Relive Woodstock with a 1960s Themed Party

A music-based ‘60s party is a way to treat your guests to a feast for ears and eyes.

Woodstock took place August 15-17, 1969. As far as we’re concerned any birthday, fundraiser, reunion or retirement taking place this summer, particularly in mid-August, is fair game for a Woodstock theme and available supplies are more numerous than ever.

The harmonic focus of the original festival, advertised as “Three Days of Peace and Music,” transcended miserable conditions on the ground including rainstorms, mud, and lack of adequate facilities. You, of course, will want to provide the soundtrack at your Woodstock Revisited party while avoiding excessive sogginess and such. Do it by romanticizing the venue in mod colors and designs reminiscent of 1960s concert posters.

Our rainbow tie-dye gossamer — highly rated in dozens of customer reviews – will give you a strong start in decorating as long as you understand its qualities. By this we mean gossamer is very thin and translucent by definition. You can drape it, twist it, pleat and tie it; but for actual areal coverage you’ll need something in a light color behind or under it.

If you want to cover walls with this gossamer fabric and your walls are dark, try a solid gossamer or poly vinyl backing in white or yellow. On tables, cover a light solid cover with a runner made of this tie dye pattern, which then leaves you free to coordinate in solid colored tableware that echoes one or two of the runner hues. This patterned gossamer will also make luscious wraps and bows for chair backs.

The same decorating fabric plays very nicely with the Retro Times decorating theme kit as you can see at the top of this post, and it goes with any of our Set the Stage retro kits as well. FYI the kits in our retro collection rank among some of our most affordable prop sets, though you’d never know it by the buzz these pieces create.

Complete the color riot with red, yellow and blue paper lanterns overhead. We have recently expanded our sizes to include 24” and 36” lanterns in addition to the traditional 12” so they won’t get “lost” in cavernous ballrooms and other large venues.

OK, now what about taking your Woodstock theme outside? Retro banners are no problem and gossamer usually isn’t, but most decorations are meant for indoors and placing them in a structure sheltered from wind and rain is recommended. That being said, many have successfully decorated parade floats and other open-air venues by employing strategies for reinforcing, anchoring, and protecting against moisture. Only you can decide if added work and weather-related risk are worth it.

When it comes to party favors we are highly attracted to wearables. Flash the peace sign to guests at the door, place beads around their necks and hand them round metal glasses with tinted lenses. Or check the swag bags in retro novelty favors for fun favors to wear and more.

To see more far out party ideas for your Woodstock remake, the 1960s store is where it’s at. There or square, man! ;)

Have a Dino-Blast Birthday!

Some birthday party themes practically beg for over-the-top decorations, activities and favors.

That’s how Dino Blast came to be. Dino Blast is the latest addition to animal birthday party themes and it is extreme, kind of like petting a velociraptor only without the risk of being devoured (except by children in the pretend sort of way).

This party collection is also designed to get you tagged “bestest mom ever” just by mixing up a Mesozoic stew as follows:

1. Grow a jungle. You’ll want to turn the place green generally, and then add strategically-placed 3D foliage.

First, choose a focal point. Most often that will be a wall or corner, in which case you’ll want to begin by placing a background of some sort on or against the walls. You have a delightful array of choices; here’s a sample:

  • A banner or photo illustration such as our forest backdrop. These come in three materials (photo paper, cardboard and vinyl) and a half-dozen sizes – and you can personalize them.
  • Tropical Foliage patterned flat paper and Sticky Tac.
  • Gossamer in a palm leaf or green mottled design. Sew a pocket along one long side and trade out your usual window treatment (a patio door would be perfect) or use a couple free-standing Showstopper curtain frames.

Continue building out from the wall. You can plant palm trees and scatter grass, and criss-cross the ceiling with streamers or cover it with light and dark green balloons. A few dinosaur footprint decals would be a nice touch here, too.

2. Populate the habitat. Though it depends on the age group, in general we love inflatable wildlife for this theme because they can be handled, and your choice in inflatable dinos has never been better.

