Summer Birthday Party Decorations

by Dinah Wulf

OK, so I decided that since I feel like I have so much to share about this party, I needed to break up my posts.  Yesterday, I did a post on a Summer Birthday Party Sneak Peek; today I want to share Summer Birthday Party Decorations including favors and games.  Next week, I’ll share Summer Birthday Party Food and Drink.

Flowers

First, the flowers!!  My amazing friend Maily (who loves this stuff as much as I do… maybe more), brought over some fresh cut flowers from her Mother’s and Sister’s gardens the day before the party.  Between the two of us, we gathered several glass jars, vases, and even old pickle, jelly, and sauce jars to arrange the flowers in.  We kept the flowers inside in the cool over night to keep them as fresh as possible.  We scattered the arrangements on the guest and food tables.

Decorations

I made Burlap Butterfly Wall Art and a Repurposed Plant Hanger Chandelier for the party.  I also hung several butterflies, garden umbrellas, and lanterns on fishing line.  I designed a party banner online and I also made framed signs like, “decorate your own cupcake” and “happy birthday Mia” for the tables.

Game

Because we had a bounce house, shaved ice station, and a cupcake decorating station, I decided to only do one game.  It was essentially hot potato played with a large gift.  I wrapped three prizes, the best prize in the smallest package, the 2nd place prize in the next package, and the third place prize in the largest package all inside one another.  For example, the third place winner got the smallest prize in the largest package.

Favors

Towards the end of spring, I started shopping for favors for this party because I knew all the spring items would be marked down drastically.  I was able to find these great $8 butterfly nets for $2!!  I made small packages with candy, and bugs for the boys and butterflies for the girls.

Come back next week to see Summer Birthday Party Food and Drink!

A special thank you to Bannersonthecheap.com for sponsoring the party banner!

DIY Floral Arrangement

by Dinah Wulf

My friend Maily is the ULTIMATE (non-professional) floral arranger.   I got a phone call from her a few weeks ago and we quickly got together to collaborate for the flowers for my daughter’s birthday party.  She has such an amazing eye, and I wanted to share some tips if one day you consider taking on DIY Floral Arrangement for your next bridal shower , baby shower, or and special event.  You can save so much money by taking this on yourself.  By the way, all the flowers shown in this post were done by Maily (I told you she was fabulous!).

Tip #1: Shop Wholesale

Lucky for us we live nearby the Los Angeles floral district.  There you will find fresh cut wholesale flowers and greenery.  If you don’t live near something like this, check discount super stores like Sam’s Club or Costco for inexpensive flowers.

Tip #2:  Use Coupons

When purchasing your floral supplies, always check your weekly ads for craft supply stores such as Michael’s.  Nine out of ten times you will find a 40% (sometimes 50%) off coupon.  If you are shopping online, don’t forget to search for coupon codes.

Tip #3: Don’t forget about embellishments

When arranging your flowers, you can easily implement beads, feathers, beautifully crafted butterflies, and even lighting.

Tip #4: Think vertically and horizontally

Depending on where you are placing your flowers, keep in mind whether you need to build your bouquet vertically or horizontally.  For horizontal arrangements use a shallow vase or container. Also think about the shape of your arrangement (oval, triangle, etc.).

Tip #5: Use creative recycled containers

A floral arrangement doesn’t always have to go in a glass vase or a pot. Consider using, a small vintage suitcase, a hollowed out book, a vintage tin, mason jars, you get the picture!

Of course, if taking on your own floral arrangement is too much, there are great sites like PickupFlowers to help.  Don’t forget to use your PickupFlowers Coupons upon your visit with them!

 

A special thank you goes out to CouponSnapshot.com for sponsoring this post.

Photo Source: BrendanCaoPhotography.com

 

 

 

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.

 

Tea Party Inspiration

by Dinah Wulf

I have been contemplating what to do for my daughter’s 2nd birthday party.  For some reason I keep going back to a tea party theme.  I know she’s a little young, but I think it may work.  It’ll be a small and simple party anyway… we won’t go big until she turns five years old (at least that’s what I’m telling my husband).

I decided to get some inspiration from the World Wide Web and… man… there are some GREAT ideas out there… TONS of tea party inspiration right at your fingertips! I love it all!

Check out what I found.  The Better Homes and Gardens Alice in Wonderland Mad Hatter party is tremendous!  One of my favorites is using colorful vintage tins as flower vases.  I found a ton of cool ideas from party favors to decorations, and centerpieces to finger food ideas.  I also dug up some of my past ideas that I thought would go nicely.  I added links at the bottom for tutorials and for sources for your reference.  I hope it helps.

