Make Yourself at Home with Housewarming Party Tips


Giant ToolsA housewarming party can be hosted by either the new owners of the home or by a friend or family member. The main purpose of the party is to celebrate the event with a big bash! If you choose to have a theme party, you could base it on the style of the home or the name of the neighborhood or area the house is located in.

You could also throw a “hard hat” party for the fixer-upper where the purpose is to help get the house ready to become a home. If you are hosting this party for a friend, have everyone bring household items that would help to fix up the home. Instead of a gift, you could ask each person to set a couple of hours aside to help with a specific project throughout the house. Make a schedule before the party so people can sign up for a convenient time.

Either way, you want an invitation that gives the new address and let’s your guests know that this is the place to be! If the owners are the ones that are hosting the party, it is considered poor manners for them to expect gifts, so nothing should be mentioned in the invitation. Here are two ideas for invitations:
• Purchase inexpensive wrenches or hammers and using curling ribbon, tie a note to them with all of the party information!
• Snap a photo of the new home and make copies of it. Create your own cards by gluing the picture on the front of a blank card.

Not many decorations or party supplies are needed for a housewarming party since the guests are coming to check out the new house and to see what the new owners have done to make it a home.
• On the lawn or next to the front porch, place a personalized banner or yard sign that welcomes the guests and congratulates the new owners on their big purchase! Tie a bunch of balloons to the sign for a bigger impact.
• It is always a nice touch to have candles burning throughout the house and a fire in the fireplace. Put some cinnamon sticks and orange slices in a pot of water on the stove to let off a sweet fragrance that adds to the homey appeal!
• If the owners have moved often, purchase a large map to hang on a wall in a prominent location. Using string and thumbtacks, map off all of the places they have moved and label them with the dates. Be sure that the place you are celebrating is labeled with a big star or smiley face!! Purchase toy U-HAUL trucks and scatter them on the table, or hot glue them to napkin rings for a cute accent. Cut up old maps for place mats, or create a runner for the center of the table.
• If you are hosting this event as a “hard hat” party, you could decorate with work horses and saws. A wheelbarrow with outdoor tools piled on it would look cute by the front door. You could also hang our construction tools on your door and inside the house. Place a few construction hats upside down around the home and serve nuts or chips out of them. Bundle up the silverware with a napkin and tie the bunch with raw wire and tie a nail in the center.
• Of course, if you choose to have a theme for your party you want to decorate with things that are appropriate for your theme.

The main purpose of a housewarming party is to celebrate the new home of a loved one, so be prepared to show off the entire house to all of the guests! You may want to organize and lead tours, or just let the guests ramble around at their own pace – either way is acceptable and very appropriate. Here are some other ideas that you can do at a housewarming party to make it very special and unique!
• If the owners are moving from another town, you could have the guests all help to develop a reference book with the listings of their favorite places in town. Have guests each add a page – best restaurants in town, hairdresser, alterations, doctors, bookstores, ice cream, manicures, etc.
• Another idea would be to have an “around the town” party, similar to an “around the clock” party. Each guest would be responsible to highlight the part of the town that was assigned to them by the host – they would give positives and negatives of that particular area, plus a gift from the area.
• If you are hosting your own party and are looking for ideas to do with your new home, have everyone give their suggestions and advice. You could assign every guest one room to brainstorm ideas for!
• Be sure to present the owners with a guest book which all of the guests have signed and written a special note in!
• Hold a ribbon cutting ceremony outside the home in the front yard. Write the owners’ names on a thick ribbon that is tied across the front of the house. Have them cut the ribbon and let go of some helium-filled balloons at the same time.
• Hold the housewarming party like a wine tasting party. Have several wines out for the guests to sample. Be sure to have the guests bring a wine goblet to use and then leave at the home for the guest of honor to have. We have a huge selection of glassware that would make nice gifts!
• Have all of the guests bring something that the owners have an interest in. For example, if the honoree is an avid reader, have everyone bring a book to increase the new library! If the owners love music, have everyone bring them their favorite new CD! This one is fun because you could dance the night away to all of the new music!
• Last, but definitely not least, a nice touch is to have a house blessing done by the owner’s priest, minister, or rabbi. Sometimes the group will enter each room as a prayer is said for the blessing of each room in the new home, while other times a simple prayer is done for the whole house.

