Archive of ‘Make’ category

How to make tissue paper pom poms

I’m a big fan of using tissue paper pom poms in my party decor. What I love about them is that they are inexpensive and can be used in a wide variety of events. I’ve used them for birthday parties (like this candy party) and baby shower (like this spring shower) + many other events. I often get asked how I make them — so today, I thought I would share my tips for making and also for buying tissue pom poms.

how to make tissue paper pom poms

How to make tissue paper pom poms. They aren’t difficult to make, but I’ll be honest and say they are time consuming. If you have a couple nights to dedicate to making them while watching your favorite TV show, I say go for it. Here are the simple steps I follow:

how to make tissue paper pom poms

Aren’t those finished pom poms gorgeous?! They were used in a first birthday party I spotted over on The Sweetest Occasion.      The DIY method looks like this, not too much to it. It’s a pretty simple method and you can check out the full details and how-to here. Remember though to give yourself some time (and extra tissue for mistakes)! Also, I recommended finding a little higher quality (aka thicker) tissue than what you might typically use for gift wrapping. It’s easier to tear and the thicker paper tends to hold up nicer.

If I’ve scared you or the DIY method just isn’t your thing, I suggest just ordering your tissue pom poms.  They are inexpensive and this will save you from having to trek to 8 different stores in 3 cities to find the perfect shade of teal tissue paper (not like I’ve done that or anything).

Whether you make them, or buy them … these tissue poms are a great way to add some flair without breaking the budget. My daughter even re-purposed her poms from her recent birthday party into decor for her bedroom — love that!

Tori Tait on Instagram

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Baking and Craft Party

If you’ve been reading Thoughtfully Simple for the past few years, you’ll remember my oldest daughter Taylor’s past birthday parties. We’ve done a candy party and a zebra party which I shared. Today, I’m sharing her 11th birthday party which was a lot of fun.

She completely helped mold the theme of her party which made it all the more fun (and challenging) to plan. We planned the party decorations and activities and then came up with a theme (which is completely opposite of how I typically operate). But hey, maybe she’s on to something? We could all be reading her party blog a few years from now.

She wanted to have tie-dye cupcakes (she loved these St. Patrick’s Day cupcakes we made last year). She also wanted to decorate them (check and check). She wanted arts & crafts (check), plus she wanted green, purple and blue decor (check). Here’s how we pulled it all together:

craft party

Bake. Craft. Create.

I designed the invite (with a little emergency design help from my go-to-gal Kori of Paper and Pigtails).

baking party

The decorating stage was set. I premade our colorful cupcakes the night before to make it easier.

craft party ideas

When the girls arrived, they began making their paper flowers that would adorn their new aprons. They made all types of darling flowers using cupcake liners, glue, and brads. I loved how unique each looked! Then, they chose an apron and we attached their flower.

I’m calling the aprons “shabby chic” because I made them and I have no clue how to operate a sewing machine. I’ve had one for 8 years and can barely turn it on (so please don’t look closely at this photo, there is a grandmother rolling in her grave somewhere I just know it).

And now they were ready to get their decorating on. And boy did the go for it!

baking party | cupcake decorating

They were each so unique and fun!

craft party

Each girl chose their most-favorite cupcake to take home. We put them in little boxes (they fit perfectly) and they took them home for a sweet reminder of the party. The other cupcakes went on our stand and we later sang happy birthday and enjoyed them.

a to z celebrations

 

We also enjoyed these adorable chocolate covered Oreos (the birthday girl has been requesting these since her last birthday party). They were so cute and delicious, I could use one right about now.The purple table runner from A to Z Celebrations was a perfect match — it had just a touch of glitter which worked into our theme perfectly.

For all the unconvential planning that went into this, I’d say it turned out great. The girls had a blast and hopfully we’ve shared some simple ideas for your next baking party or craft party!

The rest of the party was a pretty typical pre-teen affair. Pizza, giggles and lots of dancing went down.

Do you remember your 11th birthday? What was the best birthday party you remember as a child?

Boxes for cupcakes | Garnish

Oreos | Sweet Temptations

Table Runner | A to Z Celebrations

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A Pretty Packaging Party

Feeling the holiday stress? Wish you had more time? How about carving out a little girl time and getting some of that to-do list accomplished?  My simple tip to sneaking in time with your best friend, mom, sis and neighbors? How about hosting a simple, Pretty Packaging Party?

The plan: set up a gift wrapping station, toss out some supplies and simple snacks, and invite the girls over for chatting and wrapping!

gift wrapping party

Confine your packaging party supplies to one room in your house — a dining room table or an otherwise, “out of the way” spot where you gals can get busy wrapping and catching up.

gift wrap party

 You’ll want to have plenty of supplies on hand (you can even ask each guest to bring something like tags, tissue, or ribbons to make it easier).

wrapping party

Boxes (I prefer these craft brown ones from thinkgarnish.com), plenty of ribbons of different widths, and festive tags are all a must. Don’t forget the tissue paper, tape, scissors and pens too!

cool packaging

Add those thoughtful touches to your gifts with these little homemade paper flowers. I made all sizes using cupcake liners and coffee filters! Layer, scrunch, and secure the flower together using a brad. Hostess Tip: if you’ll have kids in tow this is a fun craft that will keep their little hands busy!

gift wrapping party

You won’t want to forget some drinks and snacks — but keep it super simple. You’re getting together to get gifts wrapped and sneak in some quality girl time — no working away in the kitchen! Serve water or lemonade in glass jars with cute straws. Serve “packaging peanuts” and candy in these clever clear plastic tubes (so handy).

