DIY Party -
16th Jul2012

DIY Cupcake Stand

by Dinah Wulf

The BEST part of this DIY Cupcake Stand project is that I bought these blue trays years ago for $2.00 a piece on sale.  I have used them MULTIPLE times for baby showers, birthday parties, Super Bowl parties, and everyday entertaining.

I wanted to use them again for my daughter’s birthday party.  This time, however I wanted to create more height and dimension to the table to make the presentation better. I purchased two candlestick holders from a local thrift store for $1.25 each. I added a small wooden circle cut out so that the platters would be more stable and glued it to the top of the candlestick.  I decided to paint them white with paint I already had.  I simply attached the candlesticks with E6000 adhesive.

You can purchase E6000 here: E-6000 Med Visc 1-Ounce Adhesive

Here are some tips when completing this DIY Cupcake Stand Project:

  • Make sure that the platters you choose are food safe.
  • Wash all platters and candlestick holders and remove all stickers before you begin.
  • When aligning your platters, place them against a corner for more accurate alignment (see photo).
  • Place something heavy on top of the top platter until it dries completely.
  • Follow the directions on your glue as directed for drying times.
  • Do not wash your Cupcake Stand in the washer, rather hand wash them.

Here are some more after photos.


25th Jun2012

Repurposed Plant Hanger

by Dinah Wulf

Oh my! This may be one of my most fun projects to date!

When my husband and I moved into our home, I found this pile of junk lying on the ground on the side of the house.

The first thing that caught my eye was the rusty iron plant hanger.  I didn’t quite know what I was going to do with it, but I knew I wanted it in the “keep” pile.  Fast forward five months later, it hit me.  I would turn it into a chandelier for my daughter’s 2nd birthday party.  I thought it’d be cute, hanging above the food or dessert table for her garden inspired birthday party. Here is a before and after shot of my Repurposed Plant Hanger.


But get this… the BEST part is that I spent $10.50 on the entire project.  I ransacked my craft closet and only needed to buy one can of spray paint and some plastic beads.  I had everything else!

The first thing I did was rinsed the plant hanger down with the garden hose.  I brushed it slightly with a wire brush from our metal gate project.  After it dried, I spray painted it a glossy turquoise color. I hung it to dry and touched it up as needed.


Decorating it was the fun part. I used green flower gems I had from scrapbooking, wire earring hoops from my DIY Wine Charm project, butterflies from my DIY Butterfly Wall Art project, and I strung the beads I bought on the hemp string from my hanging Mason jar lantern project.  The hot glue gun I used worked fantastically and I didn’t even use two hot glue sticks!

Here are some after photos.  It turned out so well, that I am going to hang it in my daughter’s room!


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05th Jun2012

Movie Party Birthday Bash

by Dinah Wulf

Written By Amy Greene of Pounds4Pennies

Amy Greene of Pounds4Pennies lives in Texas with her husband and blended family of three kids, two who are 10 and a 2 year old. Amy has been a frugal shopper for years and enjoys throwing a party on a budget. She enjoys couponing, cooking and crafts.

This year my daughter turned 10. Yep she is double digits now. I can’t believe it. Where did the time go? I remember she was born a little over two weeks after 9/11. I was thinking of what kind of world was I bringing her into. Things have not changed as drastically as I thought they might.


She picked her party theme “A Night at the Movies.” She wanted this to be a red carpet event. So I did my best to give her a fabulous Movie Party event on an extreme budget.

The Menu

We are talking eight 9-10 year old girls, so I wanted to keep the menu simple. My first thought is what do you get at the movies? Hotdogs are served at the movies. Then I thought nachos, my all-time favorite and hers too. I purchased some Velveeta cheese for this event, one of the most expensive things for the party. I had plenty of salsa from and I bought some chips. Then of course the most obvious thing at the movies is popcorn. I didn’t want to spend my time popping a million bags of popcorn in the microwave. I knew they could eat a ton from the last party she had. So I borrowed a hot air popper from a friend. I popped five batches of popcorn. Yes that is a lot of popcorn. They serve candy at the movies, so I got all sorts of candy and chocolate chips to mix in the popcorn.


