ShindigZ Party Pulse Rising


Summer and fall are looking to be big party seasons according to ShindigZ customers. A June survey posted on the ShindigZ.com website found that 32 percent of customers planned to host 5 or more parties within the next year, with 90 percent of customers planning to throw at least one party.

Another survey, sent via e-mail to ShindigZ customers, sought to find what kind of parties people were likely to host. Of 1,000 respondents, over 40 percent said they could see themselves throwing a pool or luau party by the end of the year. Nearly 30 percent customers thought they were likely to throw a Halloween party, marking summer and fall as big party seasons. Hollywood Balloon ArchOther popular party themes on the horizon include Christmas parties (26%), Hollywood parties (18%) and western parties (17%).

Although the holidays are always popular reasons to host a party, the increased interest in themed parties may indicate that people are choosing more often to host parties in their homes rather than more expensive modes of entertainment, possibly due to this summer’s rise in gas prices. With party supplies shipped straight to their homes from ShindigZ.com, party hosts do not even have to leave their homes to plan and throw memorable parties.

As a one-stop party source since 1926, ShindigZ provides all one needs to turn an ordinary party occurrence into something special, something memorable. The website sells over 38,000 party decorations.

Party Potter Style!


Deluxe Harry Potter CostumeThe next Harry Potter movie, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is released on July 11 and the final book, number seven in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is coming out on July 21st. With all the excitement about the famous wizard, July is the perfect time to have a Harry Potter themed party. Have friends over for pizza and a movie marathon or for a get together before going to see the new movie. Or, when the book comes out, host a reading party! Have guests dress up as their favorite Hogwarts student or staff member and take turns reading the book aloud.

At ShindigZ, we have tons of Harry Potter decorations, costumes and party favors to help you through a magical Harry Potter party!

The first step to hosting a party is deciding on your guest list and inviting your friends! It’s best to send out invitations at least three to four weeks in advance, especially during the summer as many of your guests could have vacations planned. Count on around 25% of your invitations coming back as regrets. Harry Potter Tableware Kits include cool printed invitations for you to send out. You could also use Star Lite personalized invitations for a custom printed, magical look.

You probably can’t have invitations delivered by Owl, but you can add a magical touch by tying them to a pair of Harry Potter glasses and hand delivering them or by tossing a handful of stars and swirls confetti into the envelope for a fun surprise.

Welcome guests to your party with a personalized vinyl banner printed with your special birthday message or party details. If your party is a night, line your walkway with star luminaries for a magical glow.

As your guests arrive, set the mood with a fog machine, creating an eerie impression at the door. A fiery pot and table torch or Harry Potter lanterns are great for giving corridors and party tables the look of a castle banquet. As each guest enters, have them put on a fabric sorting hat to determine which table they sit at. Kids will love playing in a 3-D Castle too.

For meal or snack time, turn your tables into the Hogwarts dinning hall by hanging a Hogwarts wall banner above each one and accenting them with lanterns or torches. Cover your tables with plastic tablecovers and scatter star and swirl confetti over them. There’s matching tableware themed around Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire or Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, including all the plates, cups, cutlery, napkins, balloons, and decorations you need for sensational party tables. You can also choose plastic tableware in your favorite colors.

Keep your guests entertained with fun party games. Try a wizard’s hat piñata. Kids will love bursting out the candy filler. (Don’t forget piñata accessories!) With banner paint draw Harry Potter’s face on banner or sheet of flat paper and using lightning bolt wall decals play “pin the scar on Harry.”

