I am so not an expert in any way, shape or form on throwing parties but I have had several emails and comments asking me for some info. So, I thought I’d do one post to answer a few questions and with some tips for throwing a fantastic party all your own!
First and foremost, I do it all myself and begin months in advance! Well…except for the cake & cookies. I have two amazingly talented friends who do those very well and are my go-to girls for every party I have. I personally have tried to make my own cake before and was not in love with it. Plus, it took forever and I could have spent so much more time on other things. So, realize where your strengths and weaknesses lie and go with it. I can do cupcakes pretty quick and they look okay so I don’t mind those. But, as important as the cake and cookies (which are usually surcies for me) I leave to those who do them very well! The biggest thing to remember is that doing it this way, it is very time consuming. So, I work a little here and there during naptime and more at night once we are getting closer to the party date.
Oh…and always have cupcakes! So much simpler than cutting the cake especially when you have hungry little ones around. I always have cupcakes for the kids to grab and go and yummy cake for the adults who don’t mind waiting a moment for a special treat.
I begin by deciding on a theme (or letting your child decide) and then go straight to etsy.com to search everything they have in that theme. Once I decide on a party package of printables, I make sure to get it personalized so it doesn’t look generic. I love my home and my things personalized (and lots of clothes, too) so I think the more you personalize the party, the better off it will be.
One of my all time favorites is Dimple Prints. They did both Wyatt’s Baseball party and Luke’s Under the Sea Pool party. You can go to etsy.com and look for their store and find gobs of darling parties! They are super easy to work with and very efficient. Usually, the printables are emailed to you to download within a few days in a PDF format or something along those lines.
Keep in mind that you will get hundreds of pages of printables. There are a few things that are a must for me: cupcake toppers, banners, party favor tags and food tags. I also love the water bottle wraps, napkin rings and lots of other little signs with the theme on them to stick whereever you can. I go nuts with the circles!
Decide on what is important to you and print those first. Commit to getting those done and then add on as you wish once the most important decorations are done.
My banner is so easy it’s ridiculous. Once I have printed out my banner and laced it all together with ribbon the way I want, I get a cardboard poster display ($4 from Wally World) and wrap a tablecloth ($1 from Dollar Store or Wally World) around it in a coordinating color. Then I just hang the banner on it the way I would like it…taping it to the back and using double stick tape on each letter of the banner to keep them in place.
I like to print everything out on heavy cardstock paper. I don’t think it’s necessary to buy anything any fancier than that. Most of the decor is just going to get messy anyways and it’s so much easier to throw it all away when it’s over when you haven’t spent a fortune on it! :)
Do purchase a lot of double stick tape! You will use it everywhere! I just use toothpicks and a piece of double stick tape on my cupcakes toppers.
You will get so tired of cutting circles!!! One easy trick I have learned is just to use some scalloped scissors (or something with a fun design) instead. You can’t tell where you mess up a badly and it goes much quicker!
I typically just buy plates, napkins, utensils, etc in solid coordinating colors from the dollar store. I have been lucky enough here and there to find some polka dots and stripes that may coordinate well but you don’t want the paper products competing with the decor, so keep it simple.
I do love my mason jars as glasses! I like to tie several coordinating ribbons around the glass and maybe stick a circle decoration on it for fun. Always have juice boxes or plastic cups on hand for the kiddos though!
In the months leading up to the party, keep the colors and theme in the back of your mind everywhere you go! You never know when you’ll come across something that may just be perfect! For example, I was in the dollar store (you see a trend here, yet???) when I saw some old timey popcorn bags hanging up in the candy aisle. I grabbed two packs of them knowing they’d be great for the popcorn, pnuts & cracker jacks at the baseball party. It was so cute to have individual popcorn bags instead of just dumping it in a big bowl. It really is all the little details and touches that make it that much more special!
Lastly, make sure your guests leave with something! Whether it’s cookies or candy or some adorable decoration, put something in their hands before they leave. I like to have something as the surcie that goes with the theme. I am known for giving away my tabletop centerpieces, too. You can never give too much!
And, most importantly, have fun!!! My boys love helping me where they can and we make it a big deal! My mom threw some great parties for us and I so enjoy making their birthdays (and anything else) so, so special for them! I love providing a great looking backdrop to their special memories!
Hope I have answered some of your questions!