Posts in the ‘Decor’ Category

Our Snowflake Design Challenge and My Top 12 Favorite Items

I am thrilled with how our Snowflake Design Challenge turned out! If you haven't seen all 181 items, please take a look.

I feel honored that I get to show off the work of such creative people. I really do love my job and that is one of the main reasons.

Thank you to everyone who participated. I hope you get a lot of exposure for the beautiful items you've made.

And now, without further adieu, here are my top 12 favorite snowflake items, in no particular order (there were so many I loved, my husband had to play tie breaker on a few and I still had to pick 12 instead of 10)...

Glittered Snowflake Birthday Party Hat by Prop Shop Boutique


 Baby It's Cold Outside Holiday Party Invitation by loralangdesigns


Twinkling Snowflakes Holiday Card by Blush Printables


Snowflake Chocolate Lollipops by Frosted Petticoat


 Pet Photo Booth Holiday Card by Paper Heart Company


 Snowflake Cookies by Lori's Place


 Joy to the World Vintage Gift Tags by SongbirdGreetings


Holiday Eat, Drink, Be Merry Printable Collection  by TypeWink ;)

snowflake-printables-setFrosted Fairy Mini Top Hat Headband by Cutie Patootie Designz


Girls Applique Winter Wonderland Snowflake Tee by Modern Frills


Winter Fun Cupcake Toppers by Party NV


Vintage Winter Wonderland Printables from Squared Party Printables


Thanks again to all of you talented people who added your items. I'm planning to do another design challenge for Valentine's Day. I hope you'll join then too.

And tomorrow, I will be doing a random drawing where one of you will win an HP Officejet 7500A Printer! Good luck!

PARTY ON A BUDGET: Tangled/Rapunzel Party for $125

When I read that Candy from The Party Bakery spent $125 on her daughter's Tangled Up in Fun Rapunzel Birthday, I almost flipped. How did she do it? Well, I asked her how, and she was kind enough to write up her money saving tips. Thank you, Candy, for all your practical and creative ideas. Take a look...

Have a Little Princess who’s dreaming of a Royal Birthday Bash? Gonna need a fairy godmother to pull it off on your budget? No problem…you’ve got this!





My little princess wanted to have a Tangled Birthday party for 6th birthday this year. Being an excited kindergartener with a classroom of willing party guest she, of course, wanted to invite 18 kids to the party…never mind her siblings, family friends, and family.

We were able to explain that we couldn’t invite every child from her classroom but that she could invite her best friends from the class. Apparently, she has many best friends…lol! So we still ended up with a large guest list when it was all said and done. She skipped away happy as pie, dreaming of her upcoming Royal bash, and I was left a bit stressed and frazzled trying to figure out how we were going to pull this off.

Long story short, we were able to do it and stay very low budget. In all, I spent about $125 on food and decorations and the whole shebang. Now in full disclosure, I do own a party design and printable business. So I was able to make a great deal of the accessories including my invitations for cost. However, you can access printable elements yourself online inexpensively.

So let’s dig in and let me share my top money saving tips with you.


Invitations. You could run out to Party City and buy the 8 pack of the Disney licensed Rapunzel party invitations BUT do you really want the same invitations that everyone else has? Your invitation sets the entire tone of your party! It is in my opinion, the single most important piece of your party. When I design my party sets, I first start with my invitation and then build the rest of my pieces around it. That being said, I love the idea of a custom invitation.


You can find so many wonderful party vendors on Etsy and on the web that have pre-designed invitations, and complete party sets that you can download and print yourself. Or if your budget allows, you can order them ready made. Like I said, I am in the business of party design, so I designed my own invitation which is available in my Etsy shop (shameless promotion time). For $12 you can download the printable file and send it to your favorite photo print shop (Walgreens, Wal-Mart..etc.) or print them at home. Add your Rapunzel braid, and they’re ready to go. A unique party invitation that sets the tone for your party and lets your guest know there in for a unique and fun time!

Tip 2

Decorations. Look around the house and use what you have. If you need something, ask your friends to borrow it before you go out and buy it!

I knew I wanted to serve some of our food items in iron skillets since it plays such a big part in the movie. I did not have a single iron skillet to my name. I knew I couldn’t afford to buy one so I started asking friends and before I knew it I had 5 iron skillets waiting for me. Perfect!

I basically took a walk through my house and looked around for things I could use. I found a cute lantern candle holder that I could place on the table, a little restaurant style standing chalkboard to welcome my guest, a couple cute baskets for holding various items, and some Christmas lights for stringing the trees outside to make a magical forest. All for FREE!