You can also create your own Hogwarts classes. Here’s some ideas:
*Defense Against the Dark Arts Class: Insert small pieces of wrapped candy into balloons before inflating them. Encourage the kids to stomp out the dark side, including Voldemort and the Bogarts by popping the balloons. For a fun twist on the game, for “round two”, don’t allow them to use their feet! The prize? The candy they uncover!
*Potions Class: Fill and label several jars with a variety of gross things and lead the kids in mixing the most disgusting potions imaginable. For example, provide ginger (mandrake root), poppy seeds (eyes of bats), dream fluid (purple punch), smoked oysters or sardines (hippogriff gizzards), spaghetti in red sauce (bloodworms), cocktail onions (blind cats eyes), and water mixed with soil (hollow stump water). The kids will enjoy just mixing the items, deciding what they can be used for, and being grossed out. Set our Mist Maker in the center of the table to create the perfect potions class setting.
*Muggle Quidditch: Set up an obstacle course, and have the kids run the course with their brooms. Add hula-hoops and other obstacles that they must navigate…all while balancing a ping-pong ball (golden snitch) on a spoon. As an alternative, just give the kids brooms, a ball, two goals and lots of room to run and play! Use a soft ball for the bludger, so that no one gets hurt.
*Spells Class: For some truly magical pictures, use fishing line or monofilament wire to hang some objects above the kids…keys, golden snitches or some type of food. Let them pose for pictures with wands poised to create the illusion that they have levitated the object.
*Divinations Class: Send the kids on a hunt to discern where all the hidden socks are for Dobby so Malfoy won’t be angry. They could also guess the flavors of Bertie Bott’s Beans.
*Have your young wizard brainstorm with you to create classes for Care of Magical Creatures and Transfigurations.
Play a Harry Potter™ trivia game by visiting www.scholastic.com/harrypotter/ to find questions and answers.

Encourage your guests to dress in costume for the party! Check out Harry Potter costumes, quidditch robes and accessories, brooms, wands, and Harry Potter glasses. Your guests can also make their own costumes out of black fabric and one of Dad’s ties.

Finally, award prizes to game winners and sent all your guests home with fun favors. Check out complete party favor packs, or give away cool individual items like lightning bolt temporary tattoos, wands, and glasses.

Everyone will be talking about Harry Potter and You-know-who this summer and with a fun Harry Potter party, you can join in the fun and really give them something to talk about!

Start Your Own 4th of July Tradition


It seems like everyone makes plans to party on the 4th of July! This festive summer holiday is a perfect time to create lasting family or neighborhood traditions, such as an annual 4th of July party. Your party doesn’t have to be patriotic themed either. Focus in on a specific element of America or American history that you love and celebrate that! Have a party themed around the Old West or celebrate the U.S. Navy with a nautical party. For an evening affair, center the whole event on the stars of the Star Spangled Banner. For a causal party, host a 4th of July Luau. The possibilities are limitless!

Use these tips to help your party go off without a hitch!

The first step for hosting your party is sending out invitations! Send out your invites at least 3-4 weeks in advance of the party. This is especially important for a party around the holidays as many people will be invited multiple plays or will be traveling. Send out Summer Turf invitations (and buy the matching tableware). For a personal touch, attach a small American flag to each invitation or put a pinch of patriotic confetti in each envelope.

Once you’ve set your guest list and sent out invitations, decide on a budget and start planning your decorations!

Start outdoors by lining your driveway and sidewalk with flags on posts and patriotic luminaries. Dress up your patio with flag garland and buntings.

Hang a personalized 4th of July banner to welcome guests to your party or wish the neighborhood a happy holiday. With a personalized family banner, you can send a greeting from each member of your family!

Statue of Liberty CostumeGreet your guests in a Statue of Liberty costume and usher them through an Americana Arch into your patriotic event.

Next, transform the inside of your house into a patriotic party place. Ground your decorations using a focal point such as a giant patriotic top hat or a red, white and blue cake decoration.

Shower the room in red, white and blue latex balloons, accenting each bunch with a patriotic popsicle balloon. Fireworks latex balloons or stars around balloons also make for festive bunches. Secure your balloons with curling ribbon to the back of chairs or place them wherever you want using balloon weights.

Create a festive backdrop for your decorations using star-spangled gossamer and striped paper in corrugated or flat textures. Create simple accents using patriotic streamers. For a 3D effect by hanging patriotic spiral decorations from your ceiling.

Patriotic Cake DecorationIf your party is in more than one room add metallic curtains to your doorways to section off your space and add a gleaming accent to your decorating. Add the finishing touches by placing giant USA letters and patriotic columns by your food table or using them to divide a large space.