Although party favors are not necessary at a Housewarming Party, here are a couple of cute ideas if you insist on sending your loved ones home with something fun and fitting!
Personalized key tags would be a cute gift to give to your guests for coming to your housewarming party. If they are all family and very good friends, you may want to attach a spare key to your abode for future use!
• If you had a working party where your guests gave of their time and labor, present them with either a new tool (like a screwdriver, or small hammer) or a bag of flower bulbs to plant in their yard when they return home.

A buffet set-up is easiest if the party is in an open-house format. Serve a menu to match the theme of the party if you are using a specific theme, or serve traditional party favorites such as a taco bar or built-to-order nachos, mini pizzas, burgers and hot dogs, or giant deli sandwiches.

Here are some great staples for a buffet style:
• Chicken wings and chicken strips (offer 3 or 4 interesting dipping sauces)
• Meatballs (Swedish or BBQ)
• Mini eggrolls
• Whole water chestnuts wrapped in bacon
• Veggies and dip • Mini sandwiches made on mini buns.
• Shrimp cocktail is a little more costly than most items you might plan to serve, but it will make your guests feel special, and the color looks terrific on a buffet table!

Make everything ahead of time, and store hot items in a warming tray, or in an oven set at 200 degrees until the feeding frenzy begins!

Add a few hearty dips that can be made ahead. Here are a few that are extra easy to make, and are always a big hit:

• Cream Cheese Dip
Purchase cream cheese in block form, and top with salsa (flavored salsas are great), cocktail sauce and crabmeat, green pepper jelly or jam (any flavor works, but apricot is delicious!)Serve with a variety of crackers. Triscuit thins are perfect with this dip.

• Artichoke Dip
Mix 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, 1 cup mayonnaise (“light” is okay to use), and 1-24 oz. can of artichoke hearts, chopped into small pieces. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, and serve with crackers. This dip can be served warm, or at room temperature

• Easy Cheesy Dip
Add one large block of Velveeta Cheese™, one 16 oz. can of chili without beans, and one 16 oz. jar of salsa to a crock pot. Stir occasionally. The dip is ready when the cheese is completely melted. Serve with bite-sized tortilla chips.

• Baked Brie
Hollow out an oval loaf of French or sourdough bread, cutting the bread so that you have a “lid”. Fill the hole with Brie cheese, and put the lid back on. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Serve with small chunks of bread, or crackers. If the Brie is not to your taste, fill the bread with any other type of dip, such as a creamy spinach dip.

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Cinderella Wedding Tips for A Dream-Come-True Wedding


Our Treasured Night KitThemed weddings are growing more and more popular. If you’ve been dreaming of your wedding for years, what’s a better theme than Cinderella? Here are some tips for a wedding fit for a fairy princess and Prince Charming!

Invitations:

Choose one of the following invitations to let your guests know what a splendid time they will have at this magical wedding celebration:
• A Starry Night Invitation is perfect for this theme. Address each envelope to “Princess (first name) of (last name), adding a “dom” or an “ingham” to the end of each last name. For example, Shannon Wagner’s invite could be addressed to “Princess Shannon of Wagnerdom”.
• As an alternative, a Personalized Castle Invitation is absolutely enchanting! The invitations can be imprinted with your choice of wording…and you can use the slogan you choose to set just the right tone for the party.
• Consider sprinkling some magic dust in the form of sparkle powder, or castle confetti inside the envelope to give guests a sneak preview of the regal fun that awaits them!
• Consider attaching a computer-generated tag to a mini slipper with silver curling ribbon. Invite guests by saying, “Only you can fill this shoe…by coming to our magical wedding!” Hand-deliver these invites on a lovely white satin pillow, (leaving only the shoe invitation with each guest!)