We like big for dinosaurs! Brachiosaurus is 45 inches long and more than 2 feet high, and one party planner commented on the pteranodon: “The wingspan in amazing.” (It’s 65 inches.)

Another way to stop them in their tracks is to make a home for one of our new land-going giants, the 10-foot-long triceratops or the towering T-Rex you see here. Just imagine the looks on their faces, and what imaginative play it might inspire.

The little partygoers themselves will happily transform as well, so be sure to check out our T-Rex, triceratops and pteranodon wearables as favors.

3. Feed the animals. After the kids are a tad tired out from relay races and chasing games, it’s time for some dino chow.

You’ll want to have a “wowza” table so they’ll be eager to leave the other activities behind. In the photo above you see we’ve done this not only with an attractive display overall but also with the prospect of exploring a tabletop sandbox an archeological dig.

Young dinosaurs like to play with their food, so we recommend a dino snack mix. This one by The Room Mom is a good example, and would also look tempting in our personalized do-it-yourself favor bags.

Ready for Dino Blast? You are just seconds away from dino-riffic birthday party planning!

Trek to the Stars for Graduation

The beauty of a stars theme for a graduation party is that there are so many directions you can take it. Trekkers, divas, science majors, and recruits headed for basic training are just a few of the young people’s current or upcoming roles for which a stars party might very well constitute a cosmic fit.

Set a slogan based on aiming high, reaching for the stars, or getting ready to explore new worlds. Then, go shopping for decorations and personalized products for a star bash to remember.

The Stars Store and Graduation Store make the best start, but you may also want to visit Hollywood, Patriotic or City categories, too, depending on the specific theme and slogan.

Backgrounds for star parties are generally blue, black or purple with star designs in white, gold or silver. Poly vinyl rolls, flat paper, corrugated paper, backdrop illustrations and gossamer all include star patterns so you’ve no shortage of materials in setting the stage.

Cover large areas with background materials but keep them in mind for coordinated “accessory” decorations, too. For example, you can cover a plain cardboard box in flat paper to create a greeting card box (and check out these DIY ideas for lollipop displays).

Perhaps you have caught on from previous posts that we are fans of gossamer decorating fabric. :0) We feel the bias is well placed as it is ideal for so many applications. In this case, we particularly like gossamer for outdoor venues. Choose gossamer for draping the underside of a gazebo, wrapping around picnic shelter columns or tent legs, or otherwise classing up a canopy, deck or garage.

Emphasize ceilings to encourage attendees to look up – perfect for this party theme, right? There will never be a better time for covering ceilings and/or dangling lots of hanging decorations.

For an evening party or open house, pair Glow Star gossamer with a galaxy of clear Stars Around balloons and add a black light or two for best effect.

Next, it’s time to start personalizing! Plant a likeness of the grad among the stars backdrop and effects as a surprise conversation piece. You have plenty of options in this area, too: Life Size grad standees, photo canvases and giant greeting cards are just a few ways to spotlight the guest of honor.

Do you have a telescope? Use it as a prop. Situate a Big Head standee with the telescope in front of your stars backdrop for a display that will have everyone in stitches.

With colors, slogan and major props settled, you can continue selecting supplies that will coordinate with the overall look and coordinate or match each other. Our “Twinkle Stars,” “Glitter Stars,” and “Under the Stars,” among others, are recurring throughout our product line so you can find invitations, banners and favors – even bottle labels! – in an identical design. Everyone will appreciate your attention to detail.

Are you ready to reach for the Stars party supplies for your star grad? So are we. Start exploring today!

Welcome to Your New House! Ideas for Your Home Warming Party

Take a page from the book of domestic best wishes and make your home a center of warmth, light and life for the occasion of your house warming party.

Plants = Life. Plants symbolize the wish, “May your home always have life.” The colors you choose can reflect this wish, and this time of year there’s no better way to go than the hues of spring regeneration.

To start, visit the shop-by-color store. This year we are leaning toward a citrus green paired with fresh white and accented with pastel flower colors such as yellow, pink or lavender. A bright green with hot pink would mod-ify the space; a sky blue with white would reflect more serenity but still be in keeping with a bright spring day.