I knew I wanted to created the Snuggly Duggling (the thug pub) in my dining room, and serve all of the food from there, so I would need a table cloth that was rustic and inexpensive. I went to my local Jo-Ann Fabrics and found some burlap and purchased 2 yards. I think it ran me about $4 because I also used one of their 40% off coupons. Woot woot! I love a deal!

I wanted to have something incorporated into my decorations that resembled Rapunzel's flowing golden hair. My first thought was to use golden yarn and create a huge braid to hang out of my daughters window onto the porch below. Well, after trying to braid the tiny hair piece I made for a photo prop I decided that was going to be way to time consuming and take way to much yarn!! So I found a roll of vinyl table covering at Party City that would be perfect.

The entire roll was $22.00 and quite honestly I barely put a dent in in. If you don’t have a huge area to cover you could easily buy a few of the rectangular table clothes instead.Check the Dollar Store first.  They usually have a good selection of basic colors. I then unrolled a large section and cut it in half and was able to string it from the windows, on the ceiling, and through the tree’s outside. It was perfect! You could even weave some Christmas lights through it and make it look like the glowing hair! Cute!


Next I knew we could not fit that many kids inside our house so we were going to have to utilize our front yard. I planned the party for the evening so that I could create a magical forest outside. Using several strings of our Christmas lights, I put my husband on the task of stringing a big tree on our side yard with lights and Rapunzel hair. Inspired by a Taylor Swift video I had seen, I wanted to have pictures from the movie hanging from the tree branches for the kids to look at as they sat under the tree and ate.

I started Googling Tangled pictures and found a bunch of free high quality clips from the movie that I could print on my home computer and use. If you can’t print them yourself send them to your favorite photo place and for a few cents a print you’ve got some great decorations! Then just use some fishing line or even white thread and hang from the tree. It was really cute and the kids loved running around looking at all of the pictures!



Tip 3 

Games. You have to have something to keep 18 kids busy for 2 hours. I am a huge advocate for the “home” party. I like the way it enables the kids to interact with each other and actually spend time with the birthday girl or boy. Sometimes these parties at other places can feel so disconnected, and I don’t think it gives much opportunity for the kids to really connect. However, you have to entertain them yourself when they are at your house so you better get creative!

We decided an easy game would be pin the nose on Flynn Rider. That is a big reoccurring joke in the movie that his nose is always different on all of the wanted posters. So again I turned to my trusty friend Google and found a free Flynn Rider wanted poster. I printed a few of these off for decorations and for the game. Then I just made some little square pieces of paper with noses drawn on them. A simple blind fold and you have a fun game!

rapunzel-tangled-party-games One of my favorite things we did was the painting wall. Rapunzel loves to paint and basically paints her entire room to occupy her time. I wanted to run some paper all the way down the side of our fence and let the kids go crazy but couldn’t figure out how to make that happen with out spending a fortune on paper. Then we had the idea of using the back side of wrapping paper. That was one of those “ah ha” moments! We bought 2 rolls of Dollar Store wrapping paper and covered the entire fence for $2.00. We then bought 2 packs of the Crayola paints and some Dollar Store paint brushes and let the kids line up and go crazy! It was awesome! They loved it and what a great art piece we had when they were done.



Another inexpensive idea was to get some sidewalk chalk..again Dollar Store…and let them draw all over the driveway!

I love when I look at party pictures and they have a cute photo op set up with props. So I scoured the clearance section at Michaels and found a white frame that did not include the glass.  It was only $6 and would work perfectly. Using some yarn I made a Rapunzel braid to attach to a princess tiara that I pulled out of my daughters dress up box. We hung the frame with fishing line from the pretty tree outside and the kids were able to put on the crown and braid and have their picture taken…turned out pretty cute! One tip though, make sure you take a minute and make the kids go over there to take pictures because otherwise you will forget and they will be having to much fun to stop and want to do it themselves!


Lastly to add to the atmosphere we brought out our MP3 player and some little speakers and played the Tangled soundtrack as the kids ran around and ate outside. We downloaded the soundtrack from iTunes for about $10.00

Tip 4

Food. I didn’t want to break the bank on foo, but knew we had to have something substantial for the kids and parents since it was just after dinner time. Rapunzel's favorite soup is Hazelnut stew…I wasn’t feeling too confident about making and serving actual Hazelnut soup…although the reviews are all great online from people who have made it. I choose to make a pot of potato soup that I made early that morning and just placed in a crock pot. A simple dish of cheese, bacon and green onions to top it off, and it was perfect! We just labeled it Hazelnut Stew to play along with the party theme.

We kept the rest simple --remember you’re feeding kids -- they will grab a few small things and then run off to play and not eat it anyway! We did some cheese cubes, fruit and bread, Jell-O cups and my sister made cherry cheesecake cupcakes...Yum!