Decorations:

We have several terrific kits that really set the magical stage for the saying of your vows! Depending on your budget, you can use a whole kit, or purchase individual components separately. Here are some of our favorites:
• If you are interested in a royal carriage, we have one in a Dreams Come True Kit. It also features a castle and backdrop, carriage, staircases and towers. Again, you can purchase the entire kit, or just components of it.

• Try an Hour of Enchantment Kit that features a large enchanted clock (with the time at just before midnight!) and four enchanted wall columns.

Once you decide on one of the kits, then you’ll also want to use some cloud-patterned gossamer material (a wonderful, lightweight fabric that drapes beautifully). You can use this to place around the reception site for an extra decorative touch.
Here are some more decorating ideas to make the Cinderella theme come alive!
• Use lots of stars and the silver to decorate with. Die cut stars, milky way garland, and star confetti would all work well for you.
• Use some silver or star-patterned balloons and hang these from the ceiling around the reception area.

Table Decorations and Napkins:

• Choose pink and silver to decorate your tables. Use super-shine table covers in silver as well as paper and plastic table covers in pink. Sprinkle the star confetti in the center of the table for a fairytale touch.

• Another idea would be to use mini slippers in the center of the table along with several sizes of candles. Fill the slippers with flowers or holographic silver confetti.

• Hang lots of twinkle lights around your party room for a romantic glow.
• Paint a few pumpkins white and sprinkle some gold glitter on them for a magical touch. Place a few pictures of the bride and groom around the pumpkins as a reminder of how they got to this special day together.
• Finally, you will definitely want a tiara for your Cinderella bride.

Order personalized napkins and have them imprinted with your party slogan and design of your choice. Select a metallic or foil imprint. The napkins will serve several purposes – great decorating in disguise and a delightful memento of the party that can be saved in scrapbooks for years to come!
Napkins can be laid out on a buffet table, or displayed at each place setting.
Place napkins in the center of each place setting at an angle, or unfold them and place them in glassware for a tall dramatic look.

Activities:

There are many activities that go along with a traditional wedding and reception that you may or may not wish to include in your Cinderella themed wedding. You can choose to be as traditional as you wish and it won’t compete with this fairytale dream. Here are a couple of ideas that may make it a little bit more dreamy!

Use the soundtrack from Cinderella to start the dance floor off right.

Have a horse and carriage deliver the bride and groom to the reception and take them away at the end of the evening.

Instead of the bride throwing her bouquet, have her throw a glass (or plastic!) slipper.

Food Tips:

For a “princess” touch to your food, serve it on gold or silver platters. If you are using plastic metallic trays, glue a few faux jewels to the outside edge.

Garnish food with edible loose-leaf gold, and add a sprinkling of tiny edible gold balls to your cake. If you would like a cake that is not the traditional style of wedding cake, check out our Castle Cake online.

Serve dry snacks (chips, pretzels, crackers) in crowns turned upside down. Place tiaras around any serving platters that need a touch of royalty!

Tell us about your Cinderella wedding!

Roll Out the Red Carpet for a Hollywood Quinceanera


A Hollywood theme is perfect for your star-studded Quinceanera.

Hollywood Premiere KitThe first step to hosting your Quince is setting a budget and a guest list. Be sure to invite family, close friends, and family friends. Be sure to balance the guest list between your parents guests and your own crowd. This is an important day for both of you.

Be sure to send out your invitations at least a month in advance. You might want to send out invitations to out-of-town guests a little sooner so they can make travel arrangements.

There are tons of Hollywood invitations you can have personally printed with your party details. Try a Personalized Clapboard Invitation for a classic movie look. You can have a Film Roll Booklet printed with special details about guests, the event, and other fun details about the Quince girl!

