Posts in the ‘Decor’ Category

DIY Tutorial -- How to Make a Candy Tree Topiary

I can't say enough about Maria, Kristina, and Roxana, the women at MKR Creations.  I met two of them at the CPN So Cal meetup and they are lovely and so creative.

They created this adorable candy tree topiary for their Y's Diapers and Wipes Shower using Smarties Pops and marshmallow rope. I just love it.

Maria, Kristina, and Roxana were kind enough to put together this tutorial and wait until you see how easy it is...


  • Large foam ball
  • Scissors
  • Ribbon
  • Stick
  • Vase
  • Foam & artificial grass from Michaels
  • Poofy marshmallow rope or candy necklace from It'Sugar
  • Smarties Pops unwrapped from


STEP 1 -- Cut half off the Smarties Pop sticks.

STEP 2 -- Start inserting the Smarties Pop sticks into the large foam ball.

Show diy-topiary-candy-tree

 STEP 3 -- After you are done filling the foam ball with Smarties Pops, add the stick to your vase and insert it in your large foam ball.

STEP 4 -- Tie the poofy marshmallow rope around the stick to cover it. You could use the candy necklace instead; if you use the candy necklace you will need a glue gun to glue it so it will stay in place.


STEP 5 -- Add your ribbon and you're done!

Candy tree topiaries makes such a great addition to your party!

I couldn't agree more! Thank you, lovely ladies, for putting this tutorial together. To learn more about MKR Creations and see the other amazing parties they've styled, please check out their vendor page on our site.

DIY Tutorial: How to Make a Satin Flower Wreath

I'd never seen this before, where you cut out circles of polyester satin, lightly burn the edges with a candle so they curl into petals, and attach them together to make gorgeous flowers, have you?

Well, here's a tutorial from Lina of Fancy Frugal Life that takes it a step further and turns the flowers into a beautiful wreath. Take a look...

And here's a decorated "3" Lina made for her daughter's 3rd Dora birthday. Just gorgeous!!

To learn the step-by-step how Lina created such fabulousness, check out this tutorial on her blog. Thank you, Lina!!


DIY Tutorial: How to Make Fabric Pom Poms

I had never seen fabric pom poms before until I saw these gorgeous ones Victoria L made for her Pinkalicious Party. What I love about them is the added level of sophistication it brings to her party decor.

It turns out they're not hard to make, and you just need a few supplies. But they can be a little time consuming depending on the size of the pom pom, so be warned. :)




To see the whole tutorial, check out this post on Victoria’s blog vixenMade.

Thank you Victoria, these are just beautiful! And if you haven't seen Victoria's Pinkalicious Party you are in for a treat!

If you make some fabric pom poms please send photos, I’d love to show them off.


FREE Labor Day BBQ Printables from Clickable Party

Who's throwing a Labor Day BBQ? And who likes cool retro styling? If you said yes to both questions, you're going to love the FREE Labor Day BBQ printables Krysten at Clickable Party designed for us to give away. Thank you, Krysten!

This collection includes: an 8x10 "Happy Labor Day" sign, tons of fabulous party circles, and tented cards you can personalize yourself. I hope this collection inspires you to get creative and have some retro fun decorating!!


8x10 frameable sign

Labor Day food and drink party circles

Labor Day party circles


Tented cards you can click on and personalize

What a retro cool collection!

Thank you, Krysten, for this amazing collection!

To learn more about Krysten, please visit her blog, Clickable Party and also check out her shop where you can buy more of her fabulous printables.

DIY: Festive Pedestal Name Display Centerpiece

As you may know from reading my blog, I'm a huge fan of personalized anything at parties.

So when I saw these personalized pedestal letters spelling out "Tyler" in the middle of the dessert table at T's Summer Stripes Sprayground Birthday Bash, I had to know how Zoila made them.


Here is her easy tutorial, so take it away Zoila!

Festive Pedestal Name Display Centerpiece: (Or as I like to call it: Finally Getting Use Out of Those IKEA Frames in the Back of the Closet)

Materials Needed:

  • Wooden or cardboard letters suitable for painting – approximately 5” high (we found ours at Michael’s)
  • Craft paint
  • Coordinating patterned or solid / textured cardstock
  • ZOTS™ 3D clear adhesive dots
  • IKEA® TOLSBY double-sided pedestal frames – only $0.99 each
  • Paper trimmer or scissors
  • Paint brushes
Step 1: Plan which color you will use and which cardstock pattern / solid you will use as a backing for each letter. (Much easier to sort everything out before you are putting them together.)