  • Hot Dogs & Buns
  • Nachos
  • Popcorn
  • Candy
  • Chocolate Chips
  • Popcorn Cake

By the way the plain chocolate chips were a big hit. Who knew? Hint hint if you are throwing a party soon, chocolate chips are cheaper than candy.

And of course, since it is a birthday party you will need a cake. I didn’t feel like buying one from the store. So I decided to make one instead. It is a Popcorn cake. Click the link to see how to make this fabulous cake… super cute. I even made a Popcorn Cake of these for a friend who had a Movie Party.

She enjoyed putting the “popcorn” on the cake.


I purchased a generic silver star set from the party store last year. I choose this since it would go with a lot of party themes and not be a one-time purchase. We just recycled these and hung them around the house. I found a cheap red carpet at the party store we place outside our door. I colored large yellow stars with sidewalk chalk in front of the house to make it look like the Hollywood walk of Fame. (If I had a little more time I was going to write the girls name who were attending the party in the stars).

I made her a banner for her birthday. Her name is at the end, I do not want to share it to protect her identity. She loved it.

I found the popcorn buckets at Target for $1.00 each. And the paper ones at hobby lobby for 8 for $2.49. I couldn’t find my coupon or it would have been cheaper. They made their popcorn buckets and filled them with candy and popcorn and everything. I didn’t care what they ate as long as they had a great time.

For the table I used a red table cloth. I covered my cake dish with black tissue paper for the stand where the popcorn gift bags were. I also covered a bowl with black tissue paper to place the Popcorn cake on. I thought it looked fabulous for a movie party idea.


My husband borrowed the projector from his work and we hooked it up outside and put a large white sheet on the back of the house. He used a staple gun to tack it up. It looked great. I spread several blankets outside on the lawn where they could lay down eat popcorn and watch the movie. (not too much movie watching happened) They even had a popcorn fight and I didn’t care since all of this was outside. I just picked up the blankets shook them off and I was done with clean up… super easy.

Everyone had a great time! This was fun for me too, since most of the party took place outside I didn’t have a lot to clean up inside.


16th May2012

Asian Themed Party

by Dinah Wulf

2012 is the year of the Dragon, the mightiest of all the signs… that means it’s MY year… yep I live by my own rules, I’m passionate, and I take risks (kind of sort of)!

I have shown some of my ideas for an Asian themed party in past blog posts like: Chinese Take Out Box Centerpieces and gift idea for an Asian Themed Baby Shower and A fun party favor idea and simple tutorial, How to Make Candy Dipped Fortune Cookies. Here are a few photos.

Event planner extraordinaire, Maily Cano strikes again with a beautiful red Asian Themed Party. Red is synonymous with an Asian themed party because it is an important color that represents good luck and prosperity. I keep forgetting that Maily is a successful Auto Broker by day! Geesh!

No Asian Themed Party is complete without hanging paper lanterns! Lanterns are widely used for festivals in Asia. Especially in China, you will see them hung everywhere during these celebrations. Check out an interesting history HERE.  Maily adorned each table with beautiful floral arrangements and draped crystals from their branches.

Red represents Fire and black represents Water, two of the five elements. Each table is covered in a red table cloth surrounded by black chairs. Red also represents good fortune and joy.

Other color inspirations for an Asian themed party:

  • Blue-Green – represents nature, vigor, and vitality
  • Green – represents health and harmony
  • Blue – represents immortality
  • White/Silver – represents purity and fulfillment
  • Yellow/Gold – considered the most beautiful and most symbolic and signifies good luck

I hope you found this useful and inspiring!  Happy party planning!


All Red Asian Themed Party photos were taken by Brendan Cao Photography.


14th May2012

Lego Marshmallow Pops

by Dinah Wulf

Lego Marshmallow Pops (6)

Legos Legos everywhere!  It seems that EVERY little boy I know is obsessed with Legos.  A friend of mine, Tami, threw a Lego themed party for her four year old son.  She made these adorable Lego Marshmallow Pops inspired by Living Locurto for the treat pales to pass out as favors for all the kiddos.  This simple DIY party favor was a big hit at the party.  Here is how she made them.

