TRENDS: Chalkboards on Catch My Party

by Jillian Leslie on

What a great party trend... chalkboards!  They're simple, yet they bring personality to your party.  They're a casual, playful, and relatively inexpensive design element.  So take a look at how people use chalkboards in a variety of ways to add that special touch to their parties.

Emily W's Oh-So-Girly First Birthday

Creating special memories is what parties are all about.  And a chalkboard as part of a birthday party photo booth -- what a creative idea.  This way people get to put their own personal, handwritten messages into their photographs.

Katie M's Morgan + KT's Picnic Engagement Party

For this engagement party, a chalkboard sign adds a touch of whimsy, especially when it's directing the guests to a game of homemade Twister.  And you don't even need a chalkboard to have fun with chalk.  I love how as part of the activities, the hosts put out buckets of sidewalk chalk and had their guests go to town on the driveway.

Gina F's Cooper's First Birthday

Here's a simple but fun way to add some decoration to a kid's birthday.  Doesn't this take you back to elementary school?

Chris N's French Inspired Cocktail Party

These chalkboards fit in seamlessly with the vintage French feel of this cocktail party.   What a lovely touch to write "Au Revoir" on an old chalkboard next to a basket of party favors, and a small chalkboard menu looks great on a buffet table.

Maureen's Paris in the Springtime Birthday Party

This large chalkboard makes you feel like you're stepping into a fancy French bistro.  It's a perfect way to add ambiance and set the mood for what's to come.

My advice with chalkboards is to not worry about your messages looking perfect.   Embrace the "handwritten-ness" of them and they will automatically bring warmth to your party.

If you're looking to buy some chalkboards, check out these at Save on Crafts.  You get (6) 7x10 inch chalkboards for $19.  Not bad.

DIY Tutorial From a Catch My Party Member - How to Sew a Pennant Banner

by Jillian Leslie on

Brandi Barnes sewed this gorgeous pennant banner for her son Stewart's Willy Wonka Golden Birthday Party.

She also put together a tutorial on her blog, There Goes My Life... on how she did it.

So here's the summary...

What you will need for your pennant banner:

  • Four fabrics (1/2 yard each)
  • One package of extra wide double fold bias tape
First Brandi cut a triangle pattern out of heavy paper.  Hers is 8 1/2 inches across and 9 1/2 inches long.

Then she folded her fabric in half, pinned the pattern on, and cut out her triangle shapes.

Next she pinned the pennants together and sewed the long sides of each pennant, leaving the tops open.

Next she clipped around the point of the pennants before turning them right side out.   She said you can use a pencil to help get the points turned.

Once  all her pennants were done, she opened the biased tape and pinned the open edge of her pennant inside it.  She started about 7 inches from the end of the tape and put about an inch of space between each pennant. After all the pennants were pinned, she sewed from one end to the other... and that was it!  Easy!

Here's another pennant banner she made from gold, purple, and chocolate fabrics to match the decorations on Stewart's cake table.

Thank you, Brandi, for your great tutorial.  We look forward to seeing more of your beautiful pennant banners at your future parties.

Also, to check out Brandi's beautiful photographs, head over to her professional photography blog here.

Do you have a DIY project from one of your parties that you'd like to share in a "Tips from a Catch My Party Member" post?   Please email me at  I'd love to feature it!

TRENDS: Vintage and Unusual Sodas

by Jillian Leslie on

I love surprises at parties.  They don't have to be big surprises, but little unique details really impress me.  So when I noticed some people serving vintage and unusual sodas, I had to post about it.

Here are a couple photos of these sodas from parties on our site:

Alejandra V's How Sweet it Is - Ava Turns One

How great does the Americana Black Cherry soda fit in with this "cherry" themed party.

Carey B's Sesame Street Party

It's a kids party, but Frostie Orange Soda and Dad's Root Beer are nice option for the adults.

Anneliese S's Fiesta Forty

Anneliese threw a fiesta themed party and served authentic Mexican soda to her guests.  Love it!

Trader Joe's has started selling 3 varieties of vintage soda -- cola, root beer, and orange cream soda.  But if you want the real thing, check out Galco's Soda Pop Stop.  They are based in LA but ship everywhere.  And here's a sweet interview with John Nese, the owner of Galco's!  Talk about someone who loves what he does!

DIY Paper Lanterns - What a Great Party Decoration!

by Jillian Leslie on

I saw this post on Decor8 this morning and had to repost about it.

This is a little video tutorial from Tina Fussell, who writes The Travelingmama blog, on how to make these gorgeous paper lanterns.

These lanterns are so simple to make, and can be used anywhere you might hang a pom pom.  Also, as Tina says, they'd look great in kids' bedrooms.   So sweet!

TRENDS: Awesome Dessert Tables for Boys on Catch My Party

by Jillian Leslie on

(Just a quick note, we're giving away some beautiful Le Creuset cookware.  Click here if you want more info.)

We showcased dessert tables for grownups and dessert tables for girls (part 1 and part 2), so of course we had to do dessert tables for boys!  I'm so impressed by all the creativity here.  See for yourself...