This entire Pretty Packaging Party idea can be pulled together in a whim — it’s super simple. So, go ahead — call up your girlfriends and invite them over for some wrapping and chatting. After all — good things do come in pretty packages.

Boxes & Clear Tubes |  Garnish

Glass Jars & Paper Straws | Sweet Shop LuLu

Do you like to wrap gifts or is it more of a chore for you? Are you the gift wrap or gift bag type?

 

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Unique Invitations {When & Where Invites}

Looking for an invitation that is sure to stand out? I’m delighted to introduce one of our newest sponsors, When & Where Invitations. Their unique designs, high quality feel and  three-dimensional designs really caught my eye. I’m super excited to have them join our family of sponsors and have been dying to show you some of my favorite invites! Aren’t these holiday designs darling?

When & Where Invites (created by the very talented Amanda Richardson) gives an innovative twist to your ordinary flat invitation. These three-dimensial designs are meant to impress the recipient and reflect the style of the sender. What a great way to set the tone for your stylish party or wedding, right? Loving them! Here are some fun birthday invites.

 Great right? Look at these unique wedding invitations:

If you have an upcoming occasion, I would definitely consider ordering from When & Where Invitations — why not try something new? I have a feeling your invitation will be one they remember! Tell Amanda I sent you, and happy planning!

 

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Engagement Party {Classy + Whimsy} Part 2

As I mentioned in Part 1 of this engagement party, the entire concept of this party was created around the Bride-to-be’s mention that she was envisioning a party that was “classy with a touch of whimsical” and “black with a pop of color.”

Here is a reminder to what started it all … the perfect invitation.

engagement party ideas

Designed by the very talented Kori of Paper and Pigtails, the invite was the source of inspiration for the rest of the event details.

 If you missed Part 1 be sure to take a look. We shared lots of bright florals and details. Here’s a peek back:

engagement party ideas | decor

And at last …  more of the event:

In addition to the fully stocked bar, we served up two signature cocktails. We took classic traditional drinks and gave them a twist by using some fun candy. More details on those below! The tray-passed appetizers were classy but a little playful.

Throughout the night, servers passed trays of veggies and hummus, dirty martini skewers (recipe coming!), caprese turkey meatballs, crackers with pesto tapenade, spinach & feta puff pastries, spicy stuffed mushrooms, chipotle mayo beef sliders and french fries served in a cup with spicy ketchup. The food was a hit!

engagement party drinks

The two signature drinks were both inspired by candy from CandyWarehouse.com — a Rock Candy Champagne Cocktail and a Vodka and Orange Cream Club. Both recipes to come soon!

Paper cones were filled with gourmet cotton candy adult could appreciate. The flavor? Strawberry Jalapeno (it was GOOD!).

The dessert table could not have been more perfect, really. Not over the top — but SPOT ON with the design (just how I like it). Custom cookies by Allyson Jane were a perfect match. She incorporated the logo I designed with a pop of orange and the custom print from the invitaions. She hand decorated our “chevron with a twist” pattern and they were perfect!

engagement party ideas

Matching custom cupcake toppers were made by the talented Edibtal Details. The monogram and custom pattern showed off beautifully here.

engagement party cake

Also, designed by Edible Details were the GORGEOUS sugar flowers that adorned our cake — just so lovely. They mimicked the fresh florals we used throughout the party.

Thank you to all the very talented and helpful vendors who helped me pull this party off. And thank you to the darling couple (Courtney & Dave) who gave me the honor of coordinating this amazing evening for them! Now, let’s plan a wedding shall we? :)

Our Amazing Vendors

Invitations & Paper Elements | Paper and Pigtails

Party Rentals | Allie’s

Cupcake Toppers & Sugar Flowers | Edible Details

Custom Cookies | Allyson Jane

Candy | Candy Warehouse

Vases for centerpieces | Blumebox

Cotton Candy | Daily Grommet

Cake | Jodee’s Bakery

 

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The perfect invitation {+ sneak peek!}

It’s no secret that the invitation sets the tone for the party, baby shower, wedding — or whatever the event may be. Making or finding the perfect one however can be tough. For me, it’s my favorite part of the party planning process. Sometimes it comes easy, sometimes it’s a long process, but once I’ve found “it” I get extremely motivated (and excited) to plan the rest of the event!

Once in a while I’ll make my own invitations (it’s that former stationery-designer in me) like I did here and here. Other times, I know right away that I need to turn to a pro. My go-to? Kori from Paper and Pigtails. She hit it out of the park with this sports party invitation and these spring brunch printables and I knew for my next event she would be my only choice.

For this upcoming engagement party, I had an exact vision of what I wanted the invitations to look and feel like. Kori (as she always does) was able to jump into my crowded mind and deliver — the. perfect. invites.

Classy and sophisticated …. yet a little whimsy and fun. Black with a touch of orange and bright pink, great fonts and (my favorite part) an original pattern designed just for this party. Here’s a look!

 

 You can see the pattern in the picture above, it covers the entire reverse side of the invite and was meant to bit a bit of a “surprise.” I LOVE how they turned out. What do you think?

Many more professional photos to come of this event so stay tuned (I snapped this with an iphone real quick because I just couldn’t wait to share!)

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