Materials You’ll Need:

  • Extra Large Marshmallows
  • Large Marshmallows
  • 6” Lollipop Sticks
  • Yellow Chocolate
  • Styrofoam Block
  • Wax Paper
  • Black Royal Icing or Black Food Marker
  • Small Plastic Treat Bags
  • Twist Tie or Ribbon

Step One:

Cut large marshmallows into three pieces.  One piece will serve as the top of the Lego persons head (extra-large marshmallow).  Place the cut piece on top of the extra-large marshmallow.  The cut side will adhere to the extra-large marshmallow.

Lego Marshmallow Pops (2)


Step Two:

Insert a 6” lollipop stick into the bottom center of your Lego head.

Lego Marshmallow Pops (3)


Step Three:

Follow the yellow chocolate melting instructions on the package and dip each Lego head.  Allow it to cool and harden by inserting the stick into a Styrofoam block lined with waxed paper. Yellow chocolate can be purchased at any craft store or online.

Lego Marshmallow Pops (4)


Step Four:

When the chocolate is cool and hardened, get creative and draw faces with Black Royal Icing or Black Food Marker. Tami suggests to not use the fine point marker, as it needs to move around a bit.

Lego Marshmallow Pops (5)


Step Five:

Package your Lego Marshmallow Pop favor with a plastic treat bag and tie.

Lego Marshmallow Pops (6)


Other Lego Party Theme Ideas:

Use Legos to make a Happy Birthday sign for the guest of honor and place it on party table.

Lego Marshmallow Pops (7)


Make a small Lego coloring book to give away to each guest.

Lego Marshmallow Pops


Thank you, Tami for sharing this! AND and even bigger thanks for the Lego Marshmallow Pop… mmm mmm good!


03rd May2012

Purple and Pink Masquerade Party

by Dinah Wulf

Mardi Gras isn’t just for February!  A Purple and Pink Masquerade Party is a fun party theme for any time of year.  Masquerade parties are associated with carnivals, aristocracy, royalty, and luxury.  It’s a grand celebration where the attendees are dressed to the hilt in elaborate costumes.

More modern masquerade parties although inspired by European traditions, are more casual, however do not lack in the fun and excitement!  This real party, by Maily Cano, was decorated in vibrant purple and pink hues, with draped violet curtains and beautiful pink flowers.



Clustered metallic and feathered masks on a stick grace each table as a centerpiece.

The chairs were even draped in a purple satin fabric.

Here are some party ideas fit for a perfect Masquerade or Mardi Gras inspired party.

  • Make your own masks with decorative card stock or scrapbook paper and dowels.  Add ribbon, feathers, and plastic gems or glitter as embellishments.  Masks can serve as party favors for your guests.
  • Don’t forget to reuse and recycle. Check your cupboards or local thrift stores and yard sales for wine goblets, silver and gold utensils or decorative candlesticks to create opulent centerpieces.
  • Purchasing inexpensive fabric is more budget-friendly than, buying table cloths at a department store.  You can use fabric to layer on food, favor, or gift tables.  Use sturdy cardboard boxes underneath to create height.
  • Play classical music in the background.
  • Have a contest for best costume.
  • If your party is more casual, or for younger teens or kids, have a mask/headpiece/hat decorating activity.

Do you have any Masquerade Party suggestions?  Feel free to leave a comment!


All Purple and Pink Masquerade Party photos were taken by Brendan Cao Photography.



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24th Apr2012

Cherry Themed Twin Baby Shower

by Dinah Wulf

Earlier I shared a sneak peek into this Cherry Themed Twin Baby Shower, showing you the invitations that I made and the game prizes that doubled as centerpieces.  We had such a great time and I wanted to show you a little more of some things my girlfriends and I did.

Party Favors

I found these cute little baskets and filled them with a liner and round red chocolate candies.  I simply made a label on my computer that said, “Double the Sweetness”, printed them, and used ribbon and cardstock in pink, red, and green to embellish each basket.  We had a favor at each place setting and scattered a few on the buffet table.

Food and Drink

We wanted the shower to be casual and fun so we decided to serve a buffet and had each guest help themselves.  I made signs for the drink table outside.  One for the guest of honor’s sweet tea craving and one for the Champagne punch.

I also made simple signs to “Please Help Yourself” so that guests would know they did not have to wait to dig in.

Instead of having a messy fruit bowl, I made individual fruit cups with cupcake liners and used a circular craft punch to line them with foil.