As you ponder your color options, you’ll also notice materials that are available for covering large areas for different effects:

  • Corrugated paper is 4 feet wide, which is perfect for instant wall wainscoting.

  • Lengths of gossamer covering walls, windows or ceiling can soften a room, and patterns (e.g., clouds against blue sky) can transform.

  • Floral sheeting as table runners adds touchable texture.

These background materials are fun to use on their own merits, but they also mean you have fill-in décor for wherever your home may still be under-furnished or unpacked!

Light = Light. Lights symbolize the wish, “May you always have light through the dark times.” Here are just a few ways to provide restrained, gentle light:

  • Line the main walkway to the house with luminarias. We have the old-fashioned kind for purists, but also new LED and electric options. Our personalized white luminary bags would be perfect for a house warming with a photo of the household and welcome message for the guests.

  • Create a focal point with one or more LED trees with white, green or blue bulbs. (Please note that you will not find a better price on a quality, 7-foot prelit tree.)

  • Paper lanterns – for ceiling or floor – will not only bring festive lighting but also color to an oft-neglected space.

The traditional way to bring the wish for light is with candles, so candle favors are a natural here. Shop our DIY favor pages for the raw materials and embellishments to coordinate a votive style with the rest of the décor and to make them your own.

Wood = Warmth. Wood symbolizes the wish, “May you enjoy warmth, peace and stability.”

Of course your colors, flowers and lights have already put you on a warm path. What will progress the theme further is tying your look together with accents that are rustic, homespun and/or natural. Examples:

  • Place 4” pots of spring flowers in tin buckets; finish with raffia bows.

  • Choose a whimsical icon, such as a retro flower or butterfly, which you can incorporate into the décor as props, wall cutouts and/or tableware.

  • Embellish tables, doorways and handrails with a leaf garland from the Garden Party store.

We hope this gives you food for thought about your house warming get-together – and may you always make life more fun!

Winter Classroom Decorating Ideas

Turn a classroom into a winter wonderland with products that give good value for your time and money.

A Frosty Change of Scenery
You can instantly change the look and feel of the classroom by covering walls with winter background materials. We emphasize wall decorations because we know that floor space is often precious — plus you can enjoy plenty of options in this category.

Background illustrations transport the imagination to snowy city or country settings. You can get them on cardboard, mural paper or vinyl, and there are sizing choices, too.

Room Setters give you 4’ tall wintry repeating pattern on a 48’ roll, kind of like wallpaper except the light plastic material is much, much easier to cut and hang. Winter Wonderland, shown above right, is a Room Setter that portrays a snowy forest scene. Arrange and attach Snowmen Scene Setter add-ons and students’ cut paper snowflakes to Winter Wonderland.

Floral sheeting, long a staple material of parade floats, has now become a background material of choice for sophisticated displays. Use iridescent, white or light blue floral sheeting as a backdrop for bulletin board displays, classroom plays and photography projects.

A Variety of Let-it-Snow Options
Play out winter themes on doors, windows and elsewhere in the classroom.

Winter banners, such as the vertical Snowman banner at left, combine an illustration with your own cheerful message on a tough vinyl that you can reuse for years. Hang one on the door to greet the children.

Cut snow blanket to fit bulletin boards, window sills and the tops of book cases as foundations for winter displays.

Visit winter hanging decorations for a veritable blizzard of snowflake decorations for walls, windows and ceilings.

A Setting for Whimsical Winter Student Displays
Attach the above-mentioned floral sheeting (perhaps this time in green) to different sizes of Styrofoam cones to create an instant forest of pine trees. Use them to “plant” a tree line along the back edge of a piece of snow blanket trimmed to fit the top of a table or shelf and place students’ craft creations at the front of the display.

Our party crafts supplies include craft sets as well as basic materials such as bells and beads. Populate the winter forest display with students’ foam snowmen or pipe cleaner rabbits and deer.


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