Once your party space is fully decorated, move on to your party tables. Match your plates, napkins, cups, and cutlery to your party décor using our U.S. Pride Tableware Ensemble or the Summer Surf and Turf Ensemble. Create interesting appetizers by serving popcorn, trail mix, pretzels or candies in our patriotic top hats, turned upside down.

Cover your party tables in red, white and blue gossamer or a plastic table cover printed with waving flags or assorted stars. Finish the covering off with red, white and blue tableskirting. For the finishing touch, top each table with a firecracker centerpiece.

Many Independence Day celebrations start in the afternoon and continue on into the evening hours with the grand finale being an awesome fireworks display! Since the celebration can last for several hours, here are some fantastic ideas to keep all of your guests lively even in the summer heat.

• Organize a good old-fashioned game of baseball. For those guests that insist on sitting in the stands, have them sing “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” and serve them Cracker Jack™ and Coke™ while they watch the game.
• Be silly by creating your own fun photos with a Patriotic Couple Photo Standee.
• Create your own Fourth of July parade by having everyone decorate a bike or wagon!
• Make two large copies of a map of America. Cover up the state’s names and have a competition between the boys and girls to see who can identify all 50 states the fastest.
• For a meaningful activity, have the older generation pass on stories about America when they were growing up. Ask each guest to share what they like the most about living in the USA.
• Plan a trivia contest with fun facts about American presidents, history, inventions, and folklore.
• Pass out Red, White and Blue Poms to all the kids and have them create a fun patriotic cheer for our Land of the Free!
• To pass the time between the cookout and fireworks, have the older kids paint the younger girl’s fingernails red, white, and blue. Add a Flag Funtoo to their cheeks!
• If you don’t have access to a professional fireworks display, create your own show by passing out sparklers and balloons. Let everyone take a turn twirling the sparklers and popping the balloons – it’s sure to inspire lots of “oooh’s and aaaah’s”!

Patriotic Party PackFor a fun patriotic look all day long, present each guest with a 4th of July party favor at the door. A Patriotic Celebration Kit includes hats, tiaras, leis and noisemakers so that each guest can have his or her own party accessory.

Kids will love glitter star head boppers to wear around while adult guests will capture the party mood in red, white and blue glitter derby hats.

To emphasize the worth of our freedom and the sacrifice of our troops, you may want to give a meaningful favor to your guests – especially this year. Support Our Troops Candles are perfect choices to provide your family and friends with a special way to remember our wonderful country.

Give children glow necklaces as the sun sets so you can easily keep track of them after dark, even when they’re running around playing.

Once you’ve got all your decorations and favors planned and set up, it’s time for food preparation! For this party, you definitely want to plan a simple menu. Don’t get stuck in the kitchen preparing and cooking while everyone else is relaxing and enjoying the day! Once the menu is planned, accept the offers of friends and family to bring something.

• Start by having an old-fashioned Fourth of July picnic, with fried chicken or grilled hot dogs and hamburgers, corn-on-the-cob, watermelon, baked beans, various salads, and, of course – apple pie and brownies for dessert! Be sure to stick a few Flag Picks in your dishes for a proud American touch!
Americana Arch• Prepare red and blue Jell-O™ Jigglers and cut them into the shape of stars using a cookie cutter.
• Prepare plenty of fresh red and blue fruit and place them on flag-topped skewers. Include strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and watermelon and serve with a white fruit dip!
• Cook up a special red bean salad using dark red beans.
• Serve the children this mini kiddy cocktail:
Before the 4th, freeze blue juice and red fruit punch in star-shaped ice cube trays. Just before serving, pour 7-up in individual clear glasses. Add a few of the fun shaped ice cubes to each glass along with a straw for stirring.
• For the adults, have plenty of coolers of pop, water, and beer on hand. Don’t forget tons of ice, as the weather is certain to be hot and dry!

Finish the day with a patriotic July 4th Firecracker Cake! Here’s how you make it:
Bake three 8″ or 9″ round cakes in any flavor. Once they are cooled, layer them on top of each other with frosting in between layers. Frost the top of the cake white, and stripe the sides with red, white, and blue frosting. Using a decorator’s tip, pipe the top edge of the cake with a line of white frosting. On the top of the cake, stick a small bunch of Milky Way Garland in the center to finish the firecracker! This cake is sure to make an explosion of fun at your party.