THE CARNIVAL TABLE Lisa R's Carnival Party

Here's what's on Lisa's table:

  • Popcorn bags
  • Oreo pops
  • Marshmallow pops
  • Cake, cookies & cupcakes (from Crazy 4 Cookies & Cupcakes)
  • Animal crackers
  • Sour straws
  • Licorice
  • Gumballs
  • Lemonheads
  • Old fashioned candy sticks
  • Candy buttons
  • M&M’s
  • Happy Birthday banner (from TomKat Studio)
  • Candy/food labels (from Party Flair Creations)
THE SUPER GROVER TABLE Kristy M's Super Grover Rave

Here's what's on Kristy's table:

  • Blue raspberry licorice
  • Yellow smiley face gumballs
  • Old fashioned taffy sticks
  • Rainbow cookies
  • Blue cotton candy clouds
  • Blue raspberry rock candy sticks
  • Custom mini black and white cookies with "G"s on them
  • Chocolate and vanilla cupcakes
  • Coordinating color chocolate pretzels
  • Mini dessert hamburgers (krabby patties)
  • Gummy peaches
  • Cherry sours
  • Rock candy tree
THE HAZARDOUS TABLE Pamela S's Hazardous Teen Birthday Party

Here's what's on Pamela's table:

  • Chocolate cake pops coated with green candy melts and peanut butter chips
  • White cupcakes with green colored vanilla pudding centers topped with green butter cream frosting
  • Green (white) chocolate cupcake balls
  • Custom wrapped candy bars
  • Custom wrapped soda bottles
  • Toxic waste sour candy
THE DINOSAUR TABLE Lori L's Jackson's 3rd Birthday Party

Here's what's on Lori's table:

  • Dinosaur candy on a stick made by Sweet Treats & Designs
  • Orange, blue and green Sixlets
  • Orange, blue and green Twizzlers
  • Gummy bears
  • Dinosaur chocolate cake
  • Peach jelly beans
  • Peach orange slices
  • Candy-dipped marshmallows
  • Candy-dipped cake pops
  • Suckers
  • Dinosaur-shaped sugar cookies with royal icing
THE STAR WARS TABLE Amanda P's Star Wars Lego Party

Here's what's on Amanda's table:

  • White chocolate almond butter cream cupcakes with Star Wars Lego character pics (made with downloaded images from the internet and glittery scrapbook paper)
  • Death Star Donuts:  powdered sugar donut holes
  • Padawan Pizza:  pizza bagel bites
  • Light Sabers:  colored chocolate covered pretzel sticks with colored sparkling sugars
  • Wookie Cookies:  homemade chocolate chip cookies surrounding the original Wookie himself, Chewbacca
  • Yoda Soda:  lime sherbet balls mixed with Sprite
  • Two-tiered white chocolate almond butter cream filled cake covered in metallic silver and blue fondant with fondant Star Wars Lego characters, fondant silver and blue Lego pieces, light sabers and a Death Star decoration
  • Water bottles with glittery "5's" to celebrate the birthday boy's 5th birthday
THE POOL PARTY TABLE Maureen A's Blue and Green Pool Party

Here's what's on Maureen's table:

  • Cupcake ice cream cones
  • A waffle cone cupcake with a cookie pop topper (for the birthday boy)
  • Blue old fashioned candy sticks
  • Lollipops (we used our party logos to put lollipop covers on them)
  • Cookie pops in blue and green tones
  • Gummy sharks (blue and white)
  • Lemonheads (blue and green with some scattered red and pinks)
THE MONSTER TABLE Carrie E's Little Monster 3rd Birthday Party

Here's what's on Carrie's table:

  • Teal and yellow sugar cookies
  • Gumballs
  • Monster marshmallow pops
  • Mini boxes of lemon clouds
  • Monster fondant cake
  • Goodie bags filled with mini monster beach balls from Oriental Trading Company and printable coloring books from etsy
What fun!  Thank you Lisa, Kristy, Pamela, Lori, Amanda, Maureen, and Carrie for sharing your fabulous tables with us.

DIY Tutorial From a Catch My Party Member - How to Make a Macaron Tower

by Jillian Leslie on

We're starting a new feature called "Tips from A Catch My Party Member," where members of our community give tips on how they made certain items (foods, crafts, decorations, etc.) for their parties.

Today's feature is all about macaron towers, because if you checked out our recent dessert table post, you know that macarons have become quite a popular item.

And what are macarons?  They are cream-filled French sandwich cookies made from egg whites, almond flour, and sugar.  They are both delicious and colorful, which is why they work great on dessert tables.

Linda V., from Brisbane Australia, who made this gorgeous raspberry macaron tower for her daughter Lilli's Pink Fairy High Tea 6th Birthday Party, is going to show us how she did it.

Linda put together a great tutorial on her baking blog, Bubble and Sweet, so I'm just going to recap it here.

Things you will need for your macaron tower:

  • A Styrofoam cone available at any craft shop (the one she's using here is 27 cm or 10 1/2 inches high)
  • Some pretty paper (optional)
  • Lots of toothpicks
  • Lots of macarons

Linda first wrapped the Styrofoam cone in paper so that no Styrofoam would show through the gaps in the macarons.

Next, at the bottom of the cone, she popped a toothpick in, leaving approx half a macaron's width poking out.

Then, carefully holding the sides of the macaron, she pushed the macaron onto the cone.

She continued inserting toothpicks and macarons around the tower in a spiral, working her way up, trying to leave as little space between macarons as possible.  On the top couple of tiers, she cut the toothpicks in half.

And voila, here's what she had at the end, a beautiful chocolate macaron tower...

And if you want to try your hand at baking chocolate macarons, Linda has a great recipe and tips on her blog (plus you can check out her little macaron mishap).

Do you have a DIY project from one of your parties that you'd like to share in a "Tips from a Catch My Party User" post?   Please email me at  I'd love to feature it!

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