If you have more ideas, please comment! I’d love to read them.  I need all the tea party inspiration I can get.

Tea Cup Candles

Mad Hatter Tea Party

Stacked Tea Cups

Pink and Purple Dessert Table

Fabric Flag Banner

Tea Party Dress Up

Accordion Flowers

Tea Cup Dessert Display

Mini Cupcakes in Tea Cups

Party Pinwheel How To

Paper Dahlia Favors

Tea Party Favors

Tea Pot Flowers

BHG Mad Hatter Party

 

Did anything on this inspiration board actually inspire you? Please fee free to leave a comment! :)

**Don’t forget to enter to win a $50 gift certificate to iStencils.com! The giveaway ends soon!

** Thanks to Amy from Pound For Pennies for featuring an article I wrote today for her Green Theme!  Check it out and peruse her site for some awesome coupon deals!

 

Repurposed Mailbox Ideas

by Dinah Wulf

So, our new house is coming along.  We’ve been doing a lot of small things like changing light fixtures, cleaning carpets, and updating the old mailbox.  Here is a picture of the old one.

My husband, for some reason hated this mailbox.  Probably because it still had the old owner’s names engraved in it.  So we decided to replace it.  Ta Da!

Although plain and simple, to us it’s much better!  On a side note, if you decide to replace your mailbox, don’t get a plastic mount, spend the extra five bucks for and get a metal one.  The plastic one is not secure enough… at all!

Anyway, after replacing the mailbox, I thought it’d be cute to put a little one by my daughter’s playhouse outside.  Along the way I found some cute inspiring ideas for repurposing mailboxes that I had to share them.

This playroom mailbox is absolutely adorable.  Posted by I Am Momma Hear Me Roar, I can’t think of a better way to repurpose an old mailbox!

Another Play Room Organization idea; one of my favorite sites, Apartment Therapy featured this one.

How cute are these Personalized Mail Boxes by fellow bloggers, Anderson Family Crew???  These would be so cute for Valentine’s Day or organization for a little girl’s room.

Lastly, I love this idea for a wedding; an old tin mailbox for all the cards and gift cards.  It’s so simple and beautiful!

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And the winner is… SABRINA!!! Thank you to all who entered the Simply Spray giveaway!! For those of you who haven’t, “like” Simply Spray on Facebook and they will donate a $1 to Project Linus!

 

White Party Inspiration Board

by Dinah Wulf

I had so much fun looking for St. Patrick’s Day inspiration and posted a St. Patrick’s Day inspiration board last week.  I had such a great response to it, so why not do it again!  This time, I wanted to the focus to be a White Party. I threw one several years ago (long before my blogging days) and it was so much fun.  It was a Bridal Shower white party where all the guests wore white with wide brimmed hats.

When I think of all white, I think of crisp, clean, and elegant.  Putting together this inspiration board for an all-white party or for an all-white wedding reminded me of my own personal version of Pintrest.  I pulled together some great ideas for decorations, favors and gifts, and sweet treats for desserts.  Many are from Etsy.com, one of my favorite websites.  If there is no link (scroll all the way down to the list) to the picture you are looking for, I apologize ahead of time (I couldn’t find it)! Hopefully it will inspire you anyway.

Decorations:

Sweet Treats:

Favors & Gifts:

*****

Don’t forget to ENTER TO WIN free Simply Spray Fabric Spray Paint! The winner will be announced this week!

 

Six Ways to Recycle Maps

by Dinah Wulf

Maps are so beautiful.  I’ve been looking for some ways to use them because I see them everywhere (including my glove box).  Just like CD’s, record albums, and books, they are becoming obsolete due to the emergence of electronics like the GPS and the internet.  But what I do love about maps is that they tell a story and simultaneously serve as a work of art.  Here are six great ways to recycle maps.

One: Art Work

Check out these heart maps by Tcktyboo.  Each heart represents a special place.  For example, where you were married, where you went on your honeymoon, or where the kids were born.

 

I also saw a great idea on Pintrest (I can’t find the picture or source anymore) where a map was framed and the route to a special trip was stitched in a coordinating colored string… so cute! Update! Thanks to Adri, here is the link for that map! http://www.marthastewart.com/375160/map-artwork Thank you, Adri!!!

 

Two: Pillow

This is a pillow from Etsy inspired by a vintage map.

 

Three: Pinwheels

Another Etsy find, these cute pinwheels make a whimsical vintage wedding favor.  Click here for different pinwheel tutorials.

 

Four: Upcycle Furniture

Here are three great examples of using decoupage on maps to turn an old piece of furniture into a unique and beautiful conversation piece.