Now you can make a little look a lot more impressive by just being creative. Take your fruit and make fruit tower kabobs instead of just a bowl of fruit. Use your iron skillets to fill with cheese and bread. Using some cupcake printable circles you can take an ordinary cupcake and give it a unique and custom topper. Work on your presentation of your food and you don’t have to have a bunch to make it look full.


The Jell-O cups were a very easy and fun thing to serve! I was inspired by, where she made these for her Tangled party. Basically you take some blue Jell-o and pour into small clear plastic cups. Then once the Jell-o is set, take a slice of orange and poke a toothpick into the top and using either a piece of purple cardstock or some printable kingdom flags attach them to your toothpick to make Rapunzel and Flynn’s boat. Easy and super cute!


For drinks I made a classic wedding golden punch to resemble the magic flower potion they give the queen in the beginning of the movie. I picked up a few golden flowers from the Dollar Store to place in front of the punch and labeled it “Magic Flower Punch.”


The cake. This is where a lot of people like to splurge and who could blame them! I have seen some amazing and beautiful cakes and it is the centerpiece of your table. So if that’s where you want to put your money, go for it!

My little one decided she was soooo over cake and cupcakes (she’s only 6…really?) so I had to get creative with the cake! I decided to use donuts to stack and make a tower. It was a little harder than I thought to keep them from falling over, and I encourage anyone who wants to try it to use something like a thick dowel rod to place down the middle!

I used some store bought icing and made green and pink and purple, and using a pastry bag I started making vines and flowers around the tower. I was fortunate to have purchased a castle cake set a few years ago that I was able to use pieces from for the window and the tower peaks. If you don’t have something like this, you could simply use a sugar cone for the peak rolled in sprinkles and you could use a fruit rollup to cut out the shape of a window…just get creative!


Tip 5 

Favors. This was my one splurge! I found this amazing local cookie artist, Decorated Desserts, thanks to Facebook, and happened to see pictures of Tangled cookies she did. Gasp! they were adorable and I sooo wanted some! I had saved money on everything else so I ordered 2 dozen Pascal cookies to wrap up as favors. They were adorable and worth every penny! They ended up being about $2 a cookie which wasn’t really to bad for a favor I suppose.



I feel that it’s the extra little things that make a party! I used elements from my printable set to accent my food table and my decorations. Printables are easy and I feel a lot of people get intimidated by them. The beauty of it is that you have creative freedom to make them as fancy or simple as you would like.


So if you can cut out shapes, glue things together and string ribbon through holes…you pretty much can create it yourself. There are various companies that offer printable sets. Prices can vary but most average around $30-$40 for a set. Included in your set you have access to invitations, thank you tags, thank you cards, banners, water bottle wraps, candy bar labels, cupcake topper circles, welcome signs, table tents…etc.

One price, one download and you can print as many as you need. Now granted ink cost can suck up your budget really quickly, so be careful and make sure that your printer can handle it, and if you feel it can’t,check into printing at one of the many office stores.

For my party I used the cupcake toppers to place on top of my cheesecake cupcakes. I printed a Kingdom flag banner to string around the trees outside. I printed the favor tags to add to each cookie to add a personal touch to my favors. All of the food was labeled with food table tents that were themed for the Snuggly Duggling. I also printed my Thank You cards and loved that they matched the theme of my party! So if you want to add the special touches and don’t have the budget to order them ready made, this is a great option!

Whatever your budget you can create a wonderful party that your little Princess and all of her friends will love!

Thank you Candy, for sharing all your tips. I especially love the activities you came up with!

If you haven't seen the rest of Candy's party photos, you're in for a treat, and to learn more about Candy, please check out her blog, The Party Bakery, and her Etsy shop.

DIY TUTORIAL: Easy Framed Pine Cones

My daughter loves pine cones and always collects them, so when I saw this tutorial for a beautiful way to display them in a frame, I had to post about it. The tutorial was created by Linda of Craftaholics Anonymous.

How beautiful would these framed pine cones look as part of your fall or winter decor.

easy-framed-pine-conesCheck out the entire tutorial here!

Thank you, Linda for this easy craft. I might be making one this week with my daughter.

FREE Thanksgiving Printables from With Envy Parties

Anitria from With Envy Parties designed these classic and traditional "Give Thanks" Thanksgiving printables and we are lucky enough to get to give them away. I love all the pretty leaf garlands... Thank you, Anitria!

The collection includes: invitations, menus, party circles, drink flags, favor tags, blank place cards, filled-in food labels, water bottle labels, "I'm thankful for..." cards, wine bottle labels, and patterned paper. Phew, that's a lot!!



Thank you, Anitria for your beautiful printables!

To learn more about Anitria and see all her wonderful designs, check out her blog, With Envy Studios, per party shop, With Envy Parties, and her paper shop, With Envy Paper.