Party Like a Pirate this Summer


Thanks largely to Captain Jack Sparrow (and Johnny Depp), this summer is the summer of pirates! Transform your birthday party, pool party, or any summer celebration into a pirate party with these fearsome decorations, costumes and other supplies. The scalawags at ShindigZ have all the tips you need to raise your sails.

Start your decorating outdoors! Welcome your guests with a personalized pirate banner. The banners are printed on weather-resistant, durable vinyl with metal grommets so you can hang them indoors or outdoors. Attach some pirate balloons to your lamppost or mailbox so guests can find your party.

Set the scene inside your party with background materials. Water patterned paper and woodgrain patterned paper work great together to create a pirate ship. Use the woodgrain paper on your floor and the base of your walls with the water higher up for an ocean horizon. Use premium tulle to create swags and sails.

Once the scene is set accent it with other pirate decorations. Kids will love playing on the Pirate Ship or a captain’s wheel decoration made of corrugated cardboard, perfect for picture settings too. Accent your ship with a Skull and Bones Flag, an essential for any true pirate. Place a giant treasure chest at a focal point. It’s great as a prop for party games or as a gift drop box. Add a little sand to your party decorations (if you don’t mind the mess). It makes great accents to the base of palm trees or surrounding a giant anchor decoration.

Of course, the details really make the decorations. Add the finishing touches with pirate latex balloons and palm tree Mylar balloons. Add a spooky touch with skeleton light sets or by hanging lighted bone wind chimes by the food table. For a cool lighting effect add flaming décor to your tables to make them look like a pirate banquet below deck.

Decorating your tables couldn’t be easier when you use Pirate Party tableware ensembles. They include all the plate, cups, napkins, balloons and invitations you need to host your pirate party. You can also mix and match plastic tableware in your favorite pirate colors. To decorate your tables scatter seashells and place palm tree centerpieces over plastic tablecovers. Treasure chest centerpieces are great for holding appetizers or dinner mints too! Add the finishing touch with a coconut votive holder.

Encourage your guests to come dressed in pirate costumes or hand out pirate wearables and funtoos at the door as they arrive.

There are plenty of fun games and activities to keep your guest pirates entertained. For example, a treasure chest craft kit is a great individual project, especially if you have guests arriving early or staying late.

Pirate WearablesThe kids will have a whale of a time with the Treasure Chest Piñata, and we’ve yet to find a child who doesn’t want to grab some goodies from one at a party! Give the kids a Pirate Map Mural to follow, having them wind over, under and around a good distance before finding the piñata on the spot marked with an “X”.

Play a game of “Walk the Plank”, using a 6’ X 1” X 6” board from a lumber store. Set the plank on top of two cinder blocks, and arrange dark blue water gossamer under the plank. Alligators are optional. Have each child take a turn walking the plank. If this isn’t challenging enough for your age group, make them walk backwards or balance a book on top of their head.

“Swab the Poop Deck” can be played as a relay with the group divided into two teams. With broom or mop in hand, each team member will have to swab an inflated balloon through a simple obstacle course and back to the starting line. There, they will tag the next pirate in line, until each member on the team has done his duty.

Visit Treasure Island to search for buried treasure – Blindfold the children one at a time, then let them dig deep into a Giant Treasure Chest filled with a pirate’s bounty of loot.

Listen to squeals of delight when the kids are running peg leg (three-legged) races!

The ship is sinking…so let the cannonballs fly with a water balloon fight.

Finally, you’ll want tons of favors to give away to your guests as pirate booty! Favors also make great prizes for your party games. Kids love squishy skulls and bone cups. For special prizes, give away pirate spy glasses, swords or pirate play sets. Adults will enjoy taking home their own personalized mug, detailing your pirate party information. You can even order personalized stickers, great for nametags if your guests don’t all know each other.

Beat the Heat with a Cool Nautical Party


Personalized Banner Celebrate summer with a nautical themed party. This party theme is versatile and can easily be worked into your summer pool party, dinner party or birthday party. ShindigZ can help you through a cool nautical party with our invitations, decorations, party favors and Party TipZ!