For dessert we had red velvet and chocolate cupcakes with two cherries on top.



Outside we hung a clothing line with pairs of matching clothes for the twin babies.

The game prizes doubled as centerpieces and graced each table with two “twin” balloons to represent two cherries.

Small pink and red lanterns were hung in pairs with green ribbon to look like giant cherries.

We also had a cherry themed shirt made for the guest of honor to wear at the shower. Congratulations, Jen!

I LOVE MY GIRLS!! BTW, Watch out because I’m rallying for the favorite Auntie position!


17th Apr2012

Cherry Themed Party Sneak Peek

by Dinah Wulf

My girlfriends and I are throwing a baby shower for one of our best friends who is having twins!  I was too excited to wait until after the party show you pictures so I thought I’d do a quick sneak peek of some of our Cherry Themed Party ideas.

We decided on a cherry theme because cherries are fun, vibrant in color, and typically come in pairs! Our mommy-to-be and guest of honor is having twin girls so we chose to use both red and pink for our color scheme.

Easy DIY Invitations

Of course I couldn’t BUY the invitations! I had to make them myself! So I followed my own Easy DIY Invitation tutorial, bought these supplies, and made these adorable invites.  See? I told you this tutorial would work ANY theme!

Baby Shower Game and Prize Idea

Next, I want to show you what I did for the baby shower party game gifts.  One of the games we are playing is called the dice game.  For this game, all you need is five or more prizes, a pair of dice, and a plate.  The game is timed, typically fifteen minutes.  Each guest takes turns rolling the dice one time per turn.  If you roll doubles, you take one wrapped gift. The gifts are not unwrapped until the game ends. Once all the gifts are taken, the gift stealing begins! If you roll doubles, you continue to take a gift until the allotted time ends.  It’s possible for one guest to end up with more than one gift.

Anyway, instead of using a gift bag and tissue paper, I wrapped each gift in a small picnic basket and used a cherry dish cloth to cover or hide the gift. Also, these prizes double as table centerpieces, cutting the cost of the party!

Can’t wait to show you the rest! Stay tuned :)


12th Apr2012

Hello Kitty Themed Party

by Dinah Wulf

Most every little girl I know, including mine loves Hello Kitty. I have to admit that I was obsessed when I was little, and honestly I still am! I think the first stuffed animal I bought my daughter before she was born was a Hello Kitty doll. From the cute bow in her hair, to all her cute little friends there’s nothing more girlie than a Hello Kitty Themed Party. This party was beautifully crafted and orchestrated by my friend, Maily Cano for her niece’s birthday. I don’t doubt that she lives by the “go big or go home” motto! One of Maily’s hobbies and many talents include floral arrangement. With fresh flowers from LA’s floral district, she made these beautiful pink and white centerpieces for the food table.

Hello Kitty Themed Party (14)

Pink Party Flower Arrangement

The dance floor was surrounded by pink drapes and tinsel, and decorated with Hello Kitty images cleverly and inexpensively made out of felt.

Hello Kitty Themed Party (11)

Hello Kitty Themed Party (5)

Hello Kitty Themed Party DIY Inspired (2)

Maily crafted large Hello Kitty heads out of felt and Styrofoam balls. Scattered around the room on the floor and tables, this is simple budget friendly way of adding pizzazz and creativity to the party decor.

Hello Kitty Themed Party (4)

There were plenty of activities for both boys and girls including dancing, a Hello Kitty piñata, and cupcake decorating. The kids also decorated small individual cupcake boxes to take home.

Hello Kitty Themed Party DIY Inspired (4)

Hello Kitty Themed Party DIY Inspired (8)

Hello Kitty Themed Party DIY Inspired (6)

There was a pin the bow on Hello Kitty game as well. This project was also made out of felt.

Hello Kitty Themed Party (7)

Hello Kitty Themed Party DIY Inspired

Hello Kitty Themed Party (2)

Maily created a dress up station and called it Lana’s Beauty Shop. It was complete with vanity, boas, crowns, temporary tattoos, bracelets, and Hello Kitty bow headbands.

Hello Kitty Themed Party (9)

Hello Kitty Themed Party DIY Inspired (3)

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Hello Kitty Themed Party DIY Inspired (7)

There were two homemade Hello Kitty cakes and homemade cupcakes for dessert.