Step 2: If you haven’t already done so, setup your frames by attaching the pedestal and peeling the protective cover off BOTH sides of each of the clear plastic protectors.

Step 3: Prep and paint your letters (front, sides, and nooks and crannies) in coordinating colors for your party theme. No need to paint the backs of the letters. Depending on how light or dark your letters are going to be, you may need a white base coat or several coats of paint. (We did about 4 coats per letter using a basic all-purpose, water-based paint.)

Step 4: Trim your cardstock to fit the frame at 4.125” x 6.125”. Each frame will use two pieces of cardstock, front and back.

Step 5: Insert the front and back pieces of cardstock on the outside of the plastic protectors. In other words, the two photo protectors will be sandwiched in between the two pieces of cardstock. Make sure the cardstock faces outward. The letters will be adhered to the cardstock, not the frame itself.

Step 6: Once your letters are dry and ready to adhere, place a 3D glue dot at the top and bottom of the letter.

Step 7: Press onto the cardstock that is to be the front of the frame. (Be mindful of where you are positioning the letter as these glue dots are a bit hard to reposition.) The letter should float a bit in front of the frame and if the letter is wide enough, will be layered over the frame. Repeat for each of the letters.

Step 8: Enjoy the oohs and ahs when people admire your craftiness.

Thank you Zoila for this easy tutorial! To learn more about Zoila and see her beautiful printable designs, check out Squared Party Printables.

If you haven't seen the rest of T's Summer Stripes Sprayground Birthday Bash check it out.  What a fabulous summer dessert table, love all the vibrant colors.

PARTY ON A BUDGET: A Pink Parisan Patisserie Birthday for $74

Ooh la la! I saw Heather L's Pink Parisian Patisserie Party and I was swooning -- all that pink, all those treats, all those fluffy pom poms!


Then I noticed the budget... $75! Can't be done, I thought. But I was proven wrong. Here's how Heather pulled it off...

Anyone who knows me, knows how much I LOVE to throw a party!  I have so many ideas running through my head, it can get overwhelming at times.  However, I get a reality check every time I think about actually implementing all of my crazy plans when I remember the “B” word – BUDGET. 

As a stay at home mom of five, with a hardworking husband who has recently started his own business, I feel that it is my job to keep a very strict budget when it comes to party planning – but still make those in my life feel special and spoiled!  Over time, I’ve learned a few tips and tricks for creating a fabulous party on a budget.  Here are a few ways I saved money but still managed to get the look of a more extravagant party.


 Use what you have, borrow what you don’t!  This is my favorite tip, and I cannot stress this enough.  For this particular party, my daughter wanted a cupcake/bakery theme.  As I was thinking of ideas for the party, I realized that a French bakery theme would be cute – especially since my daughters’ shared bathroom is decorated in a pink/black Parisian theme. 

I simply borrowed some items from their bathroom – like the metal Eiffel tower, a small painting, a cute poodle, and much more!  I also pulled many things from both daughters’ rooms.  If it was pink or black, I grabbed it =) 

Eiffel Tower borrowed from her daughters

Stuffed poodle borrowed from her daughters

I had a ton of tulle on hand (that I have kept since my 12 year old daughter’s fourth birthday!) so I used tulle on everything.  For NO money, I had instant party décor.  As you are deciding on a theme, think about what you have in your house that matches your colors – maybe there is a red bucket, a cute aqua shelf, or a pink bird cage that would look just PERFECT dressed up for your party.  Additionally, borrow what you can – for my Paris party, I borrowed several serving plates/platters as well as both tablecloths I used. 


Don’t plan your party during a meal time.  I purposely planned our party for 2:00 – 4:00 pm.  I knew that I couldn’t afford to serve a huge spread of food, so I kept it light and simple – and it was perfect for little tummies! 

