DIY Tutorial From a Catch My Party Member - How to Make a Shabby Chic Ruffle Garland

by Jillian Leslie on

I saw this ruffle garland in the photos of Leslie I's 60th Birthday Tradtional Tea Party and I fell in love. I'm always drawn to things that are a little unfinished or rough around the edges and that's what drew me to this garland.

I asked Leslie is she'd put together a tutorial for us and she had already done so on her blog. Lucky us! Here it is...

One of my favorite elements from the Tea party last month was the ruffle garland I made by hand.  I have been crushing on the Hank and Hunt garlands for a while now (Etsy shop, Blog), but being the kind of person I am, I just had to try to DIY a variation of it for myself. I just knew that the burlap would work well, and it really was perfect!

(Clarification:  I didn't have time to take pictures as I was making the actual garland for the party, so I used fabric scraps I have lying around the house to make a mini version for this tutorial)

Here's how you do it:

1) Get yourself some awesome fabric.   (I used a natural burlap that I bucket-dyed to match the color scheme of the party.  The pink was RIT Petal Pink, and the red was a combination of RIT Scarlet and Wine.)

Shown: Two coordinating fabrics, heavy duty thread & needle, six inch wide clear ruler & a pair of really good scissors!
2)  Measure out the length of your garland.  Because I used such a generous stitch, I found that I needed about 60% more length than the finished product needed to be.  Seriously, these things take a lot of fabric!  Fabric saving tip: Get your fabric half the total length and sew the two pieces together once ruffled.  (Can you tell that the garland above the buffet is actually 6 pieces sewn together, and the garland on the hutch is actually 4 separate pieces?)

3) Cut your strips.  Don't worry about making perfect cuts.  In order to keep the width fairly consistent, I found it good to have a ruler lined up to help keep things somewhat straight.  I aimed for the wide strip to be about 6 inches wide and the layered strip to be about 2 inches wide.

Cutting the fabric
Finished cuts - notice the jagged edges!
4: Layer and sew.  Layer the narrow fabric strip on top of the wide fabric strip; aligning one of the short ends together.  Sewing by hand, sew a single stitch all the way down the center of the fabric.  Keep the stitches small on the top side and wide on the bottom side.  Again, don't worry about keeping things perfect.  Some of the uneven stitches will help create more character and dimension.  Also, don't be surprised if the top layer ends up being shorter than the bottom layer.  It will naturally bunch a little higher, so make sure you have quite a bit extra length.

Line up the fabric pieces
Start sewing.
Close-up of the stitches from the top.
5)  Scrunch and finish.  Gently push your fabric down the thread line until you get your desired ruffle effect.  Now you can go back and tie off your thread at the end of the ruffle.
Fabric scrunched down the thread.
Finished garland
And now you have your own 'seamless' ruffle garland!

Thank you, Leslie, for this awesome tutorial. If anyone makes a ruffle garland, please send photos.

Check out the rest of the photos from Leslie's 60th Birthday Tradtional Tea Party. You'll love the ruffle cake and tea cup favors.  Also, to learn more about Leslie, please check out her blog, Pampers, Playdates and Parties, for more great party ideas and inspirations.

TRENDS: Valentine's Day Parties on Catch My Party

by Jillian Leslie on

Planning something for Valentine's Day and looking for ideas? Here's a host of them from the Valentine's Day parties on our main site...


Courtney D's Valentine's Dinner Party -- Got a group of single girlfriends? Invite them over for a Valentine's Day dinner with a beautiful table and decadent treats just like Courtney did.


Lilian O's Sail Away With Me Valentine's Day Lunch - Want to plan a romantic lunch for your husband or boyfriend? How about using some of these gret ideas from Lilian who created this surprise lunch for her husband. Lucky guy!


Chris N's Queen of Hearts Valentine's Day Party - How about a grown up Valentine's Day party with gorgeous desserts and printables? Let Chris show you how.


Laura's - Kiss Me Valentines Romantic Breakfast Party - Want to plan a romantic breakfast with personalized notes, heart-shaped pancakes, and beautiful rosettes decorating your table? Then this is the party for you.

Looking for more ideas, check out all the other Valentine's Day parties on our main site. And more posts on Valentine's Day parties to follow!


FREE Valentine's Day Printables from Love the Day

by Jillian Leslie on

Lindi, from Love the Day, made this gorgeous collection of "So Sweet" Valentine's Day printables just for us to give away. Isn't it nice having such creative and generous friends?

The collection includes: a heart-shaped Valentine holder, an "I Love You" banner, "Be Mine" tags, triangle flags, and "Sweet Heart" Valentines to give to your friends.

Download the free Valentine's Day printables here!

free valentines day party printables


Thank you, Lindi. These are so sweet and lovely!! To see more of Lindi’s party designs check out both her blog Love the Day and her Etsy shop. Also make sure to take a look at her beautiful parties on our site.

SPOTLIGHT: A Vintage Circus Birthday Party

by Jillian Leslie on

As soon as I saw the photos from Laura B's Vintage Circus Birthday Party, I needed to know more, in fact I needed to know everything!