Once you’ve invited your guests, start planning your decorations. There are tons of Hollywood themed decorating kits to totally transform your party space into a hang out fit for the stars. A Hollywood Premiere Kit is great for a red carpet affair. The Lights Camera Action Kit is perfect for Hollywood glamour. Accent your theme kit with the Hollywood Hills backdrop for a perfect silhouette. Invite the stars—Marilyn or Bogie–with Classic Hollywood Standees.

Don’t forget the Hollywood decorating basics to top off the look. Hollywood gossamer material is perfect for drapes, table covers, swags and bows.

Cover walls in no time with Hollywood room setters. Add some extra snazz to all your decorations with Hollywood signs or awards night cutouts. They’ll bring an extra touch to all your decorations. Hang star-studded metallic curtains in doorways or use them to break up a large space. They’ll look great under lights. Hang a Hollywood super swirl in a prominent place for a glamorous effect.

Hollywood EnsembleDecorate your tables to match the rest of the event with our awesome Hollywood tabletop supplies. Place a Clapboard Centerpiece on each table for the table number or a Top Hat Votive Holder for a more formal look. Line the edges of the table with star and clapboard garland and sprinkle Hollywood confetti for the finishing touch.

If you’re not using fancy plates and napkins, try a Hollywood Tableware Ensemble. It’s covered in gold stars and will get rave reviews with your guests. Plus, no clean up! Add some personalized napkins for a finishing touch that pulls the whole package together.

Favors are a great way to thank guests for sharing your special day. You may want to invest in special gifts for people traveling from far-away to come to your Quince. For your friends, however, we have tons of Hollywood favors to create a lasting memory!

Personalized glassware is a great grown-up favor. You can have glassware imprinted with a logo and slogan perfect for your big event. They’re great for toasting too.

Key tags make great, practical favors. Every time guests reach for their keys, they’ll remember your fun party. The film strip key tag features your guests’ own photos!

Take commemorative photos with a Hollywood photo setting and mail them to guests. They can treasure their photos in a Hollywood picture frame imprinted with your party details.

Create your own favor package with a clapboard tote bag full of fun favors and treats!

Check out other Quinceanera Tips and Hollywood Party Tips for more ideas. Tell us about your Hollywood Quinceanera!

Ghost Decorations for a Spooky Halloween Bash


Halloween-Outdoor-Decorating-KitGhosts are a must-have for Halloween festivities. There are tons of ghost decorations, costumes and party accessories perfect for haunting your Halloween party.

Create a big first impression for guests to your home this Halloween with a ghost lawn globe or our Halloween Outdoor Decorating Kit. Visitors will be in awe of your awesome decorations and you’ll have the coolest yard in the neighborhood. To really set the scene for spooky, check out our tips for a Haunted Porch. A Ghoulish Graveyard Kit or Spooktacular Cemetery Kit also make awesome choices.

String a set of ghost lights across your porch, doorway, or around your railings to create a spooky glow. The ghost lanterns are another great option.

Transform an entire room of your home in a snap with a Halloween Insta-Theme Kit. It’s perfect for instantly boosting your spooky party décor. Adding ghosts to the wall is sure to add that extra Halloween flair.

If you like pirates, add a little sea-faring touch to your walkway by lining it with a ghost pirate fence. It’s the perfect decoration for pirate fans and Halloween.

Add the finishing touches with our hanging ghost decorations. String a ghost garland around the room. Add a giant ghoulish ghost to a corner to spook guests. Don’t forget Adrian the Ghost. He’s an awesome addition to your party décor!

Don’t forget to decorate yourself with our ghost costume! Check out all of our Halloween Party Supplies too!

Create a Magical Cinderella Themed Quinceanera


”Someday My Quince Will Come…”’

Celebrate Your Magical Night with a Cinderella Carriage InvitationTheme!

You’ve dreamed of this night for 15 years…and finally, a spectacular ball gown and a sparkling tiara await and some high-heeled glass and rhinestone slippers are ready for your own Prince Charming (Daddy) to place on your feet. After all the details for the ceremony are taken care of, turn your thoughts to planning the fairytale reception of your dreams.