I served cupcakes (baked at home using boxed mix and canned frosting that I piped on to look more “professional”), sugar cookies I baked and decorated myself, marshmallow pops (I already had the marshmallows and just purchased pink candy melts with a coupon), a little candy, and some grapes and pretzels to balance out all the sweet stuff.  I already had the grapes and pretzels on hand for my kids’ lunches, so I only had to purchase a few items.  Our drinks were inexpensive “Shirley Temples” made with Sprite and grenadine. 

Homemade sugar cookies

Homemade marshmallow pops

The kids had plenty to eat and most even took some treats home with them.  If I had served lunch, I would have busted my budget for sure.


Start planning early.  I always start planning my parties well in advance.  One reason for this is that I just can’t help myself – I’m always looking forward to the next party =) 

The main reason, though, is so I can start looking for items that are deeply discounted that go with my theme.  You can find cute buckets, frames, serving pieces, scrapbook paper/supplies, etc. on major clearance at craft stores if you know what you are looking for.  It might be on sale six months before your party, but if you know your theme ahead of time you can purchase it at a great price.


Use party printables (reasonably priced ones).  In my opinion, cute party printables really do make your party.  However, you have to factor in the cost of purchasing them as well as printing them.  If you purchase a very expensive party printable package and then go to the office supply store to get it printed (or use up all of your own very expensive ink!), you might be shocked at how much of your budget is gone.  Shop around, and find a reasonably priced printable package.

Inexpensive printables

I was able to find a great one for my Paris party for only $10!  Even if you can only afford to get one printable item, such as cupcake toppers/party circles, print a bunch of them and use them everywhere.  Other than cupcakes, you can use them as favor tags, to dress up store bought party hats, or even glue them to ribbons and have them hanging from your chandelier.  For my Paris party, my very talented mom embellished the already adorable banner that I printed, and it looked like a million bucks!

Embellished banner


Do it yourself.  People tell me all the time that they “can’t” make things, or they “aren’t crafty.”  Well, let me tell you – if you have a small budget, you’ll figure it out quickly =) 

Every single party I do, I make most of the decorations.  There are SO many tutorials out there in blog land – just Google what you are looking for and you are sure to find instructions on how to make it.  Everything might not be perfect, but my kids don’t care – and they are SO proud to tell their friends, “My mom made that!” 

For this party, I wanted a beautiful floral arrangement for my front door, and while I do consider myself pretty crafty, I am NO floral arranger – at all!  But, I was determined, so I purchased five bunches of flowers at the Dollar Tree and played around with them in a door bucket I already had until I achieved the look I liked.  I tied a little ribbon and tulle around it, stuck in a party sign (and a cute little poodle) and voila! I can only imagine how much I would have paid a professional to design that bucket for me.  Certainly more than the $5 it cost me =)

Home made flower arrangement to welcome the guests


Home made hair flower party favors

Here is the breakdown of the cost of my party.  (My mom purchased the adorable little macarons from Trader Joe's as well as some of the candy):

  • Printables/printing - $15
  • Paper goods - $12
  • French cupcake tags (used as party décor) - $4
  • Flowers (from Dollar Tree – five bunches) - $5
  • Candy - $6
  • Poodles (party favors – purchased from Oriental Trading) - $15
  • Craft supplies - $9 (I already had many supplies on hand, such as ribbon, glue, tulle, rhinestones, etc.)
  • Baking supplies - $8 (had some on hand, only needed to purchase candy melts and some extra canned icing)
Total spent:  $74

Just amazing, Heather! Thank for sharing all your smart tips. It shows that with a little ingenuity, you can add lots of special touches without spending a fortune.

If you haven't already, check out the rest of Heather's chic party.

I Made My First Trip to HomeGoods!

Long story short... My daughter loves piano, so my husband found a used keyboard on Craigslist. We picked it up in Manhattan Beach (about 40 minutes from our house) and there's a HomeGoods nearby. My husband, being the kind, generous, and patient man that he is, hung out with my four-year-old, while I got to shop.

It turns out that HomeGoods is owned by the same people as TJ Maxx, where I went a few weeks ago, so it was no surprise that they had many of the same items, but much much more. The store is heaven if you love parties, entertaining, and decorating. I felt infinitely creative just walking through the door.

Here are some of my favorite finds...

Perfect for a baby shower or tea party $12.99.

Mod cake plate $12.99.

Great for serving water on a long table or putting flowers in. $5.99 each.