I contacted Laura, asked her some questions about her party, and here's what she said in all the gory details...

Who was the party for and how did you come up with your theme?

The party was to celebrate my three daughters' birthdays. Preslee and Mason who turned four, and Finley who turned two. Last year we did two separate parties two weekends apart and it was a lot. My twins love anything having to do with the circus and once we started talking about it, I knew that this would be the perfect theme. My girls are "girly girls" so we had to have that feminine spin on things. A circus with a girly twist = LOTS of frills, ruffles, pink and glitter!

How long did it take to plan?

The idea came to me about a year ago, right after their last parties, but I didn’t actually start putting things together until about 6 months ago. Don’t laugh, it’s my Type A personality!

How many guests did you have?

We had 33 kids and 55 adults!  It was crazy fun!

What was your overall budget?

I hope my hubby isn’t reading this  HAHA…The biggest expense was the rental of the venue. The party was held at Confetti's Event Center.  They are a party rental place but have a room that you can rent out for parties.   It's local here in Baltimore.  I did the paper goods (signs, favor tags, party circles) myself and there were so many DIY aspects to this party. Spent a lot of time at Home Goods, The Dollar Tree and the clearance aisles at Michaels. You also have to remember that this party was for three children and doing it for just one would be much less expensive.

Did anyone help you put it together?

I had lots of help, ideas and inspiration from some amazingly talented ladies. Jess from Party Box Design designed my invite and offered some cute party ideas, Ally from Allyson Jane did the gorgeous cookies, and Kim from Sweeties by Kim created the yummy Oreo pops and chocolate covered Oreos. The Super Chick herself made the ruffle on the wall behind the dessert table and I ordered some tasty taffy from Kate Landers Events. This was the first party that I designed and did the paper goods for since opening my shop, Cupcakes and Lemonade. It was so fun and special to do that for my daughters and see it used in a “real” party. Also, my babysitter and a few of her college friends worked all the booths.  I ordered them "carnie hats" and aprons from Oriental Trading Company to wear for the party.

What was the most fun part of planning it?

As the months passed, my dining room table began to pile up with all the things I was buying to use for the party. It was so awesome the night that I set up a “mock” dessert table and I could for the first time really see how it was all going to come together. My husband was asleep and I ran in, woke him up and dragged him in just to see. It all looked so pretty!

What was the most difficult part of planning it?

I think forcing myself to stop looking in magazines and on the Internet. The more you look, the more awesome ideas you see, and at some point you just have to step back, stop and say this is enough for this party. I had to remind myself that I didn’t need to use every single one of my ideas on just this party.

What DIY elements did you do?

I did not want to be THAT parent who sent each child home with a live goldfish so I made goldfish soaps for each child to take home as prizes when they played the ping-pong toss. They were so easy and such a cute and unexpected idea for that game. I also made the popcorn cupcakes and the candy apples, which were a HUGE hit with the kids and all the parents.

What was your favorite DIY element?

I think it has to be the goldfish soaps. They really were so easy. I am going to have to do a tutorial on my blog.

What food and beverages did you serve?

We had a dessert table with every kind of sweet you could imagine. Cookies, candy, cupcakes, candy apples, cotton candy, and popcorn. We also served hot dogs, chips and pizza. Just good ole’ circus food. It was so easy and the kids loved being able to just grab a quick bite and run right back to playing all the games. For drinks, I had juice boxes for the kids and bottled water with cute matching labels from The Paper Cupcake. I also found at a garage sale an old Coke crate. My local grocery store carries the old Cokes in bottles. I stuck one of those in each slot with a fun striped paper straw.

What, if any, activities did you have?

We had a stilt walker, a photo booth with lots of fun props; spin art, a bounce house, ring toss, beanbag toss, ping-pong toss, a ballpit for the little ones and a kiddie stryker. We had a face painter as well who was amazing! When the guests arrived at the party, they each received a gable box full of circus treats as well as tickets to play each game. When they “won” the games, they were given a gold coin, which they could turn in, at the end of the party for prizes.

What was your favorite moment during the party?

Almost ever child that walked in the door had this look of amazement on their faces. Literally their mouths were hanging open and they just squealed. That made my whole day! So many of them have since told me that it was the best party that they have ever been too. Makes all the hard work totally worthwhile.

Any lessons learned from planning the party (things you might do the same or differently next time)?

I feel so lucky, for me, this party went exactly the way I envisioned it. One thing I did that I have never done before was having a photographer. It was something that I budgeted and planned to spend the money on. It was so nice to be able to enjoy the party and not worry about running around trying to take pictures of everything and everybody. I know this is an extra expense, but even if you don’t do a professional photographer, get someone to be responsible for taking those special pictures for you.

Any final thoughts about the party?

