Aug 24, 2015

Confetti and Calligraphy | An Engagement Party

I have been so excited to share this party with you!! I made myself wait until I got through a bit of my blogging backlog, but I can't wait any longer. This might just be one of my favorite parties yet.

This also happens to be the very first party I have ever been paid to plan. And while I still don't plan on starting a party planning business any time soon, I must admit it was pretty fun. It didn't hurt that my 'clients' were two super awesome friends of ours.

Our friends were throwing an engagement party BBQ in honor of their brother and his fiancé. The original inspiration for the party decor was the bride's love of funfetti cupcakes and the fact that the couple met at a first birthday party for our friends' daughter. I loved the idea of a very festive confetti theme, and decided to make it slightly more adult and fancy with the addition of calligraphy accents.

A calligraphy and confetti door sign welcomed the guests to the party.

Inspired by my calligraphy table runners for the cookies and milk engagement party, I created black and white versions using song lyrics from the music for their first dance.

It turns out you can make something pretty fancy looking with a roll of kids art paper, a pencil, an eraser, and a big Sharpie.

I chose turquoise as the primary background for the black and white calligraphy. Small colorful floral arrangements of spray roses, dahlias, and freesia kept the confetti theme alive on the tables.

I also created a custom piece of calligraphy artwork that doubled as a party decoration and a gift for the lovely couple to take home.

One challenge with a confetti themed party is how to incorporate the confetti without making a huge mess. We contained the confetti in a few ways. Clear balloons make a great place to add a little confetti and these are an easy DIY touch.

Take tissue paper and fold it several times and insert it into a 1" circle punch to make custom confetti. Then take your confetti to a party store when you place your balloon order. Use clear balloons and stuff them with a handful of the confetti. This is easier with two people, one to hold and one to stuff. Try not to crinkle the confetti so it lays nice and flat inside the balloon. The stores will inflate your confetti filled balloons and have them ready the day of the party. Diddams did not charge any extra for the confetti and only stipulated that it had to be made out of paper.

For a little fun with this after the party (or during!), if you pop the balloon the confetti sprays out and showers you. That will make a mess, but it would probably also make a great picture. 

The second way I got a confetti effect in the decorations without the mess, was by creating confetti garlands.

I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut different sized circles in all the colors of the party. Then I took a stack of circles and sewed straight through the center of each circle one at a time to create a garland. This was the first time I had ever sewn a garland and it was by far one of the easiest and quickest ways I have ever put one together. Try it! Just realize it might dull your needle a bit. I made enough confetti garlands to hang down throughout the house and give the impression of falling confetti.

With the theme based around funfetti cupcakes, these cupcake wrappers made the perfect complement to the featured dessert.

I was able to squeeze in one last confetti decoration and use Washi Tape (yay!) in packaging the utensils. For a backyard BBQ, It seemed like a convenient (not to mention cute) idea to package the utensils and napkins inside a glassine bag so the guests could hold it all easily with one hand while filling their plates.

And the confetti washi tape was too good to pass up.

By all accounts the party was a success and the guests loved the festive theme. They sent a few photos for me of the final party prep.

Here's to wishing Edwin and Amanda a lifetime of wedded bliss.

And to you for your patience with how many times I said 'confetti' and 'calligraphy' in this blog post.

Supplies List:
White frame - Michaels
Flower vases - Michaels
Art paper roll for table runners - Michaels
Tissue paper and cardstock - Michaels
Sharpie - amazon
Utensils, plates, table cloths, napkins -
cupcake wrappers - amazon
Washi Tape - Pretty Tape on Etsy
Glassine bags - wrap works on Etsy

Aug 23, 2015

Made with Love | A Free Printable Calligraphy Gift Tag

Here we go...I am attempting a quick blog post. I'm trying to get better about spontaneous blogging, no overthinking, no worrying, just a few thoughts and something fun to share. I have to say after years of primarily technical writing as an engineer, I have found it surprisingly difficult to write with my personality instead of extracting it out.

Today's 'quickie' is for all you fellow Makers out there, a little love for your handmade gifts. You spend hours lovingly hand making gifts for friends and family, and I think that deserves a little something special for the gift wrap.