Each tea pot was $9.99. You could dress these up for an Alice in Wonderland tea party.

I've always wanted one of these to add lemon and basil to my water. $16.99.

You can't tell from this photo but these are huge. $7.99 - $14.99

I'm always looking for a new cake stand $14.99

One of my white essentials. $12.99

Silver is more expensive, but I thought just one. $19.99

Beehive drink dispenser $19.99

So many good finds at HomegGoods. If only there was one closer to our house... Actually, maybe it's a good thing there's not. :)

What are your favorite finds at HomeGoods?






Here's What's in Your Party Toolkits

Now that I've shared what's in my party toolkit, I thought I'd compile a list of all the items you have in your party toolkits (thanks for all the comments) so everyone can see and maybe add to theirs.

3M Mounting Strips - Love these, have some. Must get more!

Hot glue gun - I have to admit, I've been a little afraid of them but it's been mentioned a bunch of times,  so I think I must get over my fear.

Glitter glue




Glue stick

Rotary fabric cutter/Pinking shears - Smart idea.

X-acto Knife

Silhouette Craft Cutting Tool - One day...

Cricut Personal Electronic Cutter - One day for this one, too...

Fishing line - I love how this makes things look like they're floating in space.

Clothes Pins - I absolutely need some, especially the mini ones.


Thumb tacks

Suction cup hooks

Tape measure

Tissue paper

Colorful card stock

Poster board/Cardboard

Acrylic paints

Paint brushes


Silk flowers

Wooden dowels

Circle cutter - For different sized circles.

This is quite an exhaustive list. I feel like I could tackle any party with these supplies. Thanks for all your ideas, let me know if I left anything off.















DIY Tutorial: How to Make a Wreath from Gift Bows

Maria D made this adorable DIY birthday wreath for her daughter's Puppy Party.

Using gift bows she spotted at the Dollar Store, a grapevine wreath she had painted for another project, and a letter "A" she had saved from another decoration, she came up with this idea for a pretty birthday wreath to welcome her guests.

To learn how simple this was to make, head to Maria's blog, Love & Sugar Kisses.

Also take a look at her beautiful puppy party with all its homemade details.


Harry Potter Birthday Party on a Budget

Harry Potter parties are some of the most popular on our site. So when I spotted Allison W's Magical Harry Potter Birthday a really original party that cost $200, I got excited and had to ask her how she did it.

Well, here are Alison's top 5 tips for how she saved money throwing her very cool party...

Tip 1

Plan ahead of time! I knew about 4 months before what kind of party my son wanted and made sure he was sticking with that theme. It was then that I started planning for the decorations, activities, and food so I knew what I needed to purchase. Not only does this allow me to find the best deals, but also to spread out the purchases.

Tip 2

Yard/clearance sales! I think my best find was the mason jars with handles. I wanted that look and had seen some glass beer mugs at the Dollar store which is a good deal, but keeping my eye out beforehand, I ran across a pack of 10 mason jar mugs for $2. They were etched so I made a super cute label and had custom Butter Beer mugs for cheap! A lot of people go to the Dollar store for party supplies but be careful $1 each can add up pretty fast so be sure to compare.

Ten mason jars with handles bought at a yard sale for $2

Tip 3

Use what you already have! Again, because I planned ahead of time I was able to save glass jars and containers for the decorations as we used them. Instead of recycling, I washed them out and saved them for the party.

Recycled glass jars and containers

Tip 4

Make it yourself! Before I purchase something I always ask myself if I can make it easily for less ("easily" is the key word haha). One thing I made was the cupcake stand. I love cupcake stands and instead of paying $15-$20 for one that I sort-of liked, I made a custom one for $3 plus 2 cans of soup that I used later. I also made house banners from felt, a birthday banner from the pages of a ruined Harry Potter book, wands, and the Quidditch field.

Homemade cupcake stand


Homemade banner using an old Harry Potter book


Homemade wands

Tip 5

Keep it simple! Your entire house doesn't need to be decorated to have a magical party. A few really great decorations can make the entire party and set the perfect scene.

Thank you, Allison, for these great tips. And I couldn't agree with you more about Tip 5. I always believe that all you need are a few special, well-thought-out design elements and you've got a memorable party that "pops."

Make sure to check out the rest of this magical Harry Potter party.

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