Start planning for your Cinderella-themed Quinceañera by choosing a slogan to use throughout your party including imprinted invitations, banners and favors for your guests. Try one of the following or brainstorm with your damas to come up with the perfect saying for your 15th birthday celebration:
• “Aliana’s Dream Come True Quinceañera Ball”
• “Cristina’s Happily-Ever-After Quinceañera”
• “Princess Paola’s Palace Party”
• “Hear Ye, Hear Ye…Princess Marisol is 15!”

Cinderella Quinceañera Invitations:
• Choose an invitation that will give your family and friends a sneak preview of your theme. Either an enchanting castle or a fairytale carriage shaped invitation would be perfect. Consider sprinkling some castle-shaped confetti or Fairy Godmother dust (sparkly powder) inside the envelope to make your invitation stand out.
• As an alternative consider attaching a computer-generated tag to a mini glass slipper with silver curling ribbon. Invite guests by saying, “Only you can fill this shoe…by coming to Isobel’s Cinderella Quinceañera Party!” They can be mailed in small padded envelopes. If you want to save money on postage, recruit the help of your chambelanes, dress them up as footmen and hand-deliver these invites on a lovely white satin pillow (leaving only the shoe invitation with each invited family!)

Cinderella Quinceañera Decorations:

Once-Upon-A-Dream-KitThere are countless ways to decorate to create an elegant Quince reception whether you are on a shoe-string or a sky’s-the-limit budget. Whether your party is being held in a large reception hall, a church community room or at your own home, you can tie your Cinderella theme into your décor.
• Entrance: Start by greeting guests with a dazzling arch or gateway to enter the reception room. A balloon arch, a pair of dreamy cloud columns, a castle gate or a personalized memory mural are all excellent choices.
• Reception Hall:
o Add a fairytale focal point decoration that is sized appropriately for your reception location and you’ll have the perfect spot for the presentation with your damita. A larger-than-life castle or castle entrance in shimmering shades of icy blue, silver and white would be lovely. A stunning carriage fit for a fairytale princess would be another wonderful choice.
o Swans, a castle bridge, a fountain or a grouping of faux trees filled with sparkling white twinkle lights would all be excellent choices as accents for decorating.
o Balloons, streamers and gossamer are always excellent choices for economical decorating. You can transform any room into a festive space in a matter of minutes by using some of the following ideas with balloons. Place groupings of helium-filled balloons tied with curling ribbon around the party room. (Odd numbers look best: 3, 5 or 7.) To fill a larger “ballroom” setting create a balloon arch, swags or column using white, silver and light blue balloons, or balloon clouds using white balloons. Make sure that you recruit plenty of help from family and friends early in the day if you are planning to create large scale arches or swags. If you choose not to use helium, tie balloons to varying lengths of curling ribbon and hang them from the ceiling. Using gossamer or streamers is a budget-conscious way to splash lots of color and warmth around the site of your party.
o Create a lovely, elegant effect by draping white and silver metallic gossamer or streamers from the center of the ceiling to the walls on each side of the room. Two different colored streamers or lengths of gossamer can be placed back to back and twisted for a unique look.
• Photo Setting: A Quinceañera is the ideal time to capture some priceless memories as you’ll be surrounded by all the people you love most. You can actually plan this as a party activity. Set up an area with a Cinderella-themed decoration specifically for picture taking. Whether you are hiring a professional photographer or recruiting Uncle Carlos, take pictures of each guest at the party and of different groups of guests standing by the photo backdrop. The photos can be mailed or emailed to friends and family after the party with a note saying “gracias”. Another nice touch for the reception would be to use the photo setting for video recording. A set of numbers showing the year of your Quince would be ideal. Ask guests to stop by at some point during the party and record a spontaneous message. Have each guest start by saying “I’m proud of you because…” or “My favorite memory of you growing up is….” Throughout the course of the party you will create a touching tribute, filled with warm memories, funny stories, and the smiling faces of those who came to say, “Feliz Cumpleaños!”