Cover a wooden chest

Inspiration from Nate Berkus

Revamp an old Dresser

Add new life to an old Vanity

 

Five: Gift Wrap

Just in time for the holidays, use an old map as gift wrapping paper.

 

Six: Monograms or Letters

Use decoupage to commemorate a trip on craft letters (source unknown).

 

**Don’t forget to vote for DIYInspired.com on Top Mommy Blogs! Just click on the “Vote For Us!” icon on the right sidebar of DIYInspired’s home page.  One click and you’re done!  You can vote once a day! Thank you in advance for your support!**

 

 

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.

 

DIY Table Number Ideas

by Dinah Wulf

Making your own table numbers is a great way to personalize and add character and charm to your wedding or party tables.  With all the holiday festivities just right around the corner, let these DIY table number ideas add a little interest to your party table settings. You can use some of these ideas for table numbers, place card holders, or food labels as well.

Old Pictures

I saw these at a recent wedding I went to.  They are pictures of the bride and groom when they were the ages corresponding to the table number.

Embroidery Hoop

Make table numbers out of an embroidery hoop like this one from Charmingly Domestic

Make Table Numbers out of postcards for a Wedding

What a great idea!  Perfect for the couple that loves to travel; use postcards from different destinations instead of traditional numbers.

Shabby Chic Table Numbers

Making these adorable shabby chic table numbers are easy to do and inexpensive. With scrapbook paper, wooden numbers, and frames you can purchase these low cost items from a craft store.

Vintage Bottles

Stencil recycled vintage bottles… one of my favorites from Savvy City Farmer.

Candle Table Numbers

These beautiful candle table numbers from yourdiywedding.com are made by etching glass.

House Number Table Numbers

Check out these house number table numbers from Style me Pretty. They are attached to a recycled book.  So cute and eco-friendly!

Simple Frame

Thought this simple frame from The Pretty Blog was cute.

Martha’s Table Numbers

There was no way I could write a post about party table number ideas without including my favorites from Martha!  Check out these simple and cool do it yourself ideas. The last one is my favorite.  They are digital pictures of different addresses.

 

 

 

 

Forevermore: A Hallowedding

by Dinah Wulf

Happy Halloween Everyone!

I also wanted to wish one of my friends from college, Katie O’Bryan and her husband Tony a happy one year Hallowedding anniversary! Or should I say, Hallowversary…no wait that doesn’t quite work.  Scratch that last part.

With Katie’s permission, I received the honor of sharing her elegant and eerie Hallowedding with all of you.  With the help of her wedding planner, Carole Grogan of Bright Blue Events and a lot of imagination and creativity, this Hallowedding was frightfully fantastic to say the least.

The little details are what made the event absolutely perfect. With over eighty hand carved pumpkins and a Magician for entertainment, it was difficult to narrow down a plethora of incredible photographs.

I have to start with the honorees, the bride and groom. To fit the theme, the bride wore a beautiful Etsy feather hairpiece, blue spider earrings, and orange garter, while the groom’s attire was complete with a top hat and cane.  Katie, the eighteen months of salads paid off…GORGEOUS!

The flowers were red calla lilies with coordinating red and orange flowers for the bridesmaids.   I love the black feather accents.

The little ring box was a casket with the words, “Til death do us part” written on top and after the ceremony the guests were instructed to fill out a tombstone place card and “find your resting place”.

The guests could capture a memory in front of a Halloween photo backdrop and could also leave a special message to the bride and groom on the framed board pictured below.

Here are a few pictures of the table centerpieces atop black table cloths and accented with orange napkins.

The blue, black, and white cake was stunning with pink champagne and red velvet layers from Some Crust Bakery in Claremont, California.

Here are a few final details including the candle lighting ceremony in a giant carved pumpkin!

Happy Anniversary, Tony and Katie!  Thank you for inspiring us!

Photo Source: Chris R. Chavira Photography Phone: 310.500.9075

 

Maily Cano Floral Design

by Dinah Wulf

Maily Cano is probably best known for her successful automobile brokerage company, Dealer’s Network celebrity clientel and all. She has been in the automobile industry for quite some time.  I’d say a female pioneer in a male dominated business. She’s the type of person who will tell it like it is.  No sugar coating… whatsoever!  You want her honest opinion? She’ll gladly give it to you. She’s far from being a stereotypical auto professional, rather she’s probably one of the most generous and kind hearted people I know.

When I think about Maily, the words diligent, professional, and strong minded, all come to mind.  That was my first impression of her when I met her years ago.  But what I found out later, through an amazing friendship (what most may not know about Maily) is her creative side and her incredible talent for floral and wedding design.