Hello Kitty Party DIY Inspired Cake

And of course favor bags for both the boys and girls to take home.

Hello Kitty Themed Party (8)

Beautiful party, Maily! Thank you for letting me share it! All Hello Kitty party photos were taken by Brendan Cao Photography. Need more inspiration? Here’s are more easy Hello Kitty Party Ideas! What did you think of this party? I would love to read your comments! :) Have you signed up for my emails? I’d love it if you did!

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08th Mar2012

Candy Land Birthday Party Part Two

by Dinah Wulf

So, because I had so many great pictures to choose from, here is part two of yesterday’s Candy Land Party postYou can’t have a Candy Land party without candy and sweets, of course!  Jenny left no sweet tooth unturned as she had…

Colorful gumdrop cupcakes…

Candy Land Theme Party

A homemade birthday cake… this cake was decked out with lollipops, candy canes, ice cream cones, starbursts for the track, gumdrops, kisses, and marshmallows.

Candy Land Theme Party (6)

A chocolate fountain table… this table was filled with a ton of yummy chocolate dipped goodness including pretzels, strawberries, Rice Krispie Treats, graham crackers, marshmallows, and licorice.


And a candy table that doubled as a favor table…she made treat bags handy for each guest to fill with their favorite candies.

Candy Land Theme Party (26)

Here are some shots of the patio, covered in colorful tulle, giant balloon candies, and a cardboard castle top.

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Candy Land Theme Party (17)

Candy Land Theme Party (3)

The yard itself was transformed into a game board with the track they spent hours hand painting. The kids had a blast pretending to play the life sized board game.


Candy Land Theme Party (28)

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Candy Land Theme Party (7)

Candy Land Theme Party (2)

What’s crazy is that I left out pictures of the bounce house and the Peppermint table filled with fresh fruit and snacks. Jenny got creative and used peppermint Christmas ornaments to decorate Peppermint Forest. Amazing job, Jenny! When’s the next one? Tee hee…

To see more of Jenny’s work, check the posts DIY Nursery Letters or Carnival or Circus Theme Party.


07th Mar2012

Candy Land Birthday Party Part One

by Dinah Wulf

The famous Hasbro board game was first designed over 60 years ago, and yet it still seems to be a popular party theme. Today there are several different versions and spin offs of the game, with of course, an online version as well. The theme is perfect for a party due to the famous locations including Gum Drop Mountains, Lollipop Woods, and Peppermint Forest.

I wanted to share a real party thrown by one of my best friends, Jennifer Hostetler. Jenny is an extraordinary party planner and is one of the most detailed and creative people I know (Some of Jenny’s other projects include DIY Nursery Letters and a Carnival Theme Party). She transformed her back yard into a real life board game.  I have to edit so many pictures, that finally I decided to break it up into two different posts.

This first post will show the making of Candy Land, and tomorrow, I will post the fabulous results!

The game has several characters including the Gingerbread People and Mr. Mint.  Here are a few of the characters Jenny created with cardboard and paint.  Her nephew surprised everyone and played the role of Mr. Mint!

Candy Land Theme Party Part 1 (15)

Candy Land Theme Party Part 1 (16)

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One by one, her and her husband painted many signs for each of the lands…

Candy Land Theme Party Part 1 (2)

Candy Land Theme Party Part 1 (4)

Candy Land Theme Party Part 1 (6)

Candy Land Theme Party Part 1 (5)

Painted gumdrops…

Candy Land Theme Party Part 1 (3)

Hand painted Styrofoam circles and attached sticks…

Candy Land Theme Party Part 1

Blew up balloons and wrapped each one in cellophane and ties with ribbon to create oversized candies…

Candy Land Theme Party Part 1(27)

… And painted each winding space for the Candy Land game board track.

Candy Land Theme Party Part 1 (7)

Wow! I’m tired just writing it! Come back tomorrow and see Jenny’s back yard Candy Land party transformation!


01st Mar2012

Baseball Themed Baby Shower

by Dinah Wulf

Throwing a themed baby shower doesn’t have to break the bank.  My girlfriends and I hosted a small baseball themed baby shower for one of our best friends years ago and I came across some old pictures.  Here are a few quick and easy ideas.


