Create Fireworks with an Uptown Manor Theme

While we’re all awaiting the next season of events from Downton, why not host a Masterpiece of a manor party yourself? With the right background materials and props you can set the stage for an entertaining wedding, formal dance or charity event this summer.

To start, let’s agree that for castle-like buildings our Flagstone pattern is where it’s at. In flagstone you have a choice of materials: poly vinyl, corrugated paper, flat paper, and gossamer. Let’s look at the relative merits of each:

  • Poly vinyl is economical, flame retardant, and tough stuff you can use outdoors. You’ll get terrific coverage on walls and you can hang light items on it.
  • Flat paper covers well, you can stick light items on it and you can paint on this paper if you are so inclined. Use it to wrap a homemade cardboard fireplace (in this case, use a marble pattern and/or plain buff or gray).
  • Corrugated paper looks terrific on walls and will not sag. What’s more, this is a paper you can build 3D decorations with, such as pedestals.
  • Gossamer is an economical choice and easy to hang because it is light. Although it is translucent, it will look fine over walls that are fairly neutral and in fact will give you a quite realistic look.

Don’t hesitate to use more than one “flagstone” material if it works for you. A poly or paper could go on the walls – all the better for holding a cutout suit of armor every so often – and you could switch to gossamer for hanging in front of the windows.

In front of the window coverings, place the castle view panels shown at the top of this post. The panels are a magnificent 7-plus-feet tall, and free standing so you won’t have to worry about how to hang them.
Best of all, the panels are a takeoff on our highly-rated castle photo backdrop. Personalize the backdrop as a greeting banner, and select the same design in edible party favors such as mint tins and candy bars for a luxuriously customized experience.

Meanwhile, against all that gray stone you’ll need a strong secondary color to contrast with the gray. A true red is the natural choice for warming up the space, and gives you as many options in props and accents as you could hope for. Drape red, translucent gossamer from the ceiling in a tented pattern to maximize the impact of an exquisite chandelier at the center. Tack down red aisle runners as a rolled-out red carpet for guests.

Inexpensive medieval cutouts – crests, flags, pennant banners – bring a trio of bright colors to the walls, including red for continuity.

Take particular care with your tables, especially if this is a dinner party. Cover them in white satin and pull out the silver or gold plate chargers. Finish with large, sparkling glass vases of red flowers and candle arrangements using our new twisted-stem glass pillar holders, which are available in three heights for many decorating possibilities.

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!

Cool and Trendy Homecoming Theme Ideas

Homecoming is all about the students, so shouldn’t the party be all about the students’ interests? We think so! Make this year’s homecoming something everyone will be talking about for a long time by using the latest trends as the theme!

Up, Up, and Away!


Superheroes are very popular right now. There has almost always been a superhero movie in theaters or coming to theaters in the past few years. Superheroes allow us to imagine a world where people can obtain extraordinary abilities and be a beacon of hope to all of humanity against the forces of evil. Create that feeling at this year’s homecoming! A very popular superhero movie that just came out is the Avengers. Why not make this year “Avengers”-themed? There are many other superheroes to use as themes, as well, but if you’re looking for a more general superhero party, no worries! Make the event about superheroism in general. You could even use the theme of “Everyone’s a Supehero,” where the guests can be superheroes for the night.

Fantasy: The Unrestrained Imagination

What are your fantasies? Medieval adventure? Magical encounters? Travels in space? Let imaginations run free at this year’s homecoming with a fantasy theme. Guests can be a great king or queen, a mighty knight, a cunning mage, or even an adventurous astronaut! Why not all of the above? Create a land of many fantasies all combined into one big adventure. To escape to a world where your biggest and most glorious ideas come to life is a possibility that you give your guests for the night.

The Sky Is Falling!

Doomsday theories are very popular right now, especially with the Mayan 2012 Doomsday theory. Make this homecoming an End of the World theme! There are all kinds of theories out there, which makes for many possible apocalyptic settings. Scare the guests with a zombie apocalypse or turn out the lights with a blackout apocalypse. Set up a desolate city where your guests are the only survivors. Any one you choose, the apocalyptic feeling will be present and enjoyed by all!

Whether you’re feeling super, imaginative, or apocalyptic, these themes will make this homecoming the best yet. Stay creative and exciting!

Personalized Party Products for Weddings

There’s a method for making a wedding party memorable, from selecting just the right theme and colors to placing the perfect accents into the setting. Personalized party products with a high degree of customization help you bring a special, unique feel to the event at a reasonable cost and with relative ease.