Maily definitely brings creative inspiration to me.  She was asked to do the flowers for a friend’s wedding, and the next thing you know just by word of mouth, she has created an impressive book of business in a short amount of time.

I know her work first hand, as she graciously did the floral centerpieces for my bridal shower. They were gorgeous.  I don’t think there was one guest who did not compliment them.  She has an eye for design and arrangement and pays attention to detail by adding things like lighting, crystals, beads, feathers, or ribbon while at the same time takes into consideration height and dimension.

This jack of all trades, floors me… and it’s so great to have her in my life.  Need a car? Call Maily.  Need your wedding planned? Call Maily.  Need the truth about your newly shaved head? Call Maily!

All the photography was taken by Brendan Cao Photography.  He is available for couple photos, family photos, and other events.

 

 

 

Boarding Pass Invitations

by Dinah Wulf

DIY Invitations add a personal and creative touch to any event.  These cute Boarding Pass invitations are perfect for a bachelorette party, birthday party, or destination wedding.

What I love about these, is that there are limitless fonts, colors, graphics, and free clip art that is available to fit any theme, destination, or travel plan.

I made these invites for a bachelorette party.  We are driving to Las Vegas; however a few personalized and altered touches made it work. For example, on the bottom I put “Full capacity.  Please one small carry on only.”  For the brides invite, I wrote “shotgun” as her seat number.

When designing these boarding pass invitations on your computer, consider adding the following information to make your boarding pass invitation look realistic.

  1. Name of the airline. I used “Lady Luck Airlines” because we are traveling to Las Vegas.
  2. The words “BOARDING PASS” in all caps and in a larger font.
  3. The passengers name is, of course, the invited guest.
  4. The date of the event, “boarding” time, flight number, gate number, and boarding “zone”.
  5. For the departure enter the place you are meeting.  For the arrival, enter the destination.
  6. I also added a perforated line to the right on the boarding pass and on the bottom of that section I wrote “Passenger Ticket and Baggage Claim” in a small font.
  7. Add a barcode.

I also added a free Las Vegas Sign clip art that I found on Google Images. I printed the invitations on cardstock and cut them out.

These actually didn’t cost me a dime because I already had the cardstock and black envelopes… super cute, easy, and free!

Check out my other DIY invitations with full tutorials including a Rocker themed VIP pass invite and a simple invite to fit any occasion!

Here are a few more pictures.

 

 

 

 

 

Baby Shower Dessert Table

by Dinah Wulf

Baby Shower Dessert Table

Dessert tables are becoming more common for baby showers, weddings, and birthday parties.  It’s a simple party idea that can spruce up your decorations and can also be affordable.  A set of various sized candy jars is a great investment for any Host or Hostess.  You can find inexpensive sets at discount stores, or buy unique pieces at thrift shops.  Hosting a party can be stressful and a dessert table adds triple duty as décor, food, and entertainment.

This particular dessert table is one I did for an Asian themed baby shower.  The guest of honor is having a baby boy, so I chose hues of blue and green.  To fit the party theme, I used an Asian style font for the labels, served almond cookies, wafers, and chocolate dipped fortune cookies. I also made blue and green Chinese take-out boxes stuffed with useful goodies for the baby and mommy to be.  Each box was embellished with ribbon, a charm, and wooden chopsticks. I printed a Chinese character on the front that stood for “family”, “baby boy”, “happiness”, etc.

To make the labels and “sweets” banner, I used coordinating scrapbook paper, cut slits on both sides, and inserted a matching ribbon. The candy I chose also coordinated with the theme and colors.  The candies included were chocolate, coconut, almond blue M&M’s, assorted blue and green lollipops, blue vanilla Tootsie Rolls, and blue cookies and cream Kisses.

To create height, I used boxes covered in wrapping paper and matted the top with black scrapbook paper cut to size. I used photo holders and frames for some of the labels and made sure to put out napkins, tongs and scoops for the guests to use.

 

Kim Kardashian Wedding

by Dinah Wulf

Kim Kardashian Wedding

Let’s face it.  Most of us can’t afford to have our dream weddings in a $29 Million Dollar Estate or spend $10K on the wedding cake alone. Kim Kardashian, reality superstar and Kris Humphries, NBA NY Nets basketball player got married on Saturday, August 20th in Montecito, California.  This fairytale formal black tie event was filled with A-list celebrity guests like Justin Bieber, Jennifer Lopez, and Will and Jada Pinkett Smith.  Oh yeah, did I forget to mention that the two million dollar engagement ring was 20.5 carats?