Make DIY invitations that look like game tickets or scoreboards.  Here is a simple invitation tutorial that will fit any party theme.

Budget Party Decorations:

Borrow sports equipment like baseballs, bats, and gloves from friends or family to use as props, scatter them on tables, or use them as part of centerpieces.

Decorating with scrapbook paper is very inexpensive.  Print out each letter of the baby’s name and cut and paste it to a 12X12 piece of scrapbook paper to resemble blocks. Suspend the “blocks” with fishing line. Don’t forget to do both sides! Total cost of this preject? Less than $5 bucks!

Print out black and white photos of the Mommy and Daddy to be. Paste them on scrapbook paper and scatter them around the room and on tables. There’s no need to use photo paper.  Regular printer paper works just fine.

Party Favors:

Cracker Jacks and Peanuts make great party favors.  Tie them in a pretty bow and add a tag that says, “Coming to Home Plate!” Another option is candied or caramel apples.  Shopping at a club warehouse store for these bulk items will significantly cut down on costs.

Serve All-American Food:

Consider serving traditional All-American finger sized foods such as pigs in a blanket, sliders, and French fries in small paper cones or potato salad.  Fill cupcake liners for individual servings with peanuts, popcorn, or caramel popcorn. Use plastic colored baskets with paper liner as plates.  If the budget allows, rent a nacho warmer and have a nacho bar or rent a cotton candy machine.

More fun ideas:

Label areas around the venue:

  • Make a sign that says “Welcome to home plate!” or “Celebrating an All-Star Baby Shower!” by the front entrance.
  • Locker Rooms: Hang a sign above the gift table
  • Rest Rooms: Hang Women’s and Men’s restroom signs or symbols on the bathroom door
  • Bleachers: Hang a sign above a seating area
  • Concession Stand: Hang a concession stand sign above the dessert or food table


02nd Jan2012

Wine Bottle Frames

by Dinah Wulf

I made these wine bottle frames out of recycled wine bottles for a wine tasting party.  It was also a bridal shower party, so I used them for a “who knows the bride best game”. I framed each question and placed the wine bottle frames all over the room so that the guests could mingle, talk, drink their wine, and play the game at the same time. Each guest wrote their answers next to the corresponding question number on their wine scoring card.

These wine bottle frames are very simple to make. The materials needed are, an empty wine bottle, a wooden frame, picture frame hangers, and string or ribbon.  I purchased the wooden frames from IKEA which were only $1.99 for a set of three…CHEAP!

The pictures speak for themselves, but all you need to do is to screw each picture frame eyelet into the wooden frame by hand in the desired area.  It takes a little pressure at first, but it should screw in fairly easily.  Use a ribbon or string to hang the frame onto the wine bottle.

Also consider, decorating the bottle with wallpaper remnants or scrapbook paper, or ribbon or you can also paint the inside of your frame with chalkboard paint.  I preferred to remove the wine label with warm soapy water.  There is something beautiful about a plain wine bottle.  Arrange your display with other wine bottles of different colors and sizes.

Another option is to frame a letter and place several bottles in a row to spell out the bride’s (guests or honor’s) new last name.  Use decorative paper as a boarder.  Make displays by using other recycled wine bottles and recycled wine crates.


28th Dec2011

Indoor Smores

by Dinah Wulf

My husband and I were invited to a casual pot luck style party.  Our assigned dish was dessert.  Being that the evite had the words “bounce house” in it I knew immediately what to bring… Smores!   Indoor Smores are quick easy, inexpensive, and both children and adults love to participate in making and eating them.  Smores were the perfect sweet for the kid friendly evening BBQ.  I was right!  They were a hit.

Being that I didn’t have to cook or actually make anything, I decided to embellish a mason jar with a quick scrapbook paper sign and twine. I used a round dolly and inserted the BBQ skewers in the jar.  I chose to bring both mini Hershey bars and Reeses Peanut Butter Cups for a little variety. Chafing dish fuel warmers can be purchased at a party supply store and are less than two dollars apiece.  They will last for several hours.

Here are some pictures.   The party was a blast and we had a lot of fun.


Here are some other cool Smores inspired ideas perfect for any party. Consider Smores for birthday parties, showers, weddings, small get togethers, or as a sweet gift!


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