Start your party plans by setting a guest list and sending out invitations. It’s a good idea to send your invitations out three to four weeks in advance. Send out Titanic Invitations, perfect for matching your theme. For a more personal touch, roll up your invitations and tie them with curling ribbon. Place each invite in an empty water bottle with the label removed. Put 4 tablespoons of sand in the bottle and add a few seashells, then recap the bottle. Hand deliver the “message in a bottle” for a cool nautical invitation.

Life-Preserver-ArchBlue, red and white with yellow accents makes a perfect color scheme for your nautical decorations. A combination of only two of these colors would work as well, so pick what works best for you.  A nautical theme is flexible depending on what type of look you want. You can create a party aboard and imaginary boat, by the sea, or under the sea using our decorations.

Turn your party space into the deck of a luxury liner with a ship’s rail, captain’s wheel and Porthole Wall Graphic Decorations. You can also decorate your party like a desert island with a beach room roll, sea creatures and Peter Pelican standee. For an under-the-sea look try some Deep Blue Seaweed and whales and porpoise wall decorations. The ocean room roll makes a great accent to this theme.

Nautical theme kits are perfect for completely transforming your party space into a seaside escape. The Deep Blue Destiny Kit transports your guests to an under-the-sea wonderland. The Fantastic Voyage Kit takes your portside to see off a romantic ship. The Nautical Decorating Kit creates a port-side party spot with a light tower and a ship cruising in the distance. Create a stunning entrance with a bold entrance arch to match your nautical theme of choice.

Once your party space is decorated, move on to creating your party table design. We recommend covering your tables with blue table covers and matching blue table skirts. Add red tableware for a perfect nautical look or bring out white china for an elegant dinner party. For napkins use nautical print napkins or personalized napkins to add a simple, but effective detail. If you wish to have assigned seating, purchase a starfish for each guest and use a paint pen to write their names on them. Place one starfish on each plate to serve as a place card. Scatter sand and a few shells across you table like confetti.

Accent your buffet table by placing a set of dockside pilings on either side of the table and lining the edge with a nautical signal garland. Top each of your party tables with a nautical centerpiece like a captain’s wheel centerpiece or palm tree centerpieces.

Keep your party guests entertained with dancing to nautical themed or beach music, such as reggae, Bob Marley, the Beach Boys or Jimmy Buffet. Don’t forget the theme song to the infamous Love Boat for an unusual twist! A Luau Music CD can get your dance floor started.

Play a game of pictionary or charades using nautical vocabulary words.

You could also play “To Speak, or Not to Speak”. Give each player a bag or goodie box with 10 small treasures in it (candy, chocolates, little favors). Have bags labeled with players’ names, so they don’t get mixed up. Let players know at the start of the game exactly when the game will be ending-this game can be played throughout an entire party if you so choose. The object of the game is to catch fellow players saying one of the forbidden words or phrases:

NAUTICAL, BOAT, OCEAN, WAVES, BEACH, YACHT
Pete Pelican
To help players, post the words prominently on a board where they can be seen often. If someone is caught saying one of the words on the list, that person has to give up a treasure from their stash. The player with the biggest haul of goodies at the end of the game is the winner. Lots of fun!

Guests of all ages will love sand sculpting!
Materials:
1 C. play sand
½ C. cornstarch
¾ C. hot water
Nautical theme molds or cookie cutters

Mix ingredients in a pan and let cook while stirring until very thick. Cool the mixture. Form the object using molds or cookie cutters. Let them dry in the sun for approximately 12 hours. These can be painted when dried if desired.

You’ll need party favors for prizes in your party games or just to give out to guests to say “Thanks for coming!” There is a wonderful Anchors Around Votive Holder that would be a nice favor to give to guests so they can remember the night long after it is over. Give out Captain’s Hats or Gob Hats to all your guests as soon as they arrive at your door. If the event is centered around someone’s birthday or anniversary, give the guest of honor the Captain’s hat and everyone else the Gob hats! There are also nautical party favor packs that kids will love.

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