Here’s a photo of the cover of People magazine.

My motto is copy the look for less! Who knows how much this wedding actually costs, but the best we can do is get inspired and work with our individual budgets.  This no cell phone policy high security wedding is so exclusive that I could only catch bits and pieces online and on the news.  The E! online photo gallery helped (a little). Here is what I came up with.

The Invitation

The invitation was all black and white encased in its own box with hundreds of black crystals.  It had scrollwork and script writing.  Can you imagine what the postage alone for these costs?  Geesh! Here is a picture from People online.

The Colors

Black and white!  From the table clothes to the flowers, everything was black and white.  The guests were even required to wear black and white attire only. There were black place settings and black menus with white writing.  The tables were draped in black table clothes and the chairs were covered in white fabric.

The Flowers

The flower bouquets were white flowers only. All white floral centerpieces with little moss and hedge like greenery on the bottom and 3 tall white hanging floral arrangements covered the long rectangular tables.

The Decorations

Hollywood glamour best describes this wedding.  There were chandeliers, crystal, and twinkle lights everywhere.  A black pattern lattice print stretched across the table tops and white fabric draped the walls and ceiling.  Small white tea lights graced and sparkled throughout the tables (probably the least expensive decoration of the entire wedding).  Large shiny black Hollywood regency style partitions stood in front of the tented walls.

The Cake

Oh the cake!  A dimly lit spotlight displayed the $10K black and white (what looks like) seven tiered round wedding cake. It stood alone on a round table covered in white flower petals.

The Bride

Good day LAsaid that the bride wore three different wedding gowns!  One, if not all three, was designed by Vera Wang.  My favorite part and BEST idea of the whole wedding???  Kim had a heart shaped piece of one of her dad’s old t-shirts sewn into the inside of her dress.

E! has the exclusive rights to the wedding.  The special will be aired on October 9th. We’ll have to wait to get more inspiration until then!

 

Candy Dipped Fortune Cookies

by Dinah Wulf

I made these blue and green candy dipped fortune cookies for my cousin’s baby shower.  I had never done this before and found it quite easy. Here is what I did.

Materials Needed:

  • Candy Melts
  • Fortune Cookies
  • Spatula
  • Double broiler or Saucepan and glass bowl
  • Water
  • Vegetable Oil (optional)
  • Wax Paper or Parchment Paper
  • Baking Sheet

I didn’t have a double broiler so I used a small saucepan, glass bowl, and strainer.  Add enough water to simmer over medium heat, but make sure the water does not touch the glass bowl. Another option is to melt the candy in the microwave.  Heat and stir the candy at thirty second intervals at half the power.

When the water is simmering, add the candy melts.  Make sure the water does not boil. Gradually and gently stir with a rubber spatula as the candy melts. If desired, add vegetable oil a teaspoon at a time to achieve the desired consistency.  Adding vegetable oil will thin out the candy, make it easier to dip, and will not alter the taste. Another option is to use chocolate squares.

Dip each cookie one by one and gently rest them on a wax paper covered baking sheet.  Allow the candy to set by placing the baking sheets in the refrigerator.

After the candy hardens, place each cookie in a 4” by 8” treat bag and tie with a ribbon.  I added a personalized tag using colored card stock, my computer, and a heart shaped punch. These candy dipped fortune cookies made perfect favors for each guest to enjoy immediately or take home for later.

 

Check out these Sweet Treats, perfect for any party:

Paper Flower Week: Paper Dahlia Favors

by Dinah Wulf

Have you OD’d on paper flowers yet?

Here are Paper Dahlia Favors from Martha Stewart Weddings. Group a few on your tablescape to create flower bouquets.

Read the How-To at Marthastewartweddings.com: Paper Dahlia How-To

You may also like:

Paper Flower Week: Hanging Paper Flowers

by Dinah Wulf

Here are some elegant Hanging Paper Flowers from Martha Stewart. They make whimsical and colorful decorations for any shower or birthday party, or even a DIY wedding idea.

Step 1

Fold the bottom of a bag in on itself. Cut above the lower fold, removing the bag’s bottom. Trim the top into a petal shape.

Step 2

Punch a hole about 1/4 inch from the bottom. Repeat process with five more bags. Apply double-sided tape to the front edges of a bag. Place another bag on top, and repeat to stack all of the bags. Draw a length of string through the hole in the stack; knot it loosely.

Step 3

Pull the top and bottom bags around to form a flower shape and join the end petals with double-sided tape.

Step 4

Suspend your completed paper bag flowers by string.

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