors were a very neutral white and gold.  Plus, gold let me add a bit of sparkle 😉

gold gender neutral baby shower, baby shower ideas, gender neutral baby shower cake, gold and white baby shower decor, baby shower brunchDecorating for a party at someone else’s house also proved a little challenging.  Thankfully having been to my sister-in-laws house plenty of times, I kind of knew where I wanted to set things up beforehand.  I did a large backdrop in front of the dessert table.  Using Command Hooks to hang a shower curtain made taking the decor down a breeze without damaging any walls or putting anything permanent up.

I then made these large fringed garlands to hand in front of the shower curtain.  You can see where I made blue ones in this post.  I found a great three pack of large crepe paper at a decent price so I had to share it with you.  You can find it here.  The colors are a true gold, silver, and copper.  I’m excited to use it for other projects too.

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Thankfully a friend let me make this “Oh, Baby” cake topper on her cricut machine.  It turned out so cute.  I just hot glued it to some skewer sticks and popped it into the cake along with a hot air balloon cut out.

gold gender neutral baby shower, baby shower ideas, gender neutral baby shower cake, gold and white baby shower decor, baby shower brunchgold gender neutral baby shower, baby shower ideas, gender neutral baby shower cake, gold and white baby shower decor, baby shower brunchThanks to some Pinterest inspiration, the cake turned out great.  It was three layers of delicious chocolate and covered in gold sugar.

gold gender neutral baby shower, baby shower ideas, gender neutral baby shower cake, gold and white baby shower decor, baby shower brunchYou can’t go wrong with a donut tower at any kind of party.  But especially for a brunch, they work perfectly.

Up, Up, and Away Themed Baby Shower Brunch Menu

Speaking of brunch, we had a great spread of food.  Lots of great breakfast options and lunch options.

gold gender neutral baby shower, baby shower ideas, gender neutral baby shower cake, gold and white baby shower decor, baby shower brunchgold gender neutral baby shower, baby shower ideas, gender neutral baby shower cake, gold and white baby shower decor, baby shower brunchgold gender neutral baby shower, baby shower ideas, gender neutral baby shower cake, gold and white baby shower decor, baby shower brunchYou can find the links to make these yourself below:

Plus I added in some store bought chicken salad, croissants, and my other sister-in-law is the charcuterie master.  She knows how to set out meat and cheese like no one else!

No brunch is complete without mimosas.  I set up this little drink station and it just goes to show you that you may have to think outside of the box when party planning.  Without an ice bucket we got creative and used a pretty silver bowl to keep the champagne on ice.

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Gender Neutral Baby Shower Decor and Favors

I added some hot air balloons throughout the party to tie into the theme.

gold gender neutral baby shower, baby shower ideas, gender neutral baby shower cake, gold and white baby shower decor, baby shower brunchgold gender neutral baby shower, baby shower ideas, gender neutral baby shower cake, gold and white baby shower decor, baby shower brunchThis centerpiece was super easy to make with some gold tins I already had and taping some gold straw to white lanterns.  I meant to get flowers to put in the tins, but totally forgot when I was at the store.

I highly recommend setting up a gift station/favor takeaway area/guest book situation for any kind of party that people bring gifts to.  It keeps everything in one spot.  Having it at the entrance of the party tells people what they are supposed to do with gifts.

The table near the front door was perfect for everyone to leave gifts, sign the guest book, and take a fun caramel popcorn favor for the road.

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That wraps up this gender neutral baby shower. Now we just have to wait about another month to get to meet the little guy/girl.  I was so excited to do this party for my sister-in-law and know that this baby is going to be so loved (because it already is!).

Shop the party here!  Just click on the links to take you to the same products I used, no cost to you. *Affiliate links used.

 

 

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How to Host an Easy Clean Up Play Date

I’m back again today with another parenting focused party post.  Play dates are pretty much the regular party around here.  If you’re in the same boat but feel that hosting a play date can be intimidating I can help.  Play dates may seem difficult to host because you have people in your house, there are lots of kids, and the clean up can be daunting sometimes.

I wanted to give a little advice on ways to make cleaning up from them a lot easier.  As for the other reasons, those have fairly easy solutions too.  Don’t invite too many kids, and don’t worry about having people over.  The adults will just be thankful to be around other adults and the kids don’t care what your house looks like at all.

So back to cleaning up from your play date.

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Easy Clean Up Play Date Ideas

1. Use a Baby Gate to Section of a Play Area

Containing the play date is key to a quick clean up.  Block off certain areas of your house with a baby gate, closing doors, or just telling the kids to stay in one area.  This is also great if there are actual babies at your house to keep them safe.

Only having a mess in one area makes clean up a lot faster.

2. Use Paper Table Runners

Plan to do a craft or activity at your play date?  Be sure to get a roll of kraft paper beforehand to cover your table or work space.  Once the craft is done all you have to do is roll up the paper and toss the mess in the trash.  This is also a great way to protect your table for any major spills or messes.