DIY: How to Make a Backdrop out of Paper Rosettes

Ali P made this paper wheel backdrop for her Let's Go Nuts Dinner Party and when I posted a photo of it on Facebook, the response was incredible. People kept wanting to know how she did it.

Well, Ali kindly put together this tutorial for us, so thank you, Ali! Now take it away...


Making a wall of wheels, or paper rosettes, is a great way to make a HUGE impact at a party without a lot of fuss or cost.  I bought a pack of paper and some doilies - that's it!  Here's a basic tutorial on how to make this great back drop.


  • Scrapbook paper or card stock
  • Doilies
  • Stapler
  • Glue gun

1. To make a large wheel; fold 3 sheets of paper accordion or fan style,


2. Fold each fan in half and staple edges together.




3. Next, staple all three folded fans to each other to complete your wheel.



4. For a smaller wheel you fold 1 sheet of paper into a fan. Cut it in half.


5. Fold those halves in half again and staple. You only need 2 sections to make a circle for this smaller wheel.




6. You can leave the large and small wheels plain or stack them with a doilie for added effect. I hot glued all the layers for the stacked rosettes.



7. I added my wheels to my wall by poking them through with nails. If you can't put nails in your wall, I've seen it done by using hot glue to attach them to a large poster board or foam core board.


8. Add as many as you want to the wall and layer with different sizes and papers.


I hope this helps! I'm sure I'll use this party backdrop trick again and again.

Thank you, Ali, for taking the time to put this tutorial together. But what did you do with the holes in your wall when you were all done? :)

If you haven't seen the rest of Ali's amazing party, please check it out. And to learn more about Ali and see all her beautiful parties, please visit her blog, Sprinkles of Charm.

My Favorite Thanksgiving Finds on Etsy

Here's why Etsy is so incredible. Look at all the phenomenal handmade items I found for Thanksgiving. These put a smile on my face.

Turkey fondant cupcake topper by Cakes and Kids


Acorn gift tags by Fresh Lemon Blossoms


Pilgram cookies by Lori's Place


Fall paper garland by hoop da loop


Girls' Thanksgiving Pumpkin Shirt by Modern Frills  


 Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner edible cupcake toppers by mimicafe Union


Rustic Fall Wreath by Boo Bah Blue


 White chocolate pumpkin bread by Simply Divine Desserts


Fall garland by Green Garland


Little pumpkin burlap bags by Pink Lemonade Party Shop


Check out more wonderful Etsy Thanksgiving items. I'm honestly like a kid in a candy store.

Also, if you need free Thanksgiving printables or Thanksgiving inspirations, we've got them!

FREE Thanksgiving Party Printables from Mimi's Dollhouse

Want something that feels playful and modern? Take a look at this complete collection of Thanksgiving printables designed by Holly from Mimi’s Dollhouse.

The collection includes: an invitation, party labels, drink flags, water bottle labels, "I'm thankful for" cards, tented cards, a "Happy Thanksgiving" banner, and a kids' activity/coloring sheet.






Thank you, Holly, for creating such a warm and playful collection. To learn more about Holly and see all of her great designs, visit Mimi’s Dollhouse!

Need more inspiration? Check out all of our free Thanksgiving printables and Thanksgiving parties on our site.

DIY TUTORIAL: How to Make a Felt Letter Garland for All Occasions

I love garlands! They are some of my favorite decorations, so when I stumbled upon this felt garland tutorial from Rebekah of Twinkle and Twine, I had to write about it.

The best thing about this felt letter garland is that there is a "sew" and a "no-sew" version, so for the non-sewers like me, there's no need to feel intimidated. How great would this look on your mantle or even wrapped up as a holiday gift?




Check out the whole felt letter garland tutorial here.

Thank you, Rebekah, for creating this tutorial and introducing me to the wonders of freezer paper. :) To learn more about Rebekah and read about her crafting adventures, visit Twinkle and Twine.

FREE Football Tailgater Printables from 9 to 5 Mom

We interrupt Halloween to bring you this cute set of free football tailgater printables from Brady from 9 to 5 Mom.

Now you can easily (and cheaply) add some style to your next football party. The collection includes: party circles, cupcake toppers, tented cards, and a "touchdown" banner. Thank you, Brady for this fun collection.











To learn more about Brady, and see more of her designs please check out 9 to 5 Mom.

DIY TUTORIAL: How to Make a Halloween Spider out of Pom Poms

Check out these adorable and easy Halloween pom pom spiders Candy from The Party Bakery emailed me. If you are looking for some not-too-scary DIY Halloween decorations, these could be it.




See the whole tutorial here.

Thank you, Candy, for sharing!

If you have a DIY you'd like me to consider posting, please email me jillian(at)catchymyparty(dot)com.


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