The inspiration for this tag actually came from a friend. She is knitting a number of gifts for friends and family and asked if I could create a calligraphy design that she could print on care instruction cards. After a few tries, I had a design I was happy with and I am sharing it here free for anyone to use!

So here you go. You can print it, resize it, cut it into any desired shape. Have fun with it! Just please do not use this tag for profit or sell it.

I'd love to see how you style it and your handmade gifts as well. Tag me on instagram @theselittleloves or find me on Facebook. Need inspiration for handmade gifts? Here are a few of my most popular handmade gift ideas: a bunny ear teetherwaterproof picnic blanket, grilling prep plates, burp cloths, family celebration plaque, monogram art.


Aug 21, 2015

The Littlest Mermaid | A Sparkly Teal and Purple First Birthday Party

Look at this stuff, isn't it neat? Wouldn't you think my collection's complete? Wouldn't you think I'm the girl, the girl who has...everything...

I can't tell you how many times I sang this song while planning my niece's first birthday party. The first time I broke out into a passionate rendition of Part of Your World, my family was amused. The second time perhaps they were a bit annoyed. I'm guessing by the fourth time they were slightly concerned for my mental health. What can I say? My love of The Little Mermaid runs deep. It probably has something to do with the fact that I was 6 when the movie released and every song is etched permanently in my brain.

This party was fun for so many reasons, not the least of which was that I have had way too much pent up 'girl party' energy. This was the first birthday party for my niece! I now have two nieces, but until now the birthdays have been all, nemo, planes, cars. I practically begged my sister-in-law to let me throw this party. She agreed and I promptly bought out the fabric store of sparkly teal and purple tulle. I must have been asked about 5 times what I was making while walking through the fabric store.

The decorations all started with the idea to make seaweed. Very girly, pretty seaweed. We hung seaweed from tables, chairs, the front door, the gift table, even the chandelier. The tulle naturally twisted when cut into the seaweed strips and gave it the perfect look. Check out my DIY seaweed blog post for detailed instructions on how to make your own!

The seaweed made a great backdrop for the party garland.

Big impact for a cheap price.

A few seahorses even found their way into the seaweed for effect.

Instead of going full 'under the sea' I kept the decorations to the prettier of the sea creatures: mermaids, seahorses, starfish, and clam shells.

Everything was purple, teal and white and almost everything had a shimmer or a sparkle.  Even the utensil packets were held together with sparkly green washi tape. Like I said, pent up girlyness.

My Silhouette Cameo cut the glitter paper (the kind individually wrapped in a plastic sleeve that doesn't shed glitter) like a dream.

Purple floral cuttings from my mom's tree, a party store net, a fish bowl sand scene, and some capiz shells finished off the look.

As an afternoon party, we kept the food simple with croissant sandwiches, chips and dip, and fruit salad. Fitting with the color scheme of the party we turned lemonade teal by using blue raspberry water enhancer drops.

The desserts, as always, were my favorite. All the cookies were decorated with a glaze icing with a royal/buttercream icing for the detailing. 

Inspired by sweet sugar belle's use of a whale cutter turned into a mermaid, I attempted my own version. I couldn't believe how well they turned out! Using a food coloring pen to draw a guideline on the cookie before decorating is genius and a huge help for an elaborate cookie. 

I clearly had way too much fun with this cookie theme.

My SIL requested two cakes, a smash cake for the birthday girl and a larger cake for cutting and serving to guests. With two cakes, you need two cake toppers, which we of course DIY'ed using bamboo skewers, glitter paper, ribbon, and a glue gun. 

Ombre rosettes covered each cake, one in purple and one in teal. I highly recommend this white velvet cake, with a cream cheese frosting, and raspberry preserve filling. Delicious!

And easily color-able if you want a little surprise for guests when cutting the cake. 

Our darling Grace was the star of the show and it was a blast spoiling her on her big day.

Like these decorations, but not enough time to DIY? Check out my etsy listing here while it lasts!

Supplies List:
Glitter Paper, Ribbon - Michaels
Utensils, plates, cups, washi tape - Hobby Lobby
Mermaid, shell, seahorse, starfish patterns - silhouette design studio
Tulle - Joanns
Favor buckets - Target and Hobby Lobby

Looking for more mermaid party inspiration? Check out my mermaid party pinterest board here.

This is not a sponsored post and all supplies were purchased by me or my family.