3. Only Use One Play Space

Over the holidays we had several parties where kids played with toys in the living room, the play room, my daughter’s room, and the basement.  So, there were toys everywhere, mismatched with where they were supposed to go.  Keeping the play date in one area or room really cuts down on how many places need to be picked up.  Just see number 1 for how to keep kids in one space.

4. Only Use Big Toys

You know what’s not fun?  Cleaning up a million tiny little toy pieces.  So that’s why I suggest when you host a play date to break out some of the bigger toys.  Things like big blocks, play tables, climbers, and all in one toys are great for play dates.  They may seem cumbersome, but at the end of the play date you won’t have to find a bunch of little things everywhere and clean up will be super quick.

5. Corral the  Snack Zone

Providing a snack for the friends at your play date is a very hospitable.  But cleaning up that snack may not be very fun.  The best way to cut down on the mess is to choose a less messy snack.  Things like fresh fruit and veggies are great.  You can also make everyone eat their snack in one spot.  Doing so will keep crumbs and the mess in one area to clean up.

I hope some of these tips encourage you to ask your friends to come over and play.  Well at least your kids’ friends.  With a little preparation it will be really easy to clean up after the play date.

If you’re still not convinced then just plan to host a play date at a local park.  Super easy clean up and the best part is that it’s not in your house 😉

Happy Friday, I hope you have a great weekend!!

*Affiliate links are used in this post, but it doesn’t cost you a thing to just click and then do your normal shopping.  Any proceeds are put towards keeping the blog going.  Thanks 🙂

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Kids Party Etiquette

Happy March! Did you know that March is National Parenting Month?  I found that out recently and it just so happens that I had a few parenting and party related posts up my sleeve.  I’ve been meaning to write about them so this is the perfect time.

Today’s post was inspired by a few things that happened while hosting guests this past holiday season. We hosted quite a few parties, and when doing so you have to account for things to get a little messed up.

There were quite a few kids around for all of the parties and although they are kids, I felt they still could have behaved a little better. So here is where my unsolicited parenting advice comes in.

If you are taking your kid to a party, you need to teach them how to behave. If they are too young or can’t understand, then you need to be really observant of their behavior while at the party.

Kids don’t know any better and they never will unless you teach them how to properly behave.  While this isn’t a parent/mom blog, we need to be honest, at my age, almost everyone I know has kids.  Here are a few key things I think kids should be taught when at a party.

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1. Include everyone

So this is my way of saying don’t let your kid be mean to other kids.  And this advice really starts before the party even begins.  If you’re talking to your child about party invitations make it a point to remind them to include everyone and invite everyone from their class, school, friend group, etc.  It’s no fun feeling left out.

Even though my daughter is still just a toddler (but acts like a teenager sometimes) the idea of exclusion has already happened when we were hosting over the holidays.  After friends were at our house there was an incident where one friend was left out.  With three year old emotions running all over the place it was a big deal.

2. Don’t Bogart Something on the Food Table

The reason this is on the list kind of cracks me up.  We were hosting and one of the kids at our party literally took ALL of the strawberries off of the fruit tray.  Like a mountain of strawberries on his plate.  Thankfully his parents handled the situation appropriately and told him he had to eat all of them if he took all of them.  It was kind of funny actually.

However, if your child is at an age that they can go through the food line by themselves, it’s a good idea to remind them that there are other people at the party too and taking all of something isn’t great manners.

3. Don’t Destroy Property

Probably the main reason I’m writing this post is because we had some significant damage to our house during a party we hosted over the holidays.  Let’s just say that non-washable markers and carpet is not a good combination.  I will admit that I was raging mad when it happened and have since calmed down and realized that it’s just “stuff” and not the end of the world.

But, if you know your child is on the more “destructive” side or just doesn’t understand how to treat things that he’s not used to being around, then it’s a great idea to keep a close eye on your child at a party.  Most kids know their limits when they are at their own house because that’s what they are used to.   But, being at someone’s house is new territory for them and they may do things they normally wouldn’t at home.  Making sure your child doesn’t destroy anything is crucial when at a someone’s house.

4. Clean Up After Yourself

We had quite a few parties right in a row over the holidays and the toys were EVERYWHERE!  It took forever to clean up, things weren’t together that needed to be in sets, and some things were lost.  So, I recommend offering to clean up after your kid when at a party, or making your child do it.  It’s a great way for them to learn there are consequences to their actions.

I’ll admit that I’m not the greatest at this.  I’m usually just trying to get out the door without total meltdowns.  I’m going to try to remember to start cleaning up well before we’re ready to leave. Hopefully that way it won’t be rushed or not done at all.

I hope this post didn’t offend you, but some of these things need to be said.  Unfortunately some of these things just aren’t common sense.  Hopefully, you are already heeding this advice. If not it’s a great idea to start instilling it in your kids.

Happy National Parenting Month!

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Celebrating everyday!