• Dance Floor: For the court waltz create the look of an elegant ballroom floor by cutting black and white checkered flat paper to the size of your dance floor. Secure the flat paper with clear packing tape. Next, outline the perimeter of your dance floor by placing a column at each corner. Balloon, castle turret or cloud columns are all excellent choices. Finally, scatter balloons on the floor around the outside edge of the dance floor. Choose “A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes” from the Cinderella soundtrack for your first dance as a woman with your father.

• Tables:
o Tie bows with gossamer or tulle across the top of each chair back. The bows can be cut to any length and even look lovely with tails trailing on the floor. The bows hold their shape beautifully at a fraction of the cost of wired ribbon.
o Order light blue or white napkins and have them imprinted with your Quince slogan. Select a metallic or foil imprint and the napkins will serve several purposes…great decorating in disguise and a treasured memento for a scrapbook.
o Try using a unique item that can double as a party favor as a napkin ring such as a key chain.
o Whether you are using formal table linens or plastic table cloths, cover the tables with large squares of light blue or metallic silver gossamer.
o While fresh flowers are fragrant and lovely, they are costly. You can create spectacular tables using Cinderella-themed castle centerpieces.
o For a whimsical touch, add enchanted pumpkins that are ready to become golden coaches at a moment’s notice to a few tables as centerpieces. Spray paint real pumpkins white or gold, and add metallic gold ivy to the top.
o Surround each centerpiece with some votive candle holders imprinted with your party slogan and a sprinkling of castle confetti. The candles can be lit for a warm glow during the party, and then can be sent home with your friends and family as party favors.

Cinderella Quinceañera Favors:

The latest trend for Quinceañeras is to share favor keepsakes that are personalized. You can have favors imprinted with a special thank you message along with your name and the date, with your Quinceañera slogan, or with a reference to the Cinderella theme such as, “May all your dreams and wishes come true!” with a graphic of a horse drawn carriage.
o Frames and candles are always much appreciated.
o Personalized mint tins, key chains and clocks are also very popular as party favors right now.
o Personalized glassware imprinted with a special message or your theme slogan makes a wonderful favor. Guests can drink from the special glass at the party, then take it home and fondly recall your special day every time they see the glass. As an alternative, glassware can be filled with metallic shred and little chocolate or candy treats.
o You could also have inexpensive bubbles imprinted with your party slogan…a magical touch for any birthday party! All of the favors listed above can and should be displayed on the tables where guests will sit during the reception, as they will make the tables look more festive.
o Mini glass slippers (they are actually acrylic) would be great favors to give away to your guests as a token of appreciation for sharing in your special day!

To make the table a standout, display your menu or individual place cards with names at each place setting in frames. Use a calligraphy font on your computer to generate the menus or tags. Name tags can also be tied with curling ribbon to the stems of glassware or candle holders.

Cinderella Quinceañera Memory Making:

While the customs and traditions of the ceremony that are important to you and your family should be honored, you may want to add a few new ideas to your reception. For this party, the best decorations can be those that your parents have carefully and lovingly preserved from your first 15 years of life. Prepare a “Quince Spotlight” area for guests to view during the party. Display scrapbooks, photo albums of family and friends, artwork, sports trophies, and awards on a table. This “chronicle” of the life of the Quince girl will be enjoyed by all. You could also create a Quinceañera Time Capsule to be opened in 10, 20, or 30 years. Ask guests to bring something small to the party that reflects the year in some way, or is a reminder of you. Years from now, you’ll have a sweet trip down memory lane of the incredible year that you turned 15!

If you find after all your planning that you have a little extra money to spend for your big day, hire a horse drawn carriage to deliver you and your damas from the church ceremony to the reception. Above all else, have fun planning your big day. When the clock strikes midnight, your carriage won’t turn into a pumpkin and you’ll still be the most stunning Quinceañera girl in a ball gown even if you dance till dawn!

Tell us about your Quinceanera memories and party ideas!

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