This was a party that anyone can do. My daughters all have birthdays in January so that makes it hard to do anything outside. This would be a FAB party in your backyard. You could have so many fun outdoor games, petting zoo, etc. There are so many DIY aspects as far as the food and decorating, etc. I think all kids love the circus/carnival and it was just so neat to stand back, actually enjoy the party myself and let them run wild. It doesn’t have to be totally organized and that was one of the best parts!

Thank you, Laura, for sharing how you put this unbelievable party together! It looks so magical and fun.

To learn more about Laura and find great party tips and ideas, visit her blog, Cupcakes and Lemonade. Also visit her Etsy shop for cute printables, cards, and invitations.

TRENDS: Very Hungry Caterpillar Parties on Catch My Party

by Jillian Leslie on

Who doesn't love the book, A Very Hungry Caterpillar? Well it shows in these incredible Very Hungry Caterpillar parties we've seen on our main site. Here are some of my favorite details from each party...

Corey V's Brooklyn's Very Hungry Caterpillar Party

Great cupcake cake

The invitation with holes in it wrapped in twine with the apple and little caterpillar

The coloring activity with cool colored pencils

The favor bags with the little pom pom caterpillars

The birthday boy in his birthday crown

Katie P's Lucas Turns 1 Party

The insane homemade cake!

Food labels with passages from the book. So clever.

Caterpillar cookie favors. Love the tags with art from the book.

Favor bags with personalized tags

Heather T's Very Hungry Caterpillar Party

Homemade caterpillar cake

Again food labels with passages from the book

A caterpillar hunt with hidden homemade egg carton caterpillars in the bushes

Using the book as a guest book

Brittany S's Grant's Very Hungry Caterpillar Party

Fun cupcakes in the shape of a caterpillar

Personalized favors bags with a cute saying

The Party Wall's Very Special 1st Birthday

Wall decals from the book

I love these caterpillar pizzas

If you are inspired by this post, check out all the other book themed parties on our main site. There are some great ones!


by Jillian Leslie on

This week's party photo comes from Jodi J's "Get Ready for Takeoff" Graduation Party. I love the girls blowing bubbles with the words "The sky's the limit" above! I find this photo compelling.

Take a look at the rest of this cool paper airplane themed party. I think it's a very clever theme for a graduation party.

Also take a look at the other graduation parties as well as the other airplane themed parties on our main site.

FREE Valentine's Day Printables from Magnolia Creative Co

by Jillian Leslie on

Emily from Magnolia Creative Co not only designed our fabulous "Cupid" collection of FREE printables, but she's also designed this adorable "Happy Heart" collection for us to give away, too! How grateful are we!

This delightful collection includes: an invitation, large party circles, medium party circles, party labels, favor tags, Valentine’s Day cards, drink flags, food tents, and a “Happy Valentine’s Day” banner.

Download the free Valentine's printables here!

[caption id="attachment_10466" align="aligncenter" width="465"] Invitation[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_10469" align="aligncenter" width="465"] Large party circles[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_10553" align="aligncenter" width="465"] Medium party circles[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_10470" align="aligncenter" width="465"] Party labels[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_10471" align="aligncenter" width="465"] Favor tags[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_10472" align="aligncenter" width="465"] Valentine's Day cards[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_10473" align="aligncenter" width="465"] Drink flags[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_10474" align="aligncenter" width="465"] Food tents[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_10475" align="aligncenter" width="465"] "Happy Valentine's Day" banner [/caption]

[caption id="attachment_10538" align="aligncenter" width="465"] "Happy Valentine's Day" banner[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_10539" align="aligncenter" width="465"] "Happy Valentine's Day" banner[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_10540" align="aligncenter" width="465"] "Happy Valentine's Day" banner[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_10541" align="aligncenter" width="465"] "Happy Valentine's Day" banner[/caption]

"Happy Valentine's Day" banner

"Happy Valentine's Day" banner

[caption id="attachment_10544" align="aligncenter" width="465"] "Happy Valentine's Day" banner[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_10537" align="aligncenter" width="465"] "Happy Valentine's Day" banner[/caption]


Thank you, Emily, for another great collection! These "Happy Heart" printables are sweet and adorable!

To learn more about Magnolia Creative Co., which sells party and event invitations, stationery items, and hand painted ceramic and canvas gifts, please check out their website and Etsy shop.

TRENDS: Super Mario Bros. Parties on Catch My Party

by Jillian Leslie on

If your son is in love with Super Mario Bros check out these inspiring parties from our main site.  There are so many great ideas. Here are the details I'm loving...

Rachael L's Mario Kart Wii Birthday

Dessert table

The invitation was in a box shaped like a Wii remote

Hats and star cookies

Brittany S's Super Mario Party

Dessert table

Insane cake

Cookie pops

Party favors - Mario and Luigi hats

Tiffany B's Matthews Super Mario Party


All the party details including the great cake

Super Mario bingo

Kelly R's Tyler's Super 6 Mario Bros Party

Party favors

Dessert/candy table

Angelina P's Frank and Sissy's Birthday Bash

Chocolate mustaches

Favor boxes

If you find these parties inspiring, check out all the video game parties on our main site.

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