Personalized Wedding Invitations
Wedding invitations come in a number of designs with customization options. In addition to composing nine or ten lines of text, feel free to experiment with font and font color; and (with many of the designs) you can also customize the background colors and graphics.

Don’t miss the photo cards, which may be new to you. Photo cards bring another level of customization to invitations and the prices will surprise you when you see the professional look of them. Photo cards are perfect for save-the-date announcements and shower invites, too.

Customized Wedding Banners
Custom vinyl wedding banners are probably more affordable than you think. Be the designer for banners that mark the wedding and reception venues and the newlyweds’ “getaway” car. Find a banner that matches invitations and decorations in the popular Mr. & Mrs., India, Enchanted and White Party designs, or one in a chosen wedding destination theme that you’ve taken a liking to.

Other Personalized Decorations
Besides banners, there are other impressive, customizable decorations in the form of wall and floor decals. Find your letter and enjoy color choices such as you’ll see on the big 50” monogram floor decal shown at the above right. This one is fast becoming a customer favorite! Use the floor decal a few feet inside the reception entrance, in the middle of the reception room, or to designate the dance floor area. A monogram wall decal can be placed behind the cake table or other high-visibility/high-traffic part of the room. Discover these decal options and more in reception decorating supplies.

Bring personalized party products to the table, too. Glassware candles and monogrammed napkins are classic and always “ahh”-worthy additions to wedding table decorations, while fully customizable coasters and bottle labels – some with photo options — will elicit delighted astonishment.

Personalized Wedding Favors
It will perhaps delight you that there is hardly a wedding favor to be found at that can’t be personalized with a design and message. We hope so. From candy bars to mint tins, lollipops to lip gloss (and the above-mentioned coasters, too!) you can put together custom favors for bridal showers and receptions of any flavor. Look for personalized photo albums and other gifts for the bridal party, too.

As you’re looking at wedding favors, check out the sticker options available for embellishing plain favor and gift bags.

The Last Word on Personalized Products?
There’s a feeling that we’ve barely scratched the surface here, and that’s because there are so many themes and products! Here’s additional direction. If you are planning a fairly traditional wedding, explore the options in custom wedding supplies. For destination, fairytale and other popular themes, point your cursor at wedding themes.

Ladies Night Out – Your Marilyn Monroe Party

Ladies, it’s time to break away from your weekly routine for a glamorous night out! Whether you are celebrating a special occasion with your girlfriends, or searching for a fun ladies night out theme, a Marilyn Monroe party is the ticket! The Marilyn Monroe party supplies are perfect for this blonde bombshell iconic theme.

When you send out invitations, choose a glitzy design like the black and silver personalized Hollywood star invitation. An entertaining approach to get everyone involved in the theme is to suggest that each lady dress up in their best interpretation of Marilyn Monroe. Have the ladies nominate the best Marilyn look-a-likes and give the top three ladies a special prize, such as the Marilyn Monroe bath suit notebook.

Fashion a dramatic background for your venue by hanging sets of black metallic foil party curtains, or use a set of foil curtains to hang in a doorway as the entrance to your party area. Choose either the Marilyn red dress personalized banner or the Marilyn white dress personalized banner to announce your party and set the tone. Form a proper walkway for your famous guests with a red carpet aisle runner and the Hollywood rope scene setter to pave the way.

Select from four beautiful Marilyn Monroe standees and place one near the entrance to the party, use another one as a focal point in your decorating scheme, and then place the other two around the room to take pictures with the star of the evening with her starlets. Glam up the walls with amazing Marilyn Monroe canvases to highlight her different poses. Bring some life to the chairs by tying a red feather boa to adorn the back of each guest’s chair, providing each lady with a boa to enjoy for the evening and take home with her when the evening comes to an end.

Make your tables sparkle by covering them with black liquid metallic fabric. Design gorgeous centerpieces using a combination of materials. Start with the reflecting mirror centerpiece, and then add the rose topiary centerpiece in the middle, accent the mirror by placing red, black, and silver dots confetti on the glass, along with several tea lights. As a final touch, drape pearl beads on the glass around the topiary. Red lipstick is Marilyn’s signature color, so pull that in to your tables with the classic red plastic kit-n-kaboodle table setting.

Party Favors
Don’t send your guests away empty handed, fill silver drawstring bags with Marilyn Monroe favors: mint tins, playing cards, and personalized chocolate candy bars.


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